Tag Archives: Radiohead

Jim James Performs for a Sold-Out T-Shirt Clad Crowd at Union Transfer

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The weather was nice and warm in Philly on Saturday, April 27th. Sunny and in the mid-70’s for the better part of the day, many Philadelphians ditched their morning jackets and long pants and spent the day outside enjoying the spring temps in t-shirts, shorts, and skirts.

When evening rolled around, the mercury was running high along with expectations for the sold-out Jim James show at Union Transfer.

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Best known as the front man for critically acclaimed rock band “My Morning Jacket”, James recently released a solo album “Regions of Light and Sound of God” this past February. His tour, which kicked off April 17th in Louisville, KY has been selling out venues left and right, and has at least five upcoming shows in May that are already sold-out as well.

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The doors opened at Union Transfer an hour before the show began so there was already a good sized crowd on hand when opening act “Cold Specks” hit the stage at 9pm.

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Cold Specks, fronted by English songstress Al Spx, has a truly unique sound that incorporates numerous musical elements, not often seen, or heard, together.

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Spx, dressed in a long black cape, looks the part of a goth performer but Cold Specks is much more than a pure goth rock outfit. Despite hailing from the UK, their sound combines the darker goth aspect with touches of southern gospel. The closest thing we can compare it to (for those of you who crave comparison) is PJ Harvey. Their choice of backing instruments is also anything but mundane and included a baritone sax and bass clarinet.

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Spx concluded their set alone on stage, draped in her cape and darkness, she sang a haunting tune that echoed throughout the high ceilings of Union Transfer.

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After a short break for a stage change, Jim James hit the stage with his band to a roar of cheers, opening with “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” , the first track off of his latest CD.

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James energy on stage was undeniably higher than we’d been expecting. He moved about constantly, playing guitar and sax, singing, headbanging, and engaging the audience at every turn.

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By the fourth song, it became clear to us that he was going to play “Regions of Light and Sound of God” in its entirety. When the nine songs from the album were complete, many of which have a Radiohead-like quality to them, James and the band left the stage but quickly returned for a seven song encore that included two “My Morning Jacket” songs and several covers.

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The sold-out crowd that packed the main floor of the venue and the balcony above, loved every minute of it. With warm receptions like that, James should be able to continue to play whenever he sees fit without My Morning Jacket.

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[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view the entire set list and an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):


State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)

Know Til Now

Dear One

A New Life


Of the Mother Again


All Is Forgiven

God’s Love to Deliver


Bermuda Highway

(My Morning Jacket)

Wonderful (The Way I Feel)

(My Morning Jacket)

Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)

(Monsters of Folk cover)

His Master’s Voice

(Monsters of Folk cover)

The Right Place

(Monsters of Folk cover)

Losin Yo Head

(Monsters of Folk cover)

Changing World

(New Multitudes cover)

Tennis Serves Up Sweet Tunes As Good Vibes Multiply Like White Rabbits

White Rabbits had a lot to celebrate Tuesday, and the crowd at Union Transfer joined in the celebration. The Missouri-born, and Brooklyn-based band has embarked on a month long North American tour (including an upcoming stop at South by Southwest) and released their third album, “Milk Famous” earlier in the day. White Rabbits is playing with Tennis for a few dates on the tour (to be joined later by Philly’s own The War on Drugs). The trio Daughter, from the United Kingdom, opened up the show.

With the crowd buzzing, Daughter snuck onto the stage. Within seconds, the crowd’s attention shifted front and center to the soothing vocals of Elena Tonra. Drummer Remi Aguilella played most of the show with mallets and drums tuned to create a deep echo, notable on the second song, “Landfill,” from their latest EP, “His Young Heart”. Guitarist Igor Haefeli showed off his skill using a bow to create a beautiful, haunting sound. The final song highlighted the quality of Tonra’s voice, at once both delicate and powerful, commanding the room to listen to discover if she will descend into tears or explode in joy.

Up next, husband and wife duo Tennis took command of the show. Singer and keyboardist Alaina Moore and guitarist Patrick Riley recently released their second album “Young & Old”. The album is aptly named as it describes Tennis’s music and style, which ranges from the beautiful melodies of fifties (found in the opening song, “Deep in the Woods”) to the 21st century, picking up elements of each of the last six decades. Of Moore, one audience member noted, “I could picture her walking off the set of Blossom and onto this stage.” This sense of self-comfort permeated throughout the band and stage throughout their set.

