Union Transfer


Parquet Courts, Mac DeMarco, Marian Hill, The Suffers

Connor Barwin's Second Annual MTWB Benefit Concert

Parquet Courts, Mac DeMarco, Marian Hill, The Suffers

Sat, June 20, 2015

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

Sold Out

This event is all ages

The MTWB foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of Philadelphia’s youth by providing safe and fun places for artistic and athletic development. Last year’s inaugural event raised over $185,000 for Ralph Brooks Park in the Point Breeze neighborhood of South Philly. Construction at Ralph Brooks Park is slated to be finished this summer.


All proceeds from the concert will be matched by MTWB and donated to the revitalization project at Smith Playground in South Philadelphia. The renovation will include improvements to the Recreation Center building and adjacent play spaces, new football and baseball fields, and installation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure by the Philadelphia Water Department. Other key project partners include Urban Roots, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, and Philly Rising.

Parquet Courts
Parquet Courts
Parquet Courts began their 2014 release Content Nausea with the repeated refrain, “everyday it starts – anxiety!” And while that track left off at just its start, Human Performance dives in, picking apart the anxieties of modern life with the band’s most innovative and emotional collection of songs to date. Not that that’s the whole story.

“The final product of this album is Exhibit A that we made it through the shit, solved the problem, had the chuckle, took the piss, made up with the other guy, and got home in one piece,” laughs bassist Sean Yeaton.

Whereas other Parquets Courts albums were recorded in a matter of days or weeks, for Human Performance the band took an entire year; it’s the first LP that finds all four band members contributing songs.

Human Performance brings expansive sonic experimentation and shining melodic introspection onto matters of the heart, matters of humanity, of identity. “I told you I loved you, did I even deserve it when you returned it?” singer/guitarist Andrew Savage wonders on the title track. It’s also their most pop-oriented collection yet, coming only months after the release of the largely instrumental Monastic Living EP; a record that was actually made at the same time.

“In a way, Monastic Living was like a palate cleanser for us as a band,” explains singer/guitarist Austin Brown, who produced the entire record, and mixed it in Austin at Jim Eno’s Public Hi-Fi, “maybe a return to our roots of improvising together, and being a bit more free, and seeing what kind of new sounds we could make.”

The recording sessions started at Justin Pizzoferrato’s Sonelab in Western Massachusetts. Some of it was also made with Tom Schick and Jeff Tweedy at The Loft, Wilco’s visionary studio in Chicago, but the majority of Human Performance was made at Dreamland Studios, a massive upstate NY pentecostal church where records have been made by The Breeders, Dinosaur Jr, and the B-52s (including “Love Shack”). They spent three weeks straight there, writing by day and recording with Pizzoferrato by night.

The result is a record with a palpable sense of fragility. “The process of writing and recording Human Performance, for me, was a fairly uncomfortable confrontation with my emotions,” Savage says. “Emotions I don’t think I’ve fully explored in my life, artistic or otherwise.”

Human Performance is fittingly laced with as much static as softness, with tight-wound percussion pushing along meandering, wistful melodies. There are dazed and disoriented earworms, echoing group chants, downtempo ballads with wired riffs. Lovers leave, existential confusion replaces them, weeks pass, the J train rolls by.

The record leads with “Dust”, a 4-minute opener that takes the mundane daily duty of sweeping the floor and turns it into a frantic, obsessive call for action. “Dust is everywhere … Sweep!” they drolly repeat, before their cyclic back beat gives way to explosive, everyday city sound of car horns.

Savage says “Human Performance” is his most personal song on the record, a solemn musing on love drifting away, a picture-perfect memory of the beginning of things and a hazier recollection of the ending. “It didn’t feel right to be shouting, barking,” he says, reflecting on his tendency to really sing for this first time on this album. “I think a lot of people are attracted to a sort of cerebral side of Parquet Courts, in the lyricism. There has always been the emotional side of our band, which I think has always been an important balance, but Human Performance marks a point where the scales have tipped. I began to question my humanity, and if it was always as sincere as I thought, or if it was a performance. I felt like a malfunctioning apparatus. Like a machine programmed to be human showing signs of defect.”

Across six years, four full-length albums, and two EPs, Parquet Courts have always littered their lyric sheets with question marks, interrogating the outside world to varying degrees. Light Up Gold considered peanuts versus Swedish Fish, an introduction of their sharp, young wit and language of mundane, everyday NYC imagery. Sunbathing Animal channeled that language into noisy punk philosophy, raising wide-view questions about agency versus captivity, choice versus freewill. Content Nausea wondered about anxiety and emotional deterioration under the age of big data, in an aptly self-aware way: “And am I under some spell? And do my thoughts belong to me? Or just some slogan I ingested to save time?” And with Human Performance—their fifth album and second for Rough Trade—the question marks get turned on themselves more than ever.

