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Ghost Gum reach the astral plane on The Past, The Future, Dwelling there like space

Ghost Gum
Ghost Gum | photo by Ariel Lynn | courtesy of the artist

For a band this loud and bracing, Ghost Gum sure do have a knack for sounding serene. The Philadelphia quartet describes itself as “noisy dream pop” on their Facebook, and on their full length debut, The Past, The Future, Dwelling there like space, they live up to that title in spades. Over the course of an exhilarating, eight song set, Ghost Gum delivers hook after glittering, shoegaze-y hook. By the time it’s over, you feel like you just slam danced your way through the Crab Nebula without ever getting up from your seat. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Alice Bag at Treat Y’rself Fest at PhilaMOCA, Family Volleyball at Goldilocks Gallery, Ghost Gum at Everybody Hits, and more

Alice Bag | via Don Giovanni Records

Punk rocker, feminist and educator Alice Bag will be headlining tonight’s Treat Y’rself Fest at PhilaMOCA, a benefit for March to End Rape Culture. The all day festival includes an absolutely stacked lineup of 12 local and surrounding area musicians as well as a documentary screening for an event all about safe, inclusive, accessible spaces and self-care. More information on this event can be found on its Facebook event page here. Check out Bag’s track “Modern Day Virgin Sacrifice” off Don Giovanni Records below. Continue reading →

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Ghost Gum gives us “More,” a new single with (some) album details

Ghost Gum
Ghost Gum | photo by Ariel Lin | courtesy of the artist

Philly indie rockers Ghost Gum released a great EP of demos a few years back and then were dormant for a long, long while. That changed last month with the release of “Edible Complex,” a new rager that has since been removed from Bandcamp. Sad face. But today the band posted “More,” another track from their 2015 recording sessions at Headroom Studios and Big Mama’s studio with Kyle Pulley of Thin Lips, as well as  Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo of The Superweaks. (All three used to be in Dangerous Ponies, too. History, people.)

The song comes from the band’s forthcoming release The Past, The Future, Dwelling there like space, and though details are scant on when we can expect that, the deadpan vocal harmonies and Black Tambourine x Magnetic Fields vibes, plus the delivery of two awesome new jams in a short window, has us closely paying attention. Listen below.  Continue reading →

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Ghost Gum are back with a new rager called “Edible Complex”

Ghost Gum
Ghost Gum | photo by Ariel Lynn | courtesy of the artist

Their only recording is a demo EP from 2014, and it ruled – so we’re super happy to see some signs of (current) life in the Ghost Gum camp. The band – which features Carolyn Haynes, formerly of Catnaps, along with Arik Dayan, Travis Gaston and Colins Regisford – teased that they were still around back in a February vaguebook post. In actuality they’d been in Headroom Studios, working on new recordings with Kyle Pulley, Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo, and last week the first of those songs saw the light of day via Bandcamp. Continue reading →

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DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Revival Records

Photo courtesy of Dan King
Photo courtesy of Dan King

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a little more complicated.

Vinyl Revival Records in Lansdowne will be kicking off the day not only with limited edition and first releases, but a near all-day free concert event featuring some of the finest in Philly’s underground/punk/indie scene. On the bill, we’ve got Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum, Wild Rompit and DRGN King, who is warming up for a Sunday show opening for New Madrid at Boot and Saddle.

Listen to DRGN King’s most recent single “Solo Harp” below, get a sampling of the other artists on the bill after the jump and check out the full lineup here.

Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: The Only Ghost In Town returns from the dead with “Coming Along”

The Only Ghost in Town | photo by Joe Lamberti, courtesy of the artist
The Only Ghost in Town | photo by Joe Lamberti, courtesy of the artist

The Only Ghost in Town is back after a two year hiatus with their recently released single called “Coming Along.”

The New Jersey trio features Dan Saraceni and Devin Petitte of By Surprise and Carolyn Haynes of Ghost Gum. “Coming Along” is the first single released from the band’s forthcoming album Mirage, out this winter on Broken World Media. The album will be available via digital download and cassette tape. Continue reading →

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Listen to Questlove and Elvis Costello discuss the birth of Wise Up Ghost on WFUV and XPN’s World Cafe

Photo by Tamara Weber
Photo by Tamara Weber

Fordham University’s WFUV recently sat down with Philly’s own Questlove (The Roots) and Elvis Costello to discuss how their collaborative LP, Wise Up Ghost came to fruition earlier this year. Music lovers were given something to look forward to once news of the unlikely pairing began to surface. Upon release, the album was rightfully praised as it surpassed expectations. Listen here. Watch them perform “Wise Up Ghost” below. The band also appeared on World Cafe with David Dye this fall. Listen to that interview by clicking below.

