The Pistola Press

A Philadelphia music blog

Archive for October 2009

Andrew Bird and St. Vincent at the Electric Factory 10/25/2009

with 2 comments

Annie Clark of St. Vincent described Andrew Bird perfectly when she told the crowd what to expect. She said something along the lines of, “Andrew Bird’s music makes the world a generally better place,” and she’s right. His performance makes you forget about your day and become engulfed in his music. Mr. Bird made you feel like he was there to hang out; he took off his shoes and told stories of his day to the crowd. St. Vincent was a perfect match to open for Andrew Bird. The chemistry between the two was gleaming. Andrew Bird even had St. Vincent join him and his band on stage for a few songs and he performed a new song, “Lusitana”, with just Annie. She carries herself well next to Andrew Bird as she, too, has her own unique personality. Photos below.















Written by Colin Kerrigan

October 26, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Portugal. The Man at Johnny Brendas 10/22/2009

with one comment

Portugal. The Man hadn’t played Philadelphia in quite a while; Zach Carothers, their bassist, mentioned how they had missed playing there. That all changed last night when they played a sold out show at Johnny Brendas. The band took their short, structured studio tracks and turned them into long, guitar fueled jams.They even busted out a cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream”. John Gourley usually has been known for his voice but he rips on the guitar. Even though their recent album, The Satanic Satanist, was more ‘pop’ oriented, they definitely did not play that way last night. Photos and setlist below.










Written by Colin Kerrigan

October 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Dirty Projectors at the Trocadero 10/21/2009

leave a comment »

The Dirty Projectors played at the Trocadero last night to an intimate crowd. Most of the city was occupied watching the Phillies reach the World Series for the second straight year. Little did they know, they missed an absolute stellar performance by the Brooklynites. Dave Longstreth seemed to be in complete control of the other memebers as they were on point all night long. Angel Deradoorian Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle stole the show though with their knockout vocals. They were so strong and beautiful. Angel’s solo performance on ‘Two Doves’ was the highlight of the night; it was truly a magical moment. Photos below.










Written by Colin Kerrigan

October 22, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Alec Ounsworth Interview

with one comment

Alec Ounsworth, a Philly native better known for his work with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, has been working on a few side projects in the last year or so. One of them being Flashy Python and the other his solo record, Mo Beauty. He will help launch the record tomorrow in New York City at a few CMJ Festival shows as well as play a show in Philly on Saturday night. He’ll open for Dr. Dog at the TLA, playing tunes from all three of his musical projects. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to talk to about the recording process of Mo Beauty in New Orleans, his thoughts on the Philly music scene and what the future holds for CYHSY!.

Colin: So from what I understand with your new record, Mo Beauty, it was recorded in New Orleans. How did that come to be?

Alec: Well, I met Steve down there. Steve Berlin, who produced the record and he suggested to me that we make a record together in New Orleans. And I said, “OK”. (laughs) It’s pretty much as easy as that.

Colin: Did you play all the instruments on the record?

Alec: Oh, no, no. I played a little less on this record than I did on any other. George Porter, Jr played bass, Stan Moore played drums, Robert Walter played keyboards, and my friend Matt Sutton. There was a bunch of people actually. That was kind of the core group and there are a bunch of guests. Steve played saxophone. I played some synthesizer, sang, played acoustic guitar mainly for percussion and I wanted to be as far removed from this and not have to do as much on this as I could. Just cause I finished another record shortly before that where I did play most of the instruments.

Colin: Did recording in New Orleans influence your music at all? Cause I assume it’s different than Philadelphia..

Alec: Uh, kind of. To me, not so much. To me, New Orleans has similar ethical quality about New Orleans that was reminiscent of Philadelphia, to me. I mean I don’t think it directly influenced, at least the construction of the songs, which was done up here in Pennsylvania. I think that obviously the musicians who are from New Orleans. Sometimes some of the guys who played who are just stellar  are Mark Mullins, Greg Hicks, and Craig Klein, who are the three trombone players. I asked them to do on a couple songs something that was like typically New Orleans, I guess.  Actually, on one song. Some sort of Preservation Hall, King Oliver Creole Jazz Band type of thing. Generally, I didn’t give that sort of direction. It was more like, ‘You guys are great musicians and I’m not gonna say you are only New Orleans musicians because it always goes further than that.

Colin:Right, very true. For Saturday night, it’s listed as Dr. Dog and Flashy Python. I understand Flashy Python is your other side project. Are you going to be playing a solo set and then with Flashy Python or will it be like a mix?

Alec: No, no. Basically, the guys in Flashy Python, Flashy Python is going to kind of encompass everything. I mean Flashy Python’s gonna be songs we did on this New Orleans record, the songs from Flashy Python and Clap Your Hands(Say Yeah). I think when we start to go out it’s gonna be.. we’re going to do everything.  I mean we could play probably for like four hours but we won’t (laughs). We’ll probably lean on the Flashy Python album maybe a little bit but maybe not. I don’t know. It’ll depend on the night. On Saturday, seeing that we’re opening for Dr. Dog, it’ll probably be about half the New Orleans record and half Flashy Python.

