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No Thank You puts the past in its place on “Old News”

No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | via the artist's Facebook page
No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | via the artist’s Facebook page

In a few weeks, Philly newcomers No Thank You will release their full length debut via Lame-O Records. They’ve already shared two of its songs, “Juicy J” and “The Unbearable Purposelessness Of Being”, and now, they’re back with a third. It’s called “Old News”, and it’s their most dynamic offering yet. Before I get into it, though, I know what you’re thinking:

“Great Scott. This sounds like one hot track. Pray tell, where can I stream it?”

Why, you can stream it below, Imaginary Victorian Gentleman. That’s always the way these things happen. Continue reading →

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No Thank You sign to Lame-O records, debut new (old) single “Juicy J”

No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | courtesy of the artist
No Thank You | photo by Peter Murray | courtesy of the artist

Kaytee Della-Monica, who records as No Thank You,  only released her debut demo a few months ago, but she’s already signed to Lame-O Records with a full length on the way. In anticipation, she’s shared its lead single, “Juicy J”. The song previously appeared on A Nü Start, as a scratchy acoustic strummer, but now, it’s been given new life with a higher fidelity recording and fleshed-out arrangement. Stream the track, with its Della-Monica designed album cover, below. Continue reading →

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Get to know No Thank You with her debut EP A Nü Start

No Thank You
No Thank You | via nothankyouband.bandcamp.com

Raw acoustics, dreamy vocals, and stunning lyrics are a just a few of the things you can expect from new Philly artist No Thank You.

The project of singer and songwriter Kate Della Monica, No Thank You recently posted a three-track demo on Bandcamp called A Nü Start. The tracks were recorded on her iPhone in Della Monica’s house in South Philly.

The straightforward approach to recording gives these songs a reverberant vibe similar to Bon Iver’s massive hit For Emma, Forever Ago. We hear Della Monica playing acoustic guitar accompanied by breezy vocals; the intro track “Juicy J” juxtaposes a persisting guitar riff with idyllic lyrics: “Colors that are complementing spectral spiral never ending / I feel so astoundingly pretty around you.” It carries a poetic sense of innocence. Continue reading →

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A thank you note to City and Colour on the occasion of their wonderful Electric Factory performance

City and Colour | Photo by Mattew Shaver | www.mattshaverphoto.comAll photos by Matthew Shaver | www.mattshaverphoto.com

After seeing City and Colour at the Electric Factory, or C&C at the music factory, a thank you note is in order.

Thank you City And Colour for a wonderful evening. Thanks for playing a bunch of songs off of Little Hell (personal favorite). Thanks for singing with purpose and playing with heart.

Thank you Dallas for being interactive. Thanks for asking the crowd to put down their phones and cameras, if just for one song, so that we could all be in the moment together. Thanks for acknowledging the antiquated encore ritual that artists insist on going through, and for being honest enough to admit that you exploited it for a bathroom break.

Thank you crowd for being awesome. Thanks for singing along, cheering hard, and being quiet when necessary.

Thank you Electric Factory for friendly staff and a great venue.

Thanks to everyone who was there, especially the friends I was with for making my first City and Colour show absolutely amazing.

Continue reading →

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Home Outgrown announces holiday benefit show with KOJI and more

Koji
KOJI | photo by Mitch Wojcik | courtesy of the artist

Home Outgrown Presents has grown into one of Philly’s best new show-booking entities over the last year, and they’ve been announcing great shows left and right — including a super-stacked holiday gig that will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

Home Outgrown’s 2nd Annual Holiday Benefit will feature PA punk singer-songwriter KOJI in the headlining slot, plus appearances from Shortly, No Thank You and Cavity Kids. Happening Dec. 28 at Everybody Hits, it’s the perfect show to keep that holiday spirit going while helping out a good cause. Continue reading →

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Now Hear This: New songs by Kelela, Parquet Courts, Fever Ray, Alvarius B., Special Request, Circuit Des Yeux and more

Fever Ray | via facebook.com/FeverRay

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

Much as I may pride myself on keeping my ears as wide open and omnivorous as possible, I’m often struck, as the time of reckoning draws nigh, that so much of the music that really affects me from any given year tends to fall into a few relatively narrow categories.  Looking back on the 2017 releases that I’ve spent the most time with and returned to most consistently, most of them can be sorted into two general buckets: emotionally resonant electronic pop made by (relatively young) women – Lorde, MUNA, Sylvan Esso, Kelly Lee Owens – or wordy, wide-ranging critical statements made by opinionated and perhaps over-analytical old (or at least aging) men: Randy Newman, Jens Lekman, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields.

Is there a throughline there?  I tend to think of it in terms of personality: if there’s one thing most likely to pique my interest in a new artist, or keep me engaged with a familiar one, it’s in their music’s ability to serve as a tool for human expression, straightforward or otherwise; a means of telegraphing a vivid and recognizable individual identity – whether that individual be a quote-unquote “real person,” a constructed persona or, as it surely is in the vast majority of cases, some ambiguous, unparseable intertwining of the two.  Perhaps that quality is more readily apparent in the second group of aforementioned artists.  It’s not that those verbose songmen are single-mindedly preoccupied with age and mortality – though it’s clearly on their minds (see: Newman’s heartwrenching “Lost Without You”; Murphy’s “tonite”; Lekman’s bouncy but pensive “Wedding in Finistère”; the entire conceit of Merritt’s 50 Song Memoir) but it certainly informs their outlook, helping to distill a clarity of perspective (and tendency toward warts-and-all honesty) translating into albums that function as poignant, if sometimes roundabout self-portraits.   Continue reading →

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Amine delivers his Tour For You to the TLA

https://www.instagram.com/p/BauAE0fneOr/?taken-by=tlaphilly

Portland, Oregon’s Amine has had quite a year. He dropped a multi platinum single with “Caroline”, performed on huge talk shows and festival stages, did songs with people like Nelly, Charlie Wilson and Kehlani, and was picked as a XXL Freshman. Yet on my way to his Philly stop on the “Tour For You” (a play off the title of his excellent debut album Good For You ), my young Uber driver still had no idea who he was by name. It wasn’t until he asked me to play a song by him (I picked “Caroline” of course) that the driver began singing along to the melody, exclaiming “oh, I know this, it’s always on the radio!”. He also enjoyed the other songs from the album he heard, because it’s a dope, fun project. But when people know your big song but not your name, it’s a sign you might have bought a one way ticket to One Hit Wonderville. After seeing Amine’s live show, which grew my appreciation for his work even more, I can only hope that won’t be the case for him. Continue reading →

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The Bigness say thanks to their fans with two classic rock covers

the bigness
The Bigness | photo by Bryan Karl Lathrop Photography | http://www.bklphoto.com/

After successfully crowd-funding their EP Time Traveler, which was released just over a year ago, The Bigness has released three songs as a part of a Kickstarter All-Stars collection. The four-piece Philly rock outfit covered two songs that were chosen by the two highest donors from the Time Traveler Kickstarter campaign, and for laughs, sang a contractual agreement about it. Continue reading →