Get spacey with Light Heat and Steve Gunn at Johnny Brenda’s on 2/23
The bill for Johnny Brenda’s February 23rd show is a deep one, with three local mind-melting acts taking the stage to quite literally blow us away. First up we’ve got Spacin’, a new jammy fuzz-rock band in the vein of a marginally restrained Birds of Maya (which makes sense since it’s the project of Birds’ Jason Killinger). Spacin’ might be considered a good entry into the world of Philly lo-fi power rock (Purling Hiss included), with their superfuzz served-up next to a side of accessible melodies and in significantly shorter bursts than Birds of Maya’s cornerstone Ready to Howl LP.
Next on the docket is Steve Gunn, a Philly native who is often mentioned in the same breath as John Fahey, Jack Rose and Michael Chapman. Where Spacin’ melts with amps and noise, Gunn takes a stripped back (though still totally blissed-out) approach with intricate acoustic guitar compositions that weave together the schools of Indian Raga and American Primitivism (checkout the epic “The Lurker (Extended)” to get a sense of what this guy can do with six strings). Gunn’s most recent solo release is 2009’s Boerum Palace, but he also works prolifically with drummer John Truscinski as a duo and released the well-received Ocean Parkwayearlier this year.
Finally, we’ve got psych-rock extraordinaire Quentin Stoltzfus with a new post-Mazarin project called Light Heat. Featuring Mickey Walker (Mazarin), Sam Cohen (Yellowbirds / Apollo Sunshine) and Drew Mills (Aspera / Blood Feathers), Light Heat are the psychedelic kaleidoscope projected on the ceiling of a Julian Casablancas basement party. We’ve heard a few samples from the band, including the strummy “And the Birds” and “Elevation,” as filmed by Bands in the Backyard.
Steve Gunn “Old Strange” (Live at The Kensington Picnic, August 2012)
Spacin’ “Sunshine, No Shoes”