Pillars And Tongues, Bad Braids
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Many of the superlatives describing Angel Olsen refer to how seemingly little it takes for her to leave an audience speechless, even spellbound. But Olsen has never been as timid as those descriptors imply, and the noisy, fiery hints in her earlier work find a fuller expression on her newest LP, Burn Your Fire for No Witness. Here, Olsen sings with full-throated exultation, admonition, and bold, expressive melody. Also, with the help of producer John Congleton, her music now crackles with a churning, rumbling low end and a brighter energy.
Angel Olsen began singing as a young girl in St. Louis, where she explored the remarkable range of her voice and the places it could take her songwriting. Her self-released debut EP, "Strange Cacti," belied both that early period of discovery and her Midwestern roots. Cautious and homespun on the one hand, the EP transported us to a mystical, unrecognizable world on the other, and it garnered extensive praise for its enigmatic beauty. Olsen then went further on Half Way Home, her first full-length album (released on Bathetic Records), which mined essential themes while showcasing a more developed voice. Olsen dared to be more personal.
After extensive touring, Olsen eventually settled for a time in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, where she created "a collection of songs grown in a year of heartbreak, travel, and transformation." The new songs go on to tell us to leave, or to high-five a lover who is lacking, or to dance our way up and out of sorrow. Many of them also remain essentially unchanged from their bare beginnings. In leaving them so intact, a more self-assured Olsen is opening up to us, allowing us to be in the room with her at the very genesis of these songs, when the thread of creation is most vulnerable and least filtered. Our reward for entering this room are many head-turning moments and the powerful, unsettling recognition of ourselves in the weave of her songs.
This act of meaning-making recurs as a theme throughout the album, as the sublimating response to the power of negativity. In the song, "Stars", for example, Olsen wishes to "have the voice of everything" and in a moment of hatefulness and hurt realizes that the strength of fury results in the power she had been seeking all along. Thankfully for us, Olsen has decided to channel a lot of this newfound power into the ethereal, hypnotic performances of her new and revealing songs, sharing with us the full grace and beauty of her transformative moments.
Pillars And Tongues
Once based entirely in Chicago, and now in near-constant motion, Pillars and Tongues is a formidable force, large and looming. "The Pass and Crossings" is the third full-length offering from the trio, and their second for San Francisco vinyl label Empty Cellar.
Having spent years developing a uniquely textured sound, Pillars and Tongues have now given teeth their creation, and the doom is manifest. Like French experimental chanteuse Catherine Ribeiro's early '70s collaborations with Alpes, Pillars and Tongues brings passion, cohesion, and lyricism to the avant-garde.
When Trecka, Remis, and Hydzik hit it just right, their voices and instruments blend like the reeds of a pipe organ to create something that is altogether far greater than the sum of their parts. This sort of alchemy is just the type of thing they have been honing for the past few years, accepting invitations to tour as support for Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Joan of Arc, opening for Dirty Three with Nick Cave, Bill Callahan, Daniel Higgs, Sir Richard Bishop, Red Red Meat, etc., and performing hundreds of concerts in various other scenarios from basements to cathedrals, from Albuquerque to Lisbon.
Trecka has kept busy in what would otherwise be moments of calm, touring much of the past year, as the drummer for Dark Dark Dark or performing solo; and Remis has loaned her voice and violin to recordings and performances by Elephant Micah.
Inspired by days of olde, rooted in psychedelia, Appalachian at heart, and American Gothic in character, Bad Braids is the musical moniker of Philadelphia based multi-instrumentalist, Megan Biscieglia. Cyclical, intricate guitar work serves as a landscape for her haunting yet powerful voice to float upon.