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Artist of the Month
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July 2016
Spring Onion
"Please Relax
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Catherine Dwyer, also known as the guitarist for the alt-rock outfit Sports, offers fans the perfect soundtrack for summer feelings with the release of her solo EP Please Relax. Recorded under the moniker Spring Onion, her new album is DIY at its best. Mostly written and recorded within the walls of her Philadelphia home, Please Relax is an intimate portrait of yearning, infused with dream-pop nostalgia, heartfelt riffs, and candid poetics.

 

“Egg (Driving Song),” the EP’s opener, unfolds with an Aimee Mann-meets-Girlpool earnestness. Telling the story of a commute clouded by desire, the song is a catchy confessional, with lines like “I'm sorry for what I said and didn't say” and “I'll write songs about my flaws/cause that's a way to self absolve.” The lo-fi grit of Dwyer’s anthem instantly tugs at the heartstrings, transforming even the most jaded listener into a hopeful romantic with each iteration of its fuzzed-out beats.

 

That sentiment is extended on "Chili". Twangy chords are quickly followed by Dwyer’s straightforward but evocative vocals, bringing to mind Built To Spill’s “Carry the Zero” and B-sides by indie darlings like The Babies. The track, although laidback, is unflinchingly sincere, the steady build of its instrumentation, urging its audience to actively listen and exist in the moment. The hissing snare and piano of “Poem 3 (Piano)” cast a similar spell, making each reprise of “but I don’t live alone” a testament to the millennial plight of finding solace in a shared space, while the EP’s title track and atmospheric closer serves as a suitably melodic mantra to calm the anxieties and emotional side effects of living.

 

Despite its brevity, the openness of Please Relax is astonishingly raw and brave. Listening to her songs will remind you that you’re not alone. - Dianca London

 


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Waxahatchee

New Waxahatchee Album Available for Streaming & Purchase

While Katie Crutchfield gets ready for her reunion tour with sis Allison and the rest of P.S. Eliot, we also now have a collection of her earlier works under her moniker Waxahatchee, aptly titled Early Recordings. “At first I was tentative about re-listening to these recordings, but the nostalgia I felt when re-hearing them was warm, and I thought it might be nice to make them available again,” said Crutchfield. The album is now available via Merge Records, and you can stream it below.

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Weekend Warrior, June 3 - 5

Tonight at Union Transfer will be Connor Barwin’s third annual MTWB Benefit Concert. The show, which has hosted buzz bands like Mac Demarco and Kurt Vile in the past, has one of its strongest line-ups this year, which includes Philly’s own Hop Along and Waxahatchee. Barwin, who recently signed a new six-year deal with the Eagles, has been a presence both in the local music and parks & recreations scenes since coming to Philly. He befriended R5 Productions’ Sean Agnew, and has cultivated a super positive event. Each year, Barwin has upped his game for the concert, and this year is no exception. There will also be special guest performers this evening (like Blue Note artist Ryan Anthony Massaro ;-). Every dollar that is raised at the show - both from tickets and bar sales - will be matched by MTWB and donated to a new project in Philadelphia. You can get cheap tix or ball-out for an opportunity to drink and schmooze with some Eagles, but remember it’s all for a great cause. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 7:30pm, $5 - $300, All Ages - Adam G.
 
More places to hang this weekend…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Dark Blue
 
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Residuels (Release), Louie Louie (Release), Weekender, SAT Rosetta , Starkweather
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Missdoodica/Phameless Records Fest: In The Pines/DJ Deejay, SAT Phameless Records Fest: Digger, Goddamnit, Seeing Snakes, Lamplighters, Mid Rats, The Mad Splatter, Welter, SUN Phameless Records Fest: Erik Petersen, Disaster Committee, Teenage Bigfoot, Big City Noise
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) FRI First Time’s The Charm: Aster More, Bull Bush, Joyful Exit, Trying!, Whipworm, Crushed, Far Eyes, Sister Trudy, My Name is Tom, Spring Collection, SAT First Time’s The Charm: Spirit of the Wolves, Are You Ready Steve, Taxes, Quarter Panel, Heretix, Bronco, Volatile Squirrels, Rabies Shot, Dumb Hair, SUN Allison Crutchfield, Pouty
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT Pancakes & Booze Art Show: DJ Mighty Mike Saga
 
Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) SAT Cuzin Lil, Cadillac Coop, Young King, Marc Paradise, SUN The Sugar Pops
 
Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.)  FRI Franky’s Foxes w/ DJ Chris Urban, SAT Ed Christof
 
The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) SAT DJ Jazzy Jeff, Questlove, Vikter Duplaix
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) GR Stone (Release Show)/(Downstairs) Good Old War (acoustic), SAT (Upstairs) Those People, Andorra, RFA, Egocentric Plastic Men
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) Sundrop Music Festval: FRI Marshall Allen, I Yahn I Arkestra, Dirty Soap Blues Band, SAT Minor Setbacks, Ben Kessler, The Mellowells, The Chelsea Kills, Little Strike, The Original Crooks and Nannies, Chalk & The Beige Americans, Kuf Knotz, Alright Junior, The ill Fated Natives, Illinois / Roots Picnic After Party: Dice Raw, Tiani Victoria, SUN Slingshot Dakota, Water Polo, My Son Bison, Bad Orb
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI New Sound Brass Band, FABERGÉGÉ, SAT The Space Cats, Chipocrite, Seoul Dehli
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Goddamnit, SAT Joe Michelini, Shane Luck
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI DJ Dav, Reed Streets, SAT DJ Deejay, SUN Risky Disko
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SUN Aly Cat, No Good Sister, Barbara Gettes, Cicada Jade, Jone'cia La Dine, Dena Miranda and the Mellowton4s, Emily Ana Zeitlyn/Rusty Cadillac
 