Colin:Cool. Will it be your first time playing the solo stuff?

Alec: No, we played one kind of practice show at Johnny Brendas a little while back.

Colin: I always have a hard time getting in there. I’m only 20. I have to bargain with them to get in.

Alec: Oh, I see. Is the show on Saturday an all ages?

Colin: Yeah,  it’s at the TLA so I’ll have no problem.

Alec: Ok, cool. Yeah, it should be fun. Do you remember that the band The Teeth? They’re from Philadelphia.

Colin: I’ve heard of the name but I’m not very familiar with their music.

Alec: They broke up about a year ago, I think, and 3 of the 4 guys from The Teeth are playing. I mean The Teeth was great, that was a great band and these guys are excellent musicians. The other guy who is playing is on the Flashy Python record and the New Orleans record. He’s the guy who plays baritone guitar and pedal steel and that sort of thing. It should be cool. As always, Dr. Dog will put on a good show, I’m sure.

Colin: Last time I saw them, they played a free in Rittenhouse Square a few summers ago. That was a cool show.

Alec: Oh yeah, I missed that show unfortunately. They’re great. They just keep getting better live too. We’ll have our work cut out for us. We’re planning on pulling the rug out from under them.

(Both laugh)

Colin: When you’re writing songs, do you think like, ‘This will be for the New Orleans record and then this will be for Flashy Python and this..’

Alec: ‘…this will be for Clap Your Hands’ . I used to think that way. And now I don’t think I do anymore. I think it’s starting to all blur a little bit. I think the Flashy Python record could have been a Clap Your Hands record, the New Orleans record very well could have been the Flashy Python record, you know what I mean? I used to say, ‘I don’t want to do this with Clap Your Hands and I do want to do this with Clap Your Hands. But at this point, I don’t know. There are a lot of pretty versatile musicians that I am being introduced to and the songs are taking such a shape that I could.. Depending on the album, I can reshape a song in such a way that it makes sense in that context. So I have a feeling that a little bit down the line, I probably won’t separate it into these three categories, you know?

Colin: Yeah, definitely. What are your thoughts on the Philly music scene? Brooklyn has a lot of great bands coming up, do you think Philly will ever get recognition like them?

Alec: There’s a lot of great stuff in Philly. I don’t know much about the New York one, honestly. I know a lot more about Philadelphia and a lot of my friends who are on the Flashy Python record are kind of involved in that. A couple of the guys from Dr. Dog, my friend Quinn is in it who has a band that used to be called Nazareth but not anymore. A bunch of The Walkmen guys are down here now.

Colin: I saw them like two weeks ago. They were awesome.

Alec: They’re great. Matt (Barrick) plays on the Flashy Python record and Billy Dufala plays a little bit of sax on Flashy Python, he’s in Man Man. And Buffalo Stance, I don’t know if you know Jamey (Robinson’s) project Buffalo Stance, which is really cool. I could rattle off a long list but in Philly there’s a lot of interesting stuff happening down here. I think people might be coming around to understanding that now or maybe we’ll just remain forever a little bit undercover, which is fine with me (laughs).

Colin: I feel like we’re coming up a little bit. I’ve noticed as of late that music is starting to build so much. I’m really excited to see where it goes.

Alec: It’s a small enough music community that everybody kind of knows everybody else to a degree. I think everybody is starting to get a little more recognition than in the past, perhaps. It’s always been a pretty amazing community. With New York, I don’t even really know. I’ve never got into it because I never lived up there. Like Clap Your Hands is as much from Brooklyn as like… the solo record I just did, I might as well be from New Orleans, or something like that. You know what I mean?

Colin: (laughs) Yeah, good call.

Alec: It’s kind of confusing to me. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, it just so happens a lot of cool stuff is shooting up in Philly.

Colin: Definitely. What are your plans for the rest of the year after you get done these few shows? Are taking the record out on the road?

Alec: Yeah, we’re going to be.. I mean we’ve been practicing a lot for live stuff and we’re going to be playing some scattered shows. Probably like Baltimore, DC, Philly, type of thing in November-December. Then we’re going to do a bit of a tour in late January through probably early March. I think I’m going to call it Flashy Python but I don’t really know yet. I might call it be my own name. I don’t really know. I’m trying to figure out which one would be the most efficient (laughs).

Colin: (laughs) I see. Anything new from Clap Your Hands in the near future?

Alec: Uh, not that I’m aware of. I mean some of the other guys are working on their own stuff and that’s all well and good.  You know, not that I know of, I haven’t really been keeping up too much on everybody.

Colin: You seem busy with your other endeavors…

Alec: Yeah, that’s the thing. I think the last time I practiced with Clap Your Hands we kind determined that, you know, I have two records coming out and I want to try and run around with that. Sort of start fresh and see where that takes me.

Written by Colin Kerrigan

October 21, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Clare And The Reasons Interview

leave a comment »

Clare And The Reasons newest record Arrow was released today via Frog Stand Records. The album was written and produced by the two core members, Clare and Oliver. The had a little help from their musician friends along the way and some of them will join the two on tour. They will head out on tour this week and will make a stop at the First Unitarian Church next week(10/28)with The Vic Chestnut Band. Interview and the new video for “All The Wine” below.


