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Purples embrace daydreaming in new “On the Clouds” video

Photo via facebook.com/purplesmusic
Photo via facebook.com/purplesmusic

More upbeat than “Nancy” but less a lot less physical than “Variations”, Purples’ new video for “On the Clouds” is the middle ground between the two extremes. Its focus is a shaggy-haired teenager who’s got something on his mind as he drinks his beverage in deep thought. Perhaps, he’s daydreaming, hence the song title and the image that keeps appearing above his head. Check it out below and pick up their new album Nancy here.

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Run, juggle, and run some more in Purples new video for “Variations”

Photo via facebook.com/purplesmusic
Photo via facebook.com/purplesmusic

In a lighthearted deviation from the somber tone of previous single and video “Nancy”, Purples return to form on “Variations.” The new track, which will appear on Nancy come April 1st, is fun, highly harmonized and showcases the Philly trio’s signature chamber-pop pizazz. As he runs down Philly streets, you can’t help but think Jonas Oesterle is training for a once-in-a-lifetime athletic event or being chased by some ghostly creature that mysteriously stays out of frame for the entire video. Either way, it’s entertaining. Watch below and get tickets to their show at Kung Fu Necktie on March 6th here.

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Purples, Michael James Murray, Bloomsbury Coalition

PurplesLaura

Purples released their new single “Nancy” along with a video this week.  The chamber-pop song is spooky and alarming, with a character that shows his humanity through confessions that are a bit angry and homicidal.  It’s intriguing to say the least.  Stream and download “Nancy” below, and stay tuned for the band’s full length of the same name coming this year.

This week brought the final Key Studio Session of 2013, with featured artist Michael James Murray.  On a day like today, his atmospheric compositions sound like expansive snow drifts.  On a different day, they may evoke a sense of free floating in space.  Either way they are beautiful.  Stream and download “Bella” below and get the full session here.

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Pondering mortality with Purples on the new single (and video) “Nancy”

PurplesLauraWe know Philly’s Purples as the revved-up, rambunctious and generally fun outgrouth of the popular aughties indie rock act The Teeth. So the initial and understandable reaction to their somber new single “Nancy” might be to question whether they’re serious. It’s slow with an extremely underplayed drumbeat, and the piano chords ring out with a theatrical flair. In the song’s companion music video, guitarist Brian Ashby wanders solemnly around Laurel Hill Cemetary carrying a bouquet, mouthing the words so listlessly that his lips barely seem to part. He’s got long hair and a moustache, but he’s wearing a suit – he’s totally joking, right?

Actually, he is for real. So for real, as is the band as a whole. If my read is correct, this song is done with zero detachment or irony. These are musicians who, in their previous act, were praised for their highly literate and thoughtful lyrics – words that could engage those interested in a good narrative while still providing a fun musical time for those who might not want to think about heavy matters.

“Nancy” pulls the rug out: “my shadow falls on you like a reflection in the dirt / I would have killed you with my knife if that would only make you hurt.” Later, the point becomes more pointed as you watch Ashby sing it whilst wandering round the headstones, ”I’ll come back to you, dear, if you want me to.”

While there are no specifics given – and I’m not sure if there was a backstory that led to this song, other than to say Nancy is the title of the album Purples is releasing next year - the character Ashby is portraying, it seems, is sad / suicidal / homicidal / embittered / angry / complex and absolutely intriguing. So much so that Purples’ standard garage-pop approach is not the appropriate canvas to paint them.

So “Laura” ponders mortality, and it does it slowly and beautifully. Download the song and watch the video below. We’re looking forward to more from the many sides of Purples in the new year.

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Download “Standard Human,” the raging new single from Philly’s Purples (playing Boot and Saddle on 12/28)

via facebook.com/purplesmusic
via facebook.com/purplesmusic

Up until a few days ago, the only place fans of Philly rock cult faves The Teeth could hear music from the bandmates’ latest incarnation, Purples, was in their Key Studio Session. That changed Monday afternoon when the trio of Peter MoDavis, Brian Ashby, and Jonas Oesterle unveiled their latest single and its corresponding music video. Response was immediately positive, and one of the band members (I’m guessing MoDavis) took to the band’s Facebook page last night to share his gratitude and hint at more to come:

Hello everybody, I’ve had a couple of “Philadelphia City Wides,” and really, really really wanted to give a big thanks to everyone that gave such a fantastic reception to our new single. We apologize for taking so long to make music but it’s hard to live up to the past and wanted it to be good. This response really helps our momentum and now I want to release another single/video right before Christmas so that you can share it with your friends and family… It features brian in a cemetery lamenting the death of a loved one. Anyhow, I really mean it when I say thank you all. I was so scared to show you and now it seems easier. You guys made me cry in happiness yesterday!

While we wait for the cemetery video (which sounds spooky / vibey / potentially awesome), you can rock to the galloping rhythm and smokin’ vocals on “Standard Human” by grabbing a free download below. It has a super cinematic vibe, falling somewhere betwixt a Tim Burton score, a spaghetti western and a surf rock jammer. Watch the video after the jump, and see Purples in concert on December 28th at Boot and Saddle when they open for Night Panther and Grandchildren; tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hurricane Sandy Benefit ft. Purples, City Rain at The Fire, Brave Combo at World Cafe Live

A four-band bill at The Fire tonight will raise money for Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts along the Jersey Shore. Headlining the show is Philly avant rock trio Purples (pictured), who are joined by the soulful swing of Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang, the big-beat meyhem of City Rain and the dynamite voice of Kate Faust. The 21+ show begins at 8 p.m., admission is $10 at the door, more information can be found here. Below, watch Purples record their Key Studio Session earlier this year (as filmed by Bands in the Backyard).

