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Palm plays rock music backwards. Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt’s guitars occupy themselves most often with the pace-keeping work typical of a rhythm section. Meanwhile, Gerasimos Livitsanos’ bass and Hugo Stanley’s drums perform commentary and reportage from
their deeply embedded positions at the front. The band is firmly attached to the physicality of rock, but not as much its tone; their instruments tend to sound like any number of things at any given time.
None of the members of Palm are formally trained on their instruments. The band formed in 2011 at college in Upstate New York, when high school friends Eve and Kasra met Gerasimos and Hugo. In those early days, the band was just beginning to forge its collective musical identity through experiments in recording and performing live.
Their first album, Trading Basics (2015), was written in Hudson, NY, a riverside outpost where the group could clarify its intentions outside the direct influence of nearby cultural capitals. That year, the members of Palm relocated to Philadelphia, where they continue to live only a few blocks apart from one another. This proximity has facilitated a level of collaboration necessary for a sound so slippery to remain in the firm grasp of its players.
On 2017’s Shadow Expert EP, they made use of the steady hand granted by a tireless touring schedule, cutting their songs to efficiencies of pop confection without sacrificing the avant-adventurism at the center. The effort was met with praise from such outlets as Pitchfork, Stereogum, Spin, and Tiny Mix Tapes, who likened the sound variously to Stereolab, Slint, Sonic Youth and Broadcast. With Rock Island (2018), Palm excuses the company of these myriad influences with a sly brush of a hand, ushering the listener into a new domain, thrillingly strange for all its familiarity.
the spirit of the beehive.
The Spirit of the Beehive, whose newest effort, an EP entitled You Are Arrived (But You’ve Been Cheated) seems more like a well-crafted mixtape of moments in time than a product of polished regurgitation. The title of the record itself suggests one may find themselves exactly where they belong, only to realize something is quite strange at the end of it all. The Summer of 2015 saw The Spirit of the Beehive ambitiously crossing the United States with fellow vibe titans Amanda X, while showcasing material from the aforementioned EP, as well as their debut self-titled LP (both albums were co-released by Ice Age Records and Ranch Records).
Offering a wide sonic palette within every song, pop rock rhythms and sweet melodies supporting dolefully sung detachment pair with atonal, crushingly heavy noise rock crafted perfectly to necessitate repeat listens. The Spirit of the Beehive often alter their songs live to fit the personal experience of the show itself, and such obsession with mood has proven to be one of their most prevalent strengths.
"Wha? Piggity Pink?" - Nina Ryser
With the EP Piggity Pink, Jazz Adam, Nina Ryser (Palberta) and Ricardo Balmaseda continue Old Maybe's descent into whimsically absurd experimental rock by delivering five sizable cuts that touch on, as Adam says, themes of "pigs, pink, purple, Scientology, self-hate, forced femininity, lethargy, and the sub / dom dynamics that appear in relationships." Beautifully recorded under the hand of Paco Cathcart (The Cradle, Big Neck Police) at Bottom Bell House in January 2017, Piggity Pink picks up where 2016's Oblio EP left off-- elevating Jazz Adam's compositions and comic deliveries with fresh, jagged no-wave inspired arrangements.
With more than one year as a band under their belts, and writing more collaboratively than ever, Old Maybe deliver a refined pallette, maximizing the impact of piercing guitar licks with found sounds and the utilization of more overdubs. Longer song lengths allow ideas to fully develop, letting the opposing grooves present themselves in glorious contradiction. Tracks like "Metal June" and "Ugly Love Me", see Jazz Adam deliver way-out lyrics with an energetic flow and cadence supported by a rock-solid rhythm section. Overall the aesthetic is gritty, in your face and yet still shines in it's levity and comedy, never taking itself seriously but presenting a product that was undoubtedly crafted with pride.
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19103