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August 2014
A Sunny Day in Glasgow
"Sea When Absent
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Sea When Absent (Lefse Records) opens like a shoegaze-y car crash. The latest album from A Sunny Day in Glasgow doesn’t bother gradually layering melodic elements; they get right to business from millisecond one, hitting you with reverberating electronic tones, orchestral violins, and the crooning vocals of Jen Goma and Annie Fredrickson. It’s a weirdly aggressive move for such an intensely soulful LP, but it’s pretty emblematic of how the record works as a whole. For an album as focused at creating moments of subtle beauty, Sea When Absent doesn’t have the time to let you gradually pick up on it on your own. A Sunny Day in Glasgow is the rare type of band that takes beauty and emotional resonances and waves it around like a chair in a bar fight.
 
In the strictest possible sense, this is a shoegaze-psychedelic-electronica album with a particular emphasis on vocals. But the more you listen; the more you start to discover what a diverse series of musical influences are rattling around in there. Mixing the electronica stylings of Flying Lotus and Saltillo with the indie-pop elements of bands like Death Cab and Phantogram, the basis is a percussion of grungy electronic tones, topped with a combination of guitar and synth, adding just the right balance, while being mixed in with a cavalcade of classical instruments and outlandish effects.
 
But the crown jewel of the album is Goma and Fredrickson’s understatedly gorgeous vocals. They play off, sometimes bizarre, instrumentations perfectly, complimenting them while also adding a fulcrum of relative normalcy to Sunny Day’s outside-the-box compositions. This is what really gives the album its sense of slick melancholy, creating an ambience of stylish vulnerability in tracks like “Byebye Big Ocean (The End),” where there is a sense of crooning sorrow, while “Oh I’m A Wrecker” sees them go much farther into the indie-pop paradigm.
 
While this record maintains the complexity and delightful weirdness of past A Sunny Day in Glasgow albums, it also comes with a newfound sense of clarity, in great part due to the outside production of Jeff Zeigler (of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile fame). Zeigler is able to successfully piece together the moving parts of this bi-continental band, with mastermind Ben Daniels orchestrating things from the other side of the world in Australia, making the album’s abrupt left turns from spacey psychedelics to grounded punk-pop a little easier to digest. The wealth of ideas rarely feels busy or forced. Sea When Absent is ultimately proof that weird doesn’t necessarily have to mean messy. 

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Weekend Warrior, January 25 - 27

Weekend Warrior, January 25 - 27

Yeah, it’s effin’ cold out! That’s why this Saturday you can find a whole evening’s worth of entertainment all under one roof at Kung Fu Necktie. The night will kickoff with a solo set of panty-dropping vocals from Sun Airway’s Jon Barthmus. Then prepare to be engulfed in sonic waves when Nightlands, a.k.a. The War on Drugs’ Dave Hartley, hits the stage to share some new tunes from his latest album Oak Island. (You can check out our recent interview with Hartley HERE.) And you don’t have to leave after his performance because you can either stay downstairs for Sugar Town’s 12th Anniversary and benefit show for Ladyfest Philly with Radiator Hospital, Bike Crash and Batty, or head upstairs and pretend like you are at a house show with Catnaps, Roof Doctor, Tutlie and Incorporated Village of the Ghost. See - there is no need to go anywhere else. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 7:30pm, $10, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman

 
Other places to hideout from the cold this weekend…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI It's a King Thing, Windsor Park Walkers, Clamfight, SAT It’s the Year 2007 w/Reef The Lost Cauze
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Leather, Heathen Reign, SAT (Downstairs - Early) Nightlands Record Release Show w/Jon Barthmus (Sun Airway), (Upstairs) Roof Doctor, Catnaps, Traffic Nightmare, Tutlie, (Downstairs - Late) Sugar Town Ladyfest Benefit w/Radiator Hospital, Bike Crash, Batty
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT The A’s
 
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI Mater Mathu, Study Electricity, Problem Solving, SAT Hopscotch Injury, Makeshift Uprising, Easy Three & The Funky T, Ridden Fifths
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Uptown Tone, Mazon, ANDtheNAMELESS, Feevaleo, SAT Electric Grioland, Socin Lberation Front, Leana Song, Prophecy Music Project, DJ Femstar, SUN Mean Streets, Horse Theives and Other Villians
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Among Criminals, Kid Felix, Post Sun Times, SAT Steppin Razor
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Taggart, SUN Leana Song
 
Electric Factory (421 N. 7th St.) SAT The Menzingers
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI Modern Colour, Jacob Kulick, Delco Pacers, SAT Stone, Alexander Lawrence and Sets, Outlander, In Nomine Patris, Aponic Blue, Dizzy Doctrine, Mirror Men
 
TLA (334 South St.) SAT Deep C, Speaker for the Dead
 
The Blockley (3801 Chestnut St.) FRI Tommy Conwell, Jeffrey Gaines
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI (Early) John Train, (Late) Sunshine Superman, SAT Keystone Mountain Boys, SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Tripod Trio, SAT KillerWhale
 
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) FRI Dom, Zach and Friends, SAT Aiden James
 
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) FRI The Good Excuses, Stolen Rhodes, SAT Rowboat Casino
 
Triumph Brewery (117 Chestnut St.) FRI The Top Catz, SAT Natural Selection
 
JR's Bar (2327 S. Croskey St.) SAT Inkstains
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Token Prospects, Midwestern Exposure, Anjuli Josephine, SAT Token Prospects, Midwestern Exposure, Anjuli Josephine
 
Rebel Rock Bar (100 Spring Garden St.) FRI Supreme and The New Experience, Grandlux (Kuf Knotz), Bong Hits for Jesus, Trayvon Dahmer, The Loose Lipz
 
The Barbary (951 N. Frankford St.) FRI Josh Wink’s Annual Birthday Bash, SUN Daylight
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Left of Logic, The Formless Form, Barncat, SAT Montoj, Ghost of Jupiter
 
The Radom Tea Room (713 N. 4th St.) FRI Daniel Bachman, Paul Sukeena, SAT Daniel Ryan Belski
 
Beaumont Warehouse (5027 Beaumont St.) FRI Get Railed, Blindfold, The Adults, Casket
 
Sprinkle Kingdom (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) FRI Cold Fronts, Slutever
 
Michael Jordan (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) FRI Ted Nguyent
 
The Great Indoors (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) FRI Radiator Hospital, Adult Braces
 
The Crystal Palace (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) SAT Kite Party, Bleeding Fractals, Marietta
 
The Brown House (Please contact OMGDIY@gmail.com for more details.) FRI Coffin Dust
 
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