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Recap: The Early November and more celebrated the ten-year anniversary of The Rooms Too Cold at Union Transfer

The Early November | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com
The Early November | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com

Last month, Jersey-bred punk five-piece The Early November celebrated the ten-year anniversary of their debut LP The Room’s Too Cold with a string of shows, including one locally at Union Transfer on December 21st. Joining them on the bill were local melodic punk favorites Restorations and indie rock four-piece Little Big League.

Early November guitarist Joseph Marro told photographer Ally Newbold that celebrating the anniversary of the album – and seeing the fan response – was a special thing for the band.

“When we were making that record we really just wanted to make something we thought was cool and that made a statement for us and maybe one day people would like it as much as I liked some of my favorite records,” Marro said. “To see all those people there and to hear their voices singing along was really incredible. I’ve met a lot of people who said that that record is special to them. In my mind, even though we’re not a very big band, that means were successful.”

Ben Pierce of Restorations says it was one of his favorite shows, and describes it as “something between a high school reunion and my music career coming full circle.”

“My old bands played shows with early versions of The Early November through our high school years,” Pierce said. “So it was great to share a stage with them a decade later surrounded by the same South Jersey / Philly friends and family.”

Michelle Zauner of Little Big League said that even though “I was pretty freaked out” playing to a sold-out Union Transfer crowd, the camaraderie between bands and between the Union Transfer crew made it feel like an intimate show for friends. “We had a blast,” Zauner said, “and it’s always inspiring to see a band still doing what they love 10-plus years later.”

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Watch Restorations slice avocados and sing songs at SideOneDummy Records in LA (playing Boot & Saddle on 2/8)

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

Local rockers Restorations made a stop at SideOneDummy Records during a trip to L.A. this year to participate in the label’s inaugural episode of Live From SideOneDummy.  The video shows the Philadelphians performing “New Old” while cooking up a lunch of tacos.  Restorations have also announced a show at Boot & Saddle on February 8th where they’ll debut “a ton of new songs” following the release of this year’s LP2.  Watch the new episode below and get tickets for their 21+ show here.

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Restorations to play “a ton of new songs” at Boot & Saddle on 2/8

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

Restorations recently announced their next local headlining show, an intimate set filled with “a ton of new songs” at south Philly’s Boot & Saddle. The post rock band has had a productive year with the release of LP 2, and a plethora of live shows including a performance at Audiotree and their trek down to Gainesville’s Fest. With more new material apparently on the way, it is safe to say Restorations will continue to make a mark on Philadelphia’s punk and post rock scenes for the foreseeable future. Before their February headlining show you can catch them opening for The Early November at Union Transfer (12/21) or for The Bouncing Souls at Asbury Park (12/29). Their set at Boot & Saddle will be supported by local punk band The Holy Mess and Dogs on Acid (ex-Algernon Cadwallader). It’s $12, and you can get your tickets here.

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Why Fest? A Philly perspective on Gainesville’s main music attraction, and photos of locals who made the trek

Hop Along | photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com
Hop Along | photos by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com

Going twelve years strong, The Fest is an annual gathering in Gainesville, Florida, that brings together a cross-section of players in the national DIY scene for four days of action. Though it began firmly rooted in punk and hardcore, it’s expanded over time to include a broader range of sounds and styles, from singer-songwriter (Tim Kasher) to metal (Torche) and indie pop (Slingshot Dakota). Think of it as an anti-corporate response to the music festival circuit.

Every year, an impressive swatch of Philly bands make the trek down to Gainesville for the festival, whether as a tour stop or as a single destination. Photographer Allison Newbold made the trip this year, and caught up with several of them: below, check out images of Daylight, The Menzingers, Slingshot Dakota and more. She also collected thoughts from some of the artists on how Fest 12 was treating them and why they Fest in general. Check them out below.

Mark Quinlan from Hop Along
“Fest always treats me in a way that’s far better than I deserve. There are friends on every corner. Once a year, Gainesville is my punk rock home away from home”

Jacob Ewald from Modern Baseball
“My first Fest was perfect. I got to hang out with all the friends we made across the country this summer and I got to see all my favorite rock and roll bands. Woo!”

Ben Pierce from Restorations
“Of the multiple fests I’ve been to, this one was the most relaxing. I saw about 4 bands out of 400 which is fine because I was about to see about 400 friends. Nice weather, nice beverages and great conversations with friends. Fest.”

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Watch Restorations’ lively Audiotree session

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

Philadelphia post rock band Restorations stopped by Audiotree a few weeks ago for an energetic in-studio session. This is an awesome performance by the band, and it is awesome to see in the video that they still get into their music while playing in a studio. Their rumbling sound, which ranges from mellow to forceful, is exceptional, with distortion-filled choruses that pound as frontman Jon Loudon yells his lines. As Audiotree says on their site: “If a band sounds great, it’s because they played great.”

It is no surprise that Restorations sound so good live; with an underground cult following they have been playing shows for five years and are currently on tour as we speak. This Philly band continues to grow in popularity and in skill, with their latest release, LP 2, coming out on SideOneDummy back in April. There are not any Philadelphia shows in the queue for Restorations at the moment, so make sure to watch the live Audiotree session here to get your fix. Below, a Restorations track from the Key Studio Sessions archives.

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The Wonder Years will kick off acoustic holiday party tour in West Chester, bring Young Statues along for the ride

YSWYPhilly-area pop punk heroes The Wonder Years announced a round of acoustic holiday party shows this December, kicking off on the 12th at The Note in West Chester. Tickets to the all-ages show are $15 and go on sale this Friday, October 18th via Ticketfly.

