Norwegian Arms – Presented by City Hall
It all started with a Mandolin, a rubbermaid tub, and a batch of songs written while shuttered away during a year in a Siberia shared between two friends to birth what is now known as Norwegian Arms. With just these simple instruments, the group was able to give body and weight to their earnest, upbeat and thoughtful freak-folk. Things have changed since then, they’ve moved beyond the rubbermaid bin in favor of a floor tom (finding the latter more dynamic and less gimmicky) and added a wash of synthesizer, filling out their sound while maintaining their stripped down stage presence. Although the two had been playing before mandolinist/vocalist Brendan Mulvihill (Keith Birthday) was sent by the Fulbright program to Tomsk, Russia, it’s easy to see that the defining moment in this young group’s sound came after Mulvihill’s return, when he, along with other member Eric Slick (Dr. Awkward) (of Dr. Dog) would rehearse in the windowless depths of the Ox, seeking to refine their minimalist sound. People seem to find it difficult to classify the group, having said everything from ‘freak folk’ to ‘mando punk’. But this isn’t an attempt to make the music more digestible, for the group’s songs are instantly memorable, well crafted, and melodically rich. These songs are deeply personal, and it shows. It’s not hard to identify with the messages in their songs: a quest for self identity, adapting to new environments, questioning one’s knowledge, and never being satisfied with what you know. It’s Wanderlust and curiosity, distilled and neatly packaged into sonic bursts of intense energy. It’s safe to say that Norwegian Arms suffers from a chronic case of the human condition.
Event Venue : City Hall Courtyard
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Event Category: Make Music Philly
When: June 21, 2013
Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Where: City Hall Courtyard