Premiere: Mock Suns blaze new paths with “As It Is; As It Was”

Mock Suns | Photo courtesy of the artist

This spring Mock Suns will bring their prog-eyeing psych pop back with their upcoming album, Santander/All that I Knew, coming out on April 29. Today we’re premiering the first single from the album, “As It Is; As It Was.”

The song seems to piece together right in front of you; it kicks off with a bouncy guitar line at the head before the drums gather their energy from the phasing synths. Just as the title suggests, there are clearly two parts here, going to one place and back to where it started.

Santander/All That I Knew was mixed by Philly’s Bill Moriarty and mastered by Joe Lambert, who has worked with the likes of Cass McCombs, DeerHunter and Washed Out, just to name a few. We’re seeing Mock Suns continuing to blaze their own path with thought-out structures; keeping their voice just as bright as ever.


Tumblr of the Moment: Emily Simpson’s #worklife aka StagePatchLady

Helping Django Django set up at the stage Union Transfer | Photo by Emily Simpson |

For concertgoers and music fans the world around, backstage has a total allure. Whether you’re giddily imagining hedonistic David Lee Roth style parties in the green room, or just an audio nerdio who relishes the tech perspective of live productions, there’s a sense of innate curiosity associated with just about everything that happens in the wings and beyond them.

For Philly’s Emily Simpson, backstage is her job; she’s a stage manager and patch tech at Union Transfer. This means she leads the bands on and offstage, works with artists and front-of-house engineers to set up their gear in the most efficient way, makes sure microphones and cables are plugged in properly and don’t clutter the performance area, cleans up spilled beer during the show, et cetera. “I’m kind of a jack of all trades,” she laughs. And her phone is always at her side, meaning she gets to shoot pictures from an angle that the general public doesn’t usually get to see.

Simpson recently collected these photos into a new Tumblr called #worklife – named for the hashtag she uses to organize the photos on her Instagram account – and it’s a lively behind-the-scenes view of one of the busiest mid-size venues in the region. She writes that the site “is designed as a way for me to curate those pictures as well as the memories attached to them.” For each photo she posts, she shares thoughts on what it depicts – whether its a short and general memory of the concert or a indepth and specific description of what we’re seeing. “I never really realized just how many stories I had associated with each show until I did this,” Simpson tells us.

As she writes on its about page, the blog is essentially “part self-serving reflection, part archiving exercise, all a little bit ridiculous.” Take a look at some of Simpson’s photos below, and follow the entire collection at Continue reading →


Recap: Deerhunter worked through rough times for a recharged set at Union Transfer

Deerhunter | Photo by Chris Sikich | All photos by Chris Sikich |

After twelve songs entranced the Union Transfer crowd into 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, Deerhunter’s leader, the charismatic and sometimes confrontational Bradford Cox, put the show on pause. With the sorrow relating to the death of a close friend on Friday weighing heavily on his mind, Cox went on a lengthy diatribe putting down, among other things, a “bored 12 year old” in the front row who was wearing a Feelies shirt, one of his guitarists for looking like Henry Thomas in E.T., and the show itself for being a “2.5 out of a 5.” Musical accompaniment for this ten minute “interlude” included interpretations of “Operation,” “Happy Birthday,” and the national anthem. This could have easily derailed any performance and alienated the crowd. But the extreme majority of a packed Philly crowd stayed put, recharging Cox and company to bring their self-proclaimed “nihilistic” music to a proper conclusion. Drenched in moody lighting for much of the night, Deerhunter spotlighted their 2013 work Monomania, with the standout performance being of “T.H.M.” There was enough doubt of an encore that a crowd member even jumped on the stage and requested one more song before being ushered offstage. Deerhunter did not disappoint, launching into one of their best tracks, “Helicopter.” As suggested by the faux obi strip packed with Monomania, Deerhunter lived up to the file under suggestion of “nocturnal garage,” leaving the late night crowd with a satisfying, if uneven rock experience.

