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The Art of Being Self Aware: Hurry talks coffee, dad hats, The Oneders, and their infectious new Every Little Thought

Hurry | photo by Chris Sikich | courtesy of the artist

It’s about 5:30 pm on a particularly dreary Monday afternoon and Matt Scottoline is sitting across from me, politely trying his darndest to hide his feelings of horror towards news I just shared with him. “I always tell people that if you want to buy better coffee, the best thing you can do is only buy coffee that has a roast date printed on the bag,” he offers half-optimistically, half-pitifully, attempting to guide the low-life caffeine junkie that I am towards a more moderately respectable life direction.  

We’re chatting at a small table at Fishtown’s ReAnimator Coffee — Philly’s premiere specialty micro brew roaster, where Scottoline works when he’s not power-pop rocking as frontman of Hurry — and I had just told him that I frequently purchase and drink the likes of Maxewell House and Folgers.

As Scottoline takes intermittent swigs from an extra tall boy of fizzy water (trying to, I’m sure, calm his unease of speaking with such a brew plebeian, or maybe more realistically because he drinks coffee all day long) I’m sipping some of ReAnimator’s drip coffee black, which reminds me like a good ole’ slap to the face that a cup of joe can be more than just some bitter bean juice. By George, it can actually taste good too.  

Man, who knew that’s what happens when people put time and intricate care into their work? Because that’s what Scottoline and the crew does here. Helping his friends Mark Corpus and Mark Capriotti when they opened the shop a little more than a few years back, Scottoline stuck around working at the café until eventually evolving into his current position as Director of Coffee. This simultaneously epic and simply-named title entails tasks such as figuring out what coffees to buy and roast, and essentially handling quality control.

Basically, he’s ReAnimator’s coffee grounds-keeper. And though we only spoke on the topic for a few minutes in lighthearted fun, it was easy to gather the level of seriousness he puts into this work. The same is true for his other artistic project, Hurry. Continue reading →

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Hurry’s “Every Little Thought” is heard crystal clear in fuzz-less, power-pop direction

Hurry | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Earlier this month, Hurry’s single “Waiting For You,” tore away the distorted film of 2016’s Guided Meditation to reveal its clean and pure power-pop tune core. Now, Hurry has shared a second single — the namesake of the new record, “Every Little Thought” — which keeps the fuzz away as it both shines and sulks.

With Matt Scottoline’s saccharine vocals, hooky harmonies, and easy surf vibes, “Every Little Thought” drives straight into the sun-soaked sixties era. But with melancholic, heartfelt lyrics ditching commercial fluff, it’s more akin to an authentically vulnerable bandstand group — like if Tom Hanks fictional concoction The Oneders (I’m from Erie, PA, sue me) turned beautifully emo. Continue reading →

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Meet Cat Park’s newest music project, the low-key angst-pop duo, tact

tact | photo by Cat Park | courtesy of the artist
tact | photo by Cat Park | courtesy of the artist

It seems that instead of releasing a succession of albums from one singular band — as most musicians do — Philadelphia’s Cat Park simply joins or creates a whole new band every time there’s new songs to share.

Creatively speaking, this separation of sounds and themes makes perfect sense, as this method allows for whatever different, new ideas that come to mind immediately be put to fruition — with the added bonus of not throwing off your bandmates and fanbase.

Continuing in this pattern, Park is now etching in her new duo, tact, to the already-long repertoire of musical projects — which boast the likes of Amanda XEight, All Bad and Preen.

Composed of Park on vocals, guitar, and bass, and Jarret Nathan on drums, tact evokes 90s riot grrl rock as much as 70s punk icon Patti Smith in this brief six-track release. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Derrick Hodge at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Amanda X at Space 1026, Maze ft Frankie Beverly at Dell Music Center

Derrick Hodge | photo via artist’s Facebook page

This week’s installment of Spruce Street Harbor Park’s Waterfront Sessions features Philly bassist Derrick Hodge. Hodge takes over the two sets of the night, playing tunes in anticipation of his 2016 release The Second. Find info on the event here, and listen to the title track, “The Second” below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Blondie and Garbage at The Mann, Hurry at Everybody Hits, Amanda X at Ortlieb’s

Blondie | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

It’s a double header of still-vital rock and roll pioneers at The Mann Center tonight with Blondie and Garbage. In the 70s and early 80s, Debbie Harry and her bandmates bridged downtown New York punk rock with the dance-driven international New Wave scene, and wrote a massive amount of hits in the process; in the 90s, Shirley Manson brought a bold dose of glam and pop sensibilities to the dreary grunge landscape. Thing is, neither band is resting on its laurels or going through the nostalgia motions. Blondie and Garbage have both released albums of new material in the past year that stand strongly alongside their work from 20 (and 40) years ago — Pollinator, from the former, totally rips, as Harry and the band proved at NonCOMM this year, and Strange Little Birds is Garbage at its most vulnerable and honest but still kicks out driving anthems. Watch videos for “Long Time” and “Empty” below and get tickets and more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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PREMIERE: Amanda X returns with the soaring rocker “Exquisite”; new Giant LP will benefit Women Against Abuse

Amanda X | photo by Kian Sorouri | courtesy of the artist
Amanda X | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly’s Amanda X has rocked a winning combination since debuting in 2012. Propulsive, power trio punk energy mix with serpentine, exploratory instrumental jams and graceful, poetic lyrics unpacking identity, self-doubt and the bigger questions in life.

The band’s debut 2014 long-player Amnesia was followed up in 2015 by the Hundreds and Thousands EP the following year, and in the time since, the trio of Cat Park (vocals, guitar), Kat Bean (vocals, bass) and Melissa Brain (drums) have been finalizing their second full-length album, recorded in South Jersey’s Gradwell House Studio.

That record, Giant, will be released on August 18th via Self Aware records, and we’re super excited to premiere the opening track, “Exquisite,” for you today. Continue reading →

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Don’t let Clasp slip under your radar; listen to the new solo project from Amanda X’s Kat Bean

Clasp | photo by Adam Peditto via Bandcamp

Amanda X‘s Kat Bean quietly released a solo project at the end of June that is anything but quiet. If you search for Clasp online or spend a slightly embarrassing amount of time scouring social media for any information about the project, all that you will find is one congratulatory Facebook post by Big Mama’s Recording, the studio where the record was produced, and a Bandcamp page. There the description gives just a glimpse into the story of Clasp, which started “from some basements and some bedrooms across the US during a very something winter, 2015-2016.”

The good news is that this record doesn’t need any of the social media, any of the marketing or fanfare (though it certainly deserves some fanfare). Kat Bean allows Clasp’s self-titled debut to speak for itself, making it all about the music. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jaguar Wright plays Nina Simone at Ardmore Music Hall, Arto Lindsay at Boot & Saddle, Amanda X at PhilaMOCA (Get Better Fest 4) and more

Jaguar Wright | via facebook.com/JaguarWright
Jaguar Wright | via facebook.com/JaguarWright

Jaguar Wright & Gerald Veasley perform the music of Nina Simone tonight at the Ardmore Music Hall. Wrapping up the Philadelphia Jazz Festival, this Unscripted Jazz Series show unites two renowned soul artists to celebrate the life and legacy of Ms. Simone. The show is 21+, and more information/tickets can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →