Author Archives: Matt Kelchner

TVD Recommends: Topshelf Records Tour at the Barbary, 9/16

The Boston, MA record label has put together four of their brightest up and coming bands for their first ever label tour and things kick off tonight at the Barbary!

It’s hard to believe that until now, Topshelf Records has yet to sponsor their very own tour. The relatively young upstart from New England has kept themselves very busy seemingly since Day 1. In only a few short years, they have become one of the most well-known and beloved labels in the punk scene. A number of their releases have already become wildly regarded to as classics.

For two weeks in September and October, Topshelf Records are sending A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Diamond Youth, Prawn, and Field Mouse out on the road together. In celebration of the occasion, a special 7″ featuring one song from each band has been pressed and will be available at every stop. Check out every song from the split at the end of the article!

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The return of Mineral: back on stages and back on vinyl

“I think people who really love and are passionate about music often times want the process of listening to it be more physical, like actually having to take a record off the shelf. I know I’m that way…”

Austin emo legends Mineral released two albums, The Power of Failing and EndSerenading, before disbanding in 1997. The four piece were at the beginning of their relationship with Interscope Records when the friends from Texas decided to go their separate ways. In the years since, numerous bands have cited Mineral’s lone pair of records as influences, their songs providing a cornerstone in the emo and punk music scenes.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary for the band and to celebrate they have regrouped to hit the road again. Mineral have not shared the same stage in 16 years and it’s been almost as long since some members have spoken. However, Chris Simpson, Scott McCarver, Jeremy Gomez, and Gabriel Wiley have been practicing and rehearsing since the beginning of the year in preparation for hitting the road which will keep them busy through the beginning of November. Mineral never properly toured behind their second album EndSerenading as they broke up before the opportunity arose, so fans will finally get to hear those songs live for the very first time.

The band kicked off their current tour with four consecutive sold out shows in New York City, and as they make their way down the East coast this week, they will play Union Transfer on Thursday, September 11 with Into It. Over It. I was caught up with singer/ guitarist Chris Simpson to get the scoop behind Mineral’s reunion.

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Milkboy set to celebrate 3-year anniversary in a big way

Starting Thursday, the Center City coffee shop/ restaurant/ music venue will unleash a trio of shows in honor of its birthday. And the best part? Each one is free! 

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 3 years since Milkboy first opened its doors at 11th and Chestnut. Already, the trio of Tommy Joyner, Jamie Lokoff, and Bill Hansen have managed to fit themselves right into the concert landscape in Philadelphia and in doing so, have made their venue seem like it’s been around for much longer than it has. To commemorate their monumental milestone, Milkboy will be featuring 3 nights of free concerts featuring some of the best local talent the city has to offer!

Wasting no time and not even waiting for the weekend to hit, Milkboy kicks the festivities off Thursday (8/14) with a headlining performance from one of Philly’s most unique hip-hop acts, Black Landord. Joining them will be ILL Doots and Thee, Idea Men. The following night (8/15) The Ataris take the stage along with one of the city’s best up-and-coming indie bands, Cheerleader. Alright Junior and Strap round out the lineup. Saturday night (8/16) looks to be the end all, be all with a monster bill that includes The Lawsuits, Mo Lowda & the Humble, and Our Griffins.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Beverly at the Boot & Saddle, 8/12

Fresh off the release of their debut album Careers, dreamy garage rockers Beverly are hitting the road…with a bit of a twist.

Beverly began as an outlet for Drew Citron and former Vivian Girls member Frankie Rose as the two were touring together behind Rose’s solo work in 2012. Citron happened to find herself in the right place at the right time when Rose needed a keyboardist and back-up vocalist, and while on the road the two would come together to write what would become Careers, the debut album from Beverly.

As Rose has shifted focus back to her own work, Beverly now rests solely in Citron’s hands. She has rounded together members from Chairlift, Class Actress, and the Beets and is taking things on the road. And despite the sugary-sweet hooks and melodies, Citron’s shaping Beverly more toward a loud, fuzzy, post-punk sound.

Next Tuesday night (8/12) Citron will be bringing this new chapter of the band to Philadelphia to kick off their tour—and we have a pair of tickets to give away!

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TVD Recommends:
The Baseball Project at World Cafe Live, 7/28

The rock supergroup featuring members of Dream Syndicate and R.E.M. come to steal home in Philadelphia tonight! 

While the Phillies might not be the most exciting team to watch right now, another team is coming to town tonight for what’s sure to be an instant classic. Their lineup is full of all-stars and hall of famers who have come together to form one mighty new team, The Baseball Project. Earlier this year they released their third album, aptly named 3rd, on Yep Roc Records and this evening The Baseball Project make their way to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia as they travel around the East coast.

Joining forces in 2007, The Baseball Project began as a way for Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus 5, R.E.M.) and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3) to show their love for their favorite sport. It has since evolved to now include three more members: Zuzu’s Petals/Steve Wynn drummer Linda Pitmon and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Mike Mills. As a bit of a pre-game preview, we caught up with cofounder McCaughey. We chatted about the beginnings of The Baseball Project, McCaughey’s favorite ball players and just exactly how he thinks the Phillies can turn things around. Ruban Amarro, Jr. you might want to take notes!

