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Watch Air is Human’s experimental session with Out of Town Films

Air is Human | photo courtesy of the artist
Air is Human | photo courtesy of the artist

Multi-instrumental duo Air is Human recorded with Out of Town Films this past November. The Philly ambient duo of Jeff Lucci and Josh Aptner recorded a nearly nine-minute session of an unreleased track titled “Fugue {Ø}.” Lucci takes on guitar, bass, rhodes, and synth for Air is Human while Aptner plays intricate rhythms on drums, vibraphones, and other modes of percussion. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Big Country at Sellersville Theater, Holy Death and MOSS at PhilaMOCA

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For a little reminiscing, Big Country is headed to Sellersville Theater tonight.  Though they only gained fame in the US for their 80s hit, “In A Big Country,” Big Country were very popular in Europe, gaining fame for their celtic rock sound and maintaining a huge cult following to this day.  Back in April, the group released their ninth studio album, The Journey and are in tour in support of the album.  The group often added elements of traditional celtic music into their songs, whether it was lyrically, or musically (“In A Big Country” used guitars engineered to sound somewhat like bagpipes).  Check out the song that made the group famous in the US below, and be sure to catch these Scottish legends tonight.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Low Cut Connie at Underground Arts, Mercury Radio Theater at Johnny Brenda’s

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Tonight, Low Cut Connie will play Underground Arts.  The rag-tag Philly crew plays honky tonk rock that immediately feels catchy and welcoming, as we saw in their Free at Noon show not long ago.  The group’s latest release is Call Me Sylvia, which finds them just as energetic as ever.  Aside from their studio work, Low Cut Connie is an incredible live band, and this is a show you won’t want to miss.  Click here for ticket information and check out this Philadelphia-inspired video below, which will also give you a slight taste of their live energy.

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Just Announced: Experimental new wave legends Pere Ubu playing North Star Bar on 9/11

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Going weird and strong since the mid 70s, Pere Ubu are often called “the most original and important of the new wave bands.”  Their music is very hard to place and that’s just the way the band likes it, taking elements from tons of different genres and throwing it together to create music based more on mood and atmosphere than anything else.  In January, the group released their 17th studio album, Lady From Shanghai.  In support of their new album, the group is going on tour and it includes a stop at the North Star Bar with Strapping Fieldhands.  Click here for ticket information and check out a Pere Ubu classic below.

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Ape School update: opening for Mac DeMarco at MilkBoy, randomly playing Brandywine Folk Fest

At the end of August, indie oddball Mac DeMarco is playing Milkboy Philly, and joining him will be Philly’s own Michael Johnson, better known as Ape School.  As far as lineups go, there couldn’t be a more perfect pair.  Ape School creates experimental psychedelic soundscapes, with Johnson’s quirky lyrics accompanied by anything from electronic drones to soaring harmonies to rough basement rock.  The two one-man-bands will make for a great show.

In addition, Ape School is one of many great acts to play the Brandywine Folk Festival on August 25h.  Why he was chosen for a folk fest, neither I nor Michael Johnson know, but he claims via Ape School’s Facebook that “people’s hippie parents seem to like us” so maybe there’s something to it after all.  Click here for ticket information and check out Ape School’s recent single “Idiot’s Grin, President’s Chin” below.

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Meet Philly post-rockers North End in their new song “Gabardine”

NorthEndNorth End, an instrumental group out of Philly (West Chester to be exact), is one skilled set of musicians.  The two guitarists create an incredible wall of sound with heavily distorted chords on one end and fast-paced melodies on the other.  The drummer pounds away with complicated rhythms effortlessly and the bassist frames the song structures perfectly.  The group already has two albums to their name and just released a single, “Gabardine” which will be featured on their EP, Cognoscere, coming out August 13th.  The new single is a strong and constantly shifting piece of post-rock not far off from some of Explosions in the Sky, though a little more intense at times.  Check it out below and look for their EP next month.

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Tonight’s Concert Pics: 3D Cosby at PhilaMOCA, Watery Love at Kung Fu Necktie

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3D Cosby are a quirky band with an odd name to match.  The group creates experimental rock that often combines elements of funk and prog rock into the mix.  Tonight, the group is playing PhilaMOCA as part of it’s Tuesday Tuneout, which features local artists along with a video screening.  For more information about the show, click here and check out one of their songs below.

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Cult fave experimental punks The Dismemberment Plan will play Union Transfer 11/3 (watch video of them at Roots Picnic in 2011)

dismemberment plan

The Dismemberment Plan have been around on-and-off since the early 90s.  The group broke up in 2003 after releasing four solid albums, but it reunited back in 2011 and announced plans to release its first album in ten years, Uncanny Valley, on October 15th.  Known for their high-energy shows and their punk-tinged experimental rock sound, their latest single, “Waiting” shows that they haven’t lost any of that energy in the past decade.  The single is an upbeat danceable rock song, spattered with electronic bleeps.  Check out the single below, watch video of them performing at the Roots Picnic in 2011 and be sure to catch them at Union Transfer November 3rd.

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Mercury Radio Theater joins the propaganda machine with The Fabulous Red Menace (playing Johnny Brenda’s on 8/3)

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Local group Mercury Radio Theater are a unique mix of jazzy swing, raucous punk and experimental theater.  Think Gogol Bordello but a little more intense and distorted and surreal.  On August 3rd, the group is playing The Fabulous Red Menace at Johnny Brenda’s.  According to the group themselves, this new performance is “an homage to old school propaganda and eastern European traditional melodies.”  This is just one of many themed nights the group has done at Johnny Brenda’s and this latest show is sure to be just as bizarre, loud and fun as their previous shows.  Check out some of their material below and get tickets here.

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Listen to No Age’s minimal new single “An Impression” (playing PhilaMOCA on 9/7)

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Experimental punk group No Age will release the follow up to 2010’s Everything In Between this August.  The new album, An Object, has a strong theme of physicality and uses many odd objects in recordings, such as sandpaper and a lot of contact mics.  This week the group released a new single from the album called “An Impression.”  The track is a bit more tame than some of No Age’s other work, but no less beautiful.  The two and a half minute track features minimal drums (this is where the contact mics come in handy) and guitar around quiet vocals.  Check out the track below and catch No Age at PhilaMOCA September 7th.