Outside of doing that sports-related band Modern Baseball. Jake Ewald takes his somber voice to his project Slaughter, Beach Dog, where his melancholy tunes are channeled to a single and signature vision.
Ewald brought some of his newest tunes to a session for Audiotree’s new project “Far Out”, which takes artists to some of the nooks and crannies of this country to record some unconventional sessions. Finding himself inside a Chicago dry cleaners among the textiles and pitter-patter of a sewing machine, Ewald does what he does best by combining his wonderfully-crafted expressions of personal battles with the stripped-down depressions of a single guitar. Ewald’s songs take us on his journey, and now we can see where those journeys take him. Continue reading →
Drummer Sarah Schardt and singer-guitarist Christo Johnson met in North Carolina eight years ago, transplanted more recently to Philadelphia and are currently destroying in the punk two-piece King Azaz. Their record Spiritus Mundii was a quiet standout in 2016, filled with grungy riffs, hammering drums and minor key aggression – but there’s also a level of Fugazi / Dischord style socially charged catharsis. Tonight they’re on a pretty stacked lineup at West Philly staple Haus of Yarga, along with Thin Lips, Tombo Crush and more. Info on the show can be found at Facebook. Continue reading →
Jake Ewald said Tuesday night was his first concert. Before the show, he pleaded with Brendan Lukens to buy his record. Ewald was kidding, of course — he and Lukens have put on many shows themselves as two-fourths of Modern Baseball, so it’s hard to imagine he had to sell anything to his friend.
This kind of playfulness is commonplace with any show involving some of the MoBo guys. It bleeds into the crowd, too. Everyone seems to be friends. Tuesday night was no exception, as Ewald’s project Slaughter Beach, Dog kicked of a tiny six-date tour at Everybody Hits. Abi Reimold and Harmony Woods rounded out the all-Philly bill. Continue reading →
When an established musician starts a new band, it’s hard to avoid drawing comparisons. There’s almost bound to be some overlap, especially when that musician is a primary songwriter for both projects. While this is definitely the case on Welcome, the debut record from Jake Ewald’s Slaughter Beach, Dog, the Modern Baseball guitarist manages to take his songwriting in a new direction. In fact, he takes it in several, and it’s those deviations that make the album so successful. Continue reading →
With a successful album release in their rear view and an opening slot for Brand New in their future, Modern Baseball has been having quite the year. At this point, It would be easy for guitarist/songwriter Jake Ewald to rest on his laurels, but he’s not done yet. Somehow, in the midst of everything going on with his main band, he’s managed to write and record the debut album for side-project Slaughter Beach, Dog. Continue reading →
Slaughter Beach, Dog, the solo project of Modern Baseball co-frontman Jake Ewald, just released his first single since last August’s debut EP DAWG. “JOBS” was first featured on Lame-O Records’ 2015 sampler last month. Ewald shows off his lyrical creativity with the new track; the song dives headfirst into the paradoxes and dilemmas that face modern twenty-somethings. The song leads off with “My friends don’t need jobs ’cause they all sell drugs / spend their Fridays setting fires with their college degrees.” The song continues “searching in circles” to find answers about love, religion, careers, and self-satisfaction. Continue reading →
The idea is simple, really: two night, two stages, only Philly bands. That’s what’s in store when Philly Music Fest touches down at World Cafe Live on Friday, September 22nd and Saturday, September 23rd.
The biggest name on the first-year festival is Strand of Oaks, who will headline Saturday night on the heels of their XPoNential Music Festival slot, alongside Steve Gunn and Shannen Moser. Friday night’s bill is capped by Abi Reimold, who we hear is working on a follow up to last year’s excellent Wriggling LP, and Kississippi, who are readying their first full-length as well. Continue reading →
If you ask Sofia Verbilla, she’ll tell you she’s no good at onstage banter.
It gives her a not super comfortable feeling, a sentiment shared by just about any honest musician you’ll talk to. Her nerves are already frazzled enough getting up there with her guitar and performing; add in expectations for public speaking that’s witty, chill and conversational but also profesh enough to keep the show moving and remind you that, oh by the way, there’s merch in the back…it’s just daunting. Awkward. Verbilla is not the sort to toss around the word “hate,” so let’s just say the closest form of active dislike you can get.
I would argue that the frontwoman of Philadelphia basement scene favorites Harmony Woods is fantastic at banter, and here’s an illustration. It’s March, her band is playing Underground Arts for an International Women’s Day benefit; a tuning break is needed, and the slight silence that descended during the last song lingers. (Verbilla has that effect on crowds.) As bartenders dump ice buckets in the wings, she asks, “So, does anybody have any jokes?” A pause. “I know one. THE PATRIARCHY.” She blows a raspberry into the mic and gives a thumbs-down; the audience gathered round the stage laughs, and the band launches into another song.
Really, everything about it was perfect. The right thing to say for this crowd, at this event. (Or, let’s face it, in general.) The timing was spot-on. It was funny. And it got the gig from point A to point B. When it comes to banter, as with most things music-related, Verbilla is a natural. Continue reading →
Philly DIY scene dudes Weller are a wealth of knowledge, musical and otherwise. When the band — Alex Held on drums, Evan Clark Moorehead on bass and Harrison Nantz on guitar and vocals — came by to record their Key Studio Session last month, their soundcheck jams gave way to impromptu performances of Boston’s “More Than A Feeling” and Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son.” Very unexpected, very fun.
Similarly, when I caught them live at Everybody Hits back back in the fall, Moorehead rolled out a banter shtick he used on Weller’s election season tour; he proclaimed that he could shit talk any president in U.S. history, and asked if anybody in the crowd could stump him. Someone screamed “TAFT!” — where the obvious slag would be “so large he got stuck in a White House bathtub” — but instead Moorehead didn’t take the low-hanging fruit and dove into a more nuanced dig at the 27th president’s economic policy and other spates of bad luck and irony from early 20th century. Again, not what I was expecting, and kind of hysterical in the context of a rock show.
So in short, Weller are a bunch of characters, and great guys to be around. But they’re also a tight band, the latest in a community of tight bands to rise out of the Philly basement scene. Continue reading →
Later this month, Modern Baseball will embark on a European tour with Thin Lips and The Superweaks, and as part of the tour, they’ve recorded a three-way split EP. Thin Lips’ track, “Not Losing Sleep”, premiered a few weeks ago, and now you can hear MoBo’s contribution. “This Song is Gonna Buy Brendan Lukens a New Pair of Socks” may not have much to do with buying socks, but it’s sure to knock yours off! Wow, that was awful. Forget that I said that. The song is good. Just keep reading. Please. Continue reading →