The Disco Biscuits celebrated the release of its fifth studio album, Planet Anthem , last night at Philadelphia’s intimate Theatre of the Living Arts. The long-awaited studio project was recorded a few blocks from the TLA between 2006 and 2009 and finds the veteran live act exploring a wide palette of rock, pop, hip hop and electronica sounds.
The band kicked off its two-set performance with Marc Brownstein’s narrative jam-vehicle “Nughuffer,” a song which snaked through the show and served as something of a structural outline. Throughout the night, the Philadelphia-based group played all the songs off Planet Anthem, with the exception of “Uber Glue.” The Disco Biscuits held off from playing most of its new originals until their studio versions were officially available. Though numbers like “On Time,” “You & I” and “Widgets” were released on advance EPs and were quickly worked into the group’s live set, the musicians debuted a handful of the album’s tracks last night: “Quad D,” “Big Wrecking Ball” and “Rain Song.” In addition, the band performed the new track “Camouflage Soul,” a collaboration with Spin Doctors’ singer Chris Barron (who sang with the band on the song last night). The Disco Biscuits also offered the On Time EP track “Minions” and the Planet Anthem outtake “Mirrors.” The classic Senor Boombox anthem “Home Again” closed the night.
A number of musicians who contributed to Planet Anthem backed the Biscuits during the show. Brothers Past’s Tom Hamilton, who produced several of the album’s songs and played a variety of instruments, stood in the back and sat in on auxiliary guitar throughout most of the night. Philadelphia-based rapper Tuphace, who contributes lyrics and vocals to the single “On Time,” also emerged for his infectious song. At other points Voodoo Farm singer McKenzie Eddy, a small horn section and other backup musicians appeared with the group.
Noted hip hop producers Alex Chiger and Harry Zelnick also took the stage during the show. Chiger and Zelnick first befriended the Disco Biscuits when they rented studio space from the band a few years ago. The musicians bonded and Chiger and Zelnick helped the Disco Biscuits develop the songs that became Planet Anthem (Chiger and Zelnick are credited as musicians, writers, lyricists and producers on the album). Their contributions largely spurred the band’s move toward a more hip hop-influenced sound.
Relix and Jambands.com spent time in the studio with the Disco Biscuits on September 27, 2006, as these songs were first being developed. Please click here for that early look into the recording of Planet Anthem.