I’m really excited to get a chance to chill out this Saturday, grab some brunch, visit the Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and swing by the 40th Street Summer Series with Adventuredrum, which seems quite appropriate since the first and last time the massive side project from Christopher Sean Powell (Need New Body/Man Man) performed was at PMA’s Art After 5. Pow Pow was surrounded by fellow Man Man bandmates Jamey Robinson and Matt Gibson, Chris Ward (Pattern Is Movement), Jason Kourkounis (Bardo Pond), Chris Wilson (Ted Leo & The Pharmacists), Ricardo Lagomasino (Many Arms), David Fishkin (Extreme Fishkin), Stephen Buono (Split Red), Koofreh Umoren (The Extraordinaires), Adam Hershberger (Bobby Zankel’s Warriors of the Wonderful Sound), Sam Belkowitz, Eugene Lew and Ellen Houle. I also saw that Arc in Round’s Matt Ricchini will be joining the group so it will be interesting to see who else Powell has recruited for this time around, but it’s guaranteed to be weird and funky and FREE so that’s all good in my book. Just hoping that the predicted isolated thunderstorms will hold off for their performance, but I’m guessing that they’ll be able to move it indoors at The Rotunda if things don’t go quite our way (though I’d obviously rather for it to be outside). Don’t miss out Adventuredrum tomorrow because who knows when you’ll get a chance to catch them again! 40th Street Summer Series, 40th & Walnut Sts., 6pm, Free All Ages (Photo by Joshua Camerote) - Q.D. Tran
Uh-oh, the end of summer is near so here are more things to fill your weekend…
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Cheers Elephant, Great White Caps, SUN Buffalo Stance, Tadoma
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Drums Like Machine Guns, SAT Vapour Theories
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI (All Ages) Tippy and the Shy Guys, The Skin Cells, (Late) Lightpoint, Tele to the Head, SAT (Early) Franke Amanze, Matthew Green, (Late) Sun Cinema, SUN House of Fire, (((Taco)))
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) FRI Vilebred, SAT Close to Good, The Quixote Project
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SUN Bluebond Guitars Student Concert
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI John Francis, SAT I Am Not The Universe, Alec Stewart, SUN Rustic Music
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) FRI (Downstairs) Soraia, Silent Reunion, Hearing Colors, Reverend TJ McGlinchey, (Upstairs) The Wayside Shakeup, SAT The Great Party, The Terribles, Polarbear Lars, Music Box Dynamo, Above Connecticut, After the Noise
Triumph Brewery (117 Chestnut St.) FRI Nomad Tam, SUN The Whiskeyhickon Boys
The Barbary (951 N. Frankford St.) SUN Mischief Brew, The Adults, Dead People Screaming
For those who decide whether to come or go based on the first forty seconds of an album, Restorations’ LP2 is practically tailor-made for snap judgments. After a chiming, anthemic guitar opening, the band already known for fist-raising jams lets all hell break loose with “D,” their most unrestrained opener yet. The drum kit-mauling, earth-shaking bass lines and ascendant guitar riffs can only be described as complete sensory overload, and make it clear that the following eleven songs are going to be fueled by pure viscera. If your preferences run towards structure over huge sound, this release may leave you cold; LP2’s predominant means of exploring the band’s wealth of ideas are stadium-sized instrumentation and endless waves of atmospherics, as well as a dose of ennui.
This is a murkier, more inward-looking Restorations than we’re used to. Everything that was there before, musically, is blown sky-high this time around. They’ve managed to pack ideas into every iota of the song list, aided by Jon Low’s miles-deep production; the density of the music itself is offset by an album-long meditation on place, belonging, and the ramifications of leaving the familiar behind, which makes the outsized sound that much more of an interesting direction. Juxtaposing the existential discomfort with more sophisticated, complex forays into Restorations’ sonic wheelhouse.
The spiraling guitars, one of the album’s specially prominent features, are everywhere, serving various purposes in each song. “Kind of Comfort”’s jittery glam rock aspirations accompany lyrics of searching and wanderlust. Even the more downbeat cuts (“In Perpetuity Through The Universe,” “New Old”) are propelled beyond their subject matter by the songs’ barely-concealed restless energy. At its more pensive moments, like the folk-inflected “Civil Inattention,” there is a restless undercurrent of texture and volatility that never quite lets up.
Album closer “Adventure Tortoise” is all monster buildup laced with extraterrestrial effects, kicking off into a sort of requiem for the band’s neighborhood. “I’d really like to stay to help this place,” growls Jon Loudon through his teeth, but the allure of letting it all go is too strong to resist. The longing for a place “where nobody knows your name” isn’t quite all-consuming enough to inspire real action, but it is definitely the new paradigm Loudon means.
It takes guts to pull off a release that feels ten minutes long but contains more emotional and musical texture than most records. Restorations cover a whole lot of ground on LP2, and for the most part, pull off their ambitions. A bit too sanguine for shoegaze, and maybe too heady for punk, Restorations’ second full-length album brings an intriguing palette of aspirations to their open road-ready sound, prepared to try anything and everything. - Alyssa Greenberg