Tag Archives: pop music

Daphne Lee Martin – “Moxie” Interview & Album Radio Special

In case ya didn’t read my original article, let me just go ahead and summarize, though I imagine you can probably guess where this is going since I am, in fact, setting time aside to specifically write on this again. Yes, I thorough enjoyed Daphne Lee Martin‘s Moxie, the first of twin records: Frost & Moxie. Produced by Bill Readey at Fuzzy Rainbow Production, the album even includes John Panos of Mates of State along with her full band, “Raise the Rent“. Yet these are matters I have already discussed (again, just read the original article already if you’re curious).

The real reason for this article is that Dissociative Identity Productions & WKDU Philadelphia, 91.7 fm are proud and excited to host Daphne Lee Martin at the studio, around 6:30 pm EST (assuming the dreaded ‘punk time’ does not strike) to have an interview as well as an overall Moxie album radio special. This means an hour of tracks off the album, interview and the odd assortment of conversations which come with that territory, as well as some tracks of which have proven influential to the group as a whole. Yeah, it should make for quite an interesting hour so be sure to tune in either at 91.7 fm or simply by streaming through the WKDU site (top right hand corner). See ya then and just to get ya excited, not only is the full album streaming above but we’ve even got an official video for the single “Belly” below. Check it out and thanks for tuning in.

Daphne Lee Martin – Moxie

WKDU Philadelphia, 91.7 fm

– Cliff

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Glacial Records

Glacial Records

Glacial Records



Before the Thanksgiving break, which all but cemented my slothful nature, I have to say that I have been pleased with the sorts of independent, local groups coming forward. Sure, I do love my Sargent House however it always raises my spirits to see more local, small, and independent acts coming forward and making their presence known through a vigilant commitment to patience and passion. It is largely for this reason that I wanted to go ahead and write this article in honor of Glacial Records, an upstate New York record label which has given us the likes of Winterlong and Lives of the Obscure. (both releases recently reviewed).

So why write about Glacial Records? Sure, there are plenty of small outfit labels, striving to provide a new sound to an often over saturated music industry. The first explanation I would offer is the simplest: they have done an incredible job picking out acts. Whether it was Deathfete 7″ from Lives on the Obscure or Five Songs from Winterlong, Glacial Records has proven that they not only know how to seek out and master a niche, but also how one can expand a niche to a larger sound that seems to blend genres and scenes. Believe me, I tend to never compare the sounds of Plastic Constellations with Jawbox but somehow, Glacial Records has forced the comparison through some of their acts (Oh, and there are plenty of additional amazing acts on the label, acts I hope to write about in the future. For now, however, I will stick with the two I know and love).

The biggest explanation for this article, however, is that I like their style. For several weeks, we were unable to get in contact to discuss articles and the like. It turned out that he was on the move, hopping from one location to the next and thus, one computer to the next. After living around the MICA scene, I can certainly sympathize. Thus, get used to the ad we will be trying out on the side column. It’s well deserved.

Glacial Records

– Cliff

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Daphne Lee Martin – Moxie

Sometimes, I feel just so damn classy. Something about exiting the world around me and entering my bedroom, blasting an album and living in the world of my own existence makes me feel like the most dignified person in the room (probably because I am the only one too). You indulge in a self reflection that is both selfish and scathing, apologetic and spiteful. Moxie, the new album by Daphne Lee Martin of Telegraph Recording Company, could perhaps be the soundtrack to this exact scenario. A 40 min stroll through devilishly delightful bluesy tunes, Moxie is the first of twin records: Frost & Moxie, or ‘treat a queen like a whore and a whore like a queen’ as explained by Daphne. In this case, Moxie is the unapologetic whore, expressing itself from the plaintive cries in tattered Whiskey & Sin to the madness of Molotov.

