Krust Toons: "So Long 2018!" by Tedd Hazard – please feel free to drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you dig or have any funny ideas. You can also check out more of his illustrations and animation shorts HERE.
We’ll be honest with you: these days, punk revival is not a kind of music that makes us fall over ourselves. The genre, in most cases, comes across as a stale rehashing of a rudimental style that has lost its true revolutionary meaning. But… that’s just a theoretical statement that completely falls apart the moment you stumble upon a record like Flower’s self-titled EP – because real, powerful music, is stronger than trends and abstract theories about how dead a genre is.
Flower plays unapologetic, ultra-fast hardcore punk. And since real punk is always a political statement, their record feels like a perfectly appropriate aural retribution for the people that have given us the horrifying political spectacle the US has been witnessing. The brutally explosive songs on this record should be played live in the US Congress, to express the only possible rebuttal to the farce American politics have become, as some sort of cathartic ritual that – in the best tradition of ancient Greece – will somehow purify souls through art and partying, and prepare for a new beginning.
What’s most impressive about this band is its incredible tightness at the basis of their relentless and furious energy, something that’s truly hard to pull off from an instrumental standpoint. But it’s the convulsive and possessed high pitch vocals (reminiscent of early Pixies and Rage Against the Machine, but even more intense) that connect directly to our inner instincts, bypassing our rational filters and triggering what rock’n’roll is supposed to trigger: an incontrollable desire for rebellion.
When former members of Fight Amp and Legendary Divorce announced that they had combined forces as Low Dose, the first sampling of the unholy union came in the form of their single, “For Sure,” an unforgiving, grunge explosion that piqued our interest. It served as a teaser for the band’s forthcoming self-titled debut album. On Sunday at Kung Fu Necktie, the quartet celebrates lead singer/guitarist Itarya Rosenberg’s birthday, and plans to play the album in full, which sounds like an excellent way to send off 2018. They’ll be joined by the powerhouse, post-punk trio of Control Top, whom will be heading out on tour this spring with Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers and Mercy Union. Containing former members of Prophet, Said I and Fight Amp, hardcore quartet Lesser Light will also be taking the stage for the group’s inaugural performance, while Brooklyn’s Netherlands is set to unleash a stew of strangely compelling, sludge experimentation. (Photo by Shadowscene) – Michael Colavita
Other places to end 2018 just right…
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Live Band Karaoke with Pat Finnerty & The Full Band, SAT Japanese Breakfast, SUN Japanese Breakfast, MON Japanese Breakfast, Dj Missy (Marisa Dabice of Mannequin Pussy)
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Rachel Andie & The Fifth Element (Record Release Show), Little Strike, Las Palabras, SAT Full Bush, Exmaid, Grace Vonderkuhn, MON Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Kevin Schultes and The Wild Dogs, Slophouse, Chris Sneade, SAT DJ Lean Wit It, SUN Low Dose, Control Top, Lesser Light, MON Fame Lust
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) SUN RFA, American Dinosaur, Spelling Reform
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI A Tribute To The Clash performed by REANA, MON West Philadelphia Orchestra, Johnny Showcase & The Mystic Ticket, Sun Ra Arkestra, Mambisa
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St,) FRI Valencia, June Divided, MON Making Time New Year’s Eve
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SAT Hijinx After Party: Subtronics, SUN Hijinx After Party: Louis Futon, Tiedye Ky, MON Low Cut Connie, & More
The Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal St.) FRI The Disco Biscuits, SAT The Disco Biscuits, SUN The Disco Biscuits, MON The Disco Biscuits
The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) FRI Mr. Brightside, SAT Armani White, MON Stimulus NYE
Franklin Music Hall (421 N. 7th St.) SUN The Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza, MON Hardwork Movement
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Stoops, Laser Background, SAT (Upstairs) Eddy Echo, MON (Upstairs) The Jersey Corn Pickers, The Cheddar Boys, Boulevard Express / (Downstairs) Start Making Sense
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) SAT Soraia, First of June
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Cheerleader, MON Lovelorn, Suburban Living
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) MON The World Without Us
The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) FRI Twin Beds, Mattress Food, Phillip and the Flatheads, MON Hands And Knees New Year’s Eve
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI DJ Aktive, SAT DJ Deejay, SUN Sonni Shine, MON DJ Deejay
Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Stella Ruze, Whiskey Train, Andrew Jude Band, SAT Tucker Hill, The Maguas, Skye Lee
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI Scantron, SUN Rusty Cadillac, MON Brown Sugar
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Hulqamaniaq, Sparklies, Cosmic Lottery, SAT Black Cat Habitat, The Easily Fooled, Jake Rogers
Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI DJ Chris Urban, SAT DJ Shawn Ryan, MON DJ Ben Aire
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) SUN Wolves Attack
The Tusk (430 South St.) SAT The Barren Marys, The Prisoners
Century (1350 S. 29th St.) FRI Cop Jokes, Hallucinogenic Bulb, Moyogash, Guillermo Pizarro, SAT The LOT, Fucksake, Side Pocket Louie, MON Narcos Family Band, Nauseator, Witching, Hivelords, Atomic Cretins, Yuckmouf
The Met Philly (858 N. Broad St) FRI PnB Rock, SAT Kurt Vile
Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Ave.) MON Vacationer, Minka, Sixteen Jackies
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Uncle Dan, Mr. Lisp, Boozeradly, SAT The Duke Brothers, Night Mission, Mikey Potatos, MON The Funky T, Knightlife, Stone Eye
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Bry Greatah, Mars Parker, Voss, SAT Darla, The Underwater Sounds, SUN Big Mind, MON Splintered Sunlight, Swift Technique
The Locks at Sona (4417 Main St.) SAT The John Byrne Band
The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) SUN Le Yikes Surf Club
Tralfamadore (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Lylyly, Rasan In The Heyday, Secret Nudist Friends
Warehouse on Watts (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Talkpeck Soundsystem, SUN CIA (Album Release), Catullus
NYC’s indie crooner Vlad Holiday at the beginning of December released new single Artifical Paradise (streaming) and announced official participation in the SXSW 2019 festival. The track is a slow burning ballad that highlights Holiday’s expressive tenor, which in this song reaches flirtacious levels of purring that would impress even the horniest of cats. And that’s kind of appropriate, since the song is a rather explicit invitation to mind blowing sex (hence the title) based on a plodding, sparse electric arrangement accentuated by a restrained brass section. NYC fans will be able to test Vlad’s magnetism in person when he’ll perform live at Mercury Lounge on January 29th.
