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Philly punk mainstay Josh Agran dabbles in synthpop on new solo EP

Cassavetes | Photo by John Vettese
Cassavetes | Photo by John Vettese

It’s been more than a year since Josh Agran and the guys from Cassavetes parted ways. The Philly punk four-piece played its final show in May of last year, mainly splitting because each of its members had other projects to attend to. Last week, Agran released some of what he’s been working on since in a self-titled solo EP.

Of course, we knew Agran wouldn’t disappear after Cassavetes came to an end — he’s been a part of the scene far too long for that to happen. Before handling vocals and guitar for Cassavetes, he played guitar with local hardcore icons Paint It Black, and also spent some time in Pet Milk and Nothing. And while this is technically not his first release since the demise of Cassavetes (he put out in March some sweet renditions of the ABCs and other childhood tunes on Songs For Kidz), it is our first glimpse at new original material. Continue reading →

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Listen to Cassavetes’ “lost” Key Studio Session, see them at Bourbon and Branch

Philadelphia punk four-piece Cassavetes is parting ways, but not before one final acoustic appearance at Bourbon and Branch. The band, centered around the songwriting of Josh Agran (who’s also played in Paint It Black, Pet Milk and Nothing in the past) released its Oh So Long LP last summer and, as I said at the time, its Fugazi influences shined through as much as its reverence for 90s rock like Soundgarden.

Cassavetes is composed of Agran on guitar and lead vocals, Patrick McCunney (of Kill the Man Questions) on guitar, Jonathan Murphy (of Sore Saints) on drums and Chris Sigda (of Likers) on bass, and back in the winter, the band came into XPN studios to record a set that mixed old songs and new, electric songs and acoustic. The set sounded great – the electric songs packed a massive punch, while the acoustic selections simmered just as intensely – but the band’s show calendar was, at that point, empty. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Members of Hurry, Bleeding Rainbow and Cassavetes will cover Weezer at Yards Brewery this weekend

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This weekend’s Weezer tribute will raise money for breast cancer research and treatment

Awesome event alert: in support of Yards Brewery’s annual Pynk charity ale, a bunch of players from the Philly DIY scene are getting together to cover Weezer this Friday beginning at 7:30 at the Philly beer company’s Delaware Avenue tasting room. The program features classic records Pinkerton (get it?) and The Blue Album – which is great news for fans who are on the fence about going to the recently-announced “we’re-playing-our-new-album-in-its-entirety” Trocadero show later this month; this Friday’s homespun gig will have all the fan favorite cuts that you really want to hear (but likely won’t) from the band itself. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Obscura at A-Space, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist tribute to Afrika Bambatta at The TLA, and Cassavetes at the First Unitarian Church

Obscura
Photo via Kieko Photography

After a successful debut showcase in June, the Obscura series is returning to A-Space. The brain child of journalist and promoter Melissa “Lissa Alicia” Simpson, Obscura‘s goal was to gain recognition for hip-hop artists in the West Philadelphia area that had unfortunately slid under the radar. Local rappers Verbatum Jones and The Bul Bey are featured on the bill, as well as Luci Rising, an eclectic songwriter and poet. Click here for tickets and more information. Below, watch The Bul Bey’s music video for “Where I’m From.” Continue reading →

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The spirit of Fugazi is alive in Philly’s Cassavetes and Split Red

Cassavetes
Cassavetes | Photo via facebook.com/cassavetesphilly

Sure, it’s possible that Philly punk four-piece Cassavetes picked its name as a tip of the hat to the American actor-director who starred in Rosemary’s Baby and directed Faces, A Woman Under the Influence and a host of others. It’s equally possible – and, listening to the music, maybe more probable – that the band is making a nod to “Cassavetes” the song, which appeared on In on the Kill Taker, the killer 1993 album from DC DIY icons Fugazi.

The members of Cassavetes have been kicking around the scene for a while now. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: My Son Bison at Kung Fu Necktie, Cassavetes at Bourban and Branch, Roger Daltrey at Verizon Hall

my son bison
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/MySonBison

Philly four-piece My Son Bison is at Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  Back in May, they released a music video to go along with their track “Stable Places” off their Electric Singles EP.  Watch the video below and check out the guys tonight along with Dead Fingers and Laura & Greg.  Tickets and info here. 21+. Continue reading →

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Cassavetes release “Tie Down,” giving a glimpse into their forthcoming album

Cassavetes | via Facebook

Cassavetes, a heavy indie/punk rock band from Philadelphia, have been hard at work recording a full length album with Uniform Recording‘s Jeff Zeigler. They just debuted the first raw single off that forthcoming release, entitled “Tie Down.” Starting off with an entrancing guitar line, the drums kick in a cymbals crash and the snare drum is pummeled, ushering in an epic full band sound.

Josh Agran’s gritty shouting leads us through the drum fills and punchy bass until the song softens for a bit. During this time, we hear that Agran can sing on the lighter moments just as well as he can yell at the heavy ones. The track continues back into the explosive hook that leads to shrieking guitar and trudging rhythm, ending with all the instruments rolling together into one big awesome ball of noise.

Cassavetes will be part of a stacked lineup at The Note on November 30th, playing alongside The Menzingers, Modern Baseball, and Cayetana. Find tickets here.