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The Swimmers Can Do More Than the Doggy Paddle at JB’s April 3

Philly quartet The Swimmers’ upbeat pop debut, Fighting Trees, was enough to warrant some local fame. With last November’s People Are Soft, singer-songwriter Steve Yutzy-Burkey and fellow bandmates changed directions and crafted a laid back LP heavily influenced by 80’s New Wave. From the echoed and uttered intro of “Save Me (From the Brightness)” to the atmospheric swell of “The Bells,” The Swimmers songs are magnetically sweeping and equally moving. The energized handclaps of “Give Me Sun” drips with undertones of early Spoon (circa Girls Can Tell) with vocals fashioned after New Wavers like Toni Basil and Gary Newman with a splash of Arcade Fire’s Win Butler. A terribly fun track, “Give Me Sun” competes with the buzzing shred of “Drug Party”, making the most of humming riffs and quintessential tambourine. As catchy as Girls’ Lust For Life but with a higher grade of maturity and skill, The Swimmers’ sound, much like our current weather, is warm, exciting, and rare.  Catch ‘em tonight with BC Camplight, whom you maybe seeing for the last time, and Le Fits at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave, 9pm, $10, 21+ myspace.com/helloswimmers - Dianca Potts

 

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Weekend Warrior, April 2 - 4

Our Best of Philly Poll Winner, Reading Rainbow will be playing an early R5 show this Saturday at The Barbary with LA’s Best Coast and local lo-fi psychedelic dream pop outfit Creepoid before all the hip kids chug their Sparks (is that stuff still legal?) and take over the dance floor. Rob and Sarah should have plenty of new material for you after braving one of those ridiculous snowstorms to lay down 12 tracks at the studio of their pals Eternal Summer in Virginia, but they are very happy with how the recordings turned out. We’re all very excited that Reading Rainbow will be headlining The Deli’s Best of Philly Showcase at Pilam on Saturday, April 24th with Grandchildren and Levee Driver! The Barbary, 951 N. Frankford Ave., 7pm, $10, All Ages (Photo by Justin Roman) myspace.com/levarmotherfuckingburton
 
We know that you’d rather be outdoors this weekend, but most of the alcohol and music are inside one of these places…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI The Spinning Leaves, Oso, Toy Soldiers, SAT BC Camplight and The Swimmers
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Wes Mattheu & The New Way Down
 
M Room (12 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Gentlemen Christ, SAT Sonic Spank
 
The Khyber (56 S. 2nd St.) FRI Big Terrible, Surgeon, The Rowdies
 
Blockley Pourhouse (3801 Chestnut St.) FRI High Kick Album Release Show
 
Danger Danger Gallery (5013 Baltimore Ave.) FRI The Chickens
 
Millcreek Tavern (4200 Chester Ave.) FRI Cleric
 
JR's Bar (2327 S. Croskey St.) FRI Hulk Smash and Fuck Attack
 
Germ Books (2005 Frankford Ave.) FRI Radio Eris
 
Pterodactyl (3237 Amber St.) SAT Supergoose, The Josh and Pete Band, Steve Goldberg & the Arch Enemies
 
Club Polaris (460 N. 9th St.) SAT Major Lazer
 

 

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Major Lazer SOLD OUT at Club Polaris April 2

BYAP! BYAP! MAJA LAZA BE IN DI HOUSE TONIGHT BYAP! BYAP! Philly’s own Diplo teamed up last year with English fidget house DJ Switch to create what is known as Major Lazer. Major Lazer is the Jamaican commando with a laser arm, and I presume that their debut album Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do is the soundtrack that follows this guy around. Diplo’s production is evident as he forays into grimy, dub-step freak-outs that leave the listener comfortably unhinged. Most likely they will bring along hypeman/pervert Skerrit Bwoy and professional rump shaker Mimi. If you can get yourself into this sold out show, you will be sure to leave with some item of clothing missing, in a good way. Also on the bill is bombastic duo Sleigh Bells. Their jagged guitar riffs and heavy electronic blasts alongside singer Alexis Krauss’ ferocious voice prove their hype every song. Fellow Dubstepper Rusko will be filling out the bill. Club Polaris, 460 N. 9th St., 9pm, SOLD OUT, All Ages myspace.com/majorlazer - Adam G.

 

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The Spinning Leaves Whirl into JB’s April 2

Since Barbara Gettes and Michael Baker first met in 2006, they’ve crafted a sound that can seamlessly be sewn into the proud tradition of American music which they’d humbly give credit to the assortment of 50+ musicians that they have worked with on their recordings. But at the forefront, you’ll find Michael the Baker’s heartfelt achy rasp and B the Leaf’s charming lilt playfully circling each other. However, they are excited about performing at Johnny Brenda’s tonight with their full band. Also on the bill with The Spinning Leaves are Oso, whose debut The Bellringer was one of my local faves last year. They’re already preparing to release a second album. Newly added to the lineup are Toy Soldiers who will surely have their army of Temple boppers hitting the dance floor. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ myspace.com/thespinningleaves - H.M. Kauffman

 

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April 2010
Power Animal
"People Songs
"
mp3

When I first reviewed Female Wrestler by Power Animal (a.k.a. Keith Hampson) in December 2009, I remember thinking where are those amazing tunes with the ridiculously long names that were on his MySpace. I actually felt bad that more people might not get to hear them. Well, I’m happy to see/hear that those tracks have re-emerged on Power Animal’s official debut full length People Songs released on Waaga Records, an offshoot of indie label Lefse (Neon Indian, Tape Deck Mountain). These bedroom recordings have returned more polished, but certainly have not lost any of their experimental pop goodness that makes People Songs its own unique animal among the herds of lo-fi recordings grazing on the landscape of the indie music scene. The album puts you in a dream-like state where there are plenty of moments that you find yourself happily grooving out to the strangest mixtures of polyrhythmic beats and harmonies mixed with samples, handclaps, xylophones, banjoes and anything else that might make noise. The highlight of the album for me is (take a breath) “Dear My Body, I'm Not That Body. Dear Keith Hampson I’m Not Your Name. You Are A Shaky Boat With A Curse Upon It, But I Need You To Get To The Other Side Of The Lake.”, but with other favorites like “Money/Pocket”, “All I Can Hear Are The Bees”, “Birds Have Worries Too!”, “Copernicus”, “Sometimes” - actually just hit Play Repeat All and enjoy. Fun drugs definitely recommended while listening. - Q.D. Tran - Website

 

 

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