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“Do you remember we would go to church and play the pool shark?” trills Dom Angelella on “St. Tom’s,” the second track from DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush. This line is just one example of many that invites listeners into this fuzzy world of basement-moshers-with-guitars on the album, a follow-up to 2013’s Paragraph Nights.
Baltimore Crush isn’t just a shift from their debut LP; it’s a progression into a different branch of rock. Sure, the ten-track album still has touches of DRGN King’s signature electronic influences, but the driving forces on this effort come from thrash-worthy guitar solos counteracted by relaxed surf vibes, which in itself could be a description of the people the album’s written for; coasting along but screwing up big time in an attempt to mask unreached potential.
The percussion on “Solo Harp,” which the band played at the 2013 XPoNential Music Festival, has this intensity that personifies how important the rest of the album is, making it an interesting yet appropriate choice as the last track on the record. It hearkens back more familiarly to earlier work from DRGN King, but the song’s themes provide a fitting conclusion for this new album as well. Baltimore Crush is a spectacular collection of feelings about the common overwhelming pressure to break out and do something huge and what it’s like to watch people flounder along as they fail to meet those expectations.
Fast-rising Philly local favorite Lucy Stone will showcase her exuberant modern-pop style and rich alto voice at TicketLeap’s Create! event November 7th at Arden Theater. The night is bound to be inspired, filled with TED Talk-esque discussions with some of Philly’s top notch businesses, including Scott Schroeder of South Philly Tap Room and American Sardine Bar, Thaddeus Squire of Hidden City Philadelphia, and Tom Kehoe of Yards Brewing Company. Find all tickets and details to mark your calendars here. Start getting inspired early by looking back on Lucy Stone’s August Key Studio Session here. Watch her Audiotree performance of “Analog” below.
We found out about local singer-songwriter Lucy Stone a year and a half ago, and were immediately impressed. She had just released her second EP, Would You?, and its hints of Natalie Merchant and Aimee Mann blended with a modern pop sensibility and a confident, exuberant delivery that had us hooked. Since then, she and her band – some of whom pull double-duty in Wild Rompit – have toured with Rusted Root, opened for The Dirty Projectors and Daughter, and released the excellent, contemplative “Kelly Drive” via subscription-based new music incubator FeedbackLoop. Now they’re heading into the studio to record their latest release – which we got a taste of in their Key Session via the soaring rocker “Ten Below.” Listen to and download the entire set below, find out more about Lucy in Lauren Thomas’ interview from last summer here, and keep tabs on her via Facebook.
Plow United will be playing at Atlantic City venue The Boneyard tonight. After looking like they might never come back to the stage, the thrashcore pop-punk band made an unexpected return and proudly released their new album, Marching Band, last April. Can’t make it tonight? Catch Plow United tomorrow at the Mojo Main in Delaware. For more information and tickets for tonight’s show, click here. Watch a video of the band performing a cover of Siouxie and the Banshees’ “Burn-Up” from this week’s Key Studio Session below.
Local singer-songwriter Lucy Stone performs at PhilaMOCA tonight. The Drexel University student has had busy year, recording and touring with Rusted Root last fall, working on her own new full-length currently and accepting accolades like The Deli’s Artist of the Month last year and and an Independent Music Awards nomination for her Would You? EP earlier this year. Tickets and information for tonight’s show with Cruiser and Former Belle can be found here. Below, watch an acoustic performance of “Out of Time.”
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts gets underway this Thursday, March 28th and will run through April 27th. With homebase returning to The Kimmel Center and a new theme of time travel this year, the month-long event will use performances, lectures and exihibitions to explore past moments in history including the discovery of America, the lunar landing and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Below, check out a few musical highlights that you won’t want to miss, including a selection of free concerts happening in the Kimmel Center’s “Time Travel Plaza” (where you will also find a spiraling time machine).
Last Call at the Downbeat (4/5-4/13, Red Room at the Society Hill Playhouse): Learn about Philadelphia’s jazz scene in the forties with this staged retrospective of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Watch a short video about the play from show producers Jazz Bridge below.
Prima! Rufus! Judy! (4/21, Verizon Hall): Rufus Wainwright reprises Judy Garland’s return to the stage with selections from her 1961 Carnegie Hall performance. The evening will begin with excerpts from Wainwright’s own opera Prima Donna. Watch Wainwright perform “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” below.
More efforts for Hurricane Sandy relief are popping up in the tri-state region this weekend, beginning with a show headlined by none other than Shakey himself. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Trey Anastasio of Phish, and Everest have collaboratively organized a benefit show at The Borgata in Atlantic City for this evening. Proceeds from tonight’s show will be directed to the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief effort, which you can contribute to here. Anastasio, who formerly lived in Pronceton, will be performing a special acoustic set for tonight’s benefit. General admission tickets for the all-ages benefit are available at our concert calendar here; the concert starts at 8. Below, check out Anastasio’s Acoustic Barn performance of “Time Turns Elastic.”
Part of the Philadelphia delegation heading up to New York City this week for the CMJ Music Marathon, local rock band Thee Idea Men will be playing the TurnStyle showcase at Ella’s Lounge tomorrow night. Following CMJ, Thee Idea Men return to Philadelphia for a show with Lucy Stone at Gunner’s Run; the hometown show is free, and more information can be found here. Thee Idea Men recently recorded a video with Bands In the Backyard for their song “She’s Got the Walk,” which you can watch below.