November 13, 2007

Battles, please come to Philadelphia… again.

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:23 pm by Tiffany Yoon

A message for Battles Fans.

From their myspace bulletin:

doors at 7 pm
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street NYC


I’m a little disappointed Braxton, Williams, Stanier, and Konopka didn’t decide to stop in Philadelphia, but then again they’re more than worth a trek to NYC for a night. With their metronomic beats, their music is what our generation needs right now in the midst of rock, indie, prog, and pop. They’re something refreshingly new for our ears and though their lyrics can’t really be understood, the dense layering of simple instrumentation creates its own language for us to interpret. I saw them over the summer at the First Unitarian Church (22nd and Chestnut) with some friends and was almost passing out from the heat and intensity of the show (I swear alcohol held no contribution). If you read this month’s MAGNET (with Jim James from MMJ on the cover, Philadelphia’s own music magazine, it has a fantastic full 3 page spread on the New York prog/math rock band.

They’re also playing with White Williams who I saw open up for Girl Talk and Dan Deacon about two months ago at the Starlight Ballroom. I admit I came late into his set, but with his casual vocals that have been so consistently compared to Beck and his grooves and beats he should complement Battles well.

Chinatown buses leave every hour, New Century/Apex. I also might have room in my car. We could also hitchhike.. I mean, whatever it takes.

Battles – Atlas

Battles – Tonto

White Williams – live @ The FADER/AT&T Sideshow


14 things that you probably Would Not, or, indeed, perhaps Should Not, know about Monster Bobby and his Pipettes (one of which is a bare-faced lie)

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:30 am by Tiffany Yoon

The Pipettes and Monster Bobby came back to Philadelphia Wednesday, November 14th at the North Star Bar.

(l-r) Jon, Seb, RiotBecki, Rosay, Gwenno, Bobby, Joe

  1. Monster Bobby is Scottish slang for a particularly large male member, something he swears he did not know when the nickname was coined.
  2. Monster Bobby is terrified of dogs and oh he also hates automobiles. Although, I somehow managed to convince him to get into my car and cart him around Philadelphia for a grand tour. We did end up strolling up and down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway though which he seemed to prefer from my deathtrap of a vehicle. He did scold once when we passed a man with a dog, ha.
  3. Monster Bobby has almost no sense of smell. This is probably a result of him, as he puts it, “smoking like a chimney”
  4. Last time in Philadelphia the Pipettes had a different drummer, Joe Lean. I distinctly remember because he found a box of “Joe’s O’s” at Trader Joe’s on Market and we made some jokes about it. He kept repeating, “Joe’s O’s… Oy, look. It’s Joe’s O’s”. However, he’s left the band to start his own, Joe Lean & Thee Jing Jang Jong, in which Joe’s now the lead singer. Joe and his band are scheduled to have a live session on BBC radio with Zane Lowe this week. The Pipettes new drummer, Jason Adelinia (ex-member of Teasing Lulu) celebrated his birthday, ever so modestly, the night of their show.
  5. Monster Bobby was offered the chance to join MENSA when he was at school but didn’t want to pay the subscription fees.
  6. The yellow sweater vest tanks that Monster Bobby and the rest of the Cassettes that back the three vocalists (RiotBecki, Gwenno, & Rosay) wear during live performances were made by Jon and Seb (bass and keys)’s mum. Each vest is adorned with their initials. However, as I discovered Wednesday, they’ve changed the sweater vests to grey, probably due to the drummer transition with Adelinia.
  7.  Monster Bobby steals most of his best jokes from Steve Martin stand-up records and Woody Allen films and has an unfeasibly large collection of Dr. Who videos.
  8. Monster Bobby’s favorite dish is Pho, the Vietnamese noodle broth soup. He says, “more than any other food in the world”
  9. Monster Bobby played a lot of newer songs this time around, some that he’s been writing on the road. Unfortunately, a lot of his hit singles, such as “I Heard You Moved Away” and songs he’s written on the bus keep getting deleted, or at least the digital samples that he pre-records onto memory discs do. He stressed how painstaking it is to have to recreate a song.
  10. Monster Bobby, if you couldn’t guess, was a bully when he was little. He shared that sometimes he’ll bring an apple on stage with him, taking bites in between songs. Apparently, Nicole Atkins (Brooklyn/New Jersey), one of their tour mates this time around, had eaten an apple he brought on stage during one of their shows. Luckily, he’s grown out of his bully stage, but she’s unaware of the wrath that could have come down upon her as a result.
  11. Monster Bobby used to put up posters for the Socialist Alliance Party in London. He read Marx and Engel’s at the age of 12, and says it’s the closest thing he and his family had to a religion while he grew up. He says he’s less involved these days, but still reads a lot of political philosophy. He also has several large volumes of Lenin’s collected writings in his flat in London.
  12. Monster Bobby and the three ladies of the Pipettes met in a karaoke bar in Stoke-on-Trent. According to Bobby, “they needed someone to sing the Phil Oakey part in ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’”. This, I was told, is actually a complete bold-faced lie. Bobby thought it would be obvious, because Stoke-on-Trent is a town so commonly found at the butt end of jokes in England. Such as Staines, Skegness, Slough, Taunton, etc. I still felt out of the loop when he shared this. We Americans are left out of the joke. However, the best way he could explain it was, “well kind of like how you Americans make fun of New Jersey”. Ha, well now we get it.
  13. Monster Bobby never goes to hairdressers, “preferring to cut all his own hair off, once a year, with a pair of rusty scissors” I’ve witnessed the results of such a hack job, not too shabby. Speaking of hair, Gwenno, one of the three lead vocalists, dyed her hair red. We went out for a cigarette and it took me a second to realize whom she was. She also had company during the show, a new boyfriend that had flown out and met them in New York, though I’m not entitled to share any more information on the matter.
  14. Monster Bobby, while on tour with the Pipettes, likes to collect the subway maps of every city they enter. Philadelphia, more specifically Septa, for some reason does not provide these on the Broad Street Line (orange). At least, I’ve never been able to find one. I was embarrassed of Septa/our city for an instant when I had to report this to the Pipettes and Bobby.

RiotBecki, Rosay, Gwenno

Be sure to check out the quirky songs and antics of Monster Bobby and the Pipettes (Brighton, England) and Nicole Atkins (Brooklyn/Jersey) this Wednesday, November 14th at the North Star Bar. The Pipettes were scheduled to play under R5 Productions last month, but due to complications with their visas they were forced to reschedule. The Pipettes have also recently released a new record, We Are The Pipettes (Cherrytree). Be sure to check out “Pull Shapes” and “Judy”, just two of some of my favorite tracks off the album.

Here’s a video to enjoy, I don’t particularly like this video, but this way you can at least give the band a listen.