DROOLING BANJOS: Fan Of Friends, Popped! Fest Night 4, The Parlor, [FLICKR]
BY SIMONE SECCI FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT I really appreciate when there are initiatives that help promote the local artists. I think that must be the interest of every city and as a foreigner it’s nice to see that in Philadelphia, at least some people care about it. Especially when like last night they were really good expressions of that already underlined local scene. Unfortunately I have to report that especially the first part of the show with Fursaxa on stage didn’t see the participation of as many people as I was expecting from a festival, but that’s maybe even better in the sense of building a more friendly and close atmosphere, than the one that more usually you can feel in a big venue but let’s come back to the music.
So first on the stage Fursaxa which really impressed me in terms of impact and music, with her songs we are in a territory between really experimental sixties folk and Terry Riley for the large use of drones and loops that she does. I feel oblige to underline the courage of a project like this and how weird and nice was to be transported in a suspended world where everything moves so slowly and there is a time and a place to think, when outside there is Broad street. Then it’s the turn of Fan of Friends that present themselves as an unconventional string quartet with banjo and guitar in the place of stand up bass and viola, the result of this formula it’s a good traditional folk that blinks every now and then to pop music and in its best moments to bands like Orso.
The music really changes when it’s time for The War On Drugs to be on stage. The first part of the show is excellent, with the combination on two guitars, an acoustic and a super tripped electric connect to a variety of effect pedals, playing on loops and drum machine sounds like a really happy marriage of Suicide and Royal Trux. So total rock n’ roll like these guys would like to repeat more and more times during their show, in a very unconventional way. The thing gets a little less interesting when the loops and the drum machine got substitute by a bass player and two real drummers. The last band I have the chance to see it’s King Kong Ding Dong, which shake down the place with a great indie rock even when it’s more orientated to a ’90s Sonic Youth/Gumball kind of sound, they know how to really involve the crowd and their drummer it’s an absolutely crazy sound machine. In one word: Awesome. Unfortunately my nature of suburban resident impose me to leave before Golden Ball will play as the last act of the night but they are the headliner and the more well known around, so I trust they did a really good performance anyway. GRADE: A
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Simone is from Italy, Rome to be exact. As such, English is his second language and though he doesn’t always use it the “right” way, he usually gets where he needs to go.
[Photos by Simone Secci]