Saturday XPN welcomed Doylestown’s intrinsic and frolicking Commonwealth Choir to MilkBoy, along with local three piece Big Tusk, with who Commonwealth Choir recently collaborated on a limited edition cassette tape. They only made 50 tapes and sold them all out by the end of the evening; maybe we’ll get lucky and the new “Big Choir” will release more music together.
The evening started out with Brooklynites Vintage Villain making their Philly debut. The crowd responded well, grooving their keyboard sounds and deep vocals reminiscent of Phantogram and Deerhunter.
Next up was new Big Tusk, who performed songs off their most recent EP, Flood. They brought the energy forward with trickling pop guitar riffs, banging drums, and zinging keyboards. Drummer, Howe Pearson got so jazzed up and that he ripped his shirt off and began swinging it around, sort of a nod to Commonwealth Choir, who last year released an EP called Shirtless. For their final song, Big Tusk brought up a bassist and a second percussionist who played the washboard, a tin can, and a tambourine.
South Jersey natives Pine Barons hit the stage next, and they brought out an extremely excited and enthusiastic crowd of folks who were amped up from seeing their debut music video, “Don’t Believe What They Told You,” earlier in the day. The band played a selection of tracks from their self-titled EP, released last March; they’re currently recording a follow-up with Kyle Pulley at Headroom Studios in Fishtown.
Last but certainly not least, Commonwealth Choir took to the stage feeding off the crowd’s good spirit and eagerness, jumping right into jangling bells and rockin’ rhythms singing cuts from Shirtless. Frontman Davis Howley howled the melodies of tunes like “Rest” and “Movie Song,” jangling out sweet grooves on his guitar and bringing up buds from Big Tusk up during “Palace,” riling up an already feverish audience.
Commonwealth Choir and Big Tusk have announced the release of a super-limited run of cassette tape splits ahead of their joint show at Milkboy this Saturday, March 15th. Recorded through an entirely analog process, Philly Tapes Philly Vol. 1: Big Choir features both bands collaborating on each other’s songs – “Palace” by Commonwealth Choir” and “Peace Jam” by Big Tusk, both previously unreleased.
Capped at a pressing of 50 cassettes, they can be purchased on Commonwealth Choir’s Bandcamp page as a bundle that includes a ticket to Saturday’s 21+ show. More information for the show can be found here, and tapes can be ordered through here. Check out a video of “Palace” below.
This week brought the final 2013 installment of The Key Studio Session compilations, along with a new session by Pine Barons. Volume 9 features exclusive tracks by Amanda X, Balance and Composure, Mean Lady and fifteen other musicians, recorded live in the XPN studios. Check out “Little Face” by Mean Lady below, followed by “Telescope” from Pine Barons appearance. Get the full sets here.
James Cuartero, who records as That Dream Was Our Life, has released the first in a series of monthly EPs. We Are Very Happy Together acts as an introduction to Cuartero’s work, spanning acoustic folk, lo-fi bedroom pop and hushed R&B. Stream and download the EP below.
Philadelphia-based rock outfit Big Tusk recently released an interesting new EP titled Flood. The new collection of songs is aptly titled considering the variety of sounds it features and moods it creates. The psychedelic, experimental vibe isn’t too far out, but just enough to keep you wondering what you’ll hear next. Listen to the title track below and download the EP here. Get tickets to their record release show (as part of the Broad Street Music Showcase) at MilkBoy on January 15th here.