Philly musicians from Andrew Lipke to Kevin Hanson and Wesley Stace will honor and recreate The Band’s 1976 farewell show, The Last Waltz, tonight at the Trocadero. The set will include a full performance of the seminal live album (and concert film), uniting old and new fans of the legendary roots rock band and featuring a guest appearance by original keyboardist for The Band, Garth Hudson. The show will also benefit Philadelphia public schools. Get tickets and information here. Watch a performance of “Up On Cripple Creek” from The Last Waltz below.
This coming Saturday at Boot & Saddle, Michael Johnson will be “putting the beast to bed for a bit.” The “beast” being his psychedelic / experimental musical project Ape School and “a bit” being an undetermined amount of time due to the welcoming of “a tiny ape into [his] family.” The farewell show will also act as a send-off for Ape School drummer Eric Slick ahead of his winter tour with Dr. Dog.
Tickets and information for the 21+ show with DRGN King and Lux Perpetua can be found here. Watch Ape School’s video for “Fly Your Bullshit to the Moon” below followed by a bonus track from the Japanese issue of their first LP. Check out their latest EP Quitting Timehere.
In case you were wondering, as I was, what could possibly be up with the recent photo of Ape School‘s Michael Johnson sitting on a crescent moon in front of a green screen…well, here’s your answer. The image came from the shoot for the band’s new music video, “Fly Your Bullshit to the Moon,” wherein the prep school uniform-clad Johnson sings the jangly number from outer space as all manner of psychedelic weirdness happens around him (seas of eyeballs, mouths spitting mouths, etc.). Check it out below, see Ape School tonight when they open for Mac DeMarco at MilkBoy, and download the band’s ever-expanding Quitting Time EP (now six tracks long!) at Bandcamp.
Chamber-pop outfit Buried Beds plays at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Check out the sly orchestral group’s recently released, lightly embellished single, “Stars,” below. It comes from their latest album, In Spirit, which will be released next month. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s 21+ show here.
Folkadelphia presented an otherworldly session from Dana Falconberry this week. The Austin-based musician performed songs from her latest Leelanau LP alongside two tracks . Stream and download “Crooked River” below and visit the Folkadelphia Bandcamp page here for the full session.
Local rapper Dice Raw is the subject of this week’s Key Studio Session. The socially conscious artist has a new record called Jimmy’s Back, a project that looks at race and the U.S. prison system in a catchy and narrative style. Dice Raw’s session pulls songs from the new album as well as two tracks from The Roots’ catalog. Stream and download “Marching to the Beat of a Drum” below and get the full session here.
Ape School, the moniker for experimental musician Michael Johnson, just released a new four-song EP Quitting Time. It’s a collection of weirdly awesome tunes – psychedelic, space-themed electronic, mellow, and kinda catchy all at the same time. All of the tracks are available for free downloads; “Jobs are for money. Music is for brainslides,” Johnson writes on the Ape School Facebook. Ape School is playing the Brandywine Folk Festival on August 25th and a show at Milkboy with Mac DeMarco on August 29th – find more information on the event here.
Oddball singer/songwriter Mac Demarco recently released the tune “Young Blood” for Adult Swim’s summer single series. Much like his debut Rock n’ Roll nightclub, the track features endearingly retro guitar work, and Demarco’s unique, albeit obscure, baritone. When discussing the song’s genesis, Mac explained that:
My friend Jon Lent visited me in Montreal last summer, my apartment was very hot, so we went to Walmart and bought two fans. To celebrate cooling down, we ordered a pepperoni pizza and watched the movie Youngblood with Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe. Sometime after the movie finished, we flipped on the four-track, and the song came out.
At the end of August, indie oddball Mac DeMarco is playing Milkboy Philly, and joining him will be Philly’s own Michael Johnson, better known as Ape School. As far as lineups go, there couldn’t be a more perfect pair. Ape School creates experimental psychedelic soundscapes, with Johnson’s quirky lyrics accompanied by anything from electronic drones to soaring harmonies to rough basement rock. The two one-man-bands will make for a great show.
In addition, Ape School is one of many great acts to play the Brandywine Folk Festival on August 25h. Why he was chosen for a folk fest, neither I nor Michael Johnson know, but he claims via Ape School’s Facebook that “people’s hippie parents seem to like us” so maybe there’s something to it after all. Click here for ticket information and check out Ape School’s recent single “Idiot’s Grin, President’s Chin” below.
Nightlands play a hometown show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight, backed by a choir and supported by local bands Ape School and Our Griffins. Dave Hartley’s “dream science” solo project released its latest LP Oak Island earlier this year after he closed out a multi-year tour with his main band The War on Drugs. For tonight’s show, he’ll be performing with choral group The Sighborg Singers, who were featured on Oak Island as well. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here. Below, watch Nightlands’ new video for “Born to Love.”
Philly’s DRGN King just wrapped up a spring tour, and it left frontman Dominic Angelella sonically inspired. This morning we bring you the premiere of a tour mixtape he compiled, which ranges from folks they shared stages with to hearty van jams. From Dominic:
“Last month, my band Drgn King went on our first tour ever. This isn’t such a momentous occasion for most people but it was very exciting for us. We met some great bands on the way, saw people we knew play mind-blowing music, and listened to a lot of bizarre records in the minivan. This mix focuses on friends of ours we listened to/hung out with/drank with on the trip. hopefully you all enjoy this as much as we do. Hidden somewhere in the mix there’s a Drgn King song that didn’t make Paragraph Nights. It was too quiet.”
Minivan Problems: A Spring Mix by Drgn King
1. “The Sykesville Strawberry Festival” by Boat Water (from Home is a Place To Give)
2. “20 Different Days” by Eros and The Eschaton (from their Bandcamp)
3. “Cocaine and Guns A$AP” by Ape School (from Junior Violence)
4. “Dedicated” by Grande Marshall feat. Saudi Money (from #MUGGAMAN)
5. “Pusher” by Walking Shapes (from Soundcloud)
6. “Sparks” by Dangerous Ponies (from Tenderheart)
7. “Eldersburg Fun Arcade Near The Fashion Bug” by Boat Water (from Home is a Place To Give)
8. “Pretty Lil’ Preacher” by Drgn King (scrapped from Paragraph Nights)
9. “The Iceman” by Norwegian Arms (ripped from Youtube)
10. “Accessory” by Neighbors (from I Love Neighbors)
11. “TLW are Deaf” by Trans Upper Egypt (from North African Bezerk)
12. “Erica Western Teleport” by Emperor X (from Erica Western Teleport)
13. “Sleep It Off” by Asaad feat. Drgn King (from Dirty Middle Class)