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) FRI Ashley Leone, SAT Kenn Kweder “Adventures of a Secret Kidd" Screening (acoustic set + Q & A)
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI The Wayside Shakeup, Laura Cheadle & The Family Band, The Elwood James Band, SAT Shadow Band
 
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Making-Out With Medusa, SAT Rich People
 
Morgan’s Pier (221 N. Columbus Blvd.) FRI DJ Beatstreet, SAT Mr. Sonny James
 
Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing (601 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.) SAT Roots Picnic: The Roots, Lil Uzi Vert, Rich Medina, Lil Dicky, Go Go Morrow
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Stella Ruze (EP Release), Andrew Jude, Whackbat, SAT The Parameters, Room for Mojo, Surreal Nation
 
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.)  FRI Mason Porter (EP Release), Frog Holler, Chris Grunwald & The Slow Response, Marc Silver & Friends, SUN Beru Revue, Ben Arnold, The Fractals
 
Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) SUN Myrrias, Igneous Eyes, The Writhing Squares
 
Goldy’s (723 Chestnut St., #3) SAT Tutlie, Cave People
 
Lower Level (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Secret Cutter, Black Urn, Manbeast, Bandit, Mob Terror
 
Second Empire (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Punks for PAWS: Flag of Democracy, Burp!, Cape of Bats S-21, Lip Service, Narcos, N.E.G.
 
LAVA Space (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Littler, Girls Rock Philly Youth
 
Slime Time Live (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Trash Boy
 
The Pharmacy (1300/02 S. 18th St.) FRI No Stranger, Kississippi, Spill, Past Life, SAT Adeedus, Patnelso Tommy iLL Figure, Evan Riley
 
All Night Diner (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI The Original Crooks and Nannies, Liz de Lise
 

New Track: "We'd Never Agree" - P.S. Eliot & Announce New Reissue Compilation and Shows

Before most of the world heard of Waxahatchee or Swearin', Katie and Allison Crutchfield cut their teeth alongside Will Granger and Katherine Simonetti in pop-punk outfit P.S. Eliot. Well, the band just announced that it will be releasing a new 2xCD compilation, titled 2007 - 2011, on Septempber 2 via Don Giovanni Records, featuring recordings from their studio LPs Introverted Romance in Our Troubled Minds (2009) and Sadie (2011) and the Living in Squalor EP (2010), as well as demos and home recordings. Take a listen to the single "We'd Never Agree" below. P.S. Eliot will also be reuniting for a run of shows, and Philly folks can catch the gang at PhilaMOCA on Monday, September 19. (BTW: Waxahatchee also recently announced that she'll be releasing a new reissue collection called Early Recordings on June 17 via Merge Records.)


A First Time's the Charm Fundraiser at The Waiting Room featuring Swanning Waxahatchee & More May 19

Drawing Down The Moon the debut EP from the quartet of Swanning led by Cynthia Ann Schemmer (of Radiator Hospital) will be released will be released on May 27 via Salinas Records. This evening at the Waiting Room Schemmer is set to perform as a solo act.  “Sleep My Pretties”, the EP’s first single offers a balance of steady backend thump as her vocals are a blend of composed calm with an underlying agitated aggression. This evening she may provide furtherer insight into the framework of the new record/project.  Tonight’s show, which is a fundraiser for A First Time’s The Charm, includes the gritty garage-pop of Marge. The emotive-charged loner post-punk of Dog Tears (formerly known as Girl Dog) hit you with a sense of unguarded immediacy.  Topping things of Waxahatchee provides personal narratives that offer fly on the wall perspective revealing relatable imagery delivered with a relaxed yet resounding impact. The Waiting Room (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more information.), 7pm, $7-$10, All Ages – Michael Colavita


New Music Video: "La Loose" - Waxahatchee

Below is a new music video from Waxahatchee, a.k.a. Katie Crutchfield, for the irresistible, lo-fi ditty "La Loose," off her latest LP Ivy Tripp (Merge/Wichita). It was directed by Naomi Yang (of Galaxie 500/Damon & Naomi), and used the rural landscapes of Virginia and West Virginia as its backdrop. Yang shared, "'La Loose' is a song of love and longing, though dark at its edges with feelings of ambivalence. I wanted the video to be a visual equivalent to the song lyric, "a charming picture of hysteria in love" -- a spinning emotional kaleidoscope of desire and rejection, adoration and anger, hope and despair. For this reason I set the video in mirror-twin locations: an abandoned, haunted amusement park and a thriving farm out of a beautiful dream." Crutchfield has been taking a break from touring due to health issues that were affecting her voice, which led to the cancellation of of her most recent European tour (most of the dates were with Kurt Vile); however, she'll be back on the road once again next month with Sleater-Kinney. (Photo by Scott Murry)

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