I have spent the last day and a half transferring the last year + of posts, pictures and links to a new home on my own server. I'm just now putting the finishing touches on adding some new elements and spiffing up the design and, while I had hoped to get at least one new post up on top of all of these shenanigans, it looks like I'm going to need the rest of today to complete the switch. So, I ask for a little patience in exchange for what I hope to be a much spiffier and more consistently updated World In A Paper Cup.
Things to come:
• Review of the Cory Chisel + Dawes show from last week
• A New To Know post busting at the seams with excellent new bands
• A really exciting new video project announcement
You've read my praises and know very well the soft spot I have for Dinosaur Feathers. If you're smart you've preordered their album Fantasy Memorial. Now, I'm happy to report, you will get your chance to catch them live. They are performing next Saturday [March 6th] at Philly's newest DIY venue The OX Warehouse with Lonnie Walker, Grandchildren,Ape School& The Armchairs. They'll be back around on the tail end of their tour but, as I like to say, see them early and see them often.
Last weekend brought two hot acts to the stage for Philly dance party institution Making Time. After missing Neon Indian's set at the Barbary a few months ago there was no way I was going to miss them again. Alan Palomo brought his full crew with him and let loose their space pop synth navigated jams. Neon Indian's album Psychic Chasm is the ideal fodder for your home dance party needs but when they bring it to the stage they push and pull at their tracks in just the right ways to create a unique experience that truly rowdies up the crowd. They kept it short, hitting all the popular points like Deadbeat Summer, but promised to come back again soon since they're making the obligatory indie band move to Brooklyn. Judging from their presence on the Late Night TV circuit I'd venture a guess that the next time they come through town it'll be at a larger venue. Glad I saw them when I did.
Memory Tapes quickly made their way to the stage after Neon Indian and soon held the attention of all in the room. I was expecting a simple replay of what you get from their recorded stuff - this wouldn't have been bad at all since Making Time is, at its core, a dance party and Memory Tapes have mastered a real nice funky smooth dance vibe - but I was elated to find a far more dynamic set. New Jersey native Davey Hawk, while backed by a good bit of electronic instrumental support, also had a tight live drum accompanying his guitar lead. The nuance of Memory Tapes' arrangements really popped in the live delivery. They satisfied the movers in the crowd by remaining incredibly danceable while those there to watch got plenty to enjoy. It was a very satiating performance and perfect for the Making Time standard.
A Sunny Day In Glasgow
One of my fav Philly acts has created a really awesome video for their single So Bloody So Tight. They're currently on the road for a bit of epic touring so do your best to check them out, that is if they don't disappear into the surroundings.
I received a delightful email from Rosie & Me last week with their new EP Bird & The Whale enclosed. As I expected the 5 tracks contained therein were fantastic. Their playfulness is intact as are the simple twee leaning lyrics. Heres a taste but I strongly recommend you go get the rest and stock up on their older stuff too.
Following on the tails of Sharon Van Etten's session Weathervane, in partnership with WXPN, announced the second artist to be included in the Shaking Through series. Sonoi,a rock trio from Chicago, was selected by Daniel Smith (Danielson) who is curating the first season. You can check out their studio session as well as their single (below).
Finally, the second issue of Vinyl & Vodka has been released. Continuing with the quality content and also with the accompanying Vodcast. This time dedicating their work to Alexander McQueen, the fashion designer who took his life earlier this month. It is a great read so give it a perusal.
There is a level of cheekiness and experimentation found on each track of The Zookeepers new album Good Looking Out. There is a lot of sound piled into this record but the New England quartet holds off on mashing everything together and making it real loud like a lot of bands do these days. Instead, they nibble at synth pop, silly punkishness and really simple piano driven indie sounds. Gula Gula comes off all chill but they play around with it just enough to tease your ear. Lady Gaga is an ADD romp through sampling and hooks that plays a bit like a nervous breakdown, but in a good way. How do they pull all of this off without coming off as aimless goofs? They know music. They are comfortable enough to play around and adventure without getting lost. There is room to tighten up their sonic mission but as a way to get themselves out there Good Looking Out gives you a good sense of their skills. Lady Gaga
It is with great embarrassment and even greater pleasure that I am just now posting anything on Pearl & The Beard. They've been making their way into my playlists for a while now and are just about to release God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson so I simply must bring you into the loop. The group has truly grown into a lush and nuanced indie folk group and this album shows the refinement and craftsmanship that has become the hallmark of a Family Records production. P&TB incorporates some traditional folk components like accordion, accapella chorus and simple string accompaniments with excellent results. When wrapped in their strong lyrical delivery each song achieves soul warming status even in the sadder songs. Pearl & The Beard has already come quite a way as artists and if God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson is any indicator the group's evolution holds a lot of promise. Oh, Death!
