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Members of Clockcleaner, Paint It Black and Purling Hiss join forces in the rumbling new Dark Blue

Dark Blue | Photo by Ben Stas
Dark Blue | Photo by Ben Stas

A trio of Philly punk scene vets has joined forces in a new band called Dark Blue, blending elements of their various projects into a rumbling whole. Made up of singer-guitarist John Sharkey III (of Clockcleaner), bassist Andy Nelson (of Paint it Black and Ceremony), and drummer Mike Sneeringer (formerly of Purling Hiss and The Loved Ones), the band released it’s debut single for “Subterranean Man” today via Bandcamp, with a 7″ pressing via Katorga Works soon to follow.

As Nelson pointed out via email, the lineup is the same as Puerto Rico Flowers, Sharkey’s post-Clockcleaner recording project that was fleshed out into a live band in 2009. This group, he says, is meant to be more of a band-band.

Musically, Dark Blue dishes melodic rockers that sound a bit sinister – credit Sharkey’s pensive baritone to that – but it also hints at the nihilistic aggression and acerbic wit of Clockcleaner (consider the b-side, “Skinhead Wedding In Canberra”) as well as the nervy tension heard in Nelson’s Paint It Black. Maybe I’m stretching just a touch here, but it even seems that structural sensibilities Sneeringer honed in his past bands keeps his present bandmates reined in, making this a lively meeting ground between their oi! and proto-punk influences and timeless rock and roll. Recommended if you like The Cramps, The Buzzcocks, Flipper or The Replacements.

The band will make its Philly headlining debut on Tuesday, March 4th at PhilaMOCA; tickets to the all ages show are $5 and available here. Listen to the “Subterranean Man” 7″ below and get a name-your-own-price download at Bandcamp.

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Purling Hiss, going out on tour with Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, releasing “new” LP in April

large_PurlingHiss
Photo by Tiffany Yoon
Our favorite Philly psychedelic/heavy rock power trio Purling Hiss are going out on the road in March, opening for Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks for a handful of dates. On April 22nd, the Hiss will release Dizzy Polizzy on Drag City Records. The 11 song LP, originally conceived as a tour only cassette, will have to hold Hiss fans in check until guitar whiz Mike Polizze and his band record their next album.

Dizzy Polizzy track list
She Don’t Mind 3:18
Icelator 4:10
Digh High 3:36
Sifting Through My Hands 4:15
Millions of Colors 3:48
Don’t Wanna Squeaky Fromme 4:29
Preface 1:42
The Earth Creature 3:21
On the Last Day 1:38
Drag-On 5:38
Headlights 6:38

Below, download/listen to “Lolita,” a track Purling Hiss recorded for Philly’s Shaking Through that was curated by Adam Granduciel of The War On Drugs.

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Photos: Pissed Jeans, Purling Hiss and Trophy Wife at Union Transfer

Pissed Jeans | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Pissed Jeans | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

It was definitely one of the harder-hitting lineups at Union Transfer in recent memory: Philly thrash four-piece Pissed Jeans, alongside scuzz-guitar jammers Purling Hiss and power duo Trophy Wife. Check out photos from Saturday night’s all-ages punk extravaganza below.

(Hear More – The Key Studio Sessions: Pissed Jeans)
(Hear More – The Key Studio Sessions: Purling Hiss)
(Hear More – The Key Studio Sessions: Trophy Wife)

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Restorations at Boot & Saddle, Mission of Burma / Bleeding Rainbow at First Unitarian Church, and Trophy Wife / Purling Hiss / Pissed Jeans at Union Transfer

Restorations | Photo by John Vettese
Restorations | Photo by John Vettese

Philly punks Restorations will play tonight at Boot & Saddle. The five-piece will likely play some tunes off of its latest album, LP2, released last April, but according to the band’s Facebook page, they have some new songs in store for the audience. The Holy Mess and Dogs on Acid are also on the bill. The 21+ show will start at 8:30 p.m.; tickets cost $12 and can be purchased here.

Continue reading →

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Check out Purling Hiss’ latest release Paisley Montage (playing Union Transfer on 2/8)

Photo by Peter English for Shaking Through | shakingthrough.com
Photo by Peter English for Shaking Through | shakingthrough.com

After the huge label debut of Purling Hiss on Drag City with Water on Mars earlier this year, the local fuzz-psych rockers quietly released a tour tape called Paisley Montage on TestosterTunes.  It’s primarily the work of Mike Polizze, threading sequences of ideas together as a sort of audible stream-of-consciousness that makes for an excellent superlative to the band’s catalog.  It’s bedroom-y and compressed like the old recordings but not overly distorted to the point where Polizze’s dexterous riffs can’t shine through.  Take a listen to “Gitar Damage Pt 1″ and “Paisley Dommage Pt 3″ below.  Paisley Montage is now available to order on green vinyl here.  Purling Hiss plays with Pissed Jeans and Trophy Wife at Union Transfer on February 8th; pick up tickets to the all-ages hometown show here.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Brian Wilensky’s Top 5 Shows I Wish I Saw in 2013

purlinghissYear End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, contributing writer Brian Wilensky talks about great shows he didn’t see.