Moore and Riley were joined by two musicians to play drums, bass, and keys. Riley’s guitar ventured at times into a slow surf sound (“Pigeons”), while Moore’s vocals retained their soulful quality (“Petition”). When the sound got into the groove, the energetic crowd clapped along. While most of the set was comprised of material from their recent release, Tennis played at least one new song, recently written on the road, illustrating their groovier side. Tennis finished up with their latest, upbeat single, “Origins,” which was met by a dancing crowd. Take note of Tennis; this is only the beginning.

White Rabbits came out for their co-headlining set, launching into their single “Heavy Metal,” filled with creative, paranoia-inducing sounds and intense rhythms. The members of the group, Matt Clark, Alex Even, Jamie Levinson, Stephen Patterson, and Greg Roberts, moved around the stage, switching instruments (at times playing with three guitarists, two drummers, or a keyboardist).

The band played a number of crowd favorites from each album, including “The Plot,” from their 2007 debut, “Fortnightly”, “Percussion Gun,” from “It’s Frightening” (which got the audience dancing in a frenzy), and “Temporary,” which has been getting some recent buzz, off of “Milk Famous”. One excited audience member repeatedly pumped his fist in the air as they launched into “They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong.”

The performance from White Rabbits included some great vocal melodies, powerful guitar, harmonics, and intricate layers of sound that used feedback, and the subtle sounds of maracas and tambourines. One of the many highlights of the night, “Back for More,” provided a number of these examples within a single song.

After a short break, White Rabbits returned for the encore. In a sea of couples holding hands, one couple slow danced to the band’s performance of “I Had It Coming,” demonstrating either that romance trumps cynicism or that anything sung with a sweet melody will always absolve the guilty.

[Article by MK]

You can check out an expanded photo gallery of the show below:

Interview with James Suptic of The Get Up Kids

The Get Up Kids, from Kansas City, burst onto the music scene over fifteen years ago and enjoyed much success before disbanding in 2005. Their 1999 album “Something to Write Home About” was their most successful venture and in 2009 they reunited to re-release the album and do a reunion tour. The reunion led The Get Up Kids back into the studio and now they are poised to release “There Are Rules”, their first full length album in seven years. The album hits stores on Tuesday, January 25th.

“There Are Rules” is sure to be an instant favorite for past fans of the band and is likely to make many new fans who might not have heard the bands older material. The songs, both up and down tempo, are infectious and catchy. After listening to the entire album the only logical thing for us to do was put it on repeat and listen to it all over again.

The Get Up Kids guitarist, James Septic, answered some questions for us about the past, present, and future of the band.

Independent Philly: You originally reunited in 2009 for the 10 year reunion tour for “Something To Write Home About”. What was it about that reunion that made you decide to start recording new music together again?

James Suptic: We realized that when we broke up the first time, what we really needed was a long break. These guys are like my family. We don’t get along all the time, but in the end we are stuck with each other.

IP: Describe the feeling of recording new music together for “There Are Rules” after so many years apart.

JS: It felt pretty comfortable. After 15 years it gets easier.

IP: We know you dislike the term “Emo” that was often used to describe your musical style in the 1990’s… how would YOU describe your sound? How will the new songs on “There are Rules” vary from your past albums?

JS: I don’t dislike the term “emo”. I just don’t care. We have always said we are just an indie rock band. Even that comes with baggage, I guess. The new album is the polar opposite of “Guilt Show”. That record was thought out to the point of a Mutt Lange album. “There Are Rules” is raw and live.

IP: How did your time apart to work on separate projects since your break-up in 2005 ultimately bring you closer as a band? Was it just a simple case of being burned out after 10 years of touring together and everyone needed a break? How are things different now?

JS: We talk a lot more freely if things are getting on our nerves. That probably just comes with age and maturing. I am having way more fun than I used to.

IP: What is your biggest “Rock Star” moment to date? Don’t hold back.

JS: It involves a strip club and an A list actress. I’m married with a child. I think I need to hold somethings back.

IP: Let’s do some quick word association… first thing that comes to mind…

Green Day…


Greatest Hits…








IP: You are putting together a giant international tour with five acts. Everyone is available. Who are the four bands/musicians you’d bring along for this once in a lifetime concert?

JS: Fugazi, Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Blur, and a local opener, ha!

IP: When can fans expect to see you in Philly?

JS: I think at the end of February.

IP: Tell us something about yourselves that would surprise or even shock our readers…

JS: I am not Reggie and the Full Effect. That’s the other James.

For fans who can’t wait until Tuesday to buy the new album, you can pre-order “There Are Rules” by CLICKING HERE

We are also giving away a copy of “There Are Rules” to a lucky winner. You can check out the CONTEST PAGE for details.