March 2, 2009

Today's Hotness: Swirlies, Johnny Foreigner

>> [PHOTO CREDIT: Brad Searles] So the big sold-out, Swirlies not-reunion show at the Middle East Upstairs Saturday was incredibly satisfying, although we were almost too tired to derive enjoyment from it. Clicky Clicky has been in Swirlies overload of late, and we didn't shoot any decent pictures Saturday night (well, early Sunday morning), so we are going to dispense with a proper review and simply say that we welcome the idea of a resuscitated Swirlies with open arms. Like Steve Perry. Anyhoo, our old-guyness aside, the band -- playing as a quintet for most of the evening -- was well rehearsed and easily made up for the aborted mid-'90s sets we witnessed with a whopping 90-minute marathon. The evening closed out with a ridiculous, crowd- and Kudgel-assisted version of Flipper's "Sex Bomb." At that point it was 1:30 in the morning. It was bonkers. Swirlies played many of our favorites, including -- in no particular order -- "Park The Car By The Side Of The Road," "Jeremy Parker" and "San Cristobal De Las Casas." While we were psyched by The Swirlies, we were also very jazzed by Bullpen Catcher, a trio featuring erstwhile Kudgel fronter Mark Erdody on guitar. The band offered a bracing mix of early Unwound and Superchunk sounds, and we're looking forward to learning more about the act. FatCat-signed acoustic songstress Gregory And The Hawk opened the show and we dug it slightly more than we dug their record, but even so we're not big fans -- although we enjoyed when Swirlies drummer/Mice Parade dood Adam Pierce came on stage for the last several numbers.

>> If you haven't checked in at KeepingSomeDarkSecrets since our announcement last week, you've missed a bit of news about possible new Johnny Foreigner songs. Our colleague Mr. Cotton here noted some new activity at the band's Google Maps-based psychogeography, and upon investigating turned up some 11 new locations added to the map in late January. Certain of these locations reference what we already know to be new (and in the case of "The Coast Was Always Clear," mind-blowingly excellent) songs from the Birmingham, England-based three piece. Still other locations reference what must be new compositions, still unheard by even the crack staff of KeepingSomeDarkSecrets. These include "Custom Scenes And The Parties That Make Them," "More Heart, Less Tongue" and "Temp. Promenade." Johnny Foreigner is only days away from commencing the recording of its sophomore full-length in Brooklyn, so we are hopeful that we'll be hearing these songs sooner rather than later. The band completes a European tour supporting Sky Larkin this week; the tour hits Zurich, Switzerland tonight.

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