Those of you that work in the service industry, like me, know what it’s like to work nights and weekends; missing the shows, parties and nights out with your friends that work business hours. I raise my glass to you, as we share the same suffering because the rent isn’t free. Here are my Top 5 Shows I Wish I Saw in 2013.

1. Clinic / Grooms / The Cobbs at Johnny Brenda’s, 9/17/2013
Liverpool’s art-psych surgical mask-wearing weird guys, Clinic, don’t tour often, let alone cross the pond. Last year’s Free Reign held true to their stagnant drone formula and seeing them convert it to a live setting is something that still spikes my curiosity. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes a Tribute to The Last Waltz at The Trocadero, The Menzingers at The Note, Purling Hiss at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Garth Hudson
Garth Hudson

Philly musicians from Andrew Lipke to Kevin Hanson and Wesley Stace will honor and recreate The Band’s 1976 farewell show, The Last Waltz, tonight at the Trocadero. The set will include a full performance of the seminal live album (and concert film), uniting old and new fans of the legendary roots rock band and featuring a guest appearance by original keyboardist for The Band, Garth Hudson. The show will also benefit Philadelphia public schools. Get tickets and information here. Watch a performance of “Up On Cripple Creek” from The Last Waltz below.

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Just Announced: Pissed Jeans, Purling Hiss and Trophy Wife will play Union Transfer on 2/8

Pissed Jeans | Photo by Abi Reimold | abireimoldphoto.com
Pissed Jeans | Photo by Abi Reimold | abireimoldphoto.com

Why not start the year off on the heaviest foot possible with Pissed Jeans, Purling Hiss and Trophy Wife at Union Transfer on February 8th?  Ultra-thrash punk band Pissed Jeans released their Honeys LP on Sub Pop this year, while scuzzy distortion kings Purling Hiss celebrated their major label debut with Water On Mars and Drag City.  Fellow local duo Trophy Wife are prepping to head into the studio in January, so we can expect to hear some new songs from the socially-conscious rockers as well.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here.  Watch Pissed Jeans’ video for “Bathroom Laughter” below.

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The Week So Far: 11 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Elvis Costello, Psychic Teens, The Quarterly Project)

Lawsuits four

Listen to new local music from Family Vacation, Purling HissThe Lawsuits and more [link]

Light Heat, Bardo Pond and Chris Forsyth will play August’s installment of the Race Street Pier free music series [link]

New show announcements include Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson with Jeff Beck and Willy Mason

Legendary New Jersey venue Maxwell’s closes after 35 years [link]

The Head and the Heart share a new song called “Shake” off of their upcoming LP [link]

Brian Wilensky Unlocks Psychic Teens‘ new record COME with a new song, review and more [link]

Get caught up on the weekend’s shows with John Diliberto’s review of Yes at Susquehanna Bank Center and photos from the 2nd Street Festival [link and link]

Dana Falconberry stopped by for this week’s Folkadelphia Session [link]

My Morning Downloads featured tracks from Saint Motel and Deer Tick [link]

Celebrate undiscovered local music with the Broad Street Music Group‘s launch party on 8/17 [link]

The Quarterly Project will released a charity compilation and will host a listening party / benefit concert at PhilaMOCA on 8/29 [link]

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Purling Hiss is releasing a new LP on Richie Records and its promo video will melt your mind

Screen shot 2013-08-07 at 10.14.33 AMIt seems like just yesterday that Philly power trio Purling Hiss released its rager of an full-length, Water on Mars, via Drag City Records. After a couple years of limited-run and lo-fi releases on various indie labels, it was the band’s big and booming introduction to a higher-profile audience. Now we’re getting a teaser, via Richie Records / TestosterTunes’ Twitter, that the Hiss will release its second LP of the year, Paisley Montage, on October 29th via the Philly scuzz-rock boutique label.

First, you’ve got to admire the productivity. (UPDATE: as our buddy Elliott Sharp points out, this is possibly / more likely a reissue of a long out-of-print cassette. Still pretty awesome though.) Second, you’ve got to watch the minute-and-change teaser video that the band posted below and melt your mind with various kaleidoscopic images and bright color-trails. (UPDATE: the video still rules.) The hard-touring band returns home to Philly on October 22nd to open for The Men at Johnny Brenda’s.