Philly rock trio Tinmouth has been kicking around the city for a couple of years now, playing bills with the likes of Eternal Summers, Free Time, and Dent May while refining their brand of fuzzy, college rock. A self-described bunch of “reformed romantics, somewhere beyond Missed Connections and Casual Encounters,” the band both distills and pays tribute to classic rock tropes, creating something exciting and warmly familiar. Continue reading →
Bear In Heaven’s latest record, Time is Over One Day Old, has a telling song called “Dissolve the Walls.” It song starts off as a faraway confusion of conversation, blitzy synth running down a long tunnel as an upbeat womanly chorus chants: “Let the walls dissolve/ till there’s no room at all/ there’s no ceiling, no floor/ no windows, no door.”
Given this particular track and the cover art of the 2014 album (on which I can’t help but see a galactic rolling paper), you might think you could easily file it under ‘other worldly weirdness,’ right next to 2001: A Space Odyssey. But the group never has stopped with just one sonic style compartment, so you really can’t file this album as a whole under anything (and not next to any of the group’s previous releases, either).
“We’re always talking about output or creation, so it’s certainly not this, ‘alright, let’s definitely make this an effort to strip things back…’” says Adam Wills, guitarist and co-founder of Bear in Heaven, and writer of the song. The group, which headlines Johnny Brenda’s tonight, began 10 years ago as a project between Wills and co-founder/vocalist Jon Philpot. Continue reading →
Local indie rockers Southwork will play Johnny Brenda’s tonight, celebrating the release of its latest record Wear Your Heart Out. The record was recorded in a South Philly row home on a reel-to-reel tape machine owned by frontman Mike Vivas’ cousins. The recordings are raw and heartfelt, just fuzzy enough to sound like a warp-y dream. Take a listen to “Tell You a Story” below and pick up tickets for the show with Tutlie and Purples here. Continue reading →
Tim Motzer’s guitar is an infinitely adaptable piece of machinery. He regularly wields the instrument in a staggering variety of contexts, always fitting in with whatever genre he finds himself recruited for, while also warping it just the right amount to spotlight his inventive individuality without muscling his way into the spotlight. Of course, it helps that the artists he chooses to collaborate with are all on the eccentric or at least envelope-pushing end of the spectrum in their own fields, from Ursula Rucker to King Britt to Kurt Rosenwinkel.
Brooklyn’s People Get Ready bring their Physiques tour to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The indie super group, which features members from Yeasayer, A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Lizzie Trulie released the LP in June earning praise from NPR for its blend of rock, dance and performance art. Watch the video for the title track below and pick up tickets here.
A tribute for the late Baltimore-born guitarist Robbie Basho has been scheduled for August 23rd at Johnny Brenda’s, presented by Alabaster Museum and featuring a preview of a new documentary about the musician. Basho was part of the so-called Takoma School in the 60s with John Fahey, Max Ochs and others, bringing more recognition to finger-style and steel-string acoustic guitar playing. Basho, though, was also known for his unmistakable singing – similar to Roy Orbison but even more striking, rich with vibrato and carrying over an impressive range.
Fishtown’s Busses open the show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s, following the release of their first single in two years. ”Overload” calls to mind Radiohead and Other Lives, with soothing swells of horns and echoing vocals supported by marching drums and a wandering bass line. The band has been working on a new album, so expect to hear some new material tonight. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Avers and Rosu Lup can be found here. Take a listen to “Overload” below.
Norristown’s weekend Walla Fest is back for its fourth year with a stacked line-up of local music including Pine Barons and Vita and the Wolf. Pine Barons recently went up to Lafayette Hill’s Kettle Pot Tracks studio to record an On the Hill Session, which you can check out here. Meanwhile, Vita and Wolf have released two singles on their Bandcamp – listen to “Mary” below. More information for the festival, which takes place at the Centre Theater in Norristown today and tomorrow, can be found here.
Vacationer does exactly what their name would suggest.
The Philadelphia-based band has toured and traveled all over the world. They’ve shot videos in Hawaii and Costa Rica. They’ve played festivals in Iceland, and toured all over the U.S. alongside bands like Bombay Bicycle Club, Tennis, Hellogoodbye and The Naked and Famous.
But the Vacationer hasn’t always taken their party on the road. They’ve also played Philly enough times since 2012 to make it hard to keep track of. The band has brought its chill-wave sounds to venues like Union Transfer, the Theater of the Living Arts and the Dock Street Brewing Company, as well as outdoor festivals like 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties and the Fishtown River City Festival. Their home-away-from-tour, however, seems to be Underground Arts, where Vacationer has played a handful of shows including the two installments of the “Nude Beach” concert series the band started.
To celebrate tonight’s release show and the band’s first time performing at Johnny Brenda’s, we’re recapping a few of Vacationer’s most memorable hometown shows in the live videos below. You can also catch them playing the first day of the Made in America festival on August 30th, Vacationer being the only local band announced on the bill so far. Continue reading →