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Artist of the Month
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March 2015
Blood Sound
"Nightclub
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Blood Sound’s post-punk tracks are informed by an audible nostalgia for the dance floors and goth clubs of the latter ‘80s. Their latest LP Nightclub is a hybrid of dark wave and dream pop. Marrying synth-drenched harmonies with emotively vibrant lyricism, the subtle romantics of the band’s debut full-length fit seamlessly with the buzzing percussive backbeats of earlier cuts by Cold Cave (circa Love Comes Close) or The Cure’s “Primary” stripped bare to its core.
 
“TV Synth 1” sets the tone for Nightclub’s narrative with a brief yet textured prelude to “I Don’t Want.” Relatable like an antithesis of The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” Blood Sound’s “I Don’t Want” personifies the complexities of yearning, desire, and loneliness. As frontman Chris Jordan croons “I don’t want the city’s lights to go down/I don’t want to find home,” guitar riffs magnify the weight of his words without casting them melodramatic. The track is a fitting anthem for the passing of youth, failed love, and transition.
 
The buzzing start of “L.A. Punk” explores that thin line between authenticity and commoditization, the song’s instrumentation paying homage in its own way to the early underground and its subsequent subcultures. As if channeling a sedated rendition of Peter Murphy’s tone and diction, “L.A. Punk” is as memorable as it is brooding. “Acid Summer” gives an inward glimpse at the intimate nature of grief, mortality, and memory. When Jordan sings, “The 1980s died that day,” the listener feels it in their gut. It’s undeniable. The connection between what is experienced and how that experience is remembered is amplified by the track’s thumping tempo.
 
“Empty” plays out like the perfect soundtrack to an inevitable breakup, coupling affection with exhaustion, with the synth framing the heart-wrenching truth of lines like “I was too in love to say/that your story was a bore/Now I gave up on bad dreams and endings/beginnings and beginnings.” It offers a viable catharsis for jilted lovers with a penchant for fuzzed-out refrains.
 
“TV Synth 2” precedes the lyrically minimal yet heavy “Embrace” which serves as Nightclub’s melodic memento mori. “Almost” is subdued yet gripping, slowing the momentum of the record in advanced of “TV Synth 3,” which unfolds like a VHS fever dream. “Fake Blood” is evocative, with reverb and a pulsating backbeat that swells as the song progresses. Arguably the darkest track on the album, Jordan’s diction is hypnotic, “Kill your dreams and wait for/the fake blood to pour out.”
 
Ending with the well-placed “Catacombs,” Nightclub’s final track encapsulates the thrill of beginnings and the way one remembers them. Set to a beat reminiscent of Joy Division’s quintessential single “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “Catacombs,” much like the songs that precede it, is reason alone to return to Nightclub. - Dianca London Potts

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Norwegian Arms

Spaceship Aloha & Norwegian Arms Opening for Oumar Konate at JB’s May 27

Multi-faceted worldly musician from Mali, Oumar Konate, makes his Philly live performance debut tonight. And he’ll also be joined by a lineup of multi-faceted worldly locals to complement this occasion. When he’s not banging away at the drums for Man Man, Christopher Sean “Pow Pow” Powell is the savvy producer behind Spaceship Aloha. The artist manages to construct a lush blend of vibrant electronic melodies amid a space-age Hawaiian musical landscape. And the end result may have you dancing in a fervor. Whether it’s the ukulele-fueled minimalist approach of Trimming of Hides or the whimsical, melodic use of electronics to round out the sounds on Wolf Like A Stray Dog, Norwegian Arms consistently proves to be an effervescent chameleon of a band. And the fact that they’ll be performing 100% all new material this evening is all the more reason to attend. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill


Dream Safari Opening for Norwegian Arms & Snowmine at JB’s Feb. 7

Philly’s own Dream Safari plays an expansive sound that seems to reach to the corners of the earth. The stage name of Chris Coulton, the project specializes in a danceable electro world beat that pulls inspiration from multiple genres. In the past few months, Coulton has called upon various deejays in the area to release a remixed version of his EP, Night Howl, helping to demonstrate the flexibility in his sound. It doesn’t feel calculated, but rather the various disco, jungle-pop layers flow easily into one another, making for a versatility that allowed the “remixes” album to hold up against the original. They’ll be opening for Philly/Brooklyn trio Norwegian Arms, who will be headlining this evening at Johnny Brenda’s. The weirdo-folk outfit allows its surroundings to seep into the music, taking their listeners on a journey with them, from the woods of Siberia to the streets of New York City. Also performing on the bill is Brooklyn-based Snowmine. The group toes the line between dance-worthy and extremely chill ambiance, depending on the listener’s mood. The night promises to be full of spacious and layered sounds, ones that invoke music from various world corners, and will be sure to expand to every corner of the venue. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Shaylin O’Connell

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Photo Recap: Pattern is Movement 12" Release Show w/The Spinto Band, Norwegian Arms, Worshyper & WYLDSTYLE DJs at Union Transfer

This past Thursday, Pattern is Movement celebrated the release of their 12" "Suckling" b/w "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" at Union Transfer, while continuing to pique our interest in regards to their long-awaited LP that is scheduled to drop in January 2014 via Hometapes. Stacking the bill with talented pals The Spinto Band, Norwegian Arms, Worshyper and the WYLDSTYLE DJs (who brought the 90's dance-pop jams), all were encouraged to shake what their mamas gave them. (BTW: Keep your eyes and ears on Worshyper - sexy, cerebral R&B grooves from the Great Northeast. We sure will.) Check out our photos from the evening HERE! (Photo by Brandi Lukas)


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Photo Recap: Pattern is Movement 12" Release Show w/The Spinto Band, Norwegian Arms, Worshyper & WYLDSTYLE DJs at Union Transfer

- by Brandi Lukas 


Pattern is Movement

 

The Spinto Band

 

Norwegian Arms

 

Worshyper

 

WYLDSTYLE DJs

 

 

 

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Pattern is Movement & Friends at Union Transfer Oct. 24

The truly dynamic duo of Andrew Thiboldeaux and Chris Ward, a.k.a. Pattern is Movement, headline an exceptional evening of Philly-centric musicians tonight at Union Transfer. The 12’’physical release of their new single “Suckling” b/w “Untitled (How Does It Feel) will also be on-hand at UT. With the release of PiM’s yet-to-be-titled new LP scheduled for January 2014, via Hometapes, the group is all but assured to unleash some new material that they’ve been practicing for a live setting. The pair produces multilayered songs that harness the textured interplay of an array of instruments, primarily keys/synth/percussion and vocals, creating an elaborate way to get into the mood for some lovin’. Delaware natives, The Spinto Band, will help to warm things up, bringing their sleek combination of crisp vocal harmonies and airy arrangements, while another intriguing outfit Norwegian Arms cooks up their custom recipe of high-energy weirdo folk. The stacked-vocal, experimental R&B trio of Worshyper round outs this diversely cutting-edge bill. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 8pm, $13, All Ages - Michael Colavita


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