Download Philamixington II, featuring Norwegian Arms, Radiator Hospital, Catnaps and more


Matt Marchinowski of Big School Records is moving out of Philadelphia.  To celebrate his time here, Marchinowski has pieced together a snapshot of the local music scene with a 27-track mixtape called Philamixington II, available as a free download via his Tumblr.  The second installment in the local music mixtape series, this collection samples various genres, circles and side projects with tracks from radio favorites like Cheers Elephant (pictured), basement staples Roof Doctor and The Hundred Acre Woods and new-projects-from-old-buddies like Avery Rosewater.  From Marchinowski:

Although April will see my moving out of Philadelphia for the peaceful confines of the sticks I will still consider its scene ‘home’. It wasn’t easy narrowing this collection down to 27 jawns but I can assure you it won’t be the last notch in the Philamixington series.

Download the full mixtape for free on Beat the Indie Drum here and stream a sampling of the tracks below.  The first Philamixington set can be downloaded here.


Drift away to a new Ladies Auxiliary song, “White Fields”

While they’re wrapping up production on their latest LP, Philly experimental pop three-piece Ladies Auxiliary appeared on IRM Presents: Clouds, a free compilation curated by French blog Indie Rock Mag where participating artists were asked to write songs inspired by the theme “Floating on a cloud.” Ladies Aux contributed “White Fields,” a slow-burner with punchy drums, a drifting echo effect and vocal harmonies that sound dreamy as they contemplate mortality. Listen to it below, and download the entire compilation for free at Bandcamp.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Good Old War and Vacationer at The TLA, Ladies Auxiliary at North Star Bar, Dan Bern at Puck Live

XPN Welcomes back local indie rock trio Good Old War and dream pop four-piece Vacationer to Theatre of the Living Arts tonight. Good Old War took off this year after the release of their third album Come Back as Rain, which features hits like “Better Weather” and “Calling Me Names.” Vacationer, a “mysterious endeavor” from The Starting Line‘s Kenny Vasoli, also released their record Gone in March which drew comparisons to bands like Beach House, Grizzly Bear, and Vampire Weekend. Tickets to tonight’s all-ages show can be found here; below, check out the video “Trip” from Gone.

Continue reading →


Interview: Laser Background’s Andy Molholt and Norwegian Arms’ Brendan Mulvihill on making music in unconventional spaces (house show tour begins tomorrow)

Laser Background
Laser Background

Yesterday evening, Andy Molholt of Philadelphia psych-pop group Laser Background and his longtime friend Brendan Mulvihill of the junkyard folk act Norwegian Arms moved into Dreamcastle, a house-show space in South Philadelphia. They’re living there temporarily, leading up to the kickoff show of their house show “tour” tomorrow night. The plan is an imaginative one: the band is performing four DIY spaces in Philly over the next four weeks. They have to live in each house for two days prior to the show, possibly constructing a pillow fort. They must adhere to “a strict food / drug regimen.” And they’ve got to write music, and perform the results. I grabbed drinks with Molholt and Mulvihill last week to talk about the unconventional residency series, its ambitions, and their affinity for Philly’s vibrant DIY scene.

THE KEY: Let’s sum up this mini-tour (that you’re not leaving the city for). You’re playing four house shows, and the rules are you have to stay in the house two days before playing the show, and collaborative preparational activities will take place while you’re staying there…

ANDY MOLHOLT: Collaborative preparational activities, I like that.

BRENDAN MULVIHILL: That’s really good.

AM: Make sure you put that in there.

TK: …and a song may result that you’ll perform at the show?

AM: More like a song must result.

BM: It’s a must?

AM: It’s a must! We’re good enough songwriters.

BM: We’re in this house for three days, we might as well do something.

AM: We didn’t really ever talk about if the song was going to be collaborative or not, we still have to figure that out. I thought we’d each write a song for our respective projects and perform them as our respective projects. But since I play in Norwegian Arms, and Brendan’s going to play in Laser Background for one of these shows where some of the guys can’t make it, maybe we can do that too.

BM: We’re not entirely sure what’s going to happen. It’s kind of just a big experiment. We might get into a fight. Or we might make out, that might be cool.

TK: It reminds me of the Netherfriends project where he lived in each state, had to write a song in each state. I guess that project is still ongoing. Was at all an influence on this project?

AM: If any of that factored in, it was definitely unintentional. I used to play with Netherfriends for a little bit, but I didn’t think about that. Residencies are kind of a silly idea to begin with – why would you want to go see a band in the same venue every night for four weeks straight?

BM: Not every night! “Come see us play 31 times…”

AM: [laughs] You know what I mean, though. I get that it’s good for the venue if the band’s popular enough. And you get different crowds each night because there’s different openers playing. But I just think it’s kind of silly. I thought it would funny to self-anoint our own residency at house shows. Then the actual living there idea developed, and Brendan had the idea that we had to write songs too.

BM: I mean, why not, right? Only seems natural.

AM: Brendan and I have known each other since we were 13, so these kinds of ideas come naturally.

BM: And we’re used to sleepovers. Continue reading →


Watch Ladies Auxiliary cover “Don’t Cry (Alt. Lyrics)” by Guns N’ Roses

Fuzzy Philly dream-pop band Ladies Auxiliary have roots that rock way harder, it seems. The band this week released a cover they recorded of Guns N’ Roses “Don’t Cry (Alt. Lyrics)” That’s the version on Use Your Illusion II, the one with the blue album art that bookends GN’R’s 1991 double-album set, not the version on the red-covered Illusion I that opens it. Got to admire that specificity. Here’s what Ladies Aux’s Colin Pate had to say:

UYI2 was probably the first album I was ever straight-up obsessed with. It meant a great deal to me when I was first listening to music I picked out myself. Sadly, it hasn’t aged that well for me, except for DC, which I think is pretty much a perfect song. We’ve never made a video before, and this seemed like the time to do one.

After wrapping up some gigs earlier this month, the band is on a brief late-summer vacation, but will return in autumn with new music and live appearances. In the meantime, you can grab a free download of “Don’t Cry (Alt. Lyrics)” on Ladies Auxiliary’s Bandcamp page.