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Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds: The Pretty Greens

The Pretty Greens, from L to R: Julia Green, Carly Green, Kool Schmool (photo via Facebook)
The Pretty Greens, from L to R: Julia Green, Carly Green, Kool Schmool (photo via Facebook)

Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds is our occasional, seasonal foray into summer vibes with our fave local “summertime” bands, in which we meet up, share a drink, and revel in the sunny weather (check out editions 1, 2, and 3, featuring Work Drugs, Cruiser and Chill Moody, here). Today we catch up with Philly’s The Pretty Greens; read on to experience the adventure.

One thing I love about The Pretty Greens is that their take on “summer” music is delightfully multi-faceted. They’re not writing music to escape, or bliss out to; and they’re not writing ragers to sweat out to in some basement. No, The Pretty Greens are writing music that’s visceral and tough to characterize, incorporating bits of surf, garage, Brill Building pop, punk, new wave, and more, into a warm blend of sounds that’s perhaps more evocative of the real complexities of life.

Not surprisingly, people have started to take notice. Continue reading →

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Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds: Chill Moody

Chill Moody | Photo by John Vettese
Chill Moody | Photo by John Vettese

There’s something about old-school hip-hop that just oozes summer in the city—whether it’s DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince  celebrating chicks at Fairmount Park or Snoop paying tribute to his favorite bev—and the videos, with their beach chairs, bbqs, and wild block parties—only drive this home. Summer in the city is not like the other seasons: people go wild and indulge, as if their inhibitions melt under the summer sun.

West Philly rapper Chilly Moody is no stranger to summers in the city. The up-and-coming rhyme-spitter grew up in Philly, and has proven himself a master of all things SUMMER—whether ruling it on stage on the festival circuit, mixing up a perfect cocktail, or even (yes) having the coolest swim trunks this side of the Schuylkill. He’s also responsible for one of this summer’s flyest bangers, the bbq-ready “Concrete Jungle” – which makes a nice nod to Bob Marley, another summertime staple.

Every year to celebrate summer, Chill hosts a #nicethings Weekend (#nicethings is his catch-all catchphrase), complete with bbq, bowling, and a pool party at a mystery location. This year’s #nicethings event runs August 22 through 24. Curious about the event—and his summer go-tos in general—I met up with Chill at one of his fave Center City bars, Time, to talk Will Smith, cocktails, and how he’d spend his ultimate summer in Philly. Continue reading →

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Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds: Cruiser

 

The author with Cruiser (via @BookishKate's instagram)
The author with Cruiser (via @BookishKate’s instagram)

Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds is our occasional, seasonal foray into summer vibes with our fave “summertime” bands, in which we meet up, share a drink, and revel in the sunny weather (check out the first edition, featuring Work Drugs, here). Today we hold shop with Philly’s Cruiser; read on to experience the adventure.

When it comes to soundtracking summer in Philadelphia, there are few bands as likely to land on an open-road playlist as Cruiser, a four-piece formed around singer-songwriter Andy States, who first started composing songs in his bedroom in 2012, then gathered a full band soon after. Since then, the group—made up of States, drummer Jon Van Dine, bassist Kyle Cook, and guitarist Bruno Catrambone (who also leads introverted folk outfit Former Belle)—have become a force to be reckoned with, crafting breezy, radio-friendly gems that have attracted the attention of fans in Philadelphia and beyond. Now fresh off a set at Firefly Music Festival, the band is hard at work on their new EP, due out this fall, but still took time off to meet with me and drink some beers.

We meet up on a Monday night at States’ and Van Dine’s apartment in Kensington, complete with an awesome roof-deck, a grill, and Van Dine’s absurdly adorable Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix, Gene. Over the course of our interview, we grill burgers (Van Dine smothers his with an ungodly amount of ketchup and mustard), knock back some Hell or High Watermelons, and lust over the neighbor’s pool, which we have a great view of from above.

The band tells me said neighbors aren’t too fond of them because they lit off too many fireworks during the 4th of July; later that night, they light off a whole bunch more for my benefit, even though it isn’t quite dark yet. Everyone takes pictures of the experience, and we all almost die when one firework goes awry and shoots back towards us.

Luckily, we all survive, and in between shenanigans manage an interview. Read on to learn about blue holes, gin drinks, and whether they’d prefer to ride the Weezer or 311 cruise. Continue reading →

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Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds: Work Drugs

Work Drugs -- covered in trademark haze
Work Drugs — covered in trademark haze

I was born in the summer and it’s always been my favorite season. There’s nothing I love more than wearing shorts, and swimming, and watching the sun set at 9 p.m. To me, summer vibes are those perfect summer experiences that make you feel happy to be alive—like lounging at Morgan’s Pier, drinking a Watermelon Ricky, or hanging at Cantina with an Endless Summer Margarita, or boating down the Bohemia River listening to “My Girl” by the Temptations. (I admit many of these involve alcohol).

For me, summer vibes are always tied to music. When asking myself: is this a summer jam? I tend to consider one question: is this something I would want to listen to while on a boat? If the answer is yes, it goes on my Summer Playlist.

Here are some examples of great summer jams: “Saturday in the Park” by Chicago, “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl),” by the Looking Glass, pretty much anything by Steely Dan. On the modern front, there’s Tennis, and Mayer Hawthorne, and Octopus, by The Bees (seriously this record will make you feel like you’re on a lake in England somewhere) and literally dozens of local bands, running the gamut from breezy island grooves to summer-in-the-city bangers.

This summer, I decided to tap into my musical connections and explore summer vibes with some of the bands soundtracking my June through September. In this spot, I’ll meet with some of my fave summer music creators, to do quintessentially summer things, drink quintessentially summer drinks, and talk about why summer rules (and the other seasons drool).

For my first endeavor, I decided to meet up with Work Drugs, whose sun-drenched jams are practically made for late-night beach parties, the taste of salt-water taffy on your lips, and the wind in your hair.

We meet up on a warm, humid day, the air thick and suffocating, the sky looking like it might start pouring at any second. In retrospect, it’s the quintessential summer day, even though we like to imagine summer as all sunshine and cool breezes.

We hang out for about 3 hours—Matt (my bf) and I have rented a car for just 1 hour, because I think the interview will be “super quick.” It is not—but it’s an awesome time. Continue reading →