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.”
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.
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.”
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.
Philly-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.
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.