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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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scene blog

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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