Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia- Nov 15, 2009

On Sunday night I think I saw the best live performance I’ve seen this year…and trust me, I’ve been around.

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros’ live performance was simply magnificent. After hearing reviews of the type of things they do live, I was really eager to see them play. In the end, I was not disappointed. The band is more awkward than you would expect even from an unconventional indie group. But, regardless of their looks, their clothing or even their personal hygiene, these guys know their stuff. Front-man Alex Ebert is as close as it gets to an “environmentally friendly rock star”…a guy that shows all the traits you associate with a true idol, but at the same time, someone that seems too approachable and laid down that trying to marry both ideas would certainly get you confused. His biblical image is impossible to remove and he knows this and plays it along, making you believe that a modern Jesus Christ has come to rescue us…from what?...boredom, musical repeatability, social regulations, god knows what…but in the end the music from this shirtless Jesus and his band transports you to that place where you find yourself singing, dancing and shaking every piece of your body, trying to follow him on his attempt to remove the “bad vibes” as he would call them.

The stage’s leading role is always shared with the amazingly beautiful Jade Castrinos, a girl with a voice that although strong is half as impressive as the energy she puts on every song. In addition, you have a collection of characters adding strings, percussions, guitars, keyboards, accordions, trumpets, etc., making it simply impossible to decide who’s playing what, and at the same time almost inviting you to forget about it, play along and enjoy the moment.

Their show has moments hard to decipher…moments where a laugh, a tear and a sight blend into a composite that spells nothing else but happiness. On Sunday, they played all their “Up from Below” album and a couple of new songs not included on this record. The intimacy of the First Unitarian Church once again contributed to the success of a wonderful night and the band seemed certainly impressed with the Philly crowd.

At some point, Alex’s excitement drove him all the way to the top of a huge speaker from where he delivered a song almost from the ceiling of the room…moments after, he asked the engineers to kill the light of the venue for them to play “Black Water” in complete darkness…at the end, during their encore the band crushed any musical etiquette asking everyone to sit down, and those of us lucky enough to be up front were asked to join them on stage, sit down and close the night with the sweet tune “Brother”.

But the story did not stop there…Alex decided to stick around after the show and personally thank almost everyone from coming…I knew I had to say something, so I approached him and said “thanks for a great show, come back soon”, he simply said “No problem man, you guys were awesome…”…I walked away.

Coming out the First Unitarian Church everyone seemed shocked, perplexed, confused, but certainly satisfied. This band is one that no one should afford to miss…and this concert was certainly one I will remember for a long, long time.



Video of their recent appearance in NPR's Tiny Concert series.


The Swell Season at The Merriam Theater – Philadelphia Nov 08, 2009

A beautiful concert was offered by The Swell Season last Sunday November 8 at The Merriam Theater in Philadelphia. The duo comprised of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová selected the impressive Merriam Theater to offer a delightful collection of tunes from their new album “Strict Joy” and the well-acclaimed 2007 soundtrack from the film “Once”. The venue, part of the Kimmel Center complex in Philadelphia certainly enhanced the beauty of the night, and contributed significantly to the romantic atmosphere that the group offered.

In addition to Glen and Markéta, most of the concert was supported by Hansard’s original group “The Frames” bringing a different perspective to some of the songs, which in my opinion provided and enhanced rock sound to the concert. The song selection offered a well-balanced collection of rock and Irish folk songs mostly performed by Hansard along with romantic compositions from Once and the new album where Markéta’s voice certainly made everyone in the audience shiver.

A must see concert and one that would be perfect for a first, second or even an anniversary date.


Below a clip from “Low Rising”, another song that describes a well-known feeling…


The Antlers @ Daytrotter.com

Amigos, les dejo la sesión que The Antlers (sin duda uno de los 5 mejores discos del año para mí)hizo el viernes pasado para Daytrotter.com, espero que la disfruten, copio link y reseña. Lo relativo a Austin City Limits no lo he iniciado por falta de tiempo y por exceso de emociones vividas durante el mismo, prometo ponerla pronto. Enjoy...

A Thunder Cloud Above The Hospital
Oct 30, 2009

tell your friends…

Words by Sean Moeller // Illustration by Johnnie Cluney // Sound engineering by Mike Gentry

Songs about hospitals, or people in hospitals, or people visiting other people in hospitals carry with them an agonizing sort of heaviness. These kinds of songs are usually a result of some life-changing altercation with body failure or an untimely, unavoidable freak accident - landing someone in the last place that they'd ever want to be, laid up and forced to be cared for, rehabilitated, while those around them are fretting and treating them as if every extra moment is precious and maybe even needs the silent treatment so the damaged soul doesn't get spooked away. New York's The Antlers sink their teeth into this idea of the infirmary as a place for little recklessness, just a temple for looking deep into a person or one's self and extracting much of the pulp, lots of the main wires and circuits and laying them out on the surface in front of them and picking through them - in admiration and amazement - with a fine-toothed comb. It's marveling at all of the haunted and worn out parts. It's emitting a spontaneous gasp of curiosity when a living, carnivorous tumor is pulled out of a head or up and past the throat, out through the mouth. It's seeing the blood and the wriggling pieces, the organs and the objects that have never once seen the light of the day prior to this, out and flopping around like a fish under surveillance - first more frantic and then less so, then despondent or almost resigned to the increasing coldness of their outsides. Lead singer Peter Silberman makes us ache in such a poignant way. It's a move that's full of glassy empathy and commiseration for whomever is lying there in that hospital bed, sore and possibly hopeful, but possibly despondent too, as someone who's been given the worst kind of news - that there are no other painkillers that will kill anything in their body and that there's nothing further that can be done here. Many of the songs on "Hospice," - a breathtaking album that is shimmery and delicate pop music that has faint affectations to the kinds of pained miseries that Antony Hegarty wrings out of himself with the utmost of care, like a man tending to a wounded bird - feature someone in the tangles of such epic inner and outer discussions about what's going on here in this hospital, coping with the words and diagnosis of the doctors. It's a tense and still oddly liberating mood, where the bedridden and the broken are still finding ways to deal with it all, seemingly with last gasps and flourishes that Silberman, drummer Michael Lerner and keyboardist Darby Cicci make sound like glorious spillings, emptyings of the sweetest and most affirming twinkles and sparkles of the human spirit. Though death may be in the air of the night, it's going to have to be ready to go toe-to-toe and it's going to have to be ready to potentially back down if these shaky folks need more time to tell and show all of their loved ones that they are indeed their loved ones.

Den click sobre cualquier canción para bajar la sesión completa, saludos.