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Artist of the Month
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April 2015
Sandcastle
"Skull Cauldron
"
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Skull Cauldron, Sandcastle’s latest LP, is a sojourn into a dimly lit wilderness. Recorded as a quartet (with the group moving forward without Micah Edwards) at West Philly’s Sex Dungeon, these songs pull you ever deeper into the thick of it with their hauntingly infectious sense of urgency and balance.
 
Album opener, “Atlantis Trance,” percolates as the guitar, bass, and drums tightly co-exist in a relaxed yet spring-loaded groove that is reminiscent to classic Talking Heads, while the quick-paced, tongue-twisting vocals run through a hypnotic, mythical tale. Continuing in a similar vain, “Wolf With No Eyes” is led by a spiraling guitar riff, reinforced with acoustic strums and low end that conjures ups an atmosphere of danger, climbing into the chorus: “Think I’m obsessive compulsive/I think I’ll think myself to death/Need a therapist or an alchemist to toxify my mind I guess.” This subtle searching of mental anguish grabs a hold of the listener, cautiously traversing the exploratory musical terrain. Casually, one slips into “Datura” as Sam Kassel’s secretively whispered vocals gain a foothold amid an up-tempo guitar-percussion combo that runs forward in fits and then lays back before a guitar burst leads you through the finish line.
 
“Wonder Where She Goes” has that catchy, restrained guitar plucking that lays down the foundation of its composition. As Kassel contemplates, “Am I too late for the ghost train? Am I too dumb for another plane?” The song appears on the cusp of breaking loose, but then steps back for a moment, until finally the pressure boils over. “And I can’t find, I can’t find the way/the way she walks when she walks away…”
 
“Evergreen” is a multifaceted tune that initially rides its acoustic guitar riff as Kassel prophesizes, “If I were a knight, I would be the Green Knight, I would be the Green Knight, and you’d be my Green Lady,” before it lands in a full stable of smoldering instrumentation. Then, the song transitions into a higher gear, led by the quickened pace of the guitar running anxiously ahead, while being propelled forward by the bass before falling back to that almost blues-rock zone with the thudding bass invigorating the track into an open-field mad dash. “Pterodactyls” sits in the shadows, marinating in an ominous tone of preparation for battle. It’s a clear yet heart-racing endeavor as bright injections of acoustic guitar serve as glimpses of daybreak.
 
“Medicine Song” creates a stir with its immediate fresh out of the blocks surge, dashing ahead for an abbreviated sprint, tempering off and then throwing caution to the wind when the final stretch is in sight. “Souls” puts the understated spoken vocals to prime use, developing a ghostly creeping self-aware vibe as the instruments tightly pulse around the unrelenting bass. The song takes turns jolting forward while refueling with reflective cool-down breaks as the song deals with the distance game of a relationship. “Yeah, sometimes she goes far away/Sometimes I get in her face/Yeah, even though we’re jaded/I still wanna play the game.”
 
The final chapter of the record, the adventurously forest-wandering instrumental “Drink Deep of the Skull Cauldron,” quixotically bookends the album. It’s an intoxicating concoction as Sandcastle marches forward as a four-piece beyond the menacing tree line. - Michael Colavita 

This is a preview of the new Deli charts - we are working on finalizing them by the end of 2013.


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Q.D. Tran

Q.D. Tran’s 40 Favorite Philly Records of 2014

It’s that time of year again for our last post of 2014 and my list of favorite Philly records for this year. My procrastination was strong this year, but once again, I just managed to make it just under the gun. It’s always overwhelming to dig into all the great music that we have been lucky enough to come across throughout the year. I’m sure that there are some albums that have fallen by the wayside of this list, but hopefully you’ll discover or rediscover a new favorite like I have while taking this journey. It’s been fun, and as always, looking forward to seeing you on the other side - cheers! - Q.D. Tran

1. Guilty of Everything (Relapse) – Nothing

 

2. You’re Gonna Miss It All (Run For Cover) – Modern Baseball



3. Full Of Snakes (Fleeting Youth) – Mumblr



4. 7” (Wilsuns RC) – Sheer Mag



5. The Spirit of the Beehive (Ranch) – The Spirit of the Beehive



You can view the rest of the list HERE.


The Deli Philly on Y-Not Radio Tomorrow Morning & Night!