[BITBY BKSTG] PURPLES at XPN’s THE KEY STUDIO SESSIONS from BITBY on Vimeo.

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City Rain share a making-of video for their new track “No Turning Back” (playing The Fire on 11/25)

City Rain‘s Ben Runyan filmed a behind-the-scenes video in his studio over the weekend, giving us a tour of his recording set-up and a sneak-preview of a new song called “No Turning Back” that may find its way onto the synth-pop band’s next album.  City Rain will perform at the Hurricane Sandy Benefit concert at The Fire on Sunday, November 25th with Purples, Juston Stens & the Get Real Gang and Kate Faust.  Tickets to the 21+ event are $10, and more information can be found here.

City Rain – Making Of “No Turning Back”/Studio Tour from City Rain Tunes on Vimeo.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Purples at Kung Fu Necktie, The Young Dubliners at World Cafe Live, Close to Good at The Balcony

Philly indie power trio Purples still hasn’t released any proper recordings, but that’s okay – they play live often enough, and their live show rules. Tonight the band hits up Kung Fu Necktie, along with Nashville’s James Wallace & the Naked Light and Shaking Through artist Springs. The 21+ show begins at 8 p.m. and admission is $10. Below, check out a video from Purples’ Key Studio Session shot by our buds at Bands in the Backyard.

[BITBY BKSTG] PURPLES at XPN’s THE KEY STUDIO SESSIONS from BITBY on Vimeo.

Still touring hard in support of their 2009 release Saints and Sinners, Los Angeles celtic rock combo The Young Dubliners plays World Cafe Live tonight with The John Byrne Band. Tickets to the all-ages show are $17 and available in advance at the venue’s website, or at the door. Below, watch a video of The Young Dubs covering the Pogues’ classic “If I Should Fall From Grace With God.”

At the Balcony Bar at the Trocadero, Philly four-piece Close to Good brings its electronic rock stylings for a show with pop-punkers Vintage Kicks. Their music is spins off of the 8-bit techno scene, but also incorporates elements of the macabre – they see themselves as a middle ground in “the clash between Dracula and Megaman.” Kind of bizarre, but we’ll take it. The 21+ show begins at 8 p.m., admission is $8. Below, check out Close to Good’s song “Second Voice” from its Volume 1 EP.

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 5 (feat. The Spinto Band, Turning Violet Violet, Heyward Howkins + more)


The latest edition of our Key Studio Sessions compilations is out today – now streamable and downloadable from Soundcloud! Dig into the best of what we’ve been doing since May with The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 5, including some sprightly indie pop from The Spinto Band, driving country-folk from Carsie Blanton, funk jams by Swift Technique and hip-hop from Ground Up. Special thanks to guest engineer Jeff White and production assistants Fred Knittel, Madeleine Lesperance, and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Kate Bracaglia, Eric Ashleigh, David Kain, Michael Passanante, Kevin Kennedy, Rachel Barrish and Bryan Shreck for sharing their work.

Looking for more? Visit WXPN’s Soundcloud page to download The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 1 through Vol. 4.

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Additions to 2nd Street Festival include Lushlife, Purples and a pie eating contest

The folks at the fourth annual 2nd Street Festival are ramping up for a big Sunday in Northern Liberties this weekend. On Saturday, they announced their full lineup for Sunday Aug. 5 in a handy-dandy schedule spreadsheet. Additions include new bands, new DJs and even a pie-eating contest. We’re pretty psyched about that last one, so let’s hit it first – 3:00 p.m. at the festival’s Germantown stage, presumably during a set by Variable Elements, a funk cover band also added to the lineup. That stage opens with singer-songwriter Orion Freeman and wraps with a flamenco band.

A big addition to the festival’s main stage in the Piazza is Philly hip-hop impressionist Lushlife (listen to his Key Studio Session here). The Poplar stage now opens with a set from soulful songwriter John Francis (hear his Key Studio Session here), feisty Philly rockers Purples (their Key Session can be downloaded here) and ubiquitous MC Kuf Knotz (he did a Key Session too, and it’s here). Also on Poplar are mind-blowing Baltimore psych heads Secret Mountains, as well as DJ DNA of Johnny Brenda’s popular gospel brunch and twangy rockers Brooke Shive and the 45s.

Last, there’s the Fairmount Stage, which is pretty much entirely new additions. Two Philly dance troupes will perform – Philareyto, which specializes in Puerto Rican dance, as well as Fuego Nuevo, a group preserving Aztec dance and culture. Opening that stage will be The Webbs and a jam session with John Fuhr, as well as a set in the middle of the afternoon from the Philly School of Rock.

The 2nd Street Festival runs from noon to 10 p.m. along 2nd street in Northern Liberties; the day also includes craft and food vendors, is free and open to the public. More information at 2nd Street Fest’s Facebook page.

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