Clare and Olivier, how did you two meet? Is there a good story behind it at all?

Claire: In a dark alley!
Oliver: Clare who? Never met… 😦

How exactly did you come to be Clare and The Reasons? Was it a solo project of yours before the others joined?

Claire: I had solo stuff going on before, but it wasn’t Clare and the Reasons and not really a similar sound.  It was my “musical searching” stage… Figuring out how to get to what I was hearing in my head.

On your record Arrow, there are so many different instruments being played. What’s the live show like? Are you trapped on stage by instruments?

Claire: Yes, if there is a fire, we go down…It’s amazing multi tasking by all members.

The first record The Movie, featured collaborations with Sufjan Stevens and Van Dyke Parks. Arrow had the likes of Shara Worden and a member from both The National and Beirut. They’re pretty big musicians to play with. How did they come to be? Did they contribute to the writing process at all? What was the experience like?

Claire: They are friends, to me, and I think they are talented. Ben Lanz who plays with The National and Beirut is a dear friend of ours and we’re so happy he’s touring with us.  No, none of them contributed to the writing process, that’s me, and Olivier is the arranger (amazing I think!)

Have you seen any good films that lately?

Claire: I really liked the Coco Before Chanel movie, thought it was great and dark in all the right ways. I haven’t had much time to see movies lately truth be told. I want to see Where The Wild Things Are.

Who or what influences your music?

Claire: Mostly visual things, like the other day I went to see the Kandinsky show, couldn’t have been more inspired. I associate music with colors and lights (that might be a disorder, but it’s me!)

What’s your favorite kind of wine? Any recommendations for the readers?

Claire: Oh BORDEAUX!!!!! Not too young. Earthy!

The video for “All The Wine” is really wonderful. One of the better music videos I’ve seen in a while. Did you take part in the creative process at all?

Claire: Yes, sure, Ryan Foregger directed it and came up with the story board, but we all contributed to the story and process. I’m quite happy with it as well. So many Bobs!

Have you ever played in Philadelphia before? The Sanctuary at the First Unitarian Church is an amazing venue. Your music will fits the atmosphere of the space well. If you haven’t been there yet, you are going to really enjoy it.

Claire: We did play there last year with My Brightest Diamond, really enjoyed it, especially the audience.  Actually, I think we were in the basement…

Written by Colin Kerrigan

October 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Lupe Fiasco, Asher Roth & Dosage at the Liacouras Center 10/17/1009

leave a comment »

Lupe Fiasco and Asher Roth played Temple University‘s Homecoming concert last night at the Liacouras Center. As expected with a concert and college kids, the crowd was very intoxicated. Some composed themselves well while others should have just stayed in their dorm. Philly local, Dosage, opened up the show before Asher Roth took the stage. Roth’s performance was better than I expected it to be. However, some of his songs especially, “I Love College”, I just cannot stand. The top performer of the night was by far Lupe Fiasco. The majority of the crowd was there for him and he definitely did not let them down. He constantly reminded the audience of how good it was to be playing in Philadelphia. Photos below.


Asher Roth


Lupe Fiasco






Written by Colin Kerrigan

October 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Tiësto Interview

leave a comment »

Even though Tiësto is arguably the biggest DJ in the world, he was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of my questions via email. Although, the interview was over email, I got the jist that Tiësto is a pretty cool dude. His newest record Kaleidoscope caught my attention when I saw that he collaborated with Jónsi Birgisson of Sigur Rós. He brings his Kaleidoscope World Tour to the Electric Factory tomorrow night. Why not spend your Wednesday night at a dance party with Tiësto?


Photo Courtesy of Ultra Records

You have an all-star cast of guests on Kaleidoscope(Jónsi of Sigur Rós, Tegan & Sara, Nelly Furtado, more). How did you decide on the artists you wanted on the record?

I picked people to work with whose music really inspired me.  That was the only criteria.

What was the writing process like for this record? Especially with the songs that have guest appearances on them. Did you write the track then give it to the specific artists? Were some tracks harder than others?

The creative process was amazing. When it came to working with them, it usually started with me producing and coming up with the idea behind the song, then we would exchange ideas back and forth until it was done

What city has been your favorite so far on this tour? Are you looking forward to any specific cities?

The opening nights in New York City were unforgettable and a perfect way to start things off.  The scene is exploding in North America and the fans have brought a lot of energy and a great vibe to each of the shows so far.

Who’s the last artist you listened to?

A young band from the UK called Ou Est Le Swimming Pool.  I am excited to see where these guys go

What’s the last record you bought?

Florence And The Machine‘s new album Lungs.

Who/what inspires you?

Musically I have had many different inspirations lately. I have been listening to a lot of indie rock, electro, techno and house.  Artists like Sigur Rós, Bloc Party, MGMT, Phoenix, Cut Copy and Boys Noize have been making some excellent music recently.

What’s your favorite thing about playing live?

Performing live is very important.  For me, my favorite part is creating an experience that is unique and that people will never forget.  From the production to the music that I play, pushing the boundaries is something that I always strive to do.

Written by Colin Kerrigan

October 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm