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PREMIERE: The Extraordinaires video for “Blue Moon,” the story behind Dress for Nasty Weather, and their creative new label

Photo courtesy of the band.
Photo courtesy of the band.

Matt Gibson had a tough decision to make in 2011. He either had to figure out how to keep his band, the Extraordinaires, alive in the wake of Punk Rock Payroll, the record label they’d been a part of going under, or accept an offer to go on tour playing in Man Man.

He ended up accepting and touring with Man Man as a multi-instrumentalist in support of their album Life Fantastic until 2012. His experience touring in a nationally recognized act didn’t yield the results he’d originally imagined though.

“I think I was going into it with a lot higher hopes of meeting more people and meeting more people that wanted to hear new music, or being able to share the Extraordinaires music with them,” Gibson says. “Or meeting people to make contacts with them that may be able to help with the Extraordinaires. But now looking back, that may have been a naive thought. Because the reality of it is that everybody is trying to do the same thing and you really need to have something that’s impressive to peak your head out above everybody else’s. Nobody really cares unless there’s really some hype behind it.”

But he did come away with added comfort for playing in front of larger crowds among other things that helped his main band after rejoining in 2012, which come up later in this piece.

However, Gibson later found out what he thought about bands needing hype to catch the attention of the public may not be true. He and the rest of the Extraordinaires took the crowd-sourcing approach in the winter of 2012 to aid in releasing their upcoming album, Dress for Nasty Weather, their first on their new label, Color Theory Records, which they are running with Justin Wolf of Lux Perpetua. Through a Kickstarter campaign the Extraordinaires surpassed their goal by $2,000.

“Because for what we accomplished with Punk Rock Payroll,” Jay Purdy says, “it was really hard to lose that support system. But it was really inspiring to know that people had taken notice enough that we could do another book.”

Now working under the Color Theory flag, the Extraordinaires want to “keep the spirit of Punk Rock Payroll alive,” as Purdy puts it about the original label that released their first couple albums – with handmade books.

“Our current goal is to be an outlet for bands to do interesting releases,” he says. “As far as vinyl, CDs and digital downloads go that’s kind of standard practice. Because when we were on Punk Rock Payroll, simply by aggregating all of our resources, we were able to do these really unique releases.”

Punk Rock Payroll started as a small merchandise company in 2003, by Frede Zimmer focusing on buttons and screen printing and eventually grew into to being a label for a small roster of bands. Releases on PRP weren’t just conventional CDs, tapes, vinyl records, or even digital downloads, but much more. The boutique label put out music that were more like art projects than just albums.

For example, the Extraordinaires have put out each of their albums on CD accompanied by a hard bound book with the albums’ lyrics printed on its pages. This is more than appropriate for the band’s tendency of telling stories in their music. A song about to come out on Dress for Nasty Weather and personal favorite of Purdy’s is “Stray Bullet,” a tune that he says a bit like a modern version of Pinocchio but a bit darker. And don’t forget about “The Egg of Columbus,” from 2009’s Electric and Benevolent that tells the story of that certain Italian that discovered the Americas. And from the upcoming Dress for Nasty Weather, they are bringing their first music video to light for “Blue Moon.” In it each member of the band plays the role of a Charlie Chaplin-like character, meets what Purdy describes as an “Amerlia Earhart character,” document their day together with her and maybe fall for her, too.


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PREMIERE: Lux Perpetua’s dreamy pop “Blood Sea” from the new album Hehbehdehbehbehdeh

LuxPerpetua_PhotoByMichaelBucher
Lux Perpetua | photo by Michael Bucher | courtesy of the artist

Lux Perpetua, the long-running Philly psych outfit led by multi-faceted multi-instrumentalist and producer Justin Wolf, is gearing up for a busy summer. The band is releasing its long-awaited album, Hehbehdehbehbehdeh (pronounced pretty much like it looks) on Color Theory Records on May 29th. If you were a fan of last year’s bass-heady psych-rock EP Make Your Purposes Mine, here’s a friendly forewarning: this new material is different. And for an ever-evolving band, that’s a good thing.

Most notable is “Blood Sea,” an unusually upbeat tune (for Lux) that we’re premiering for you today. One immediate difference is the addition of a female voice to the mix, Wolf’s good friend Amelia Meath (of Sylvan Esso and Mountain Man), who also contributes to a majority of the album’s tracks. The vocal interchange between Wolf and Meath combined with airy, catchy guitar melodies gives the tune a primarily summer feel. The dreamy quality of the track makes sense – as it came to Wolf in a dream:

“I wrote the song a few years ago after throwing my back out pretty badly,” he told us. “After wobbling home I fell asleep and dreamed of a kitchen at the edge of a giant red sea, which was the back pain scrambling my mind. It became a sort of weird love song about cooking biscuits and missing someone and ‘riding the waves’ so to speak.”

I don’t know about the biscuits part, but the dreamy love song amidst a giant red sea certainly translates.

Lux Perpetua will play their album release show on May 29 at Johnny Brenda’s with The Extraordinaires and Andrew Cedermark. Get tickets for the show here. Stream “Blood Sea” via the band’s Soundcloud page below.

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Andrew Cedermark at Johnny Brenda’s

img-andrew-cedermark-by-erik-erikson_131949976466Indie rock artist Andrew Cedermark will share the stage with Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang and Lux Perpetua at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The former guitarist for punk rock outfit Titus Andronicus just celebrated his sophomore release of solo album Home Life this past July. Check out more details and tickets for tonight’s 21+ show here. Prepare for the show by listening to “At Home” off of Cedermark’s new album below.

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Stream Acres of Diamonds Animal Trust EP (playing PhilaMOCA on 1/18)

On their latest Animal Trust EP, Acres of Diamonds follow up 2010′s debut with three dark, post-punky songs recorded at Miner Street Studios.  Mixing in a healthy dose of pop catchy-ness, Animal Trust hands out some unexpected twists by-way of an organ on the Sonic Youth-esque “Sweet Believers” and occasional Kate Bush-ian theatrics on the title track.  Vocalist Sarah Davis’ Gwen Rooker’s raspy alto recalls the eeriness of Family Band singer Kim Krans at times, adding a mysterious counter-point to the fully-developed guitar and drum layers.  Acres of Diamonds will be performing at PhilaMOCA on January 18th with Univox, Pow Wow! and Lux Perpetua.  More information can be found here.  Below, stream Acres of Diamond’s Animal Trust EP.

http://acresofdiamonds.bandcamp.com/

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