If you just went by Roof Doctor‘s irreverent personalities, their tongue-deep-in-cheek social media presence (Twitter handle: @roof_deezy), the fact that they once tried to start a beef with Conor Oberst, you’d have no reason to take them seriously. But consider their chops and multi-instrumental prowess. Chet Williams has a knack for juggling sax, keyboard, percussion, bass and vocals; Kevin Paschall delivers intricate rhythmic accompaniment from behind the drumkit (I’m still wrapping my brain around the beat at the beginning of “Bulldog,” which they played in their Key Studio Session); Mark Harper reigns in everything that’s going on and arranges it into ultra catchy tunes. These dudes are so serious. Continue reading →
Philly born and bred Tiani Victoria performs at the Theater of Living Arts tonight, not long after her XPN Studio Session this past week. Her vocal skills have made her an up and coming Philly performer you should look out for; check out some video from the session below, and get ticketing info for the all ages $29 concert here.
It’s a funny business, being in a band these days. In some ways, it’s the same as it always was: friends, hanging out in basements or someone’s garage, writing jams and probably shooting the shit. But then there are all the other things that go along with being in a band these days: tweeting and maintaining Facebook accounts, sending out press releases, cramming into the van together and playing DIY spots across the country, fueled by Taco Bell and the dream of “making it”—or at least scoring enough blog buzz to live off your tunes.
Royal Shoals do things old skool. The trio of Jamie Wilson, Matt Lyons, and Greg Pavlovcak have been playing in bands most of their lives; a sampling of recent projects includes The Ropers, Saturday People, Public Record, and Motor. They’re not interested in spending their summers tucked into a van eating tacos (“I get upset when I don’t have the right type of peanut butter,” says Wilson)—and they’re definitely not doing this to score blog buzz.
“We’ve liberated ourselves from the burden of success a long time ago,” says Wilson with a grin from the bar at Fishtown’s Cedar Point.
No, Royal Shoals are doing this for the same reason they’ve always been doing this: to have fun, and play some tunes.
“In the beginning, it was really meant as a fun excuse to hang out and mess around,” says Lyons, who’s known Wilson for years from growing up around Wilmington, DE. “We never had big goals.”
Over the past five years, the band’s been slowly incubating, playing shows and recording sporadically. This Thursday, they’ll celebrate the release of their sophomore EP, Hotel, with a release party at Kung Fu Necktie. Throughout the years, they’ve won fans as respected as The Walkmen’s Peter Bauer (who they played with last March) and The War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel (who, they tell me excitedly, bought a shirt). They’ve also turned on dozens to breezy summer pop jams with a surprising amount of bite—all while maintaining a low-key attitude that prioritizes fun over fame.
“In the beginning we were just going to be a band in the summer,” says Wilson. “The loose rule was we would only play shows outside, preferably on docks and such. The point of the band was just to have fun.” Continue reading →
Philly singer-songwriter A.M. Mills celebrated Record Store Day at AKA Music and tonight he plays at Ortlieb’s. Last month, he released a stellar track titled “Wreckin’ My World” which has a ’70s California-rock ballad feel to it (think Tom Petty). It’s simple, melodic and feels good all around. Check it out below and get tickets here.
Gloucester City rockers The Warhawks are self-releasing their latest EP, Exodus, and celebrating this Friday May 9th at Kung Fu Necktie. The set finds the band traveling loud and dark paths with their sound, which was pretty heavy stuff to begin with. Whereas before our point of reference was heavy arena rockers Kings of Leon, the new stuff sounds notably rawer and more punk. The video for “Just Let Me,” released a couple months back, has a definite Buzzcocks by-way-of Queens of the Stone Age vibe to it. The clip shows the band going HAM in a garage with an American flag draped from a wall behind their drumkit – the feverish intensity is pretty much in line with the band we’ve seen rock out at venues from Johnny Brenda’s to the backyard party they crashed at SXSW a few years back. Check out the video below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.
A Facebook post this morning announced that Fishtown venue Kung Fu Necktie is “making some changes” and will move in “a different direction as far as booking the club goes.” The small club underneath the El opened its doors in late 2008 and was initially booked in part by R5 Productions under the guidance of Steven Ward James. But James left around 2010, and the club has gone through a string of promoters since then, most recently Bonfire (who also handles Underground Arts and North Star). In the past year, the venue has booked simultaneous shows on the downstairs stage as well as a renovated upstairs gallery space, sometimes doing upwards to three shows or DJ events per night – a programming policy that’s generated some degree of flack from the music community.
According to the announcement (which you can read in full after the jump), the club is “running more as a collective from here on out, with the hopes of each show being slightly more micro-managed.” They say the venue will be open to independent promoters, with “a few in-house facilitators” offering guidance.
We’ve reached out to some of the stakeholders and will update you as we find out more. For now, read KFN’s announcement below. Continue reading →
Tonight, M.I.A. graces the Tower Theater stage and fans (old and new) should, as always, expect a little bit of everything from the singer-songwriter’s genre-bending music. On her latest album Matangi, it’s clear that her sound is still a hybrid of electronic, pop, hip-hop and world music. Best known for her 2007 platinum hit “Paper Planes”, M.I.A. isn’t a traditional singer or rapper; she’s crafted a style that’s somewhere in between and it’s infectious. Watch “Y.A.L.A.” below and get tickets here
At the start of 2013 a band called Edison drifted into Philly with a debut EP called Living Room and a handful of shows. Founded by locals Michael James Murray and Alexander Savoth, the duo crafted roaming soundscapes that incorporated string sections with quietly jazzy drums and large-room production that still kept things intimate with closely placed vocals.
Following several months of solo work by Murray and Savoth that coincided with a new approach to Edison, the band is back with an expanded line-up and new material, ready to hit the stage again at Kung Fu Necktie on Sunday, April 27th. Chris Giraldi joins on drums and Bennet Daniels (Neighborhood Choir, Hippy Johnny) takes control of the bass, bringing new perspectives and possibilities to a band that already reached aural moments of Air and Radiohead. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Marc Neibauer and HLEP can be found here. Listen back to last year’s EP below.
Before there was Pure Phase, before there was Screamadelica, there was Loop. The short-lived UK four-piece blended nervy electronic rhythms and towering psychedelic arrangements in a similar manner as Spiritualized and Primal Scream, but disbanded before those artists really took off. Reunited in 2013, Loop is taking a pass through the U.S. this spring and headlining Kung Fu Necktie tonight; get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and watch a video for their cover of Suicide’s “Rocket U.S.A” from the 1987 album The World In Your Eyes below.
Philly’s Roof Doctor will bring its eclectic blend of surf, punk and indie rock to Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Their latest album Mobile Freedom Home arrived late last month just in time for Spring. Check out “Bulldog” below and get $5 tickets at the door before showtime at 8pm.