What was it about baseball that first attracted you to the sport?

That’s a good question. I don’t know if I can really remember, I was such a little kid when I started getting into baseball. I was probably 7 or 8 years old, ya know? I just started throwing a ball around with my friends, playing catch with my dad, and all that stuff you do.

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Brewing Rhythm: Dogfish Head Brewery and the Marriage of Beats and Beer

“I am pretty sure we were the first brewery to incorporate vinyl records into a beer release…”

Beer and music—they pair together like peanut butter and jelly. And as diverse as bands and artists come, small independent breweries have jumped into the mix by creating unique and exciting flavors for their brews. One of the leaders and forefathers of the craft beer movement is Milton, Delaware’s Sam Calagione and his Dogfish Head Brewery. Over the years, Calagione and company have taken their love of music and found new ways to infuse them within their brewed beverages.

Earlier this year, ethereal songstress Julianna Barwick and Dogfish Head Brewery teamed up for a special collaboration. The two came together to create a new wasabi and red rice infused beer dubbed Rosabi. Along with this initial collaboration, Barwick released a four track album entitled “Roasbi EP.” The EP is available digitally as well as physically as a limited vinyl pressing. There are just 1,000 copies of “Roasbi EP” available and they are only available with sealed six packs of Dogfish Head’s Rosabi.

We grabbed a beer with Calagione to chat about his joint efforts with Barwick, the story behind it, and Dogfish Head’s history of pairing music with beer—and vinyl. It’s a closer relationship than you might imagine with a lengthy history, and with Calagione himself getting in on the action.

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TVD Recommends: Saintseneca at Johnny Brenda’s, 6/4

In a genre that can contain a host of similar sounding artists, Saintseneca is a breath of fresh air in the folk-rock realm. With a new album, Dark Arc released earlier this year on a new record label, Saintseneca have hit the road again to show off their new songs to cities across the country. Tonight they make their way to Fishtown for a headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Saintseneca have made a name for themselves for their relentless touring throughout the DIY scene, mirroring the paths of many punk and hardcore bands. The kind of genre-blending lineups that this has allowed reflect the way Saintseneca pull from a number of different sounds to create their own mix of rootsy and rambling folk rock. Dark Arc reveals this evolution more vividly than ever before.

Returning to the circuits that began the buzz, Saintseneca comes to the intersection of Girard Avenue and Frankford Avenue to play the local indie music staple. Countless bands who have played the small Fishtown venue have graduated to bigger stages, and it would not surprise us if Saintseneca followed in these well traveled footsteps.

As their tour begins, we chatted with multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Zac Little to discuss Dark Arc, where Saintseneca stands now, and just exactly how he feels about vinyl.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Will Dailey at the Tin Angel, 6/5

As the music industry dives further and further into the digital world, Will Dailey is switching things up with his latest album, National Throat, by releasing it on vinyl months before it is available online. 

When it comes to most new albums nowadays, making it available online is one of the highest priorities for any artist, young or old. In a world where a single online stream of a song brings in a fraction of a penny, every play and every online purchase counts. But for native Bostonian Will Dailey, the digital world is taking a back seat this time. His new album, National Throat, does not arrive to online retailers and services until August 26.

However, the album will be available June 7th on vinyl, and Dailey has taken to the road to celebrate. This upcoming Thursday, he makes his way to Philadelphia to share the stage with Mia Dyson for a co-headlining show at the Tin Angel and we have a pair of tickets to give away!

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Second Annual Make Music Philly Day returns June 21st

The day long event filled with free music performances around the city kicks off and closes with a pair of new events.

Last year we shared with you the inaugural Make Music Philly Day devoted to celebrating the important role music plays in everyone’s lives. The event was scheduled to take place simultaneously with World Music Day last year on June 21st. The world-wide event first began in 1982 with the French and their Fetes de la Musqiue. This year Make Music Philly returns June 21st as the city’s only DIY, free festival! This time around, the event organizers have a few special events already planned.

A little over a year ago, Make Music Philly encouraged everyone across the city to link up with others in the community to help put on their own musical performances. Big or small, professional or amateur, events were thrown across the Philly from 8AM to 8PM. Make Music Philly returns again this year on June 21st as the City of Brotherly Love joins over 500 other cities worldwide in their celebration of World Music Day. Two new events are being introduced this year to help commemorate the day.

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TVD Recommends Chuck Ragan and The White Buffalo at the TLA, 4/23

Chuck Ragan and The White Buffalo team up to help push you over the midweek hump. 

Years and years ago, you would find Chuck Ragan traveling around the country with his band, Hot Water Music. The Gainesville, FL act made a name for themselves with their relentless touring and anthemic songs. Across the country on its other coast, you’d find Jake Smith—an Oregon born, Southern Californian raised in the influential West Coast punk scene. Fast forward to 2014 and the two are now touring together. Tonight they come to South Street for a show at the TLA.

