It was a good 2013 for Philly indie-punk four piece Little Big League. The band released it’s debut full length, toured and garnered attention from national media outlets like Pitchfork. Now they’re playing their first headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s just in time for front woman Michelle Zauner to show off her new strat and the band to hopefully unveil some of the songs they’ve been tracking for album number two. Tickets and info can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Australian retro alt-rockers Cloud Control will play at Boot and Saddle tonight. The band released its second album Dream Cave last August. With a sound heavily influenced by the Beatles and Motown harmonies, Cloud Control are a fresh take on what you love about pop and early soul music mixed with rock. Watch them play “Dream Cave” below and get tickets here.
Ralph Darden returns to his hometown as Major Taylor tonight, DJing a set at Silk City‘s Workout party. Now based in Chicago, Darden fronted punk / reggae outfits Franklin and Jai Alai Savant in the nineties and early 2000s, but has since turned his talents towards throwing wild DJ parties like the one tonight. He’s known for linking together an eclectic rundown of tracks, tossing in everything from reggae to punk to hip hop (he once noted that he wants “to play Tribe Called Quest and Rod Stewart”). You can check out Major Taylor at Silk City tonight alongside Bo Bliz and Low Beezy. Below, watch a video of Darden DJing a New Years Eve party in Chicago.
Created by Joshua Dowell (guitar, vocals), the band also includes Patrick Firth (percussion), Michelle Goodwin (flute and vocals), Asher Dark (bass) and Daniel Jose (synth). The band manages to combine raw Philly psych with elements of shoegaze and ’60s sounds. Tracks on their 2012 demo, available on Bandcamp, trail between droning fuzz bass and upbeat percussion, mixing distortion and keys complimented by woodwind arrangements, making for a truly unique sound. Listen to “Good Luck” from the EP below; get details on Sunday’s show at Silk City at its Facebook event page.
Philly renaissance man Khari Mateen is finally coming into his own. After nearly a decade working as a producer and multi-instrumentalist (whose resume includes a few Grammy-nominated Roots offerings), the classically-trained musician began showcasing his own songwriting through his digital outlet The Lunchroom last year, beginning with the sublime Wait for Sunrise EP. It’s easy to align certain songs to certain styles – the EP garnered the old “neo-soul” tag, and it feels somewhat right to brand more recent singles like “Doing Things” funk. Mateen himself, though, is not so easily pigeonholed. He’s pop, he’s experimental, he’s dance, he’s cinematic; in short, he’s a visionary. And meeting him and working in the studio with him – both to record his solo Key Session we bring you this week, and a session with The Roots’ Dice Raw which we’ll showcase next week – he remains above all a remarkably humble and easygoing guy, even though he crafts stunning compositions like “Day By Day” which carries the listener to stratospheric emotional highs, or “Move”, a pure body-shaking bolt of energy. Stream Mateen’s Key Studio Session performance below, download it here, and be on the lookout for his two upcoming live appearances: August 14th at Silk City, and August 26th at Chris’ Jazz Cafe.
Marijuana Deathsquads play a late show at Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Ryan Olson of GAYNGS and POLIÇA started the Minneapolis-based noise / hardcore-electronic band in 2009 and released three subsequent records. Their first proper studio album, however, will be released this summer and is called Oh My Sexy Lord. Like GAYNGS, Marijuana Deathsquads’ live shows have been known to include appearances by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Josh Klinghoffer and Dirty Projectors’ Brian McOmber. Tickets and information for the show can be found here. Watch the video for “Crazy Master” below.