Produced by Bill Readey at Fuzzy Rainbow Production, Moxie takes Daphne’s beloved traditional southern roots sounds and runs them through megaphones, mellotron, a very old tube amp, as well as “a swamp and a dark alley or two”. Beginning with “Sweet and Low Down“, Daphne initiates the album with a skip through a sin city, if you will. Between cigarettes and Old Crow, the lyrics as well as the general feel is all too familiar: something I can only assume most readers can sympathize with. Those evenings idly staring off in a dive bar off the beaten path, fumbling through packs and thoughts of what lays ahead. And with a bass line that walks you through the ups and downs, it appears to never leave you throughout the rest of the album.

It is, of course, worth noting that not only does this album include Daphne’s full band “Raise the Rent“, Moxie also showcases some work by John Panos of Mates of State, an addition which oddly makes perfect sense. Regardless, Moxie stands out as an album which pays a well suited ode to the often abused bluesy melodies without falling into clichéd motifs. Grab a listen and, while you’re at it, a download. For those moments of classiness and isolation, Daphne‘s Moxie places the perfect companion. Which makes me all the more excited to meet Frost.

Daphne Lee Martin – Moxie

– Cliff

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Winterlong – Five Songs

A barrage of percussion followed by a thrashing sensation of elegantly distorted guitars. It’s quite the introduction yet seems entirely fitting for the Hudson Valley, NY math rock group insistent in its commitment towards melody as well as just damn catchy hooks. Winterlong is off of Glacial Records and recently released their “Five Songs” EP. A 20 min dash through what appears a perfect resurrection of the 90’s and early 00’s, Winterlong is able to make an impression upon the listener that few groups could hope to achieve in an entire full length.

As described before, “Five Songs” begins with an impressive start with the single, “Stasis“. A contemporary group which immediately jumps to mind is the Midwest noodle rock glory that is the Plastic Constellations. Yet it cannot be so easily summarized with such a vague reference. Rather, wrapped in the shell of 3 mins, “Stasis” provides the glimpse of Winterlong as not only an extremely talented math rock group, but also one which makes genuine odes to post-hardcore and emo rock epochs of decades past. The vocals are sincere and passionate where all too often, groups feel as though wild screaming will suffice. It is a refreshing attitude which serves as a glorious beginning to the album.

Jump to the track “Arena“. Serving as the anthem of the album, if you will, the single opens with wailing guitars followed by a stead fast percussion reminiscent of Cinemachanica. While a dreary track, to be sure, it does not fail to hold onto the listeners attention with the complacent haunting vocals floating inbetween the purposefully imperfect harmonies unfolding. This in combination with it’s uncompromising bass line, and “Arena” shows a very promising side to Winterlong: one which knows when to exhilarate a crowd and when to lead one towards a trance.

The digital collation, with 5 tracks, is only $4 which makes it a worthwhile investment yet, if you want to be a real pro, the vinyl is certainly a welcomed option which only serves to further enhance “Five Songs” as a whole. Anyways, overall, this EP appears extremely exciting. As always, though, I still look forward to the live show. If this serves as the trailer, then I warmly look forward to the opportunity.

Winterlong – Five Songs

– Cliff

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Sleep Maps – Medals

New York City heavy-psych band Sleep Maps return this fall with a spanking new EP, spanning 28 minutes, after just releasing their debut full length in May 2012. The mastermind behind the group, Ben Kaplan, provides a deeply moving work, both musically and thematically as it addresses the shallow pageantry presented to war veterans, many of whose lives have been forever shattered by their experiences.

According to Kaplan, Medals is based upon the Winter Soldier Investigation from 1971. “A group of Vietnam vets held a press conference in Detroit to discuss the atrocities they had seen and sometimes participated in,” Kaplan explains. “This was meant to bring attention to the mainstream public about what was really happening in Vietnam. Of course after it was over the government did everything in their power to discredit them and claim they were liars.”

“The image of throwing the medals back is the refusal to be placated by a trinket when your entire life has been ruined,” says Kaplan. “The parallels between an era supposedly long gone and the wars of today are too blatant to be ignored. Soldiers coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq have also participated in medal throwing ceremonies, although mainstream media will not cover it.”