An uncommon merging between two San Diego locals and two British musicians, Slum Summer’s "Trampoline" is like a kaleidoscope of percussion, obscure lyrics, and satisfying guitar riffs. Lead vocalist Hugh J. Noble is a true raconteur and has an all but ordinary approach to capturing his audience’s focus on more than just the composition, but to truly engage yourself in the story being told to you. The upbeat single is a mope-rock masterpiece that crafts new lines through the genre, and with “Trampoline” as their teaser, they make the wait for the album just that much more agonizing.
"Trampoline" is taken from Slum Summer’s forthcoming album, ABABO, which they will release on January 18 via Jigsaw Records. Kayla Hay
We love band geeks! Kelsey Corcoran, a.k.a. Kelsey Cork, is a self-proclaimed one, and her passion for music is self-evident, going as far as getting her bachelor’s degree in music education from West Chester University. And though she has the technical know-how, Cork prefers the “raw, real, free of pretense” feel of rock and roll, and it shows in the debut single, “Center City Blues,” with her backing band The Swigs. We had a chance to catch up with our most recent Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner, and you can check out the interview HERE. Also, keep a look out for “a surprise” from Kelsey Cork & the Swigs in the New Year – cheers! (Photo by Alyssa Resh)
Jesse Barki (of The Mellowells) recently dropped a solo album, which he has titled Age Of Unknown Callers. Thoughtful, personal, folk songwriting, driven by acoustic guitar, creates a clear, sonic vision. A useful universal wisdom/maturity meets an emotive outpouring, pushing its power. Zooming in and out between short & longterm viewpoints, there’s a candid authenticity addressing one’s evolving expectations, while finding where we individually fit in the bigger picture. (Photo by Rachel Adshead)
Psych rock is a genre that can encompass a spectrum of sounds ranging from pop-oriented songs to less-defined and at times downright chaotic jams. Risen to semi-celebrity status in NYC through busking in the subway to the tune of songs by the Beatles, Rockaway Beach, New York’s Blac Rabbit create music that falls in the former category, with precise song structures and thoughtful lyrical content. What bridges those extreme ends is a like-minded penchant for phased guitar textures and dreamy introspection. After impressing with their debut 6 track EP a year ago, the band recently released new single “Seize The Day” (streaming below) from their forthcoming record "Interstella," due out in early 2019. While their debut record made no apologies for its floating Tame Impala influences, this new track comes on with a heavier edge. An angular guitar riff drives everything forward in tandem with more forceful drumming. While vocals are bathed in effects associated with the psychedelic experience, lyrics speak to being more grounded. Rather than “living in a cloud,” instead “I’m living my life loud,” and how “once you seize the day, you’ll wonder why your feet have left the ground.” The band ring in the new year by headlining two shows at The Mercury Lounge on 12/30 and 12/31. – Dave Cromwell
Our sister blog Delicious Audio asked Blac Rabbit a few questions about their musical influences, gear and the creative process here.
The close of a year seems like a good time to look through the many artists we’ve covered over the years, pick one out of a hat, and think out loud: "Say, what’s Milk People been up to lately?" Then you ring them up on the old Facebook and see that they’re playing a show at The Cobra on January 10th, along with solo act Ever and Cali-tinged 90s-throwback group Sandra Bullets, whose EP Lightweight got a bit of buzz this past year. Visiting Music City from the cold, cold city of Boston is headliner Daisybones, who’ve just released their record Gold. This is a night of music you’ll want to catch, especially since Milk People are taking the stage, and you never know what kind of lightning will strike when they do that. Take a listen to "I’m Not Changing My Mind", the single from their latest album Hullabaloo, below. – Will Sisskind
Whyvs is the latest album from the punk quartet of Wives. A rowdy, raw, grunge element comes right at your ears. Menacing rhythms and jagged, distorted guitar set the tone. The primal of the vocals accompanies the jarring dynamic of instrumentation. Oozing with heaviness and intensity, the collection is a heart-racing release.
Philly’s own Null recently shared a new EP, oddly titled . – – . . . – . – . . . – . . (pull). Peppered with a glitchy array of noise, Josh Lesser creates a candid, warped, pop sound. Hovering between the threshold of heady & at home, one swims in the strangely familiar waters. While floating in tranquility, volatile transitions appear ready to loom around every corner.
Brooklyn’s The Sharp Shadows play a rare blend of pop-punk mixed with post-punk, two genres that are propelled by anthitetical forces (speed+melody and tension+experimentation) but that have cohabitated some records of the late ’70s – the first two XTC records and the punkier tunes by early The Police come to mind. In tracks like "Why Don’t You Do It?" and "Push Push Push" edgy and tense backing tracks are charged with the speed and energy typical of punk and resolved following pop canons, in part reminiscent of the elegant melodies of Elvis Costello. The power trio has been active since 2013 and released their latest album "Lessons" in August 2018; they will perform live at Alphaville on December 30th.