The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Bardo Pond, Diamond Rugs and more

Bardo Pond
Bardo Pond | Photo by Katie Tapman

Veteran psych-rock band Bardo Pond are featured in this week’s Key Studio Session. With a deep catalog of expansive songs in their pocket, the local quintet sampled their 2013 LP Peace on Venus, 2010′s self-titled record and two unreleased tracks for one of the loudest, tightest sessions to yet. Listen to “Red Curtains” below and get the full set here. Bardo Pond play Underground Arts tonight.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bardo Pond at Underground Arts, His Name is Alive at Johnny Brenda’s, Into It. Over It. at The First Unitarian Sanctuary and more

Bardo Pond | Photo by Katie Tapman
Bardo Pond | Photo by Katie Tapman
Philly psych rock favorites Bardo Pond will play their first show of 2015 tonight at Underground Arts. The band’s ninth album, Peace on Venus, was released in 2015 to critical acclaim, and the band performed songs from it on the Key Studio Sessions this week – along with two brand new songs. Listen to the set here and get more info on the show at the XPN concert calendar.
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The Key Studio Sessions: Bardo Pond

The longer they’re at it, the louder they get. Philadelphia psychedelic mainstays Bardo Pond have been a band for more than two decades at this point. Following an early handful of limited run 7″ singles, their proper debut Bufo Alvarius Amen 29:15 was released in 1995. Those numbers at the end of the album title? That was the running time of the closing track, and it was an epic game-changer. By the end of that year, the band had signed to Matador Records and were opening for Sonic Youth at the Electric Factory.

Over the ensuing years, Bardo Pond released immersive, gripping records at a steady clip. Continue reading →


Happy Record Store Day! Go out and buy some vinyl

Photo via
Photo via

Today is the 7th annual Record Store Day. It’s a day to celebrate music, specifically the independent record stores that sell it and the exclusive vinyl selections by hundreds of bands being released as an incentive to get music fans into the stores.

Before you head out, check out our guide to what’s happening locally at various record stores around the Philadelphia area.

Below, listen to some of the offerings for the day including Bleeding Rainbow’s cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Glynis,” Bardo Pond’s cover of Brian Eno’s “Here Comes The Warm Jets,” Django Django’s cover of The Monkees’ “Porpoise Song,” and a demo of “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden.

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Catching Up With Creepoid: Listen to their all-vinyl guest DJ set on WXPN, see photos of their album release party, hear their new “Wet Bread”

Photo by Pat Troxell
PeteJoe Urban of Creepoid and Key editor John Vettese in the WXPN studio with vinyl selections | Photo by Pat Troxell

Philly dark psychedelic four-piece Creepoid are having a pretty sweet spring. After releasing their new self-titled LP on No Idea Records on March 4th, the band toured to SXSW and back – evidently impressing Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! somewhere along the way – and are gearing up for their latest record, a Record Store Day 10″ via Graveface Records.

Before all this got underway, I had the Creepoid crew on the air on WXPN for a special all-vinyl, mostly-local guest DJ set featuring the likes of Puerto Rico Flowers, Bardo Pond, Asteroid No. 4, Jack Rose and more. Listen to their DJ set below.

The band also played a sold-out, starkly-lit, drumkit-toppling album-release party with Far-Out Fangtooth at Johnny Brenda’s on the 27th of February; check out a gallery of photos from the performance below.

That Record Store Day 10″ we were telling you about? The a-side “Wet Bread” premiered on Impose Magazine today. Check it out below.


Get heavy at Wooden Shjips, Bardo Pond, and Creepoid’s grunge-psych circus (playing Underground Arts 11/15)

Wooden Shjip I Photo by Anna Ignatenko
Wooden Shjips I Photo by Anna Ignatenko

San Francisco’s Wooden Shjips will be joined by Philly locals Bardo Pond and Creepoid for a show of experimental psychedelia.

Wooden Shjips releases its newest album Back to Land on November 12th, but you can stream it now here via The Guardian. Back to Land is filled with fuzzy bass by Dusty Jermier and lackadaisical vocal delivery lines from frontman Ripley Johnson that are accompanied by effect-ridden guitars and bumping organ from Nash Whalen. Even when they add a grounded acoustic guitar to the out-of-this-world mix, the band shows an affinity for the experimental, blending the melodic and straightforward with free and spacious. Definitely check out “Ruins,” “Servants,” and “Everybody Knows,” and preorder the Back to Land via Thrill Jockey here.