“There is a lot of darkness, and general anguish being worked out on this record,” Brown adds. “But it ends kind of peacefully, kind of accepting that you can’t do much about it.”
Mac DeMarco (solo)
Mac DeMarco (solo)
Like the days of Steely Dan, Harry Nilsson or Prince releasing a classic every year (or less) comes Mac DeMarco’s Another One, a mini-LP announced almost one year to the date of the meteorically successful Salad Days. Conceived and recorded entirely by himself in a short period between a relentless tour schedule at his new place in Far Rockaway, Queens, Another One is eight, freshly written songs, expanding the arsenal of Mac’s already impressive catalog. There’s a bittersweet, romantic sensibility present. The overall feeling is lost love, or perhaps love never found, yet Mac embraces this without making it an overly somber experience for the listener. It’s at times haunting and warm, and a bit more refined and sophisticated, but still plenty playful, retaining the guts and soul of classic Mac.

With two full-length albums and two EPs released and hundreds of sold out shows performed in the last several years, a recent late night television debut on Conan following a special guest performance on The Eric Andre Show, it seems as Mac DeMarco nears his 25th birthday, he’s outgrowing any sort of slacker stigma. As expected, he’ll continue to tour extensively in support of Another One, further connecting with his ever-inspired fanbase, whether in New York City, Tel Aviv, Brazil or Australia.

Another One is out August 7th on Captured Tracks.
Marian Hill
Marian Hill
Act One, the debut full-length from songwriting duo Marian Hill, was written and produced in its entirety by Jeremy Lloyd (music/lyrics/production) and Samantha Gongol (music/lyrics/vocals). The multi- talented duo, who have been collaborating in one form or another since high school, have shifted the classic paradigm of a woman on a stage and a man with a piano to a woman on a mic and a man with a laptop -- and the results are seductive and vivid. Tempting paradox with a blend of blues and bass, acoustic and digital, classic and modern, Marian Hill have arrived.

Two years ago Sam and Jeremy wrote and recorded “Whisky” over spring break in Jeremy’s parents’ basement. When they released it for free on Soundcloud later that summer it was the only song they’d written for the project, and in a little over a year’s time they had recorded their first EP in a bedroom, amassed millions of plays on various platforms, sold out shows across the country and featured in high profile commercials. They signed to Republic Records in early 2015, released the Sway EP, and settled in to write and record their debut album over the course of the following year with a plan to push their unique sound to its fullest potential.

For the first 50 seconds of “Down” you might think you’re at a supper club in the 1920s, but when the bass drops out of nowhere you couldn’t be anywhere but 2016. Act One then takes you on a journey through the complexities of modern relationships, with each song inhabiting a specific and charged relationship lyrically, melodically, and sonically. “I Know Why” constantly transforms and reinvents itself as the vocals grapple with a secret while “Mistaken” is the hardest of sax trap with a classic songwriting backbone. “Same Thing” is the saddest part of the album, a haunting ballad depicting serene resignation of a doomed relationship, but castanets rise from the ashes as “I Want You” closes out the night in a pure moment of optimistic electricity, a glance across a crowded room that changes everything.

Marian Hill’s one of a kind sound is present throughout — blues harmonies blend with sparse hip hop drums, horns blast under classic vocal melodies, and soloistic vocal chops sit side by side with clear, intimate lyrics. You’ve never heard this before, yet it’s surprisingly familiar. And it’s only the beginning.
The Suffers
The Suffers
The Suffers are a ten-piece band from Houston, TX who are redefining the sound of Gulf Coast Soul, intertwining elements of Classic American Soul with Rock & Roll. Both sonically and visually arresting, the large ensemble packs each position of the rhythm section and horn section with a level of talent and taste that provides the perfect foundation for singer Kam Franklin's massive voice. The band's sincerity and emotion are laid bare in their music, which has garnered an audience so broad and varied that they may prove to be the panacea for a jaded and stratified live music scene.

The Suffers' ten-piece line up was curated by bassist Adam Castaneda and keyboardist/songwriter/vocalist Pat Kelly in 2011. The pair brought on trumpet player Jon Durbin, trombonist Michael Razo, guitarist Kevin Bernier, and percussionist Jose "Chapy" Luna, all band mates from earlier projects. Filling out the rhythm section are accomplished jazz saxophonist Cory Wilson and songwriting/producing duo Alex Zamora on guitar/vocals and Nick Zamora on drums/vocals. Vocalist/songwriter Kam Franklin, having recently completed a tour with London-based group The Very Best, was recruited to front the band.

In a short time, the band has progressed from packing local Houston venues to accepting invitations for main stage performances at the 20th annual Austin Reggae Festival, Houston's Free Press Summer Festival, and Paste Magazine's Untapped Festival where they've shared the stage with the likes of The Wailers, Mavis Staples, Alabama Shakes, The Walkmen, and Cat Power. The Suffers have accepted four Houston Press Music Awards in two years and have been listed among the top musical acts to watch in 2014 by the Houston Press and Houston Chronicle. The band's debut video, a live performance of "Giver," was recently premiered by Side One Track One following a hugely successful performance during Austin's Free Week. Work has already begun on a follow-up to their debut 45, which will be a full-length album planned for release in 2015.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123