Tag Archives: events

afternoon jam: Kim Janssen “Gouldians”

26 Apr

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I saw Kim Janssen play a house show in West Philly about 8+ years ago and needless to say I was blown away. I’ve liked his music page on Facebook ever since but haven’t heard of him coming back to the US in some time. Today, I got an email with his name in the subject line and couldn’t be more excited to open it. Kim Janssen has announced the UK release date of his upcoming album Cousins due out May 12th!

The first taste of this new album “Gouldians” sounds like a musical diary entry, a stunning soundscape to soundtrack this gratuitous look into Janssen’s life. The track is a beautiful mixture of melancholy, nostalgic and uplifting. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the new album.

Janssen was born in the Netherlands but raised in South East Asia, spending most of his youth in Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Kathmandu. He says of the album:

“My new album ’Cousins’ is a personal account about looking back and growing older, about longing and displacement, spiritual doubt, dedication, and obsession. I grew up in Asia and I guess you create your own version of every place you’ve been in your memory; I like to explore this idea with music. Growing up over there also has an influence on my lyrics, especially on this record. To me it’s a pop album. I wanted to make an album that I would actually like to listen to.”

If “Gouldians” is any indication, Cousins is sure to be a gorgeous album and instant classic. Kim Janssen is set to play several shows in the U.K. following the release of Cousins including one of my favorite festivals in the world, The Great Escape in Brighton this May! You can purchase your tickets now here.

 

 

xx Cher

 

 

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A Wicked Cool Tour comes to a close: Soraia Tour Diary Final Entry

12 Apr

What a wild ride of rock we’ve had with ZouZou’s tour diary! What an absolute treat it’s been to get insight from the road via the badass front-woman of Soraia, and one of our favorite bands. All good things must come to an end, like this tour with Kurt Baker Combo, but here’s to more adventures on the road and more music from Soraia. Read ZouZou’s final tour entry below, we look forward to more, especially when the band goes to Spain to tour with Kurt Baker Combo again!

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Well,  we’ve come to an end to our three week run in the northeast and midwest USA with our label and tour mates, Kurt Baker Combo. It’s so sad at the end of tour, because you feel like you’re just getting in the swing of the movement, and it’s – all of a sudden – time to go home. And although there’s a comfort to going home, it’s not the same joy I get from being on the road. Which brings me to my point. And there’s always one – usually fifty that boil down to one. But alas—

It takes an interesting creature to be on the road. A gypsy. But a gypsy doesn’t mean you don’t have or want a home, it just means – for me – I love to wander, see new things, have new adventures, be surprised, and be in the moment. One of the greatest gifts of being on tour is being in the moment. You have to be. I’m never looking forward or looking back, I’m just here. Now. And I think that’s the most magical thing you can do in this skin. I don’t believe I’ve done that a lot since I was busy building experiences as a wee tiny thing. I’ve always added experiences to whatever I felt, but I don’t do that here. If I were to look back on the worst parts and the best parts of these past few weeks, I think that would ruin it all a bit.

What tour does for me is it makes me want to tour more. See more, Be more places. Perform to more people. Meet more people. Sleep less. Eat less. Play more.

But my body, this time around, let me know none of that was something I could do this tour. So even the sickness in the beginning was a great lesson in seeing and doing things differently.

My primary purpose out here is to sing. To be accountable to this group of people who took the time to make music alongside me, and to put passion into every ounce. The rest of the day has to be about putting that first. Whether the note or vocal be pitch perfect or shit–passion is the key to it all. There’s a saying that “People don’t remember what you did, they remember how you made them feel”. I never forgot that once it was told to me. I try to use my voice to be as free and as honest as I can be – where in other areas of my life, I may not do as well in that. But vocally—always striving for that.

