Back for its third year, the Sundrop Music and Arts Festival is happening at The Fire this weekend. Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang, Andrew Lipke, Up the Chain and Satellite Hearts are among the bands billed for the two day event, which continues tomorrow. In addition to the ticketed, 21+ shows inside The Fire there will be free all-ages concerts on an outdoor stage on Liethgow Street with craft booths and food. Tickets and information can be found here. Below, download a Key Studio track from Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang.
South Jersey’s Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start reunite for a show at Union Transfer tonight. Ten years ago the math rock / shoegazing-punk outfit released And Nothing is #1 – tonight, they will be playing the record from start to finish, appeasing fans who have patiently waited for the band to resurface after 2007′s Worst Band Name Ever. Tickets and information for the all-ages show with A Great Big Pile of Leaves and Hop Along can be found here. Read yesterday’s interview with Steve Poponi of Up Up Down Down here. Below, stream “By Surprise” from And Nothing is #1.Continue reading
By now, you can probably tell that we’re devout fans of the local music-and-film showcase Tuesday Tune-Out, held every week at PhilaMOCA. Some of the best music minds in Philly have curated this thing so far – Herbie Shellenberger of Pet Milk and Black Circle Cinema; Fred Knittel from Folkadelphia; fellow bloggers and local music enthusiasts The Deli, The Swollen Fox, JUMP Philly and Bands in the Backyard. It’s totally good company, a great event that enriches the city’s music and arts scenes, and we’re super excited to join the ranks by curating the month of January.
We’ll begin January 8 with an exciting solo set by Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick, continue on January 15 with some funky noir-hop from Zilla Rocca, present an improvisatory instrumental set from Birdie Busch and Carl Cheeseman on January 22 and conclude on January 29 with a rare solo performance by Frances Quinlan, frontwoman of Hop Along. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. at PhilaMOCA, 531 N 12th St., are all-ages, with $5 suggested donation for admission. After the jump, get details about each show with links for more information. Continue reading
We can all agree (I hope) that the old “can’t judge a book by its cover” adage applies just as easily to albums. From Magical Mystery Tour to Rumours, The Talking Heads to The Smashing Pumpkins, and even this year’s standout Cat Power LP Sun, there’s a rich history of great music hiding behind heinous artwork. So does album art matter?
I think no and yes. “No” in that it’s about the music, not the packaging. In a world of digital listening, we interact with the songs themselves more immediately than ever before – there’s not that barrier of a bizarro / ugly sleeve to “get over,” in the event you find the sleeve bizarro and / or ugly. But also, “yes” in that cover art is still a way an musician represents themselves and their work. It may no longer be a first impression, but it is an impression, and you can almost look at it as an indicator of how much care they put into their overall project. And even on a more practical end, sure, physical releases no longer drive sales, but they are prized by collectors – the 180 gram vinyl editions and so forth are the sort of thing where people use the download card, then frame the LP cover and hang it on their wall. Would you really want to have Grimes’ frantic scribbled acid freakout hanging in your living room? (Okay, maybe you do.)
This week, UK music and culture blog The 405 listed their worst and best album covers of the year – lively reads, always – and it got me thinking about the role album art plays in 2012. Do you ignore it? Do you (like me) get antsy when your iTunes doesn’t have artwork for all its mp3s? What was the worst decade for album covers? (Hint: the 90s.) Which album covers blew you away this year? Which made you wretch? Discuss in the comments section, and check out some standout Philadelphia album covers from 2012 after the jump. Continue reading
South Jersey Math-rockletes Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start are reuniting and playing a show at Union Transfer with A Great Big Pile of Leaves and Hop Along. Up Up Down Down resurfaces after several years of hibernation – their last release was 2007′s Worst Band Name Ever, recorded at New Jersey studio The Gradwell House. Word has it, this reunion show will celebrate the nerd band’s 10th anniversary of and Nothing is #1. Tickets go on sale Friday, December 7th at noon; find out more information at the new XPN Concert Calendar. Below, watch the video for “I’ll Thank You Later” from Worst Band Name Ever.
Hop Along and Kite Party will be performing tonight at The Fire. Hop Along released their debut full-length album Get Disowned earlier this year in May, while fellow local band Kite Party have the entirety of their first album Hand Claps Music available as a free download here. The all ages show tonight starts at 6:30; tickets are available here. Below, watch Kite Party performing “Buried in Dogs.”