Guitarist Nels Cline and multi-instrumentalist Yuka C. Honda would be (and have been) fascinating as interview subjects without having to join forces. The former was an established guitarist in the avant-garde world before he joined Wilco in 2004; the latter is best known as co-founder and producer of art-pop outfit Cibo Matto, though she has a robust resume of production, collaboration, and multimedia work.
Cline and Honda’s new pairing as CUP, however, doubles the fun and requires the married duo to give their first-ever joint interview for one of its earliest conjoined shows – April 26 at RUBA, a gig that doubles as the record release celebration for Desertion Trio, the experimental jam outfit led by Cline’s friend, Philly guitarist Nick Millevoi. Continue reading →
As an Afropunk, interviewing an all-Black punk band called Death might be the most existential thing I could possibly do on a Tuesday afternoon in 2019, but five minutes into the discussion, this writer also realized another thing was true: it was one of the most revealing.
Death’s start began in 1971, when three Detroit brothers — guitarist David, bassist Bobby, and drummer Dannis Hackney — turned on their instruments in a room in their parents’ modest home and got to channeling the raucous sounds of The MC5, the grandiose rock of local upstart Bob Seger, and The Who, much to the chagrin of their slightly more buttoned up neighbors. Despite their reverence to the most obvious, looming musical influence of the city at the time, Motown, and in a move especially treacherous for Black musicians, the brothers instead decided to play music that wasn’t going to get them booked at any R&B studio sessions: rock n roll. Continue reading →
Two members of Philly hip hop royalty such as songstress Donn T and rapper Chill Moody would usually be found headlining their own shows and making their own records. Yet, for 2018 and 2019 — and beyond, in accordance with their wishes in this interview — the regal twosome will be known as &More. The pair’s poignant, passionate debut is Ethel Bobcat, and that release’s celebration / live reveal is April 26 at Johnny Brenda’s. Continue reading →
Tonight, Philly welcomes back Taina Asili, a musician, activist, and documentarian whose group will be rocking the Rotunda with their highly spiritual, amalgamated blend of merengue, cumbia, reggae and DIY punk.
It’s an amazing mix of styles fully realized on the new album they’ll be celebrating, Resiliencia. Support for the band will be provided by the equally eclectic Afro-latin future fusion band Interminable. We sat down and chatted with Asili about power of music, culture and spirit. Continue reading →
“Never Stop Creating” is more than just a phrase that influenced merchandise made by Kam DeLa. It’s what keeps the 25 year old Cherry Hill producer/singer happy.
Jam sessions with his family when he was a kid geared him into making music, and the production of his happiness is something that has caught the ears of upcoming artist like Mir Fontane, Ivy Sole, Franky Hill and Nightchild. We recently were able to sit and talk with him about his early beginnings and how his creative vision has taken root in projects such as East, User and Overgrown. Continue reading →
West Philly post-punk three piece Northern Liberties has been a band for so long that when they played their first show in February of 2000 the neighborhood they borrowed their name from was still a mostly forgotten blip on the radar. Fast forward almost two decades and the band — Justin Duerr on vocals and percussion, his brother Marc on drums, and their lifelong friend Kevin Riley on bass — are set to release their seventh album Parallel Hell later this year.
To say that Northern Liberties sounds like anything else out there would be to do a disservice to what they’ve managed to create over the years. But also this is a band that has comically defied categorization: reviews have compared them to everything from Green Day to Joy Division to Nirvana, Lightning Bolt, Crass, and even Guided By Voices. Clearly something is going on here, even if the band members are usually quite baffled by the comparisons.
“I swear to fucking God this is true: none of us ever heard that God damn Lightning Bolt,” Justin Duerr told The Key. “They weren’t on my radar. I never listened to that much stuff that was noisy. … [but] for the first four years that we played, almost at every show somebody would be like, ‘I get it, you worship at the altar of the mighty Lightning Bolt.’”
Nothing against the Providence bass and drums duo but he’s right: just because Northern Liberties have a similar lack of guitar going on doesn’t automatically make them a noise rock band. Continue reading →
Just days after Orrin Evans concluded his most recent European tour with The Bad Plus — the math-jazz trio whose membership he’s long befriended, then joined, in 2017 — the Philadelphia-based pianist was home, out-and-about, and driving to a solo gig with his own trio in Chicago. One would expect nothing less from the athletic, yet delicately nuanced and intricately introspective player and composer whose self-named outfit (to say nothing of additional Evans bands such as Tarbaby and Captain Black Big Band) fill his mind and schedule when he’s not Bad Plus-ing. Having just hit his actual birthday the day we spoke, Evans reflected on all that he has on his plate ahead of a week-long gig playing with Steve Wilson and Wilsonian’s Grain at famed NYC club Village Vanguard, then European dates next month. Continue reading →
With great summer camp memories come great friendships. With highly efficient recording sessions come infectious albums. Combine the summer camp memories with the recording sessions in two vastly different settings; now pour over the friendship and you have Coughy’s debut album, Ocean Hug.
The twenty-song effort comes from Andy Molholt and Julian Fader, of Laser Background and Ava Luna fame, respectively, while spending the summer of 2016 together at Buck’s Rock Creative and Performing Arts Camp in New Milford, Connecticut. While counseling and teaching classes on songwriting to kids aged anywhere from eight to eighteen, the two managed to find time for some late-night recording sessions in the studio at the camp. It wasn’t until they started playing together that they decided to make all their songs as close as possible to being only one minute long. Continue reading →
Singer-songwriter Bucolic has been growing in prominence in the Philly DIY scene this past year and gained acclaim for this space-like beats and introspective lyricism. It turns out that Bucolic’s frontman, Seth Carpenter, isn’t the only artist in the family. Carpenter’s brother, Luke Carpenter, has captured a moving documentary short, “Seventeen Twenty Four,” about his brother’s musical journey. Continue reading →
Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade live session is a band that, without exaggeration, is the most influential group we’ve ever had on the show. Formed in 1978, The Monochrome Set would quickly become one of the most celebrated bands of the UK’s post-punk era. Influencing everyone from The Smiths to Pulp to the Arctic Monkeys, The Monochrome Set’s witty wordplay and irresistible melodies are still plenty vibrant 40 years on. After a few brief breaks in the ’80s and ’90s, The Monochrome Set have returned to their prolific ways, recently releasing their fifth post-reunion album, Maisieworld. Two founding members remain in the band today, singer/guitarist Bid and bassist Andy Warren. They’re joined by drummer Mike Urban and keyboardist John Paul Moran, both of whom have played in the band at various points since the ’90s. While on a rare US tour, The Monochrome Set stopped by our studios to perform a few of their favorites. Continue reading →