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August 2014
A Sunny Day in Glasgow
"Sea When Absent
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Sea When Absent (Lefse Records) opens like a shoegaze-y car crash. The latest album from A Sunny Day in Glasgow doesn’t bother gradually layering melodic elements; they get right to business from millisecond one, hitting you with reverberating electronic tones, orchestral violins, and the crooning vocals of Jen Goma and Annie Fredrickson. It’s a weirdly aggressive move for such an intensely soulful LP, but it’s pretty emblematic of how the record works as a whole. For an album as focused at creating moments of subtle beauty, Sea When Absent doesn’t have the time to let you gradually pick up on it on your own. A Sunny Day in Glasgow is the rare type of band that takes beauty and emotional resonances and waves it around like a chair in a bar fight.
 
In the strictest possible sense, this is a shoegaze-psychedelic-electronica album with a particular emphasis on vocals. But the more you listen; the more you start to discover what a diverse series of musical influences are rattling around in there. Mixing the electronica stylings of Flying Lotus and Saltillo with the indie-pop elements of bands like Death Cab and Phantogram, the basis is a percussion of grungy electronic tones, topped with a combination of guitar and synth, adding just the right balance, while being mixed in with a cavalcade of classical instruments and outlandish effects.
 
But the crown jewel of the album is Goma and Fredrickson’s understatedly gorgeous vocals. They play off, sometimes bizarre, instrumentations perfectly, complimenting them while also adding a fulcrum of relative normalcy to Sunny Day’s outside-the-box compositions. This is what really gives the album its sense of slick melancholy, creating an ambience of stylish vulnerability in tracks like “Byebye Big Ocean (The End),” where there is a sense of crooning sorrow, while “Oh I’m A Wrecker” sees them go much farther into the indie-pop paradigm.
 
While this record maintains the complexity and delightful weirdness of past A Sunny Day in Glasgow albums, it also comes with a newfound sense of clarity, in great part due to the outside production of Jeff Zeigler (of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile fame). Zeigler is able to successfully piece together the moving parts of this bi-continental band, with mastermind Ben Daniels orchestrating things from the other side of the world in Australia, making the album’s abrupt left turns from spacey psychedelics to grounded punk-pop a little easier to digest. The wealth of ideas rarely feels busy or forced. Sea When Absent is ultimately proof that weird doesn’t necessarily have to mean messy. 

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Shorty Boy-Boy

BITBY Summer Sounds at TLA Aug. 15

This evening, at the Theatre of Living Arts, you’ll find Doylestown’s Commonwealth Choir as the featured headliners of a stacked local area bill. The guys are still living off the buzz of their debut EP Shirtless and their energetic live performances. Shorty boy-boy has been taking a bit of hiatus while frontman Joshua Pannepacker has joined the band Cheerleader. But they have recently resurfaced with a new music video for “Crickets,” and will be back to deliver a live set where you can expect the unexpected. Since Air is Human unveiled an unreleased track from their upcoming album on Y-Not Radio, there’s a good chance that you may be treated to more new material. The rest of BITBY Summer Sounds will be rounded out by Pine Barons, Weekender, and Mark Lanky. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St., 7pm, $11, All Ages - Bill McThrill


New Music Video: "Crickets" - Shorty boy-boy

Multi-instrumentalist Josh Pannepacker has been lending out his drumming skills over the last few years to notable acts like Streetwalkers, Sun Airway, and now Cheerleader. We first encountered Pannepacker as mastermind and frontman for Shorty boy-boy. Well, he has a new/old music video (which was actually shot two years ago) that he wanted to share for his track, "Crickets," which you can check out below. The psyched-out footage was edited and shot by Jon Applebaum, with help from Kevin Howley. (Photo by Grace Dickinson)

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Benefit for Boston w/shorty boy-boy, The National Rifle & Cruiser at North Star Bar June 27

Tonight North Star Bar is hosting Benefit for Boston, a show whose admission will go to the One Fund for Boston Marathon victims. The bombing that occurred this year during the marathon on April 15 killed 3 and injured hundreds. So to show some brotherly love for Beantown while enjoying some fine local music at the same time head on over to the Art Museum area where the tri-fold bill will include shorty boy-boy the moniker of Joshua Pannepacker intertwining humorously twisted lyrics that tends to escalate toward powerful rockers with fire-starting guitar licks and a casual grooves that are easy to slip into. The National Rifle approach their tunes with a bright pop-rock appeal founded in clear vocals and a backend that continually pops. Embracing a combination of percussion/bass/synth that instills a natural dance sensation with an interstellar space nod. Speaking of smooth, the breezy Cali-cool pop of Cruiser rounds out the night touching notes of surf rock including natural vocal harmonies, memorably crisp guitar lines and a tumbling backbeat. We highly suggest that you get there early because the first hour gets you free beer and specials on well drinks. All that and a good cause - you really can’t go wrong! North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Michael Colavita


New Music Video: "Closer" - Shorty boy-boy

Below is a new feel-good track called "Closer" and music video from Shorty boy-boy to help bring you into the weekend. It was filmed at South Philly's Studio A and around the city, and was produced by RGB Video Production. They'll be performing live on Saturday, February 9 at MilkBoy Philly.

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New Music Video: “Candy Man” - Shorty boy-boy

Below is a new music video from Shorty boy-boy for the track “Candy Man,” the A-side to his latest 7”. It was produced by BITBY and directed by Jon Applebaum & Steve Perrong.

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Shorty Boy-Boy 7” Release Party at JB’s March 17

If you caught glimpses of Shorty Boy-Boy early on, you might have been mystified by the guitar toting wonder who mimicked Terminator and played checkers during shows until he ultimately jumped onto an air mattress for a pumped up guitar solo. But since then, Joshua Pannepacker and company have been winning people over with their humorous music video and song Smoking Tea. They have also been working on a new 7” that will be the first release from BITBY’s new record label (Pannepacker and Kyle Costill are bandmates in Streetwalkers). Shorty Boy-Boy will be returning from SXSW early, and taking a break from their “Candy Man” video shoot in order to celebrate the albums release at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. They’ll be joined by Mountjoy, who recently dropped their latest EP Squam Lake Tapes and are already gearing up to release a new one, and Brian Langan’s latest project Langor. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ (Photo by Grace Dickinson) - Bill McThrill

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