Phantogram show takes audience to ‘Eyelid Movies’ at Black Cat

Entertainment,Mitchell Blatt

It’s not often you have the chance to hear an album — this time “Eyelid Movies” — just as the artists intend for you experience it — at least for one night.

Phantogram with
Josiah Wolf and

» Where: Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW
» When: 8 p.m. Thursday
» Info: $12 in advance, $14 day of show; 877-725-8849;

Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel — collectively known as Phantogram — are on the road with a drummer for this tour and play the whole album plus one other song at each stop.

“Everything is a little different,” Carter said of the way the songs are played live as opposed to the recorded versions. “Each song live has a different dimension. Some of the songs are more rocking live, some are fuzzier, some are extended, some are completely different live. They don’t even have the same chord structure.”

Those who know the New York state-based band will understand that the different influences Carter and Barthel bring to the band’s music are what create their unusual swirl of easily modifiable sound.

The synergies the two create together are what led to the 2005 reunion of the high school friends. The pair have built a strong fan base — especially since the release of their album — by consistently reinventing their sound.

“Everybody is reacting very positively to the changes,” Carter

said, noting the fan favorite “Bloody Palms” is especially well-received.

As the duo continue to tour behind the album, they are also road testing a few new songs and hope to look toward another release in 2011. Although they are still debating digital versus CD formats, they are certain they will continue to release albums on vinyl, which has been a big hit with fans.

“They love the albums because they are something bigger and more tangible,” he said. “We live in this MP3-ridden culture — like, having an LP forces people to sit down and have an experience.”

That live experience is important to the band, too — they are a bit disheartened when fans continually videotape the show rather than watch it.

Although the duo understand fans wanting to capture part of the show, Carter said they were greatly relieved when the constant videotaping stopped.

“At a show … a few days ago, we had eight people in the front row that all had their cell phones out and were videotaping the show,” he said. “At the third song, I said, ‘You know what, guys? We are all here right now. Let’s have an experience. Be part of the show and what’s going on now.’ ”

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