While they have not lost their punk roots, both Chuck Ragan and Jake Smith have ventured past it. For almost a decade now, when Ragan is not singing and playing guitar in Hot Water Music, he’s crafting his own songs as a singer-songwriter. Focusing more on storytelling has allowed Ragan to reveal his emotions within a different creative outlet. His strong sense of traditional Americana has shaped his solo material into honest, straightforward tunes.

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TVD Recommends: Stephen Malkmus &
The Jicks at TLA, 3/1

With a year well on its way and a new album in hand, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks are out on the road again. Wig Out at Jagbags is the first proper release from the band since 2011’s Beck-produced Mirror Traffic. The record has been well received by fans and media alike and continues to display Malkmus’ strength in crafting infectious hooks and melodies.

The band is currently on tour supporting the new LP and as they make their way down the east coast, the band will stop at the TLA tomorrow, March 1, to give Philadelphia a proper taste of the new songs in a live setting. Opening the show is New York City’s Endless Boogie.

As they were making their way across the country, I was able to chat with Malkmus’ longtime friend and collaborator, Joanna Bolme of the Jicks.

What was the biggest difference between working with Beck as producer on Mirror Traffic and Remko Schouten on Wig Out at Jagbags?

Well, before Mirror Traffic we had pretty much produced all the records ourselves with an engineer. Beck was the first person we ever brought on board to produce, so we let him do his thing. Remko has been doing our live sound for years, we didn’t really have to say much, he just got it all set up real quick like when we’re 2 hours late for load in.

How did recording in Belgium differ from recording in the US? What challenges did you and the rest of the band have to overcome?

It’s not really different than recording in the States, except there were ponies across the street and better cheese. When it comes down to it, it’s just the band and a room, you just play and hope the guys in the other room are doing their job.

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TVD Recommends:
Katie Frank and the Pheromones Record Release Show at Milkboy, 2/21

Local songstress Katie Frank and her band of rowdy Pheromones take over Milkboy this Friday night to celebrate their new album, Counting Your Curses. We were able to catch up with Katie and two members of the Pheromones, Josh Werblun and Jon McNally on the inner-workings behind their latest record. 

In just the short amount of time that has passed so far in 2014, the buzz behind, Counting Your Curses, the upcoming album from Katie Frank and the Pheromones, has quickly built to become one of the most anticipated new albums from within the Philadelphia music scene. The clever songwriting, soaked in a rustic Americana sound, has matured from their debut EP “Covered Bridge Road.”

On Friday, February 21st Katie Frank and the Pheromones will unveil to the world what they have been hard at work for much of the last year. WXPN, one of the leaders in Philadelphia radio, has taken a like to Katie Frank and company ever since getting a taste of “Covered Bridge Road.” Other local press outlets picked up on them as well and after a break out year in 2013, Katie Frank and the Pheromones have their sights set on making 2014 even better. This record release show is only the beginning.

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Work Drugs return
with new single, plot Spring tour

Philadelphia’s smoothest yacht rockers release their second single off of their upcoming album Insurgents along with a round of April tour dates. 

One of the hardest working independent bands in Philadelphia, Work Drugs, is keeping busy as the days lead up to the release of their latest album, Insurgents. It’s the follow-up to last year’s full length release Mavericks and will mark the 7th studio album released by Work Drugs (8th if you count their “Amore EP.”Just last week they shared a new song, “The Good In Goodbye,” the latest off the group’s upcoming record.

“The Good In Goodbye” sees Work Drugs twist a bit of a tropical reggae sound into their blend of dream pop meets yacht rock. Kat Bean, lead singer of fellow local band Amanda X joins in on the fun.

Continuing to stick with all things DIY and choosing to do things their own way, Insurgents will be released on the band’s own Bobby Cahn Records.

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TVD Recommends: Pissed Jeans with Purling Hiss at Union Transfer, 2/8

A trio of local acts share the stage at Union Transfer this Saturday showcasing the noisier side of the Philly music scene. 

After a busy 2013 that culminated with albums landing on many year-end lists, Pissed Jeans and Purling Hiss return this Saturday night for a hometown show at Union Transfer. Local two-piece outfit Trophy Wife round out a lineup that features some of the best that the city has to offer.

Eardrums be warned, this show will be a loud one. Since their beginnings Pissed Jeans have always leaned on the noisier side of the punk spectrum. Take any song off of last year’s release, Honeys as an example. And while there may be some limitations on the studio versions of their songs, each one is unleashed when they hit the stage.

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Fadeaway Records returns with their first release in 10 years

Fadeaway Records returns after a 10 year silence with a massive 3 LP compilation to benefit cancer research.

It has been a long time since Fadeaway Records last released an album. But after a decade long hiatus the label is back, and they’re coming back in a big way. On February 25th, Fadeaway Records will be releasing, Friends, a giant 3 LP release with all of the proceeds going directly toward cancer research charities. It’s the first step that the label is making as they return as a not for profit label.

To help them get back into the swing of things, Fadeaway Records have gathered rare and unreleased songs from a bunch of their musically inclined buddies and will feature these songs on Friends. The first two records of the compilation will have unreleased material from a number of different bands. The third record will showcase a hand-picked collection of the top selections from Michael Dubin’s—one of the Fadeaway Record leaders—library of home recordings.

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