Author Archives: Matt Kelchner

TVD Recommends:
The Early November at Union Transfer, 12/21

New Jersey’s own The Early November are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their most influential album this Saturday at Union Transfer

In what will be a homecoming show of sorts, New Jersey residents The Early November will travel across the Delaware River Saturday night to make their way to Union Transfer. There, they will be playing to a sold-out crowd who are not there to hear new songs. Instead, it will be to hear the band’s biggest album, The Room’s Too Cold, in its entirety. It’s been a decade since it first came out, but it’s clear that it has not gotten lost amongst the numerous other albums released in the years following.

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TVD Recommends:
Their / They’re / There at the First Unitarian Church, 12/20

No, it’s not a third grader’s grammatical nightmare. Their / They’re / There are three guys taking a break from their mainstays to come together for something new. Friday marks their Philadelphia debut, and it is going to be a show not to miss.

Separately, Mike, Evan, and Matt have already left, and are continuing to leave, a huge, influential mark on the emo scene. They each have played in a number of different bands, and each have played in numerous cities multiple times across the country and beyond. But recently, Mike Kinsella, Evan Weiss, and Matthew Frank decided to start writing music together to see where it would take them. Two EPs later, they are embarking on their first tour together as Their / They’re / There.

On Friday, December 20, the trio of emo vets will play their first show together in Philadelphia in the infamous basement of The First Unitarian Church. Joining them for the night are Mansions, Birthmark (which features Mike’s cousin Tim Kinsella), and Marge. In a time where every music website has written an article on the “emo revival,” this tour has packaged the best of the past, present, and future in the scene all in one nice, little present. And we here in Philly get to unwrap it on Friday!

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Wax Packs Test Press

One small, mail order record label from Rochester is putting a new spin on record collecting. And he’s reaching out to a different classic collectible—baseball cards—and combining the two in an unconventional way. 

Remember that feeling of getting a Topps baseball card pack as a kid? There was the build of excitement and suspense as you begin to open the plastic wrapping. Were you going to get that Mark McGuire or Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card? The hologram Cal Ripkin all-star card? Or the Chicago Cubs team photo card… No matter what superstitious rituals there were, you could never tell exactly what you were going to get.

Now, switch gears to collecting records. Going out to the record store, you knew what you were going to get…as long as it was in stock. No guessing or mysteries. What you see is what you got. But what if you didn’t… What if there was some element of surprise, just like opening a pack of baseball cards, in not knowing just exactly what you were going to get. Enter Wax Packs

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Ally Jane Grossan:
The TVD Interview with the 33 1/3 Series Editor

Everyone has a favorite album. Whether it’s that one from high school and you still know every single word to every single song on it, or one of the Top 50 of all time by Rolling Stone, everyone has that one album that they will always love. But do you know the story behind that album? That’s where the 33 1/3 series comes in. 

For the past decade, the series has released 100 volumes, each on a different albums. Readers are taken through deep, thorough journeys of influential albums. Writers compile hours upon hours of work and countless interviews and research down into a single book that can almost fit in your back pocket. 

Written for music junkies who just cannot get enough, each book makes reading through the liner notes on albums look like child’s play. What could be better than taking out your copy of Meat is Murder or Highway 61 Revisited? Getting a full history lesson on them thanks to a fellow fan and devoted music critic. 

This week, the 33 1/3 series will celebrate their winter launch with the release of Serge Gainsbourg’s Historie de Melody Nelson by Darran Anderson. Prior to the release, I was able to catch up with series editor Ally Jane Grossan about the past, present, and future of the series. 

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Keep Shelly in Athens: The TVD Q & A

The dream pop duo of Sarah P. and RΠЯ, aka Keep Shelly in Athens, are about to embark on another US tour. They have just released their debut full-length album, At Home, on Cascine Records. While they share a lot of similarities with other touring bands, there is one major difference:

Keep Shelly in Athens reside in Greece and call Athens home. When they say goodbye to friends and family, they travel hundreds of miles to first get to the United States. Then they travel around in a country foreign to them. But it’s not all bad. The two are touring behind a great album and are getting to play a lot of the songs for the first time to their ever-growing fan base here on this side of the Atlantic.

The tour was slated to kick off October 9 in Washington, DC, but due to immigration and embassy issues both in Greece and here (thanks in part to the government shutdown), Keep Shelly in Athens will be staying in Athens until they pick up on tour with Chad Valley in Chicago on October 18. With no rescheduling announced yet, the East Coast will have to wait a little while longer to catch the duo. 

Before Keep Shelly in Athens was set for their originally planned tour dates around the United States, I was able to chat with singer Sarah P. about the new album, the inspirations behind it, and just what exactly it means to feel at home. 

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TVD Recommends:
Twin Forks at the
North Star Bar, 9/26

Former Further Seems Forever and Dashboard Confessional leader Chris Carrabba and his latest outfit Twin Forks stop by Philadelphia tonight to show off their debut EP.

