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Artist of the Month
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July 2015
Ecstatic Vision
"Sonic Praise
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Heavy-psych three-piece Ecstatic Vision conjures cosmic soundscapes with their debut LP Sonic Praise (Relapse Records). Self-ordained as “primal,” the group’s orchestration is undeniably gripping and visceral, altering the embodied state of its listener at an instant. Pressing past the tropes of genre, Sonic Praise is a hypnotic example of the outfit’s versatility. The release of Ecstatic Vision’s tripped-out LP is hopefully the first of many.
 
Beginning with the well-titled “Journey,” Sonic Praise’s opening track unfolds like a swirling chant that gradually builds to bawdy, passionate dirge filled with buzzing riffs and drums. The song’s lyricism is straightforward yet amplified by the unrelenting progression of its instrumentation. The declaration of “Journey” is unapologetic. It’s not a conversation; it’s an invitation. At its climax, the resonance of the recording brings to mind similarly transcendent tracks like Moon Duo’s “Free The Skull” or Ty Segall’s “I Wear Black.”
 
“Astral Plane” is a tentative tip of the hat to the iconic Sun Ra’s masterpiece Space Is the Place, unfolding with driving riffs and drumbeats that elicit the sensation of being transported into the ether. By the two-minute mark, “Astral Plane” is in full swing, impressive guitar work resounding as the track’s earlier established foundation persists. Each component of the song’s structure expands as frontman Doug Sabolick’s vocals urge listeners to “Look in the mirror and tell yourself/this is the place to be.” Undoubtedly indicative of the cosmos (metaphorically or literally), “Astral Plane” is trancelike, with its instrumentation possessing the power to cast a psychedelic spell that lingers well past the song’s end. Nearly thirty seconds shy of thirteen minutes of length, the temporal duration of the recording is as well warranted as it is executed. “Don’t Kill The Vibe” is equally shamanistic, with riffage that feels psychotropic. The LP’s title track, “Sonic Praise,” begins with primeval distortion comprised of oscillating tempos and forlorn chants. The effect of its prelude is mesmerizing, dark, and strangely beautiful. Thematically cult like, “Sonic Praise” is satisfyingly otherworldly, seducing its listener to give in to Ecstatic Vision’s melodic ethos without hesitation. 
 
Sonic Praise’s final anthem “Cross the Divide” extends the mysticism of the album’s narrative, ending Ecstatic Vision’s debut on a plane similar to where it began - one of enlightenment and pure rock 'n' roll. - Dianca London Potts

 

 

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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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