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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 9th Annual GreenFest Philly at Headhouse Square Sept. 7

Clean Air Council’s GreenFest Philly returns to Headhouse Square for its ninth year today, and this year is set to be the biggest one yet. Victory Brewing will be hosting a ping pong-filled beer garden, and local, organic foods will be provided by a few of the city’s favorite food trucks. There will be a rest and recharge station with free coffee and solar-powered chargers, and 100+ exhibitors will be on hand to sell eco-friendly fashion and homemade arts & crafts. You’ll find plenty of educational seminars for young and old as well as children’s activities, and advocacy groups will be teaching awareness about environmental causes. The festival will also feature musical entertainment in the form of Balkan dance beats by Slavic soul masters West Philadelphia Orchestra. Former Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo will be laying down tunes from his latest album RONNY on this beautiful day, and Pine Barons might just preview some of the new songs that they’ve been recording in the studio. Rounding out the music lineup will be No Stranger. Headhouse Square, 2nd St. (between Lombard & South Sts.), 10am, Free, All Ages - Bill McThrill


Bardo Pond Luring You Into Places Unknown at KFN Aug. 6

Sometimes, drifting is the best move. Bardo Pond is a band whose musical structure dictates and in fact, may suggest drifting as a policy; gradually picking up the threshold and inching it further from the starting point. In the process, stirring a wicked brew of cutting, dungeon-painting guitar countered by enchanting vocals, they'll lure you into places unknown. Bardo Pond will be prefaced tonight at Kung Fu Necktie by the heavy-psych vibes of Gondola, hard-rocking trio The Company Corvette, and the searing rock 'n' roll guitar riffs of Carousel. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., $8, 8pm, 21+ - Michael Colavita

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Weekend Warrior, September 5 - 7

With the release of their forthcoming album, Pretty Music for Pretty People, happening in early October, autumn is going to be the season of The Dead Milkmen. Alas, the band will be touring the western part of the United States during the bulk of fall, giving Philly little opportunity to see them. But before they go, the beloved satirical punk band has lined up a fitting venue for a sendoff celebration - Laurel Hill Cemetery. Join the veteran rock outfit as they entertain the living and the dead with the classics that you know all the words to, and preview some new material from next month’s release. However, be sure to arrive early to do a tour of the historic cemetery, and catch the opening performance from cyber art rockers S.T.A.R.W.O.O.D. Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave., 7pm, $15, All Ages - Bill McThrill
 
Other places to escape the chill this weekend…
 
The Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) SAT The Silent Kit, Gorgeous Porch, SUN Cranes are Flying
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St) SAT Guitarcules, Pizza Face
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI You Do You, Former Belle/House of Cards, SAT Bardo Pond, Gondola, The Company Corvette, Carousel, SUN Legendary Divorce/West Philadelphia Orchestra, James Wadsworth Strong, Zachary Darrup, Connor Przybyszewski Trio
 
Bourbon and Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Purples, Heavy Blond, Cave Women, SAT Mo Lowda & The Humble
 
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) FRI The Interest Group
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI In the Black Box) Galvanize, Static Mountain West Philadelphia Orchestra, SUN Divine Hand Esemble
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SUN DR3W
 
TLA (334 South St.) SUN Just Mike The Poet
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) SAT Jeff Thomas' All Volunteer Army  (CD (RELEASE PARTY), Eloise Sharkey, Swift Technique
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.)  FRI Atley Moon & The Say Something Sound Machine, Sympathy & the Lion, Lakota
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Summer Scouts
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Moonstriker
 
M Room (15 W. Girard Ave.) SUN Alia, Katie Barbato
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St. FRI Hired Guns Blues Band, SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.)  FRI Dave Joyce, The Blurry Nights/ The Tracy Chamberlin Band, SAT YDi, Beer Me/Machines of Penalty (CD Release), Flesh Engine
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Duke Maroon, Bosom Band, Dirty Soap Blues Band, SAT Royal Noise, The Philly Reggae Band, Full Carbon Get Up, SUN Rev. TJ’s Blues Church w/Christopher Davis-Shannon
 
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Batworm, Blank Spell, SAT Syfer
 
