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POSTED: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 11:10 AM
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LA weirdos Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti release one of the strangest (and best) records of the year

There’s no doubt that Beverly Hills rocker Ariel Pink is one of the stranger figures in rock music today. Since rising to prominence 2 years back, the pink-haired, armpit-drumming, self-destructing, pseudo-band-firing madman has proven entirely inconsistent at pretty much everything… except for defying expectations and creating damn good music. His 2010 record, Before Today, was one of my favorites of the year—I still remember the first time I heard killer single “Round and Round” (rightfully named best track of the year by P'fork) and being blown away—by something so creative, yet so listenable. (My favorite part—still!—is the transition from the chorus to the bridge, where Pink literally chants “Breakdown…breakdown, breakdown…” Genius.)

Of course, writing one killer record does not mean you’ll write a second (see: The Strokes, Best Coast, Sleigh Bells), and knowing what to expect from a man who sometimes answers interview questions by claiming to love necrophiliacs is harder yet. Still, expectations are high for the band’s new LP, Mature Themes, out August 22 on 4AD, but streaming right now via NPR.


POSTED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 3:54 AM

Get pumped for Philly's own smooth-fi duo Work Drugs' "short but sweet set" at The Barbary's weekly indie dance party, Tigerbeats. If you missed their performance at the XPoNential Music Festival, book your calendars now for Monday, July 30th.

Having just released their fourth album in a one-year period, Work Drugs is keeping our ears busy. Absolute Bearing dropped on July 10th, so expect to hear some brand new tunes during their set at Tigerbeats.

POSTED: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 11:52 AM
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DIIV—formerly known as DIVE—has finally arrived. Now it’s time to dive right in.

Oshin—the debut record from Brooklyn band DIIV—seems like it’s been forever in the making. Really, it’s been less than a year: from the release of first single “Sometime” in October 2011 to Oshin’s release this week. Of course, between then and now, it feels like DIIV has dominated the blogosphere—releasing no less than 6 singles (each one picked up by P’fork) and showingly changing their name from DIVE to DIIV—thus ensuring the greater music world’s investment months before Oshin’s release. “I always intended for DIIV to grow up in the public eye,” explains band leader Zachary Cole Smith to Pitchfork. We say: mission accomplished.

Of course building up hype beforehand can be tricky, should a band fail to live up to expectations—and luckily for all, DIIV more than deliver. Oshin is a thick, dreamy record of blissed-out soundscapes, that conjures feelings of summertime and relaxation, perfect for lazy summer mornings or languid walks around the city.


POSTED: Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 10:13 AM
Filed Under: Electro | Indie | Lo-Fi | Phrequency Approved
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Youth Lagoon is the moniker of Trevor Powers, a 22-year-old Idahoan whose dreamy, fragile tunes are the perfect defense against autumn’s impending chilliness.  A bedroom project formed out of sheer necessity (i.e., Powers’s need to create tunes), YL explores questions of love, anxiety, and growing older through gentle synths and warbly vocals. These themes come to a forefront on The Year of Hibernation, his debut record on Fat Possum.

"For my whole life I've dealt with extreme anxiety," explains Powers to his label. "Not anxiety about passing a test or somewhat normal things, but weird…bizarre things. Things that only I know. I sometimes feel like I'm literally being eaten up inside. So I started writing these songs. Not just songs about my anxiety, but about my past and my present. Songs about memories, and all those feelings that those bring. I know that if I can be honest about what is inside my mind, there will be others that will be able to relate to it."

Hibernation kicks off with church-y dirge “Afternoon,” a quiet, bell-laden hymn that soon grows louder and fuller—until it positively reverberates with teeming intricacies. Follower “Cannons” simmers at balmy levels, fuzzed-out vocals floating atop synths like clouds on a foggy day—while “Daydream” glides effortlessly through instrumental breaks and choral interludes. Listening to all 3 tracks in a row is like meandering through a hazy fever dream, throes of intensity punctuating an otherwise placid ride.


POSTED: Thursday, July 21, 2011, 3:09 AM
Filed Under: Awesome | Electronica | Events | Indie | Lo-Fi
Neon Indian playing Making Time in Feb. 2010. Photo by Tiffany Yoon.

On September 21st, Neon Indian make their way back to Philadelphia in support of their up-coming album release ERA EXTRAÑA. This will be the band’s first show here in over a year so make sure you catch the electro-psychedelic rockers when they hit the First Unitarian Church. Tickets are on-sale now. Purchase them here.

Related Stories: MT with Neon Indian , Photos + Tweets: Making Time RadBQ

POSTED: Monday, July 18, 2011, 12:31 PM
Filed Under: Awesome | Indie | Lo-Fi | Pop

The on-the-rise dream pop band wowed attendees of this year's Roots Picnic and by the looks of it, Little Dragon seem to be taking over. Their 3rd studio album, Ritual Union, is now streaming over on NPR and it already has listeners giving it the thumbs up. It's official release is Tuesday, July 26th. Listen here.

Related Stories: Photos: The 4th Annual Roots Picnic , What I'm listening to: Maximum Balloon , Photos: J*Davey nails it at the Blockley , Photos: Toro y Moi with Ruby Suns

POSTED: Thursday, July 7, 2011, 10:39 AM
Filed Under: Lo-Fi | Phrequency Approved | Pop

“Music is like big family dinners—chaotic, emotional, occasionally fun, oft overwhelming, but always worthwhile,” explain Seattle’s Witch Gardens to Derek Erdman. It’s an appropriate description from a band that claims to write songs “in the kitchen of the modest home where ½ of the band live"—and even more appropriate given the chaotic, fun, oft overwhelming, but always worthwhile sound of Alice, Agatha, Branch & Christ, their debut, self-released LP.

Formed a year back by Seattle guitarist/DIY vet Casey Catherwood, plus bassist Beth Corry, drummer Sara Beabout and autoharp virtuoso Karolyn Kukoski—Witch Gardens dwell in a world of hazy, vintage pop: reverb-drenched tunes about hanging out, haircuts, parties, and softball chicks, unfiltered and unabashed.

The album kicks off with “Fiesta Texas,” a sun-drenched, lo-fi jawn in the style of early Best Coast or Frankie Rose—think fuzzy female vocals; ‘60s-esque guitars; driving beats. Follower “Beach” sounds exactly as you’d expect given its name: surf-inspired guitar, circular drums + bass, and lyrics that insist, “If you wanna die…don’t die/ If you wanna love me, then love me.” To kids lazing in the sun, life really IS that simple. “So Many Parties” is an affably light, syncopated charmer, its free-spirited frolicsomeness juxtaposed with the self-conscious thoughts of a teen flying solo at a rager: “I’d rather die than be here alone…everyone is dancing, but I’m having an awful time.” Melodramatic? Maybe. And yet something in that tinny warble sounds vulnerable and honest.


POSTED: Tuesday, July 5, 2011, 2:16 PM
Filed Under: Awesome | Events | Hip Hop | Lo-Fi | News | Pop

The full, official lineup of Popped! Festival has been announced. Going down at FDR September 23-24th, the two day festival features an eclectic mix of local and international artists, as well as a Food Bazaar!

A limited number of Early Bird 2-day passes ($90) and limited Early Bird 2-day VIP passes ($175) are on sale Monday, June 20th at 10am through Thursday, June 23rd at 10pm. Use the code: POPPED (2-day Passes) and code: VIPPOPPED (2-day VIP Passes) on PoppedPhiladelphia.com or Ticketmaster.com.

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