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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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Waxahatchee

Tripp Out w/Waxahatchee at Union Transfer April 8

Katie Crutchfield, a.k.a. Waxahatchee, became an indie darling with the release of 2013's Cerulean Salt. And with its follow-up, Ivy Tripp, that just dropped in the U.S. yesterday, it's obvious to me and hopefully soon to most that her star will continue to rise, making her a sought-after headliner for larger venues and festivals. With a heavy tour schedule that will find Crutchfield on the road at least through most of June, I highly suggest that you don't miss this evening's show at Union Transfer. Waxahatchee will also be supported tonight by The Goodbye Party, whose debut LP became our January Record of the Month, and Wichita Recordings labelmates, Girlpool. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 8:30pm, $15, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman

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New Music Video: "Under a Rock" - Waxahatchee

Directed by Eddie Austin and Perry Shall, Waxahatchee’s new music video for “Under a Rock” catches the band and friends in a light-hearted, fun state of mind. With its party panning home-video vibe, it documents a glimpse of both behind and in front of the stage. Ivy Tripp will be officially released on April 7 via Merge Records, and Waxahatchee will be performing on Wednesday, April 8 at Union Transfer.

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New Waxahatchee LP Available for Streaming

Waxahatchee’s new album Ivy Tripp, which will be released Tuesday, April 7 on Merge Records, is currently available for streaming via NPR’s First Listen. The Katie Crutchfield project continues to sonicly evolve, addressing a range of ongoing observations through engaging, private snapshot narratives that embody youthful adults that are growing restless. Steady on your feet, yet still searching. Waxahatchee is set to headline a show at Union Transfer on April 8 that also includes The Goodbye Party, Girlpool, and DJs Jenn & Liz Pelly.

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New Track: "Air" - Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee, a.k.a. Katie Crutchfield, just shared the first single, "Air," from her upcoming third LP, which was recorded with Swearin's Kyle Gilbride and Keith Spencer. The album is entitled Ivy Tripp, and is due out April 7 via Merge Records. Crutchfield is getting set to head out on a string of European dates followed by a hefty tour of the U.S. and Canada before returning back across the pond for a longer stint. Waxahatchee will be stopping back in Philly on April 8 at Union Transfer with The Goodbye Party and Girlpool.

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Weekend Warrior, November 7 - 9

As R5 shows begin to wind down at the First Unitarian Church, we find this weekend packed with sold-out ones. The Menzingers will get things nice and sweaty in the basement this Saturday with help from locals The Weaks, which features ex-Dangerous Ponies Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo. And on Sunday in the Side Chapel, things will get really intimate with a doubleheader from Waxahatchee, a.k.a. Katie Crutchfield, with support from good pal and former housemate Sam Cook-Parrott, a.k.a. Radiator Hospital, and sis Allison Crutchfield. Hopefully you already have your tix locked down. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 7:30pm (SAT)/5:30pm & 8:30pm (SUN), All Ages - Alexis V.
 
More places to warm-up indoors this weekend…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Little Big League (Record Release), Tutlie, The Spirit of the Beehive, SUN Dogs On Acid
 
The Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) Psychic Teens, Flag of Democracy, Hound (Record Release), Spectrum Disorder, SAT Kwesi K, Cookie Rabinowitz, Elegant Animals
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) SAT Amanda X
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Mischief Brew, Pushin’ It 2 The Limit/ Abi Reimold, Mike Bruno & The Backsliders, SAT Repellers/ Shane Speal Snake Oil Band
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) SAT (Upstairs) MINAS/(Downstairs) Jade Alston
 
The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) SUN Cold Fronts
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Atley Moon & The Say Something Sound Machine, Halfro, Ryan Villanueva, SAT Loose Tooth/Ro-bear. ApOc, Pixel8er, Cheap Dinosaurs, SUN Cashberry
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Keith Gibbons, SAT Minka
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) SAT Locals, The Yetis
 
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI The Parameters (Concrete Swamp EP Release), Missing Elements, Thirty-Six Thirty
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI DJ Apt One SAT DJ Deejay
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI Hired Guns Blues Band, SAT Dave Steel Blues Band SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) FRI Vets For Vets Benefit: Jason Reed, Valentina & The Vanishing Points, Alternator Undead, Murdersmile, The Ozzman Cometh/ Tree Fiddy, Momma Hankton, SAT Tony Desimone, Marc Lancaster, Adam Web, Jordan White, SUN Sucker, Chasen Project, Whitefoxx
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Sweet Eureka, Community Service, Dead Horse Drivers, SAT Sonnder, The GoAround, And Now the Weather, Tom Mackell
 
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) SUN Lanice London
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St) FRI The Funky T, Hopscotch Jefferson, Neptune Bloom, Rob Tait Band, SAT Keystoned, White Limo, Curtis Jr., David Hoagie & His Heroes, Rebecca Calabrese
 
Bourbon and Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Foxtrot & The Get Down, Up The Chain, Upperfields, SAT Mason Porter, Katie Frank & The Pheromones, The Wallace Brothers Band
 
Ardmore Music Hall SAT Ladybird SUN New Sound Brass Band
 
Hazzard Hall (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Spacin’, Igneous Eyes
 
Chill Collins Art Space (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Thin Lips, Glassgrade, Buster
 
Mt. Thrashmore (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Sic Bacchus, Leaky Soups, Collect Yourself, Turing Cops, Bone Bats
 

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