Many remember Chris Carrabba as the singer and songwriter for the early 2000s emo band Dashboard Confessional. Before that he was the original singer in the Pompano Beach, FL band Further Seems Forever. Now Carrabba has returned again with yet another band, Twin Forks. The four piece band also includes former members from The Narrative and Bad Books.

In what began as a creative outlet from Dashboard Confessional, Twin Forks has taken Carrabba down a more traditional folk route. A rawness is still present in the songs, but instead of coming in the form of emotive lyrics (a la Dashboard and to an extent Further Seems Forever), it comes in a more instrumental form. Pop sensibilities and notions can still be found in the songs, but they come with finger-picking guitar and mandolin melodies.

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TVD Live: Virgin
Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 9/21

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS & AMY WILLARD | The rain did its best to put a damper on this year’s Virgin Mobile FreeFest, but it couldn’t stop a sold-out crowd from enjoying another year of free music.

While it did not start until about midday Saturday, 2013’s Virgin Mobile FreeFest will be remembered for the rains that tortured the grounds at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Despite the wet and soggy conditions, the sold-out crowd was treated to a day and night full of great acts.

Following suit from prior years, this year’s line up kept up the tradition of offering 50,000 attendees an eclectic and diverse group of DJs, singers and bands. Headlined by Vampire Weekend and Pretty Lights, there was a little bit of something for every type of fan.

I arrived early enough to check out the acts opening the different stages. The rain held off for the first couple hours, but anyone could feel it in the air that it was going to be a wet day. As I made my way through the festival grounds towards the West Stage for model/singer Sky Ferreira’s early set, I was able to check out a few of the other attractions like a carnival-esque funhouse and fuzzy mustache seesaws.

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Producer Will Yip releasing special comp featuring Title Fight, Circa Survive, more

Off the Board: A Studio 4 Family Compilation will be released next month on October 4th and feature new and unreleased songs recorded and mixed at the famous Studio 4 recording studio.

Conshohocken, PA’s Will Yip is a name that might not be familiar to many listeners. Yet over the years he has worked on a number of great records from the best up-and-coming names in punk, along with some seasoned vets from rock, hip-hop, and more. If you were to go through his discography you would come across names like Title Fight and The Startling Line as well as others like Lauryn Hill, the Disco Biscuits, and The Fray.

Yip began his career at the ripe, young age of 14 working as an apprentice under Chris Grillo and Ground Control Recording. He later landed a job working at Studio 4. Run by Phil Nicolo, Studio 4 has produced numerous gold and platinum selling and Grammy Award winning records over the past 30 years.

Up next for Yip is a full participating partnership in the legendary Studio 4, and to help raise money to put towards the down payment, it was decided to put together a compilation featuring songs that were produced, recorded, mixed and mastered all by himself. “I want to give the punk, hardcore, and alternative community of awesome bands a home.”

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TVD Recommends:
2nd Street Festival, 8/4 (And it’s free!)

It’s certainly been quite the summer for free concerts in Philadelphia. Between the weekly affairs along the water at Morgan’s Pier to the monthly block parties in the Piazza courtesy of Radio 104.5, there has been no shortage of free entertainment.

On Sunday things will be taken to the next level when the annual 2nd Street Festival returns to the Northern Liberties neighborhood. The all day mini festival is filled with a number of different musical acts spread across three stages. Headlining the day will be The Low Anthem who return to the Philadelphia for the first time since going on hiatus. And the best part? The entire thing is free! Yup, you read that right, free.

Stretching down 2nd Street from Germantown Avenue to Green Street, the 7 block long party kicks off at noon and wraps up at 10 PM. Festival stages will be set up Germantown Avenue, Laurel Street, Fairmount Avenue, and at the Piazza.

Besides The Low Anthem, a number of rising local acts will be playing throughout the day. Festival goers will be able to catch New Sweden, Banned Books, The Bailey Hounds, and Blayer Pointdujour & The Rockers Galore. Check out the schedule below for a full listing of who’s playing and where.

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TVD Recommends: Parquet Courts at Morgan’s Pier, 7/24 (Free show!)

New York punks Parquet Courts visit one of Philly’s hottest bars for a free midweek concert.

Since the beginning of summer, local concert promoters R5 Productions have been hosting a series of free summer concerts every Wednesday at the beer garden along the Delaware River, Morgan’s Pier. Already they have brought in some great shows like We Were Promised Jetpacks, Mischief Brew, and Work Drugs.

This Wednesday they continue their hot streak by bringing the much buzzed-about four piece group Parquet Courts to town. Teaming up with them, a band from the other end of the musical spectrum, Woods.

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The past few weeks have been busy indeed for Brazil’s CSS. For starters, they released their fourth studio album, Planta, on June 5th and their first since 2011’s La Liberacion. It was also the band’s first release since Adriano Cintra’s exit, who along with guitar duties, served as producer for the band’s first three albums. And just a few days following the release, CSS took to the road for a two month long tour.

With their producer gone, CSS looked for outside help with Planta. They turned to TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek to fill in, and along with Sitek the album features a number of notable guests including Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and The Gossip’s Hannah Billie.

