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Artist of the Month
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February 2016
Jo Kusy
"You Break Me
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Jo Kusy (Far-Out Fangtooth, The Whips) cultivates an eclectic, lo-fi daydream on his new full-length album, You Break Me. The record is currently available for purchase/download, and will be found on limited cassette on February 12 via Kusy’s own imprint Kooze Kontrol.
 
The album’s opener “Long Gone Angel” establishes the LP’s loose-moving atmosphere, as guitar trickles into a percussive/bass-oriented roll. The instrumentation briefly drops out, giving way to an a cappella moment and then a sax solo, before falling back into form. The bass-forward nature of “Only a Night,” coupled with its synth, thrusts one into a danceable framework. Background vocals soften the lead. In the insta-funky “All Go To Heaven,” Kusy proclaims, “Get down, hear the sound, boogie-woogie shake your claim…”
 
“Before You Opened Your Mouth” shifts into a light youthful disposition, reflected in its humorous lyrics - “Old people acting young, it’s ok cause its only fun/young people acting old, they sound stupid…” “Ghost Funk Lesson” drops into a sly island vibration - reminiscent of The Police, while “1st Place (But They Told Me 5th) develops a eerie tone with its heavy-footed thump and the mysterious whisper of the vocals. “All the creeps come out from the woodwork, as the sun begins to rise.”
 
With its sinister stir, “New Devil Beat” perpetuates a throbbing pulse, and “Cherry Pickin’ Baby” rides a thick bass-line to accentuate its heavier playful spin on rockabilly. Shedding some weight, “Silk Paradise” gently glides, paced by the clean snap of drums and unobtrusive guitar runs. Closing with its title-track “You Break Me,” the tail end of the LP rides a steady, floating wave; a heady trip punctuated by a stealthy stretch of guitar work, throwing some fire into the meditative calm.
 
You Break Me is a fun, unpretentious album that easily gets the head bobbing and toes tapping with its minimalist approach. It’s a sleeper that you definitely shouldn’t sleep on. - Michael Colavita

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Switch Gears w/Miles Chancellor at The Fire Feb. 14

With the recent release of his debut solo LP No Man’s Island, Miles Chancellor reaffirms his place on the map as a solo artist. Consistently demonstrating control whether exorcising inner demons with a contemplative conscience, breaking new ground with a melodic aggression, or stepping back, slowing down and hitting a sensual chord, Chancellor is capable of switching gears at a moments notice, without skipping a beat. That ability to develop a continuous lyrical thread - one that tugs from a close inner anchor and then stretches forward without signs of fraying - is a gift. Tonight, Chancellor is set to perform at The Fire as part of Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival alongside a deep billing including Truck North, Ronnie Riggles, and Dante Kennedy among others. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave., 8pm, $10, 18+ - Michael Colavita

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Take a Starry-eyed Stroll w/Grubby Little Hands at JB's Feb. 13

Grubby Little Hands will be headlining the bill tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. The former duo’s upcoming album, Garden Party, which will be released on April 29 via Lefse Records, boasts a newly fortified lineup of instrumentalists, including members of Brown Recluse and Young Grandpa, equipping them with a wider, richer sonic spectrum for their languorous, whimsical psychedelia to survey. Thankfully, the addition of these members has not disturbed the feng shui of the band, as established by their first couple releases; the music continues its starry-eyed stroll down the path of experimental/experiential psych-pop that bands like Animal Collective and Atlas Sound paved with the same glassy, listless enlightenment. Supporting Grubby Little Hands is Grandchildren, the eclectic baroque pop band that draws inspiration as much from modern indie as Afropop, classical, and orchestral music. Also scheduled to perform is The Orange Drop, who model their sound more directly in the style of classic 60's psychedelic rock, while also inescapably passing and refracting through the lens of 90's neo-psychedelia on the way. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bryce Woodcock


Weekend Warrior, February 12 - 14

Yikes – below freezing temperatures and harsh winds this Saturday! You might think that those are good reasons not to leave the comfort of your home. Unless, you were smart enough to snag tickets for Modern Baseball’s intimate, sold-out performance at PhilaMOCA tomorrow night. While the stages of larger venues like Union Transfer and the E Factory have been more commonplace for the beloved quartet these days, you have to know that they’ll be plenty amped to share brotherly shoves and lead full-room sing-alongs with friends and fans. It’s a locals-only evening with the blistering haze of The Spirit and the Beehive and the warm pop melodies of Three Man Cannon. Totally a good reason to brave the elements (and Valentine's Day weekend)! PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., 8pm, Sold Out, All Ages - Alexis V.
 
Other places to escape the chill this weekend…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.)  SAT Grubby Little Hands, Grandchildren, The Orange Drop, SUN Little Strike
 
Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Cheerleader, Suburban Living, SUN Aaron Parnell Brown
 
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) SUN R.R. Perkins, Clique, Woven In, Bad Mood Randall, Shane Luck
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Throbbing Chakra/Loafass, Beer Me, SAT Backslider/Emmett Drueding, Sarah M, SUN The Up Up Ups!, Booze Radly, Travis J And The Rhinestones
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI (Black Box) Taiwan Housing Project
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI (Balcony) Eat The Turnbuckle, SAT Civil Youth, A Better Class Of Criminal, The Moxy, The Bad Tequila Experience, The Aponic Blue/(Balcony) GASH, SUN PNB Rock, Kid Twist, Gina Da Vinci, DJ Kees
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Downstairs) Peek-A-Boo Revue, SAT (Upstairs) Don McAvoy & the Great Whatever /(Downstairs) (7pm/ 10:30pm) ALÔ BRASIL CARNAVAL, SUN (Upstairs) Sara Street
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Dwellers on the Threshold, The Bul Bey, SAT West Philadelphia Orchestra, Schoolly D, Fishtown Beats, SUN Truck North, Dante Kennedy, Miles Chancellor, Ronnie Riggles
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Among Criminals, The Loud Company, Canyon Ride, Bikini Spiders, SAT Up The Chain, SUN Kat C.H.R 
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI BC Camplight, Jesse Hale Moore, Rosali SAT Heavy Temple, Surgeon, Witch Fist, SUN Cardinal Arms
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Paul Thorson, Sean Hearn, SAT DJ Deejay, SUN Francisco Collazo
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Dave Steel Blues Band, SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) FRI Roadshow Relics, SheWho, SUN (7:30pm/10pm) Hoots and Hellmouth
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Could've Been Kings, Tyler Kingsley, Dead Fretts, Dead:Stop, The Evergreen Drive, Kinda Alright, SAT Katie Barbato, Kelvin Cochrane, Nicklas Hughes, Ben Tinsley, Alec Stewart, Jayson Verdibello, SUN Sister Blue
 
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Left To Vanish, Wolves Attack, Extractus, Kill The Sigmatic
 
Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) SAT LSDXOXO, Dame Luz
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Argonautic (CD Release), The Jawn, Flotel, SAT Riverside Odds, Thorazine, Son and Heir, The Prisoners
 
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) SAT Splintered Sunlight
 
The Rotunda (4014 Walnut St.) SUN Johnny Popcorn, Hardwork Movement, Silverton, Red Cedar Strings
 
Goldilock’s Gallery (723 Chestnut St., 2nd FL) FRI Fake Boyfriend, Kississippi
 
The Sound Hole (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI King Azaz, Bike Crash, Guts
 
Bond Villain (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Spacin’, Igneous Eyes, Beat Jams
 
Beaumont Warehouse (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Drums Like Machine Guns, SCC, Hero/Victim, New Age Reality
 

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