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Listen to Amanda X’s set at the NYCTaper CMJ Cake Shop show

Photo by Pete Murray | http://petermurrayphotography.com/
Amanda X | Photo by Pete Murray | http://petermurrayphotography.com/

Our friends at NYCTaper recently threw a party at the CMJ music conference in New York City. Their unofficial showcase was at the Cake Shop and featured one of Philly’s best bands, Amanda X. This year saw the release of Amanda X’s Amnesia on Siltbreeze Records. The record was recorded by Jeff Zeigler at his studio Uniform Recordings and is a confident rock and roll record from start to finish. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: OK Fest with Cayetana, Amanda X, Radiator Hospital and more at Golden Teahouse, Juston Stens at Boot and Saddle, Langhorne Slim at Tellus 360

Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)
Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)

West Philly’s super cool OK Fest kicks off tonight at the Golden Tea House. The incredible lineup includes Cayetana; the emo-tinged trio played a Space Jam Session this month featuring a live version of “Dirty Laundry,” and were also featured on Stereogum recently. They will be joined by Radiator Hospital, who will release their brilliant second album Torch Song soon, as well as Amanda X, who did a great interview with The Key’s Kate Bracaglia. Rounding out the night are The Ambulars and Brooklyn punk group Worriers. The all-ages show starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets are between $8 to $12. Listen to Cayetana’s “Serious Things are Stupid” below. Get more details at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Listen to the polished version of Amanda X’s “Dream House”

Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)
Photo by Peter Murray

Philly post-punk trio Amanda X just released another song, “Dream House” off of their highly anticipated debut Amnesia, out July 28th on Siltbreeze Records. Their music is both a tribute to 90s indie and a really poignant new spin on punk. Unlike the raw power of the previously released track, “Gautemala”, “Dream House” is a slower, existential track. It also showcases the amazing vocal abilities of singer-bassist Kat Bean, going from fragile to powerful in a matter of seconds. Continue reading →

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Amanda X talk DIY, punk, and the new Amnesia

Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)
Amanda X: Tiff Yoon, Cat Park, Kat Bean (Photo by Peter Murray)

In some ways, the ladies of Amanda X are the biggest punks we know. When they first came together, they were still new at their instruments (guitarist/vocalist Cat Park had previously played bass and sang in Band Name; and bassist Kat Bean and drummer Tiff Yoon had only played guitar). Yet they formed an easy bond despite this, and within 2 months of coming together, recorded their first EP—much like the Ramones or the Sex Pistols before them.

“If I don’t play music, I explode,” says Park. Continue reading →

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Lineup for West Philly’s OK FEST announced featuring Amanda X, Swearin’, Speedy Ortiz, Worriers and more in August

Photo by Pete Murray | http://petermurrayphotography.com/
Photo by Pete Murray | http://petermurrayphotography.com/
Punk rock rules! This year’s OK FEST will be held on August 1st and 2nd at Golden Tea House and Nacho House.  There’s a seriously strong lineup including Cayetana, who were recently featured on NPR, The AmbularsHound, Amanda X, Swearin’, and more. Brooklyn punk rockers, Worriers play on Friday, and Massachusetts indie-rockers Speedy Ortiz will play on Saturday. Speedy Ortiz recently played Bonnaroo and released an EP, Real Hair, back in February.

Go here for more details on the festival.

Below, listen to “Guatemala” by Amanda X.

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Listen to a new song by Amanda X, “Guatemala”

Photo courtesy of the band
Photo by Pete Murray | http://petermurrayphotography.com/

Amanda X have premiered a new song, “Guatemala,” that premiered at Noisey. The trio – Cat Park on guitar, Tiff Yoon on drums and Kat Bean on bass – are releasing their debut album, Amnesia, on Siltbreeze on July 28th. Noisey calls the song a “super-contagious post-punk jangly/jagged riffer,” which gets no arguments from us. Back in November, 2013, Amanda X recorded a Key Studio Session during which they recorded a version of “Guatemala.”

