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Lunacy channels the best of spectral 80s industrial on “Crypt Ring”

Lunacy | photo courtesy of the artist
Lunacy | photo courtesy of the artist

Digging deep into the unearthly tones and nervy vibes of Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance, of Cranes and Bauhaus, is the new Philly project Lunacy. It’s a solo outing by Nick Kulp from Far-Out Fangtooth and Creepoid, and it releases its debut five-song EP on Brooklyn cassette label Time Castle Tapes this Friday, May 20th.

With the release looming, Lunacy released a new music video for the song “Crypt Ring,” directed by Vince Alvare, Kulp’s longtime bandmate from Fangtooth. With layers of psychedelic colors and abstract projections co-mingling, it looks like something that might have been heavily circulated on homemade VHS comps picked up at South Street goth haven Digital Underground circa 1996. It looks like it would have shown in a Berlin art gallery circa 1990. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Johnny Showcase

Like many Philadelphia things absurd, wacky and theatrical, Johnny Showcase (the man / the band) got its start during Fringe Festival season. Conceived in 2009 by performance artist David Sweeny, the show was billed as “a Prince-themed odyssey” featuring Sweeny / Johnny performing alongside backing singers Rumi Kitchen (aka Michael Baker of The Spinning Leaves) and The Truth (actually two people, Adrienne Mackey and Liz Filios), as well as a band of Philly all-stars flexing their disco / funk muscle with a healthy dose of absurdist lunacy. Thing it, as jokey as it seems, the ensemble takes it completely seriously; the show went over hugely and Johnny Showcase continued forth with a regular gig at World Cafe Live upstairs, decked out in recycled 70s garb, aviator shades, gold chains, mousse, chest hair, and sick, sick musicianship. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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RX Bandits, The Dear Hunter and From Indian Lakes put on killer triple bill at Union Transfer

Photo by Cameron Pollock
Photo by Cameron Pollock

Part of why I sought out a position as a writer and photographer at XPN is so I could constantly be exposed to new artists and new musical directions. I’ve found so far that my favorite method of discovery since hopping onboard XPN’s contributor list is by discovering bands at concerts. I’ve learned of myriad artists in this manner, including Strand of Oaks, Parquet Courts, and The 1975. On a warm summer night at Union Transfer, I had the pleasure of discovering and subsequently falling in love with three mind-blowingly fantastic acts: From Indian Lakes, The Dear Hunter, and Rx Bandits.

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