Prior to Planta’s release and the band hitting the road, I chatted with Luiza Sa, CSS’s guitarist and drummer about the new album and working with Dave Sitek, the changes since Cintra’s exit, and more. 

What was is like working with Dave Sitek as producer?

Amazing. He is like family to us and it was just a big, fun experience. He makes you feel confident enough to do things you wouldn’t normally do. He doesn’t follow rules and just makes it really interesting and creates this great place to work in.

Tim Armstrong has also been announced as a co-writer on the album. How did you guys link up with him?

He contacted us because he liked the band. It was very casual and easy to work with Tim, he’s great.

Hannah Billie from The Gossip is also a guest drummer on a track on the album. Are there any other guests on the LP?

There are some other friends here and there playing different things—drums, horns, or singing harmonies. We wrote “Into The Sun” with our friend Kathryn Anne Davis.

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Work Drugs:
The TVD Interview

The release of a brand new 10 song album shows that there is no slowing down for Philadelphia’s hardest working independent band.

After releasing their “Amore” EP on Valentine’s Day, Work Drugs, Philadelphia’s self-described “premiere Bat Mitzvah and Quinceanera party band,” are back with a collection of songs that continues to show growth and maturity from a young band with an already impressive catalog of songs. Mavericks is officially Work Drug’s third full-length released this week and is self-produced and self-released. Work Drugs is made up of primarily two members, Tom Crystal and Benjamin Louisiana, and live, the band expands to a five piece. 

To celebrate the release of Mavericks, Work Drugs are playing a free concert on July 10th along the banks of the Delaware River in Philadelphia at Morgan’s Pier. It’s just one of a handful of upcoming shows scheduled. The others include a trip down to Baltimore on July 13 and a pair of shows in southern California on August 30 and 31. The miami drug rehab can hel people overcome addictions.

Work Drugs recently ventured out to Stockholm Sweden to take part in the Hultsfred Festival, and prior to their trip I was able to catch up with one half of the band, Tom Crystal, to discuss the new album and its influences, their DIY spirit, and the road ahead.

What can we expect from the new album Mavericks?

Definitely some yacht rock tendencies—especially with the title track, as well as some straight ahead uptempo dance cuts like “Young Lungs” and “West Coast Slide.” It’s a line we always seem to straddle.

Who have you guys been working with on the album?

This album sees some of our live lineup start to stretch their legs a bit, between various sax parts by Maxfield Gast, Mr. KC holding down the groove, and Jonas O putting down the beat. I think this record helps to better display the energy we put into our live set.

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Inaugural Make Music Philly Day coming 6/21

For the first time ever, Philadelphia will join the World Music Day celebrations.

World Music Day is a global celebration of music that falls on the summer solstice every year. Inaugurated in France in 1982 with their Fetes de la Musique celebration, the holiday now takes place in over 450 cities and 100 different countries. The holiday was officially recognized in the United States in 2006 as National Music Day.

According to, the purpose of the day is to “celebrate the central role of music in our lives and our country through free, open and accessible events throughout the US and the world.” From 8am to 8pm on June 21st this year, Philadelphia will be part of the festivities for the first time in the city’s history.

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Savages map brief
US tour for July

The female four-piece look to carry the torch as the next great post-punk revival band for a new generation.

“Savages’ intention is to create a sound, indestructible, musically solid, written for the stage and designed with enough nuances to provide a wide range of emotions,” reads the first line to the fmanifesto posted by the group. The UK band has been making waves since their double A-side single released last year. Now with the debut of their full length LP, Silence Yourself, the band is set to introduce themselves to the United States and Canada in July.

Since 2011, the band has released an impressive amount of work, including a pair of singles, an EP, and now a full length album—all of which, especially the latter, manage to capture the energy and emotion of their live show surprisingly well.

With a busy Spring and Summer already mapped out through Europe, Savages embark on just nine dates through North America. From July 11th through July 23rd they make their way from New York to Los Angeles.

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TVD Recommends: Hurry and Literature at the Tuesday Tune Out series at PhilaMOCA, 5/7

As a part of their weekly Tuesday Tune Out series which combines bands and film, PhilaMOCA is bringing two of the city’s younger, more promising acts together this week.

Located in a former showroom for mausoleums and tombstones, as well as Diplo’s former headquarters for his label Mad Decent, PhilaMOCA is gallery and show space located on 12th Street just north of Spring Garden Street. The group behind it are a “not just for profit” whose goal is to provide Philadelphia and the arts communities with new and interesting exhibits and performances. They also host a number of great, small concerts each month.

Every Tuesday the gallery hosts an event titled Tuesday Tune Out. The idea behind it is simple, two bands play and then a movie is shown. Each month they hand select a different prominent member in the music community to curate each week’s show. The chosen individual picks which bands play and the bands then select what movie is shown after they finish performing. While the acts are announced weeks before their date, the movie is not. Only attendees will know which movie the bands select.

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