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Recap: Jeff Mangum at Irvine Auditorium

Jeff Mangum is a recluse, and he looks and acts the part. For years, that status has added a layer of alluring mystery to his various projects, from Neutral Milk Hotel to Elephant 6 and even to the charity organization, Children Of The Blue Sky, that he supports. Yet, 16 years after his first album with Neutral Milk Hotel, it’s absurd to assert that Mangum sells out shows in seconds merely because of mystique. In fact, even after over a decade out of the spotlight, it seems that the intimacy in Mangum’s music is what brings out the fans—not his elusive lifestyle.

Mangum is hardly a musical pioneer, but he did have several things right when he recorded On Avery Island in 1996 and even more right when he recorded In the Aeroplane Over The Sea in 1998. Mangum’s success can essentially be pegged to three aspects of his music. First, there are his deeply personal, yet far-fetched folklore lyrics. For instance, Mangum’s “Little Birds,” tells the story of a man who is literally full of song; he has so many birds inside of him that they can be heard when he opens his mouth. The song hardly seems autobiographical, but it does touch on a basic element of Mangum’s appeal. In twisted, Grimm-esque fairy tales, Mangum crafts songs and stories that speak to what we all keep inside ourselves. He sings the birdsongs that we “swallow up and promise to protect.” Often, these are stories of loss and love, like “King Of Carrot Flowers pt. 1,” which juxtaposes the break-up of a marriage with the child’s first love. Of course, Mangum’s lyrics are highly complimented by his delivery. On his recordings, croaking vocals take unpredictable and memorable leaps against a backdrop of lo-fi guitar melodies. His cacophony is of a vintage sort; he sounds like he’s singing from a million miles and a hundred years away, especially when he features trumpets or accordions, as he does on “Holland, 1945.” Mangum’s influence resounds in the music of contemporary acts such as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Beirut, even the story-singer Sufjan Stevens, who each seem to branch out in different directions from Mangum’s archaic, discordant style.

The final charm is Mangum himself. The man is awkward. His bittersweet songs and messages are bolstered by the fact that his privacy is neither reactionary nor a publicity stunt. His privacy makes his songs all the more personal. During his set last night, Mangum choked up a bit.  “Playing that song [“Engine”] took my breath away… I put these messages in a bottle and sent them out to the world all those years ago. It’s amazing to see all the people they connected being here.” And it was an amazing thing to see. One man in the front row cried through all eight minutes of “Oh Comely.” When Mangum first invited everyone to move closer than their assigned seats, people tentatively gathered on the ground and sat before him like children at story time.  Mangum sat too, but slouched, hiding under long, dark hair and a newspaper boy cap.  The audience was silently attentive, and Mangum sang them stories.

A few songs into the set, though, Mangum asked everyone to sing along—and by the time he played “King Of Carrot Flowers,” the entire auditorium was harmonizing. The audience participation wasn’t a sing-a-long. Judging by the shining eyes and interlocked hands, singing along with Jeff Mangum was a religious experience. For many in the audience, the dream of seeing Mangum live had seemed, for years, totally unattainable. Yet, here they were. The 35-seconders, those so devoted to Mangum that they’d bought up all of his tickets in record time, all looked a bit like Mangum. The room was full of people who needed haircuts, wore flannel because they just never put it away after the ’90s, and loved Mangum because, in his awkward and urgent way, he sang the stories that they couldn’t tell for themselves. Yet, the effect of such overwhelming homogeneity was softened by Mangum’s modesty and desire to stay off of a pedestal. He sang in “Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone,” “there are some lives you live and some you leave behind.” Jeff Mangum’s late-’90s rock life left a tremendous legacy on the genre, even after he tried to leave it behind. Early in the set, an audience member shouted, “I missed you, Jeff!” to which Mangum responded, “I’m right here.” Someone else shouted, “We’ll see you soon!” And, typical Mangum, he shouted back, “Maybe,” and launched into “King Of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1.” It seems that Mangum defies his own lyrics, simultaneously living and leaving behind the messages he cast out all those years ago.  –Naomi Shavin

Set List:
Two Headed Boy Pt. 2
Holland, 1945
Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone
Engine
Ghost
Little Birds
King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1
King of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2 & 3
Naomi
Oh Comely
Two-Headed Boy
Fool

Encore:
Song Against Sex
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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PREMIERE: Meet trippy Philly rockers Daisy Glaze, stream their Heavenly Bodies EP

Daisy Glaze | photo courtesy of the artist
Daisy Glaze | photo courtesy of the artist

This year, local singer and songwriter Adrianne Gold teamed up with a handful of fellow vets of the Philadelphia indie rock scene to found Daisy Glaze, a new band that transcends their collective pop/rock pasts. Don’t be fooled by the fact that they share their name with a Big Star song – this is some serious, cerebral psychedelia.

Alongside Gold, we have Buddy Mazzenga, Lynna Stancato, Scott Churchman and Sean Rosner in the Daisy Glaze ranks, with contributions from Carolyn Haynes of Ghost Gum and Aster More. Their debut EP Heavenly Bodies — which we’re excited to premiere for you below — is an immersive swirl of melodies and textures in the vein of Warpaint. Continue reading →