The band is still supporting its outstanding 2013 LP The Greatest Generation, released this spring. The album saw TWY’s songwriting scope broaden from slice-of-life stories told by a crew of South Philly punks to more resonant, introspective, dare-I-say philosophizing studies of the American Dream; how it means different things and plays out in different ways for different segments of the population. It’s The Wonder Years’s most mature offering to date, and worth exploring if you haven’t heard it yet. (Stream it via Hopeless Records’ YouTube channel here.)

Joining the band on the run is Young Statues, the South Jersey emo-pop five-piece who recently released the Age Isn’t Ours EP (as well as a couple collections of cover songs), and is hopefully due for a new full length in 2014. Along with Vinnie Caruana of The Movielife, the crew will tour up through upstate New York and Rhode Island, and hopefully they aren’t joking about the free cookies and hot chocolate for attendees wearing an ugly Christmas sweater.

In related news, Philly epic punk crew Restorations announced today that they will be on the lineup of The Bouncing Souls‘ December 29th Home For the Holidays grand finale – along with Delaware hardcore heroes Boysetsfire – at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. Four-night passes are available now via the Chunksaah Records website.

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Recap: Beyonce, Phoenix, Public Enemy, Haim and more at Made In America day one

Beyonce | Photo by John Vettese
Beyonce | Photo by John Vettese
The opening day of the 2013 Made In America festival was jam packed with a wide variety of sounds and styles, from Haim kicking off the day at the festival’s Liberty Stage to EDM heavy hitter Porter Robinson making the crowd move on the Freedom Stage and tremendous headlining performance by Beyoncé.

Some of the amazing / exciting / unusual things we observed during the day: Philly’s Restorations rocked an impressive set on the Skate Park stage, with singer-guitarist Jon Loudon playing so hard that he cut his hand open and splattered blood all over his guitar. During Public Enemy‘s set, local teacher Heather Marcus was brought onstage to make an impassioned speech about the need to support public schools in Philadelphia. Alt-rock heros Imagine Dragons gave a propulsive, high-energy performance, while Phoenix delivered an impressive assortment of hits, deep cuts and bright stage lights. With all the Deadmau5 fans walking around the festival grounds during the day with imaginatively decorated mouse heads (one dude’s was done up like a disco ball), the Los Angeles via Toronto DJ’s set was a tremendous crescendo that set the stage well for Ms. Knowles’ incredible closing performance. Check out a massive photo recap in the gallery below, and follow XPN on Instagram to keep tabs on today’s action.

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Restorations perform in-studio, stripped down version of “New Old”

restorations-8Philly rockers Restorations recently payed a visit to CHARGED.fm‘s offices in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn. While there, the the band (in trio configuration) performed an unplugged, very stripped down version of their song “New Old”, off their most recent release, LP2. Jon Loudon’s gritty vocals, underscored by just the right amount of harmony from Dave Klyman and Ben Pierce, give the song an entirely new feel. Restorations will be back in town next month, for a show at the Golden Tea House on July 19th. Find tickets and info here, and watch their performance of “New Old” below.

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How did Restorations make their music video for “D” look like an 8th-gen VHS bootleg?

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 3.06.56 AMPhilly’s Restorations have a love-hate relationship with the “adult punk” tag they often get. But in this case, it actually fits. As we see in the music video for “D” – a roaring, galloping track from their new LP2 – these are guys who are old enough to remember the weird world of 90s bootleg swapping. They grew up not on cameraphone-filmed YouTube videos, but on sketchily-traded VHS copies-of-copies-of-copies of, say, Jawbox playing some basement in D.C. As anybody who has also done this knows, the more you copy a video in that manner, the more it deteriorates, and the folks at the bottom of the trade-chain end up with this frantically flickering, warped mess that’s kind of awesome in its own right.

As the band’s Jon Loudon explains in a video premier on Verbicide today, that’s the exact look they were going for. Enter filmmaker Mitchell Wojcik, who shot and edited the band’s First Unitarian Church album release show in HD, and then played it back on a TV, re-shooting in VHS – the rig you see above. As Wojcik explains to Verbicide:

Before working on this video, I spoke heavily with Jon about his influences in music and just bands he enjoyed in general. Through those conversations, we found videos we loved, and looked to the way Fugazi’s Instrument and Nirvana’s Live! Tonight! Sold out! looked and felt. They were home movies, and quite personal. I just wanted everything to feel like it could belong anywhere and to anyone, so I made a home movie.

Check out the video for “D” below. Restorations are currently out on tour with The Menzingers.

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Review: The Menzingers kick off tour with sold out show at The Church

Philadelphia by-way-of Scranton punk four-piece The Menzingers started off their east cost summer tour the best way possible; with a sold out show at the First Unitarian Church. The show proved this tour is not one to miss – The Menzingers commanded crowd, getting everyone in the packed audience singing along.

The band was accompanied by four other bands. The first to hit the stage was Scranton’s Captain, We’re Sinking. Their catchy brand of punk music was a great way to start the show. Next up was Philadelphia favorites Restorations who had a few tricks in store for the show: they brought on a second drummer to preform with them. Their performance was definitely something to be seen. Fake Problems, the only non Pennsylvania natives on the tour, were the last to hit the stage before The Menzingers, who put on an excellent set (and even opened up the first mosh pit of the evening).

The Menzingers east coast tour will continue till June 12 and shortly after that they will embark on a European headlining tour for the remainder of the summer. Below, watch some videos of the show.

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