Monday, November 23, 2009
Illinois are a cool Philadelphia band who've had national recognition for a few years now. I first came across them in about 2003/04 going to see my friend's band in this short-lived monthly arts-music revue above an old city club. I forget the name, but I remember the band. They stuck out among other good acts with a clever use of banjo in a indie rock setting, good singing, and infectious hooks. They were the reason I joined myspace: so I could listen to their songs and see their photos. (Unlike me, they still keep up their site: www.myspace.com/illinois.) I've kept an eye on them ever since, only catching them live once or twice, most recently at a great show at the World Cafe earlier in the month. They've been on Lollapalooza, MTV, and all over the place really. This is a cool long-playing video used to promote their last album, The Adventures of Kid Catastrophe, which they released as a series of EPs monthly until early this year.
The Adventures of Kid Catastrophe, Illinois (the band)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The Espers will be playing live on the British Broadcasting Channel's Radio 6, 2pm-4pm (EST; 7pm-9pm GMT). They will be featured on the Marc Riley show as today's "turn" (a regional English colloquialism for live entertainment).
Description from BBC site:
"Tonight's live delight or band as we usually call the turn is Espers.
They usually reside in Philadelphia and are described in the press as indie folk.
The band is comprised of singer-songwriter Greg Weeks, Meg Baird and Brooke Sietinsons, Otto Hauser, Helena Espvall and Chris Smith.
The band have released 4 album over the last 5 years, The Weed Tree was a covers album they released in 2005, all the other albums have been self titled Espers, Espers 11 and Espers 111, I'm sure Marc will have something to say about the amount of time and effort that went into choosing their album titles. You can only find out by tuning in!!!" Listen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/
The Espers are currently in the middle of a European tour, but will back in Philadelphia on December 3rd for a show at Johnny Brenda's before heading off for other U.S. dates. They recently released an excellent new album, Espers III. Listen to them here on their myspace page.
Note: The Espers' three- or four-song performance was very well-received by Marc Riley and the audience. They should expect a fan bump in England, although they probably shouldn't have shied away from their obvious British-folk influences, as they did during one of their interview segments.