Treasure Island Music Festival

October 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured

I can’t wait for this one. Beautiful weather, palm trees, and fabulous music all on an island!

Treasure Island  Music Festival is happening October 13 and 14 on the magical island, smack in the middle of the bay bridge.

With bands like The XX, Girl Talk, Joanna Newsom, Gossip, Best Coast and my favorites, Grimes and M83! Check out the flawless lineup on their site here.

Parking is limited but you can always take the Muni!

Get your passes soon because it’s sure to sell out quickly.  One-day and two-day passes are on sale now.

Hope to see you there!

N

Miike Snow and Penguin Prison at the Electric Factory

May 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Cause We Said So, Featured

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If when I leave, I’m not partly deaf and very sweaty, it’s not a show. Miike Snow and their opening band Penguin Prison got the job done. But there is more to them than sweat and beats. Miike Snow is not just dance music. It’s feeling something profound and contemplating it with your body. Shake your ass, pump your fist, twirl your friend, whatever, it doesn’t matter how your body says it. Just say it. The music will guide you. Miike Snow makes music for perspective and ridiculousness. You can hear it in their songs. They appear to be built on a singular concept that is then nurtured by philosophy, electro-pop, poetry, humor, lyrics, beats and some tight production, until it comes together to create pleasure and depth. Pleasure and depth is what they left pulsating on the floor of The Electric Factory last night.

The guys came out and did a short intro in black hoodies and gold masks. It seemed unnatural and forced, but they jumped back in mask-less, locking in the crowd with “Wave” and “Cult Logic”. The audience just ate it up. And by audience, I mean: Holy Hipster Haven, Batman! Skinny jeans and all, the floor was a wave of synth-pop energy. Andrew Wyatt went back and forth from commanding leader to, equal participant, at times in front of the crowd, howling, long signature hair twisting in his face and sometimes sitting in the back at the keyboards almost in complete darkness guiding anonymously with his lyrics.

There did seem to be some sound issues, which a couple of times had me wondering; can music that is best loud be too loud? I think maybe in this case, yes. A slight turn of the knob could have cut out some distortion. But you got to give the people what they want (including me) and we all were rewarded with ringing eardrums.

A great combination of the latest album Happy To You and their previous self titled, and deeply loved album, kept the pack satisfied and energized. The crowd pleasers were “Paddling Out,” Black and Blue” and “Burial.”

“Sylvia” sounded amazing, sending melancholy romance down my spine. And their live version of “Black Tin Box” was actually really likeable. The album track is deplorable, but they aced it on stage.

Wyatt wrapped it up by beating senselessly on his synthesizer as they closed their set with “Devils Work.”  They returned closing their encore with “Animal,” sending the crowd into a frenzy, knowing it was their last taste for the night, they milked every last drop out of it.

The set, less than an hour, felt short and a bit rushed. The performance played like shorter versions of the albums. I would have liked something unexpected, a Depeche Mode remix perhaps? But I was thoroughly exhausted at the end so I guess I got what I asked for. Thanks Miike!

Penguin Prison (a.k.a. Chris Glover) was a pleasant surprise at the Factory. I was worried that his super glossy sound would be too clean for a likely offbeat audience. But the skeptical audience soon found its grove and embraced the NYC electronica. Penguin Prison reminds me a lot of The Virgins, with just a little too much production.

The set was danceable and loud. The songs memorable, light and catchy, pretty much everything you want from your pop. Glover definitely left his mark and closed his energetic set with his latest single “Multi-Millionaire” and announcing another Philly show May 17. Check them out.

Shorty Boy-Boy Brings the Party To Johnny Brenda’s

April 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Cause We Said So, Featured

 Massimo Pulcini

 

Saint Patty’s, with all of its fun and partying, was the perfect day for Shorty Boy-Boy to release his newest 7”, Candy Man/Smoking Tea. And fresh from his first trip to SXSW in Austin, Texas, the local musician and his band were ready to rock out with a flurry of short and sweet indie pop jangles that had the Johnny Brenda’s crowd on their feet, stomping the night away.

