New Name, New Music, New Show: The National Rifle reinvents itself as Bondage and Discipline, debuts at KFN next month

Photo by Jon Stars | photo courtesy of
Photo by Jon Stars |  via

Philly alt-rock crew The National Rifle has been hinting at some big news since last November.

Turns out, the band had plans to change its name to Bondage & Discipline, which it did a month ago without much explanation, after seven years under their former moniker. And though the name sounds like the formation of a new emo/punk group, the band assured fans (and possibly disappointed a few Philly punkers) that their sound will remain rooted.

In a post on their Facebook page, the band said “Although the name suggests a strong contrast to their sound and style – the new name brings a dark, romantic side to the band while staying true to their electronic rock/pop sound.” All of this came around the same time after TNR released their latest album, Almost Endless, which is garnished with poppy guitar strums, uplifting “oohs” and “ahhs” and foot-stomping drum beats.

To celebrate their evolution, Bondage and Discipline announced today that they’ll play a debut show under their new name at Kung Fu Necktie on Friday, March 28th at 7 p.m., and will release a brand new single, “Victory in the War” in late March. For more info, keep tabs on the band at Facebook – and check out a video from their previous incarnation below.



Photo Recap: Shorty Boy Boy headlines benefit for Boston Marathon victims

Photo By: Rachel Del Sordo
Photo By: Rachel Del Sordo

Last night fans flocked to the North Star Bar for a special concert in support of the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy. Headliners Shorty Boy Boy put on an outrageous performance which involved building a tent in front of the stage to preform in; he also pulled a mid set outfit change into pajamas. Along with a killer light show, they made sure their set would not be soon forgotten by audience members. Indie rock band The National Rifle and poppy up-and-comers Cruiser also preformed. If you missed the fun check out the photo gallery above.


Download The National Rifle’s Daytrotter session, see them tonight at Benefit For Boston

TNROn the rise with their dynamic layers of synth heavy melodies, dance-pop rhythms, eccentric bass lines, and adamant energy, The National Rifle brought their electro space-rock sound to Rock Island, Illinois for a live-studio session in the Daytrotter’s Horseshack. Now available for members to download, the session contains 6 total tracks, including their singles “Coke Beat” and “Glass Line.” You can see The National Rifle play tonight at the North Star Bar at the Benefit for Boston. Find information and tickets for tonight’s show here. Listen and download The National Rifle’s Daytrotter session here. Watch their performance of “Street Burn” at Johnny Brenda’s earlier this year below.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Benefit for Boston ft. Shorty Boy-Boy at North Star Bar, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell at Verizon Hall, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at MilkBoy, Chris Forsyth at Ortliebs Lounge

Shorty Boy-BoyShorty Boy-Boy brings his dance beat, guitar savvy, unique pop sound to the North Star Bar tonight in support of the Benefit for Boston. Sharing the stage with The National Rifle and Cruiser, each $10 entrance fee will be donated to The One Fund for Boston Marathon victims. Learn more about and find tickets to tonight’s 21 and over show here. Listen and download Shorty Boy-Boys single, “New Yng Cute,” below.

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Watch The National Rifle Perform for Bands in the Backyard (Playing a Benefit Show at North Star Bar 6/27)

TNRIndie Rock outfit The National Rifle recently played a Bands in the Backyard session in South Philly. Both synth-y and a bit power pop-y, they played their track “Glass Line,” and chatted afterwards about their band, their sound, changes over time, and the Philly music scene. The National Rifle has been around for about five years, and they just released their first full-length album, Almost Endless, earlier this year. The band will be playing the North Star Bar on June 27th, alongside Shorty Boy-Boy and Cruiser. It’s a benefit show to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings – great music, great cause!


Download The National Rifle’s “Almost Endless”; see their tour-kickoff or welcome home shows

TNRIndie rock four-piece The National Rifle are heading out on a month-long tour of the midwest and southwest, starting and ending in their homebase of Philly. The band plays Ortlieb’s Lounge on Sunday, April 21st and returns home to MilkBoy on May 18th. Tickets and information on these shows can be found at the WXPN Concert Calendar. Below, you can download the title track from TNR’s debut LP Almost Endless, which we profiled earlier this year in the Unlocked series. Read our interview with the band here.


