Tin Angel

AA Bondy | Tin Angel Philadelphia, PA – July 15, 2015

BondyTinAngel10-7-2015Listening to AA Bondy’s music or seeing him play live is one of those joys in life that just makes everything feel right with the world. My sister Ady and I both agree on this. As it happens, Bondy is ever elusive—he will come out of the woodwork and release a masterpiece out of nowhere, disappear into the sunset (just long enough to make everyone wonder if he’s left us for good), and then to our delight return again. He operates on his own system of time, which I can only assume is called Bondy Time. He’s like the tide, ebbing and flooding, and you quietly come to rely on this natural cycle. This past May high tide returned in the form of an unassuming Tweet announcing a summer tour: Bondy was back. He reappeared with no warning or fanfare, and the long wait only made it that much sweeter when he did.

The last time Ady and I saw him was almost four years ago at the now defunct First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia (November 2011) where he performed as the front of a four piece band, a wall of glorious sound in support of the lush and beautiful album, Believers. Flash forward to July 2015, and our evening at Tin Angel is a very different experience. This is a stripped down, solo performance that is part revisitation of older songs that are reworked and played from the gut, playful and full of experimentation; part wicked funny social commentary comedy hour (I would gladly pay kindly to see a full standup Bondy routine, or throw my full support his way if he decided to, say, run the country); and a full dose of Bondy “giving birth” to a new record he is in the process of creating as he embarks upon a voyage of America. The audience, filling every inch of the tiny but comfortable venue, hangs on his every word and every note, listening as we are treated to glimmers of the new album to be. We are assured that a new album is coming along with more touring in the near future. I can tell you that both Ady and I are waiting patiently-yet-impatiently for what is to come.

Dial-a-concert: Joseph Arthur at Tin Angel, Philadelphia, PA

So I was at a concert last night, except I wasn’t really. My sister was, and she decided to give me a call during the show. Not to talk over the performance, not to give me the low down, but to set the phone down so I could listen. I put mine on mute, defied the constraints of time and distance and attended a show 8 hours away in Philadelphia at Tin Angel. Two Sisters and a Show 21 century style. He played one of my favorites, “Devil’s Broom,” and Adrienne filmed it, along with a few others. So, now I get to see what I was hearing live. From what she told me, he was joined on stage by Kraig Jarret Johnson (member of the Jayhawks and one of Joseph Arthur’s Lonely Astronauts), who I had seen perform with Joseph Arthur with the rest of the Lonely Astronauts in 2008. Here’s footage of the same song from both performances.

Joseph Arthur with Kraig Jarret Johnson, “Devil’s Broom”
Tin Angel, Philadelphia PA, January 21, 2011 (video filmed by Adrienne)

Joseph Arthur and the Lonely Astronauts (in full Halloween garb) “Devil’s Broom”
Musica, Akron, OH, October 31, 2008 (video filmed by me)
(l-r: Jen Turner—sporting a wonderfully outrageous wig, G. Wiz, Joseph Arthur, Sibyl Buck, Kraig Jarret Johnson)

And a little extra encore . . .

Joseph Arthur “In the Sun”
Post show at the merch table, Tin Angel, Philadelphia PA, January 21, 2011 (video filmed by Adrienne)

There are some other Joseph Arthur live concert footage clips, as well as other live performances (Gorillaz, Wilco) taken by Adrienne (or official blog concert videographer) and parked on her youtube channel, which has become the official blog concert footage home for Tulip Tree Presents.