Follow Me

Close
By

Three bands shook people the fuck up at The Social the way only homegrown bands can do through pure noisy, folky, lo-fi rock euphoria.

By homegrown, I mean those bands that sprawl out of suburban garages and bedrooms taking influences from all around, no matter what suburb it may be. Listening to folk and incorporating violins, lo-fi rock from the 80s and making it their own or even pop hits in some ways, it’s all meshed together but it makes sense.

First up were Brooklyn indie bois, CENDE. Truthfully, I forgot there was another band besides Japanese Breakfast and (Sandy) Alex G playing that night but they shook me with their distorted, outrageously loud guitars and drum bangs. It was adorable to me for some reason because I felt like I was watching a garage band right from the house’s lawn but after a bit, some songs just started to blend and weren’t catching my attention. Still, they had good bops they entered with and around the end they even popped Michelle Zauneer (Japanese Breakfast) in for their best track of the night, “What I Want” which I’m totally *not* listening to on repeat as I write this. They have a home-y feel to them regardless and if they’re going to keep producing good soft jams, my ears are ready.

After CENDE left the stage came the main reason I came to this show, Japanese Breakfast. For once, I remember how I first heard a band and with her, it was a day of pure relaxation at home where I was cleaning around and listening to new music (mostly girl rock bands) through radio suggestions. After hearing just one song of hers, I immediately went to her latest album and fell for some songs.

Like I’ve seen at many shows I’ve attended at The Social, bands don’t have the greatest time with the sound and take a while trying to make it work. Regardless of that BS, the show began and I was instantly hooked. From song to song, Zauneer had so much stage presence. Maybe it’s because I saw a trait in her that many tell me I have, but she was animated and feeling it. As a musician myself, I know how easy it is to become a monotone looking zombie because you’re so concentrated in not fucking up but she just felt at ease up on the stage singing angry parts with a furrowed brow and happier parts by jumping with an adorable smile.

After certain songs, she admitted that she was so nervous going up on stage with CENDE for some reason but now felt no nerves attacking her saying “It’s funny, the things that make you nervous.” My friend and I turned at each other and just went “same.” That same day of the concert, “Boyish” was released from the upcoming Soft Sounds From Another Planet and so she played it at the show and boooiiii was I excited. I hadn’t stop listening to it from the moment I woke up. It has an old-timey vibe to it and she described it perfectly as the feeling when you’re at a dance standing across from your crush and it looks like he’s going toward you to dance but asks the girl next to you instead. Pure middle school heartbreak.

Although Japanese Breakfast’s music features more instruments than those they had on stage, she still provided with a synthesizer, MIDI and piano making all the music still feel the same as what we hear on record.

Alex G didn’t do the same which I found a bit unfortunate because I feel like it adds a lot to his sound. Coming up in the end, his vibes were still pretty hype and people even started moshing in the middle for a bit but I had to calm myself before jumping into the small pit because God knows the pain that has come from those crazy moments of mine.

Touring after his recent release, Rocket, he played already classic tracks from it such as “Poison Root” and “Bobby” which had me shook fo sho. Again, I wish there were strings or more of what’s heard on the album on stage, but it was still the same lyrics and loving vibe emanating from the musician himself which kept the sold out crowd happy. Looking around the packed crowd, everyone was fixated to the small stage as Alex G didn’t break eye contact with people in different moments or held his tongue over his lips as he looked down on his guitar.

Taking it back to 2015, he played one of my favorite jams off of Trick called “Mary.” It’s simple but it’s real as fuck and the crowd was feelin’ it which is all you really want by the end of the night.

Have you seen any shows on this tour?

Join the conversation,  Tweet us!

By
rocket

(Sandy) Alex G

Rocket


As a lover of all things experimental, this album hits all of the right spots.

I begin typing this after being truly changed from the seamless transition in the 6th track, “Horse“, into “Brick“. Now plays “Sportstar“. I knew the second the first track “Poison Root” hit my ears that I would have too much emotion and have to write about this one immediately; I was right. My introduction to the VISIONARY VESSEL that is (Sandy) Alex G was an odd one, and not what he deserved. I am ashamed.

I was 17, it was 2015, and the lofi band Teen Suicide was in town. They were opening for an artist named Alex, who I thought would be a pop song cover artist who goes by the same name (absolutely no disrespect to her). I left promptly after Teen Suicide’s set, like a fool. I purchased a record from both artists to support, and fell in love with Alex G’s DSU when I got home. Actually, Alex G is the music of Alex Giannescoli, from Philadelphia. Until signing with Domino Recording Co. (after that same 2015 tour to release his previous 2015 album Beach Music) Alex G was fairly hard to find traces of online due to his entire process from production to release being completely independent.

To this day I’m still convinced Alex G does not create for any audience, but rather, creates just to create. Sometimes I also wonder if he even knows he has an audience. Rocket was recorded to a laptop, as the rest of his releases have been and as his future releases will probably be. A bold move not even your local, underfunded pop-punk band would do. Rocket follows similar style as Alex G’s previous releases, however twists it, and unfolds his previously defined style in an experimental undefinable way.

His eighth full-length LP, Rocket, takes what was once primarily fuzzy, indie rock with noise influences is now a beautiful merge of jazz and country brought to life with piano, fiddle, synth, various brasses, his own ever-changing voice, and lotsa pushed boundaries. Having heard it all thorough several times now, I can tell you this: this album will sway you back and forth from his signature acoustic indie sound in songs like “Judge“, to country in “Proud“, to harsh noise in “Brick”, to jazzy ending track “Guilty” (where did 0:52 even COME FROM?) in a seamless and organic way.

As a lover of all things experimental, this album hits all of the right spots. Previous collaborator with Alex G, Emily Yacina also makes an ethereal appearance on track 4, “Bobby“, harmonizing with Alex G in lyrics from perspective of a despairing protagonist. This 14-track album really has something for everyone.

Check Alex G this summer out on his North American tour from June 2 from Washington, DC to July 8 to Philadelphia PA with Japanese Breakfast and Cende!

Follow Alex G