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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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scene blog
January 19, 2016
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Cosmos, a new DIY show space in University City (Mantua), is hosting a rad solo acoustic showcase of front people from some of the local area music community's up-and-coming acts. You can catch Jake Ewald (of Modern Baseball/Slaughter Beach, Dog) and his humorous yet insightful signature wordplay and storytelling. Field Mouse's Rachel Browne (a.k.a. Anomie) will be there performing skeletal versions of her songs too, which will provide an interesting contrast to her usually lush, textural pieces. Evan Stephens Hall from melodious New Jersey lo-fi quartet, Pinegrove, will be in a uniquely intimate environment, exposing the heart of each tune. Also contributing to this special happening are Hodera’s Matthew Smith and Plainview’s Jeremy Smith. In all likelihood, this is not going to be your typical rowdy house show, well, maybe a few drunken sing-alongs. But one thing is certain; it will be a unique experience. Hopefully the night can offer you a new perspective on - or even new appreciation for - some very talented local songwriters/musicians. Cosmos, (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.), 7pm, $5, All Ages - Bryce Woodcock

February 06, 2016
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The classic two-piece rock band: a time-tested model that, when properly executed, deserves special recognition and admiration; not only for the boldness of performing as a duo with only one other person to rely on, but also for the unique quality that such an undiluted intimacy between musicians can produce. And to better celebrate these dynamic duos, these symbols of symbiosis, First Unitarian Church is hosting the 9th annual Two Piece Fest this Saturday. Enter +HIRS+, a beloved Philly two-piece thrash band, who combines dizzying tempos, pummeling blast beats, and throat rending vocals with a Napalm Death sensibility for song length - that is, extremely short. For good reason too, because if any of these songs ran over a minute, fingers would start flying off their joints, and throats would combust. Dialing it back a notch is Blacksalt, whose emotive melodies and weaving vocals are faintly reminiscent of a gazed-out Seam. Let’s also not forget local math-rock bad boys, The Joint Chiefs Of Math, who create head-spinningly unpredictable soundscapes full of abrupt dynamic shifts and tirelessly innovative drum parts. Out-of-towners Empty Vessels will also be in attendance to claim their share of two-piece praise with their heavy brand of sludgy hardcore. A handful of parallels can be made between them and sludge-duo legends Jucifer, but Empty Vessels has a seemingly stronger inclination toward post-hardcore dissonant melody over low-end doom-style riffage. Baltimore’s Romantic States take a different approach to duo song crafting, choosing instead to celebrate the charming minimalism inherent in a two-piece. Their pop songs are uncomplicated and jangly, but don’t lose any expressive detail for lack of members. You can check out the full lineup and set times for Two Piece Fest HERE. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 2pm, $12, All Ages. - Bryce Woodcock
 
More places to hang this weekend…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.)  SAT Philly Loves Dilla: DJ Mike Nyce, Mr. Sonny James
 
The Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) SAT ROZES, Lockets, Bondage & Discipline
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI The Good Mess, Mr. Grimstone/Boys Club, SAT GASH/The Danger O's, Readership, Welter, The One2s, The Escape/BlendMode, Get Up
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) SAT S.T.A.R.W.O.O.D., Bunny Savage
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI The Underwater Sounds (Farewell Show), The Snails, Rosemary Fiki Band, SAT Ben Arnold (Record Release), The Fractals
 
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI Pig Iron Theatre’s Annual Benefit Cabaret:  La Vie Bo-Ham
 
The Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal St.) FRI The Disco Biscuits, Darla, SAT The Disco Biscuits, Swift Technique
 
