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New Sandcastle EP Available for Streaming & Download

Emerald is the latest enchanting EP installment from Sandcastle. Warping vocals encircle in a heady simplicity. A timeless minstrel tone meshes with modern twists and turns, creating an imaginative hybrid. Bending genres (even mid-song), the band creates a sound that continuously shifts and resonates.

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New Hotel Neon LP Available for Streaming & Purchase

Means of Knowing is the latest album from ambient trio Hotel Neon. Calming reverberation penetrate the mind as the tug of tension gently fades away. Rid yourself of the weight of your daily routine, and allow things to come into clear view. This Saturday, June 9 at Kung Fu Necktie, Hotel Neon is slated on a bill that will also include fellow sound experimenters Naps and Christopher Tignor.

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Weekend Warrior, June 1 -3

Grandchildren cultivates an adventurous, adrenaline rush of complex compositions. A marriage of intricately spun instrumentation comes at you in waves of precision. Those bright buoyant tones innately shimmer and groove, accenting infectious melodies that feel time-tested, while simultaneously exhibiting a refreshing innovation. Tonight at the Sound Hole, they’ll also be joined by the garage-pop quintet of The Vernes, whom have a new record on the way, and the laidback yet upbeat dream pop of Americanadian.

Oh - by the way, speaking of marriage, Grandchildren will be participating in West Philly Porchfest tomorrow as well. Their performance will also be doubling as an engagement party of sorts. Grandchildren mastermind and all-around good guy Aleks Martray and the band’s newest member, songbird Shari Amanda, would like to celebrate their recent good news with everyone, so come out and feel free to share in the love HERE! – Michael Colavita

A lot more things to do this weekend…

The Sound Hole (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Grandchildren, The Vernes, Americanadian, SAT Taiwan Housing Project

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI RunHideFight, Control Top

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Vermilion/River Bones Band (EP Release), Wanamaker Lewis/DJ Deejay, SAT Violent Society, Atomic Cretins/Statesmen/DJ LittleSpaceyy & Andrew Hagiwara/DJ Baby Berlin and Jem 

PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) SAT The Superweaks, SUN Boon, Breathing

Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) FRI Pissed Jeans, SUN Japanese Breakfast, Radiator Hospital

The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SUN Richards Rock Fest IV

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Conjunto/DJ Shaun Klassic, SAT Valerie West, Earth7, Somerville Band, The Mojo Machine

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Badnew, The PLIBmen, SAT Zombieshark

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Tioga, SAT Lightning Jones, Peace & The City Grease, SUN Nik Greeley

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Faking, Tiny Vices, Helen Back, SAT Don Babylon, Wild Dust, SUN Lisa Chosed

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) FRI DJ Emynd, Bo Bliz, Wassup Gina, SAT The Bachelorettes/The Dull Blue Lights

Bourbon & Branch(705 N. 2ndSt.) FRI Tiger Castle, Ntive Flora, SAT BetterDucks

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI DJ Dav, Reed Streets

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SUN Rusty Cadillac

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) SAT Ben & Dima, Scott Ratinoff, Ami Elinich, Nicklas Hughes, Katie Barbato, Alec Stewart

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) SUN Murder’s a Drag! A True Crime Drag Show

Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Activate, SUN Summer BreakOut

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Anthony Michael, SAT Von Roz, Adventure Lost

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Solomonic Sound System, SAT The Sermon

Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) SAT Open City, Luxe , Greg Electric

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI Sushi From The Future, SAT Lamplighters, Brandish/Douse, Canine 10, SUN Paul Harrold, Andrew Victor

Tralfamadore (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SUN Brother Nino, Gracie Martin, Dani In Public

JJ’s Diner (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Major Pursuit (Record Release), Sinceres, Highnoon

Planet Phitness (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Friendship, Habitat 67, Sadurn

All Nite Diner (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Caracara, Grayling, Who Loves You

Tundra Dome (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI The Cavemen, Dolly

The Bath House (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI So Totally, Coping Skills

West Philly Porchfest (Various Locations) SAT Various Artists

Festival Pier (601 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.) SAT Roots Picnic: The Roots, Black Thought, Lil Uzi Vert

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The Deli Philly’s June Record of the Month: Movie Was Bad/Mascula – Sixteen Jackies

Glam quartet Sixteen Jackies’ new double-EP release, featuring the reissue of 2017’s Movie Was Bad and their latest Mascula, is out now via Philly’s own Born Losers Records. Both collections of recordings are cinematic from the start, with the latter finding focus on “American masculinity and the layers of violence that lie underneath its surface – the causes and the effects of that violence.”