I'm away in Vermont for the weekend enjoying a little down time cooking, listening to music (of course), reading and snowshoeing. But I'll be back next week with the regularly scheduled programming. I hope you are having a spectacular long weekend.
Like a whole lotta other folks I've been snowed in today as waves of ice rain, sleet and snow wallop Philly. Snow Days were a rare treat when I was a kid; in Minnesota they pretty much only cancel school when the temps are so cold it is dangerous to be outside. On those chilly days when they did let us stay home my sisters and I would round up our friends and we'd do movie marathons at our house. This usually also included a smorgasbord of comfort food and break to go outside for a little energy release. I have many fond memories of those cozy days with my friends and fam.
The magic is decidedly less palpable as an adult, in particularly an adult who works from home. This morning I was made a little cranky by the prospect of being trapped inside with my work. I'm headed up to Vermont for the weekend so I have scads of work to do before I leave. But, after powering through a good bit of my "to do" list with the help of my stand bys (Ida Maria, Queen, Lookbook and Abba) I was able to settle in and enjoy watching the snow pile up outside. While my chillaxed approach to work after that point, paired with a little whiskey means I still have stuff to knock out yet tonight I thought I would take a moment to provide you all a little Covered In Snow mixtape. Whether you too are tucked in your house for the night or looking out at a sunny sky here is a mix for you.
Lazy (Low) - Mark Kozelek
Winter White Hymnal (Fleet Foxes) - Dirty Mittens
It's Oh So Quiet (Bjork) - Bell
Winter (Tori Amos) - The Accidentals (2004)
Blowin In The Wind (Bob Dylan) - Sam Cooke
Streets of Philadelphia (Bruce Springsteen) - Casiotone For The Painfully Alone
Northern Sky (Nick Drake) - Denison Witmer
Nothing Better (Postal Service) - Ben Gibbard & Jenny Lewis
Some Things Last A Long Time (Daniel Johnston) - Doug Martsch
The Fools are a Brooklyn duo that, upon first listen, took me back to the early days of Righteous Babe Records, Lilith Fair and Tracy Chapman. When good strong female singers tapped a soulful vein but weren't afraid to really rock out. Jen and Uchenna first met at Rutgers U but they didn't start playing music together until they both moved to NY after college. With Jen on guitar and Uchenna on bass they've matured into quite the bluesy duo. It's not terribly complicated just earthy and enjoyable. The duo currently gigs all over NY so if you're in the area be sure to check out one of their shows. Good Day
This group is my new obsession. Everything about their high energy synth pop sits well with me. Its got the essential spaztic bump to get a dance party reved up and the kind of clean power vocals that you can't help but jump in on the action. The Minneapolis act consists of Maggie Morrison, rocking the lead vocals and Grant Cutler, on the "beats." Morrison has a direct line to the pop greats of the 80's. Her vocals croon and sail over the dream electroscape created by Cutler's instrumentals. If I were to actually reveal the number of times I've blasted Wild At Heart and danced around my apartment I'd be exposing a little to much of my crazy chic underbelly than is appropriate on this here blog. But, trust me, it's a lot. Yesterday's Company
Toms River, NJ is responsible for yet another fantastically addictive talent on the scene right now. April Smith, like her fellow Riverians River City Junction, has a penchant for up beat good time music. The girl's got pipes; the kinda of vocal strength that allows her to carry off a flawless retro swing sound while still instilling it with a distinctive indie pop freshness. She comes from the kind of hippie/ folk rock up bringing as I but she's managed to use that rootsy influence to ground her music in a classic appeal. It's the confidence in her voice that keeps her music from simple mimicry. She just did a grand Daytrotter session but here is a track of her new album Songs For sinking Ship.
