Photo by Eric Ashleigh
So it’s not quite a “new” song from The Districts, but we’ll take it. The harmonoica-led bootsomper “Funeral Beds” is a track featured prominently on the band’s 2012 self-released LP Telephone, and went on to generate a bit of viral chitchat when the HotBox Session video of the song landed on Reddit. Now we’ve received word that “Funeral Beds” will be featured on the self-titled EP The Districts will release as part of their new record deal with Fat Possum.
The five-song EP will be out on CD and digital formats on January 28th (an iTunes preorder is available here), and features an abstract collage as cover art (check it out after the jump). Of the five songs, two others were featured on Telephone – “Lyla” and “Long Distance” – while the remaining two, “Rocking Chair” and “Stay Open,” are new songs the band recorded this summer in Waking Studio with producer Bill Moriarty (and we’re amped to hear them).
Revisit “Funeral Beds” in the player below, and catch The Districts on tour this winter. They play The Chameleon Club in Lancaster on December 21st, and Union Transfer with White Denim on February 27th; tickets and information on both shows can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Philly singer-songwriter Gretchen Lohse started 2013 off with a Key Studio Session, and she’ll wrap up the year with her debut solo LP Primal Rumble, which is sneaking in just under the 2013 wire. The album will be released next Tuesday, December 10th, and was recorded in collaboration with some of her old bandmates from the chamber pop group Yellow Humphrey. Rick Flom handled production, Naeemah Maddox played flute, Alec Meltzer (Roomtone, Papertrees) played drums and Thomas Hughes (The Spinto Band) brings a blend of Casio keyboard, glockenspiel, Wurlitzer, vocals and something called “tron flutes” throughout. Two songs from the album are streaming on Soundcloud to preview the album – the lilting and jazzy “Spider At The Gate,” and the delicate “Garment.” Listen below.
Cheers Elephant are in the midst of a move across the continent to settle into their new home in L.A. (and their new deal with Red Light Management, announced on Monday) but the guys are keeping productive – and using their music for positive means outside of their immediate world.
Today they tweeted about their cover of “Mountains,” a song by Mark Linkous from the final Sparklehorse album, 2006′s Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain. It comes from an in-the-works charity tribute to Linkous, who tragically took his own life in 2010, organized by Box of Stars, a Port Richmond-based nonprofit working to combat the stigma of mental illness using music. This fall, Box of Stars is running an Indiegogo campaign to fund the compilation – which will also feature The Flaming Lips, Phantogram and Mercury Rev, in addition to locals Toy Soldiers and Last Full Measure – but it will also start a series of mental health awareness programs:
Our website and YouTube channel will serve as a repository of stories from musicians in the public eye, discussing mental health challenges they have dealt with themselves or in their personal or professional lives. (A big thanks to Eric Slick of Dr. Dog for being the first!) In this way, we can create a community where, through relating to other’s experiences, those who once found shame in their struggle can find strength and encouragement to get the help they need.
Information on Box of Stars campaign can be found here; listen to Cheers Elephant’s stunning rendition of “Mountains” at Soundcloud, and stream the original Sparklehorse version below.
Philly indie rock four-piece Family Vacation last night released its first music video, “unveiling the origins of FV” – a rooftop audition with an awkward panel of contenders singing Destiny’s Child and doing the Lindy Hop. That is, of course, until bassist Cody Bluett shows up and blows his future bandmates’ minds to the tune of “Mountain Dreams” from their 2013 album Trails. Watch the video below, and see the band play The Poop Deck on Friday.
Photo by Abi Reimold | www.abireimoldphoto.com
This Saturday, a tribute to late rock and roll icon Lou Reed at World Cafe Live will raise money for hunger charities MANNA and Philabundance. Today, the event’s organizers – the Philly-based music blog Tri-State Indie – announced the lineup for the show, and it features a solid cross section of Philly musicians, including:
Dominic Angelella (of DRGN KING)
The all-ages show begins at 8 p.m., tickets are $8 and available here. Attendees are asked to bring canned non-perishable food items to donate to Philabundance. Below, watch The Districts paying tribute to Reed at a recent festival with a cover of “I’m Waiting For The Man” by The Velvet Underground.
Photo by Doug Seymour
Philly’s City Rain are known for their big-beat electro-pop anthems (cue “The Optimist,” the excellent single from earlier this year). But the new music they’ve been teasing on Facebook from the forthcoming Songs From a High School Dance indicate the new LP might be more dynamic than we might expect. The duo of Ben Runyan (vocals, production) and Scott Crumpstone (guitars) took a late autumn trip to the beach in Avalon this week to finish tracking, and the snippets they shared included a minute and a half of reverbed doo-wop (a sketch of a song since taken down) and the full new cut called “Mama I Want To Go Home.”
I’m used to hitting play on a City Rain soundcloud link and hearing a lush synthesizer bloom, a slamming kick pulse, a hollering vocal from Runyan, the City Rain format that I’ve come to know and dig. So when this one opened with an acoustic strum – something out of Radiohead’s The Bends – and a sensitive and hushed falsetto, I was taken aback.
As the single builds, we hear piano chords and keyboard beeps – eventually being led along with a gently swaying drumbeat – but none of the in-your-face volume and energy of the past. But there’s no lack of intensity either. Runyan calls it “Folk Rain.” I call it an impressive display of sonic restraint, and a great development for their sound. City Rain headlines The Transfer Station – a new arts space in Manauynk – tonight at 8 p.m. with Former Belle; more info at the show’s Facebook event page.
Photo by Caitlin McCann | caitlinmccann.4ormat.com
Photo by Caitlin McCann | caitlinmccann.4ormat.com