Which brings me to another point: you can’t do it alone. My bandmates really took care of me. They understood when I was sick, and didn’t get annoyed or judge me for it. I can’t help but feel valued and important and a part of something much bigger. They didn’t add to my stress, but helped me come to decisions if my voice wasn’t there and helped give me a dose of reality when I wanted to believe my voice was fine. I rested because they told me to. I tried to recoup the best I could. Not just for me and the music and the commitments, but for them, too. And that–whatever that definitiion is–it is an absolutely beautiful thing.And this was the first time touring with another band—it was AWESOME.

We’ll all see each other again this fall when Soraia’s record comes out on Wicked Cool Records, and we hit Spain with our wonderful friends in Kurt Baker Combo. Until then, we’ll see you on the road all over the place again this summer. Check http://www.soraia.com/tour for all new dates being added.
It’s been an amazing ride….thank you for following along with me.
xx ZouZou

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Philly Show NOT to be missed: The Head play Ortlieb’s 4/20!!!

11 Apr

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PHILLY, emerge from your mysterious cloud of smoke into the neon-lit music haven that is Ortlieb’s on 4/20 for an epic rock show featuring Atlanta-based rock trio The Head! The band are currently touring in support of their upcoming full-length album Space due out August 4th.

The band is heading to Philly to one of our favorite venues, Ortlieb’s to rock your 4/20 with new music and an epic live show. The show featuring The Head with Sister City, Sublaymen and Dwight Remington as support is only $10 in advance and you can get your tickets here. The show starts at 8PM and is 21+!

 

 

 

xx Cher

Soraia Tour Diary: End of Week 2- Chicago, Dayton and D.C.

6 Apr

Tour Diary: End of Week 2: Chicago, Dayton, and D.C.

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Well into week two of tour now, I’m feeling more in control of my voice thanks to some help with getting some rest on Saturday, and also learning how to manage the swelling. I’m feeling way better than I did, though Saturday was a wake-up call since I’ve been hanging on to this infection for a few weeks now. Learning how to sing with a sick voice isn’t ideal, but it’s a reality I have to accept and learn to manage for a successful tour. One of the things I’ve learned from this tour- and there’s always a lot to learn each time.
So here we are, Saturday night in Chicago, and I know a good friend and music blogger who hasn’t seen the band in a long time is coming to the show. I’m excited, but also a little worried about how I’ll perform. Still, I can’t wait to play. I live for it. I have to tell you, it’s a super painful thing in every way–emotionally, physically, and mentally–to not be able to do what your absolutely love when the opportunity is there.
I won’t forget to be grateful for the voice I have, in all its wounds and all its glory. I didn’t know how much it meant to me–how much I value it– until this tour. Honestly, I didn’t.
So we go to Township on Saturday night. Great show, I fell off the stage (I do this more often than I’d like to admit–or generally just fall), but I know I put it all out there that night.  Only thing is: the band and I were separate because the best sound was in front of the actual monitors. That being the case, I stood out in front of the band–which made me feel a little separate, but was necessary.
Still, I put it all into it, and my friends kill it always. In a burst of emotion and frustration, I spoke to the small audience that was there: “I got the best band in the world. I love them.” It was how I really felt, and I’d wanted to say it for a long time. It felt good to finally let it out.
Great show, a little bit of a struggle again for me, so when the guys said they were going for a “Metal Burger” after, I joined them. Now, I don’t normally eat like this. I don’t. But that night–I needed a god damn good burger. So off went to “Kuma’s Corner” in Chicago: The “…Bar and burger joint with a heavy metal attitude….”
Best damn burger I’ve ever had, and all metal music. And their fries are to die for. No lie.
Sunday, we headed to Dayton, OH to play Blind Bob’s Bar, another familiar place since last tour, and a great place to play on a Sunday definitely. Amazing energy from the crowd, and a show I much needed, being the last few days were such a struggle. Really needed that gig–and we played some Hangman to lighten the load before set time.
Seriously, enough people were so acknowledging after the show. Dude, for real, that makes a show for me. When people come up after to personally tell you how affected they were, or how much they loved the show–man–it makes it all so worthwhile for me. Nothing beats that for me ever. So Dayton=win win.
Monday was a travel day off for getting to DC. It was super long ride, but great conversation and always fun with my band. We were staying with our guitarist Mike’s mom in DC, and we’ve been here ever since. Great show in DC at Slash Run Tuesday night. And we had a photographer from The Washington Post out, as well as meeting Brendan from Fugazi who now — I believe — is a serious Soraia fan. He loved it! And –of course — he loved our drummer, Brianna Sig, too. Always so great to see my band getting the attention I know they both deserve, and have earned so hardcore. They’re a tough bunch of characters in their spirit. So glorious. So rare. So precious and valuable. I can’t say enough about these ones.
Anyway, the DC show was immense–so another great show and so fun, and surrounded by people who care about us.
 
