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Seagulls
"Great Pine
"
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With spindly strings horning in the opening instrumental, “Dragoon” awakens Seagulls' debut LP Great Pine, seamlessly transitioning into “Swimmin’,” a song that is initially given a steady-footed beat around which a more intricate and illuminating composition is built generating a peaceful yet purposeful layered sound, setting the tone for what lies ahead. “You and Me” plays like a surf-folk love letter, developing a warm, earnest vocal confession, while fitting nicely with the tug and pull groove of the scratching guitar and persistent bass. The vocal harmonies provide a sweetness accompanied by reserved bursts of trumpet and accordion-like effects offer a tease of nostalgia.
 
“Love, Give” follows a similar theme as vocals, strings, and snap-percussion set a pleasant, pensive, strolling pace as echoing harmonies and backing vocals reinforce, “Love give your hands to me, for someday I’ll be on bended knee.” “Old Habits” maintains an up close lo-fi aesthetic and underlying 8-bit accents, but the perspective has changed, shining a light on the dark side of relationships and a groove that has a somewhat worn and dusty ascetic, enhancing the lyrics meaning - “Old habits, die hard or they never do/so keep lying til they all catch up to you.” A well-placed take on Big Star’s “Thirteen” incorporates the honest-loving sentiments of adolescence, falling neatly inline with the group’s heartfelt vocal honesty, while simultaneously acknowledging one of their potential influences.
 
The record’s title-track “Great Pine” serves as a breath-catching ambiance builder before the turbulent “Holy Smokes” emerges. Enlisting peaks of aggressive kick-in-the-door instrumentation - particularly percussion between smooth stretches of vocally dominant valleys - in essence, layering pieces of clear skies between moments of violent storms.
 
“Distracted” concludes Great Pine with an uplifting blanket of vocals, allowing the guitar to stretch its sea legs as the backend force steers the musical ship; holding the course. This album starts on the shore, and while there are moments where it seems destined to searchingly drift out there, Seagulls appropriately demonstrate an ability to reel it in, taking a beautiful inaugural voyage. - Michael Colavita

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scene blog

Krust Toons: "Insta-cram" by Teddy Hazard - please feel free to drop him a line at teddandthehazards@gmail.com if you dig or have any funny ideas. You can also check out more of his illustrations HERE.

September 15, 2014
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Strand of Oaks, a.k.a. Timothy Showalter, just shared his meaningful cover of The National's "Pink Rabbits." The track, which is found on 2013's Trouble Will Find Me, became the soundtrack to some recent rocky times for the local area singer-songwriter. You can read about his connection with the song from a post via Magnet (when he guest edited online in July) and stream it below. Strand of Oaks will be performing at The Boot & Saddle this weekend for two sold-out shows.

"The most important song for me in recent memory. A lot of music is great but not important. Listening to “Pink Rabbits” became mandatory for me. I would associate this song with my lost month or months last fall. I unfortunately discovered that drinking potato vodka alone with the only the National to keep you company can be dangerous. I would find myself talking with angels and other crazy shit when this song was on repeat. Then I realized I don’t have to get fucked up to love this record. This song saved me and destroyed me simultaneously."

September 15, 2014
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Literature is a great indie-pop band. I thought that the very first time I heard the group’s debut LP Arab Spring. And now, their long-awaited full-length follow-up, Chorus, has found a fitting home at Slumberland Records. With an arsenal of unapologetic hooks, frontman Nathaniel Cardaci’s charming Anglo-accented phrasings, and upbeat instrumentation that injects a warm glow into your soul, Literature has produced another must-add-to-your-collection release, which I suggest grabbing sooner than later since the first pressing of Chorus is “ALMOST GONE”. They’ll be having a belated celebration of its deliverance tonight at Underground Arts (moved from the First Unitarian Church) opening for Brooklyn outfits The Drums and Beverly. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $15, All Ages - Q.D. Tran

September 15, 2014
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This past Friday, as the evening approached and the week’s end commenced, a buzz surrounded Johnny Brenda’s unannounced show, which hung in the balance as a wildcard. And as time moved forward, word came out that the unnamed act would be The War on Drugs, and there was much rejoicing.
 
The crowd filed into the friendly confines on the corner of Frankford and Girard with an atmosphere of excitement, and they were not disappointed. With a set heavily weighted upon songs from their latest album Lost in a Dream, including the set opener “Burning,” they sweetened the surprise treat even more with former War on Drugs member Kurt Vile lending his axe wizardry throughout the set, elevating celestial songs like “Arms Like Boulders” and “Eyes to the Wind.” Clicking on all cylinders, the audience was naturally caught up in their hazily powerful set, initially and appropriately concluding with “Lost in a Dream.”
 
This memorable blur of a night was capped off by an encore, where Vile reemerged joining the Granduciel-led crew on the apropos “Brothers,” accenting why Philly is such a great music town. (Photo by Nikki Volpicelli) - Michael Colavita
September 15, 2014
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Here's the latest single and title track, "Tropical Jinx," from Little Big League's forthcoming album. The band premiered it earlier this week over at Spin. Their ten-song LP is scheduled for release on October 14 via Run For Cover Records.

September 14, 2014
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Tonight, a pair of hometown favorites is set to hit The Skyline stage at the Mann Center. Bookended by the sibling combination of Frances and Mark Quinlan, Hop Along runs home-hitting, relatable, narrative lyrics, delivered through Frances’ unique breathy vocals and lilt, while reaching back for raw earnest force when its contextually called upon. When those vocals meld with an energy-filled charge of instrumentation, the songs are given a powerful mode of movement. Speaking of movement, Dr. Dog insights just that, layering melodies, harmonious vocals, and the omnipresent infectious groove. When all those elements react together, throwing in chunks dual-lead guitar ferocity and a touch of the psychedelic, the results are an ear-grabbing groove, inducing good times. Mann Center - The Skyline, 5201 Parkside Ave., 6:30pm, $20-$35, All Ages - Michael Colavita 

September 13, 2014
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