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Interview: Keil Everett of Tin Horses on guitar jams, writing on the road and his favorite Dinosaur Jr. album

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Photo by Dan Cohoon | amplitude-photography.blogspot.com

Not to be overshadowed by his gig in Philly noisemakers Purling Hiss, singer-guitarist Keil Everett and his band Tin Horses released their second LP, A Life Of Trouble, earlier this month as a free download on their Bandcamp page. Everett started the group as an outlet for his own songwriting style – a mixture of twangy Americana and long, gritty guitar freakouts reminiscent of Neil Young’s work with Crazy Horse (if they were into late-80s’ indie rock like Dinosaur Jr). Despite being busy with the release of Purling Hiss’ new album Water On Mars release last week, Everett took some time out of his hectic schedule to swap emails with The Key about the origin of Tin Horses’, playing guitar versus playing bass, creative influences and more.

The Key: Who is Tin Horses? How did you all meet and start playing music together?

Kiel Everett: Currently, Tin Horses is Kiel Everett, Mike Sobel and Patrick Hickey. I met both these guys working at a job years ago and played music with them individually at random points. When the idea for a band came up, they were the guys that I wanted to play with.

TK: Band names can be difficult to come up with. Was that true for you guys? Where did the name Tin Horses come from?

KE: Before Tin Horses I was doing more of a solo acoustic sound, I had the name Ol’ Balthazar. When we started playing and writing together, it naturally became more of a rock band, so Ol’ Balthazar had to go. Before practice one day I was looking through a notebook and saw that I wrote down the words Tin Horses long before and decided that’s gonna be the name of this band. I don’t like to think too hard about things.

TK: Kiel, I know you’ve been pretty busy lately as the bassist in Purling Hiss. How do you manage doing both bands?

KE: I’m always thinking about Tin Horses, that’s my band and my creative outlet. I was doing Tin Horses long before I started playing with Purling Hiss. Even when The Hiss is on the road I’m writing the new batch of Tin Horses songs. That’s how I wrote A Life of Trouble, on tour. Continue reading →

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Listen to Tin Horses’ new album A Life of Trouble

TinHorsesLocal band Tin Horses released their second LP, A Life Of Trouble, last Friday as a free stream on their Bandcamp page. The group is led by singer/guitarist Kiel Everett, who founded it as an outlet for his songwriting outside his bass duties for local psych-rockers Purling Hiss. Rounding out the band’s lineup are Michael Sobel on guitar/lap steel, Patrick Hickey on bass/backing vocals and Stephen Rockwell on drums/backing vocals.

The new album picks up right where their impressive debut, American Radiance, left off. Tin Horses’ sound is a mixture of twangy Americana and long, gritty guitar freakouts reminiscent of Neil Young’s work with Crazy Horse, if they were into late 80s’ indie rock like Dinosaur Jr.

What sets A Life Of Trouble apart from their debut is the harder rock edge found on some of the songs, such as “Sad Dust Glories.” The track starts off with some feedback and some some guitar interplay before going into the songs main riff over a rumbling drum beat from Rockwell. For the last minute of the song Everett proves there’s more than just one guitar hero in Purling Hiss, cutting loose on one of the albums many blistering solos.

The juxtaposition of more straight forward bluesy roots rock songwriting alongside longer, more jam-oriented tracks filled with impressive guitar work makes A Life of Trouble an interesting listen. Check it ou in the player below.

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Black Thought, Chill Moody performing at the Lets Move It Philly! benefit tonight at Sigma Sound

Tonight the legendary Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia will play host to the third annual Lets Move It Philly! benefit concert emceed by Black Thought of The Roots Crew and featuring performances by Marsha Ambroisus, Chill Moody, Malene Younglao, and Money Making Jam Boys’ Dice Raw, Truck North, and STS. The event’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the GrassROOTS Community Foundation and its programs.

