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White Rope celebrates new LP "NO FUNERAL" At Alphaville 01.31

Once upon a time, Morrissey sang “life is very long when you’re lonely,” and since then musicians from all walks of life in the world have scrambled to find similar catharsis in solitude and sadness. Brooklyn garage-punk band White Rope, echo that very lyric in their 2015 track "The Pain Olympics", but to a different end. The title of the track itself seems to parody the fervor with which a lot of artists mine their personal trials and traumas for lyrical content, but with a sense of humor (I mean, they do replace “lonely” with “horny”…). White Rope channels vulnerability in their own way, not shying away from real pain but also recognizing how goofy it can feel to put all that out there. White Rope celebrated the release of their new album NO FUNERAL (streaming) at Alphaville on January 31st, their next show is at Ceremony224 on April 2nd. - Sunny Betz 

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Weekend Warrior, February 1 - 3

In stark contrast to the frigid force that currently occupies the outdoors, the garage-surf quartet of Blushed creates an inviting, somewhat humid, melodic atmosphere – one that sinks into your skin like the breeze off the water as the temperature rises. There’s a tranquilizing yet combustible nature, reminding you that the mesmerizing glow of the candlelight is capable of causing serious damage at any moment. Tonight at the Music Ward, they’ll be joined by the garage-psych torrent of Line Leader. Welding emotively-laced lyrics and also exhibiting a carefree side, Canine 10 is enthusiastically engaging, while the tumultuous, jangly-emotive, surf-rock haze of Asbury Park trio Dentist completes this lineup. (Photo by BigHitzz Enetertainment) – Michael Colavita 

Other places where you can wait out the polar vortex this weekend…

The Music Ward (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Blushed, Line Leader, Canine 10, SAT Native Maze

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SUN DJ Baby Berlin

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) SAT Thin Lips, Grace Vonderkuhn, Trash Boy

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Big Stall, Effusion 35/DJ Deejay, SAT RunHideFight, The Improbables/DJs Mike Shaffer & Skeleton Lipstick, SUN Cancer Priest

Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) FRI FRI Subtronics

The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) FRI Pig Iron Theatre’s Annual Benefit Cabaret, SAT Sixteen Jackies, Petunia 

The Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal St.) SAT G. Love & Special Sauce

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Conjunto Philadelphia/(Downstairs) Osler Circle Presents a Benefit for Children’s Hospital, SAT (Upstairs) Max Swain

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Presidential Top Knot, Overcoming Gravity, Delmont, Andrew Loper & the Only Memories, SAT Absinthe Father, Snowhore, No Stranger/Hashgrinder, Fucksake

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Joe Jordan Benefit Concert: Rockers Galore, Boy Wonder, Lamont Caldwell, SAT Ill Fated Natives, Local Smokes

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) SAT The Bigness, The Nielsen Family Band, Wax Wav

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) FRI Rebel Foster, DJ Emynd, Bo Bliz, SAT Making Time

Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Taylor Kelly, Dot.gov

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) SUN Osagie, Alex Burkat, Billa, Paul Jones

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Joe Kenney, SUN Rusty Cadillac 

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Sonny Knockout, Whiskey Effect, SAT Endless Taile, 7th Victim, The Plibmen, SUN Voss, 610 Smoke, Dell-P

Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) SUN Johnny Action Figure, Here/Now

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.)  FRI DJ Chris Urban, SAT Ed Christof

The Tusk (430 South St.) FRI Jukebox Zeros, The Justines, SAT Decontrol, The Tone Bandits, Under 95

Century (1350 S. 29th St.) FRI Hivelords, SAT Backwoods Payback, Decap Attak, Buzzherd, Dour

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Somarai, American Dinosaur, Mission of Mind, Angus Road, SAT Naps Past Noon, Hootsie, No Mere Machine, Blackjack Rose

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Jah People, Big Mind, Solomonic Sound, Jah T Junior, SAT Maximus Animae Musicae

Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) SAT Coping Skills, Everywhen, Corey Flood

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI Sad Sinderella, Fox Memorial, Blame Jakob

No Face Studios (5213 Grays Ave.) SAT Pinwheel, Glassleaf

Horrorland (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT My Name Is Tom, COMPs





The Deli Philly’s February Record of the Month: Out of the Ether - Writhing Squares

As January jogged towards its bitter cold conclusion, Out of the Ether, the sophomore album from the duo of Kevin Nickles (Ecstatic VisionTaiwan Housing Project) and Daniel Provenzano (Purling HissSpacin’), a.k.a. Writhing Squares, was released via Chicago’s Trouble In Mind Records.