However, Movie Was Bad opens with an atmospheric and melodic nonchalance, allowing its first track, “You Came,” to slowly ease into a smooth yet urgent narrative that’s unafraid of grappling with the dissonance of human desire and intimacy. With patient riffs and a tempo reminiscent of bossa nova and a sun-soaked shoreline, frontman Joey DeMarco croons, “I could be a beauty, I could be a diamond in your ear” with such earnest diction that it becomes a swoon-ready reflection of romance and its simultaneous potential to heal and cause harm. Visceral, yet tender, “You Came” is as dreamy as it is honest.

The EP's second offering, “VHS #1 (A Body),” is part of a series of recordings, inspired by classic horror films, and is equally arresting. Unrushed and evocative of its namesake, its bassline and looped guitar licks cast a spell on its listener. As the track progresses, its melody volleys between being openly and covertly brooding. Whether dramatic or understated, its lyricism feels visual. Ending with eerie, buzzing static and laughter, Sixteen Jackies’ homage to film and analog becomes a metaphor for postmodern identity and how we document what denies or defines who we are. It morphs into the album’s title track, an infectiously dance-y anthem, infused with audacious vibrance and playful bravado. Stitching together an electrifying backbeat with the tongue-in-cheek chorus of “I was so high,” “Movie Was Bad” is undeniably memorable and charismatic.

In contrast, the beginning of “Blood Feast” is subtle and soft, which creates a satisfying juxtaposition between the track's title and its emotional interior. The recording presents itself as a disillusioned love song, with light at its center. Sleigh bells and the tempered swell of guitar lead to determined confessions like "I won't ever, ever have to be lonely, no not again." Soulful rather than showy, “Blood Feast” is a pragmatic ode to affection. The EP's end, “In Here,” blooms at an instant, enveloping its audience through oscillating assonance and strategic wisps of snare. As DeMarco sings, “I believe in innocence and I believe in losing it, but I believe in keeping it too,” it becomes clear that the album’s closer is the crystallized thesis of the EP’s narrative. Optimistic without being naïve, Movie Was Bad’s final moments offer an antidote to apathy in a world where it’s so easy to be numb. Revisiting the Sixteen Jackies’ earlier gems will implore you to feel without apprehension.

Similarly so, the Philly four-piece’s latest EP Mascula is a timely reprieve from the reality of 2018. The steady beat and echoed vocals of “Little Duke” are visceral, gritty, and full of just enough swagger that each chord and lyric presents itself as a two-fold plea and proclamation. Its conceit is concise yet effective. “Power” sprouts from the rhythmic shake of maracas, steady bass, and lush reverb. "I've got a lot of problems with the state I'm in" – the vulnerability of the track becomes transparent, making it a satisfyingly frank hymn of unabashed authenticity. Its diction and instrumentive delivery is raw and filled with yearning. Its self-awareness is unblinking in a way that will make you question how honest you are with yourself. While “Open the Door” remains equally sincere, here, DeMarco's voice rises and falls seamlessly with the soothing cool of the song’s harmony, embedding each note deeper into the heart of its audience.

"Out There" is a surf-drenched and ingeniously candid monument to the self. Whether political or personal, it examines the dangers of conformity. When DeMarco urges, "I'll never be like you," the track becomes a call to arms that feels deeply personal but universal. However, you interpret it; this ballad is a reminder of the value of boundaries. Delectably volatile “Virgin Burning" sinks its teeth into its listener without warning. Like a lover's spat or an imagined dialogue with a spiteful ex, the song is the perfect storm of frustration, anger, and longing. Like its predecessor, “Virgin Burning” is easily relatable.

Closing out this snapshot of the band’s recorded history, the earliest seconds of “VHS #2 (Masks)” are haunting and quickly become an unbridled portrait of the American soul. Pulling images from cult classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it honors the beauty and the horror of what it is to be human. The song scratches away the veneer of a singular narrative; instead, it suggests that who and what we are is two-fold and that we are made of contradictions.

Paired with 2017’s Movie Was Bad, Sixteen Jackies’ Mascula is gratifying in an unpredictable way. Best when enjoyed together, both EPs should definitely be listened to more than once, especially during sunset, with a cool drink and your cell phone turned off. – Dianca London

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Ticket Giveaway: Parquet Courts & Goat Girl at Union Transfer Next Friday

Parquet Courts just released a rad new album, Wide Awake!, which was produced by Brian Burton, a.k.a. Danger Mouse, and is out now via Rough Trade. The quartet is currently in the middle of its North American tour with British lablemates Goat Girl, and they'll be bringing their sweet, retro, rock grooves to Philly next Friday, June 8 at Union Transfer. To enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets, just send an email to thedelimagazinephiladelphia@gmail.com with the subject line: "Play Freebird II!" Please also include your cell number in the body of the message (in case of an emergency). Good luck!

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