Thursday, June 4, 2009

Casual Viking, Chimeras, Cold Cave, and Love is All at Kung Fu Necktie, 6-3-09

Last Night, I met up with Aileen and Erme to see the R5 Production show, Love is All at Kung Fu Necktie, a new bar in the Northern Liberties that hosts really intimate concerts. KFN is very convenient by public transportation--is just one block north from the Girard Street Stop on the Market-Frankford line, but I decided to drive since the show was likely to run long. The bar is a converted rowhouse with the first floor containing the bar and booth seating in the front, and the stage for the bands in the backroom. Upstairs they have an art gallery as well as staging for the performers.

We got there at 9pm and had a beer, while the first opening band, Casual Viking, was playing their set. We weren't really paying attention, but they played non-irritating background music for us to talk over. After the Viking's set, we walked up to the stage to see the next band, the Chimeras. The Chimeras were surprisingly good; a quartet which features Joe Cocker-like performance from the lead singer and guitarist, Walkmen-esque jangly guitars, and crooning reminescent of Dylan. They were so good they trigger an infectious bout of raised fist pumping. The next band, Cold Cave, was pretty cold and empty. From the time they took the stage until the finished, half of the crowd that stood by the stage had left to have drinks at the bar. We didn't know if Erme would make it through the show since she had to get up very early that morning, but Cold Cave was not good enough to end our night with.

We eagerly awaited Love is All through 3 opening bands and where utterly shocked when they took the stage because just minutes earlier the sax player, who was wearing a vintage Eagles tee, was standing directly in front of us with a drink watching the previous band. The lead singer, Josephine was hanging out in the front of the bar selling merch, and several other band members were just chilling around the bar before their performance.

Love is all put on a great show though. They play this high energy, dance-pop, that I would describe as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Grand Ole Party on Swedish methamphetamines. My favorite song was one about the guitar players flat that started with the line, "There's dust in every corner..." which drew laughs from Aileen, Erme, and me. The band was just fun and the audience, even the too-cool hipsters were dancing and jumping around.

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