Punk rock rules! This year’s OK FEST will be held on August 1st and 2nd at Golden Tea House and Nacho House. There’s a seriously strong lineup including Cayetana, who were recently featured on NPR, The Ambulars, Hound, Amanda X, Swearin’, and more. Brooklyn punk rockers, Worriers play on Friday, and Massachusetts indie-rockers Speedy Ortiz will play on Saturday. Speedy Ortiz recently played Bonnaroo and released an EP, Real Hair, back in February.
Perry Shall is at it again with Hound, his new band which also includes bassist Joel Winter along with drummer Chris Wilson (also notable for playing in Ted Leo and the Pharmacists). This week the band released not just one, but two simultaneous debut albums, titled Out of Time and Out of Space, both pulled from recording sessions over the past year (which also included musicians Brendan Graham of Everyone Everywhere on drums and Mike Klein on bass). Hound’s material certainly pulls somewhat from from Dry Feet, Shall’s earlier band, but with less of a surf feel and more of a dark metal-punk Motorhead-ish sound to it. This is evident in songs like “Mortality Jam,” from the Out of Space album which features a barrage of E chords played with the tone of a guitar plugged into a wall of Marshall amplifiers, or “Cold Sweat” from Out of Time, which has the raunchiness of Black Sabbath but the melodic adroitness of early 90s Green Day. Check out the LPs below.
On a recent Thursday morning, I went to the new headquarters of TSVG, the boutique effects pedal company that relocated from West Philadelphia to the Fairmount neighborhood a few weeks ago. “Headquarters” is actually the home of Mike Klein, the pedal designer who founded TSVG in 2011. He has two designated workspaces in his new home, one in a small spare bedroom, and the other in the basement. Making pedals is now Klein’s full-time job, but he claims there aren’t any plans to move TSVG into a larger, separate workshop.
“I really don’t need any more room than I already have,” explains Klein while standing in his kitchen. “It’s not like there are a bunch of people working in here. It’s just me and sometimes one other person. I eat my breakfast, and then I go downstairs and start making pedals. That’s what my days are like now.”
Klein’s living room is doubling as a conference room this morning. On top of his coffee table are the six pedals TSVG is currently pushing: a fuzz box called the Angry Jeff; the Emperor, an overdrive pedal; two boost pedals called Hard Stuff (one designed specifically for basses, the other for guitars); a 1960s/70s-inspired fuzz pedal called Keystone Fuzz; and the Red Eye, an overdrive pedal TSVG’s website describes as “perfect for living out your ‘Arena Rock’ fantasy.”
Sitting around the table with Klein are his high school pal Perry Shall, whose artwork appears on all of the pedals, and Yamil Emedan, a longtime friend who has recently become Klein’s apprentice. All three of them are pedal-junkies who play in local bands. Shall’s in Dry Feet, Emedan is in Can You Canoe and Tortuga, and both Klein and Shall are in Hound. As you might expect, they all use TSVG pedals.
“I’ve played a million boost pedals before, but these are the first ones that actually work,” says Shall, who admits he’s incredibly biased. “Most boost pedals just don’t boost. I play loud music all the time, and these pedals really explode, man!”
Shall’s not alone. Among the musicians currently using TSVG pedals are Best Coast’s Bobb Bruno, Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster, Circa Survive’s Brendan Ekstrom and Philadelphia guitarist Nick Millevoi, of Many Arms. “The Hard Stuff pushes my tone into some seriously aggressive territory,” says Millevoi. “I’ve never used another pedal that’s able to overdrive my amp in this way. The fact that it’s hand-wired point-to-point is a serious bonus. I think it gives them a vintage tone you won’t find on any pedal that was built from a circuit board.” Continue reading →
Philly noise rockers Far-Out Fangtooth channeled their inner seventies punk muses during an appearance on WNYU’s New Afternoon Show recently. During the on-air performance the local scuzz-punks covered Iggy Pop’s “Funtime” from his 1977 album The Idiot. Following the rock-out, Far-Out Fangtooth mentioned finishing up their second record and their plans for an April tour with Psychic Blood. Listen to the full episode here (the interview occurs in the last quarter of the show) and stream the Iggy Pop cover below. Tickets and information for their 21+ show with K-Holes, Call of the Wild and Hound at Johnny Brenda’s this Saturday, February 17th, can be found here.
XPN welcomes Citizen Cope to World Cafe Live at The Queen. Cope (off-stage name: Clarence Greenwood) released One Lovely Day last year. Though primarily focusing on an acoustic singer-songwriter style these days, the Memphis-born musician and producer blends his background in hip hop with the occasional electronic flourish to amp up his laid-back delivery. Tickets and information for tonight’s full-band show in Wilmington can be found here. Below, watch Citizen Cope and his band perform “Bullet and a Target” live at the Austin City Limits Festival.