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Listen to a new Crystal Stilts song, “Future Folklore” (playing Union Transfer 9/20)

crystalstilts Post-punk band Crystal Stilts have shared a new song from their forthcoming album Nature Noir, which is set to be released on September 17 on Sacred Bones Records. “Future Folklore” is a psychedelic tune with Brad Hargett’s spooky, yet dreamy vocals. Noisy and lush, the song captures a Velvet Underground “I’m Waiting For The Man” rollicking garage rock vibe. The Brooklyn-based band will be playing in Philly on September 20, opening for Deerhunter at Union Transfer. Tickets and more information can be found here.


Crystal Stilts: New song, new album, playing Union Transfer with Deerhunter on 9/20

crystal stilts

Brooklyn-based noisy post-punk outfit Crystal Stilts are gearing up to release their new album, Nature Noir, through Sacred Bones Records on September 17. A tour with Deerhunter will follow, and the two bands will be performing at Union Transfer on September 20. “Star Crawl,” off of their new record, is a relaxed, faraway tune with nice psychedelic vibes. Take a listen below, and find more information about the show here.


Deerhunter release new concert film (playing Union Transfer 9/20)

Deerhunter5Inventive indie-rockers Deerhunter, with the help of director John Albrecht, have just released a new concert film, documenting a 2010 show they did in Lincoln, Nebraska. The film, called Sunday Redux, catches the band during their tour behind their 2010 release, Halcyon Digest. Watch the whole thing, and find the setlist of the concert, below. Deerhunter, currently on tour supporting their most recent LP, Monomania, out now via 4AD, will be stopping in Philly this fall, for a show at Union Transfer on Friday, September 20th. Tickets are on sale now, and more info can be found here.

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Atlas Sound and School of Seven Bells Playing at UPenn on 11/3

As part of their Jazz & Grooves concert series, UPenn has announced a November 3rd concert with Atlas Sound and School of Seven Bells (SVIIB). Atlas Sound, the independent project of Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox, released his melancholic debut record Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, in 2008 – his most recent release is 2011′s Parallax. SVIIB’s latest album, Ghostory, came out earlier this year in February. Tickets for the show will be available starting tomorrow at 9 AM. Admission prices for students are $5 in advance, $10 at the door, and $15 for the public; more information about the show can be found here. Below, watch the video for “Half Asleep” from SVIIB’s 2008 record Alpinisms.


Atlas Sound/Deerhunter Dude Covers Kurt Vile

As if putting out one of 2010′s best albums Halcyon Digest wasn’t enough, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox today released a free collection of songs on his web site called Bedroom Databank, Volume 1 as his “other band” (AKA “solo project”) Atlas Sound. The album includes many of today’s hit styles that the kids are really digging including some charming stoner lullabies, chillwave folk singalongs, noodly tropicalismo computer game noise jams and a couple of covers including Bob Dylan’s “This Wheel’s On Fire” and a cover of “Freak Train” by Philly’s constant hit maker Kurt Vile. Click here to download Bedroom Databank, Vol. 1. Below, the original song from Mr. Vile.


Tonight’s Concert Pick: Deerhunter at Starlight Ballroom


After what feels like an exceedingly long time since the band’s last local appearance, indie-rock savior Deerhunter returns to Philadelphia for a performance at Starlight Ballroom. The band rides into town on the wave of hype surrounding its latest release, Halcyon Digest, which you can expect to see at the top of just about every print and online publication’s “Best Of” list at the end of the year. And for good reason, too: If Deerhunter’s previous albums have shown the many varying ways in which the Atlanta-based band can wow both audiences and critics, Halcyon Digest showcases what the band can do when they put all those things together. Deerhunter performs with Casino Vs Japan and Ducktails at 7:30 p.m. at Starlight Ballroom; tickets to the all-ages show are $15. (Anyone who purchased a ticket for the band’s rained-out show at The Flying W pool and had their name added to R5 Productions’ list will receive free admission.)