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Live Review: Ola Podrida w/ Dana Falconberry and Bosque Brown

Ola Podrida officially launched its July tour in support of 2009’s Belly of the Lion at the Mohawk last Thursday night with a satisfying 12-song set.  It was raining outside when Ola Podrida took the stage in Mohawk’s cozy wood-flanked indoor space. David Wingo opened his mouth to pour out his first inciting words of the evening: “Let’s go raid your father’s basement.” The visceral images of prank calls and nudey mags set to blankety guitars were clean as ever as Wingo led us into his friend’s father’s basement with his soft somber nostalgia. The audience was full of people slowly nodding their heads to the lush music, adults indulging in memories from the narrator’s youth, who were unknowingly attesting to how evocative Wingo’s use of detail is, both musically and lyrically. 

Wingo playfully twanged into the stellar “The Closest We Will Ever Be,” and mounted steadily into the deadslung dare to “come cast one on me.” Perhaps the most poignant moment of the night was when the band performed “Donkey,” the title track from Belly of the Lion. Wingo’s drawl cracked with honesty as he confessed “in the belly of the lion, I’ve been tryin’ to breathe through his nose” and then the band broke into a series of anthemic, crushing lalalala’s. David Wingo seems to have an understanding of music so deeply felt, it can cause movies that don’t exist to happen in one’s mind. On “Jordanna,” Wingo practically burned a hole in his guitar from strumming so hard. His poetic sensibilities were undeniable as he crashed his voice into the microphone with rhythmic undulations of exaggerated middle syllables of each word. 


Between songs, Wingo was relateable, once prematurely switching to banjo and realizing it said, “fake-out banjo alert, just keeping you on your toes,” as he slung his guitar back on again. Wingo played guitar for 11 of the 12 tunes in gray new balances and a Cleveland Cavaliers t-shirt. He remained in the same outfit but switched to banjo for the closer “Cindy.” Backboning the stage in a cross-array of pearl snaps and rolled sleeves were David Hobizal on drums, Andrew Kenny (American Analog Set) on bass, and Colin Swietek (Corrina Corrina) on guitar. Other set standouts included the slide guitar landscaped “Sink or Swim” and the tenderly picked “Photo Booth” off of the band’s self-titled debut. 


Before Ola Podrida came on, Wingo stood amongst the audience and watched the vinyl-crackle-voiced Bosque Brown perform, one of the band’s openers. Dana Falconberry opened as well. An acoustic guitar, a drum, and the crinkling of a newspaper page complemented her performance. Ola Podrida heads to Houston tonight and from there will continue east. 


--Lauren Hardy (photo by Stephan Laackman)

Bern & The Brights CD release party on 07.17 at Maxwell's

Bern & the Brights will be celebrating the release of their new EP, Swing Shift Maisies, on Saturday, July 17th, 9PM at Maxwell's in Hoboken , NJ . Their first full-band, studio release promises to satisfy ravenous fans who’ve come to love the infectious energy of a Brights’ live show. By recording the core of each song live in the studio, the band was able to capture the magic and chemistry that arises when they play as a five-piece act. Every aspect of Swing Shift Maisies— from song selection to production to album artwork—was meticulously handled by the band, and they're eager to share this labor of love with you. More on the band: Bern & the Brights have opened for such notable artists as Butch Walker, Rhett Miller [of the Old 97s,] Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea, Living Colour, and Mike Doughty [of Soul Coughing] and will be opening for Richie Havens this summer. In addition to touring the northeast, the Brights have graced the stages of major venues such as Webster Hall, Maxwell’s, The Stone Pony, The Bitter End, Spike Hill, and Southpaw. - (as posted in The Deli's Open Blog - post your band's entries, videos, and Mp3s here).

Where Is My Mind?: Man Man’s Honus Honus (Part 1)

