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Seagulls
"Great Pine
"
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With spindly strings horning in the opening instrumental, “Dragoon” awakens Seagulls' debut LP Great Pine, seamlessly transitioning into “Swimmin’,” a song that is initially given a steady-footed beat around which a more intricate and illuminating composition is built generating a peaceful yet purposeful layered sound, setting the tone for what lies ahead. “You and Me” plays like a surf-folk love letter, developing a warm, earnest vocal confession, while fitting nicely with the tug and pull groove of the scratching guitar and persistent bass. The vocal harmonies provide a sweetness accompanied by reserved bursts of trumpet and accordion-like effects offer a tease of nostalgia.
 
“Love, Give” follows a similar theme as vocals, strings, and snap-percussion set a pleasant, pensive, strolling pace as echoing harmonies and backing vocals reinforce, “Love give your hands to me, for someday I’ll be on bended knee.” “Old Habits” maintains an up close lo-fi aesthetic and underlying 8-bit accents, but the perspective has changed, shining a light on the dark side of relationships and a groove that has a somewhat worn and dusty ascetic, enhancing the lyrics meaning - “Old habits, die hard or they never do/so keep lying til they all catch up to you.” A well-placed take on Big Star’s “Thirteen” incorporates the honest-loving sentiments of adolescence, falling neatly inline with the group’s heartfelt vocal honesty, while simultaneously acknowledging one of their potential influences.
 
The record’s title-track “Great Pine” serves as a breath-catching ambiance builder before the turbulent “Holy Smokes” emerges. Enlisting peaks of aggressive kick-in-the-door instrumentation - particularly percussion between smooth stretches of vocally dominant valleys - in essence, layering pieces of clear skies between moments of violent storms.
 
“Distracted” concludes Great Pine with an uplifting blanket of vocals, allowing the guitar to stretch its sea legs as the backend force steers the musical ship; holding the course. This album starts on the shore, and while there are moments where it seems destined to searchingly drift out there, Seagulls appropriately demonstrate an ability to reel it in, taking a beautiful inaugural voyage. - Michael Colavita

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scene blog

Krust Toons: "Too Many Side Projects" by Teddy Hazard - please feel free to drop him a line at teddandthehazards@gmail.com if you dig or have any funny ideas. You can also check out more of his illustrations HERE.

September 22, 2014
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Local post-rock veterans Grimace Federation have certainly gone through many configurations over the years. Long gone are the days of their arrival at live performances as a sextet, lugging around a massive vibraphone, but with their current, more minimalist setup as a trio, the band continues to move forward, experimenting and evolving the group’s sound. This past July, Grimace Federation shared a sample of this progression in “The Measure In Mixture,” from their upcoming LP, and you’ll be able to hear more from it this evening at Union Transfer when they open for the Yoni Wolf-led indie rock outfit Why? and Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Dessa. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden, $16, All Ages - Alexis V.

September 22, 2014
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Mike Bell & The Movies recently released a full-length maxi-single CD for the track "Everyone," which originally appeared on their record Nothing Works. The new album comes with four remixes by various artists and a live recording of the single as well as live versions of previously recorded and unrecorded songs that were taken from their performance on June 14, 2014 at Self Aware Fest. A standout on their latest LP features a sugary sweet, synth-heavy collaboration between Tulsa, Oklahoma's Sastronaut and The Daddyo's that also came with a music video, which you can view below. The Everyone (Maxi-Single) release is available via Major Bear Records, and can be purchased and streamed HERE. Enjoy!

September 22, 2014
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It seems that the fantastical journey of The Fantastic Imagination might be nearing an end. The band posted on its Facebook page: "Come see us play for the last time in a while." The Fantastic Imagination will be performing this evening at Silk City alongside the siren-esque soundscapes of Myrrias. They'll be hosting a rare appearance by Irish noise-pop crew So Cow. I doubt that you'll find a better place to be this Sunday night. Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., $7, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman

September 21, 2014
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Vita and the Woolf celebrate the release of their debut album Fang Song (which dropped earlier this week) this evening at Ortlieb’s. Listening to Fang Song, it becomes clear that it is a concentrated, powerful record. Jennifer Pague’s vocals exhibit strength and beauty, grabbing your ear from the start, guiding listeners through a series of songs that harness a vocally cultivated blend as its harmonious, soulful foundation. Partnering these vocals with tempo-setting keys/synth and accenting percussion, the album seems to consistently induce danceable movements, simultaneously displaying a layered potency, while maintaining a pop sensibility. They will be joined on the bill by the emotive, vocal-synth combination of Bondage & Discipline, an offshoot of The National Rifle, as well as Brooklyn pop-rockers Canon Logic. Ortlieb’s, 847 N. 3rd St., 8pm, $7, 21+ - Michael Colavita

September 20, 2014
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The Clark Park Music and Arts Festival returns to the Dog Bowl for its Autumn Equinox edition. And as usual, it will have an eclectic assortment of vendors, food trucks, and kids activities to go along with a day filled with live music. This year, the fest will be partnering up with Spiral Q Puppet Theater to throw a puppet pageant parade, and there will be a food drive for Philabundance. The music lineup will feature nine local acts and Portland, Maine-based singer-songwriter Max Garcia Conover, who is currently touring in support of his new album, Ellery. Headlining the event will be Katie Frank & The Pheromones, who have been steadily gaining admirers since releasing their debut full-length Counting Your Curses earlier this year. West Philly-based folk rockers Flat Mary Road will be in support with material from their new album The Great Talk, along with folk outfit Heat Thunder, who has a new single out entitled “River Song.” Since the rain caused him to miss his performance during the Rally For Rock Fest last weekend at Franklin Square, Kuf Knotz has agreed to perform a special set, and will be armed with material from his upcoming LP, A POSITIVE LIGHT. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy a beautiful, relaxing day outside. Clark Park, 43rd St. & Chester Ave., 12pm, Free, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman

September 20, 2014
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