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The Spirit of the Beehive
"The Spirit of the Beehive
"
mp3
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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Starting as a familiar collaboration between brothers Pete & Charlie Brooks and growing to incorporate friends within the artistic community, Louds has set the bar relatively high with their single “Ways,” a highly contagious electronic blast of loose, fun energy. With its free-flowing iridescent tones meshing with clear augmenting lyrics and a constant danceable groove, the song is a promising first step as they work on their EP If More People Bought Art, More People Would Buy Art. Tonight, Louds opens the evening of performances at Johnny Brenda’s, which also features the inviting jungle-vibed electronic blend of synth/keys and percussion of Dream Safari, a.k.a. Chris Coulton, shining a steady luminosity in which movement proliferates. The vibrant, joy evoking tunes of Cheerleader will headline this bill of locals. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9:15pm, $10, 21+ - Michael Colavita

December 20, 2014
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Tonight at Underground Arts will be an artist statement of sorts for Chipocrite, who is celebrating the release of his debut LP Wordplay, a culmination of years of writing, reworking, and evolving songs into the sound imagined when he began making chiptune music. The result is an expansive experience and a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy. It is an aggressive and playful album at the intersection of Chipocrite’s progressive rock roots and 8-bit infatuation. The album is a long time coming, with certain songs dating back to his previous band MJ Project, so it is fitting that his old band members will be joining him on this evening’s bill. The new project, The Blurry Nights, makes tight, proggy gems with intricate guitar leads and tasty synthesizer licks. Also, recently announced was a MJ Project mini-reunion before Chipocrite’s set, something that he had hinted at and probably won’t happen again. Making the long journey from Amaris (that is a planet) to join them tonight is Chronicles of Sound, a cosmic rock band on a life threatening and altering mission to overthrow god-emperor Drekin and discover “The Sound.” Good friend, collaborator and past bandmate Daniel Davis, a.k.a. An0va, is opening the festivities, Philly’s Enerjawn will be handling visuals for the evening.  Come by and enjoy the celebration of new music and old friends! Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 9pm, $12, 21+ - Adam G.
 
Other places to escape the chill this weekend…
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI The Roddenberries
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Weird Hot, El Malito & the 33rd Century, I think Like Midnight, SAT Cheerleader, Dream Safari, Louds
 
The Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Bird Watcher, Shark Tape, Wild Orphan, SAT Ladybird, SUN Cassavetes
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Penrose, Mat Burke, The Rivals, August Lutz, SAT Moonshine Social, Jesus’ Older Brother, SUN YS The DJ, Reef the Lost Cauze
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) SAT Girls Rock Philly: Winter Programs Showcase
 
Bourbon and Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI The Paper Shakers: Christmas Variety Show, SAT Betty Iron Thumbs, The Glitterbombs, Sick Panda, Kevin
 
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) SAT The Kalob Griffin Band, American Babies, Church Girls
 
TLA (334 South St.) FRI GoGo Morrow, Aaron Parnell Brown, Guordan Banks, Crown Bella
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) SAT York Street Hustle, SUN Chest Grove
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Atley Moon & The Say Something Sound Machine,Adam Travis, SAT Square Peg Round Hole, Beverly Mud, SUN Zah Garner, Shon Goner, Suillecram, Lil Benji, Suirad Franklin, Drohn Banga
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Vilebred, Son Step, Halfro, Voss, The Funky T
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Philly Tapes Philly: Kate Faust, Minka, SAT Creem Circus, New Sound Brass Band
 
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI Tweed, SAT Screaming Rattler
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) SUN MAST w/members of The Fresh Orchestra, FLOTE, Nommo
 
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St) FRI Redd Panda
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.)  FRI The Donuts, SAT Caroline Reese, SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St.) FRI Knightlife, Beautiful Madness /The Spirit World, Northern Liberties, Wally, SAT Blakeslee (CD Release), Working Class Villains, Could’ve Been Kings/Death Maschine, Klockenhouzer, Nearest
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St) FRI Rowboat Casino, East of the West, Zymotic Flow, The Riverside Odds, SAT Bosom Band
 
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI King Midas The Rapper, Aye-t Poseidonq Q, SUN (3pm) Beware, Outer Heaven. Nothing Left/(6pm) Knightlife
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St) FRI Hoochie Coochie Men, The Heat Run, Jason Ager, Man Illuminated, Tom Mackell, SAT The Jawn, Confused Disciples, Rob Tait
 
Ardmore Music Hall FRI Stolen Rhodes, SUN Liz Longley
 
First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut St.) SAT Fight Amp, UltraMantis Black
 
Creep Records (1050 N. Hancock Street, Suite 76) SUN Victory Boy (Album Release), Jantones
 
Eris Temple Arts (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SUN The Extraordinaires, Power Animal
 
December 19, 2014
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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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