Shorty Boy-Boy or, Josh Pannepacker, a down-to-earth dude with scruffy blonde hair, always has that same pleasant smile on his face. Whether it’s everyday life or on stage, Pannepacker is all about having a good time — something that shines clearly in his music. With the focus being on the fun, the band’s brand of catchy-garage-rock mixed with pop charm is nothing short of infectiously danceable.

Shorty Boy-Boy’s set was driving throughout. “Dolphins”, a dreamy number literally about dolphins swimming in the ocean, featured a tidal wave of riffing rock n’ roll that was torrential enough to make your head nod and your feet bop, but didn’t go so far to drown you in sonic bliss. Later on, an assortment of percussion instruments (and one very fine Dora the Explorer toy guitar) were handed out to the crowd in a crate before the group played a slower jam, “I Don’t Want A Job,” prompting the entire crowd to clang along drunkenly with their maracas, tambourines, and shakers.

One of the songs off the new 7”, Smoking Tea, which they performed was in a category all its own. Complete with neon clad, shutter shade wearing, on-stage dancers, all of whom had a coordinated dance number to boot, the song was a celebration in itself. A true party song at heart, an ambush of balloons were set on the crowd during the jam, with the strobe light sparkle keeping sure that everyone was feeling at least a little loose and tipsy throughout the set’s final stretch.

Shorty Boy-Boy’s trademark “party rock” won’t have you LMFAO-ing all night, but it’s punchy drums, driving guitar licks and hooky lyrics will definitely have you shakin’ what your mama gave you.

After the show, Pannepacker elaborated on the whole party aspect of his show.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more than to play for people who like to have a good time and dance. It’s just too cool. It’s just how we like to do it”

Pannepacker also described the Candy Man/Smoking Tea 7” that the whole show revolved around. “It’s just got this hot railroad track stomp to it. You can just put in your earphones and kick all around the city.”

And that’s just what the crowd did, romping their Saint Patty’s night away to the party that is Shorty Boy-Boy.

tune-yArds Ripping out my Heart and Hugging it.

March 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Cause We Said So, Featured

tune-yArds The Best Old News Around

tune-yArds, a.k.a. Merrill Garbus’ second album WHOKILL, is what some call “experimental indie.” I once heard a friend describe it as “clown music”  I guess suggesting that the melody would work well with bumbling painted faces, chaotically packing themselves into tiny, yellow cars.  That couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s difficult to describe the type of music that Garbus creates you can hear its origins in Afro-pop, folk, indie, rock, hip-hop, R&B, dance and even some yodeling for good measure.

While this may sound like sloppy leftovers-stew, the music is methodically arranged and intentionally planned. Although the melody may keep you guessing, there is a definite system and balance to Garbus’ seemingly frenzied production.

Her lyrics at times are easily interpreted. In the song “My Country,” she says, “When they have nothing/ Why do you have something?” Garbus sees great inequality within our country. Many of Garbus’ songs are political or philosophical.  Violence, sex and self-esteem are especially prominent in her writing. She presents the relationships between these issues, and her struggle to rise above them.

Garbus’ voice is powerful and demands your attention. Behind her androgynous façade and voice, you hear that Garbus is a woman through her lyrics. Her power and strength in the track “Bizness” makes your skin tingle as she builds to her climax shouting demands as she sings. There is a sense of self-confusion in her melancholy lyrics, yet the melody’s tone lends itself more toward freedom, or spiritual growth, through anger. There tends to be a dichotomy between the meanings of the lyrics and the sounds of the music in many of her songs. It is as if releasing her rage into the world through her music allows her to reach an explosive release, and you are with her the entire ride.

On the other side of the spectrum, the track “Wolly Wolly Gong” is a creepy lullaby with puzzling lyrics sung in a soft, haunting manner, “Go to sleep my baby/Sleep deep now before the wolly wolly gong/For your sleep is guard ‘gainst the cold and hard/ A soft shroud of safety in a world gone wrong/‘Cause they will try to arm you/That’s what they do”

Garbus is able to jump back and forth between strength and vulnerability. She is brutally honest with herself, laying it all on the table, leaving nothing to hide. It is spectacular.

