Bunch of stuff up at Philadelphia Weekly today, all happily from artists who are giving away free mp3s…enjoy.
Bits (Sub Pop)
Rating: Solid, like the Liberty Bell.
The OC’s fourth bangs out clangorous old-style indie rock à la Superchunk and Archers of Loaf with a shit-eating, not completely ironic grin. Bits is more disciplined than 2006’s Remember the Night Parties, but just as scruffily exuberant. The guitar scramble and detuned harmonies of “Young Love Delivers” will take you back to early 1990s college rock, while loosely strung “Featherbeds” harks to the golden age of Flying Nun. There’s a cello nattering away on acoustic “A Wedding,” but mostly this is the guitar-centric indie rock you packed up in cartons two decades ago. Nice to see it back. (Jennifer Kelly)
“The Birthday Wars”
Bob Log III
Wed., Aug. 6, 8pm. $10. With Scott H. Biram + Left Lane Cruiser. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9864. www.johnnybrendas.com
“Hey, you got your boob in my scotch.” Yes, that’s what the scratchy voice from inside the motorcycle helmet just said. You heard it right. But really, scotch seems a touch refined, because if guitar blues were a liquor, Bob Log III would be Everclear, as industrial-grade strong and harsh as it gets. The monkey-pawed avatar of Bukka White bangs out mammary-obsessed, scatologically vivid songs on a pawn shop guitar/bass/drum contraption that might be miked with jumper cables. Tom Waits, well acquainted with eccentricity himself, called Log’s music “the loudest, strangest stuff I ever heard.” Likely you’ll just call for another drink, boobs and all. (Jennifer Kelly)
Justin Townes Earle
Tues., Aug. 12, 8pm. $15. With Lucero + Glossary. North Star, 27th and Poplar sts. 215.787.0488. www.northstarrocks.com
It can’t have been easy growing up as the son of seven-times married, substance-addicted country legend Steve Earle—or stepping out of his considerable shadow, for that matter. Yet today, after beating his own drug problem and recording two remarkable albums, Justin Townes Earle seems to have survived remarkably well. He’s more traditional than his dad—or his other namesake Townes Van Zandt—hitching sepia-toned melodies to banjo, pedal steel, string bass and drums. Yet his latest The Good Life breathes new life into prewar country traditionalism, infusing old-time shuffles with rowdiness and finding the aching center of ballads like “Lone Pine Hill.” (J.K.)
Some live recordings from Hearya.com
“Lone Pine Hill”
“Your Biscuits Are Big Enough for Me” (which seems oddly compatible with “Boob Scotch”, see above)
“Turn Out My Lights”