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Psych

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Psych Rock band we dig: BIRDS - live at Union Pool on 10.09

With a name bound to trigger confusion (not only with a similarly named bands from the '60s... check out this Spotify profile!), Brooklyn's Birds channel a sound more than slightly influenced by the imaginative '90s psych rock of The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev, bands that for truly incomprehensible reasons have been left behind in the recent '90s rock revival (for the unaware, at the time The Flaming Lips were a different band than they are now). The crooked distorted sliding guitars and bizarre vocal melodies of tracks like Fade (streaming) or Behind You immediately brought smiles to our faces, sending us on a mental journey back to our vynil filled early twenties. If it's true that all new music is a re-elaboration of music of the past (and true it is) Birds can enjoy the advantage of a sound influenced by great records not many other current emerging bands seem fond of. And that's one reason why we are so excited about them. Check them out live at Union Pool on October 9th.

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Hey Anna plays Mercury on 9.24, tours with The Boxer Rebellion in the fall

Can’t say goodbye to the warm summer breeze and cool ocean waves? Just put on those headphones and turn up Run Koko, Hey Anna’s sunny, nostalgic indie-pop album from 2015. In just a few seconds, a reverb-drenched guitar will open up the sky, spacey synths will sparkle like sun on waves, drums and bass will paint the horizon with a delicate, eclectic groove, and dreamy mezzo vocals will flux and flow like the sea - and if you need help visualizing that look no further than the video for opening track "Island." We are streaming below their darker one (and set in a more familiar city environment) for shoegazy single 'Anaphaze.". Get a taste of the band's soothing soundscape on September 24 at the Mercury Lounge, before they sail off on a three week, fall US tour with The Boxer Rebellion.

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Emily Reo takes her playful "Rainbow Pop" to Baby's All Right on 10.06

Some of the most imaginative music is created when musical instruments are treated like toys, rather than serious objects that require a lot of practicing to be mastered, implying that conventional instrumental technique might actually harness creativity. If that's the philosophical premise of punk and post punk, since the late '90s the DIY movement has been slowly extending its influence to other musical genres. NYC songwriter and programmer Emily Reo seem to share this approach, crafting whimsical pop songs based on simple but carefully chosen programmed sounds and drum beats, and featuring melodic vocals that, more often than not, are filtered through electronic harmonizers. The result is rather peculiar: her music is playful and ethereal to the point of sounding almost abstract - so much so that we are tempted to label it "Rainbow Pop."
Even though Reo hasn't released any new material in three years, she'll have a rather prestigious show at Baby's All Right on October 6th. Check out the video for aptly named single 'Rainbow Road.'

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NAH Opening for Mykki Blanco at PhilaMOCA Sept. 15

Menacing, bombastic beats that authoritatively engulf their surroundings, shifting the dial in a raw-real street style that hits now while pointing toward the future, NAH smacks with sonics. While percussion consistently asserts its presence, atmosphere-altering, electronic sequences illustrate the morphing, combative setting in which this music resides. Simultaneously meshing dark, dramatic structures with dance grooves tying in a sense of torment with vocal aggression, the results are an ear-popping, edgy, experimental brand of hip-hop. Tonight at PhilaMOCA, he lays the groundwork, at this R5-presented show, for Mykki Blanco, whose debut solo album Mykki will be released tomorrow. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., $15, 8:30pm, All Ages (Photo by Gabe Coffey) - Michael Colavita

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SUN K - TORONTO URBAN ROOTS FESTIVAL 2016

This weekend at Fort York is the Toronto Urban Roots Festival! Along with my some of my favorites Matt Mays, The Sheepdogs, The Sadies and Corb Lund is a local band from right here in Toronto creating a big buzz these days. Sun K consists of 5 talented musicians, most of whom play multiple instruments on their tunes. Influenced by the likes of Neil Young and The Band they have major roots influence in their rock n roll. Whether you wanna get messy on a Friday night or take it easy drivin' home on Sunday Sun K will have a tune for you. They play TURF on Sunday at 2:10 on the Battle of York Stage. - Kris Gies

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