For the past few albums, Philly rock and roll faves Dr. Dog have staged their hometown shows at the Electric Factory, usually selling the place out and more recently on back-to-back nights. While they’ve really begun to own that room and, as I observed in the winter, craft a friendly and familial atmosphere in what is pretty much a big warehouse, the question lingered in the air: when is the band going to take the next step?
Today, we got that answer: as it’s B-Room tour wraps around the country on another leg, Dr. Dog will headline the Skyline Stage at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, September 14th, a setting that couldn’t be more perfect. The capacity is just slightly bigger than the Factory, so it may not be a huge jump, but playing the Skyline is a great gateway to playing the Mann proper – and I can’t wait to see the boys rock (and pack) that house. And also, watching a show in open-air setting in the grove on a breezy late summer Saturday night with the city lights twinkling behind you and Dr. Dog in front of you could not possibly be a more Philly concert. Maybe if the Phanatic showed up again, or The Roots were there, but you get what I’m saying – this is going to be a treat.
Also a treat are the openers: Canadian impresario Mac DeMarco, who cunningly bridges the worlds of lo-fi drum-machine indie / weirdo rock (think Ariel Pink, Animal Collective) with the energy and in-yo-face attitude of mainstream party rock (Andrew W.K.), as well as Jersey’s The Front Bottoms, whose high energy poppy folk-punk is completely infectious and endearing (check out their new Rose EP or their recent Indie Rock Hit Parade session to see). Arrive early, stay late. UPDATE: Holy smokes the first opener is actually amazing Philly art punks Hop Along according to the flyer on Dr. Dog’s Twitter. Freaking out over here.
Underground Arts hosted a packed crowd on Friday night with headlining act Mac DeMarco, who was touring behind his recently released second LP Salad Days. The laid-back, dreamy album caught the ears of many and it certainly showed as Underground Arts was as crowded as I’ve ever seen it. Mac Demarco has a swoonworthy and chill persona – baseball cap on his head and a cigarette in-between his fingers – and he performed a killer set of stoner love songs. With many longtime fans in the audience, folks sang along to the cuts like “Ode to Viceroy” and “Freaking Out in the Neighborhood” from his prior record 2. Opening act Laser Background used a megaphone and dreamy electric melodies to warm up the audience just right. And Juan Wauters had a stellar backdrop of various flags sewn together, incorporated with flickering light bulbs and Christmas lights throughout the entire set. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.
The eccentric and always-surprising Mac DeMarco has announced a show at Underground Arts in support of his upcoming full-length Salad Days. The Captured Tracks artist will stop by on April 18th with labelmate Juan Wauters. The new record follows 2012′s breakthrough LP2 and although no official audio from Salad Days has been released yet, DeMarco performed a few new tracks for Edmonton’s CKUA Radio, which you can listen to below. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here.
Chamber-pop outfit Buried Beds plays at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Check out the sly orchestral group’s recently released, lightly embellished single, “Stars,” below. It comes from their latest album, In Spirit, which will be released next month. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s 21+ show here.
Always eccentric singer/songwriter Mac Demarco rarely disappoints when it comes to live shows. Whether he’s stage-diving to a crowd not quite prepared to catch him, or getting himself into some unwanted hijinx while covering U2′s classic “Beautiful Day”, he’s always up to something. For anyone who hasn’t yet had the opportunity to witness his live shenanigans in person, be sure to catch him next month when he’ll be stopping by for a local show at Milkboy Philly on August 29th, alongside Philly-based opener Ape School. Tickets and info can be found here. And what better way to get psyched for that than by checking out Demarco and co.’s newly released live cassette, featuring tracks from both of his previous LP’s, as well as some unique, to say the least, and always fun, covers (among them “Cocaine”, and a ten-minute medley combining The Police, Metallica, Neil Young and more). The whole thing is available to stream via Ad Hoc. Check it below.
Oddball singer/songwriter Mac Demarco recently released the tune “Young Blood” for Adult Swim’s summer single series. Much like his debut Rock n’ Roll nightclub, the track features endearingly retro guitar work, and Demarco’s unique, albeit obscure, baritone. When discussing the song’s genesis, Mac explained that:
My friend Jon Lent visited me in Montreal last summer, my apartment was very hot, so we went to Walmart and bought two fans. To celebrate cooling down, we ordered a pepperoni pizza and watched the movie Youngblood with Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe. Sometime after the movie finished, we flipped on the four-track, and the song came out.
At the end of August, indie oddball Mac DeMarco is playing Milkboy Philly, and joining him will be Philly’s own Michael Johnson, better known as Ape School. As far as lineups go, there couldn’t be a more perfect pair. Ape School creates experimental psychedelic soundscapes, with Johnson’s quirky lyrics accompanied by anything from electronic drones to soaring harmonies to rough basement rock. The two one-man-bands will make for a great show.
In addition, Ape School is one of many great acts to play the Brandywine Folk Festival on August 25h. Why he was chosen for a folk fest, neither I nor Michael Johnson know, but he claims via Ape School’s Facebook that “people’s hippie parents seem to like us” so maybe there’s something to it after all. Click here for ticket information and check out Ape School’s recent single “Idiot’s Grin, President’s Chin” below.