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Dark Blue makes us reflect with new single “I Never Wanted To Hurt You”

Dark Blue | photo via darkblueskins.bandcamp.com

Philly punks Dark Blue are back at it again, bringing their bite on “I Never Wanted to Hurt You”, the lead single off of their new record Start of The World, a self-described “pop album that makes no apologies,” out November 4th on 12XU Records.

It’s a call back to those wonderful ’80s gothic power pop anthems, opening with crunching guitars and a pounding simple beat, bruiting lead vocalist John Sharkey III creates a well set-up call back to Ian Curtis and brings you into his dismantled world. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Roomtone returns with “Dark Blue Ink”

roomtone
Roomtone | photo by Ieva Yaker | courtesy of the artist

Alex Yaker has kept busy. Busy playing in bands like Summer Fiction, Grammar Debate and, most recently, Honeychurch. So busy, in fact, that his own material makes only sporadic appearances. But it’s a treat when we get glimpses of his indie pop / bossa nova project Roomtone, and today is one of those days. “Dark Blue Ink” is the first single from a forthcoming Roomtone album, following up 2012’s Turkish Saddle full-length.

Continue reading →

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Dark Blue goes full Delco on new single “Delco Runts”

Dark Blue | Photo courtesy of the artist
Dark Blue | Photo courtesy of the artist

Philly punks Dark Blue are back in action this winter now that drummer Mike Sneeringer has a bit of time off from his Strand of Oaks duties. The band, which also features singer-guitarist and songwriter John Sharkey III of Clockcleaner and Andy Nelson of Paint it Black, is releasing a new single on January 15th via 12XU Records. (That’s the Austin indie imprint founded by Matador Records’ Gerard Colsoy.)

The song, “Delco Runts,” is heavy on atmospheric guitar strums and Sharkey’s booming, brooding vocal delivery, setting the tone perfectly for his observational study of the bleakness of the burbs, specifically Delaware County: “Your brother was killed on the Sharon Hill line / crushed on the tracks, now your mom’s doing time.”  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Donn T at Johnny Brenda’s, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle

Donn T | via Donn T's Facebook
Donn T | via Donn T’s Facebook

Dynamic Philly soul singer Donn T is celebrating the release of her second album, Flight of The Donn T, tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. A collaborator of Marsha Ambrosius, Zap Mama and John Legend – and, yes, sister to a drummer named Ahmir Thompson, but let’s not make too big a deal out of that – she made a splash in 2010 with her album Kaleidoscopic, and last year founded her own D Tone Victorious label to release Flight. The album is vibrant and engaging, at turns recalling Erykah Badu and Sade, and tonight she celebrates it at the latest Re-Set party, curated by local fave Res and also featuring Kate Faust. Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The World Is… at World Cafe Live, Jill Scott at Liacouras Center, Dark Blue at Kung Fu Necktie and more

TWIBPAIANLATD | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
TWIBPAIANLATD | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Soundscaping punk army The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die (mercifully abbreviated to The World Is) headline World Cafe Live tonight. The band, currently a ten-piece, is firmly rooted in late 90s emo but blends it with a post-rock sensibility, amplifying the catharsis to impressive levels. Their latest, Between Bodies, was released in October to much frenzy, and scene faves The Hotelier open the show. Also worth noting is the setting: World Cafe Live is one of our favorite Philly venues, but it doesn’t hold punk shows too often, so when it happens, you know it’s something special. Tickets and information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Dark Blue

While setting up for his Key Studio Session, John Sharkey III of Dark Blue remarked that he’d just revisited some of his old Psychedelic Furs records. “People keep comparing my voice to Richard Butler, so I figured I should listen,” he said. “Man. They wrote some fantastic songs.” While it might be a stretch to call Dark Blue a direct descendent of the Furs – or any post punk band specific, despite what your Joy Division meter might be telling you – one commonality they share is placing mood and ambiance at an equal level of importance as tight songwriting. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RJD2 / Sugar Tongue Slim at Underground Arts, Banks at Union Transfer, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle and (much) more

RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com
RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com

DJ and electronic dance artist RJD2 headlines the Jump Philly-curated Sound Select show tonight at Underground Arts with Sugar Tongue Slim and Marian Hill. After gaining popularity for his song “Ghostwriter” from 2002’s Deadringer, RJD2 has continued to catch people’s attention with his jazzy, throwback mixes. Many might know his song “A Beautiful Mine,” which was featured as the theme song for AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Infused with samples from big band music and jazz standards, his songs takes from the old and mixes it in a fresh, current style. The artist has most recently been working with rappers on his latest album, More Is than Isn’t, including Philly’s Sugar Tongue Slim, who will be sharing the stage tonight. STS has become one of the top hip hop artists in Philadelphia and continues to maintain his presence in the music scene here. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar and watch RJD2’s music video for “1976” below. Continue reading →

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Living through Pure Reality with Dark Blue’s John Sharkey III

Dark Blue | Photo courtesy of the artist
Dark Blue | Photo courtesy of the artist

It’s Wednesday night in the first week of September and John Sharkey III is in his Kensington screen-printing studio. He’s working on tote bags for local punk band, No Other. But he’s never printed tote bags before.

The next day, Sharkey leaves for Ireland, where his wife is originally from, for some family obligations for about two weeks. When he returns, he’ll release Pure Reality, the first full-length album from his newest project Dark Blue.

It’s an eight-song haul in the shoes of a blue-collar man raising his second child, relocating his entire family across continents and returning to an old, yet new home. Continue reading →

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Play air guitar to “Just Another Night With the Boys,” the latest single from Philly’s Dark Blue

Dark Blue | photo courtesy of the artist
Dark Blue | photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia-based post-punk group Dark Blue are on a roll.  The band – made up of members of Clockcleaner, Purling Hiss and Paint it Black – self-released a digital single this spring, were recently signed to Jade Tree Records and this week debuted their 7″ single “Just Another Night With The Boys.”  The single is a solid effort from the group and leaves you wanting more.  Right off the bat, the mesmerizing guitar riffs will have you bobbing your head and playing air guitar.  The energy only intensifies as lead singer John Sharkey III takes us through the almost 5-minute long track with booming vocals that are similar to The National’s Matt Berninger. Dark Blue straddles the line between hardcore punk rock and despondent indie rock, yet the trio manages to achieve their own personal style that you will want to witness live.  Listen to “Just Another Night With The Boys” below, and see them for Free at Doc Martens Shop in Philly on June 20th and at Space 1026 on June 27th.