Whether it’s been from a memory of yesteryear that goes far beyond space or time consisting of him jamming alongside the prolific jazz composer Sun Ra or during his current role of fronting the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra, you have seen/heard incendiary saxophone impresario Marshall Allen perform for a number of occasions throughout the year. But it’s been quite some time, since you’ve had the chance to experience this interplanetary jazz master perform solo. Well, that is exactly what will be happening tonight at The Fire on this very rare bill, which will also feature jazz-noise artisans Extreme Fishkin. And given the improvisational talents of both acts and the number of musicians that they’re connected to, there’s bound to be plenty of unpredictable magic in store. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave, 9pm, $10, 21+ – Bill McThrill
Brother acts have been a staple of rock music history since the very beginning of it all. From the Everlys to the Kinks’ Davies through the JAMC’s Reids, The Black Crowes’ Robinsons and Oasis’ Gallaghers, a rich tradition has continued throughout each new generation. Enter Andy and James Ralph and their wonderfully named band WRITER to the mix. Celebrating this alignment to the fullest, they’ve titled their debut album “Brotherface,” a record that marries an edgy, "uber-saturated" production with impressively consistent songwriting.
Leadoff track “Head to Toe” booms with percussive force and well placed buzz-bomb guitars, yet the space left open allows for emphasis to be placed on the voices and the story they tell. "Hot Days" (streaming), is the closest thing to "pop" this band can offer, coming off as an even fuzzier version of old time favorite Enon. “Miss Mermaid” kicks the production value up a notch. The booming, live sounding drums are still there, but guitar layers are introduced together with heavily effected vocals, creating an otherworldly sheen. There’s a Ska rhythm guitar progression alternating with a twangy western melody line. The under two minute “Swamp Fire Lake” pairs submerged vocal effects against a swampy delta blues, bringing to mind the rawness of The Kills’ first album. “Family Dinner” continues the loose tom tom and tambourine percussion motif, this time matched with guitars placing emphasis on the low end bass notes. “Barefoot Art” finds buzzy electronic keyboards pulsing like a telephone receiver left off the hook after the call has ended. Tambourine stands out as the primary percussive motion, providing ample space for the vocal storytelling. “Cash For Gold” pummels like The Velvet Underground through a Jesus & Mary Chain filter. The observatory lyrics “better find some gold and sell it quickly” underscores the instant money grab imagery we are bombarded with on a daily basis. “North Park Fairies” emphasizes clock ticking percussion (with the ever present tambourine) supporting further processed multi-layered vocals in a wide open spaciousness. Album closer “Dry Hands” serves as the big and bombastic finale. Heavily reverberated voices ride atop booming drums and hard plucked guitar notes. The mood is all vibe and texture. With “oh yeah, oh yeah” as the essential lyrical theme. – Dave Cromwell
Steven Ervay is super rad.
Cult favorites Stinking Lizaveta will be taking on late night duties tonight at Kung Fu Necktie. The power trio recorded their 1996 debut album …Hopelessness and Shame with legendary producer Steve Albini, and they’ve spent nearly two decades inspiring the local music community with their unrelentingly passionate live shows and technical prowess. Combining stoner-sludge metal with boogie-jazz, the band has been a beloved staple in keeping Philly weird. They’ll be joined this evening by socially conscious, hard-rockin’ feminist duo Trophy Wife, whose drummer Katy Otto recently posted, “From now on, when someone asks me why I moved to Philadelphia I am going to say Stinking Lizaveta.” Expect plenty of good vibes and bludgeoning beats! Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 Front St., 11pm, $10, 21+ – Alexis V.
All Joan Jett references aside, I love rock n’ roll. Really. And Krill’s latest release, Lucky Leaves, piles on the rock in heaping portions. I really like the guitar work on this record–loud and distorted, in-your-face, but reserved at the same time. The guys in this band really know how to play their instruments. The vocal melodies on this album sound like Alec Ounsworth of CYHSY had one too many beers and went out singing on Boylston St. What sort of sound is that, you ask? A glorious one, that’s what. I particularly liked the last half of “Purity of Heart.” The vocals, guitars, drums–everything comes together in this super-loud, super-emotional punch in the face of rock n’ roll goodness. Definitely worth a listen. While you’re at it, if you’re in the Boston area this weekend, you can check out the band at Great Scott in Allston on Saturday, June 29. Or just listen to/buy the record on their bandcamp site. Or both! — Dan McMahon
Earning comparisons to Wilco and Fleet Foxes, atmospheric, retro-influenced pop/rock band Broken Anchor evolved through a collaboration between singer/songwriter Austin Hartley-Leonard and producer Brad Gordon. After honing his craft as a solo artist with songs featured on TV shows such as “Burn Notice,” “Hart of Dixie,” “Jane By Design” and “The Ghost Whisperer,” Hartley-Leonard originally imagined Broken Anchor as a studio project. Yet, with time, Harley-Leonard and Gordon soon saw the songs take on a life of their own. By adding drummer/percussionist Mike Duffy to the mix, Broken Anchor is now a memorable, high-energy duo, and has released a series of EPs, titled Broken Anchor Vol. I, II, and III.
