Philly bluesy rock outfit TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb showed Philly a good time last night at their annual Rock and Roll Murdershow and have also just released a music video for their howling song “Blood In The Bathtub.” Shot entirely in black and white, the video sets itself in a rural area where viewers meet various figures and follow their seemingly average stories. There’s more to the stories than meets the eye though, with something sinister lurking under the surface. The video is curious as it asks listeners to answer the questions it poses in a creative, though dark, (especially in the song’s context) way. Check it out below.
Hip Hop superduo Run the Jewels will be at The TLA tonight. The partnership between Brooklyn’s El-P and Atlanta’s Killer Mike resulted in a self-titled record in 2013, which XPN’s Bruce Warren touted as “the year’s best hip hop collaboration.” Just last week they leaked RTJ2, giving it out to fans for free on their Facebook page. Get the album here and listen to “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” below. Tickets and information can be found here.
Equal parts rock and country, Lydia Loveless is a shot of rhythmic fire. And for 90-plus minutes last Thursday the Ohio-based songstress and her band held a crowded MilkBoy under her spell.
Only 24, Loveless spins tales of desire and soul with a knowhow of someone twice her age. Her voice curls with country swirl on songs like the utterly brilliant “To Love Somebody,” while her lyrics often instantly become memorable, like on “Verlaine Shot Rimbaud.” Both aforementioned songs are from her solid 2014 album Somewhere Else, which was heavily featured in the setlist. Continue reading →
TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb this week announced via Facebook the performers for their 5th annual Halloween Murdershow and its quite the lineup. Featuring a full list of Philly locals and such a large array of genres, from TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb’s folk tunes to Lantern‘s distortion-infused rock to Tutlie‘s imaginative, surreal indie music, the eclectic sounds of this show are sure to attract a crowd. Continue reading →
Splintered Sunlight, a cornerstone of The Blockely’s bookings, is a Grateful Dead Tribute band. The group consists of Jerry Horan and Tony Gioiaon drums, Butchy Sochorow and Dan Leyden on Guitar and Vocals. Splintered Sunlight has been around for more than 20 years and is known for its great live show. Earlier this year, the band played as a part of of the final run of shows at the Blockley. Below, check out their rendition of “Truckin'” at the Blockley below.
PhillyBloco is a giant 23 piece Brazilian band who play an unique mix of jazz, funk and samba. Named after the street bands common in the Carvinal of Pernambuco in Brazil, the group recently did a Key Studio Session. In an interview with The Key’s Sameer Rao, the band explained that “every section of the band is so pumped…it has this great family atmosphere.” Check out their recording of “Hey Na Na” below.
Another funk collective, Swift Technique, will also be playing. The group did a great Key Studio Session two years ago and released their newest EPs The Kitchen Sessions and You Boys Be Aight earlier this year. There is a full length release up soon. Listen to the great track “Brooklydelphia” below.
The great Americana-rock band TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb will also be performing. Recently, the group did a Porta Session with their label American Diamond Recordings. They also did a great Key Studio Session following the release of their latest EP Kong. Listen to “Blood in the Bathtub” below.
Other highlights include a Starr Hill brewery beer truck, local food trucks, and 30 craft vendors. Get more information here. Check out performances by the bands below.
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb popped into the studio to record a new Key Studio Session, three and a half years after their first one. This session includes a special track called “Blood in the Bathtub” that was recorded at the band’s EP release show at Johnny Brenda’s. Stream and download the full set here.
Eric Schuman invited Brooklyn psych-folk outfit Woods in for a live session to air on last night’s Indie Rock Hit Parade. As a preview, The Key shared a recording of “Leaves Like Glass,” which was included on the band’s recent With Light and With Love LP. Get a copy below.
Earlier this week, Helen Leicht talked with Philadelphia native Jason Karaban about his new song “Low Road.” Karaban told Helen that this version was recorded with a number of his musician friends, including Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Garrison Starr. You can get a free download of the song below, and be on the look out for its appearance on EP from Karaban soon.
This week’s Folkadelphia session featured a performance by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. The married pair have a lot of history in their blood – Sarah Lee is the daughter of Arlo Guthrie / granddaughter of Woody, and Irion is a grandnephew of John Steinbeck. On their latest record Wassaic Way, they were joined by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, who helped create bold power pop / Americana twang. Stream and download the live session below.
A few things we’ve learned about TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb since first recording the Philly band for this series three and a half years ago: there are no periods in their name. Frontman Dan Bruskewicz is a stickler for punctuation, and if you will mess it up, his Twitter shall make it known. It’s also kind of shortselling Kong to describe them, as we did at the time, as “punkabilly.” Certainly there are elements of rowdy Americana in their sound, delivered with punk rock gusto and attitude. And sure, Joshua Machiz rocks an upright bass. But the tapestry this band pieces together – both on 2012’s remarkable Manufaturing Joy and this year’s Kong EP – is eclectic and evocative, stirring together dusty cinematic arrangements with lyrical tales of depravity and hard-luck humanity that sound like something out of a Cormac McCarthy novel. The band seems to currently be going through a Tom Waits fixation: Bruskewicz has always had that gravely voice, they’re throwing a Waits tribute night at Jose Pistola’s on May 14th and, heck, I mean just listen to “Snakeskin” in the session below and tell me it doesn’t sound all Rain Dogs. Also, they’re the only band (that we know of) that’s performed an exorcism in our studio. The bulk of Kong’s Key set was recorded the same day the band played on the Folk Show with Gene Shay, a preview of its EP release show at Johnny Brenda’s, and that set was such a knockout that we’ve included a track from it – the feverish suicide fantasy “Blood in the Bathtub,” enineered by Adam Staniszewski of StanzStudios and featuring a bit of interview with Shay at the end. Listen and download to the entire thing below; if you want more (and can’t catch Kong at the Waits tribute night), Bruskewicz plays a Kong solo set May 30th at Boot and Saddle.
Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
Ron Gallo, front man of local Americana blues band Toy Soldiers and city-wide collaborator, has announced the launch of a new local label called American Diamond Recordings. Named for the intersection of American and Diamond Streets where the label is based (in a former studio of Dr. Dog, no less), the label brings Gallo together with a collective of friends and compatriots to put a focus on the wealth of roots and rock music being created right here in Philadelphia. From the label:
Decades ago the industry folk fled Philly to seek prosperity in the three corners of the music business NYC, LA, and Nashville. But American Diamond Recordings and For the Record Management are planning on changing that and making Philly a force to be reckoned with in the world of music. We sure as hell have the goods to do so.
The initial line-up of acts on American Diamond Recordings include Gallo himself, Toy Soldiers, The Lawsuits, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb and Levee Drivers. The label’s first official release will be Gallo’s debut solo outing Ronny, expected June 24th. There will be a free release show on June 26th at Spruce Street Harbor with The Lawsuits and Up the Chain to celebrate; more information can be found here.
Tonight, audiences will get the best of both worlds. After touring together in 2012, singer / songwriter Aimee Mann and punk / indie guitarist Ted Leo have teamed together for a new project, The Both. On April 15, the two released their first and self-titled album via Mann’s Super Ego Records. (Fun Fact: The Both was the first band to play at the newly opened Boot & Saddle.) Check them out tonight at Union Transfer. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $24.