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Spring Onion
"Please Relax
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Catherine Dwyer, also known as the guitarist for the alt-rock outfit Sports, offers fans the perfect soundtrack for summer feelings with the release of her solo EP Please Relax. Recorded under the moniker Spring Onion, her new album is DIY at its best. Mostly written and recorded within the walls of her Philadelphia home, Please Relax is an intimate portrait of yearning, infused with dream-pop nostalgia, heartfelt riffs, and candid poetics.

 

“Egg (Driving Song),” the EP’s opener, unfolds with an Aimee Mann-meets-Girlpool earnestness. Telling the story of a commute clouded by desire, the song is a catchy confessional, with lines like “I'm sorry for what I said and didn't say” and “I'll write songs about my flaws/cause that's a way to self absolve.” The lo-fi grit of Dwyer’s anthem instantly tugs at the heartstrings, transforming even the most jaded listener into a hopeful romantic with each iteration of its fuzzed-out beats.

 

That sentiment is extended on "Chili". Twangy chords are quickly followed by Dwyer’s straightforward but evocative vocals, bringing to mind Built To Spill’s “Carry the Zero” and B-sides by indie darlings like The Babies. The track, although laidback, is unflinchingly sincere, the steady build of its instrumentation, urging its audience to actively listen and exist in the moment. The hissing snare and piano of “Poem 3 (Piano)” cast a similar spell, making each reprise of “but I don’t live alone” a testament to the millennial plight of finding solace in a shared space, while the EP’s title track and atmospheric closer serves as a suitably melodic mantra to calm the anxieties and emotional side effects of living.

 

Despite its brevity, the openness of Please Relax is astonishingly raw and brave. Listening to her songs will remind you that you’re not alone. - Dianca London

 


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scene blog

Tonight is a special all-ages show at Boot & Saddle, the second night of two for impassioned pop group Wild Child. Last night was for the 21+ folks, so this evening is for all the youngsters. It’s an especially good thing for opener Family Volleyball, who most likely would not be allowed in the venue otherwise, or maybe I’m just getting old. Either way, try to make it in time for their dreamy, eclectic set. While the group might stay in the realm of indie rock most of the time, they jump around with their sound, recalling Real Estate, Pinback, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Pomegranates and Yo La Tengo at different times across their limited amount of releases. The band obviously has an ear for a catchy melody, and can explore/express those ideas in a number of inventive ways. Family Volley doesn’t seem to take themselves too seriously, which is to their benefit, as they are creating keen-eyed and intricate songs that have a youthful exuberance and mature, well-crafted structures that are both surprising and familiar. Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., 8:30pm, $20, All Ages - Adam G.

July 24, 2016
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The lifespan of an indie band is often short-lived in these modern times, and the Philly DIY scene is bracing itself for another little heartbreak, as half the members of four-piece Littler prepare to move across the country. It hurts to see them go, especially as they were starting to receive a bit of national attention. Their bubbly brand of Slumberland-soaked twee-punk and emotion sheathed in prickly fuzz will be sorely missed, and I'll be keeping an eye to the western horizon in hopes of their return. The band's last booked show in Philly will be held tonight at Everybody Hits, with a host of avant acts that will add an interesting contrast to Littler’s unabashed pop devotion. Ursula, a recent transplant to Philadelphia and self-proclaimed no-wave band, will open the night with songs that know structure but no tune. Their decidedly unmelodious, repetitive riffs and harsh vocals hang in tattered shreds from steady, plodding beats, seemingly the only orienting component of the music. Palm, another local favorite, will also be performing their incredibly nuanced, arcane, avant-math-pop, which treads the seam between melody and dissonance, while covering more compositional ground within a single song than many bands cover in an entire album. Everybody Hits, 529 W. Girard Ave, 7pm, $7-$10, All Ages (Photo by Emily Burtner) - Bryce Woodcock

July 23, 2016
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Yikes! With temperatures expected to reach the high 90s this weekend, it makes sense to want to stay near an air conditioner or dip your body parts in the ocean. However, for those music-obsessed folks who are a glutton for punishment and good tunes, WXPN’s XPoNential Music Fest is back once again, across the way at the Camden Waterfront. The festival opens this afternoon with two local Philly acts, the ethereal harmonies of Queen of Jeans and songbird Rosemary Fiki, before giving way to national touring favorites like Father John Misty and White Denim. Kurt Vile & the Violators and Ryan Adams and The Shining will be closing out the inaugural day of the event at BB&T Pavilion. Though we are really not digging the scheduling of their noon set slot on Saturday, Kississippi is a good reason to get an early start on a day packed with music, before hiding in the shade in wait for what are sure to be electrifying sets by Gary Clark Jr. and Alabama Shakes. And while Sunday may teeter off from the excitement of the first two days, Eliza Hardy Jones and The Districts will provide you with plenty of beautiful melodies and memories to get you through the upcoming school/workweek. XPonential Music Festival (FRI - SUN), Camden Waterfront/BB&T Pavilion, Various Times (Schedule), Adults $35(w/membership) - $296/Kids $5, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman
 
