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Wildcat! Wildcat! @ Boot and Saddle.

November 24, 2014

WildcatWildcat_Web (16 of 17)Text by Kyle Bagenstose. Images by Grace Dickinson.

When Philadelphians travel to the warm locales of southern California in the colder months, the temperature, of course, is a welcome change. But is the reverse true for a Los Angeles-based band?

According to Wildcat! Wildcat! frontman Michael Wilson, that’s a negative.

“I guess tonight is a little reprieve from the cold?” Wilson asked the packed Boot & Saddle audience last Thursday, a 35-degree night. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking cold. We’re from Los Angeles. We’re pussies and we’ll fucking own it.”

The joke went over well with the crowd and was indicative of what was an undeniably entertaining set from the band from California. Utilizing a pair of synthesizers, bass and drums, the band sports a sound somewhere in between the pulsing synths of MGMT and the falsetto vocals of Passion Pit.

But what sets Wildcat! Wildcat! apart is the harmonizing of the vocals – on most songs, all four members joined in on the choruses, often building with the beat of drummer Jesse Carmichael and the bassline of Jesse Taylor.

The effect was a captivating 12-song set that had most of the crowd swaying, if not all-out dancing for the majority of the performance. Vibes alternated from the heavy synth sounds of songs like “Holloway (Hey Love),” which climaxed with a four-part harmony, to the drawn out, introspective synths of “Sentimental,” to the up-tempo, poppish sounds of “Marfa.”

But the band changed things up just enough to keep the audience on its toes, going with a much more traditional rock sound on “Circuit Breaker” and the utilization of break beats and cymbal rides by Carmichael in a number of songs.

But the highlight undoubtedly was the closing “Nothing Below,” which featured a minute-long jam out to end the song, with Taylor pounding passionately across all four strings of his bass as he staggered across the stage.

The appreciate crowd clapped and hollered the song’s reverberating closing notes to the their finish, showing that Wildcat! Wildcat! had, in fact, made them forget about the impending winter for at least a few hours.

WIN FREE TICKETS! See Relient K @ The TLA on Tuesday (12/2).

November 21, 2014

Relient K will perform at the TLA on Tuesday (12/2) and we are giving away tickets to see the show.

If you want a pair of tickets to see Relient K with Blondfire and From Indian Lakes, like us on facebook and email us at (give us your name and put “Relient K” in the subject line).

If you want to play it safe and get your own tickets, find details for the show here.

Snoozer: Matured Cheese.

November 20, 2014

SnoozerOnline02Text by Brian Wilensky. Images by Chris Fascenelli.

Be careful when you pick up a copy of a Snoozer album or EP. This three piece has been prone to trying to pull the wool over the eyes of their fans in the past.

“I think people started to think that we were lying about it or telling them a joke,” guitarist Mike Kelly says about releasing this year’s EP, Cottage Cheese. “Because we’ve set up release shows and then gave out blank CDs. One time, we literally handed out blank CDs and told people it was Cottage Cheese and just put a letter inside that said, ‘Whoops!’ or something.”

Read more…

Vilebred: Constantly Vile (With Friends).

November 19, 2014

VilebredOnline01Text by Dave Miniaci. Images by Charles Shan Cerrone.

It’s a warm but comfortable night outside Connie’s Ric Rac in South Philly. Guitarist Jeremy Dawson and drummer Dean Gorfti shoot the breeze before Dawson checks the time.

“Is there a stereotype about people from the suburbs not being on time?” asks Dawson.

His band, Vilebred, is on the lineup tonight. Dawson and Gorfti are soon joined by the rest of the band’s roster for the evening and they take inventory. Not everyone could make it out tonight. But then, that is the nature of the band. They’re all members of several other bands, part of a lineup that has grown in size and depth for a decade, with many coming and going.

The main constant of the lineup is singer and lyricist Sam Vile – a last name that needs little introduction around these parts.

“Growing up, my brother Kurt was my biggest influence,” he says. “He’s my older brother. I looked up to him and I grew up playing his guitars. He was my roommate for a few years.”

Vilebred slowly came together over the years. The original members were friends from attending church together with their families in the suburbs. They eventually got together to play music. Read more…

TwizzMatic: Sweet Honey Beats.

November 18, 2014

TwizzmaticOnline01Text and images by Michael Bucher.

Time is precious and the longer a musician spends in the industry, the more selective they must be with who they devote that time to. After embarking on a partnership making beats for a Philadelphia singer this past year, TwizzMatic had to cut his losses on a project not up to his standards.

“Working with somebody who only has one rehearsal before their shows?” TwizzMatic asks. “Her dad doesn’t want to work with me? He’s the manager, he doesn’t have time, works three jobs. I don’t do that anymore. I address things head on.”

He was being paid for his work but it didn’t matter.

“I thought she was a good singer but the rest of it isn’t up to par,” he says, explaining his initial interest. “I’m just not wasting my time going in circles.”

TwizzMatic, who is 28-year-old Antoine McRae, now has a strong vision for what he wants from music projects after spending years experimenting, making him the well-rounded writer, rapper and producer he is today. Read more…

Caribou @ Union Transfer.

November 17, 2014

tresmack_caribou_9Text by Grace Dickinson. Images by Teresa McCullough.

Caribou mastermind Dan Snaith made it out to Union Transfer last Thursday night for a dance-inducing performance. He, along with his three-live only bandmates, immediately got the party started with Caribou’s latest hit, “Our Love”.

The track is also the title of the current album, which was released in October. It appears four years after Swim, an equally electronic, high-energy album from Snaith that has come to characterize his current music style.

Snaith has been releasing music now for more than a decade and has shifted through nearly as many genres as you’ll find beer options on UT’s fall tap list. His current synth-filled vibes kept the bar’s draft station flowing up and down, as the crowd loosened into a continuous head-bopping state. Snaith kept the night to a focused and curated menu that shied away from his older, indie/alt rock and folkier styles in favor of playing through Our Love, with a few tracks thrown in from Swim.

A colorful light scheme matched the electronic beats, while Snaith and his crew dressed head-to-toe in white to contrast the stage set. Snaith moved from keyboard to an electronic drum kit, situated opposite from another drummer. Both drum sets delivered much of the intensity for the show, with the night ending on a percussion-heavy “Sun,” another crowd favorite from Swim.

Caribou’s tour continues down the East Coast this week.

Marcel Khalife @ Haverford College with Abeer Nehme.

November 17, 2014

Text by Jumah Chaguan.

There was no space available at Haverford College on Saturday. Even the aisles had to be used to seat people.  On stage, it was no different – around 80 choir singers and 34 musicians took up every inch of space. There was just enough space for the headliner, Marcel Khalife, to walk to the front of the stage with special guest Abeer Nehme.

“We have so many people here, we don’t have room for the performance,” joked conductor Thomas Lloyd with the crowd.

Khalife is an acclaimed Lebanese composer, singer and oud master.  The oud, a pear-shaped guitar, is also known as the king of the instruments in Middle East. Khalife studied the oud and claimed early fame for showcasing the oud as a solo instrument. In the mid 70s, he formed his own ensemble in which he blended the Arabic classical stylings with western instrumentation and poetry.

Read more…


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