So many bits of news have crossed my path in the last few days regarding items, people and projects I feel need a little of your attention.
To bring season 2 to a close the folks behind LMM relaunched their website. Now, to keep yourself busy while they take a hiatus from bringing you some very fresh material, you can easily sort through the archives and sample tracks from the various monthly themes. This is a project dedicated to reconsidering the many facets of music from album art to instruments. Well worth the price of subscription for season 3 which will kick off May 1.
Loosing no steam from last week's announcement of their partnership with WXPN on the Shaking Through music series Weathervane Music released the first track from ST's debut series. Each series will feature the work of an assortment of artists. Documenting the process involved in creating, recording, refining and releasing their work. First up for 2010 is Sharon Van Etten and today they dropped her first track "Love More." Swing on over to Weathervane's site to find out more about the project.
Finally, FINALLY after months of waiting news has arrived about the first album to come from of Philly's own Free Energy. After months of slowly leaking out nibbles of their work they let it be known today that Stuck On Nothing will be released to the masses on March 9th. They also offered up a new track. "Hope Child" can be found over at Pitchfork.
Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said The Last Time I Saw You... is the long awaited first full studio album from Brooklyn's Mike Grubbs a.k.a. Wakey!Wakey! After cutting his teeth with a free covers album (something that I have parsed and spread through numerous mixes and playlists), a live album and an EP --not to mention a slew of gigs and a spot on One Tree Hill--Grubbs has really refined his sound achieving stellar status on my indie pop scale. Numerous times, while listening to the album, I found myself paused by his lyrical prowess. Often anchored by his piano playing on previous recordings the introduction of more complicated arrangements on AEIWISTLTISY only serve to build the emotion in each song. The Oh Song mans up with the addition of a burly male chorus while Take It Like A Man weaves in the shrill of the violin to push it off the starting block. It is a great "beginning" for Wakey!Wakey! one that is sure to be followed by even more touring so be sure to catch him when he pass through your surrounds.
Some folks with musical chops interpret the burden of such talent as a calling to fuss and refine until every element of their product is perfect. Tom McRae is no such artist. He is the kind of musical talent that takes great delight in the process; prefers to bask in the experimentation and possibility. On his fifth studio album Alphabet Of Hurricanes his product is the direct outcome of quite a bit of play and shaped by a lot a bit of craft. It's a mixed bag -- as one might expect -- Me & Stetson representing his pop sensibilities whereas American Spirit is a little more alt country. Despite the scatter the assortment is enjoyable as a whole mostly due to the thread of joy in the creation that is found in every track. Out Of The Wall
There is a steady cool to Fink's music that plays off so cleanly you feel as though you're listening to lead man Fin Greenall's private musings. Without hiding behind all the wit and wile of many of today's artists he plays it as it lays. Having spent a number of years as a DJ dabbling in trip hop and acid jazz it isn't surprising his recent work tends towards the understated. With Fink he has been focusing on a slightly more traditional approach to songwriting. The spectacular Distance And Time has a folkier waft while last year's Sort Of Revolution marks a happy medium between folk and acid jazz. The tracks maintain the cool Fink has come to be known for but there is an touch of soul that cannot be ignored. The title track from Sort Of Revolution spreads smooth crooning vocals over a minimal, but propelling, arrangement. The rest of the album plays out in a similarly chill manner making this the perfect soundtrack for your wind down time.
Sort Of Revolution
The links posted on TWIAPC are intended for your aural sampling pleasure. If you like what you hear please go to your record store or preferred industry friendly webstore and throw down your hard earned bills for their hard work. Or, better yet, go see them live. Many MANY of these acts are scattering themselves all over the country to bring their music to you and rarely cost more that $15.
If you're an artist (or represent an artist) whose work I have featured and you would like it removed please contact me TWIAPC gmail and it will be done so immediately.