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Needle Points

Experience the First Time w/Needle Points at JB’s May 7

Needle Points have been doing a bit of touring like all good psych bands should. After performing an impressive opening set at Plastic Little’s recent return show at Underground Arts (which led to a request by Red Bull Sound Select for them to perform at another one of its showcases), the free-lovin’/pro-psychedelics crew will be headlining Johnny Brenda’s for the first time tonight. I bet that they’ll make good use out of JB’s amassing collection of lighting toys. (BTW: R5 should book them for the Temples show this August at Morgan’s Pier already.) Needle Points will be joined by twangy Portland, OR (via New London, CT) Americana-rock outfit Quiet Life and The Bailey Hounds’ Chris Cardillo. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Alexis V.


The Return of Plastic Little at Underground Arts April 26

Funtimes, Philly hip-hop crew Plastic Little are re-emerging tonight at Underground Arts, turning the hands of time back for myspacing mid-aughts gallery dwellers. The group, originally consisting of Jayson Musson (Hennessy Youngman, PackofRats), Kurt Hunte (No Body's Child), Si Young Lee (DJ Si Young), Michael Stern (SQUID), and Jon Folmar (Jon Thousand), last performed in 2010 at Kung Fu Necktie, and has most recently garnered public attention through controversy over an unauthorized sample from their track "Miller Time" (below) in Bauer's 2012 viral sensation "Harlem Shake." All was eventually smoothed over after Diplo helped to resolve things for his Mad Decent artist, with an agreed upon compensation deal. Plastic Little will be headlining the Red Bull Sound Select event (which you can register to get a reduced $3 admission HERE), being curated by Jump Philly. They'll also be joined by no strangers to the art gallery music scene Sweatheart and retro psych-pop purveyors Needle Points with Gun$ Garcia spinning throughout the evening. Undeground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $10, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman

Needle Points Opening for Dead Meadow at Underground Arts Feb. 12

I am always happy to say that psych rock is alive and well in Philly. And I’m excited about one of its young torchbearers Needle Points. When I say “young,” I mean that the band is relatively new, having only been together about a year or so, but their players are seasoned vets that have been kickin’ it around the Philly music scene for years. Their debut album Bom Tugangu was a welcomed surprise last year, becoming one of my favorite local releases of 2013. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Needle Points in the coming years. They’ll be opening this evening for D.C. stoner-rock crew Dead Meadow at Underground Arts. Also joining the herbal-friendly bill is garage-psych guru and hilarious host of one of my favorite web series Trippin’ Balls, Brother JT. You know what to do! Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $15, 21+ - Q.D. Tran


Album Review: Bom Tugangu - Needle Points

Needle Points is a band from an alternate universe in which the 70’s never ended. They’re not so much reminiscent of groups like Zeppelin and The Who as just sounding like their natural progression. The band’s debut release Bom Tugangu is the kind of music you would play at barbeques of days past - the sort involving El Caminos and at least one American flag bikini top. And despite that fact, the album makes absolutely no effort to put on airs or to qualify itself as anything beyond straight, dirty rock; there’s a certain cleverness at play here.

One could very easily call Needle Points unoriginal, and they would technically be accurate. But what needs to be understood is that assertion would be preceded by the phrase “refreshingly.” We’re living in a period where every band has to push the envelope in some way, and it’s honestly great to see one leave the envelope alone and focus on the craft itself. All too often albums feel the need to be an experimental post-something with elements of some type of other genre. But the energy that any other band would put towards rockin’ differently; Needle Points puts towards rocking better. Each song is positively thick with instrumental content. The guitar alternatively echoes and howls. The bass line swells and breaks with an almost oceanic quality. Collie Halloways vocals are potent yet understated. Even between the immediate interchange of songs like “Cocoanut” and “Biting At The Rose,” there’s a monumental amount of range on display. And it never seems to feel any pressure to be angst-ridden or deconstructive or even particularly cool; it’s just upbeat, straightforward rock ‘n’ roll - the kind that really earns that “n” in the title.

And these aren’t just kind words of consolation for a dopey band. Needle Points knows exactly what it’s doing, and go about it with an understated wink. Listen to Bom Tugangu enough, and you really start to hear the tongue in their collective cheek. Guitar riffs sound a little too close to something out of a Deep Purple song to be accidental (particularly in “Child Is Wild”), and are entirely too intricately constructed to be considered derivative. Eventually, the whole endeavor starts to very much sound like a loving tribute/send-up to the foundations of modern music; evocative enough to be reminiscent, but building off of that enough to be original. Needle Points is, at the end of the day, a band with the confidence to showcase its originality within the confines of the subtext. - Daniel Ludwig


Debut Needle Points EP Available for Streaming & Purchase

It's Monday, and a lot of you are probably sitting at work and wishing that you could turn back time. Well, we'd like to help you do that. However, we'll be taking you back to a place where sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll ruled the land. Check out the righteous time-warping debut EP from neo-psychedelic rockers Needle Points entitled Bom Tugango below! And smoke 'em if ya got 'em.


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