Call it the week of Po Po. The minimal Philly psychedelic punk act released its eagerly anticipated, years-in-the-making debut full length Dope Boy Magick on Mad Decent Records last Tuesday. It was warmly received in blog-land, getting enthusiastic nods from the Philly scene-watchers over at The Deli and all the way up to nationally-revered indie outpost Stereogum; Po Po’s main man Zeb Malik even dropped by XPN2 last week for an appearance on DJ Eddie Austin’s show Get Stoked Radio. Probably the most in-depth thing you’ll find on the band is Philly Weekly’s excellent cover story detailing Malik’s musical and spiritual journey, written by the paper’s music editor Brian McManus. Give that a read while you’re listening to today’s Philly Local Phile – a Diplo remix of Dope Boy’s “Let’s Get Away” – and get pumped for Po Po’s album release show tonight at The M Room.
Philly Local Philes
Every Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m., Y-Rock On XPN’s John Vettese spotlights the best musicians from the Delaware Valley in the Philly Local Philes.
I’m noticing a quasi-trend of Philly-area punk rock bass players who are really into dreampop and shoegaze on the side. In today’s Philly Local Phile, we introduce you to The Only Ghost in Town, the place where By Surprise bassist Dan Saraceni goes to indulge his fondness for e-bow and the tremolo bar, for Hum and Ride. “Waterfall” is the opening track on the band’s new All of the Stars are for You; Saraceni and his fellow ghosts rocked out the three-song set just two weekends ago in a Clarksboro recording studio, and it was digitally released a week later – gotta respect that efficiency! I’m liking the whole EP enough that I’ll just post the entire thing for you to listen to below; for more, check out The Only Ghost in Town’s Bandcamp page.
Last week, West Philadelphia rapper Chill Moody released Who Do You Love?, his third annual Valentine’s Day collaboration with producer Hank McCoy. This time, R&B vocalist Beano was recruited to add some melodic hooks to the mix. You can download the entire mixtape at Chill’s website, and get a taste in today’s Philly Local Phile with “What Took You So Long.” Its soul sample, sharp raps and romantic refrain are a trip back to the days of the Boomerang Soundtrack. Listen below, and catch Chill in concert at Silk City next Tuesday Feb. 28.
Tonight, emerging indie-prog outfit Lightninging celebrates the release of its debut full-length record, Like a Kid Would Say, at Underground Arts at the Wolf Building. In today’s Philly Local Phile, we highlight “Squiggles,” a song that works through erratic Dismemberment Plan-inspired structures at the same time as it belts out hooky pop choruses. Give a listen below, and check out the show tonight. Lightninging plays Underground Arts at the Wolf Building, 1200 Callowhill Street, with Tutlie and Faux Slang. The all ages show begins at 9 p.m., tickets are $8.
After burning bright on Philly’s indie scene for two solid years, local popsters Post Post fizzled out somewhere around late 2010/early 2011. Thankfully, that band’s jangley guitars and uplifting melodies continue in a post-Post Post project, Little Big League. Singer-guitarist Michelle Zauner and bassist Kevin O’Halloran carry the torch, teaming up with friends from Titus Andronicus (Ian Dykstra on drums) and Strand Of Oaks (Deven Craige on guitar). To date their only release has been the single “Tokyo Drift”, today’s Philly Local Phile that you can grab a free download of below. You definitely hear Zauner’s songwriting stylings carry over, from her distinctive elastic vocals to the ever-building structure of the song. But her counterparts have put their stamp on it as well, imbuing the song with a less saccharine, more contemplative tone. To hear what else Little Big League has up its sleeve, check out its next Philadelphia appearance in the monthly women-in-rock showcase Sugar Town, now in its new location at Kung Fu Necktie, on Saturday Feb. 25.
Alex Yaker is one of those way-busy Philadelphia musicians. Most recently, you’ve probably seen him rock his bass-playing swagger in Summer Fiction. In the past he’s performed with Grammar Debate, The Yaker Bros and done a bit of production with Surreal Sound Studios. With everything going on, it’s not unsurprising that his own project, Roomtone, only makes periodic appearances, but whenever it emerges, it’s worth the wait. This weekend, the band Yaker also refers to as “The Official Indie BossaNova Goosebump Machine” plays its first show in over a year and a half at Johnny Brenda’s, and best of all, they’ve got new material in tow. Snag a download below in this week’s Philly Local Phile, the buoyant new “Your Golden Crown.” Roomtone plays Sun. Feb. 12 at Johnny Brenda’s with Honeychurch and The Explorers Club. Tickets to the 21+ show are $10.
Last week, Philly psychedelic popsters Power Animal premiered the title track from their forthcoming Exorcism EP on Soundcloud. The cassette release, which drops on Feb. 21, is worth seeking out for a few reasons. One, it’s a great collection of the whimsical, imaginative songwriting we’ve come to expect from Keith Hampson and his collaborators. Two, it also collects solid remixes by the likes of Lushlife and Golden Ages. Three, it’s for a worthy cause. The EP is being released on Hampson’s charitable label, Human Kindness Overflowing, and money from each purchase of the cassette – as well as each download of the album on Bandcamp – goes to Philabundance, and providing meals to those in need. Remember, folks – giving isn’t just for the holidays. Power Animal performs Friday Feb. 10 at the First Unitarian Church with This Will Destroy You. Tickets to the all ages show are $12.