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Unlocked: How well do you know the members of DRGN KING?

photo courtesy of DRGN KING
photo courtesy of DRGN KING

DRGN KING core members Dominic Angelella, Brent “Ritz” Reynolds, Steve Montenegro and Joe Baldacci have been established as a band for four years, but each individual has had a presence as a mainstay on the Philly music scene for years. So this leaves us with the question—when were YOU listening to one of DRGN KING’s boys without realizing it? With the help of friends involved in other projects, each musician has been able to stake roles as MVP’s on the 215 music map. Test your knowledge on other places you may have heard Reynolds’ flawless production or seen “the red-haired Jesus” shredding in the background.

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Unlocked: Hey, Punks of Baltimore, this one’s for you; DRGN KING’s Dom Angelella shares his Baltimore Crush

Photo by Blake Gumprecht
Christine Cunnif, Lucy Stone, Ricardo Lagomasinos, Dominic Angelella | Photo by Blake Gumprecht

 

The sophomore album from DRGN KING, Baltimore Crush, feels personal. As an outsider, you’re immediately invited into this fuzzy psychedelic reality where suddenly there’s places and people who feel important. You know their behaviors, dreams, flaws and fears. That’s personal. This world comes from the strength of songwriting from frontman Dom Angelella, whose upbringing among the Baltimore DIY crowd comes out in this love letter of sorts to the scene. As a place where his self-discovery started to take shape, listeners gain a very real picture of what this scene means to those who were, are, and will be influencing/influenced by such a hotbed of creativity. This album thrashes in that convergence of ideas.  I hung out with Dom recently to ask him about the album, and he shared some insight into Moments Where Things Changed for him as well as fears and goals cultivated from the environment around him. Continue reading →

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Unlocked: Watch Dom Angelella play a stripped-down version of “St. Tom’s”

Photo courtesy of RootDownInTheShadow |http://www.rootdownintheshadow.com/
Photo courtesy of RootDownInTheShadow | http://www.rootdownintheshadow.com/

In our review of DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush yesterday, we referenced the heavier nods to surf sounds on this record, which is definitely prevalent on the sure-to-be crowd pleaser “St. Tom’s.” Well, way back in February Dom Angelella did a Cover Club session at Nomad Recording Studio featuring a cover of The Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl,” which you can read about here. What we didn’t highlight before was this super-stripped down version of “St. Tom’s,” the second track from the singer’s hometown-focused record. Continue reading →

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Unlocked: The Key’s Review of DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush

Baltimore Crush artwork by Perry Shall | http://www.perryshall.com/
DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush | artwork by Perry Shall | http://www.perryshall.com/

“Do you remember we would go to church and play the pool shark?” trills Dom Angelella on “St. Tom’s,” the second track from DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush. This line is just one example of many that invites listeners into this fuzzy world of basement-moshers-with-guitars on the album, a follow-up to 2013’s Paragraph Nights.

Baltimore Crush isn’t just a shift from their debut LP; it’s a progression into a different branch of rock. Sure, the ten-track album still has touches of DRGN King’s signature electronic influences, but the driving forces on this effort come from thrash-worthy guitar solos counteracted by relaxed surf vibes, which in itself could be a description of the people the album’s written for; coasting along but screwing up big time in an attempt to mask unreached potential.

The percussion on “Solo Harp,” which the band played at the 2013 XPoNential Music Festival, has this intensity that personifies how important the rest of the album is, making it an interesting yet appropriate choice as the last track on the record. It hearkens back more familiarly to earlier work from DRGN King, but the song’s themes provide a fitting conclusion for this new album as well. Baltimore Crush is a spectacular collection of feelings about the common overwhelming pressure to break out and do something huge and what it’s like to watch people flounder along as they fail to meet those expectations.

