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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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philadelphia

Love On The Streets Fest Reloaded at Paine's Park July 9

Today is the rescheduled rain date for the second annual Love On The Streets Fest at Paine's Park, and though the weather reports aren't looking very promising today, I can only hope that the weathermen/women remain as inaccurate as they've always been. Presented by Wahoo’s Tacos, LOTS is back at it again with a reloaded lineup. The event, which supports the Franklin Pains Skatepark Fund (FPSF), includes a skateboarding competition that begins at 1pm (with a grand prize of $2000), and will be deejayed by Frank Sriracha, Fishtown Beats, and Aurize. Now, whether you’re taking in the live visual art of Distoart, Getup, and Victor Perez, or perusing the flea market for gems, you’ll want to stay hydrated and nourished with a convenient array of vendors that will include Eat-A-Pita, Philly Delicias, Pbon's Fresh Phood of Philly, Lil' Pop Shop, Sweet Lavender, HubBub Coffee, and of course, Wahoo’s, along with the Bud Light Beer Garden, which will be all at your disposal. And the icing on this proverbial cake will be a day loaded with a laundry list of fine local talent set to perform from noon till 9pm. On the slate, you'll find Creepoid, Steady Hands, Mercury Girls, Amanda X, Vicky Speedboat, Hurry, Endless Taile, Weller, and RFA representing the City of Brotherly Love. Come out to support a good cause, and stimulate your senses - fuck the rain! Paine's Park, N. 24th St., 12pm-10pm, Free, All Ages - Michael Colavita


Weekend Warrior, July 8 - 10

Nothing captivated listeners with 2014’s Guilty of Everything, and with its follow-up, the band triumphs over tragedy, as you may have seen in their documentary for the making of Tired of Tomorrow. And as the group gets ready to leave it all on stage across the globe, Philly’s band of nothings-turned-somethings makes a stop home to celebrate with family, friends and fans the joy and heartache that has come with their latest release. Opening the night will be instrumental avant-garde duo, Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler, who are looking forward to the release of their own LP next week, which was inspired by Phillippe Garrel’s silent film Le Révélateur. They’ll be helping Nothing wrap up the first leg of their massive tour. Also along for the support will be San Francisco Bay Area’s Culture Abuse and Toledo, OH/Detroit, MI’s Citizen. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 8:30pm, $15, All Ages - Alexis V.
 
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) SAT Steve Gunn, Spacin’
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SAT Weekender, The Morelings
 
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Chestnut Grove, Brian Dale Allen Strouse, SAT Needle Points
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Gene Wildest/Astro 8000, DJ FM, Akasha, Tati Mia/DJ Deejay, SAT Archawah, Mat Burke, SUN The Danger O’s, Glitter, Petunia
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SUN Cheerbleeders, Louie Louie
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI Mischief Brew
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI  (Upstairs) Rosu Lup/(Downstairs) The Movement, Among Criminals, Rockers Galore, SAT (Upstairs) The Binary Sea/(Downstairs) Animus - Philadelphia's Belly Dance Spectacular, SUN (Upstairs) Glim Dropper
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Phantasm, Mesmeria, The Good Mess, The Beta Phase, Marc Lancaster
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI The Burgeoning, American Dinosaur, SAT Resilient (Record Release), Alright Junior, The Good Mess
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Bondage & Discipline, The Stammer, Blood Sound, SAT Blame Candy
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Lee Mayjahs?, DI Everyday, SAT DJ Deejay, SUN Francisco Collazo, DJ Foxx Boogie
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Dave Steel Blues Band, SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Disogyny, Rubbish, Dive in the Box, Beer Me, SAT Wyldflowers, OS, Kelsey Cork, SUN Stargazer, A Minor Error, Falling Light, The Lysine Contingency
 
Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Dream Safari, Power Animal Suburban Living (DJ Set), SUN Ridge Summit, Ultimate Golf
 
Morgan’s Pier (221 N. Columbus Blvd.) FRI DJ Beatstreet, SAT Mr. Sonny James
 
Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI DJ Royale, SAT Case Bloom
 
The Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal St.) SUN Son Little
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI The Sugar Pops, Wolf Accent, SAT Kenny Priceft
 
Paine Skatepark (N. 24th St.) SAT Love on the Streets: Creepoid, Steady Hands, Amanda X, Mercury Girls, Vicky Speedboat, Hurry, Endless Taile, Weller, RFA
 
Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Friendship, Loadcard
 
Goldy’s (723 Chestnut St.)  SUN Bad Canoes, Beth Israel, Neolibz
 
The Pharmacy (1300/02 S. 18th St.) FRI The Holy Mess (Record Release), SUN Jank, Supine
 
All Night Diner (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Bruise Bath,
 
Bond Villain (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Downtown Club, Mercury Girls
 
Beaumont Warehouse (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Casket, Strange Nights
 

Embrace Bondage & Discipline at Ortlieb's July 8

Electro-rock outfit Bondage & Discipline meshes a breezy, synth/percussion-compassed sound, with a slightly ominous, heavy undercurrent. The end game is one that utilizes layered, harmony-fueled vocals, with a ceaseless-moving instrumental base, capturing warmth while hinting at impending chills. The group will release its debut LP Love Me Like I’m Dead via a series of smaller song groupings; the first, No One, will be released on July 12. Unifying waves of jangly, fuzzed guitar with a locked-in snap and pop of bass and percussion and semi-spoken Lou Reed-inspired vocals, The Stammer helps fortify this billing at Ortlieb’s, which also features the back alley synth explorations of Blood Sound, who have a new album on the horizon, entitled True Romance Magazine. After releasing their debut EP Vail earlier this spring, the haunting post-punk of Brooklyn trio Decorum rounds out this goth dance party. Ortlieb’s, 847 N. Third St., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Michael Colavita


New Track: "Pick Up America" - My Son Bison

Local experimental-folk five-piece My Son Bison’s new single, “Pick Up America,” teases the sound of their forthcoming debut LP, Two Faces and a Vase. A subtle yet gripping groove is dictated via bass, keys, drums, etc., as the vocals prescribe a pleasant, whimsical melody before the song shifts into a somewhat chaotic, vocally-agitated conclusion. They'll be performing on Tuesday, July 14 at Boot & Saddle with City of the Sun.


Allison Crutchfield Signs to Merge Records

Congrats to Allison Crutchfield (Swearin', P.S. Eliot), who just announced that she'll be joining her sis, Katie Crutchfield (a.k.a. Waxahatchee), on the roster at Merge Records! Her yet-to-be-titled LP will be out next year. Here's what Allison had to say about this momentous occasion. 

“Signing with Merge was always sort of a fantasy milestone in my mind, like winning an Oscar or opening a bakery in New England. It was something I dreamed about a hundred times as a teenager but never thought could actually happen. I’ve been fortunate enough to really get to know the Merge family over the last year, and now that I’m a grown-up, I’m so grateful to be able to call Merge home.”


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