|The Black Angels in Philadelphia (photo/Em Maffei)|
By Em Maffei
The Black Angels, a psychedelic rock band from Austin, Texas, took the stage recently at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA. With trippy visuals to back them up, Alex Maas (vocals/keyboard), Christian Bland (guitar/vocals), Stephanie Bailey (drummer), Kyle Hunt (keyboard/bass), and Jake Garcia (guitar/bass/vocals) put on an outrageous show.
The band started off playing songs from their newest album “Indigo Meadow,” then switched it up with some throwbacks from their older albums “Phosphene Dream,” “Directions to See a Ghost” and “Passover.” The psychedelic visuals added great entertainment to the kaleidoscopic music and the strobe light show.
Alex Maas ended the show with a solo present-day avant-garde musical piece of art. Just him, his keyboard, and his vocals. The end of the concert left everyone walking out of the venue speechless, including myself.
The Black Angels will continue to tour across America for the rest of 2014. Living life on the road, one trip at a time.
Also playing Philly was a one-man band out of Austin, Texas, Shakey Graves. Also known as Alejandro Rose-Garcia, he finger picks the guitar while playing percussion on a makeshift suitcase drum kit and tells stories with his smoky vocals. Each song is like a short story told in the art of music.
Shakey Graves is an up-and-coming artist on the road to tour and play music wherever he goes. In this video he talks a bit about how he came up with his name and how it immediately stuck with him:
Shakey Graves - Late July
His tour this year started in hometown Austin and will end at the Newport Folk Festival in late July, where he will share the stage with many amazingly talented folk artists.
Meanwhile, singer/songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra leads Hurray For The Riff Raff down the open road. This New Orleans-based band started their tour in hometown at a local bar called One Eyed Jacks. To kick off the new album “Small Town Heroes,” Segerra teamed up with Small Batch America and decided to throw parties around the country. Major record shops across America hosted album release parties for the wonderful Hurray for The Riff Raff.
I was lucky enough to attend the album release party February 11th in Brooklyn at a record company called Rough Trade NYC. And only a month previous I was fortunate to see them live in Manhattan at the Highline Ballroom.
To promote their new album, Hurray for The Riff Raff took the show on the road! The 2014 tour started in New Orleans and will finish at the Newport Folk Festival in late July. This American folk band is putting life into perspective for New Orleans residents. “St. Roch Blues,” a song off their new album, is a simple yet beautiful piece of music about problems with violence in the St. Roch area.
Hurray for The Riff Raff - St. Roch Blues
Hurray for the Riff Raff is keeping music simple and impacting their audience with truthful words. In a generation of electronic music, it’s good to listen to a band like Hurray to remember the roots of music. What better city to appreciate the start of folk music, but New Orleans.