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You Blew It!, Prawn, Crying, Marietta, and Secret Plot bring ‘The Emo Revival’ to the Fire

You Blew It! | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
You Blew It! | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

The Fire held an all-emo showcase Sunday night, bringing together Florida punk four piece You Blew It! alongside New Jersey’s Prawn, New York’s Crying, and Philly’s  Marietta and Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe. Each band brought their emotional cues forward in their own way, showcasing how creative and loud they can be with the copious amount of tiresome energy that come through in their music.

Secret Plot To Destroy The Entire Universe | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Secret Plot To Destroy The Entire Universe | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Secret Plot opened up the night with a set of their vocally-driven and abrasive songs. Teetering in that delicate spot between destructive and beautiful, this band sure knows how to get their feelings across, especially live. New songs filled their performance, and the band mentioned that an album is in the works. Keep an eye out for that, and check out their other stuff on Bandcamp.

Local emo four piece Marietta was up next, playing a set of tracks from their debut album Summer Death. Their twinkly riffs and huge crescendos made for a terrific sing-a-long experience. The band plays faster and yells a little harder live, which really showcases their punk influence and how invested these guys are in the feelings of their songs. Drummer Andrew Weigel was especially crazy to see live; during some of the build ups he would be absolutely pounding on his toms while also shouting the lyrics at the top of his lungs. Listen to Summer Death here. Continue reading →

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The accidental success of Kat Kat Phest, and how founder Daniel Anderson is building on it this year

The Hundred Acre Woods | photo by Ally Newbold Photography
The Hundred Acre Woods will play opening night of Kat Kat Fest on Saturday | photo by Ally Newbold Photography

Think of last year’s first Kat Kat Phest as an accident that went almost as smoothly as the organizers could have asked for.

“There were seven or eight different bands that hit one of us up saying, ‘Hey, I need a show,’ in a four-day period, “ says the Philly-based indie label founder Daniel Anderson about what happened around this time last year. “By the end of it, all four days had a show, and we were just like, ‘Whatever, let’s just make it a four-day thing with some after shows.’”

Anderson started Kat Kat Records in order to help out friends’ bands and put out their records, so requests for help booking shows in the area were not uncommon. That’s why his friend Ruben Polo (also his band-mate in the local four-piece Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe) started helping out with promoting events, which he also does for a living.

For a last-minute festival with mostly touring bands on the bill, the two organizers couldn’t have imagined it would go so well, even selling out the show on the final day.

“[Our band] left for an eight-week tour after that, and off and on, we were just talking about, ‘Who should we get next year? We should do this for real,’” Anderson says. “Last year’s was kind of an accident. This year is a test to see if we can make it go as well when we’ve actually meant to do it.”

So this weekend, DIY musicians and local music supporters will once again gather for Phest 2, which will span five days, feature eight all-ages shows and boast about 50 bands. The all-festival passes, a bargain at $22, were sold out by December 20. Saturday night’s show with local heroes Smoother and Marietta, as well as New York-based Lemuria headlining, was moved to the North Star Bar after selling out at The Fire. But tickets are still available for all eight shows, a la carte style, at the show’s Facebook event page, and they range from $3 to $10…so it’s still a lot of bang for your buck.

Several bands associated with Kat Kat Records will also play this year’s Phest, including By Surprise, Hightide Hotel and Tyler Daniel Bean. But Anderson and Polo don’t make it a priority to put their own bands on the bill.

“If bands deserve to play cool shows and work really hard and are good people, then they play what they should play,” Anderson says. Continue reading →

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Orlando emo four-piece You Blew It! brings Keep Doing What You’re Doing to The Fire 2/9

You Blew It! | via Facebook

Orlando, Florida emo / punk group You Blew It! recently announced their second full length album Keep Doing What You’re Doing will be released January 14th via Topshelf Records. In recent weeks, the band released two songs off the upcoming album, “Award of the Year Award,” and “House Address,” both which you can stream below. Each song is seemingly more mature than what we heard on their debut album Grow Up, Dude, and “House Address” particularly has awesome guitar riffs and truly heartfelt vocals. In addition to the improved song writing quality, the band had the help of producer Evan Weiss (Into it. Over it.) in the making of the record.

You Blew It! joins The Front Bottoms on a full US tour, which stops in Bethlehem at the Blast Furnace Room on 1/31. After that tour, You Blew It! is staying on the road and plays The Fire on 2/9. Pre order Keep Doing What You’re Doing hereGet tickets to the You Blew It! show in Bethlehem with The Front Bottoms here, and get tickets to stacked show at The Fire with Prawn, Marietta, and Smoother here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Blackalicious at World Cafe Live, Mavis Staples at Susquehanna Bank Center, Les Professionnels at MilkBoy, By Surprise at The Fire

blackaliciousWorld Cafe Live welcomes Blackalicious tonight. Originally from the West Coast, the hip hop duo brings their quirky, eccentric, contemporary rap craft to the stages of the East Coast. Check for more information or tickets for tonight’s 8 p.m. show here.

Continue reading →

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The Hundred Acre Woods and Modern Baseball featured on Topshelf Records’ benefit split

Coming together to support global anti-violence charity V-Day, Philly’s Modern Baseball and The Hundred Acre Woods teamed up with newly-formed Maryland band Julia Brown (ex Teen Suicide) and Old Gray on a digital 4-way split curated by Topshelf Records.  Each indie band contributed a new track to the benefit compilation and all proceeds will be donated to V-Day to end violence against women.  From Old Gray’s Cam Boucher:

With all of our respective bands currently working to promote records of our own, we thought it would be nice to come together and try to use any attention that we’ve recieved as bands to help give back to the community.

To order the split, visit Topshelf Records’ Bandcamp here.  Downloads will be sent out on Valentine’s Day at 4:00 p.m. EST.  You can catch Modern Baseball at The Fire this Sunday, February 17th (tickets and information here) and The Hundred Acre Woods will perform a free show at The Kimmel Center for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts on March 28th (information here).

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Stream By Surprise’s new Criteria EP

Photo by Allison Newbold
South Jersey emo four-piece By Surprise released their new EP Criteria today on Topshelf Records. The three-song set is just about ten minutes long, it’s got booming guitar tones, a lot of energy, and a few solid sing-along hooks. Listen to it in the player below.

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