Editor’s Pick: The Sea and Cake + Matthew Friedberger at Union Transfer

By Bryan Bierman
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Oct. 17, 2012

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The Sea and Cake

If you have a hard time falling asleep and need to listen to your iPod in bed, the problem is finding the right soundtrack to your shut-eye. You want to hear something relaxing, not too loud or too fast. You also don’t want something too boring, ’cause then your mind will start wandering off to worrying about work or how you’ll function after David Bowie dies. Fortunately for the sleep-challenged, there are plenty of options, including two naptime favorites coming to the area: the Sea and Cake and Matthew Friedberger.

Smooth voices are great for bed-listening, which would make the Sea and Cake’s lead vocalist Sam Prekop a perfect Sandman. He doesn’t normally yell; he just uses his voice to roll along the quiet synths the band normally builds upon. Over their 10 albums, including the just released Runner, The Sea and Cake has serenely taken their jazzy inclinations into a whole mess of genres; almost every one is relaxing enough to sleep to, but just as enjoyable in the daytime.

Matthew Friedberger is the key songwriter of the Fiery Furnaces, a band he started with his sister Eleanor, and although they’re a serious favorite, much of their music is too wild for nighttime. Currently, the Furnaces are on a hiatus while the siblings work on their own. Friedberger’s Solos subscription project, which wrapped up last year, features six records of one instrument each (plus two bonus LPs). For instance, Old Regimes, the third album in the series, features him on harp and vocals throughout. These are especially great, since you know exactly what you’re getting before you listen, and the amount of music in the series will keep you in Dreamland for months.

Unfortunately, seeing these two artists live will be very loud, and combined with the fact that Union Transfer is mostly standing-room-only, it’s not a good place to snooze. But later that night, you’ll sleep like a rock. 

Tues., Oct. 23, 8pm. $15. Union Transfer, 1024 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com

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