In this album she stays true to her lo-fi indie soul, although with the addition of bassist Nate Brenner and engineer Eli Crews, the album is more refined, the edges less rusty than her debut album “BiRd-BrAiNs.”

WHOKILL although deep with meaning makes a hell of a “driving-in-your-car-blasting-it-loud-as-shit,” kind of album. It has strength, empowerment, African dance beats, and sing along, or at times yell along qualities. It inspires movement and makes dancing feel like a natural result of the music.

While the album itself is perfectly capable of standing alone, seeing tune-yArds live is the real treat. Although I wonder if her sudden and growing fame will diminish the type of relationship she has with her audience.

Last summer tune-yArds played Johnny Brenda’s to a packed house. The club is beyond small, but the audience adoring. Garbus came on stage in her socks, a homemade ripped, neon splattered t-shirt, war paint on her face, messy hair and immediately won over her audience with a bit of self-deprecating humor and bit of “I am gonna rock this show for you,” confidence.

While on stage before each song Garbus meticulously records the different sound effects, including sirens, singing notes, simple vocal sounds, drum beats, screams and whispers into her microphone. She then loops or uses pedals to call up which ones she needs as she performs her songs live. It’s really an art form and she pulls it off perfectly, literally never missing a beat. Basically she is her own sound mixer, creating live on the spot recording original sound for every new performance.

This summer tune-yArds will be playing our very own, Root’s Picinic, as well as, indie Mecca, The 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. I imagine it will feel infinitely larger to Garbus who has so far personalized her show for her small, dedicated audiences. Whether or not she will be able to retain the deep connection and demand the patience she requires form her audience, in order to record live in a venue as large as the 9:30 Club is yet to be seen. This tour will be a huge difference from her previous one. On stage, because of the format of her performance, she gives you more of herself than we may be use to seeing. It may seem frightening to be so revealing and demand such patience from a larger audience. However, if her album WHOKILL teaches us anything about Garbus, it’s that she can overcome, and face change and growth head on through her music.

 

To Hell and Back.

March 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, Happenings

Hello loyal friends and followers. We know how much you have missed us and longed for our return. Well, wipe away those tears cause we are working our way back and will soon be there to guide you through every thing that is cool again.

Life has kicked our asses a bunch this past year, but Nataly and I are hopping back on the vegan saddle to bring you what you so desire. We can’t be held down!

Bear with us as we get our shit together, and we will be bringing you plenty of content shortly.

Love and grease,

Andreaplease_stand_by-9y11zmqxsgg8o4gg8wkwscwg4-6ylu316ao144c8c4woosog48w-th

The Dead Weather’s Sea of Cowards Out Tomorrow

May 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Cause We Said So, Featured

dwSea of Cowards is not a neat little package of an album. In fact it seems to be pulling at the threads left by The Dead Weather’s debut album Horehound, but this only makes it that much more appealing. Jack White and his second super group manage to take their mad scientist approach to blues-rock a step further in this album. Sea of Cowards doesn’t house radio hits or sentimental sing-a-longs, but it manages to contain a shit ton of attitude, frustration and unedited in your face rock’n’roll.

Alison Mosshart (VV of The Kills) sounds more at home in this album. “The Difference Between Us” fits her like a black leather fingerless glove. She then pushes the boundaries with no apologies in “Gasoline.” Mosshart and White share the floor each respectfully out for blood.

Not to be over looked is Queens of the Stone Age’s own, Dean Fertita (also toured with The Raconteurs) who’s guitar and keyboards set the tone for the albums ménage-a-trois of pop, blues and psycadellic rock.

This is definitely the darkest and most raw of White’s recent projects. For some it may feel unfinished and self-indulgent. To others it will feel honest, dirty and daring. It all depends on if  you like your music shaken or stirred.

Sea of Cowards will be released tomorrow (May 11, 2010).