Medals proceeds to build a chronology throughout the first three songs, implementing audio snippets from various speeches laid over Sleep Maps’  spindling guitars, ominous keyboards and crashing drums, weaving Medal‘s sound and theme into a vivid sense of intense emotions. Furthermore, Kaplan again performed all of the instruments on this EP, as he did on the band’s debut Fiction Makes The Future. While the group has now expanded to a full 4-piece lineup to play live — all with the use of poignant visual projections — Kaplan remains the sole creative force behind Sleep Maps.

So grab a listen through Horror in the Telescope, one of the 4 tracks off of Medals, give Sleep Maps the good olde college try, and get prepared for the full album release on November 13th. It’s good to see such a quick turn around from recording. Sleep Maps has beautifully accomplished this without regressively altering their work. It’s a feat worth at least a listen.

 

Sleep Maps – Horror In The Telescope/Medals

 

– Cliff

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Dee and the Warlocks – S/T

Currently, I work a 9 to 5. I guess, especially during these current stagnant economic days, that is nothing to be upset about. Emotionally, on the other hand, it means that I feel fairly drained and ambivalent. A contagious combination of apathy mixed with sheer exhaustion, the end product pushes me into an anxst which can only be relieved through thrashing and screaming. Sound familiar? I hope so for Dee and the Warlocks are able to take this sensation and imbue it into a self titled release gushing with aggressive complacency.

Opening with the exhilaratingly haunting “Secrets“, Dee and the Warlocks progresses extremely quickly into a classic grunge/garage rock sound, the likes of Screaming Females meets the more aggressive side of Des Ark. Yet, by the next track, the group is able to enter a far more melodic presence filled with echoing harmonies along the lines of Marine Girls and the Soft Pack. The album, as a whole, is quiet a remarkable album to pass the work day through as the vocals shiver your insides with a constantly present bass line which does not disappoint. Favorite track, you ask? Probably would have to stick with Spinning Dizzy and it’s coo’ing chorus matched by verses which seem to taunt the listener into a seemingly suspicious head bob at work. But then again, that’s just me.

Overall, I extremely enjoyed the album. It, bluntly, rocks without using obnoxiously easy hooks or percussion. Grab a free download or, for those who still value it, be sure to grab a hard copy of either the CD or Cassette (cause come on, how can ya resist?). The larger goal, however, is to catch Dee and the Warlocks and, ideally, fellow Baltimore native Two-Inch Astronaut on a tour up here in Philadelphia. What ya say: think we can make that happen?

Dee and the Warlocks – S/T Bandcamp

– Cliff

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Two Inch Astronaut – Split Dicks 7″

Thundering percussion followed by pounding power chords. That is what greets ya when ya catch the first couple of seconds from Two Inch Astronaut’s most recent release, Split Dicks 7″. Opening with the track, “Greatest City in the World“, the Baltimore local lofi/post-hardcore phenomena elegantly alludes to the 90’s D.C. hardcore scene with a splash of emo-rock.

While this release gives us only two songs to chew on, it is still incredible to see their sound develop from one release to the next. To be honest, I was originally going to write about “Red Pancake and the Dark Energy” but was so slow in the writing process that this release is apparently now the most recent material, making my original plans a little redundant. Still, the larger point is that from one release to the next, Two Inch Astronaut is refining a sound which takes a healthy dose of Jawbox mixed with early Cursive. And if you’re like me, that is definitely an amazing sign.

Anyways, grab a listen and a download. Hell, if you’re in the Baltimore area, get off your ass and go out to a show. Regardless, I’m extremely pleased to hear the D.C./Baltimore post-hardcore scene is still alive and well. This success is in no smart part because of Two Inch Astronaut. Thanks, and won’t you consider a stop by Philadelphia?

Two Inch Astronaut – Split Dicks 7″

– Cliff

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