As I previously mentioned, I really had too much fun at this show. The venue is a screen printing studio that I will hopefully be taking classes at soon. The ‘artsy-farsty’ crowd was mingling upstairs while the -rock-n-rollers’ were enjoying the music downstairs. Best of both artistic worlds. Hopefully there will be more cool gigs there soon. As for the band, they are back being a smoking quintet with the addition of Matt on keys and guitar and if you don’t believe the hype, you haven’t heard the awesome break in ‘Only Thing’, have you?
Another fun Josh solo set. I had a blast at this gig. Hanging with friends, sluggin’ beers and listening to awesome music. Can’t think of a better time.
I wasn’t expecting much from this set. Knowing that the band was essentially Julian from Neutral Milk Hotel and that his ‘solo’ stuff was experimental, minimalist, Eastern European folk, my intent was to get a few shots and patiently wait for openers The Olivia Tremor Control. What an absolute surprise to be wanting more after a quick hour of the trio’s wistful, endearing and more than anything funny ‘performance’. Incorporating music, abstract storytelling, and even an audience participation ‘magic’ trick, it was more absurdest theater than a concert. I for one was game. In case you couldn’t tell, I loved it!
I pretty much love everything Elephant 6. What I love about these guys, apart from their fantastically surreal and psychedelic vibe is how down to earth and totally approachable they all are. Just the nicest bunch of musicians around. Listen to an NPR archived show from a couple days later here.
For the past month or so, I have been heading down to the Northside for this live jam featuring a rotating cast of local bands including The Shelf Life String Band, Panther Hollow String Band, The Moonlighters and The Armadillos. Very informal and very fun. There is nothing like unplugged bluegrass music. You should definitely check it out. More photos here.
Just Karl and his guitar. The man is a Pittsburgh treasure.
I feel like I am at the Warhol so much, I should be getting my mail there! The concert line-up has been really sweet this year and it’s certainly not over yet. This sold out show was a rescheduled date from back in January. Ted certainly brought it solo, almost making me not miss the Pharmacists. Very low key set that, as per usual, had the audience in the theater sitting on their hands making it a somewhat unnerving performance.
Of the dozens of bands I have seen at the Warhol theater, I cannot think of a more suitable group to play that room (selling out two shows no less). The band’s ‘chill’ vibe is perfect for the “respectful, stay in your seat and pay attention to the music” audiences that usually attend. Imagine seeing them play Gooski’s? Ha!
GNS have been laying low of late. Except for a fantastic set last summer, it’s been a year and change since we’ve heard a peep from them. There is good reason for the silence, they are hard at work on their upcoming album and I was lucky enough to be able to get a taste of what they are coming up with. I have heard early incarnations of the songs, or as they say in musician-speak ‘demos’, and I am so excited to report that this release will be stellar! Stayed tuned for more info here as things materialize.
The Warhol is quickly becoming one of my favorite places not only to shoot a show but to actually hear one. The acoustics in the place are fantastic and the quality of bands are top notch. Kurt and his band were no exception. His album is in steep contention for a spot in the top 10 of the year and he was no less great live. Draw Us Lines reviewed the show here. My man Scott Mervis has his review here. Bunch of video from the set here.
This local band opened for Kurt Vile and when I saw their name, my expectations weren’t through the roof, or through the floor for that matter. The old saying goes, never judge a book by it’s cover. How true this night when I was immediately hooked by the first song. I loved this band! Their ‘shtick’ is sampling old ’60’s psych tunes with a heavy beat whilst ‘rapping’ the lyrics. Think a throwback Bumblebeez 81. Granted the austerity of the Warhol theater wasn’t the ideal place for a band more suited to a sweaty basement party but the sound was loud and clear and I’m definitely keeping my eye out for them. They are WPTS’ Band of the Month.
On a related note, the next day at lunch I told my colleague that I saw a band last night called Raw Blow. With deadpanned earnest he said, “Oh, my wife would probably like them.” After literally choking on my food laughing and conjuring up the best comebacks I could think of, he stopped me short by continuing, “She loves his movies.” Oh, that Rob Lowe. Awesome!
My last post of coverage from the night featuring the retro band Neighbours. I was talking to MOIP’s Aaron and asked what tunes these guys were planning for the night and he plainly stated that he can’t ever tell if the band is playing old covers or their own tunes! Now that is retro.
There is a ‘sort of’ running joke in my home. As I leave the house, my wife always asks me what band I am shooting that night. Everytime I reply MOIP, she naturally and quizzically shoots back, “AGAIN!?!” Yes dear, again.
Over the next few days I will focus on this show that was just pure fun. I love it when bands mix things up for a concert and this was no exception. Three bands playing three song rotating sets for the night. It kept things fresh and moving along briskly. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, support Pittsburgh music people!
One of my favorite bands in the city playing a tiny corner of the room. I was desperately trying to hang for the whole set but was so tired from a long week. As always, they sounded great, even in a noisy Northside bar on a Friday night. Coming up in April, they are playing in a quiet library on a Sunday afternoon and I hope they take my advice and rock out the grannies trying to read their books!
Not many musicians have what it takes to be able to tear me away from the end of the awesome concert I was enjoying down the street at the Warhol (more on that show soon). James Hart is one of them. Playing a rare solo ‘wooden’ set he proved I made the right choice in not missing it. He provided the perfect vibe to sipping a beer and letting a long work week wind to a close. Thanks buddy.
Dean is a local musician who also happens to be an artist. I cannot stress enough how much I admire his DIY ways of producing his art. I caught up with him at a cool event at AIR on the Northside. He just happened to be there printing his own merch. The occasion was a silkscreen demo by one of the city’s most unique visual artists, Budai. He specializes in graphic arts and produces some of the most incredible concert posters I have ever seen. His unconditional willingness to share his knowledge has always amazed me. This city is full of unique treasures in the forms of our artists and I for one would like to explore the scene more in the future.
So I was shooting this show for WYEP and as custom, I had to secure a photo pass beforehand. As is more common than not, no one at the venue knew of such pass. These situations take patience and tact and I finally got the go ahead a few minutes before she came on that I had one song to shoot, no flash. As I think I’ve said before, flash is for amateurs and I was able to get a couple decent shots with no problem. Her three piece band sounded really good and she was surprisingly jovial. As an aside, I attempted to shoot the JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys show last night and never got a reply for my photo pass request. My buddy who went noticed that my name was indeed on the list and if I would have known, I would have been there. Oh well. More photos here, here and here.
Opener Blake Hazard
Van Dyke Parks is playing a show tonight at the Warhol Museum and he was so cool to participate in this installment of First/Last.
Thank you so much Mr. Parks. So that is what’s up with the water here!
I am always looking for unique performances and this definitely was one of them. It was a collaboration between several diverse musicians for a one off performance curated by Mark Garry. It was a sort of ’round robin’ style set with different styles and genres blending throughout. Very cool. More info can be found here. More photos here.