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Unlocked: Download “Undertow” and get pulled into DRGN KING’s Baltimore Crush

photo courtesy of DRGN KING
photo courtesy of DRGN KING

Listening to DRGN KING’s Baltimore Crush is a bit like remembering what you might have written in your journal when you were seventeen. Well, not even a journal, because that would indicate you strived for consistency. Who had time to be consistent at seventeen? It’s like finding a “really important” piece of looseleaf on which you frantically mapped your ten-year-plan during a study hall, convinced that following this agenda, of course, was key to Making It Big.

Because in ten years, you were supposed to have it All Figured Out.

If you followed all these things and nothing happened, If you didn’t follow this list, If you didn’t make it by then, you weren’t doing it right.

But growing up and realizing happiness lies in finding something worthwhile, something you care about, is one of those things you don’t really believe until you realize your own happiness. Continue reading →

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The 4th Annual Philly Sings Philly is coming

PSP
Created to explore the music, past and present, and the storied legacy of the City of Brotherly Love, the 4th Annual Philly Sings Philly event returns to The Fire during the month of November. Across four Tuesdays, local musicians will pay homage to their idols, adding a personal touch to their favorite songs by Philly-born artists. Each week is curated by a different local music organization. Continue reading →

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News from DRGN KING! New album and Philly shows are a GO!

DRGN King
DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush artwork by Perry Shall

Get excited because we just got word our homies in DRGN KING that their sophomore album, Baltimore Crush, is coming out October 28th via Bar/None Records! It has a rad album cover by Philly artist Perry Shall (check it out above) and comes with a fall tour, which includes a hometown show at Johnny Brenda’s on September 26th, as well as a show at City Hall’s new Dilworth Park on October 18th.  Continue reading →

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El Caribefunk, Black Landlord, Needle Points are on the lineup to this Year’s 2nd Street Festival, which is going to be really really fun

2SF
The weird red devil-looking dude who’s the mascot of the 2nd Street Festival | photo courtesy of facebook.com/2ndStreetFestival

One of Philly’s best free festivals / block parties is back for it’s sixth year, and this is looking to be the one best yet.

The 2nd Street Festival, which takes place on 2nd street between Germantown Avenue and Green Street in Northern Liberties, will be jam packed with craft vendors, tasty food and tastier beer. But most importantly, great music. The lineup has some pretty great acts including TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Needle Points, Joey Sweeney & the Long Hair Arkestra, Black Landlord, DRGN King, Weird Hot, El Caribefunk, Milton, The Hello Strangers, Mock Suns, and more. You’re excited already, aren’t you? Well then make sure you head over to NoLibs on August 3rd to join in on the fun! And remember, it’s free, so bring your friends and family and any other random people you may know.

The complete lineup can be found after the jump, along with music from some of the artists on the bill.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Quantic at Union Transfer, Astronauts Really Fly at Bourbon and Branch, DRGN King at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo via facebook.com/quanticmusic
Photo via facebook.com/quanticmusic

Brit DJ Quantic (aka Will Holland) returns with his latest album Magentica to Union Transfer. Over the years, Holland has led a series of different side projects in a variety of genres including Quantic Soul Orchestra and Quantic Flowering Inferno. Magentica, his first solo album in seven years, mixes multiple genres for an intriguing sound. One of the tracks, “You Will Return”, featuring Alice Russell, was released as a part of Record Store Day earlier this year. Listen to “You Will Return” below. Get more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calender.

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DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Revival Records

Photo courtesy of Dan King
Photo courtesy of Dan King

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a little more complicated.

Vinyl Revival Records in Lansdowne will be kicking off the day not only with limited edition and first releases, but a near all-day free concert event featuring some of the finest in Philly’s underground/punk/indie scene. On the bill, we’ve got Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum, Wild Rompit and DRGN King, who is warming up for a Sunday show opening for New Madrid at Boot and Saddle.

Listen to DRGN King’s most recent single “Solo Harp” below, get a sampling of the other artists on the bill after the jump and check out the full lineup here.

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