GrassROOTS was formed by sociologist Dr. Janice Johnson Dias back in 2010 with long time friend, Black Thought from The Roots to bring health awareness to African American and low-income communities. Based on some alarming statistics, Dr. Johnson Dias and her colleagues at GrassROOTS decided to that the best way to make a difference was to work directly within the community. Continue reading →

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Interview: Who is Avery Rosewater and when can we go to karaoke with them? (playing Kung Fu Necktie on 2/7)

Avery Rosewater | Photo by John Vettese

Local indie rockers Avery Rosewater seemed to appeared on the scene out of nowhere around the end of last year with the release of their impressive debut single “Havana” and a New Year’s Eve gig opening for The War On Drugs. However that is not entirely the case. The group is made up of four close friends and neighbors who have been around the city’s indie scene for awhile in various projects. Avery Rosewater is lead by Julien Rossow-Greenberg (of Arches, and a few solo releases) on lead vocals and guitar, Kevin Kearney (Arches) on drums, Kevin Comly (Gold Julius) on bass and Jordan Mrazik on guitar. With a gig coming up on February 7th at Kung Fu Necktie opening for Laser Background, The Key recently caught up with the new four-piece via email to find out who exactly Avery Rosewater is.

The Key: What made you all want to form a band together?

Julien Rossow-Greenberg: Kev and I had some songs that we wanted to flesh out with a full band. We asked Comly and Jordan to play because they’re our best friends. We just wanted to rock out in the basement.

TK: Why/how did you decide on the name Avery Rosewater? Is he a real person? Based off a real person?

Kevin Kearney: Eliot Rosewater is the name of the main character from Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, which is one of my favorite books. No one wanted to use Eliot, so we came upon Avery…somehow.

TK: I know Julien was/is in Arches and releases solo stuff and Kevin was/is in Gold Julius…what are the statuses of those bands/projects?

JRG: Gold Julius is definitely still happening for Comly. Arches is no more.

KK: Comly’s releasing a seafood opera. Look out for it.

Kevin Comly: That’s not a joke, the seafood opera is definitely happening, it’s just going to take several years to materialize. Materialize isn’t even the right word, because it’s sort of a way-of-life thing, not an actual…thing. I’m also working on a way to present Gold Julius in a live setting, which will be soon and 100% real. Continue reading →

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Download Grave Goods’ remix of Cara Salimando’s “Moving Just Like Marionettes”

Philadelphia producer Grave Goods, aka Zach Sewall (Cold Graves, No Diavolo and more), recently dropped a remix of Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Cara Salimando‘s track “Moving Just Like Marionettes.” The original version of the song was released last January on Salimando’s monthly EP series.

“She just sent me some of her songs and asked me to make a weird spacey creature beast,” said Sewall. The result is something reminiscent of a more electronic version of Sewall’s former group No Diavolo, with a bit of Grimes mixed in. Check out the original version here and the Grave Goods remix below. According to Sewall, he and Salimando plan to meet up over the next few months and write together so fan’s can look forward to more remixes and collaborations between the two.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Dan Brightcliffe’s top five Philadelphia releases

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing writer Dan Brightcliffe recaps his top five Philadelphia releases.

5. TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb- Manufacturing Joy

Vocalist/guitarist Dan Bruskewicz takes listeners through a bluesy journey filled with tales of late nights at bars, cocaine and the after effects of both on the group’s impressive second self-released full length. Listen here:

Continue reading →

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Making beats and building community with the Philly Drum Project (meeting tonight at Roosevelt’s)

Tim Arnold of Good Old War performs at the September Philly Drum Project meetup | Photo by Dan Brightcliffe

Walking by Roosevelt’s Pub at 22nd and Walnut Street last week, the sounds of live drums being pummeled surpassed the downtown traffic noise. The rhythms from inside came from a new local percussion collective known as the Philly Drum Project. Local drummer Ryan Crump started the group last fall after he broke a wing nut for his Ludwig drum set.

“I started looking for the piece on eBay and realized that I was going to have to pay a lot of money for a piece of drum hardware that someone had to have laying around their house,” said Crump.

From that experience, he devised the project as a way for local drummers to pool their resources. Not just gear, but gig opportunities, lessons and beats. The Philadelphia Drum Project began to hold monthly get-togethers in order to spread the word.

The meetings, which take place on every first Monday at Roosevelt’s Pub, started back in April and have had a wide range of featured guest drummers. Beginning with Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick, the monthly guests have also included jazz drummer (and University of the Arts) professor Marc Dicciani, Lady Gaga’s touring drummer Spanky McCurdy and September’s guest, Tim Arnold of Good Old War. Continue reading →