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The Spirit of the Beehive
"The Spirit of the Beehive
"
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There is something rather dark and mysterious about a band that takes its name from a classic Spanish film that focuses on its protagonist, a young girl, who becomes fascinated by the 1931 horror movie, Frankenstein. And with an album cover that portrays a child in a bee costume positioned in front of a tombstone saying, “Here Lies Mom-n-Dad Now Their Gone Isn’t That Sad,” you can’t help but be intrigued, if not a bit disturbed. The Spirit of the Beehive is a local fledgling outfit who has popped up on my radar this past year, appearing on numerous bills, oftentimes at DIY spaces. The band has further grabbed my attention with its debut self-titled full-length album, which was recorded by The Weaks/ex-Dangerous Ponies, Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo, and released via rising Philly indie label Ranch Records.  
 
The record’s opening track, “Roll Over,” begins with an eerie instrumentation before a languid female voice comes in with barely intelligible lines. “Cycles in and out of morphine hazes. Finding spaces between your floorboards. And I watch the dust move.” Thankfully the group provides us with lyrics on its Bandcamp page; otherwise, the beautifully poetic verses filled with drug-fueled imagery would be lost in the wash of power chords and feedback. “All lost in the black market. To wait in the fix aisle, I roll over.” You also get a sense of the band’s lo-fi, DIY aesthetic when you are abruptly taken out of the world, created by the album’s first, with studio chatter before moving on to the next track. With “Short Walk,” you can’t help but feel the influences of greats like Nirvana and more recently Creepoid with the hushed vocals and sonic bursts. These two tracks set the tone for the first half of the LP, where you travel in and out of the territories of dream pop and shoegaze when the female lead vocals grab a hold of you and then the grungier, harder-edged side takes over with the male lead. This juxtaposition provides quite an enjoyable balance that I actually wished went on longer throughout the record.
 
It’s not until “Ether,” where the two combine forces, changing the dynamic of their relationship. The title of the song suggests that you might be finding something more ethereal; however, the driving bass line provides a sense of urgency throughout the track. It also marks the point where the male lead begins to dominate the rest of the album, while taking on some of the characteristics of its counterpart. What remains a constant is a psychedelic, drug-filled angst full of guitar licks and distortion, giving off the vibe of a band that is here to rock, and they don’t care if you are ready for it or not.
 
The Spirit of the Beehive closes out their ambitious LP with the longest and cleanest sounding recording on the album, “Fever Dream,” demonstrating that they don’t need to hide behind studio effects, while making you wonder where their follow-up release will go next. It’s an eclectic and modern sounding record that also pulls from past genres I hold close to my chest. I highly recommend that you go download it ASAP. - Q.D. Tran

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scene blog
Shawn Kilroy and the other members of eclectic funk noir sextet, Weird Hot, have always been known to keep things interesting. And that's exactly what they did with the recording of their new ten-song self-titled LP that they started to lay down in NYC, fine tuned with Jeff Ziegler (Uniform Recordings), and finished up in an old Mummers clubhouse. The band is all set to celebrate the album’s release at Johnny Brenda's tonight. And they'll be joined by the high-energy live performance of El Malito, who recently cut a new two-song EP and released a music video for their politically charged track “The Pissed Off Angry Voice of Losers.” The show will be opened by the instrumental rock quartet I Think I Like Midnight. Johnny Brenda's, 1201. N Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill

WEIRD HOT: I WAS AT A PARTY from BITBY on Vimeo.

December 19, 2014
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Below is a new Space Jams Sessions with Mumblr. The band put out an impressive seventeen-track LP entitled Full Of Snakes this past September via Fleeting Youth Records. Here's a stripped-down performance of their song, "Masturbation." They'll be playing next in Philly on Saturday, December 27 at Yarga's Basement for Day 1 of Kat Kat Phest.

December 19, 2014
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There’s a natural strength that emerges unfiltered in earnest music. That honesty engages in a fundamental way that can’t be discarded or thrown to the side. Scranton transplant, David Tomaine, a.k.a. Cave People’s latest EP Older, which was engineered by Matt Schimelfenig of Three Man Cannon/Miner Street Recordings and released via Stereophonodon Records, has that small town but universal sound we all crave sometimes. You can stream the record in its entirety below.

December 18, 2014
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How does one describe the beautiful artistry of Power Animal? The music hits a listener from a variety of angles at once. However, this sonic exposure isn’t a smash-and-grab attack. It’s a pensively organic collection of textures, serving as a catalyst to rejuvenation, wiping the slate clean, and starting anew. The freeing tones are inherently light and energetic, generating a head-bobbing sway, while still retaining a depth that captures you at the core. Tonight, Power Animal, a.k.a. Keith Hampson, is part of a lineup at Little Berlin that also includes the delicate daydreaming pop of Sam Tremble & Allison Lorenzen, a.k.a. Slow Dance. Introspective minimalist rocking Vermont transports Hello Shark draw you in close, fleshing out personal narratives that are part stream of consciousness diary-inflected tales. Chicago’s Lala Lala rounds out the bill with their spin on haunting bare bones grunge. Little Berlin, 2430 Coral St., 7pm, $7 Donation, All Ages (Photo by Mac Whalen) - Michael Colavita

December 18, 2014
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Local producer Zilla Rocca re-imagined “Go,” a song (which features Elucid & Castle) found on the collaboration between Detriot's Guilty Simpson and hometown producer Small Professor. It originally appeared on their 2013 album Highway Robbery. The remix harnesses an additional layer of grime and menace, hitting from a new angle. This reworked track can be found on Remineded: A Collection of New & Old Remixes due out January 20, 2015 via Coalmine Records.

December 18, 2014
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Cayetana recently appeared on Generic Insight, a podcast with Barrie Cohn. They discussed their hyper-busy year in review including recording Nervous Like Me at Miner Street Recordings, touring, ska music, women in the punk scene - both in bands and behind the scenes, and much more. You can take a listen to the entire interview HERE. (Photo by Mary Ferrigno)

December 17, 2014
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