WARM DRAG As Warm Drag, Los Angeles’ Paul Quattrone and Vashti Windish blend their garage rock roots with a record store’s worth of influences — including dub, hip-hop, harsh noise, and minimal synth — into a sexy, subterranean sound on releases such as their 2018 self-titled debut album. Quattrone, a drummer for Thee Oh Sees and a former member of !!!, reconnected with Windish, a vocalist formerly of Golden Triangle and K-Holes, by chance in Los Angeles. The pair soon began mixing her commanding vocals with his sampling skills, and Warm Drag were born. After spending some time gigging and DJ’ing around the city, in August 2018 the duo released Warm Drag on In the Red. LADY HD Based in Philadelphia, Lady HD is a Funk and Psych/Soul band conceived by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ciaran Wall. Originally a collaboration with LA producer, Dusty Moon, the band has taken on a life of its own. With Ciaran at the helm – alongside an incredible team at a local recording studio, Kawari Sound – he has spent months writing and recording. Alas, “La Chifa” is born a 2 Part Release. Not only is that the name of the newest EP to be dropped in early December, it is also the embodiment of musical elements of this project that include dashes of 70’s Philadelphia Soul and Funk, psychedelic soundscapes, and growling guitar tones. A once pop-heavy, production focused direction has shifted into an earthy mix of Philly soul, distortion and Hispanic polyrhythms. Brought up in an Hispanic home, the music derives stylistically from his Latin, Peruvian roots. With a live performance not to be missed, Lady HD is making some noise in the Philadelphia Music Scene. ALL SHOWS AT DOLPHIN TAVERN ARE 21+
RACHEL ANGEL Voted best songwriter of 2021 by Miami New Times, Rachel Angel’s music straddles the elusive line between alt-country and rock; synthesizing the nostalgia of the classics with a modern sound that is playful, heartfelt, and sincere. A Miami native, Rachel’s travels have taken her around the world and back again. Personal roadblocks obscured the way; embattled by emotional and spiritual hardships, she reckoned with an inner angst, finding home and equilibrium within herself. Through changing landscapes and behind moving windows, she began to see the value of the tried and true saying, “wherever you go, there you are.” Angel just released her first LP, Midnite Heart Attack (9/9 on Ruzafa Records) after a string of EP’s and tours. DEPRESSION, MOM Depression, Mom is a band from Philadelphia formed in 2020 by singer songwriter Madalean Gauze. The band draws inspiration from The Virgin Suicides and Girl, Interrupted. The band consists of Adam Shumski (Vita and the Woolf/ The Lunar Year) and Ali Dundovic (The Madalean Gauze Band). Depression, Mom released their self titled EP with Nick Krill in March 2022. The album channeled music from the 1950’s, specifically The Lawrence Welk Show, The Ronettes and Bing Crosby. ALL SHOWS AT DOLPHIN TAVERN ARE 21+
ANOTHER MICHAEL For Another Michael, it all boils down to trust. In mid-2017, the critically acclaimed indie three-piece packed their bags and collectively relocated from Albany, NY to a shared house in West Philadelphia. This move signaled not only the start of a new chapter for the trio, but also a deepening of the bonds that would come to define their captivating debut LP, ‘New Music and Big Pop.’ “It’s hard for a group of people to get closer than living together,” says bassist and producer Nick Sebastiano. “The stronger our connection grew, the more it shaped the music we found ourselves making.” It should come as little surprise, then, that ‘New Music and Big Pop’ is Another Michael’s most collaborative work yet. Recorded in a small A-frame house-turned-makeshift studio outside Ferndale, NY, the record finds the trio pushing their sound in a dreamier, more folk-influenced direction, building songs around vulnerable, intimate performances using an ethereal palette of breezy guitars, subtle keyboards, and layered harmonies. As on the band’s early EPs, singer and songwriter Michael Doherty’s mesmerizing voice is front and center here, calling to mind Robin Pecknold or Ben Bridwell in its reedy, crystalline timbre, but it feels more at home than ever before amidst the album’s lush, Technicolor landscape, which the band partnered with producer and fellow housemate Scoops Dardaris to create. The result is a masterfully understated record that belies its status as a full-length debut, a thoughtful, poetic, collection all about growth and change, hope and faith, endings and beginnings, delivered by a band that’s only just begun to scratch the surface of their story. STRING MACHINE The music of String Machine is rapturous and inviting. You’ll find an undeniable magic within each note, a palpable energy owed in part to its creative process. Hallelujah Hell Yeah (released February 25th, 2022) is an album of joy, vulnerability, and forgiveness. Through this inventive indie rock, seven friends manage to transport you to the bedrooms, basements, and home studios in which this was all created, conceptualized, and recorded. This recording is the band’s representation of what it means to be grateful that one is alive, regardless of whether that carpe diem spirit is sourced in optimism (“Hallelujah!”) or nihilism (“Hell Yeah!”). It’s a powerful statement that rings especially