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J Mascis and Kurt Vile @ The World Café Live – 3.23.11

Posted on by jake Posted in The Beat | Leave a comment

J Mascis and Philadelphia psych rocker Kurt Vile played at Philadelphia’s World café Live on 3.23.11 showcasing both new material and old.  Kurt Vile’s latest album, “Smoke Ring For My Halo,” is a wonderful album filled with gutsy, American rock.  It’s a shame that I found myself wanting to hear more vocals during his World Café Live show and wonder why he muddied them up so much with effects.

On the other hand, the long gray haired Mascis pushed an old Gibson acoustic guitar to its limits as he brought to life the magic that is his latest album Several Shades of Why (Sub Pop). Hearing Mascis string together the gentle acoustic folk songs, mixed with long looping squeals of peddle affected guitar riffs was a delight.   The highlight of his set was a cover of Edie Brickell’s “Circle of Friends” and an amazing execution of the Fog’s “Get Me.”  On the latter, Mascis opened up and soared through a three minute guitar solo that he fueled with a constant bending of his instruments strings.  All the while Mascis added new low end portions that he looped together on a slow delay that brought us charging ahead.  He rattled off a few more songs before Kurt Vile came back to accompany him on guitar and backing vocals on “Make It Right”, “Not Enough”, and “Ocean in the Way”.  Mascis said that the evenings encore was meant for the Vermont show the night before.  Before much of the crowd had emptied, he laid out the Dinosaur Jr. song “Quest” and another Fog treat, “Wagon” finishing the night.

You can listen to Mascis’ Several Shades of Why here –

Watch J Mascis doing “Ammaring” and Kurt Vile joining him for “Not Enough”

KidRockers @ The World Cafe Live

Posted on by jake Posted in The Beat | Leave a comment

The World Café Live has been hosting weekend afternoon concerts for the youngsters in your lives under the guise Peanut butter and Jams.  I have got to admit that on more than one occasion I’ve been a tad jealous that these shows aren’t geared more for adults.  Who doesn’t want to catch a Saturday nooner with a couple rocking bands?  So I jumped at the chance when the Shackeltons Mark Redding told me about their Kidrockers afternoon show with Reading Rainbow at the World Cafe.  Kidrockers general gist is that they invite indie bands to play their own original music except it’s in the afternoon and it’s not for a bar full of adults.  This show series was billed as kid friendly, but not necessarily containing kid’s music.  It turns out that these Kidrockers shows are amazing!  Each band played a 30 minute set of their music taking an onstage set break to do a humorous Q&A session with the kids before inviting the whole lot of them onto the stage to rock out with the band during a one song encore.

The prime real-estate of the pit was set-up as it always is for kidrockers shows, sectioned off with chairs and covered in a no shoes needed mash-up of Twister boards and Kidrockers branded squishy seats.  This set-up appeared to make the kiddos go wild.  As each wide eye caught a glimpse of the mosh-pit turned romper room the begging and pleading with mom and dad proved unbeatable.  When the music was in full swing so were the kids.  Each danced to the music uninhibited and free, the way only a child could who had yet to develop a conscious fear of acting like a kid.  During the show both The Shackeltons and Reading Rainbow were tossed classic no-holds barred kid questions at a random.  Each child asked how old they were?   Even the kids timid nature on stage seemed to
dissipate quickly in the limelight. By mid song they shook the shakers and tambourines at a feverish pace and began to warm to the notion of the eyes that were on them.  There was a glimmer of possibility and stardom in each of their eyes.   They attacked the foot of the stage as Mark Redding presented flowers and hula-hoops.  This Kidrockers show, by all accounts was going off and I was psyched to be there to see it.   The Shackeltons had a stage full of kids whose initial shyness with Reading Rainbow turned to wild abandon during encore number two.  In what was apparently a first for the kidrockers shows one boy had removed his shirt and was spinning it around over his head in bliss.  It was as pure a rock moment as I’ve witnessed in my entire life.  To learn more about Kidrockers visit –

Watch the kids go wild with the Shackeltons and Reading Rainbow in the video below!