The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. The Stray Birds, Local Natives, Lord Huron

With their debut full-length Almost Endless released this past week, Philly new-wave / rock outfit The National Rifle were the featured topic for this week’s Unlocked series here on The Key.  The new album takes the band’s sound in a new direction with it’s polished overtones, which you can learn more about here and here.  Below, stream and download “Street Burn.”

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Unlocked: Get to know the animated GIF side of The National Rifle

All week we’ve spotlighted Philly rock four-piece The National Rifle and their brand new album Almost Endless in Unlocked, The Key’s regular series on new and significant albums from Philadelphia-area musicians. We’ve looked at the band’s growth and the process of self-discovery that went into the new album, and we’ve also seen that they’re still the same goofy, ridiculous crew of players we’ve know for the past half-dozen years. Today, we wrap up the series on a definite note of ridiculousness. Guitarist Hugh Moretta and keyboard Lynna Stancato put together a series of animated GIFs that include scenes from tour, Kickstarter rewards from home, and more. Check them out, and read Stancato’s descriptions, below. Continue reading →


Unlocked: The National Rifle shares their Almost Endless journey of self-discovery

Three-fourths of The National Rifle are gathered ’round a table at XPN Studios, scrambling on smart phones to find thank-you videos they made for their Kickstarter backers. In one, drummer Buddy Mazzenga rolls around Scrooge McDuck-style on a pile of donated money. In another, bassist Jeremiah Sweeney dances to Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf.” For as much as their new album Almost Endless – which we’ve explored all week on Unlocked – finds the band in more serious, contemplative territory than we’ve heard from them before, they’re the same goofy group of players we’ve watched for the past six years. After some laughs, we got collectively focused and talked about a few things – the process of self-discovery that went into this album, the transportive power of synthesizer tones and how personality (which they have no shortage of) goes a long way, but solid songs go even further.

The Key: When you perform, your personality does come across in your live show. I like that you’re taking the extra step further with these personalized videos. How did you realize that your fans would respond like that?

Hugh Moretta: It’s because we really try to talk to everybody at shows, we’re not shy about it. We hang out with everybody that comes, so they all kind of know our personalities. It’s almost like inside joke stuff…they get it, they know our sense of humor, we know how they are.

Jeremiah Sweeney: We’re really close with all our fans. We talk to them every day on our Facebook, they even text us.

HM: There’s a few people in Philly, but it’s mostly people on the road. Texas specifically.

Lynna Stancato: Yeah, for some reason, we have this group of fans in Texas. We have a really good draw in Dallas, and in Austin too. And they, after we played there a couple times and there’s a group of people who like clung on to us. And because we’re not shy people, when we’re on the road, too, we’re gonna hang out, you know? Where else are we gonna go? Continue reading →


The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Nightlands, Catnaps and Thao)

Nightlands | Photo by Matthew Davis

Prairie Empire stops by to record a Folkadelphia session [link]

Philly’s Nightlands celebrates the release of Oak Island at Kung Fu Necktie [link]

My Morning Jacket’s Jim James streams his new album, announces a Union Transfer show [link]

Philly rockers Free Energy get interviewed by a couple sixth graders [link]

Remembering versatile guitarist Jef Lee Johnson, who passed away at age 54 this week [link]

Indiepop five-piece Catnaps releases a new EP for free downloading [link]

Shoegazers Nothing will make the First Friday crowd wish they packed earplugs [link]

Lancaster folk trio The Stray Birds records a Key Studio Session, comes to World Cafe Live [link]

Philly rapper Chill Moody releases a mini-documentary of his December TLA show [link]

Thao Nguyen plays “We The Common” on a banjo, through a microphone, at a rally [link]

All week the Unlocked series features Almost Endless, the new LP from The National Rifle [link]