Bruno Catrambone, known thus far as the guitarist from Philadelphia’s CRUISR and singer-songwriter behind Former Belle, has released the first single from his solo project Spirit Haus, which first emerged a couple summers ago while remixing his Philly indie scene peer Suburban Living. “You Don’t Love Me (Like You Used To)” features contributions from CRUISR frontman Andy States, the song sets emotionally probing lyrics against a murky soundscape reminiscent of Tame Impala’s modern psychedelia. Based on “You Don’t Love Me”, Spirit Haus seems something like a shy cousin to CRUISR’s extroverted pop thrills, keeping the pristine production sensibility while exploring new sonic environments.Continue reading →
While taking some down time to record a new record, local pop outlet Suburban Living asked friends to get creative with tracks from last January’s self-titled effort. Today we have the premiere of “Drowning” as re-imagined by Spirit Haus (aka Bruno Catrambone from CRUISR).
Heartbreaking news struck the Philadelphia and regional DIY community this weekend: Spenser Spirit Hogans — a songwriter, bassist, cherished friend, and positive force in the music scene — passed away on July 4th. Continue reading →
Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.
We are officially in the dull. drums. of the dog. days.of the slow end of summer.Musically speaking.Not that there’s nothing going on, of course.I mean, this month alone I have already seen fantastic shows by several of my longtime favorites – a triumphant return to Johnny Brenda’s from the perennially entertaining Jeffrey Lewis, and a basement show by the great guitarist Glenn Jones – both of them previewing material from super-promising new albums still forthcoming (later this month in Jones’ case; no official word yet from Lewis.)And yeah oh yeah, I got to see Radiohead for the first time in way too long and fall completely and utterly back in love with them, which seems like it was more or less the consensusregarding their just-wrapped US tour.That said, the column below, as it turned out, only manages to highlight a couple of shows this fall.(Several of these artists, I’m sorry to report, already played Philly in the last month or two, well before their respective album releases – some of them in opening slots, which gives me hope that they might return to headline before too long.)
The upside of a month with a relatively slow release schedule (at least for big-name new releases) is that it inspires me to dig a little further than I might otherwise.Because, let’s face it, we live in an age when it’s all but impossible to get away from worthwhile if not downright vital new music on a virtually weekly basis.Or anyway, it feels that way if you spend an ungodly percentage of your waking hours (and plenty of the ones you should be sleeping too) poking around on the internet as if furiously trying to prevent it from passing you by.(My lord, when will it stop?)Anyhow…here are some knockouts, knick-knacks and novelties from the last month or so.Enjoy, and I’ll See You In September! Continue reading →
The annual XPoNential Music Festival is easily the highlight of our year around these parts, and this summer’s lineup was a particularly strong one. From Rhiannon Giddens to The Record Company, Strand of Oaks to Sweet Spirit, Hardwork Movement to Hurray for the Riff Raff we were covered across the board with sounds and styles and incredible performances. And thankfully, those sets don’t have to remain too far in our memory. Continue reading →
Last November we were graced with the presence of The Pretenders at a Free at Noon concert and as Helen Leicht pointed out, today we were treated to a set by a band that Chrissie Hynde & co. would probably be fans of. Austin’s Sweet Spirit stopped by World Cafe Live while in town supporting their sophomore LP St. Mojo, a record with track after track of confident rock that is pure fun.
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 →
When I first heard that Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij were putting out an album together, I was as excited as I was apprehensive. It sounded great on paper, of course, but rarely do collaborations like this go over as well as they’re theoretically supposed to. With The Walkmen and Vampire Weekend in their respective back catalogs, the duo had a lot to live up to, but this afternoon, they did just that with an exhilarating, eight-song set at WXPN’s Free at Noon concert. Continue reading →
Where improvised music is concerned, every moment on stage is a roll of the dice. Scott Hughes wants to help beginning or struggling musicians by taking that idea literally.
The former UArts piano major successfully raised nearly $10,000 in a Kickstarter campaign earlier this summer to create Tonic: The Card & Dice Game for Musicians, which prompts players to create sounds prompted by techniques more reminiscent of a round of Monopoly than a late night jam session.
“It’s a practice tool disguised as a game,” says Hughes, who eventually shifted his academic focus to a Physics major at Temple and now considers himself an avid amateur musician. “It’s not a game in the sense that you’re going to keep score. It’s a way to explore and play and get out of your comfort zone. You can do it alone or with a group, but it’s certainly not competitive in any way.” Continue reading →
This Friday, September 11th, Beirut releases its highly anticipated album, No No No. It’s the fourth full length studio album from Zach Condon and his band, and the first collection of new studio material from Beirut since 2011’s Rip Tide. Continue reading →