poignant in such uncertain times. The former solo project of vocalist and guitarist David Beck, String Machine was created when Beck enlisted a number of friends to help create his musical vision. The group, now seven members — Beck (he/him), Laurel Wain (she/her), Nic Temple (he/him), Katie Morrow (she/her), Ian Compton (he/him), Dylan Kersten (he/him), and Chris Beaulieu (he/him). String Machine isn’t shy about sharing their heart with you, and that confessional spirit continues on Hallelujah Hell Yeah. “The album was inspired by moments of dealing with anxiety surrounding a lot of personal stuff. Usually, my instinct when anxious is to keep myself busy. Writing songs was the middle ground where I could solve inner-turmoils while feeling productive,” Beck said. ALL SHOWS AT DOLPHIN TAVERN ARE 21+
THE DISTRICTS Great American Painting, the fifth full-length from The Districts, is the rare album that shines a bright light on all that’s wrong in the world but somehow still channels a galvanizing sense of hope. With equal parts nuanced observation and raw outpouring of feeling, the Philadelphia-based band confront a constellation of problems eroding the American ideal (gentrification, gun violence, the crushing weight of late capitalism), ornamenting every track with their explosive yet elegant breed of indie-rock/post-punk. Threading that commentary with intense self-reflection, Great American Painting ultimately fulfills a mission The Districts first embraced upon forming as teenagers in small-town Pennsylvania: an urge to create undeniably cathartic music that obliterates hopelessness and invites their audience along in dreaming up a far better future. Produced by Joe Chiccarelli (Spoon, The Strokes, Broken Social Scene) and recorded at the legendary Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, Great American Painting was deeply informed by the two months that Districts vocalist/guitarist Rob Grote spent living in a cabin in Washington state at the height of the pandemic. “While we were there I spent some time driving near all these crazy rivers and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and I was mesmerized by how those unspoiled landscapes really capture a timeless idea of what America is,” says Grote. “I’d just come from taking part in the protests in Philly and getting tear-gassed, and it felt so strange to go between those two extremes. In a way this album is asking, ‘What is the great American painting? Is it police brutality, or is it this beautiful landscape?’ And the truth is it’s all of that.” On “I Want to Feel It All”—the album’s anthemic lead single—The Districts reveal the pure impact of that approach, building a potent tension between the track’s propulsive drumming, percussive vocal delivery, and gorgeously shimmering textures. The song, at turns jittery and ecstatic, was sparked from an acid trip that took place under a volcano near Grote’s cabin. “In Washington I didn’t see much of anyone except our neighbor Paul, who’s a 74-year-old Vietnam vet,” he recalls. “After he came back from Vietnam he started protesting the war, and it was so interesting to talk with him about everything he went through. The night that we did acid, it felt like I was looking at a future version of myself and he was hanging out with a younger version of himself. That song came from really feeling the weight of my mortality, and feeling a desire to fully live life and experience the widest range of it.” FLORRYFlorry is a 7-piece country rock band from Philadelphia led by Francie Medosch. They play songs about staying alive, loving, persevering, and having too good of a time, bursting at the seams sonically with a fully rounded out sound akin to the Rolling Thunder Revue.
THE RED PEARS The Red Pears’ founding members, Henry Vargas (vocals and guitar) and Jose Corona (drums), draw their sound from the spectrum between the early 2000s New York indie rock scene and grunge to the cumbia and corridos that soundtracked their childhoods in El Monte, a sleepy suburban town just east of Los Angeles. After cycling through an assortment of lineups, mutual friend and bassist Patrick Juarez stayed on and expanded their operation. Now a solid three-piece band, these emerging alt-rockers, have come a long way from meeting at a local Battle of the Bands, practicing in their garages, and naming themselves after their favorite color and a pun on the word “pair”— a subtle nod to sonic inspirations The White Stripes and The Black Keys. BENCHES Benches (fka Ignant Benches) formed in 2014 by 8th grade Anson Kelly and his classmates. After a few lineups, the band now consists of frontman Anson Kelly (vocals/rhythm guitar), Evan Jeda (lead guitar), Charlie Baird (bass), and Ethan Bowers (drums). The group’s sound has gradually developed from strict garage rock/post-punk in their earlier years to a more experimental alternative rock direction as seen in latest release “Vandalism EP”, all under an indie rock guise. ALL SHOWS AT DOLPHIN TAVERN ARE 21+
Philly Music Fest and Philly Independent Productions presents Cosmic Guilt and Peter Matthew Bauer for the festival’s first annual Industry Kick Off Party at Concourse Live! PMF will be supplying 150 complimentary tickets to all industry workers including musicians, managers, production and venue workers, agents, and anyone else who works in the music industry.