Listen to the new studio version of the song below, and download the Key Studio Session version of the song while you’re at it. Amanda X are playing the Philly Summer Fest at PhilaMOCA on August 9th. Go here for more information on the show.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: PAWS at Boot and Saddle, Jose James at World Cafe Live, Protomartyr with Amanda X at Kung Fu Necktie

Paws | Photo by Martin Barker
Paws | Photo by Martin Barker

Glasgow-based power trio PAWS are wasting no time in following up their debut LP with the new Youth Culture Forever, out via FatCat Records on May 6th. The band is built on very 90s walls of sound (think Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Superchunk) but cut with a very personal lyrical perspective that shines through at their rare quiet moments. Below, get an acoustic taste of “Tongues” from the new album, and find tickets and information about tonight’s tour kickoff show at Boot and Saddle with We Are Scientists here.

Continue reading →

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“A mix of sleaziness and professionalism”: Philly artists weigh in on their SXSW experience

The Districts | Photo by John Vettese
The Districts at Buffalo Billiards | Photo by John Vettese

The rickety van piloted by Philly psych-thrash outfit Ruby the Hatchet rolled into Austin just a few hours before its first South By Southwest gig last week. Cutting it close, for sure, but the band was just happy to arrive.

“We broke down,” guitarist John Scarperia explained as he set up for the End Records showcase at LIT Lounge. “We were stuck in Tennessee for two days.”

Ruby the Hatchet | Photo by John Vettese
Ruby the Hatchet at LIT Lounge | Photo by John Vettese

Talk about a setback. I ask if they missed any tour shows on the trip down. Scarperia laughs, then says “We didn’t play any. But it was fun, all part of the adventure, right?

The band dished a raucous set of its heady, heavy rock to a modest but appreciative crowd – which included singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins, a longtime friend of Hatchet frontwoman Jillian Taylor. The next day, it rocked Thrasher Mag’s unofficial Deathmatch showcase, and spent the rest of the weekend mingling with the music-devouring masses. Overall, it was a positive experience, and even culminated in Taylor getting a new tattoo (a hatchet, of course).

Ruby the Hatchet was one of dozens of locals that made the trek to Austin this year. Musicians of all styles and degrees of renown represented Philly at SXSW. There were known names like rapper Spank Rock, who played an energized set to a buck wild crowd at the Boyz Noize showcase at The Majestic on Thursday, and alt-bluesman G. Love who played the 18th Floor of the Hilton Garden Inn the same night. There were emerging artists, like folk singer Vikesh Kapoor and punk power trio Amanda X, or SXSW vets like rapper Lushlife, heavy psych heads Creepoid, and dream punks Nothing, who played a 2 a.m. set on a pedestrian footbridge.

Chill Moody | Photo by John Vettese
Chill Moody onstage at Amped Austin | Photo by John Vettese

“I feel like SXSW serves as a hub for discovery,” says Philly rapper Chill Moody, who I caught during his showcase at the Amped Austin lounge on Saturday afternoon. “I met a bunch of musicians and professionals in the music industry in just one week. Built some strong connections that will hopefully help me with the next steps in my career.”

For Moody, who is used to feeding off the love of the hometown fan base he’s cultivated over the past few years – he headlines venues like The TLA and Union Transfer locally – it was an opportunity to perform to complete strangers in smaller rooms, and win them over. The Amped show featured his right hand man Beano, a charismatic and occasionally comedic R&B singer, hopping offstage and dancing in the midst of the crowd, to the delight of many Instagram-snappers.

“It was a good chance to show a different audience exactly what you can do,” said Moody.

Downstairs at the same venue, electronic rock duo City Rain debuted songs from their new Songs From a High School Dance LP, due out in late April. Again, the crowd was (with the exception of myself) strangers, but people fed off singer / songwriter Ben Runyuan’s relentless energy, particularly on the driving anthem “Waiting on a Dream.”

“This is our last showcase,” Runyan said. “So I’m just throwing everything I got into this.” Continue reading →