With all this said, I still have to admit it’s been tough having the thing foremost on my mind being vocal health. But it is what it is–and it’s getting easier to deal with and accept. And I know it’s only this tour, and I know it’s not forever, but sometimes your brain focuses more on what’s wrong than on what’s right…and that downright sucks.
Next stop are our last three shows, starting in one of my favorite places ever to see a show (I saw The Detroit Cobras there last about a year ago), and I’m super honored to be making our Soraia debut at WFMU’s Monty Hall.
Can’t wait to tell you about it in our next entry….
Signing off and both excited and sad about these last three dates of tour—talk to you guys again soon!
xx ZouZou
PS–While in Washington DC, we stopped at The Zoo before our DC show Tuesday night. Here’s some pics below from our trip. Just so you know—we have a thing for llamas, snakes, octopus, and pandas. Along with every other creature on the face of the earth….

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Philly show NOT to be missed: UK’s finest SLAVES play Milkboy TONIGHT!!!!

10 Mar
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SLAVES head to Milkboy tonight to rock you into next week. Don’t miss this epic show!

 

U.K. Punk duo SLAVES are one of my favorite bands on record and off, putting on one of the best live shows you will ever see. They’re a band you will never get tired of seeing live, bringing so much raw energy and intensity to delivering their songs to a sweaty, body-thrashing crowd-because let’s face it, there’s no other reaction to their music. After releasing their new album Take Control Slaves are heading to Milkboy tonight, Boston tomorrow playing at Great Scott, and Rough Trade in NYC on Sunday before headlining a very sick lineup at Huw Stephen’s party via BBC Radio 1 Presents at Latitude 30 at 1AM on March 14th at SXSW. You don’t want to miss seeing Slaves perform this epic new album live.

 

Tickets to tonight’s show at Milkboy are $17 and available here or at the door while tickets last. The show kicks off at 8:30PM with Lion in the Mane as support, so make sure you get their on time to see both bands!

 

xx Cher

Your New Favorite Band: Death By Unga Bunga

3 Mar
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Death By Unga Bunga put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen in recent memory at Underground Arts in Philadelphia

 

Norwegian Band Death By Unga Bunga came to Philly to play Underground Arts on a Thursday night and truly rocked us into next year. It was love at first listen when I first heard Death By Unga Bunga, so I expected the show to be good… but this was next level. The band blasted through their hits, and seeing them all sing separately, harmonize and slay on their instruments with so much raw energy they absolutely infected the crowd, was one of the best live music experiences of my life. They played with so much personality I couldn’t help but laugh at how good the show was. Sebastian Ulstad Olsen joined the crowd several times, even leaving the room while singing at one point, still sounding perfect while gone.

Like an epic house party show, the band only got better as they took shots and shotgunned beers offered from their Philly fans. The show went by so fast we thought they were kidding when they said it was their last song. The crowd collectively screamed, “Nooooo”, seriously, I’m not exaggerating. Luckily, they played an epically long version of “Wish I Didn’t Know” as their last song, including a  Jimi Hendrix-style moment covering Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” playing their guitars behind their heads. When they left the stage everyone thought the show must be over, it doesn’t get better than that. But to our surprise and jubilation, they came back out to play “Young Girls”, and ended the show by bowing together, kissing each other on the mouth and lip-syncing to the sounds of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”. I couldn’t have asked for a better Thursday night and am offering myself up to go on tour with this epic band. Let me know if you need a merch girl, boys. I can happily watch that show every night of the week.

