Often when you see an artist billed as “A Special Evening With,” it usually means it’s going to be an acoustic performance, often a solo one. Todd Rundgren’s upcoming show at the Keswick Theatre is billed as “An Unpredictable Evening with” Todd Rundgren. This tells fans right up front to that he isn’t going to play Something/Anything in its entirety. Continue reading →
Philly experimental pop duo Pattern is Movement recently released a video for “Suckling”. The group has been making headlines lately, with features on both NPR’s World Cafe and on the Key’s Unlocked series. This year, the duo released their self-titled fifth album. It is a baroque, yet vibrant collection of electronic pop, with elements of R&B. Interestingly enough, the inspiration to use R&B came from a surprising source. As Andrew Thiboldeaux explained, the parallels between his religious background and R&B, “But the feelings I had in those church meetings were TRUE. My brain was registering it, I was high as a kite. There’s something about R&B and hip-hop that resonates with me as a result.” In his album review, the Key’s Sameer Rao states that “ every string-and-horn ensemble buildup in the beautiful service of capturing something as ephemeral as it is universal.” Continue reading →
Philly bassist Julie Slick recently released her newest album, a collaboration with Marco Machera. Over the years, Slick has been a part of a slew of local bands ranging from Paper Cat to DRGN King. For the past few years, she’s been touring as a part of Crimson ProjeKCt, an project of King Crimson bassist Adrian Belew, and touring around the world. In between all that, she’s found time to record a second solo album, Fourth Dementia. Continue reading →
There is nothing ordinary about Ginger Coyle. From her style as a vocalist to the lyrics in her songs, she shows us that creativity has been an innate thing for her ever since she was young. She is proud to be making music here in the Philly scene (she lives just across the bridge in South Jersey) and is excited to take the XPoNential Music Festival stage this weekend. This week, we swapped emails with Ginger to get to talk about blasting Billy Joel and Carole King, to get a taste of her new single “The Big Picture” and see who she’s excited for at XPoNential. Continue reading →
Of all the shining local stars we’ve featured on WXPN, few have seen their fortunes rise quickly as Marian Hill. When they take the stage this Friday at the XPoNential Music Festival, they will be doing so on the heels of escalating tour momentum, glowing reviews in national news outlets, and a boatload of raw talent – all of which has come together within only a year-and-a-half of their official formation.
It would be foolish, however, to think too much of the duo’s relative youth (both as a band and as 24-year-olds). Vocalist Samantha Gongol and producer/beatsmith Jeremy Lloyd possess the rare mix of gracious humility and insatiable, studied ambition that strongly correlates with creative longevity.
“We still have a long way to go, but already realizing so many dreams and having this type of audience…it’s been out of this world,” says Lloyd. Continue reading →
In some ways, the ladies of Amanda X are the biggest punks we know. When they first came together, they were still new at their instruments (guitarist/vocalist Cat Park had previously played bass and sang in Band Name; and bassist Kat Bean and drummer Tiff Yoon had only played guitar). Yet they formed an easy bond despite this, and within 2 months of coming together, recorded their first EP—much like the Ramones or the Sex Pistols before them.
Who is The Damn Band? You are, well you could be, along with frontwoman Ang Bocca and a few of her friends.
Bocca created Ang and the Damn Band back in 2009 in the indie rockabilly scene, but doesn’t let that scene define their sound because The Damn Band doesn’t have a set lineup. On any given night, it could include a jazz cellist and the next night it could be rock n’ roll guitarist. That’s what makes Ang and the Damn Band so awesome. With a constant influx of new musicians, each song can transform into something different depending on the musicians playing that night. Continue reading →
Local band Crazy Moon is hoping to make some buzz with its debut single, “The Letter.”
Made up of lead singer/rhythm guitarist Tom McDermott, lead guitarist Stevo Cossentino, bassist Rich Cossentino and drummer/producer Jesse Gimbel, Crazy Moon defines itself as a vintage-inspired rock band, but its single is straight up blues with some serious soul to it.
Recorded in the local studio Jesse Gimbel’s Basement, the band’s instrumentation is clean and on point and keeps the song running smoothly. But what makes Crazy Moon stand out among its fellow rock bands is the McDermott’s vocals. His bluesy voice and vocal range give real emotion to the written lyrics and conveys the heartbreak of “The Letter.” This guy is a seriously talented singer.