Just wanted to give a heads up that you'll be hearing my lovely, nasally voice tomorrow morning (Wednesday, February 5) at 11am on Y-Not Radio. Head honcho Josh T. Landow was nice enough to ask me to swing by and chat with him about our recent year end poll, and I've been asked to take over the station for an hour to spin tracks from a few of my favorite local emerging artists who were nominated this year. And if you're not a morning person like myself, they'll be running it again later on that evening at 10pm. Hope that I can make your day a little bit better - much love! - Q.D. Tran

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Q.D. Tran’s 50 Favorite Philly Releases of 2013

So every year I tell myself that I’m not going to do one of these, but then I see all the lists come out, and I can’t help but chime on in with my two cents. Well, this year, I embraced the challenge, and spent the last month reviewing what has been a ridiculously amazing year for Philly music. These were some of my highlights. Hopefully they’ll be some of yours too. Looking forward to seeing you on the other side. Cheers! - Q.D. Tran
 
1. Night Panther – Night Panther
 

 
2. Chris Forsyth – Solar Motel
 

 
3. GrandeMarshall – Mugga Man
 

 
4. True Gold – True Gold
 

 
5. Pissed Jeans – Honeys
 

 
You can find the rest HERE.
 
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Q.D. Tran's 50 Favorite Philly Releases of 2013




So every year I tell myself that I’m not going to do one of these, but then I see all the lists come out, and I can’t help but chime on in with my two cents. Well, this year, I embraced the challenge, and spent the last month reviewing what has been a ridiculously amazing year for Philly music. These were some of my highlights. Hopefully they’ll be some of yours too. Looking forward to seeing you on the other side. Cheers! - Q.D. Tran
 
1. Night Panther – Night Panther
 
 
2. Chris Forsyth – Solar Motel
 
 
3. GrandeMarshall – Mugga Man
 
 
4. True Gold – True Gold
 
 
5. Pissed Jeans – Honeys
 
 
6. Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt
7. Needle Points – Bom Tugango
8. Norwegian Arms – Wolf Like a Stray Dog
9. The THANGS – Wedodo
10. Harsh Vibes – Dead Collective Soul
11. SandCastle – Kisses for Witches
12. Man Man – On Oni Pond
13. Dangerous Ponies – tenderheart
14. Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze
15. Radiator Hospital – Something Wild
16. Buried Beds – In Spirit
17. Bad Braids – Supreme Parallel
18. Bad Energy – 5 song demo
19. On the Water – False Starts
20. Far-Out Fangtooth – Borrowed Time
21. Cop Problem – Buried Beneath White Noise
22. Worshyper – Keeps
23. Cough Cool – 29
24. Grandchildren – End Times
25. Sherman – Ghost on Grass
26. Arrah & the Ferns – Make Your Mind
27. Pill Friends – Blessed Suffering
28. Orbit to Leslie – Preppy Spooky
29. The Lawsuits – Cool Cool Cool
30. Restorations – LP2
31. Lantern – Rock ‘n’ Roll Rorschach
32. Laser Background – Super Future Montage
33. Univox – The Altec
34. The Fantastic Imagination – Demoed to Joy
35. Satellite Hearts – Four to the Floor
36. Bardo Pond – Peace on Venus
37. Purling Hiss – Water on Mars
38. Mary Lattimore – The Withdrawal Room
39. Nightlands – Oak Island
40. Light Heat – Light Heat
41. Dr. Dog – B-Room
42. Psychic Teens – COME
43. Little Big League – These Are Good People
44. Heyward Howkins – Be Frank, Furness
45. Our Griffins – Michael Boyd
46. Levee Drivers – Speakin’ Bourbon Coated Blues
47. Honey Radar – Mary Plum Musket
48. Bleeding Rainbow – Yeah Right
49. Work Drugs – Mavericks
50. Toy Soldiers – The Maybe Boys

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

The Deli Philly on XPN Tonight!

Howdy Folks!
 
I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be a guest DJ tonight on XPN. John Vettese was nice enough to invite me in to chat about local music and The Deli Philly's upcoming 5th Anniversary Bash this Saturday, October 5 at PhilaMOCA with Night Panther, Literature and The Homophones. I’ll also be spinning tracks from some of my favorite emerging Philly artists. Tune in and check out what rad music I have in store for you and what I said in our session while under the influence (hopefully John cleaned some of it up for the FCC - I can swear like a sailor sometimes ;o). The Philly Local show will run from 9pm - 10pm, and my segment will start around 9:10pm/9:15pm. If you are not near a radio at the time or simply don’t own one, you can also stream it via XPN online.
 
Much love,
Q.D. Tran
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