Archy “King Krule” Marshall looks every bit of his 19 years on Earth. The lanky Ron Weasley-lookalike seems to still be learning how to cope with his wiry limbs. You’d be forgiven for walking past him on the street without thinking much.
But the South London native opens his mouth and starts to sing with THAT voice. That pummeling Cockney croon makes no sense when it comes out of his slight body. That’s when you realize that you’re dealing with something special.
Text and images by Grace Dickinson.
On tour in preface to their soon-to-be-released sophomore album, Phantogram sold out Union Transfer on Saturday.
“We’re not supposed to sing this one but fuck it,” said singer Sarah Barthel before moving into one of that album’s tracks, “Howl at the Moon.” “It’s about singing to the moon in the desert.”
Whether truly off limits to the public or not, the novelty felt real as the New York duo, along with two touring members, played through several yet-to-be-released songs. They also moved through older hits, like “Don’t Move” and “When I’m Small,” all set to the backdrop of a crazy electric light show.
Giuseppe DiCristino remembers being enthralled by Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as a child.
“Especially the ‘Winter’ movement, a very famous movement because it’s really, really fast,” DiCristino recalls as he sits on the porch of The Barnes Foundation, where he is a member, before taking a late-night pass through the museum’s collection. “So, it was very cool to hear that as a child and be like ‘Woah, that’s amazing.’”
By the time he heard The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, DiCristino knew he wanted to play a classical instrument. He picked up viola and starting taking free lessons at his “rough” middle school in South Philly, and went on to attend Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts as well as Temple Music Prep at Boyer College of Music and Dance.
“I really, really loved playing and I practiced every single day,” DiCristino says of growing up playing viola. “I didn’t have technique or anything because I didn’t have strict private lessons but I just had the passion.”
That passion led him to study music further at The Boston Conservatory, but while working catering jobs to support himself between sporadic gigs, DiCristino started fiddling around with piano, bass and Pro Tools. He began to branch off from the classical music he grew up on.
“I started to get really into listening to everything, listening to electronica, hearing the sounds and the tones that they create,” DiCristino says. “You can create the tonality with just gear instead of using your fingers.”
He gave the $20,000 borrowed viola back to his Boston teacher, permanently stripping away the instrument that had rested beneath his chin for more than a decade. Now he cites bands like Daft Punk and Boys Noize for the music he makes as part of Man Like Machine, the Philly-based electro-rock band DiCristino started with his brother Joshua Bright and drummer Wesley Paul. He and his brother also run their own label, Collapsible Empire, through rented studio space at Aurum Recording in Manayunk.
“I don’t need an orchestra, I have that with synthesizers, you know, and pedals,” DiCristino says of his foray into keyboard playing and songwriting.
Heavy metal, the color black and weekends are three things that should never be without each other, so it makes sense that thrash metal legends Slayer would headline a show at the Susquehanna Bank Center on Black Friday, with Gojira and Australian-born 4arm in support.
Tom Moon is taking back cocktail hour.
The 52-year-old saxophone player, along with his Latin jazz-inspired group Ensemble Novo, are aiming to bring chill music back to Philadelphia clubs. Their latest album, Blue Night, which dropped in July, displays the full fervor of a repertoire that, as Moon jokingly describes, “falls between the early bossa nova and 1975, when things get to be very electric piano-ed out in Brazil.”
“I wanted to make a lounge record,” Moon says. “I wanted it to be very chill, approachable and you could put it on, and boom, it’s cocktail hour. At our show last night, someone said to me, ‘This is better than a margarita!’ I said, ‘Can I quote you on that?’”
The way Moon describes their music is filled with both scholarly knowledge and a natural giddiness to share. Moon has been providing paths to hundreds of artists for decades as a music critic featured in national publications like Spin and Esquire, and on NPR’s All Things Considered. Read more…
Text and images by Darragh Dandurand.
Friday night had a chill in the air but that did not scare away the fans of Revolution, I Love You, an indie duo whose sound is infused with licks of pop and beats of hip-hop and electronica. After three opening bands, R,ILY climbed on stage at the North Star Bar, carefully stepping around the sea of cables and candy-colored gear strategically placed around their feet. Separated by two tables also covered in laptops, sound boards, mixers and synthesizers, Rob Lindgren and Jason Reynolds took only a moment to hook up their guitars before ripping into the first song of a full set list.