King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard shows are sacred experiences. And if you’ve yet to attend one, now’s your chance. The seven of them will play Underground Arts on Sunday night (5/15/16) in support of their new album Nonagon Infinity– an album intended to be played in a continuous loop. Probably one of the most unpredictable bands out there right now, King Gizzard treats each album as its own conceptual piece. On Nonagon Infinity, each song flows into the next, including the last track back into the first, creating a never-ending circle of psych.
Accompanying them will be Philly’s own Mercury Girls and Melbourne’s The Murlocs.
While consisting of members of King Gizz, The Murlocs have a bit more of a melodic, folk-rock grounding. Stu Mackenzie (lead guitar/vocals of King Gizz) produced their latest album and second full length LP, released this March on Flightless Records and titled Young Blindness.
Mercury Girls (members of Literature and Little Big League) perfect a jangly pop-meets-shoe gaze sound, and are touring in support of their new 7″ and a split EP with Spook School, Tigercats and Wildhoney.
WKDU will present the show on Sunday (after the Punk Rock Flea Market), so come say hello, check out our merch and pick up one of our free zines!**
Watch videos for King Gizzard’s “Gamma Knife” and The Murlocs’ “Unknown Disease,” and stream Mercury Girls’ new single, “Ariana,” below.
Last Thursday night Fred Armisen put on one of the coolest variety shows Underground Arts has ever seen. A little bit comedy, a little bit music, and even a little bit of one-on-one conversation, there wasn’t a dull moment throughout.
Underground Arts announced on Facebook that Fred would be bringing “a surprise legendary guitar player” just hours before the show. After an opening musical set by his British SNL character “Ian Rubbish,” then doing some jokes as himself, he soon brought out the truly legendary J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. The first song they played together was Dino’s “Feel the Pain”. They also played “Massachusetts Afternoon” by the Blue Jean Committee (an SNL sketch which featured Jason Segel on piano) and had the whole crowd singing along to the ridiculous lyrics about apple cider. He ended this portion of the show with “It’s a Lovely Day,” another Ian Rubbish song. Armisen played the song in character on his last SNL performance in May, where many of his musician friends including Kim Gordon, Aimee Mann, Carrie Brownstein, Michael Penn, and Mascis joined him on stage.
In addition to this short but awesome set, the crowd enjoyed previewing clips from the new season of Portlandia that will air “in early 2014” according to IFC’s website, and another surprise musical guest, Kurt Vile!
Towards the end of the show Fred spent a good twenty minutes answering questions from the crowd. His response to a question about whether it’s frustrating working with SNL hosts who are not actors reflected his optimistic and quirky personality: “I’m going to sound like such a wimp, but the idea of greatness is overrated. When someone is great, I’m bored. When something’s a little off, I’m fascinated!”
Words to live by.
To reiterate our Tennis review, Underground Arts is currently Philly’s coolest and most unique venue; if for nothing else, go for the great $2 popcorn they’re now selling at the bar. You can see a list of their their upcoming events here.
A night of surf, sweat, and musical theatrics best describes the Man or Astro-man? show that took place on June 22 at Underground Arts. Fire-lit theremins, spacesuits, and background projections are what you’d expect from the 20(ish) years of experience of the headliners, but the use of fog machines and extreme beachwear weren’t lost on the openers.
Philadelphia Beach locals, Dry Feet, started the evening with a set of crunchy, reverb dusted surf rock. Tales of skateboards, eating too much, sleeping too little, and respect to the ladies of the world (including their mothers) filled the ears of many a head-bobbing beach bum. Perry Cola, Jay K. Shin, and Frizz B led the way to a surf paradise in their tie dye shirts, jumpsuits, and scuba masks.
Up next were Jacuzzi Boys, on a 10 day tour with Man or Astro-Man? who brought the Miami (…cough…Beach… cough) Heat. With a new self titled record on the way, the three piece played a set of fan favorites (“Glazin’,” “Crush,” “Koo Koo with You,” as well as some new singles “Double Vision” and “Domino Moon.”
Finally, the Man or Astro-Man? crew started the projections set up. The lights dimmed, the screens lit up, and the crowd cheered as the band walked to their places. Bassist/Theremin/electronics player Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard was in full form; space suit, helmet, and space-ified bass were set to go. The full house at Underground Arts cheered and danced as the veterans of surf rock performed an amazing set reflective of their decades of experience.