Crazy Moon plans to release its 12-track debut album, Sights on a Sunless Sea, on August 10. Although the album is largely vintage-inspired rock, the band tells us also touches on the sounds of other classic genres like soul, dance rock and some psychedelic.
“‘The Letter’ is a heavier song as far as our [sound] goes, but the album covers a lot of ground with hints of influence from Michael Jackson and Prince to more modern indie rock like The Black Keys, Jack White, and the Alabama Shakes,” Rich Cossentino said.
Check out the music video for “The Letter” below and download the single here.
Both punk rock and professional wrestling have their hardcore sects, but rarely do the two cross paths. Enter UltraMantis Black, a mainstay of the Easton-based Chikara Pro independent wrestling promotion, who can now add punk frontman to his list of accomplishments. Earlier this month, the masked UltraMantis teamed up with members of Pissed Jeans to release his debut EP, and will celebrate the release at Voltage Lounge on Thursday as part of Relapse Records’ This Is Hardcore Afterparty. The leader of the Spectral Envoy discussed his efforts in the squared circle and on the stage from his home base in the mysterious, storied Parts Unknown.
The Key: How did you move from pro wrestling to punk rock?
UltraMantis Black: I’d been doing music prior to my professional wrestling career, but decided in the past year or two that I wanted to bring that part of UltraMantis Black out. Some of the members of Pissed Jeans approached me about doing something a few years ago and I was a bit hesitant at first because I was concentrating on professional wrestling at the time and didn’t really see a way to balance the two. Now I’ve found a way to bring them together.
TK: How do the two relate in your mind?
UMB: I think they’re very similar. Punk rock and professional wrestling have more in common than most people might think. Both the communities and fanbases involved in each are niche audiences. I feel like performing in front of a crowd onstage or within a
wrestling ring, you’re trying to entertain, trying to convey a message, trying to display your art form, so I see them both coming together in that way.
TK: Who is UltraMantis Black?
UMB: Ultramantis Black is known as the Mayor of Parts Unknown, a part-human, part-insectoid overlord of professional wrestling. A little bit of evil, a little bit of deviousness, but at the same time bringing a little consciousness back to professional wrestling.
TK: Does the character put forward the same message in both arenas?
UMB: I think so. I’ve always tried to bring something different to professional wrestling, something that probably wasn’t always there. I speak my mind, I speak what I feel will open other people’s eyes to my own personal beliefs and philosophies and they way I look at life, and that’s probably unorthodox in professional wrestling but I think it’s worked. I’ve developed a fan base in wrestling that’s not the typical professional wrestling crowd, and with the band I wanted to bring social and political aspects of punk rock back to hardcore, where I think it’s been lacking in recent years.
This past October, the Lawsuits released their pop/folk full-length debut Cool Cool Cool and kept busy by working on the production side of things with their now-labelmates on the new American Diamond Recordings. Aside from a small handful of local appearances, the five-piece has been checking out other parts of the Northeast and already writing new material that just may be ready for the public soon.
According to lead singer Brian Dale Allen Strouse, “ADR is a collection of good friends.” And with that kind of sentiment, the Lawsuits are currently waiting for just the right time to take the center spotlight again, rather just toeing it, while ADR is still rolling out Ron Gallo’s solo debut, Ronny. “We’re going to take our time with regards to releasing material on American Diamond to ensure that each release is given the appropriate resources, and ample attention. The Lawsuits are very close to being done with new material and are eager to release it.”
Strouse goes on to say that the band is currently working on getting some new songs, “stage ready,” and that one or two may find work its way onto a setlist of one of their XPoNential Music Festival set this Sunday. As a matter of fact, festivals are the only way you’ll likely catch the Lawsuits for the rest of this summer, as they don’t have an extensive tour planned at this time. They played the bulk of their club tour dates this past fall right after the release of Cool Cool Cool in the New York, Boston and Newport locales before going on a three-week fun from Connecticut to Washington D.C. in February and March.
Just before that, Strouse and drummer Josh Friedman held the reigns on the Levee Drivers‘ recent EP, Speakin’ Bourbon Coated Blues. Strouse took care of engineering, while Friedman mixed and mastered it the three-song effort. And by the sounds of it, Friedman, who just mastered Ronny, and Strouse keep themselves quite busy in their audio production work and have several projects coming down the pipe.