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December 2014
The Spirit of the Beehive
"The Spirit of the Beehive
"
mp3
There is something rather dark and mysterious about a band that takes its name from a classic Spanish film that focuses on its protagonist, a young girl, who becomes fascinated by the 1931 horror movie, Frankenstein. And with an album cover that portrays a child in a bee costume positioned in front of a tombstone saying, “Here Lies Mom-n-Dad Now Their Gone Isn’t That Sad,” you can’t help but be intrigued, if not a bit disturbed. The Spirit of the Beehive is a local fledgling outfit who has popped up on my radar this past year, appearing on numerous bills, oftentimes at DIY spaces. The band has further grabbed my attention with its debut self-titled full-length album, which was recorded by The Weaks/ex-Dangerous Ponies, Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo, and released via rising Philly indie label Ranch Records.  
 
The record’s opening track, “Roll Over,” begins with an eerie instrumentation before a languid female voice comes in with barely intelligible lines. “Cycles in and out of morphine hazes. Finding spaces between your floorboards. And I watch the dust move.” Thankfully the group provides us with lyrics on its Bandcamp page; otherwise, the beautifully poetic verses filled with drug-fueled imagery would be lost in the wash of power chords and feedback. “All lost in the black market. To wait in the fix aisle, I roll over.” You also get a sense of the band’s lo-fi, DIY aesthetic when you are abruptly taken out of the world, created by the album’s first, with studio chatter before moving on to the next track. With “Short Walk,” you can’t help but feel the influences of greats like Nirvana and more recently Creepoid with the hushed vocals and sonic bursts. These two tracks set the tone for the first half of the LP, where you travel in and out of the territories of dream pop and shoegaze when the female lead vocals grab a hold of you and then the grungier, harder-edged side takes over with the male lead. This juxtaposition provides quite an enjoyable balance that I actually wished went on longer throughout the record.
 
It’s not until “Ether,” where the two combine forces, changing the dynamic of their relationship. The title of the song suggests that you might be finding something more ethereal; however, the driving bass line provides a sense of urgency throughout the track. It also marks the point where the male lead begins to dominate the rest of the album, while taking on some of the characteristics of its counterpart. What remains a constant is a psychedelic, drug-filled angst full of guitar licks and distortion, giving off the vibe of a band that is here to rock, and they don’t care if you are ready for it or not.
 
The Spirit of the Beehive closes out their ambitious LP with the longest and cleanest sounding recording on the album, “Fever Dream,” demonstrating that they don’t need to hide behind studio effects, while making you wonder where their follow-up release will go next. It’s an eclectic and modern sounding record that also pulls from past genres I hold close to my chest. I highly recommend that you go download it ASAP. - Q.D. Tran

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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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