TLA (334 South St.) SAT OCD: Moosh & Twist
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI  (Downstairs) Hezekiah Jones, SAT (Upstairs) 4th Annual Winter Doldrums Benefit Concert: Matt Duke, Mutlu, Andrea Nardello, AlyCat, John Faye, The Wallace Brothers Band, Christopher Davis-Shannon, Tin Bird Choir, Chris Grunwald & Raph Cutrufello, Sonja Sofya & Ross Bellenoit, Paige Allbritton & Elspeth Tremblay, Chipocrite, Lovers League, Vilebred, Sunshine Superman, Ben Kessler, Song Dogs, The Rent-A-Cops: The Police Tribute Band, Hurricane Hoss, Allison Polans, Angela Burns, Alex & the Beggars
Vilomah project preview with Michele Lynn & Nardo Lilly, Doc Terry’s tribute to Dante Bucci
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Jesus' Older Brother, Lakota, SAT Howlish, SUN Freshsz, Kace, Crime Children, Miles Chancellor, Ant Beale
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Whiting, SAT Screaming Rattler, BlackHand
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Sheer Mag, The Whips
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI DJ Dav, Reed Streets, SAT (4pm) Blonde Melon/(9:30pm) DJ Deejay
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT The Deadeyes/Hired Guns Blues Band
 
Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI Franky’s Foxes with DJ Chris Urban
 
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) FRI Will Paynter and Jay Popky
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Stereoma, Momma Hankton, Jean Claude's Damn Van, Skip Monday, SAT Pagan Babies, Shitty Friends, The Dolts
 
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Outer Heaven, Disgorgement
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Something Like Sound, Room For Mojo, SAT StarSkream, Pravda, Trouble in Tokyo
 
Bourbon and Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI The Mad Splatter, Disaster Committee, Proof & Proving, SAT (3:30pm) Fishtown Beats/(9pm) Arc Divers, Heart Harbor, SUN Tiani Victoria, Jay Marie, Mew 3 Crew, R'Que, Malc Dat
 
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Reef the Lost Cauze, Mic Stew
 
The Pharmacy (1300/02 S. 18th St.) FRI Moto Surf, Brackish, The Morelings, Thief, Steal Me A Peach
 
Bond Villian (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Kississippi, Hanging Hills (EP release), Howlish
 
Beach House (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Uncle/Father Oscar
 
LAVA Space (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Jim Strong Bathassaults, Kyle Press
 
Cosmos (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT (Acoustic Show) Rachel Browne, Jake Ewald, Jeremy Berkin
 
Nico Nico Mansion (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT The Guests, Vanillalord, Old Maybe, Nyxy Nyx
 
The Farm (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Jenkem, Incisor
 
February 05, 2016
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Folk-rock foursome Hanging Hills celebrates the release of its new EP Sewn this evening at Bond Villain. The Connecticut transplants steadily pass through open areas with instrumentation that captures an unwinding adventure. There’s a clean, loose feel - one that opens up while holding focus. Fortified with vocal harmony, crisp transitions and homespun finish, Hanging Hills hits like a refreshing breeze that can flex in gusts when called upon. The flourishing, floating sound of Kississippi hypnotically glides along, unveiling contemplative moments of sincerity. Exploring deep sonic grooves, Howlish completes this billing. Bond Villain (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) 8:30pm, $5, All Ages – Michael Colavita

February 05, 2016
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Recent Featured Artist(s) Poll Winners R.R. Perkins have already put their studio time prize at Sleepless Sound to good use. The instrumental ensemble recorded a live sampling of material from their Volume II and Volume III releases. Take a listen below as the group finds its whimsical, slightly funky groove as that Theremin provides an extraterrestrial edge. (Photo by Dan Cohoon)

February 05, 2016
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Nearly a year ago, we had chance to hear Lushlife's collaboration with Ariel Pink, called “Hong Kong (Lady of Love),” when he performed it live for the first time opening for Kool Keith at Kung Fu Necktie. Well, we are very happy to get to share with you the studio recording of the single, which will be found on Lush's forthcoming LP Ritualized. The record was produced by CSLSX, and will be out on February 19 via Western Vinyl. On the track, Raj Haldar’s vocals emerge from the dark undercurrent of synth, leading the rush that is surrounded by the polish of Pink’s sensual chorus. It’s sharp-tongued and silk-adorned.

February 04, 2016
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