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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Megan Cooper’s top ten train tracks (a commute playlist for 2017)

Chastity Belt | photo via chastity-belt.bandcamp.com

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Megan Cooper shares the soundtrack that kept her sane on SEPTA.

This past year, I’ve spent a quite a bit of time on public transport. Not having a car, while splitting my life between the ‘burbs as I finished up school (woo I’m done!) and the city as I worked and went to many a gig, you could say the R5 Regional Rail line was —  for better or for worse — sort of like a second home to me.

Because although SEPTA often left me shaking my fists towards the sky at impossibly excessive delays, my feelings of seething hatred would immediately melt into warmth and contentment as soon as I’d slump into my window seat — eager for the twenty or so minutes of peace to come. Devoid of road rage and panic that parking spot quests bring, train commutes are a unique kind of solitary experience where the world seems to slow down and stand still as it ironically whirs right past you. So unless you’re on your way to some event you need to get mega hyped for, abrasive and loud tracks don’t really have a place here — at least for me. Though I love me a good ole punk jam, this quiet setting is reserved for reflective mindfulness where chill, soft and introspective songs reign supreme.

So, in no particular order, here’s a list of ten songs that served as my trusty train companions this year. Ranging from laid-back and soothing, to somber and melancholic, to atmospheric and poppy, these songs will get you in your head, make you feel many a feeling, and maybe even give your brain a comforting little hug of solidarity. Continue reading →

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Lame-O Records announces third annual Rock Residency featuring Cherry, Harmony Woods, Slaughter Beach, Dog and lots more

Cherry | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Lame-O Records‘ annual Rock Residency benefit series at Boot & Saddle returns for its third year next month, and WOW would you look at that lineup. A Lame-O event never disappoints, but this year they’ve put together an exceptionally stacked roster of labelmates and friends to take over Boot & Saddle every Thursday in January. And it’s all for a good cause — the proceeds from each show will benefit several local charity organizations. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Slaughter Beach, Dog’s set mixes sliding and shredding guitar

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

I love when crunchy bands play Free at Noon. Especially local crunchy bands — that’s just the Cherry on top. Haaaa. You know, those bands that are more thought of in context of packing sweaty basements or DIY venues than playing WCL at an hour when coffee is still vital. And that’s exactly the musical forecast today’s early afternoon set called for, which saw Philly’s Slaughter Beach, Dog closing out the day’s rare local-favorite double-header .

Not only did this change of pace showcase well-deserving, insanely talented artists, it also brought about a refreshingly interesting collection of folks — where a crowd of longtime Free at Noon regulars became speckled with beanie-clad college students.

Just to be clear though, as previous co-frontman of a little mega band called Modern Baseball, Jake Ewald is no stranger to playing big venues. But his new project Slaughter Beach, Dog is an entirely different monster; particularly SB,D’s recently released record Birdie, where acoustic stillness and subtle twang serve as the go-to vehicles of Ewald’s casually intricate narratives. Continue reading →

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It’s a Lame-O afternoon this Friday when Slaughter Beach, Dog and Cherry play WXPN’s Free at Noon

Slaughter Beach, Dog and Cherry | via xpn.org

A show like this Friday’s Free at Noon doesn’t come along every week — not only is this week’s concert a rare doubleheader, it’s also a chance to see performances by two of Philly’s best local acts together in one place — and at lunchtime, nonetheless. Slaughter Beach, Dog and Cherry will both perform, and while they’re each fixtures of the Philly scene on their own, lately their careers have been running parallel: both artists released debut LPs in October, and both played Lame-O Records‘ 5th birthday showcase a few weeks back. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: mewithoutYou at TLA; Slaughter Beach, Dog at the First Unitarian Church

mewithoutYou | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

In recent years, Upper Darby art punk favorites mewithoutYou have toured in celebration of every milestone they’ve hit — this time it’s the 15th anniversary of [A–>B] Life, and they’ve hit the road to play the album in its entirety. Tonight’s stop at the TLA also includes a performance from Pianos Become The Teeth. Last time mewithoutYou played a show in town was for the 15th anniversary of Brother, Sister — read The Key’s review here. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Get to Church early this Sunday for Lame-O and Friends Acoustic Pop Up Show

Lame-O Records’ 5th Birthday bash is coming up this Sunday at First Unitarian Church, which will be a big Lame-O family gathering featuring performances by Slaughter Beach, Dog, Shannen Moser, Cherry and no thank you. And now, there’s an official pre-party for the party. Located in the Church’s Side Chapel will be an acoustic pop-up show featuring “Lame-O and Friends.”

Though the specific “friends” are not detailed, a Facebook post notes that “A LOT of friends will be playing.” And knowing how stacked the record label’s artist roster is, I think it’s safe to assume this is going to be quite a merry time. Continue reading →

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Watch Slaughter Beach, Dog and pals expose the 10-gallon sized “truth” behind Birdie

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Slaughter Beach, Dog’s album Birdie is available everywhere today via Lame-O Records. But before then, in an incredibly bold move of transparency, Jake Ewald and pals decided it was time to expose the horribly dark, forbidden, entirely and completely shocking secret behind the album through a mini documentary.

The video begins with Ewald’s loved ones describing their relationship with him, and detailing his exemplary character — well, at least, once exemplary character. Things quickly go south (err west?) when Ewald’s true colors are revealed. Continue reading →

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Drink up Slaughter Beach, Dog’s safe and warm cup of coffee of a track, “Acolyte”

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

You’re sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee. The sun’s setting, there’s a slight cool breeze, trees are rustling, and you’re tucked under a crazily cozy blanket. Not a care, just good and safe. If this setting of comfort had a musical equivalent, it would be Slaughter Beach, Dog’s new song “Acolyte.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Slaughter Beach, Dog at Johnny Brenda’s, Hoots and Hellmouth at Boot and Saddle, plus more

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Jake Ewald’s side project Slaughter Beach, Dog has been churning out a ton of material lately. From the Motorcycle.jpg EP to a new single off his upcoming record, to his recent rocking off of socks at this week’s The Key Studio Sessions — there’s a ton of music gold to delve into. Seriously, please feast your ears upon the drawn-out, jam-fest of a performance of “104 Degrees.” It’s just too gosh dang good. And if you’re as taken with these tunes as I am, go see them live tonight at Johnny Brenda’s as well as sets from Shannen Moser and No Thank You. Continue reading →

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Watch Slaughter, Beach Dog perform inside a Chicago dry cleaners for Audiotree

Photo by Jess Flynn | https://www.facebook.com/slaughterbeachdog/photos/a.1468523240052517.1073741825.1468515970053244/1483007125270795/?type=1&theater
Photo by Jess Flynn | via facebook.com/slaughterbeachdog

Outside of doing that sports-related band Modern Baseball. Jake Ewald takes his somber voice to his project Slaughter, Beach Dog, where his melancholy tunes are channeled to a single and signature vision.

Ewald brought some of his newest tunes to a session for Audiotree’s new project “Far Out”, which takes artists to some of the nooks and crannies of this country to record some unconventional sessions. Finding himself inside a Chicago dry cleaners among the textiles and pitter-patter of a sewing machine, Ewald does what he does best by combining his wonderfully-crafted expressions of personal battles with the stripped-down depressions of a single guitar. Ewald’s songs take us on his journey, and now we can see where those journeys take him. Continue reading →