Other places to be hot this weekend…
 
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) SAT The End of America, SUN Family Volleyball
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Cheap Dinosaurs, Mage Hand, Glob Jolly/Dweller/Gordon Bombay, Shizz Lo, SAT Major Van Winkle, Suirad Franklin, Simba Amir, Ashoka, Shon Goner/Wassup Gina, SUN No Nothing/Surgeon, Black Urn
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) FRI The Obsessives, The Superweeks
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SUN Only Glory, Please Die
 
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) FRI Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
 
Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI The Upticks, Paper Comets, SAT Jason Magin & Craig James, SUN Secret Nudist Friends, Coping Skills
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SAT Stella and The Voodoo Fish, Matt Cermanski, Wildflower, Winchester Treaty
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Melissa Menago (Album Release)/(Downstairs) Echoes – A Pink Floyd Tribute Band, SAT (Downstairs) Candy Volcano
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Chalk and the Beige Americans, SAT Wasted Theory, Seagrave, SUN Planning For Burial
  
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Wild Rompit, Sat Nicky P
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Mr. Sonny James. Francisco Collazo, SAT DJ Deejay, SUN Seoul Delhi
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Katie Barbato, Daniel Collins, Rev. TJ McGlinchey, The Discount Heroes, Glorious Typing, Dani Mari, SAT Pigment, Sheena & Thee Nosebleeds, Brain Candle, Prone to Violence
 
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Skyline the City
 
Morgan’s Pier (221 N. Columbus Blvd.) FRI DJ Beatstreet, SAT Mr. Sonny James
 
The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) SAT The Weekend Riot
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Spicy Meatball, Steve Oakley Band, Gavilan, The Skis
 
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Broken Arrow (Neil Young Tribute), Cabin Dogs
 
Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) SAT Littler, Palm, Ursula
 
Random Tea Room (713 N 4th St.) SUN The Goodbye Party, Tim Woulfe
 
First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut St.) FRI Magic Pictures Presents: Actual Pearls, Evil Sword, Gavin Riley Smoke Machine, Pushin' it 2 the Limit
 
Double H Ranch (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Shelf Life, Sarah M, Hello Shark
 
The Fryer (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT The Burgeoning, Second Marriage, A Day Without Love
 
July 22, 2016
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Tonight, Magic Pictures is conjuring a ritual assembly for us aspiring and practicing occultists at the First Unitarian Church for a celebration of music, spooky shit, and the untold magic of that lurks in the seams of reality. The show, which will supernaturally cram nine bands in the space of four hours, will be a glimpse into Magic Pictures’ conceptual crystal ball, detailing their notions of visual, musical and performance art. All bands were curated with the intent to emphasize their principles of “theatrics, spectacle, and awe,” and create an ideal context for such performances. Among the chosen group of musical conjurers is Philadelphia’s own Evil Sword, whose raggedy, minimalist, cauldron-stirring incantations are an unholy brew of experimental post-punk, literal bells and whistles, deathrock, and paranormal revelation. Kate Ferencz’s vocals move at a harsh recitative pace, punctuated with odd, rhythmic emphasis where inflection replaces melody. Also channeling his magic into the ritual will be Gavin Riley Smoke Machine, whose se set incorporates audio-visual, choose-your-own-adventure-style storytelling to the tune of 80's quasi-futurist synth tones and inventive narratives. Palberta, another cornerstone, noisy, experimental post-punk band, will add their clamor to the celebration with tunes that effectively immolate the entire western pop music canon in an attempt to access something willfully outside, providing an essential experience for comprehending a post-comprehension world. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 8pm, $15, All Ages - Bryce Woodcock

July 22, 2016
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Boogie-woogie psych outfit Needle Points just threw in its hat for this year's summertime jam. The group's latest single/song title, "Needlove," is rather apropos, considering that's what the band named their fledgling record label earlier this year. Do you need love this Friday morning? We sure do. Come give Mama some sugar. (Photo by Ryan Collerd)

July 22, 2016
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Below is a new lo-fi, garage-pop ditty from Line Leader called "Bubblegum". The warm, breezy melody harkens to a simpler time, while the lyrics hint at a shadowier tale. Relationships get complicated. 

July 21, 2016
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