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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

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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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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. DRGN King, Roof Doctor, Lake Street Dive and more

Up The Chain | Photo by Bob Sweeney
Up The Chain | Photo by Bob Sweeney

Up the Chain stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session.  The laidback five-piece tossed three new songs into the set list, along with tracks taken from last year’s Seeds and Thorns.  The session is a showcase of the band’s chameleon-like sound, moving from rockabilly to rootsy pop and even including a song you could tango to.  Take a listen to “Seasick Sailors” below and get the full set here.  Up the Chain play The Ardmore Music Hall on April 26th; tickets and information can be found here.

Philly outfit Roof Doctor released their sophomore effort Mobile Freedom Home this week, posting it on Bandcamp as a name-your-own-price download.  As Patricia Madej described in her review, it’s the kind of album “you’ll find yourself humming” as you “notice the small jangly, irresistible details” of each song.  Stream and download “Bulldog” below and get the full album here.  Roof Doctor plays a record release show at PhilaMOCA tonight; information can be found here.

Folkadelphia brought in Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors for a live session back in October, and fittingly chose the early days of spring to share the resulting outdoorsy recordings.  Found via word-of-mouth, the band proved why their fans are so supportive of and excited by the “honest, down-to-earth, and catchy pop & rootsy Americana music” the Tennessee natives create.  Stream and download the full session below.

Local favorites DRGN King have returned with a new single called “Solo Harp” this week.  Following last year’s Paragraph Nights full-length, the new track moves in a different direction with swirling guitars, a distorted found-audio clip and sun-bathed vocals not unlike Dr. Dog’s mellower tunes.  Stream and download the song below and stay tuned for more from the band’s forthcoming second LP.  DRGN King play Boot & Saddle on April 20th; tickets and information can be found here.

Recent World Cafe subjects Lake Street Dive performed a version of “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 during their session with host David Dye.  Featured as a My Morning Download, the song opts for a dimly-lit jazz club vibe with heavy stand-up bass notes accompanied by soulful vocal harmonies and steamy horns.  Stream and download the song here.  Lake Street Dive returns to Philly on April 2nd for a sold out show at Union Transfer.

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Free Download: DRGN King set the mood with new single “Solo Harp”

DRGN King | photo courtesy of the artist
DRGN King | photo courtesy of the artist

DRGN King have followed up last year’s Paragraph Nights LP with a new single called “Solo Harp.”  Premiered over on No Fear of Pop, the “mood setting track” is a bit more languid than those on its predecessor, opening with a swirling guitar line and blooming reverb before cutting down to a warm bass track that holds up relaxed vocals from front man Dom Angelella.  The song is taken from a forthcoming sophomore effort from the band, expected to be released this summer on Bar None Records.  Take a listen (and get a free download) below, and catch DRGN King live at Boot & Saddle on April 20th.