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December 2014
The Spirit of the Beehive
"The Spirit of the Beehive
"
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There is something rather dark and mysterious about a band that takes its name from a classic Spanish film that focuses on its protagonist, a young girl, who becomes fascinated by the 1931 horror movie, Frankenstein. And with an album cover that portrays a child in a bee costume positioned in front of a tombstone saying, “Here Lies Mom-n-Dad Now Their Gone Isn’t That Sad,” you can’t help but be intrigued, if not a bit disturbed. The Spirit of the Beehive is a local fledgling outfit who has popped up on my radar this past year, appearing on numerous bills, oftentimes at DIY spaces. The band has further grabbed my attention with its debut self-titled full-length album, which was recorded by The Weaks/ex-Dangerous Ponies, Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo, and released via rising Philly indie label Ranch Records.  
 
The record’s opening track, “Roll Over,” begins with an eerie instrumentation before a languid female voice comes in with barely intelligible lines. “Cycles in and out of morphine hazes. Finding spaces between your floorboards. And I watch the dust move.” Thankfully the group provides us with lyrics on its Bandcamp page; otherwise, the beautifully poetic verses filled with drug-fueled imagery would be lost in the wash of power chords and feedback. “All lost in the black market. To wait in the fix aisle, I roll over.” You also get a sense of the band’s lo-fi, DIY aesthetic when you are abruptly taken out of the world, created by the album’s first, with studio chatter before moving on to the next track. With “Short Walk,” you can’t help but feel the influences of greats like Nirvana and more recently Creepoid with the hushed vocals and sonic bursts. These two tracks set the tone for the first half of the LP, where you travel in and out of the territories of dream pop and shoegaze when the female lead vocals grab a hold of you and then the grungier, harder-edged side takes over with the male lead. This juxtaposition provides quite an enjoyable balance that I actually wished went on longer throughout the record.
 
It’s not until “Ether,” where the two combine forces, changing the dynamic of their relationship. The title of the song suggests that you might be finding something more ethereal; however, the driving bass line provides a sense of urgency throughout the track. It also marks the point where the male lead begins to dominate the rest of the album, while taking on some of the characteristics of its counterpart. What remains a constant is a psychedelic, drug-filled angst full of guitar licks and distortion, giving off the vibe of a band that is here to rock, and they don’t care if you are ready for it or not.
 
The Spirit of the Beehive closes out their ambitious LP with the longest and cleanest sounding recording on the album, “Fever Dream,” demonstrating that they don’t need to hide behind studio effects, while making you wonder where their follow-up release will go next. It’s an eclectic and modern sounding record that also pulls from past genres I hold close to my chest. I highly recommend that you go download it ASAP. - Q.D. Tran

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Weekend Warrior, February 15 - 17

Weekend Warrior, February 15 - 17

Back at it again with their brand of fuzz-driven sludge-punk, Pissed Jeans continue with their common thread of self-depreciation that has placed them somewhat on the more cynical end of the spectrum than their Sub Pop counterparts the Postal Service. Sure, they’ve grown up a bit since 2009’s King of Jeans, but the spirit of the disenfranchised can still be heard in frontman Matt Korvette’s bellowing howls. Does maturation mean they’ve gone soft? No. Not in the least. The new album Honeys is proof that maturity isn’t always industry code for a leveling of intensity. Accompanying the familiarity of lamenting screams, the thunderous sound battle of bass versus guitar versus drums remains in tandem. Be sure that you’re a part of the fanfare for the King’s return tonight to celebrate their new release at Underground Arts with support from decibel-pushing brethrens Leather and Lantern. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 9pm, $14, 21+ - Ed Newton

 
So many options this weekend and here are more…
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT Ben O'Neill, Shark Tape
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI West Philadelphia Orchestra, SAT Language Problem, Alec Ounsworth, The Spinto Band, SUN Far-Out Fangtooth, Hound
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI (Downstairs) Toy Soldiers, August John Lutz II, (Upstairs) Great Red Spots, SAT Creem Circus, Arctic Splash, SUN Great Thunder, Nona
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St. Philadelphia) FRI Birds of Maya, Profligate, SUN Carerra Shante Release Party
 
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) FRI OCD: Moosh & Twist, SAT Title Fight
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) SAT Cold Roses, Dressed Like Stolen Cars, The Rivals
 
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI John Francis, SAT Hoser, Nocholas Piccari, Folly Fields
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Reef The Lost Cause, Rone, Chalk & The Beige Americans, SammyDimes, Jahn Q. Publaq, Blok Nero, SAT The Extraordinaires, Conversations With Enemies, Anjuli Josephine, Tinmouth, OhBree, SUN Smoother, Cayetana, Modern Baseball, Marietta
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Gin Canaries, SUN Cherokee Red, Bridge Underwater
 
M Room (15 W. Girard Ave.) SAT Left of Logic, Pterofractyl, Hippie Cult
 
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) SAT Ben Arnold, SUN Suzie Brown
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI Bakery Boys, D. Louie, OG Cano, Myke Kewl, De'KO, SAT (All Ages) Chaos, BloodLine, Homecoming Heroes, Every Other Day, Tenth Amendment, (All Ages) FBR, Stealth Squad, Ashes of Our Sins, The Indefatigables, Post Departure, Phatboy, Making-Out With Medusa, SUN Richie Shock, DR3W
 
The Blockley (3801 Chestnut St.) FRI Chill Moody, Hank McCoy, Beano
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI (Early) John Train, (Late) Marc Silver & The Stonethrowers, SAT Sylvia Platypus, SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Jesse Ruben, SAT Winter Doldrums Folk Fest w/Brittany Ann, Elizabeth Pugh, The Pretty Dittys, Murchant (Annachristie Sadler), Brian Flannagan, & More, SUN 2nd Annual Tri-State Indie Music Awards w/Cold Fronts, Levee Drivers, Nicos Gun, Pre-party w/Aaron Brown, Cheers Elephant, The Lawsuits, Kuf Knotz
 
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) FRI Murph, Zymotic Flow, Ominous Ominous Ominous, Nomad Clientele, Zer0, SAT Soraia, The Jackson Rider, SUN C Stylez
 
Rebel Rock Bar (100 Spring Garden St.) FRI Live Not On Evil, The Terribles, Noid
 
Triumph Brewery (117 Chestnut St.) FRI The Raggamuffins, SAT Dancing Days, SUN Antique Matter
 
JR's Bar (2327 S. Croskey St.) SAT Angelcrust, Castle Freak
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Ghost of Jupiter, Russian Arm Candy, SAT Smacking Madison, Rail
 
The Barbary (951 N. Frankford St.) SUN Baa Ram Ewe
 
Field House (1150 Filbert St.) FRI Thee, Idea Men, On the Water
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Matt McAndrew, Keystoned, Garce Bernicker, SAT Easy Three & The Funky T., The Rising Sons, Token Prospects, Mike Liberatore
 
Eris Temple Arts (602 S. 52nd St.) FRI Avataria, Tic-Tac-Oh, Kate Ferencz
 
Golden Tea Haus (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) FRI Jet Set Sail, Hurry
 
The Farm (Please contact one of the acts or the venue for more details.) SAT The Brood, No Stayer
 
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