Dance Dance Dance…Delorean’s Subiza

April 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Cause We Said So, Featured

deloreanUpon first listen of Delorean’s album Subiza, which is available on Itunes for digital download due to popular request, I was having a tough time figuring out what I was listening to. After listening to a few tracks, I decided to not worry about how I was going to label it and just to pay attention to the sound of it, and what made it so hypnotically catchy and yet still unique. Was it the steady beat that seemed to pound in every song, inviting even the most timid head to bob despite whom may be watching? At no point during the album’s 42 minutes was I overpowered by the choruses or disappointed by the bridges, which can be misplaced or out of place entirely in electronic music. The album had a constant, deliberate pace, but broke out of formation every now and then with playful grooves like “Simple Graces” and “Come Wander”. It managed to stay cohesive though, with the deep thump of the bass and kick running like a backbone through each song. I particularly enjoyed the finisher track, “Its All Ours”. It opens with a hypnotic jungle beat, which breaks into a bright verse. I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but I’m going to anyway- it sounds like a sunrise. Although I was overall impressed and intrigued by the album, I felt the vocals were a bit over-compressed and too heavy on the reverb during some songs. How many electronic songs can you listen to before the drums start to sound the same and each song just kind of runs into the next? For me, it doesn’t take that many, so keeping me interested is commendable. Each song had a distinct sound and feel though. More importantly, each song sounded like a Delorean song, not like 4 minutes of mindless drum and synth loops.

This record is not a far cry sonically from Aryton Senna. The 2009 E.P. sounds like the prologue to a fantastic daydream, but the band wasn’t entirely happy with it musically according to a recent XLR8R interview. The band wanted to expand from their roots in disco-punk or whatever-you-want-to-call-it and focus on the electronic aspect of their music, since the club music scene is also a large influence. Hence, Subiza is the result not of a band changing direction , but rather exploring and uncovering the hidden paths and altering and personalizing the obvious ones.

-Tehuti

Creeps, Perverts and Weirdos: Creepoid!

April 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Cause We Said So, Featured

use11Although I had not heard of them until hours before I went to interview them, Creepoid was worth the time and gas. I went to their Manayunk home/rehearsal space to catch up with the creeps and hear them play some tunes. I was impressed by their professional sound and the amount of weed consumed in one hour. Creepoid will be playing a show this Sat 4/17 with Kurt Vile at Beautiful World Syndicate. Should be an awesome show!

HEFF: So tell me a little bit about the band. To be honest I had’nt really heard of

you guys until very recently.

P: Well, Anna and I are married and we are in another band called The G. Pete used to play in it too and he ended up leaving the band. There was a really bad snowstorm this year where we were stuck inside for a couple days and Sean slept over and got real drunk and we had this 1956 reel to reel tape machine and we recorded some songs as like a two-piece and then Anna joined in and Pete after that. We recorded this 7” EP that we just released at our first show last week.

HEFF: Brand spankin’ new! The name, Creepoid?

P: Um… well I mean he’s a pervert (points to Petejoe) and he’s a weirdo (points to Sean) so, like we just figured Creepoid.

HEFF: It works. Very literal.

P: Everybody used to call Petejoe, like all the girls in Austin, called him Creepjoe

HEFF: So, what do you do that is particularly creepy or pervy?

S: You’ll find out (laughs).

P: In high school he used to ask girls out and then drive to an industrial park and be like, “so what’s up?” and just park. And even if they just hung out and talked he is still that creepy guy who took them to the industrial park.

HEFF: Do you have anything to say in your defense?

PJ: I am not denying… I’m just saying the details may have been altered.

A: Slightly.

PJ: I am really not that creepy!

P: It was a long time ago. That’s why we can joke about it.

HEFF: Directed to Sean: So they said you’re creepy too?

P: No No No just a weirdo!

HEFF: My bad. A weirdo.

S: See you don’t have to be worried about me. I am just weird.

A: Well you have to be a little worried.

S: Nah. I don’t know how I am weird. Of course I don’t. If I did I wouldn’t do it.

P: He has a weird collection of photos… animal books. You know he is like in his mid-twenties.

HEFF: Like children’s books?

**They all begin disputing whether or not they are children’s books.

P: He is just a weird dude. Like he was always in those advanced classes in high school.

HEFF: So he is smart?

P: Uh yeah.