OC boys, Max and the Moon are hard at work. Their latest single, “Lighthouse,” has been given the cinematic treatment. Another joyous anthemic indie pop tune from the quartet. The song is an artistically approached radio-friendly hit, in the same vein as their previous release that we featured, “The Way I See.” The video intercuts between images of desolate landscapes and faceless men roaming in the dark, which leads to these worlds colliding; a slightly unsettling poetic narrative that weaves throughout as the cheerful production belies the song’s darker meaning. The band has also announced a July Residency at the Constellation Room – July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. The lineup is stacked with impressive local talent including Blonde Summer, Warships, The Steelwells, and A House for Lions. A new EP is expected next month as well. – Jacqueline Caruso
After struggling with the dark unmotivational sound of their former endeavor, Sons of Sons, frontman Matt Miller and drummer Brian Dalessandro decided it was time for a change. The artists recruited the ideas of guitar/keys player Sean Glassman and bassist Paolo Codega and blending them all together as a fusion of talent, Coastgaard was born. – Read Michael Haskoor’s interview with the band here, see them live at Cameo on August 1.
Brooklyn’s guitar/drum duo Steel Phantoms marries an indie rock sound with a songwriting elegance often foreign to the genre. Their single "Curtain Call" (video streaming below) features a reversed (and a little anti-climatic) chorus-verse structure, with a melody that could have come out of a Paul Simon song, but filled with distortion and unpredictable breaks. The band will be releasing a self titled EP on July 16.
Corporations have been buying in to youth culture in a big way as of late, and it’s especially true for music, but it’s great to see that also emerging and/or less accessible bands are benefiting from this… To celebrate a decade of, well, car sales, Scion is putting out the Scion 10 Series Music Release, a varied compilation featuring some of the best and brightest in independent music. Among those is NYC’s own White Hills, who contributed their otherworldly “Forever in Space (Enlightened)” to the set – streaming. White Hills have a pretty busy schedule ahead of them—they’re opening for Georgia sludge-riffers Kylesa, and later this year they’re doing the same for The Cult on their “Electric 13” tour. They already came through New York this time around, but be sure to catch them here later this year. – Zack Kraimer
We added this song to The Deli’s playlist of Best Psych Rock songs by emerging NYC artists – check it out!
This Saturday night at Johnny Brenda’s, there will be a celebration for the release of Pillar Without Mercy from Deveykus, a new project from trombonist and Pew fellowship recipient Dan Blacksberg with partner-in-crime and alien shredder Nick Millevoi, guitarist Yoshie Fruchter (Pitom), bassist Johnny DeBlase (Many Arms), and drummer Eli Litwin (Normal Love, Intensus). Inspired by acts such as Sunn O))) and Earth, the quintet meshes doom metal with traditional Hasidic melodies. Their debut album is available via John Zorn’s avant-garde music label Tzadik, as part of its “Radical Jewish Culture” series. Deveykus will also be joined by fellow Philadelphians Cleric and labelmates Les Rhinocéros. This will surely be an evening of music that you have never before experienced! Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ (Photo by Matt Hurst) – Alexis V.
Tuesday night in Echo Park was unusually busy and bustling with hipsters. Unable to find parking in my go-to secret spots, I knew something beyond the norm was afoot. As I approached The Echo, pushing past the crowds lingering outside Sage and Masa on this warm summer night, I immediately knew I was in for a memorable experience. Red Bull Sound Select has been putting on monthly shows with local lineups supporting nationally touring headliners for the past few months, with a measly $3 cover, which has been creating quit a stir. Past headliners include, Zola Jesus, Wavves, and DIIV. On this particular Tuesday, I headed out to see locals, Gothic Tropic, opening for Com Truise. Little did I know that word had spread so far and fast, that the entire line of hopeful and devoted fans, who previously, I’m sure, had been waltzing right in to these monthly events, had not only wrapped themselves around the block beyond the bridge, but by 9pm, had all been sent home. Having been lucky enough to make it through the velvet rope, I was ushered in just as Gothic Tropic took the stage. The room was filled with an electric energy, as the crowd was clearly aware that their presence was now a gift that so many others would have traded them for. A gratitude and genuine excitement filled the air, as the Krautpunk trio opened with a slow builiding jam session that led right into their upcoming single, “Underwater Games,” set to be released as a split 7” with HOTT MT. Their signature improvisational style weaved throughout their set like slow crashing waves at low tide. If you are a fan and know their songs, you can sense when they are riding the edge of chaos beyond the structure of the tune. The tight-knit group is always in total control on stage, creating their own universe. They have a magical way of authentically connecting with the crowd, while pushing them to step inside their world of experimental eclecticism. As lead singer/guitarist Cecilia Della Peruti wails away on her guitar, there are moments when she and the instrument are one being and it becomes difficult to tell whether her voice or guitar are in the lead. With notes of acid jazz, krautrock, post punk, and garage rock, you always feel like you’re experiencing something revolutionary at a Gothic Tropic show – something you hope will be embraced by the world, but not tarnished by it. The trio closed the set with “Monkey Bars,” to the crowd’s delight. About to embark on a West Coast Tour starting July 4, Gothic Tropic, is one busy group, as they are also slated to play the next Red Bull Sound Select show, July 27 – this time at House of Blues on Sunset, along with Tapioca and the Flea, HOTT MT, and headliners, Frightened Rabbit. – Jacqueline Caruso