As if announcing their arrival by knocking on the door, “Dirt In My Mind’s Eye” percussively taps and thuds, giving way to a backend pulse that expands to a rugged, spacey riff, accentuated with time-traveling keys, cut through by a saxophone run, pathing the way to the existential question: “You ask why I’m here.” Thumping bass continuously closes in on the destination. However, while the distant seemingly shrinks, there’s an infinite perspective as the points of perspective alter.

“Steely Eyed Missile Man” jumps in at full sprint; with a warping, halo effect, the saxophone and bass weave in and out, creating an offset relationship. The bass races forward, and then the horn reacts, building a dynamic that appears to synch into place at times, yet independently explore at others. The vocals seem to clear a way, amid the full-speed-ahead chaos. Shreds of sax propelled by the adrenaline of bass hypnotically blast, engraving the atmosphere, before the reverberating rattle and groove of “Bloodborne Hate and Black Book Mass” sets the stage for the high octane slap. The vocals stream in as if from a distance – high above in the sky. When those words match the rhythmic push, a hypnotic heaviness – one that presents in waves, whose haze lifts as the saxophone tears away temporarily, seeking its own lane. 

With “I Turned to the Mirror,” a muscular funk line walks in as percussion and bass breathe and stomp. Philosophical lyrics rain down in bewitching prophecy as the marching backend etches a line that the flute starts down and then veers off, counterbalancing the established thrust with a lighter air. It’s as if an alluring cauldron illuminates the darkness, and one’s reflection emerges.

The EP concludes with the epic, heart-racing sojourn of “A Whole New Jupiter,” one which gradually rockets into focus as you safely harness yourself in for the long haul. The horn tangentially plays off the endless motor. Next, the bass takes the lead, ping-ponging off interior walls in a distorted-echo transmission, before stepping back as the saxophone tags in, blazing a trail with the rhythms hot on its heels, screaming into the endless void. The celestial train relentlessly chugs towards its final destination, navigating unforeseen obstacles in a free-jazz meets psych-rock form. – Michael Colavita





Castlebeat's “VHS” is a summery, nostalgic trip, plays Elsewhere 2.3

Josh Hwang started recording the songs that would become his second LP while living in Irvine, California, adding the final touches once he had finished relocating to New York. While a small factotum in the album’s liner notes, it helps to explain the nostalgia-laden, dreamy elements that characterize VHS, the most recent record Hwang has released under the CASTLEBEAT moniker. The album’s surfy, occasionally psychedelic garage rock is filtered through lofi production stylings and dream pop filters, creating a palpable distance that endows VHS with a sense of pleasant, albeit faded, memory. It’s a release that encapsulates the passage of time succinctly, with Hwang’s present tense lyricism contextualized by the lush, shoegazy instrumentation that surrounds it, a bittersweet LP for anyone who has sought a new start in a place far from home.

Castlebeat will play Elsewhere on February 3rd, alongside Hala and Been Stellar. Stream VHS below. -Connor Beckett McInerney (@b_ck_tt

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New Track: "She's a Gun" - Godcaster

“She’s a Gun,” the new single from Godcaster, plants itself in a funky-glam space. The ticking of keys creates an anticipatory feel. However, it sits back in a groove, momentarily lapsing in a chase before falling back into its casual surroundings; then gets wild again. It has an eccentric, experimental aesthetic, meshing the strange with a shake-your-hips sentiment. Within a single lyrical line, a lot of territory is traversed.

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