At The Deli’s Best of Philly Showcase this year with Reading Rainbow, Grandchildren and Levee Drivers, I ran into Ryan Kattner, better known as the grizzled and bombastic Man Man ringleader Honus Honus. After picking his brain a bit and unsuccessfully sedating him enough to tuck my dick between my legs to convince him I was my twin sister who was a sucker for “mustachioed taxidermy enthusiasts”, he agreed to talk to us for the debut of our artist interview series Where Is My Mind? all the way from Omaha where he and his cohorts are hard at work on the new Man Man LP. 
The Deli: For the past six years you have been reliably releasing an album every two years, does that mean we can expect a new album in 2010 to follow in that tradition?
Honus Honus: We spent a good deal of last year (between tours) working on the new material, and we just started road testing it in March. We're recording now actually, and we're just trying to get it sounding the best it can. Been here in Omaha since mid-May, and we're still tracking here heading into July.
TD: Your music is carnivalrous. It is full of fireworks and covered in mud. The songs also contain lyrical depth that is thoughtful and dark. The question may be a bit too broad, but how did you come to this balance and how intentional was it?
HH: If you write from the heart it's gonna come out however your heart is designed. Perhaps mine is muddy, dark and a bit of a fire hazard. If the center (heart) of the song ever feels plugged in and sculpted as just another "part", I have no interest in making that kind of music. People aren't dummies. They can tell, regardless of how good something sounds or how clever something is, if it's real or not. If it ever feels like "going to the well" with this band, I quit. Even if a lyric sounds abstract, I wouldn't know how to fake the energy to get there. With that said, it's very important to me to retain the balance of playfulness and sincerity and objectivity. It's a pain to get all those working together. It really is. 
TD: You sound like you could be a soundtrack to a fantastic puppet show, do you have any interest in scoring and have you gotten any offers yet?
HH: Scoring would be interesting for sure. We haven't received any offers yet, at least not ones that would pay and allow us the time to focus. I'd love to do soundtrack work because we could do very diverse things. There are many layers to this onion. Puppets? Oh man...
TD: What are the goals for the new album, musically and dynamically?
HH: The same as it never was.  
TD: What are Man Man’s plans for the summer?
HH: Recording, recording, recording. Shows here and there. Water ice. 
TD: How would you describe the Philly music scene? 
HH: Very vibrant and idiosyncratic. It's cool that people in Philly don't tend to ride any particular "sound" and allow themselves the confidence to just chase down whatever inspiration catches them. We're talking about a city that's spawned everything from Gamble & Huff to Sun Ra to Hall & Oates to the Roots to Beanie Sigel to Pissed Jeans. That's a pretty diverse scene.  
TD: Do you consider yourself part of the Philly music scene? 
HH: Proud to be from Philly and representing this tough city. Philly can be brutal and real and I love it.
Stay tuned for more Where Is My Mind? with Man Man’s Honus Honus! We guarantee that it gets a lot weirder.
- Adam G.


Lucero @ Forecastle Festival, 7/9/10


It definitely took me a minute to gather my bearings when walking into Forecastle. It was confusing to see your average festival hippies interspersed among a school of circus performers, and forty-somethings dragging their kids around - while still maintaining a connection to the city limits. Sandwiched in between Indiana, the water, and downtown Louisville, this year’s festival was held at a much larger and more attractive space known as Waterfront Park. Feeling more like Lollapalooza than anything Bonnaroo-esque, the Forecastle Festival bonds together urban life, with the skate ramps under the overpass, and festival life, with rows of environmentally-friendly vendors and the obvious slew of stages. The crowd started coming in around 7pm, filling out just in time for Manchester Orchestra, and leaving enough kandy kids to dance at the Ocean Stage.
Around 10pm the festival-goers weeded themselves out to form two groups: those who like jam bands, and those who do not. For those who did not, Memphis’ own Lucero stepped in to close out the East stage with their Southern punk/country infused rock sound. Singing about whiskey and women, lead singer Ben Nichols’s deep Louis Armstrong-like voice represented the South well, as did the crowd... Surrounded by shirtless drunk men singing along as though, “I kissed the bottle, I should’ve been kissing you” was their anthem, I found myself in a sea of devoted fans, who had come out just for them.
The band had some tight breakdowns with help from keys/organ/accordion player, Rick Steff, and rhythm section John Stubblefield (bass) and Roy Berry(drums). Their energy reciprocated well with the highly receptive crowd, allowing people to leave the festival and board the Belle of Louisville for the after party in good spirits. Until tomorrow.--Mackenzie Grosser

Kurt Vile Finds Some Real Estate at JB’s July 11

Our hometown boy Kurt Vile is coming back to Johnny Brenda’s tonight, smackdab in the middle of his impressively long summer tour. If that's not the highlight of your weekend, what is!?! It's been a crazy year or so for the long-haired rocker professionally and personally, having signed to Matador and released his full-length Childish Prodigy as well as having a “childish prodigy” of his own and buying his first home. He also just dropped his Square Shell EP while he works on finishing up a new full length tentatively scheduled for release this October. He’ll be hosting Jersey's favorite dreamy beach-goers Real Estate. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave, 9pm, $12, 21+ - Joe Poteracki


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