There are many techniques and styles of playing guitar, and one of the least common and most interesting is percussive fingerstyle, perhaps best known by its portrayal by Kaki King in the movie August Rush. While many artists dabble in the style, the truly experimental combine it with other advanced techniques and technologies to push the art of playing guitar forward, and four such artists gathered on Friday night at Doc Watson’s. The opening act was Suzi Brown, a young singer-songwriter who began with instrumental guitar performance before adding lyrics sung in a style reminiscent of Alanis Morissette. Her songwriting tends toward the didactic, with a strong focus on social justice issues on which she frequently speaks from the stage. The complex instrumental techniques of her roots are not always hidden behind straightforward songwriting and ’90s styled vocals, however, as she still finds herself explaining instrumental pieces and their inspiration somewhat frequently through her set, perhaps the best of which is “Logan’s Pass”, a rendition of which you can see above.
Alex Brubaker, on the other hand, kept things strictly instrumental throughout, preferring to integrate his technical prowess with further technological advancements for added interest rather than lyrics and singing. His heavy use of looping and processing is fascinating, his pedalboard a gearhead’s dream that enables virtually limitless self-expression. Building songs by bits and pieces as he’s been doing for years, this show was an opportunity for many to hear new material from his forthcoming second studio album, The Architecht The Engineer. He included some material from his debut, Deconstructing the Temporal Lobe, as well, but the evolution of his style was certainly the focal point of the set, as the material seemed to get newer and newer throughout. Fans will have many opportunities to experience the new songs before the album drops, the first of which will be on April 24th at the Lancaster Convention Center for Launch Music Conference. The key difference is more of a sense of space and minimalism, skewing away from the multi-tracked, guitar-switching antics of his early material in favor of a more restrained, mature style. The video above is situated about halfway between the two.
The gathered musicians were all clearly friends, a fact that became clear to those unaware when Brubaker heckled Henry Nam a bit for his newfound vocal focus before finishing his set. The joke turned around when Nam took the stage and pointed out that he would be sticking with primarily instrumental material that night. Rather than integrating a keyboard into his performance as he was at one time known for, he focused on his stringed work as well, delivering a tight set of comparatively high-energy rhythmic work, even including a surprising interpolation of Outkast’s “Hey Ya”, with markedly less exposition between songs. Letting the music speak for itself was even his approach when he performed at TEDxStanford about a year ago, and probably will be again when he plays at Princeton’s Communiversity on the 26th.
Rated one of Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s 30 Under 30, Trevor Gordon Hall is an accomplished performer and composer who has been touring internationally for a few years now. Based locally in Collegeville, PA, it is a rare evening that finds him performing in such an intimate space, a treat that those gathered surely appreciated. The Candyrat Records artist played two unique instruments at this show: his distinctive “kalimbatar”, an acoustic guitar with a kalimba mounted to the body, and a guitar strung with just the high strings from a 12-string. Both sounds were alternatingly familiar and surprising, integrating strange techniques and notes into otherwise ordinary formats and vice versa. Perhaps a bit peaceful for the lateness of the evening, his music was quite calming, certainly decompressing the audience from a week’s work should the preceding performances have yet to do so. The other artists and their remaining fans, friends, and family gathered close to the stage with an enviable communal spirit, focusing intently on the details of each piece in a way much more expected of a smaller listening room than a bar. He’ll be bringing that experience to The Artscenter and Grey Eagle in North Carolina in May, before stopping home for Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church Concert Series in Phoenixville and heading up to Stowe, Vermont in June for The Gathering.
By Dave Fox | Philadelphia Ambassador | @philosofoxthedj | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC
Having been silent for most of 2015, The Jawn proudly present their first music video for their single “Hollywood” off of their new EP, Grüv Vol. 1.
Filmed at Drowning Fish Studio in Port Richmond by Wayne Campbell (taking his first stab at directing a band), “Hollywood” features the debut of drummer Andrew Duffy (of Montoj) as well as an extended band including the horn section from Swift Technique.
The Jawn have been going strong since they formed in 2013, having performed at several events and festivals including the Caravan Music Festival, an official Disco Biscuit New Year’s Eve after party in Time’s Square, as rapper Voss‘ backing band, and their annual “Jawn Of The Dead” Halloween party.
They will be releasing their EP at Kung Fu Necktie on May 15th.
Philly EDM powerhouse DJ Shizz Lo drops a new track today, a Moombahton remix of the beloved Justin Timberlake record “Like I Love You”. Click the photo for a free download!