A: Sean is weird because everyday at dinner time we go “Sean do you want some dinner?” And he goes, “Nah….well ALRIGHT!” Then we’ll all be eating and he’ll come up and take a little plate and be like, “Is this cool, is this cool?”

HEFF: So, so far you are smart and polite and like animals (laughs)?

PJ: (Laughs) It’s the worst!

S: Oh and I wear glasses!

P: And he plays bass with his fingers… weird!

All: (Laugh)

HEFF: Creepy! What do you label your sound as?

P: We think of a really cool part of a song and then try to play it as slooooow as we can. Slower than as slow as we can and it still comes out…

A: It’s pretty fast.use2

PJ: Plus it’s easy to grasp the idea of something if it’s slowed down anyway… No matter what we did with computers we always started with these reel to reels that he said.

P: So, I don’t know what those kids in California… like the garage, bedroom pop or whatever the fuck they are calling it now but like we do it with old ass tape machines in dirty basements in the east coast.

PJ: The tapes themselves are old tapes that had been previously recorded on.

P: Like old Christmas music.

PJ: The more you record on a tape… it lessens the quality of it.

A: Everything is supposed to be dirtier.

PJ: We were really careful about how we used the tape that was available first.

P: I wouldn’t say we go out of our way to sound dirty it’s just been shown to us in a way that works well.

HEFF: Cheap and efficient. But it worked out and sounds cool.

P/PJ: Right… yeah.

HEFF: So, say you got signed by a label and they wanted you to make a real recording that didn’t sound so lo-fi, would you do it?

P: We would be so happy because we wouldn’t be paying for it!

PJ: I would like just not have to pay for such an expensive hobby.

P: I would love to mass-produce our music. You know, this has only been our first 7” and we sold out of the test presses, all thirty of them. We just got 300 in the mail and those are already starting to go. It’s all moving so fast. I’d really like to have a label pick it up so they could be like “yo, lets do a whole record of all the singles you have.” They are all home recorded and then from there I would look into going into the studio. I’ll take what I can get.

PJ: Even if we just continued ourselves, and then they paid for the tour.

P: Well touring is kind of a problem because Anna is a college professor at two different schools in the city and Sean has a good job… a real job (graphic designer) and I am a private contractor.

HEFF: How do you guys write the songs?

P: It is collaborative. We do everything together since the band has been a band but the original couple songs on the EP… when Sean was in his louder, more aggressive, guitar rock, noise rock band he would eat mushrooms and lock himself in his bedroom and record songs by himself…

HEFF: Maybe this is why you’re weird?

P: (Laughs) Yeah! But those actually became the really good like hooks and changes on the EP. I am excited to see how the new stuff will turn out. So it’s cool when you have even more people doing mushrooms!

HEFF: What do you guys think if the Philly music scene?

P: It’s so all over the place right now and everyone is in their own little world and especially still being in our other band The G. We play so many different shows. We’ll play at The Ox or something like that and then Kung Fu Necktie. Two weeks ago we played a show at the Barbary with Best Coast and it was sold out but a couple days before that The G played a sold out show with Love Is All and Japandroids. So, it’s like we are still playing the same shows but a little different.

HEFF: Is The G similar sounding?

P: It’s like a complete Sonic Youth worship band.

PJ: It is not to be confused with like a side project though.

P: But the Philly scene is awesome. I know I like that band Far-Out Fangtooth.

HEFF: What are you guys listening to now?

S: Reigning Sound.

PJ: I’ve been listening to Heavy Hands LP.

P: The Strange Boys. They’re friends of ours from Austin but I just picked up their LP. They are a really great band. I’m psyched they are touring with Spoon and shit… Dinosaur Jr. is always on the turntable. I just got a Nintendo…two Nintendo top loaders at a thrift store. It was twenty-five bucks, came with the power glove and 38 games. It’s the shit. Lately, before I go to work and climb on scary roofs and shit I’ll take a bong rip and play Nintendo and listen to Dinosaur Jr. Mario three… I still can’t beat that fucking thing.

HEFF: You could upgrade to a Wii.

S: Oh no, too many buttons.