Half Moon Lounge (4228 Lancaster Ave) SAT War Emblem, Top of Tola
 
First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut St.) SAT Cassavetes (Record Release Show), Dogs on Acid, White Lighters
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) Fri Black Stars, The Great SOCIO, SAT SOCIO FEST: Danielle and Jennifer, Colin McGetrick, Jeff Selby, Lovers League, The Quixote Project, The Late Saints, Zap Goes Pop!, Stolen Rhodes, The Revere, Dr Beardfacé and the Spaceman, Solus Rex, The Strange Heat, The Substance, The Great SOCIO, SUN The Model T's Jazz Orchestra
 
Ardmore Music Hall FRI Matt Sentry, Matt Greto
 
Chill Collins Art Space (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI A Day Without Love, Uncle/Father Oscar, Jantones, In Place
 
Lavender Town (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI These Polar Opposites, Booze Radly, Ocelott, Donald, The Mellowells
 
Liberty Lands Park SAT NoLibs Fall Music Fest: The Lara & Joe Show (kids), St. James & The Apostles, Sparklers, Spiritual Thunder, Almshouse, Urbana, Creem Circus
 
Golden Tea House (Please Contact one of the acts or venue for more info) Sun Cayetana (Record Release), The Spirit of the Beehive, Albondigas
 
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Gorgeous Porch Opening for Wedding Dress at The Boot & Saddle Sept. 5

Multi-talented Chris Wood (Orbit to Leslie, Grimace Federation) will be showcasing his latest Casio psych-pop project, Gorgeous Porch, at The Boot & Saddle this evening. He’s been steadily expanding its catalogue, and I’m looking forward to hearing a proper release. Gorgeous Porch will be kicking the night off for headliners Wedding Dress, which features members of Maps & Atlases and Joan of Arc, so come early. They’ll also be joined by post-punk outfit The Silent Kit. The Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Alexis V.

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New Music Video: "Biting At The Rose" - Needle Points

Garage-psych rockers Needle Points have a new hallucinogenic music video for the track "Biting At The Rose," off last year's debut EP Bom Tugangu. It was filmed at Berks Warhouse, and was directed by C.T. The gang also has an upcoming 7", Cripple Street, scheduled for release on October 7 via Brooklyn's PaperCup Music, and they will be welcoming its arrival on Friday, October 17 at Kung Fu Necktie alongside The Orange Drop and The Golden Grass.

"Biting at the Rose" - Needle Points from NOBODYISWATCHINGTHECHILDREN

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New Track: "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" (The Shirelles Cover) - Radiator Hospital

Radiator Hospital, a.k.a. Sam Cook-Parrott, will be releasing a cover of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," which you can stream HERE. It was written by Gerry Goffin and Carol King, and recorded by The Shirelles. The song will appear on a 7" split with Sorority Noise that will be available on September 30 as part of a new series being launched by Soft Speak Records. The preceeds from the album will be donated to a charity chosen by the bands. Cook-Parrott is currently on tour with his band, and he'll also be doing a solo tour that will find him on the road with Swearin's Allison Crutchfield.


Communion w/TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb (EP Release), Levee Drivers, Ron Gallo & More at Underground Arts Sept. 4

TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb will be officially dropping a special digital edition of their EP KONG with bonus tracks on September 9 via American Diamond Recordings. They’ll be celebrating the release at Underground Arts tonight during the monthly edition of Communion, and will be joined by New Orleans’ Crash, Portland/Brooklyn’s Diane Birch, and some members of their American Diamond family. With Ron Gallo still riding high from the release of his LP RONNY and Levee Drivers recording material for their American Diamond debut, the crowd should be filled with plenty of familiar faces. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 9pm, $15, 21+ - Bill McThrill


New Music Video: "Separate Songs" - Restorations

Restorations shared a new music video with NPR Music yesterday for the first single, "Separate Songs," from their upcoming album LP3. It was co-directed by Mitchell Wojcik and John Komar. According to frontman Jon Loudon, "'Separate Songs' is one of our favorite compositions off LP3. We got to do all the things we like in here: heinous feedback, giant chorus, too many guitar solos, etc. The song is about throwing your computer out the window." For this album, they teamed up once again with producer Jon Low (The Menzingers, Bleeding Rainbow, etc.), and the record will drop on October 28 via SideOneDummy Records.

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