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The High Key Portrait Series: Jake Ewald of Slaughter Beach, Dog

Jake Ewald | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.

Jake Ewald would position the dissolution of beloved hometown heroes Modern Baseball more as an indefinite hiatus. One of the most heralded band of recent Philly history, MoBo played three sold-out goodbye-for-now sets at Union Transfer last Fall. Just before that, the below interview was recorded backstage at the inaugural Philadelphia Music Fest, where Ewald played a set with his new project, Slaughter Beach, Dog.

In the time since, Ewald has kept busy touring behind and gigging locally in support of Birdie, the second full-length for that band, and confounding music writers everywhere with Slaughter Beach, Dog’s unanticipated comma. The band trades pop-punk for a more acoustic-centered approach to Ewald’s unique brand of storytelling, and was recorded at his Fishtown studio The Metal Shop, a setup asselmbed with fellow MoBo-er Ian Farmer and Sorority Noise’s Cameron Boucher over the past four or five years, in a space he found on Craigslist. In this interview, we got Ewald’s perspective on straddling the space between one band winding down and another winding up, the scene that he discovered upon moving to Philly six years ago, and the ups and downs of different neighborhoods.

Explore more by reading on, and catch Slaughter Beach, Dog playing a gig on the 23rd of this month, at West Philly spot Hole Foods. Continue reading →

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Lame-O Records announces third annual Rock Residency featuring Cherry, Harmony Woods, Slaughter Beach, Dog and lots more

Cherry | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Lame-O Records‘ annual Rock Residency benefit series at Boot & Saddle returns for its third year next month, and WOW would you look at that lineup. A Lame-O event never disappoints, but this year they’ve put together an exceptionally stacked roster of labelmates and friends to take over Boot & Saddle every Thursday in January. And it’s all for a good cause — the proceeds from each show will benefit several local charity organizations. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Slaughter Beach, Dog’s set mixes sliding and shredding guitar

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

I love when crunchy bands play Free at Noon. Especially local crunchy bands — that’s just the Cherry on top. Haaaa. You know, those bands that are more thought of in context of packing sweaty basements or DIY venues than playing WCL at an hour when coffee is still vital. And that’s exactly the musical forecast today’s early afternoon set called for, which saw Philly’s Slaughter Beach, Dog closing out the day’s rare local-favorite double-header .

Not only did this change of pace showcase well-deserving, insanely talented artists, it also brought about a refreshingly interesting collection of folks — where a crowd of longtime Free at Noon regulars became speckled with beanie-clad college students.

Just to be clear though, as previous co-frontman of a little mega band called Modern Baseball, Jake Ewald is no stranger to playing big venues. But his new project Slaughter Beach, Dog is an entirely different monster; particularly SB,D’s recently released record Birdie, where acoustic stillness and subtle twang serve as the go-to vehicles of Ewald’s casually intricate narratives. Continue reading →

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It’s a Lame-O afternoon this Friday when Slaughter Beach, Dog and Cherry play WXPN’s Free at Noon

Slaughter Beach, Dog and Cherry | via xpn.org

A show like this Friday’s Free at Noon doesn’t come along every week — not only is this week’s concert a rare doubleheader, it’s also a chance to see performances by two of Philly’s best local acts together in one place — and at lunchtime, nonetheless. Slaughter Beach, Dog and Cherry will both perform, and while they’re each fixtures of the Philly scene on their own, lately their careers have been running parallel: both artists released debut LPs in October, and both played Lame-O Records‘ 5th birthday showcase a few weeks back. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: mewithoutYou at TLA; Slaughter Beach, Dog at the First Unitarian Church

mewithoutYou | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

In recent years, Upper Darby art punk favorites mewithoutYou have toured in celebration of every milestone they’ve hit — this time it’s the 15th anniversary of [A–>B] Life, and they’ve hit the road to play the album in its entirety. Tonight’s stop at the TLA also includes a performance from Pianos Become The Teeth. Last time mewithoutYou played a show in town was for the 15th anniversary of Brother, Sister — read The Key’s review here. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Watch Slaughter Beach, Dog and pals expose the 10-gallon sized “truth” behind Birdie

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Slaughter Beach, Dog’s album Birdie is available everywhere today via Lame-O Records. But before then, in an incredibly bold move of transparency, Jake Ewald and pals decided it was time to expose the horribly dark, forbidden, entirely and completely shocking secret behind the album through a mini documentary.

The video begins with Ewald’s loved ones describing their relationship with him, and detailing his exemplary character — well, at least, once exemplary character. Things quickly go south (err west?) when Ewald’s true colors are revealed. Continue reading →

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Drink up Slaughter Beach, Dog’s safe and warm cup of coffee of a track, “Acolyte”

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

You’re sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee. The sun’s setting, there’s a slight cool breeze, trees are rustling, and you’re tucked under a crazily cozy blanket. Not a care, just good and safe. If this setting of comfort had a musical equivalent, it would be Slaughter Beach, Dog’s new song “Acolyte.” Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 20 (featuring Palm, Sammus, Sorority Noise, Slaughter Beach, Dog and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 20 | cover photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Just in time for your Labor Day weekend rotation, we present you with 16 standout artists from all corners of the Philadelphia music community, performing live at WXPN Studios and recorded for The Key Studio Sessions.

In this, the 20th edition of our regular scene-surveying compilations, we hear veterans — the breezy psychedelic pop of Circadian Rhythms, the pensive and Pink Floydian neuroses of Queen Jesus — and we meet relative newcomers — like atmospheric emo four-piece Small Circle and driving riff rockers Honeytiger. As always, there’s stylistic variety: rapper Ivy Sole lowkey rocks the mic and experimental instrumentalists Palm get weird with interlocking licks and askew rhythms; Katie Frank brings some heartland-y country torch and twang and Ellen Siberian Tiger dials up the studied musical theatrics.

We teamed up with the folks at Folkadelphia to co-present sessions with SΔMMUS and Harmony Woods, captured a beautiful solo electric performance by Sorority Noise‘s Cameron Boucher, mellowed out to windswept Bossa Nova-flavored jazz by Ensemble Novo, and cheered Jake Ewald on as Slaughter Beach, Dog jammed on “104 Degrees” for a roaring six minutes. And, as always, there’s more still, in great performances from basement show staples coping skills and ominous electronic soundscaper Harrowgrove. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Slaughter Beach, Dog at Johnny Brenda’s, Hoots and Hellmouth at Boot and Saddle, plus more

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Jake Ewald’s side project Slaughter Beach, Dog has been churning out a ton of material lately. From the Motorcycle.jpg EP to a new single off his upcoming record, to his recent rocking off of socks at this week’s The Key Studio Sessions — there’s a ton of music gold to delve into. Seriously, please feast your ears upon the drawn-out, jam-fest of a performance of “104 Degrees.” It’s just too gosh dang good. And if you’re as taken with these tunes as I am, go see them live tonight at Johnny Brenda’s as well as sets from Shannen Moser and No Thank You. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Slaughter Beach, Dog

Seriously, how is it possible that Jake Ewald is this sick of a songwriter? The Philadelphia singer / guitarist and producer, known by many as half of Modern Baseball’s core songwriting duo, also leads a rotating-cast indie rock troupe called Slaughter Beach, Dog, and has done so for the past several years. Though the band is a considerably more lowkey experience than when he plays theater-size spaces to pop punk devotees, it’s no side joint either; Ewald’s attention to craft, both lyrical and compositional, is in top form here, and only continues to heighten as the project releases more music. Continue reading →