Philadelphia’s own psych rock outfit Bardo Pond will be bringing their sublime set to the stage as well, coming off of the recent five song release of Peace on Venus. Combining elements of space and indie rock, this band creates sounds that are beautiful to the ear. Check out “Taste,” the second song off Peace of Venus below, and get the album here. Creepoid will be kicking the show off with more grunge, but in a much more dreamy way. With acoustic and electric guitars, simple drums, and multiple vocalists, they sound exceptionally grandiose. Listen to their album Horse Heaven below to experience their existential build ups.

Buy tickets to this stacked show at Underground Arts here.


Space out with Bardo Pond’s new single “Taste”

Photo via Race Street Pier

With over two decades of sonic shape-shifting and mind-bending under their belts, stalwart Psychedelphia act Bardo Pond is back this fall with a new full-length record called Peace on Venus. If you’re not familiar with the band, this brief history by Julie Miller should bring you up to speed, but suffice it to say they’re championed by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, have an extensive discography – Venus is their ninth record, not counting singles, EPs, or the CD-R series of jam sessions they released in the aughts – and Isobel Sollenberger’s flute playing is out of this world. You’ll hear it prominently featured on this new single, “Taste,” along with the roaring guitar amplifiers of the Gibbons brothers (John and Michael), stretched out over five minutes. Listen below; Peace on Venus is out on October 29th via Fire Records.


The Week So Far: 11 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Elvis Costello, Psychic Teens, The Quarterly Project)

Lawsuits four

Listen to new local music from Family Vacation, Purling HissThe Lawsuits and more [link]

Light Heat, Bardo Pond and Chris Forsyth will play August’s installment of the Race Street Pier free music series [link]

New show announcements include Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson with Jeff Beck and Willy Mason

Legendary New Jersey venue Maxwell’s closes after 35 years [link]

The Head and the Heart share a new song called “Shake” off of their upcoming LP [link]

Brian Wilensky Unlocks Psychic Teens‘ new record COME with a new song, review and more [link]

Get caught up on the weekend’s shows with John Diliberto’s review of Yes at Susquehanna Bank Center and photos from the 2nd Street Festival [link and link]

Dana Falconberry stopped by for this week’s Folkadelphia Session [link]

My Morning Downloads featured tracks from Saint Motel and Deer Tick [link]

Celebrate undiscovered local music with the Broad Street Music Group‘s launch party on 8/17 [link]

The Quarterly Project will released a charity compilation and will host a listening party / benefit concert at PhilaMOCA on 8/29 [link]


Trip out to Light Heat and more at Race Street Pier’s next Third Thursday concert

The just-announced August installment of Race Street Pier’s Third Thursday Live and Local free concert series is sure to be a delight for the senses. Slated for August 15th, it brings together several psychedelic Philly notables for a night of sonic bliss along the Delaware. Light Heat (whose debut LP is getting all kinds of praise) will be joined by legendary noise-mongers Bardo Pond (who are coming up on two decades of feedback-wrangling) and guitar shaman Chris Fosyth (the new LP he’s dropping on Paradise of Bachelors this fall is going to be great). The free event runs from 7 to 10 p.m., and more information can be found at the show’s Facebook event page. Below, listen to / download music from each of the artists on the bill – and check out Light Heat’s Key Studio Session here.


A brief history of Philadelphia experimentalists Bardo Pond (playing Union Transfer tonight with Godspeed You! Black Emperor)

If you have a ticket for the sold-out Godspeed You! Black Emperor show at Union Transfer tonight, make it a point to get there for the opening band.  Two decades ago, Philadelphia brothers Michael and John Gibbons embarked on the underground “Psychadelphia” movement, gleaning influences from classic psych-rock staples like Pink Floyd and experimental indie punk leaders Sonic Youth to create heavy, droning noise ballads with twists of buoyancy by way of vocalist and flautist Isobel Sollenberger.  Today, Bardo Pond’s work fluctuates between distortion-heavy spacerock with fuzzy, layered noise interludes and ethereal, psych/folk-tilted expressions anchored by Sollenberger.

Bardo Pond’s latest self-titled full-length, released in 2010 through the London label Fire, was heralded by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore as being “one of the coolest records [he’s] heard in a long time.”  More recently North Carolina-based label Three Lobed Recordings, which has worked with fellow Philadelphia guitarists Steve Gunn and the late Jack Rose, pressed Bardo Pond’s 4/23/03 collaboration with Charalambides’ Tom Carter on vinyl for the first time and re-released it earlier this year.

4/23/03, and the accompanying 4/25/03 (recorded on that date at the now-defunct Tritone venue on South Street), capture the essence of Bardo Pond that can only be experienced in a live setting, as their devoted fans have discovered.  For a preview of tonight’s performance, you can download Bardo Pond’s live set from the 2010 All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival (curated by Jim Jarmusch) over at Free Music Archive and stream their track “Just Once” off of their 2010 self-titled record below.