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Chris Forsyth

Happy 10th Anniversary Week, Johnny Brenda’s!!!

For those who’ve been lucky enough to live through the renaissance that Philly’s music scene has been experiencing for the last decade or so, we’d like to remind you of a time when the next big thing in music was not likely going to be discovered in your favorite local DIY space. With the exception of R5 Productions, who was only consistently booking the First Unitarian Church at the time and just starting to gain a great reputation nationally in the indie music scene, many of the music venues were known more for ripping off artists than helping to nurture the music community. However, once Johnny Brenda’s renovated its second floor into a concert space, it was a total game changer - forever raising the bar in Philly. (Thank you!) We finally had a world-class music venue that actually cared about the artists’ and concertgoers’ experience. (What local musician out there didn’t appreciate the complimentary Greek plate in the backstage when he or she first performed there?) Johnny Brenda’s became a cornerstone for the arts & culture community in Fishtown and throughout Philadelphia.
This week marks the beloved establishment’s 10th Anniversary as a music venue, and they’ll be celebrating it with some kick-ass events that start this evening with the soulful, powerful ache of Hop Along frontwoman Frances Quinlan, the polished indie-pop of Hurry, and the “heavenly blues” of The Goodbye Party. You also surely don’t want to miss Tuesday night’s psych explorations with Bardo Pond, Birds of Maya, and Chris Forsyth. The rest of the week’s festivities will also include evenings with Rocky Votolato, The Album Leaf, IGNITE Philly, and much more. Cheers to all the good folks at JB’s! - Q.D. Tran

The Micro & Macro Struggle of Taiwan Housing Project at Ortlieb's Sept. 20

Taiwan Housing Project, the Philadelphia-based brainchild of Kilynn Lunsford (originally of Little Claw and Tyvek) and Mark Feehan (of Harry Pussy), successfully bridges the gap between indie rock and screamo, delivering emotional live shows fueled by Lunsford’s haunting vocal performance and perpetual, reverberating basslines. Many other bands (Sunflower Bean and Bully to name a few) have recently amassed interest employing these same sonic elements. Especially with a younger audience, this success makes sense: Taiwan Housing Project and noise-pop, in general, is in your face, a constant reference to micro and macro struggle, becoming a political force in addition to an accessible, raucously fun musical release. They will be opening the bill tonight at Ortlieb’s with Solar Motel guitar virtuosos, Nick Millevoi + Chris Forsyth, and headliners, Black Spirituals. Ortlieb’s, 847 N. Third St., 7:30pm, $10, 21+ - Blake Oetting

New Track: "Long Beach Idyll" - Chris Forsyth & Koen Holtkamp

Philly guitar hero Chris Forsyth has reconnected with Koen Holtkamp to record The Island, the four-track follow-up to 2012's Early Astral. The album is scheduled for release on October 16 via Trouble in Mind Records. You can sample the first tasty morsel of the forthcoming LP below, called "Long Beach Idyll."


Chris Forsyth Opening for Circuit des Yeux at JB's June 30

Guitar maestro Chris Forsyth has been creating killer jams, and receiving some nice press with his group The Solar Motel Band. This evening at Johnny Brenda’s, he’ll be going back to his solo roots opening for Circuit des Yeux, the meditative project from Chicago/Thrill Jockey artist Haley Fohr, who is currently on tour in support of her latest album In Plain Speech. They’ll be joined by Jeff Zeigler, who will also be on his own tonight after recently coming back from a European tour with his musical partner, harpist Mary Lattimore. Come and embrace the vibes! Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 8pm, $10 - H.M. Kauffman

The Deli Philly’s Year End Poll - Top Performers: Chris Forsyth

Walls are artificial boundaries that in some aspects contain and provide structure by limiting the possibilities of a piece of music, forcing a focus. And in most cases, this focus is welcomed. However, Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel successfully topple over the traditional mold, revealing a wide-open terrain. The abundance of space enables the group, led by Forsyth’s exemplary guitar work, to explore freely. Through this stretching process, the overall sound can better evolve over the course of a song, album or live set. Rather than rushing past an intriguing musical side street, they can get into the thick of it. While most songs provide a singular snapshot of a moment, Forsyth and crew dig deeper. An expertly honed psych atmosphere is the cornerstone of an organic yet consciously controlled sound. So, instead of merely offering a momentary glimpse, Forsyth & The Solar Motel allot the necessary time to orchestrate vivid songs that transport the listener from one place to another, mapping out the journey. This venture provides solace by comfortably erasing the expectations of knowing were you’re going and how you’re getting there. Simply letting you sit back and embrace the scenery, which is why you find Chris Forsyth in the very respectable third place position in our Year End Philly Best Emerging Artists Poll 2013. - Michael Colavita


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