P: No, we play horseshoes outside.

HEFF: Outdoor kids. What do you guys think of the term Hipster?

PJ: My grandmother told me I was (0ne) a couple years ago. But this was the same lady that wouldn’t let me inside of her house on my sixteenth birthday because I had a Dead Kennedys shirt on and she was like, “that’s a disgrace to our Irish heritage.” She freaked the fuck out and kicked me out.

A: That is such a hipster thing to say. You are such a hipster (laughs).

HEFF: Generally negative feelings toward the term then?

A: (Totally joking) Well I lived in Brooklyn so like yeah. I think everyone doesn’t want to say they’re a hipster but then at the same time doesn’t want other people to NOT think of them as a hipster.

PJ: My drug dealer from Austin, used to call me a hipster. He was like well you’re always downtown and you’re always doing shit. What the fuck does that mean, man? I work downtown!

Friend of Band: Do you like how they never actually answer your questions?

HEFF: It’s true but it’s okay.

Another Friend: I always think about how on Seinfeld, Elaine called Kramer a hipster doofus and I don’t want to be that guy!

P: It is a problem if you are perpetually a hipster.

S: You can only be a hipster for a certain amount of time.

A: We are leaving that time. On our way out.

P: You know how I know I am getting old? I no longer own any His Hero Is Gone records…

A: And you don’t drink 40s anymore.

P: Yeah I don’t drink those anymore. I drink New Castle. It’s my jam! And since I’ve gotten older I don’t collect noise tapes any more.

A: Yes you do! What are you talking about?

P: (Laughs) Eh whatever.

HEFF: So then you’re not that old yet.

A: He just turned 27.

P: Yeah my birthday was yesterday.

HEFF: Happy Birthday!

All: No! It was Monday.

P: I don’t remember!

A: Getting old.

HEFF: Then I retract my Happy Birthday.

PJ: Ohhh retracted.

HEFF: Any last words?

S: Well I am curious. Is it safe to say you haven’t really heard us?

HEFF: Oh no I have… But like a few hours before I came here. I liked what I heard though!

P: Tell everyone to come to our show! Tell them to check out Phonographic Arts, shop at Beautiful World Syndicate and try to get the new Creepoid record, Yellow Life Giver and we’ll have a new tape and or 7” out soon! We will be heading out on tour at the end of May, East Coast tour with Sore Eros from Boston.

HEFF: Anything else?

P: Smoke weed everyday.

Hockey Brings Me Sunshine

March 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Uncategorized

foursquarev2Hockey, the four piece band hailing from Portland, Oregon, is nothing short of being the quintessential hipster band of 2010. The hype surrounding them is thick and rightfully so. Hipsters Eat For Free has been trying to get a hold of Hockey since they were last in Philadelphia and when we finally did it brought sunshine to my rainy day, unfortunately only metaphorically.

Although singer Ben Grubin and I were worlds away from each other (he was in London) we each were feeling the bitter chill, relentless winds and icy rain; him more so than me. I spoke with the front man of Hockey while he wandered around London in the rain. “How’s the weather there?” “It’s freezing rain and stuff. I’m walking with literally my entire family. My sister just got married and moved here. I am walking to the tube, but I should have a few minutes before I have to go down into it.” While I was comfortable at my desk, I could hear the drops of rain and the distant conversations of the people around him as Ben and I chatted about his music.

Hockey is a prime example of an indie band. They produced Mind Chaos on their own and walked away from a deal with Columbia records. “We were just a two piece then…It was way too tense trying to write singles with producers. It just wasn’t cool.” Ben reveals that rejecting Columbia was mostly due to the fact that they lacked the confidence as a band and simply were “not ready for anything.” While most bands in the same place as Hockey would have jumped at the chance to belong to Columbia, Ben realized they just weren’t good enough yet… yet.

That’s when Ben and Jeremy (Jerm) Reynolds decided they needed some additions to the band in order to make the music they were striving to make. Drummer, Anthony Stassi, and guitarist, Brian White, were the missing ingredients for success. The new members added to their sound and provided the lacking confidence. But Columbia was still out of the picture.

