Providing a timely reminder that anyone can create music, at any time, about anything they want, Vivien Goldman charmed the small crowd at Century Bar in Philadelphia with a career-spanning set that covered everything from “Launderette” and “Private Armies” (as lively and relevant now as they were 40 years ago) to the fun “My Bestie & My BFF” and rebellious “I Have A Voice” from last year’s Next Is Now.
Joined by Dunia & Aram on co-lead vocals (and a bit of djembe) and bass, respectively, writer/educator/broadcaster/musician/“punk professor” Goldman somehow combined a spirit of urgency with the sense that they had all the time in the world, despite a strict 10:30 curfew to keep the neighbors happy, and the sustained applause proved no one wanted to let them go.
The opening bands, both from Philly, brought a similar urgency to their spiritually simpatico, sonically divergent expressions. Kilynn Lunsford (ex–Taiwan Housing Project) seized the moment with the rich, dark tones and swinging beats of new band Banjo Dog Body, (already supertight months ahead of their first release), while Drill’s insistent keys, persistent vocals, and thwacking drums set the tone for the whole night.
—M.J. Fine; photos by Chris Sikich