THE OUT SECT https://theoutsect.bandcamp.com The members of The Out-Sect all met while living in a Philadelphia junkyard. On weekends, they would gather to drink beers inside a broken down 1982 GMC Caballero with a copy of Back From The Grave stuck in the car’s cassette player. Instantly being drawn to the trashy sounds of those pimple-faced mid-60s punks, they figured they could write a song half as good as any of them. And that’s just what they did! Using instruments they, quite literally, found in the trash, the band has managed to write a handful of deranged “songs” that will leave you asking yourself “What is that smell?” and “Dear god, can they just stop playing!?” LOW SPIRITS https://thelowspiritsband.bandcamp.com The Low Spirits formed out of the ashes of three groups from Rochester, NY. Their musical vision borders on a strictly dark and moody 1966 sound, which they have managed to conquer on both sides of their first single release here. The “A” side, “Gonna Make You Cry” has a menacing Painted Ship “Frustration” vibe and could easily fit within the Michigan-based Fenton Records catalogue. The flipside, “Shadows Of Your Mind” has that same cryptic Fenton vibe with ominous “I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time” overtones. If these two numbers are any indication of the shape of things to come, this unit is a force to be reckoned with. — Greg Prevost, Rochester, New York, January 2021 PRIMITIVE FINKS https://theprimitivefinks.bandcamp.com/ It has been said that The Primitive Finks were summoned from their chambers somewhere off eastern shores to take a journey to strange, unearthly places. On various stages The Primitive Finks subject innocent bystanders to blasphemous, unimaginable horrors. Watch in fear as they savagely strum the strings of guitars, and torture the skins of voodoo drums. This combination of nauseating sounds can cause some audience members to shake and gyrate uncontrollably. Some may even perform ancient dances from a decadent era known as the nineteen sixties. When you see and hear The Primitive Finks, prepare yourself for thrills and chills. You’ve been warned… DJ JEM AND PARALLAX SPINNING ALL NIGHT AFTER THE SHOW!
LANGAN, FROST AND WANE THE EXPLORERS CLUB “The Explorers Club…falls in the quintessential style of rich vocal harmonies and detailed arrangements made popular by The Beach Boys over 50 years ago. The band approaches sun washed California surf pop in a similar vein to how NRBQ approached pop, rockabilly and jazz.” Glide Magazine The Explorers Club are American pop rock at its best, originating from the coast of South Carolina. They feature a rotating cast of musicians, led by Jason Brewer. Their music of is heavily influenced by the vocal harmony styles and production of The Beach Boys. and they are also influenced by classic rock and roll arrangements as made popular by The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Phil Spector, The Zombies, The Monkees and The Byrds. Their sound has grown to include soft-pop artists of the early 1970s such as Burt Bacharach and Glen Campbell and Carolina / southern beach soul music of the late 60s. If you still believe “they don’t make music like they used to,” you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see The Explorers Club live! ALL SHOWS AT DOLPHIN TAVERN ARE 21+
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH Few artists remain as consistently brilliant and inventive after twenty years of music; fewer still managed to do it on their own terms, refusing to compromise or dilute their vision. Alec Ounsworth has never let anything come between him and his art, a testament to his dedication, drive, and talent. Through all the highs and the lows, he’s remained creatively fulfilled, pursuing the noble goal of playing honest, heartfelt music to an appreciative audience, regardless of how big or small that may be. He might not have enjoyed the “security” or financial windfall granted to some of his peers, but that inscription – and the coin toss – granted him something more important: autonomy, and independence. Over the last twenty years, Ounsworth has made the most of both.
AUTOMATIC With their second album ‘Excess’, Automatic — Izzy Glaudini (synths, lead vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals) and Halle Saxon-Gaines (bass) — synthesizes a new strain of retrofuturist motorik pop. It’s often said yesterday’s science fiction reads like today’s grim reality. On their new album ‘Excess,’ Automatic channel both. The LA trio’s second album for Stones Throw rides the imaginary edge where the ‘70s underground met the corporate culture of the ‘80s; or, as the band puts it, “That fleeting moment when what was once cool quickly turned and became mainstream all for the sake of consumerism.” Using this point in time as a lens through which to view the present, Automatic takes aim at corporate culture and extravagance, weaving deadpan critiques into cold wave hooks. The album’s overarching themes of alienation and escapism emerged as Automatic wrote ‘Excess’ together, fleshing out songs before decamping to the studio for sprint recording sessions with producer Joo Joo Ashworth (Sasami, FROTH). On “New Beginning”, they reject the false hope of leaving behind a scorched planet in search of “a better place”, at a moment when the ultra-rich are eyeing manned space travel: “In the service of desire / We will travel far away”. Imagining the “nihilism and loneliness” of attempting to escape the planet once unchecked consumerism has reached its logical conclusion, the song pictures being “stranded in a space-void with no connection to Earth or humanity.” ALL SHOWS AT DOLPHIN TAVERN ARE 21+