In Praise of Erica Freas & RVIVR

RVIVR

It’s fall, the weather is erratic, and I’m listening to RVIVR everyday. The Olympia, WA punk outfit has been releasing music for about 8 years, but have just made their way onto my radar recently. They blew the lid off PhilaMOCA this summer, and I’ve been fascinated since.

Continue reading “In Praise of Erica Freas & RVIVR”

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7 Reasons to Get Up and Go the New Alternative Music Festival

namf

The New Alternative Music Festival (NAMF) is September 16-18 in Asbury Park, NJ. Running by Don Giovanni Records, NAMF is a one-time event meant to be an alternative to the obstacles and backwards thinking presented the music industry. The result is a diverse lineup spread across three days, with no overlapping set times.  It’s one of the most significant musical events of the past several of years. Continue reading “7 Reasons to Get Up and Go the New Alternative Music Festival”

New Music Roundup

I’ve been listening to a lot of good new releases lately.  Some are by bands I’ve known, and some by bands I’ve never listened to before. There are some albums, and some singles to get you ready for the fall. In case you haven’t been able to listen to my show (Mondays 7-830AM), here’s a digest of my favorite tunes right now:

New Bellows (Brooklyn) single is very different than Blue Breath, with a lot more synth, auto tune, and chaos. It took me a listen or two to warm up to it, but after seeing them shred on the big state at UT last month, I’m ready for what’s next.

Debut SOMNIA record How the Moon Shines on the Shit. It features Spoonboy (DC) & Erica from RVIVR (WA). I saw RVIVR a few weeks ago and they blew me away. I like Somnia recording even more.

The Cowboys are a band from Bloomington that I saw last night in a West Philly basement with Purple 7. They shared a lot of members, and have some 60s and Western undertones.

New Outer Spaces (Baltimore) record sounds like the sequel to The Execution of All Things. They released an EP a couple years ago on Salinas, and push forward on Don Giovanni Records.

There’s a new Krill (Boston) EP that they recorded before they broke up. It warms my heart.

And a super hot LVL UP (Brooklyn) jam that manages to one-up the rest of their catalog.

The new Martha (Durham, UK) album is fantastic! I don’t know when they’re returning to Philly but I hope they do soon and maybe I’ll just follow them around the country.

I slept on the new The So So Glos (Brooklyn) album a little bit but Chris Gethard said it was his favorite album of the year, and it truly is great. It makes me want to throw blueberries at the wall.

Permanent Body is a new band based in West Philly. They’re led by the man behind Ghost Light, one of my favorite bands I never got to see play.

 

Album Review: All People – Self Titled

All People are led by Greg Rodrigue and Daniel “D-Ray” Ray. I met Greg last winter at a café he co-runs in New Orleans. I was buying a Woozy record, and we talked a bit. He also co-runs Community Records with Ray, home of bands like Woozy, Caddywhompus, and Pope.

Rodrigue and Ray trade lead and backup vocal duties throughout their self-titled album, as the band takes a step forward from 2015’s Learn Forget Repeat, helped by the addition of guitarist Josh Campbell. Rodrigue emphasizes each word, bringing a haunted energy at points. “Now I’m in the ground, do you miss me now?” he sings in “Naught”, the existential lead single. Side 1 ends with “Moonsteps”, a groovy jam that brings together some of the best parts of the band – it kicks off Ray’s energetic keyboards, followed by a killer baseline from Rodrigue, before settling into a smooth rhythm.

“Moon Steps” is the album’s centerpiece, a shot of light before the band winds down. Side 2 is much calmer than Side 1, and “Balloon” is nearly a ballad. Ray’s trombone plays a prominent role, taking the lead on “New Rain”, the penultimate track and a thoughtful instrumental. “Of You” caps off All People, peacefully fading away as the trombone wonders on. As far as punk albums go, All People is one of 2016’s most unique, and Ray and Rodrigue work well to create a cohesive, emotional effort.

All People is out May 20th on Community Records.

Concert Preview: Thao and the Get Down Stay Down at Underground Arts on Saturday, April 16th

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down bring their sunny, folk-tinged pop to Underground Arts on Saturday, April 16th, headlining a great bill that includes Saintseneca and Little Scream. They recently released what may be their best album yet, A Man Alive. The album was produced by Merril Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, and it bubbles over with positive energy. While it’s hard not to snap along to the rhythm of songs like “The Evening” and lead single “Nobody Dies”, Thao and the gang maintains their unique idiosyncrasies. Even the slower songs keep you looking up, as Thao Nguyen’s voice and songwriting shine.  A Man Alive is a perfect album to welcome in spring. Continue reading “Concert Preview: Thao and the Get Down Stay Down at Underground Arts on Saturday, April 16th”