By

The Art of Being Self Aware: Hurry talks coffee, dad hats, The Oneders, and their infectious new Every Little Thought

Hurry | photo by Chris Sikich | courtesy of the artist

It’s about 5:30 pm on a particularly dreary Monday afternoon and Matt Scottoline is sitting across from me, politely trying his darndest to hide his feelings of horror towards news I just shared with him. “I always tell people that if you want to buy better coffee, the best thing you can do is only buy coffee that has a roast date printed on the bag,” he offers half-optimistically, half-pitifully, attempting to guide the low-life caffeine junkie that I am towards a more moderately respectable life direction.  

We’re chatting at a small table at Fishtown’s ReAnimator Coffee — Philly’s premiere specialty micro brew roaster, where Scottoline works when he’s not power-pop rocking as frontman of Hurry — and I had just told him that I frequently purchase and drink the likes of Maxewell House and Folgers.

As Scottoline takes intermittent swigs from an extra tall boy of fizzy water (trying to, I’m sure, calm his unease of speaking with such a brew plebeian, or maybe more realistically because he drinks coffee all day long) I’m sipping some of ReAnimator’s drip coffee black, which reminds me like a good ole’ slap to the face that a cup of joe can be more than just some bitter bean juice. By George, it can actually taste good too.  

Man, who knew that’s what happens when people put time and intricate care into their work? Because that’s what Scottoline and the crew does here. Helping his friends Mark Corpus and Mark Capriotti when they opened the shop a little more than a few years back, Scottoline stuck around working at the café until eventually evolving into his current position as Director of Coffee. This simultaneously epic and simply-named title entails tasks such as figuring out what coffees to buy and roast, and essentially handling quality control.

Basically, he’s ReAnimator’s coffee grounds-keeper. And though we only spoke on the topic for a few minutes in lighthearted fun, it was easy to gather the level of seriousness he puts into this work. The same is true for his other artistic project, Hurry. Continue reading →

By

Two To Tango: The Fantastic Imagination’s Josh Meakim and Prowler’s Keith Greiman

Josh Meakam of The Fantastic Imagination and Keith Greiman of Prowler | photos courtesy of the artists

When two veterans of the Philly odd-tronica scene get together for a party, there’s always the promise of menace and mayhem. For neither Prowler‘s Keith Greiman (and his brand of boogie-space-glam) nor A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s Josh Meakim and his wonky electronic The Fantastic Imagination are easy listens. That’s why they’re each brilliant in their own way.

While Prowler is currently out-and-about with a new EP whose release is celebrated at Ortliebs on February 24, The Fantastic Imagination is still recovering from its cassette EP party for its Good Knight, Sweet Dreams – also at Ortliebs and also with Prowler – as well as its more recent Moonphases Vol.1. Continue reading →

By

Course Correction: Philly four-piece Corey Flood plays with menacing moods and vulnerable lyrics

Corey Flood | photo courtesy of the artist
Corey Flood | photo by Emily Lyon | courtesy of the artist

Few things ever go according to plan, as the members of West Philly four-piece Corey Flood know all too well. Less than a year ago, their band emerged from a series of fortuitous course corrections: The spin-off of a Ween cover band switched up its lineup and started writing dark pop originals. Soon after, their hasty first stab at recording demos earned them a deal with Fire Talk and became their debut EP, Wish You Hadn’t. That EP, due out on February 23, comprises four songs that feel equal parts sinister and vulnerable. In them, frontwoman Ivy Gray-Klein is haunted and hushed, singing as a survivor of emotional warfare.

On a recent Saturday, the members of Corey Flood — Gray-Klein on bass and vocals, Em Boltz on guitar and vocals, Noah Jacobson-Carroll on guitar, and Juliette Rando on drums — met me for coffee on their way to practice at Planet Phitness, the performance space that Juliette runs in the house she and Noah share. They’ll be hosting their EP release show there tomorrow night , with support from Empath, Eight, and Preen. Continue reading →

By

Nostalgia Ultra: Rising Philly star Orion Sun fuses decades of classic music into something new and bold

Orion Sun | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | <a href="http://agellmanphotos.com/" target="_blank">agellmanphotos.com</a>
Orion Sun | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

Ever since seeing her open up for Daniel Caesar at the Rotunda, my friends and I have been hooked on Orion Sun. The one-woman project of Jersey-born, Philly-based singer, producer, and multiinstrumentalist Tiffany Majette crafts music that is relatable, and cathartic. With clever lyrics and mellow beats, it feels like she’s soundtracking my tumultuous young adult life. She makes songs to dance to, cry to, fall in love to. I recently got the chance to sit down with her and ask her all about it. Continue reading →

By

The Key Studio Sessions: I Think Like Midnight

This week’s Key Studio Session is for those who love to hear artists venture outside their comfort zone.

West Philly guitarist Andrew Chalfen spent the late 80s and early 90s playing raucous power pop in The Wishniaks, around the same time that keyboardist Joe Genaro and drummer Dean Sabatino made weird and wonderful rock music in the Dead Milkmen. As the years passed, Chalfen shifted his focus to the soaring indie tones of The Trolleyvox and connected with folk-leaning bassist Josh Newman, who played with Philly scene staples American Altitude and Heyward Howkins.

The collective project of those four musicians, I Think Like Midnight, doesn’t sound like any of those bands, and is all the more special for it.

Continue reading →

By

Steve Martin and Martin Short announce August Mann show

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers on NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert | still from video
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert | still from video

Longtime friends and collaborators Steve Martin and Martin Short are set to dazzle the Mann center this August. Joining the duo at the Mann is Jeff Babko, keyboardist for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Martin’s regular collaborators in bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers. Check out NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert featuring the band and Steve Martin below. Continue reading →

By

Just Announced: Mannequin Pussy to headline PhilaMOCA next month

Mannequin Pussy | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Mannequin Pussy | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Fresh off an opening slot at Creepoid’s send-off show this past weekend, Mannequin Pussy has just been announced as the secret headliner for the Peaer / Strange Ranger gig. Taking place at PhilaMOCA on March 7th, this Tiny Engines reunion of sorts features some of the label’s best on one bill. Be sure to catch MP at this intimate show before they set out on a Spring Tour with VA rockers Turnover. Continue reading →