See Shizz Lo LIVE in Philadelphia 5/8/15 at LiT Ultrabar with Party Favor! Click the flyer to buy tickets!
Connect with Trel Mack on Social Media
WHITNEY PEYTON – BETTER FT. CAROLYN MARIE – OFFICIAL VIDEO [NEW MUSIC][VIDEO][FREE DOWNLOAD][SHOW DATES]
New Official Music Video by Whitney Peyton for “Better“, from the Fear Of Falling EP.
1. Welcome Back
2. Everyday Feat. Caskey
4. Really Wanna feat. Cryptic Wisdom
5. Better feat. Carolyn Marie
Video shot and edited by: Toonography Entertainment
Special thanks to: Sarah Benson and Jen Dancy of Studios on Main
and mixed by: Ali “A MAC” McGuire
Whitney Peyton is a solo hip-hop artist from the outer suburbs northeast of Philadelphia, PA.
Connect with Whitney on Social Media below:
Upcoming Whitney Peyton Shows
In the desperate cold of mid-February Philadelphia, four Californians bravely ventured forth from a ’98 Dodge van, gear in hand, to play some summertime rock’n'roll in a decidedly less-than-summery environment. Just to underscore the situation, a pipe at Boot & Saddle froze and burst earlier in the day, provoking fears that the show would be cancelled or moved to another venue. Fortunately a repairman was called, and R5 Productions decided they would open the doors anyway. The Californians in question are the members of Francisco the Man, Los Angeles indie standouts that recently signed to Fat Possum. Scotty Cantino, Nestor Romero, Abdeel Ortega, and Brock Woolsey are enjoying their first national tour, having undertaken a few on the West Coast, a couple trips to SXSW, and one to CMJ as independent artists before taking advantage of their new label’s management and booking services this time around. Monday night they played in their first snowstorm in North Carolina, before hauling everything 8 hours north to Philly for a Tuesday night show, along with tourmate Jackson Scott, who was recently dropped from the same label.
The evening began, however, with local five-piece The Fantastic Imagination, whose powerful three-guitar onslaught and reverb-drenched vocals made for a wall of noise not easily reckoned with. They began their set by encouraging the touring bands and bar patrons in the adjacent room to join them in the back, then proceeded through a brief set of originals and one cover, hanging around for the remainder of the show with a few friends in tow. Submerging vocals in the mix behind massive distortion seemed to be the order of the evening, as Jackson Scott did the same with his distinct, nasal high notes. A few audience members were reminded forcibly of the Pixies, commenting loudly in the brief, deafening silences between songs, drawing looks from the audio and video recording team there working for Out of Town Films. Evidently Scott and his drummer both grew up in Pittsburgh, which they hailed as a sort of a homecoming, before acknowledging that that was a stretch and launching into another song. The music fit well with the Philadelphia scene, with hints of Kurt Vile and other local standouts in a similar vein.
As headliner, Francisco the Man brought the energy up a bit, hard-hitting rhythms and hints of danceable surf and punk rock submerged in a similar amount of distortion to the acts that went before. Cantino’s vocal was up a bit in the mix, however, and Romero’s occasional addition of harmony added a welcome musicality to the proceedings. This is not The Shins, however, though they share a similar West Coast pop sensibility; Cantino at one point removed his whammy bar and began hitting his guitar strings with it, producing one of many experimental sounds pouring out of the amps throughout the show. Their set was tight, sharp, and to the point, with even guitar solos, big rock endings, and slightly extended jams never taking a song over a few minutes. This is a band that appreciates the need to grab an audience’s attention and keep it in this smartphone era, and that they did quite well, drawing back many of those that had scattered when the sound man brought up the lights between sets, as well as a few more from the increasingly full barroom in the front. By the time the early show ended at 11, apparently to account for a noise regulation, there were several drunk girls dancing along in the front, backed by a quiet throng of head-nodding, foot-tapping music types, still rocking hoodies that looked as if they wore them no matter what the weather outside. The bands loaded out, the guys from The Fantastic Imagination encouraging Jackson Scott to try to go through New Jersey to fuel up more affordably as the tour heads to U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC tonight and Aurora in Providence, Rhode Island the next day. As the tour continues north, here’s hoping they bring some Southern and Western warmth along with them!
By Dave Fox | Philadelphia Ambassador | @philosofoxthedj | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC