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Deer Tick | Union Transfer | Philadelphia | November 6th

Just a little preview. More to come…

Earlier this week my article on Deer Tick was published over at That Mag. The article featured several quotes from my interview with bassist Christopher Ryan. I wasn’t able to fit the entire interview into the article so I’ve decided to share it in it’s entirety below. Check out the article I wrote here

1. Why did you choose “Negativity”, such a simple yet dark work, as the album title? 
We had written a song called “Negativity” which was intended as the title track. It didn’t end up making the cut, though we kept the name Negativity because it felt appropriate to the work that we had made. It’s a pretty derek record. The same thing actually happened with Divine Providence—it was another title track that didn’t get on the record. The song was too long.
2. With being the band’s fifth full length album, do you guys feel like you are veterans at this point?
Definitely yes and definitely no. There are parts to this job that have become very chill, very casual after years of experience. But we’re still just kids in some ways, trying to figure this whole thing out. The recordings, the live shows—we’re always trying to be better.
3. What was it like working with Steve Berlin? Did you work with anyone else in making the album?
Steve Berlin is a beautiful human being; a pleasure to be around, smart and sweet and practical. It was a natural fit for us and didn’t feel like work at all. The results show on the record, we hope.
4. When and where was it recorded?
Type Foundry in February ‘12, Audible Alchemy in February and March of ‘13, in Portland, OR. Overdubs at Playground Sound in Nashville and Level One in Austin. 
5. In listening to Negativity, each song sounds very personal and reflective. How does writing and making music help you cope?
Well, if you’re putting truth into a song you have to face that truth - and whatever feelings go with it - to be able to write about it. Hence the catharsis. That’s not why I write. The process of creation is fascinating. The catharsis is a nice side-effect.
6. What was the experience of doing a song with Vanessa Carlton like? How involved was she in the songwriting process? 
Vanessa is not only one of my favorite persons in music, but one of my favorite persons ever. She is a joy and the world is brighter for her being in it. “In Our Time” was written before Vanessa was involved with it, though her presence necessitated the changing of some of the gender phrasing in the lyrics. 
7. What pushes you to continue to make music?
It’s my vocation. I don’t have a choice. And I’m not any good at anything else. 
8. The topic of moving more towards a mature, sober touring lifestyle has been common amongst recent interviews and articles. How was this change brought up to the band? How has it played out so far?
It’s mostly about sustainability. We want to be able to make music on our own terms, not limited by our record label or our parents or our bodies. I’m not saying we don’t indulge ourselves—there is also value in that, sure—but these days we do it smarter. We drink nicer wine and have a couple beers instead of a case. We still close down the bar every night though.
9. With being no strangers to playing cover songs, what attracts you guys to continue to play them?
All the hard work is already done—we just get to play awesome songs. And we are working musicians after all. Covers are a good exercise.
10. What has been your favorite song to cover so far? Least favorite?
My least favorite is “The Boy in the Bubble” by Paul Simon. I don’t think we can do it justice, though we keep trying. My favorite cover is the October 7th issue of the The New Yorker.
11. Will we ever see Deervana go on tour? Or release an album?
I heard that band broke up. 
12. Where do you see yourself and Deer Tick a year from now?
Probably doing the same thing in the same clothes. Dennis might have a new Deer Tick shirt by then though.

The Dismemberment Plan | Union Transfer | Philadelphia | November 3rd

Can’t wait for the new Title Fight EP, Spring Songs, to come out next week? The full album is up on Pandora to stream now! Revelation Records is still taking preorders


Market East - I Walk with You

While I’m on the subject of rising bands from the Philadelphia area, I’ve been keen on this trio Kurt Cain-Walther, Max Perla, Vincent John since I first laid ears on their single Marielle" last year 

Get their Children of Summer EP on Bndcmp. Danced + color’d video directed by Ann Lupo.

Always love hearing new music from these guys! Just another example of the great music scene going on here in Philly. 

MS MR - “Dance Yrself Clean” (LCD Soundsystem)

It’s always a big task taking on one of the best songs from a truly great band but MS MR's take on LCD Soundsystem's “Dance Yrself Clean” does the original song justice. They balance a perfect mix of adding their own touch and sticking to the original song. Despite a stripped down feel, MS MR still are able to capture that quintessential build that makes the song great. However the true star of the song is singer Lizzy Plapinger's strong, powerful voice.  

Five Iron Frenzy Returns!

After a very successful Kickstarter campagin (raising over $200,000 is successful right?) back in 2011, the fruits of their labor are starting pay off. Five Iron Frenzyhas announced that their new album, the main reason they started their Kickstarter, Engine of a Million Plots will be released November 26th. Pre-orders are available now! 

Engine of a Million Plots is the band’s first album in over a decade. As they mention in the video below, they broke up before the Myspace phase even begun (old, amirght?!)

Head over to their website to pre-order a copy of Engine of a Million Plots today! And be sure to check them on tour. 

Los Campesinos! - “Avocado, Baby”

Los Campesinos! released, No Blues, their fifth full length studio album this week and with all the ruckus that the Arcade Fire have been making for their new album, it’s come in slightly under the radar. No Blues continues the progression that was heard on Hello Sadness, a push towards a more mature and complete sound from the band. 

To help shine some light on the record, Los Campesinos! have also released a video for one of the songs from the album, “Avocado, Baby”. As with most songs from the Welsh six piece, it’s a deeply lyrical song. To go along with that is an equally deep music video. Directed by Craig Roberts, star of the indie flick Submarine, the video stars lead singer Gareth Campesinos! as a 70s game-show host. The entire video was cleverly shot in one continuous tracking shot. Check out the video and trry to decipher it for yourself.

No Blues is currently out now on Witchita Records/ Turnstile Records/ Heart Swells. Pick up a copy today!  

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - “Nightwater Girlfriend”

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin are currently touring their way through the Midwest. Here’s what they do when they have free time while on tour:

Doesn’t get more awesome then that. “Nightwater Girlfriend” has been one of my favorite songs to come out this year. The album that is appears on, the newly released Fly By Wire, is not getting nearly the amount of press it deserves. Here’s to you and here’s to “Shark Tag” being recorded soon! 

Check out the rest of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin’s tour dates here

Little Big League - “My Very Own You”

It’s been a good year for music courtesy of Philadelphia. Case in point: Little Big League. In just two short years, the four piece have come from being one of the many local bands to touring the country behind a well-received debut album released on a great label. These Are Good People, the aforementioned debut album, came out on Tiny Engines Records over the summer. 

Right now they’re touring down to Fest and then making their way around the rest of this big, beautiful country. Check out the tour dates below and pick up a digital or physical copy of These Are Good People here.