One of the first bands that brought me back into the swing of music this summer was Mo Lowda and the Humble. Their gritty alt rock release Curse The Weather had me singing and dancing in my truck, around the greenhouse and on the streets of North Philly as we worked on cleaning up The Lot.
This album has great lyrical content and really stellar hooks. I can’t get enough of it.
So when I was finally in the city to see them at their last performance at Bourbon and Branch for the season, there was no question about going. And they were playing with a bunch of other bands I’ve heard about over the past few months but didn’t have a chance to look int – Air Is Human and Commonwealth Choir. If you haven’t heard of these bands, or live in Philly and haven’t seen them, you are crazy and must get up and do that this instant. I mean now. Go.
We caught the last couple songs of opener Richie Digiorgio, a friend of the other bands with a beautiful voice. I’ve never heard such a pretty male voice in a live setting, and he absolutely killed it. I want more of this, Richie, Where do we get it?
Next up was Air is Human, starring Jeff Lucci and Josh Aptner. I’ve never really seen a straight instrumental set outside of Lollapalooza, and truthfully I’ve always been a little skeptical. But these guys were freaking incredible. Josh is a percussion wizard. His drumming was absolutely mesmerizing. And that’s how I’d explain the sounds. Lots of pedals and tones and loops and hypnotic sounds. At one point they started messing with a record player, looping phrases and changing speeds and more or less blowing my mind. It’s beautiful and strange and totally works in a spooky, trancey, melodic way.
They play at Ortlieb’s on October 31st. Go get your mind blown.
Then came Philly indie-rock champs Commonwealth Choir, who I had heard so much about but not heard. They do a cool Philly Tapes Philly project with other city bands and had a really jazzed crowd in attendance.
Indie pop makes me wildly ecstatic. It’s like the first time I heard Los Campesinos! or Swimclub. It makes me want to dance. I’ve missed that. And Commonwealth Choir has some of the tightest, catchiest, danciest stuff in town. And have you seen Will dance? Man, that guy is a maniac. And clearly stoked to be on stage. It was great.
They play the Milkboy on October 17th and The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on October 25th.
And, finally, Mo Lowda. These guys just threw a great vibe from the second we walked into the venue. They were friendly and eager to watch the other bands play. They kept reminding the crowd throughout how great the other acts were. True gentlemen badasses.
I was only familiar with the content off Curse The Weather, but the other stuff is all in that vein of the edgy alternative rock that helped them garner a pile of fans through the last couple years. People were dancing in the crowd – and these were people who, by first impressions, aren’t public dancers in a typical setting.
Shane not only killed it on the drums here, but stepped in and played a couple songs with the Commonwealth guys as well. Jordan’s voice is a force, and Nate is the sturdy, consistent bass player bands dream for. It was a fantastic set. Mo Lowda and the Humble – you got that? Get the album, like them on Facebook, follow them @MoLowda.
And keep an eye out for their shows. You’ll want to see this before they hit the big time and leave Philly.
It’s going to take me a spell to get back into writing these things, and I’m sorry that the first real return writing had to be such awesome bands I can’t do solid justice for at the moment. But believe me – if you’re looking for new music, or you live in Philly or around the city and ever feel like you’re bored, or you want to get your drag coworkers to move their feet in the office, you need to download these bands (they’re albums are like $5 on Band Camp, for goodness sake!), and get your rock on.