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Artist of the Month
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March 2015
Blood Sound
"Nightclub
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Blood Sound’s post-punk tracks are informed by an audible nostalgia for the dance floors and goth clubs of the latter ‘80s. Their latest LP Nightclub is a hybrid of dark wave and dream pop. Marrying synth-drenched harmonies with emotively vibrant lyricism, the subtle romantics of the band’s debut full-length fit seamlessly with the buzzing percussive backbeats of earlier cuts by Cold Cave (circa Love Comes Close) or The Cure’s “Primary” stripped bare to its core.
 
“TV Synth 1” sets the tone for Nightclub’s narrative with a brief yet textured prelude to “I Don’t Want.” Relatable like an antithesis of The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out,” Blood Sound’s “I Don’t Want” personifies the complexities of yearning, desire, and loneliness. As frontman Chris Jordan croons “I don’t want the city’s lights to go down/I don’t want to find home,” guitar riffs magnify the weight of his words without casting them melodramatic. The track is a fitting anthem for the passing of youth, failed love, and transition.
 
The buzzing start of “L.A. Punk” explores that thin line between authenticity and commoditization, the song’s instrumentation paying homage in its own way to the early underground and its subsequent subcultures. As if channeling a sedated rendition of Peter Murphy’s tone and diction, “L.A. Punk” is as memorable as it is brooding. “Acid Summer” gives an inward glimpse at the intimate nature of grief, mortality, and memory. When Jordan sings, “The 1980s died that day,” the listener feels it in their gut. It’s undeniable. The connection between what is experienced and how that experience is remembered is amplified by the track’s thumping tempo.
 
“Empty” plays out like the perfect soundtrack to an inevitable breakup, coupling affection with exhaustion, with the synth framing the heart-wrenching truth of lines like “I was too in love to say/that your story was a bore/Now I gave up on bad dreams and endings/beginnings and beginnings.” It offers a viable catharsis for jilted lovers with a penchant for fuzzed-out refrains.
 
“TV Synth 2” precedes the lyrically minimal yet heavy “Embrace” which serves as Nightclub’s melodic memento mori. “Almost” is subdued yet gripping, slowing the momentum of the record in advanced of “TV Synth 3,” which unfolds like a VHS fever dream. “Fake Blood” is evocative, with reverb and a pulsating backbeat that swells as the song progresses. Arguably the darkest track on the album, Jordan’s diction is hypnotic, “Kill your dreams and wait for/the fake blood to pour out.”
 
Ending with the well-placed “Catacombs,” Nightclub’s final track encapsulates the thrill of beginnings and the way one remembers them. Set to a beat reminiscent of Joy Division’s quintessential single “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “Catacombs,” much like the songs that precede it, is reason alone to return to Nightclub. - Dianca London Potts

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philadelphia

New Music Video: "Tired Eyes" - Creepoid

Below is an eerie new music video from the band Creepoid for the track "Tired Eyes," off last year's self-titled LP (No Idea). It was directed by Bob Jones, and filmed near their current stomping grounds in Savannah, GA. The band is presently on tour out west before performing at a plethora of shows later this month at SXSW. Creepoid also just announced that their new album Cemetary Highrise Slum will be available on June 23 via Collect Records. (Photo by Mitchell Wojcik)

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Radiator Hospital, Downtown Club, The Goodbye Party & More at Everybody Hits March 12

Tonight’s lineup at Everybody Hits is chock-full of intriguing talent. Post-punk trio Downtown Club entices with a blend of mystery and danger, while also providing a catalyst to movement. April Harkanson delivers hypnotic, enchanting vocals over a ruminating layer of ominous sounds as guitar licks cut through the fog and a persistent percussive, keys, and bass combination continues to push forward through the night. A trio of Salinas Records artists completes this bill, including the omnipresent, heartfelt, jangly energy of Radiator Hospital, venting a cascade of emotion through bubbly, bouncing pop-punk that instantly seeps under your skin while also capable of hitting home with shade-drawn introspection. Similarly, Michael Cantor's (The Ambulars) The Goodbye Party, which also includes Sam Cook-Parrott (Radiator Hospital), Joey Doubek (Pinkwash), Chrissy Tashjian (Thin Lips, ex-Dangerous Ponies), and Kyle Gilbride (Swearin'), places an adamant emphasis on ambience, orchestrating songs that have a dual edge - internally searching amid the personal cave, whilst occasionally catching a glimpse of bright up-tempo light and harnessing it. Baltimore trio Outer Spaces dispenses their lyrical narrative-driven pop-rock to complete this night. Everybody Hits, 529 W. Girard Ave, 9pm, $8, All Ages - Michael Colavita


New Track: "Love Lockdown" (Kanye West Cover) - Marian Hill

The electronic duo of Jeremy Lloyd and Sam Gongol, a.k.a. Marian Hill, just took a swing at covering Kanye’s “Love Lockdown,” and made solid contact. Their take strips down the 808s & Heartbreak classic, slowing it down and allowing the emotionally shredding lyrics to shine in a sensually soulful manner. Marian Hill will be performing next in Philly on Friday, April 24 at Boot & Saddle. (Photo by Shervin Lainez)

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New Music Video: "I Smell Bud" - The Spirit of the Beehive

This new music video for The Spirit of the Beehive’s “I Smell Bud”, found on the group's self-titled debut, visualizes the haze of the track while demonstrating brief snippets of a budding DIY community. Thus, the song filters through your head and offers a glimpse at where it comes from. The band performs as part of a bill that also includes Japanese Breakfast, Eskimeaux, and Blowdryer on Friday, March 20 at Great Indoors.

The Spirit of the Beehive // I Smell Bud (official video) from Federico R. Casanova


Get Hooked on Sheer Mag at Underground Arts March 11

Sheer Mag has hit the scene hard due in large part to its lethal combination of raw-rocking tenacity and soulfully fierce vocals. That potency earned them The Deli Philly’s Artist of the Year honors and for good reason. This crew jumps on you from the first raunchy fuzzed-out riff. As that steady churning rhythm section locks in a propulsive groove, the guitar licks take on an ageless feel. Then, the emotive fireball, otherwise known as Christina Halladay's vocals, enter the equation, tearing you up with her vigorous straight from the solar plexus soulful growl. Once you get a taste of this sound, you’ll undoubtedly be hooked. Below is a new single, Button Up, from the band's forthcoming self-titled 7" (Katorga Works), and don't be surprised to hear a Kiss cover added to Sheer Mag's arsenal. Tonight, at Underground Arts, they will be joined by local power-pop trio Ruby Buff, who use a bass-setting pace with songs that touch on groovy surf rock with assertive punk flourishes. A pair of New York bands round out this bill, including the high octane classic garage-punk sound of Dirty Fences and the reverb-charged garage-pop of Brooklyn trio Boytoy. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $8, 21+ - Michael Colavita

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