Johnny Brenda's Presents
He's My Brother She's My Sister
Caught a Ghost, Song Preservation Society
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
He's My Brother She's My Sister
Nobody Dances in This Town is a great title for the debut album from L.A.'s He’s My Brother She’s My Sister. In Southern California’s music scene, most audience members watch bands with their arms crossed—and many of them are also in bands. But the title also references HMBSMS’s secret weapon, Lauren Brown, who peppers the percussion with microphoned tapshoes and an oversized drum that she dances on during performances. “Tales That I Tell” opens sounding like glammed-up pirate-folk. Over glitter-rock guitar riffs, siblings Rachel and Rob Kolar (hence the band’s moniker) sing shanty-like pop gussied in rootsy instrumentation. The band’s description of its sound as “cabaret blues” applies to the following “Let It Live Free,” a festive romp through Tom Waits’ garden. But the group also calls some of its songs “cirque rock”; this makes sense when listening to “Clackin’ Heels,” where heavyhanded guitar riffs and big bouncy rhythms stop and take breaks for Brown’s percussive tap dancing.
Caught a Ghost
Jesse Nolan describes the name of his band 'Caught A Ghost' as referring to the sensation of being filled with the spirit of the past. "It's an old expression," he says, "musicians used to say you caught a ghost if you gave a good performance. Like you were possessed."
As the songwriter, producer and lead singer of the band, Nolan is a devotee of music from bygone eras. But he eagerly expounds upon his affection for vintage soul, delta blues, and 90s rap alike. As Nolan explains, "It's definitely like being possessed. It's an obsession. What's not to be obsessed about? I don't think it makes me unique, it makes me human."
What does make Nolan unique is his musical dexterity (he plays all of the instruments on his recordings except horns and some of the drums) combined with the effortlessness with which he seems to pull from many different genres. His music recalls influences from the soul and rock n' roll traditions (Stax, Motown, Sam Cooke, the Rolling Stones) yet still feel distinctly modern with references to hip-hop and electronic recordings from the 90s to contemporary tracks. The diversity of influences in Caught a Ghost that spawned from Jesse Nolan's mad scientist approach to composition has sparked several comparisons to another Los Angeles native, Beck.
"I had a very rich musical upbringing." Nolan says. "My dad, who is a musician himself, exposed me to a lot of great music. He's a stax/Motown fanatic, and obsessed with seeing live concerts. I also grew up in the 90's watching MTV and listening to rap, so I'm into tracks that hit hard."
The result: Caught a Ghost produces a sound and aesthetic that separates them from the rest of their neo-soul contemporaries. Of course there are threads of classic influence that are apparent, but, for example, the hypnotic synth line on "Time Go" as well as the use of dubstep wobble bass with a full Motown horn section on "Sleeping at Night," quickly sets the band apart from others that have tried to directly revive the Motown sound.
Caught a Ghost has signed to +1 Records (The Heavy, The Morning Benders, The Postelles), and their debut EP "Nightworks" will be released on February 12th, 2013. When asked about the title, Nolan says wryly, "I stay up late. It's what Franz Kafka said about writing- that it was nightwork. The night offers peacefulness and the opportunity to go deep into your own head."
With their debut EP forthcoming, and their full-length album to follow soon thereafter, try and catch this ghost while you can.
Song Preservation Society
"What the Shins are to the movie Garden State, Song Preservation Society could be to a potential Golden State."
Song Preservation Society started as Trevor Bahnson, Ethan Glazer and Daniel Wright. Their debut EP, Ready Room, was recorded in the fall of 2012 with guidance from the much-respected Nino Moschella, master of coaxing masterful production out of a modest multitrack. Ready Room is Song Preservation Society's from-the-heart music brought to full and beautiful life with brass and woodwinds and strings and even fuzz guitar. It's seven songs with a strange kind of purity that points to something timeless. In 1966, it could have fit between the Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel and Love; in 1976, it'd make people think of the last Big Star album; right now it shines through bands like Fleet Foxes and The Shins to be a ray of light all its own. When they started out, they might have picked that name just for fun. But on Ready Room, they've really made something worth preserving.