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July 2014
Peter Matthew Bauer
"Liberation!
"
mp3
Thank God The Walkmen are on a “hiatus.” As unpopular a statement as that might be to fans of the beloved indie-rock outfit, the resulting album, Liberation! (Mexican Summer), by the group’s former bassist Peter Matthew Baur reinforces the truth behind what I think. Baur has taken the time as a chance to expand his wingspan creatively, producing an album that’s slick, resonant and infectiously psychedelic.
 
It’s a heady journey through the artist’s far-from-normal life, never lacking in emotion and fundamentally based in a sense of optimism. Also, one of the most fascinating things going on with Liberation! is how it blends local and international aesthetics without ever feeling like appropriation or pandering. Songs such as “I Was Born in an Ashram” and “Philadelphia Raga” feel organic and refreshing, incorporating exotic influences without ever making them feel awkwardly placed or unnecessary.
 
The whole effort is the culmination of a meditative post-“hiatus” tour through Europe, and it shows. The record is relaxed and casual yet exploratory, never seeming to break a sweat while being thoroughly entertaining. The collection of songs has a comforting accessibility reminiscent of couchbound evenings of honesty-filled, drunken/stoner chats with your best buddies, which may seem to come few and far between as all of us get older and busier. - Daniel Ludwig

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Faux Slang Headline at JB’s July 6

Faux Slang Headline at JB’s July 6

Ever since putting out their self-titled EP, Faux Slang have proven themselves to be a standout band with their sound that blends post punk with 60s pop amid a cacophony of heavy synth, dynamic guitar work, and infectious drum beats. Tonight they’ll be taking the well-deserved spotlight when they headline Johnny Brenda’s. Faux Slang will also be joined by the local three-piece Royal Shoals. The band features former members of Roper, Public Record, and Dr. Dog precursor Beard. Royal Shoal’s debut EP was put together with the help of Uniform Recording’s Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, etc.). Their opening performance is sure to set the tone for the rest of the evening. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ (Photo by John Vettese) - Bill McThrill

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