They came, they saw, they slayed, and I feel truly blessed I witnessed.

Death By Unga Bunga continue their tour in Portland on Sunday, and Seattle on Monday before heading to California. For tickets and tour information click here, you do not want to miss this band live.

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xx Cher

 

#NewMusicFriday: Temples “Strange Or Be Forgotten” new music video + Philly show at Underground Arts!!!

24 Feb

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Everyone’s favorite UK psych-pop dream team Temples just released a new music video for their single “Strange Or Be Forgotten” from their highly anticipated second album, Volcano, which is due out March 3rd on Heavenly Recordings! Click here to pre-order your copy of the album.

The ever-hardworking band announced a string of tour dates in the U.S. and the U.K. that will have you seeing the band live before you know it. The tour starts tonight at Crystal Ballroom in Portland! Check out the full list tour dates below.

The tour  includes a stop in Philly on May 15th at one of my favorite venues, Underground Arts. Tickets are $20 in advance and this show will sell out so make sure you get your tickets now here. I’ve seen Temples live several times and they always slay live so this is not a dance party you want to miss. Don’t live in Philly? Check Temples extensive US/UK tour dates below including SXSW this March!  For all of your ticket and tour information needs, go here.

If you do live in Philly make sure you check out more upcoming shows at Underground Arts while you are buying your tickets to see Temples! The venue’s current show line-up is epic and may make you temporarily poor but also creatively, visually and musically blessed.

 

 

Temples Tour Dates:

Feb. 24 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom*
Feb. 25 – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s*
Feb 26 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre*
Feb. 28 – Felton, CA – Don Quixote’s*
March 1 – Nevada City, CA – Miners Foundry Cultural Center*
March 2 – Pomona, CA – Glass House*
March 3 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy and Harriet’s*
March 4 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent*
March 5 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern*
March 9 – Tijuana, BC – Black Box*
March 10 – Las Vegas, NV – Neon Reverb Music Festival @ Plaza Hotel & Casino*
March 11 – Phoenix, AZ – Downtown Phoenix [VIVA PHX]*
March 12 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf*
March 14 – March 16 – Austin, TX – SXSW
March 17 – Dallas, TX – Trees*
March 18 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live*
March 19 – San Antonio, TX – Burger Records Hangover Fest @ Paper Tiger*
March 26 – Newcastle, UK – Riverside
March 27 – Sheffield, UK – Leadmill
March 28 – Manchester, UK – Academy 2
March 30 – London, UK – Brixton Electric
March 31 – Brighton, UK – Concorde 2
April 1 – Derby, UK – 2Q Festival
April 7 – Cologne, DE – Gebaude 9
April 8 – Munich, DE – Strom
April 9 – Prague, CS – Palac Akropolis
April 10 – Berlin, DE – Festaal Kreuzberg
April 11 – Hamburg, DE – Knust
April 12 – Copenhagen, DK – Pumpehuset
April 18 – Brussels, BE – Botanique
April 19 – Tourcoing, FR – Le Grand Mix
April 20 – Lausanne, CH – Le Docks
April 21 – Zurich, CH – Plaza
April 22 – Lyon, FR – L’Epicerie Moderne
April 24 – Paris, FR – Elysee Montmartre
April 27 – Bristol, UK – Trinity Centre
April 29 – Leeds, UK – Live at Leeds
May 8 – Miami, FL – Gramps
May 10 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits
May 11 – Orlando, FL – The Social
May 12 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees
May 15 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts (Click here for tickets)
May 16 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg (Click here for tickets)
May 18 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg (Click here for tickets)
May 19 – May 21 – Madrid, ES – Tomavistas Festival
July 28 – July 30 – Naeba Ski Resort – Japan @ Fuji Rock Festival

 

xx Cher

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