Instead, the colorful quartet wrote and self-produced Mind Chaos. No big shots telling them what’s what and all the control in their hands. “It was a cool and simple process. It was good for us at that time. We could do what we wanted, control the board.” From the short ten minutes I spoke with Ben Grubin I got the vague impression that he is a perfectionist, which is a great thing to be when making music and an even better thing when you have all the say.

Grubin did most of the writing for Mind Chaos. “Others added, we arranged it together, added solos etc” Hockey is in the very beginning stages of creating a new album, Grubin tells me. They only have two new songs so far but that is enough to get the storm going. This is one storm I can’t wait to weather. With the added members of Hockey the writing process has become more collaborative; hopefully we can expect a new and exciting sound from their album in the distant future.hockey-mind-chaos

Hockey, although it has its own unique sound, has been compared to bands like MGMT and The Strokes. In the music world it is nearly impossible to break free from being compared to someone else. “It doesn’t bother me. It’s inevitable and there is some truth in it. It puts music on the map…Where music is right now everyone is a combination of past and present. I’d like to escape it but I don’t think we’ve done that yet.” I see the likeness in musicality between Hockey and other indie dance bands out there today, but their intellectual take on dance/pop music is what will distinguish them from the others.

Most of the tracks on Mind Chaos have the killer combination of infectious dance beats and witty, thoughtful lyrics. These are songs you can listen to while dancing at The Barbary or at home while writing a blog post. I asked Ben one final question as his family urged him to get a move on, “What do you want listeners to take away from Mind Chaos?” “A dynamic ride and lyrics… Whatever I can do I’ll do it.” And I like what he is doing. As Gruibin descended to the tube, I turned up the volume to “Curse This City” and danced the storm away.

Constantly On the Verge: Philly Rock ‘N’ Roll (Part 1)

March 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Uncategorized

rnrlogojpg1Since the invention of rock-n-roll, certain regions of the country have added their own unique flavor to the mix. Cities within these regions have fostered their own rock culture and acts that reveled in it. Philadelphia is no exception, but seems to stand like a volcano looming in the distance; it could erupt at any time and should be feared and respected, but has mostly lain dormant. This is a city that is almost there, seemingly permanently.

You can’t talk about rock without mentioning its heritage. Macon, Georgia gave us Little Richard and Memphis gave us Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. St. Louis was the home of Chuck Berry. The fusing of southern blues, country, and gospel created the foundations of what all rock music is based on.

Over a short period of time, the acts and regions started to influence one another. Picturesque southern California created pleasant surf/car/girl-loving music like, The Beach Boys and also the reverb work of Dick Dale. During the 50s and 60s, Michigan’s booming industry was fertile ground for music as well, with early pioneers like Hank Ballard and The Midnighters along with Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels. Later in the 60s, a revolutionary band called The Stooges emerged from Ann Arbor, taking rock in a new direction. In the 1970s, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s southern rock made its mark, particularly in the modern karaoke scene. Then, of course, there is the omnipresent New York City, which needs no introduction.

Sometime between the late 70s and the early 80s is when things really started to change. Rock acts were evolving and diverging, some staying in the time-tested mainstream while others embraced the obscure. Cities like Nashville hung on while others, like Detroit, seemed to crumble in the industry. New York remained omnipresent. Glam and hair rockers like Guns-N-Roses dominated airwaves from Los Angeles and rose to super stardom. At the same time, Boston was nursing a burgeoning underground with The Pixies and Mission of Burma. The Dead Kennedys came out of San Francisco in 1979 in response to the hippie fervor of the previous decades and bands like Jefferson Starship and The Grateful Dead. In the late 80s and into the early 90s, music turned upside down. The underground became the popular and the stage was set in Washington State. Nirvana, Soundgarden, and even Sunny Day Real Estate blossomed in Seattle, the home of Jimi Hendrix.

Yes, the art of rock-n-roll has a long tradition of evolution created from the spliced genes of the cities that adopted it. Chicago, Austin, Portland, and D.C. were all there. New York, still, remains omnipresent. But what about Philly?

To Be Continued…

Post By: Patrick Neiderriter

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