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August 2014
Vinyl Thief
""Fathoms"
"
mp3

In high school, my friend Craig Lee took it upon himself to educate me on what to do when I got high, which was: take a 311 CD and play it through Windows media player, and set the visualization to “Ambience.” With those days behind me (and a few subsequent years lost devil-sticking for tips as I followed 311 tours) I had long forgotten that particular use for Windows until I listened to Vinyl Thief’s debut album, “Fathoms.”

 

Released July 22nd, “Fathoms” listens like an entity. Granted, all albums vary song to song, and this one is no different, but few pluck the same rubber band in your brain and sustain it throughout it the duration. Fewer still can be so closely likened to getting lost watching a pixelated visualization of music on your ’01 Dell, wondering:“Whoa, how did they know to do that?”

 

Vinyl Thief is a synth driven powerhouse of a band that has been gathering acclaim since the release of their “Rebel Hill” EP in 2012. The group has essentially come of age playing together, from their high school inception to logging hours of practice in a church-sanctuary-turned-rehearsal space to perfect the sound and rapport that makes Vinyl Thief extraordinary. There are not many bands with such an expert handle on their sound.

 

There are a few anchors in Vinyl Thief that make them so listenable. Their synthesizers are going to do something beautiful. Grayson Proctor’s vocals are going to run through an impressive range without ever sounding forced or theatrical. And every song is going to reliably blow your mind in some way. It might be on a smaller scale, like when the guitar breaks the silence after the bridge in “London” with what I can only imagine a swoon would sound like. Or it could be big, like when the track “Rebel Hill” finally reaches a crescendo after a series of goosebump-inducing change-ups. The band has a knack for zig-ing when a zag is expected, going soft instead of loud, or even bigger when they’re already turned up.

 

Vinyl Thief is one of the best examples of the modern face of Nashville music, where already talented musicians go through great pains to learn their craft and the business around it. This is a band that is one sync away from national exposure. Be prepared to hear much more Vinyl Thief after Apple or Toyota licenses one of their tracks. Considering that “Fathoms” is a collection of their best material meticulously recorded and lovingly presented like a bowl of all-red jelly beans ready for the grabbing, this is only a matter of time. –Terra James-Jura


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The Roots

The 7th Annual Roots Picnic at Festival Pier May 31

It’s a beautiful day for a picnic. And The Roots have provided a massive one for you. The annual event, in its 7th year, is back once again to the Festival Pier with its eclectic mix of hip hop, indie rock and pop. Bringing with them a man who always keeps his pimp hand strong and his weed the sticky icky, Snoop Dogg will definitely be in the house backed by our hometown hosts. Another group of Philly natives, who are ambassadors of spreading the word about how awesome our music scene is to the rest of the world, are The War on Drugs. And you’ll also find local rapper Chill Moody making a return after garnering a good amount of buzz for his live set at his first Picnic. They’ll be intermingled among top-grade acts like Janelle Monnae, Araabmuzik, Action Bronson, A$ap Fergie, Just Blaze, Biz Markie, and many others throughout the day and evening. It’s a family affair y’all! Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, 601 N. Columbus Rd., 12pm, $64 General/$171 VIP, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman
 

New Song: "Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches.” - Son Little

His voice may already be familiar to you, but now Aaron Livingston, aka Son Little, is ready to get his. The endlessly soulful singer was featured on The Root’s undun, as well as RJD2’s Icebird project, and now he is coming out on his own, showing why such stalwarts were clamoring to work with him. The guitarist and singer’s torment and pain manifests itself into a haunting, slow-burning new track called, “Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches.” The sparse but emotive track is highlighted, unsurprisingly, by Livingston’s powerful vocals. The Anti- Record signed Son Little already has some important friends, so he is sure to be on the rise.  Check out the track and video below.  


New Elvis Costello and The Roots LP Available for Streaming

It's hard to ignore when two legendary acts like Elvis Costello and Philly's own The Roots join forces. Born from their collaborative work on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, their forthcoming album Wise Up Ghost is due out on September 17 via Blue Note Records; however, you can stream the reord in its entirety over at NPR's First Listen.

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New Track: "Walk Us Uptown" - Elvis Costello and The Roots & Lyric Music Video

Here's the first single "Walk Us Uptown" and a lyric music video from Elvis Costello and The Roots' collaborative effort Wise Up Ghost. The LP is being released on September 17 via jazz label Blue Note Records. You can also check out its tracklisting below.

Wise Up Ghost tracklist:
01. “Walk Us Uptown”
02. “Sugar Don’t Work”
03. “Refuse To Be Saved”
04. “Tripwire”
05. “Stick Out Your Tongue”
06. “Come The Meantimes”
07. “Grenade”
08. “Cinco Minutos Con Vos”
09. “Viceroy’s Row”
10. “Wise Up Ghost”
11. “If I Could Believe”
12. “Can You Hear Me”
13. “My New Haunt”
14. “Puppet”

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Merry Independence Day Y’all!

Hope that you are enjoying plenty of grillin’ and drinkin’ today. Well, if your still looking for a spot to hang, swing on by Jamaican Jerk Hut where Toy Soldiers will be celebrating their 7” release with buddies Levee Drivers, The Lawsuits, TJ Kong and Joe Fletcher (happening from 12pm - 4pm, $10 admission, BYOB). It’ll certainly be over in time for you to catch rising Philly emcees Chill Moody and Gliss throwing down at the ?uestlove stage on the Parkway. And obviously, The Roots and fireworks will also be going on if you’re still standing by then (which would be quite impressive if you’ve been going hard since noon). Of course, to quote one of the classics on this day, “Don't forget what you’re celebrating, and that’s the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn’t want to pay their taxes.” Cheers!


The 6th Annual Roots Picnic at Festival Pier June 1

Summertime in Philly always marks another hot party (especially with the weather today) at Festival Pier as The Roots Picnic delivers another diverse lineup courtesy of the City of Brotherly Love’s favorite sons of hip hop. This year The Roots will be doing their usual double duty during the fest as they’ll be headlining and backing the legendary Naughty By Nature in a special reunion jam performance. You will also find exciting sets from featured guests such as Gary Clark Jr., Grimes, Solange, How to Dress Well and local rising star Lushlife. Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Blvd. & Spring Garden St., 12pm, SOLD OUT, All Ages - Bill McThrill

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WTF?! The Roots' Things Fall Apart Just Certified Platinum!

So our minds are kind of blown! The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) just confirmed that The Roots' Things Fall Apart (MCA Records) has been certified platinum. This is the band's first platinum album, which was released in February, 1999. It features the Grammy Award-winning song "You Got Me" with Eryka Badu and Eve, along with contributions from J Dilla (as Jay Dee), DJ Jazzy Jeff, Scott Storch, Common, Mos Def, Beanie Sigel and Dice Raw. Congrats to The Roots for an honor that is long overdue! The group also has a certified gold album from their work with 2002's Phrenology.

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Roots Picnic 2013 Lineup Announced

It was just announce that the 6th annual Roots Picnic will be returning once again to the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing for one day only this year on Saturday, June 1. The lineup was also revealed with Lushlife and (of course) The Roots representing Philly so far. Other acts already confirmed on the bill include Grimes, How to Dress Well, Gary Clark, Jr., Naughty by Nature, Solange, and more, which you can check out on the flier (above). Tickets go on sale this Friday, January 25 via Ticketmaster with a limited supply of Early Bird Special ones.

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