February brings Valentine’s day (dreaded by some) and the sludge of mid-winter (presumably dreaded by most). Luckily, some revered artists and up-and-coming groups are coming through town to cheer us up. Here are five Philadelphia concerts to catch. Continue reading →
WXPN’s 2015 Free at Noon Series kicked off with DRGN King this afternoon, and boy was it a great way to kick off the new year. The band, including lead singer/guitarist Dom Angelella – who said he had to take off from his day job teaching guitar today just to perform – played a wildly energetic and rambunctious set. Tracks performed included hits from their latest album, Baltimore Crush, such as “Undertow,” “Don’t Trust the Sad Boys,” and “In the Future.” Continue reading →
West Philly thrash trio Hound celebrate the vinyl release of their LP Out of Time with a free show tonight at Long in the Tooth. The power trio features singer-guitarist Perry Shall (also a visual artist and show promoter, formerly of surf-punks Dry Feet), drummer Chris Wilson (of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists) and Colin McGinniss on bass; the record is out now and you can rock out to “Mortality Jam” below. Information on the free show can be found here. Continue reading →
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.
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 →
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 →
“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.
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 →
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 →
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 →