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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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Brown Recluse Soundtracking the Change of Seasons at KFN March 16

Brown Recluse Soundtracking the Change of Seasons at KFN March 16

The warmer weather might have you in the mood for sunny tunes and the summer to come. If so, Brown Recluse will provide the soundtrack to those feelings when they play Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The local outfit has a way of mixing 60s sunshine pop with arcade 80s sounds. They self-describe themselves as Baroque-pop, and there are bits of Belle and Sebastian-esque moments disbursed throughout their music. The daydream-y quality of their songs can get you so lost in its warm glow that you almost don’t notice the sometimes eerie lyrics that lay underneath their soundscapes, which is probably one of the many reasons why well-respected indie label Slumberland Records have picked them from the orchard of talented Philly acts making more noise in the blogosphere. Brown Recluse’s well-crafted, sunshiny songs are the perfect transition into spring. Expect to hear some new tunes from the indie popsters this evening. They’ll be joined by the synth-pop laments of Steve Goldberg’s latest project Resistor and Brooklyn’s We Can’t Enjoy Ourselves. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front Street, 7:30pm, $8, 21+ - Maura Filoromo

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