We recently interviewed Hassan Ali Malik from Sunny Ali & The Kid to catch a glimpse into his touring and vacation plans, sources of inspiration, and hopes for the band. It looks like we're definitely going to book our tickets to Austria for some serious tagging along.
L: What are the big plans for your trip to Austria at the end of the month? Should we book our tickets now to see you?
H: There's a beautiful state park that gets submerged in water once a year where you can scuba dive. I'd like to sit on a park bench under water and think for a while... There's also this "Bone house" that holds 1200 skulls of evangelical Christians that were massacred. Maybe we'll try to shoot a goth video there... We'll be there for a week and we only have one show so I'm hoping we'll get to explore. The whole festival is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the recognition of Islam as an official European religion. Austria was one of the first European country's to recognize Islam. It's basically going to be a big experiment with artists, politicians, belly dancers, scholars and diplomats. It's basically going to be another weird one.
L: Abdullah recently interviewed Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad, for Vice. What other side projects are you currently pursuing beyond music?
H: Nothing. Just music. I'm a pretty dull and boring person otherwise. Oh, but I do like to play ping pong.
L: Your music is clearly inspired by a wide range of sources. How have fellow musicians specifically in the Philadelphia circuit influenced your work?
H: Well, I did meet the Kid here in Philly through the musician circuit. So, thats proof that there's great musicians running around. I've been playing Philly for a very long time now and there's always a handful of good bands around. I'd like to think that we now influence people here. We rep Philly pretty hard no matter where we go. I hope Philly reps us too.
L: I laughed out loud at work to your YouTube screen shot flyers from last month. What are some other creative ways you’ve worked to expand your fan base?
H: I've been trying to think outside the computer box. Self promoting can be a strange thing. Like, I don't want to be so aware of myself or what I'm doing with my life sometimes. I have some fun ideas but I can't really share. You'll see. The best self promotion though is consistent good music. That and maybe some hottt pics.
L: What are your hopes for the effects of your music reaching new people? Is there some message you wish to convey through your music alone or as a individual spokesperson?
H: Yes. A VERY VERY important one... Come to a show and find out!
Kate Bracaglia, Philly.com Music Blogger
San Fran rockers casually release one of the best rock records of the year
I was at a bar the other day, talking with a friend, when he commented on the Death of Rock Music these days—how a good number of our popular bands consist of neon- and tight-pants-wearing, knob-turning, drum-kit-programming electro-rockers, who are far more influenced by New Order than by Joy Division. He may have a point. (We’re looking at you, Chaz Bundick/Ariel Pink.) Which is why I’m so enamored with bands like Thee Oh Sees, who’ve been casually crafting spastic garage rock nugs for nearly a decade, with nary a vocoder in site.
The project of prolific master John Dwyer, a scene vet since the late ‘90s who’s jammed with just about everyone, Thee Oh Sees follow a similar trajectory to one of my all-time favorite bands, Guided by Voices. Just as GBV started as a figment of Bob Pollard’s imagination, morphing from low-key garage project (with a rotating cast of regulars) to incredibly prolific indie rock giants—so too have Thee Oh Sees—transitioning from Dwyer’s solo project to an established force of ever-changing members. Since 2004, the band has released no less than 14 records (including 2 last year), and developed a small but strong following. But if there’s ever a time for Thee Oh Sees to burst forth into the public consciousness, in a moment of Bee Thousand-esque splendor, that time is now—after the release of fantastic new LP, Putrifiers II.
Morgan’s Pier has already become quite the Philly favorite since it opened last month. And now, with R5 hosting free outdoor summer shows there each Saturday afternoon/evening, it’s about to really become the place to be. No RSVP, no list, no tickets- it’s really as easy as F-R-E-E. Just show up whenever you want and check out some cool bands along the waterfront. Pretty sweet, right?
Well today, R5 released their most comprehensive calender of the shows yet, with mystery guests for August 11 and 25 that will be announced soon. Check out what they have planned below (and don’t forget there will be $2 PBRs available all day/night, great food, and a DJ set after each performance).
Saturday 6/23: Free Energy, Grandchildren
Saturday 6/30: Algernon Cadwallader, En Garde
Saturday 7/07: Hoots & Hellmouth
Saturday 7/14: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Saturday 7/21: Fang Island
Saturday 7/28: Pissed Jeans, A Place To Bury Strangers, Gang
Saturday 8/04: Jukebox The Ghost
Saturday 8/11: Special Guest TBA
Saturday 8/18: Mischief Brew
Saturday 8/25:Special Guest TBA
Kate Bracaglia, Philly.com Music Blogger
London’s Fair Ohs craft messy, jangly, Afro-pop-inspired gems perfect for blaring from car stereos or rocking out to silently (via iPod) as you cruise around the city this summer. But that wasn’t always the case. Rather the band—a trio consisting of pals Eddy Frankel, Matt Flag and Joe Ryan—originally started off as a free jazz collective, but quickly stopped because “it was abysmal.” From there, they flirted briefly with hardcore (“The whole London scene is really influenced by hardcore,” says Frankel), before settling on the nuanced form of garage rock they’ve so perfected today. The name “Fair Ohs” is the result of a long evolution too…the band originally went by Big Fucking Deal (their hardcore moniker!) as well as The Pharaohs and Thee Fair Ohs, before finally agreeing on Fair Ohs—a tribute to their free jazz roots (The Pharaohs are also a jazz band!) as well as their garage rock tendencies (as in…Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs.)
This storied history is only interesting because these varied influences shine through on Everything is Dancing, their debut LP out now on Lefse Records. From clang-y, African-inspired percussion to sloppy, garage rock guitars, youthful lyrics, and moments of inspired experimentation, Dancing packs a lot into its 35 minutes, but still feels remarkably cohesive, resulting in an exuberant summertime record you’ll revisit again come fall.
Dancing starts unobtrusively, with hazy, blissed-out guitars on opener “Baldassari”—before erupting like a fountain with lush chords. Then come the vocals: the high-pitched warble reminiscent of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. In fact, the track in general sounds a bit like a Vampire Weekend tune, if they traded their khakis for cut-offs and got drunk and stoned in a friend’s basement. Follower “Eden Rock” is fast-paced, percussive and punk-y, clocking in at just two-and-half minutes—while “Colours” mixes Total Life Forever guitars with hazy, call-and-response vocals.
Gabrielle Bonghi, Philly.com
The all-girl Philly grunge-rock duo, Slutever, are holding an awesome contest for their fans! It’s time to get creative, and maybe a little bit illegal, for this stencil competition. Go to Slutever’s website to print out a limited edition stencil of the band’s logo.
After you cut it out, it’s time to go crazy: Tag or paint anywhere, anyone, or anything using the provided template. The best creation wins a unique Slutever merchandise package! Watch the video below for some help.
Send all submissions to sluteverNOISE@yahoo.com by Wednesday, June 1st. Good luck and go crazy!
Friday, January 14th
Eternal Summers [Roanoke, Va]
Moom Women [Philadelphia]
1918 S. Bancroft St.
8 pm - all-ages ($7)
Slutever, need I say more? The Philly girl grunge duo has received much critical acclaim in their short time on the scene. They're really something great and even so they still keep it punk playing weeknight basement shows.
The crowd went wild for their performance; even with sound difficulties (shout out to Dave Collis for assisting the duo) the two played an awesome set; ending the night on a high note; everyone exited ready to party on. Too bad there's a noise curfew, that's Philly house shows for you.