Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Local Band Report, 7/12/2011

Here are some cool bands you should look up and enjoy sometime.

Watched this heavy-ass band from Ambler, PA, play at a house party about two or three weeks ago. Most of the acts playing that night were stoner/doom metal bands, and while Hollenlarm falls under that tradition in some ways, they also have a mighty black metal element to them, drawing influences from bands like Darkthrone and Drudkh. And they were the only band playing that night that earned their mosh pit.
Check 'em on Facebook, Stereokiller and/or Bandcamp.
They also have an album available for purchase at Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.

Saw them open for Earth last month. I'm worried that this intense, gorgeous post-rock/metal outfit from Philly appears to be on the brink of becoming defunct: their various webpages are somewhat inactive, and they had said at the show that they had not played live in a long time. To lose a group that plays circles around Russian Circles to total obscurity would be a shame and a half. If you like great bands like Isis, Pelican, Jesu, Explosions in the Sky, that stuff, man. You gotta band here.
Check 'em at Facebook and/or ReverbNation.

Saw this Montclair, NJ band play with Sun Hotel. Sort of an experimental pop band that draws influences from The Cure and Radiohead and apparently Blind Guardian, which is awesome, who write a lot of songs about the video game Killer7.
Check 'em at ReverbNation and Facebook.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Airborne Vinyl

Hey guys, I've just started contributing to a music review site called Airborne Vinyl. It's just starting to get off the ground, so there's not an awful lot, but it would be awesome if you could support it. My first two reviews, for Robert Pollard's just-released "Lord of the Birdcage" and Bon Iver's upcoming self-titled album, were posted yesterday. The site's also looking for more contributors, so if you're interested contact the administrator.



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Scrapple Creek Runners

Based in northern Delaware, the Scrapple Creek Runners are an American roots music group featuring Patrick Corcoran on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, Sarah Larsen on fiddle, JC Bell on mandolin and banjo, and Dave Atherton on stand-up bass (though it is my understanding that Dave is on his way out of the band). Their oeuvre consists of songs steeped in American history and tradition; they largely perform old-timey traditional songs like "Shady Grove", "Soldier's Joy" and "Goin' to See Aunt Betsy When I Die", though they have done a few more (somewhat) contemporary covers written in that traditional vein, like Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans" and Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere". They even occasionally bust out an original song, like the eerie "Faces in the Water" which, if I remember correctly, is based on an old Delaware folktale.
Their performances are energetic and fun, with ace performances from each member and an occasional historical anecdote from resident history nerd Corcoran. Like any good American trad band, they play anywhere they're allowed, from bars to festivals to street corners. They recently recorded a demo, featuring studio recordings made with traditional bluegrass recording methods including condenser microphones and a portion of a live set played at Mojo Main in Newark.

Get the demo here.
Check out their ReverbNation page and their Facebook page.

Recommended if you like: O'Death, The Holy Modal Rounders, Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, The Dubliners, Old Crow Medicine Show, Michael Hurley

Friday, May 27, 2011

Re-Establishment of Porpoise.

So this blog.

I kinda stopped updating it.

Part of it was the whole "shit just got real" element of life. You know, when you're just chillin', and then BAM. Shit gets real. College, work, friends, family, car accidents, truth, beauty, love, all that.

Another part is that I started to hate Mediafire. I mean, it's a lovely service, but the process of creating a RAR file, then uploading it to Mediafire, only to have it crap out on me...the time and effort became, uh, less than worth it.

Then there's the fact that most of the bands I covered were established artists. You know, I love talking about great classic bands, but I don't really have a reason to upload "The Who Sell Out" for you guys when you can go and get a used copy of it for no dollars at your local record shop.

Here's my new plan, though.

I have deleted all the posts on this blog except for a handful. Local acts, up-and-comers, bedroom projects, friends, family, truth, beauty, love, and all that. Those are the types of bands I'm going to focus on. Links to Facebook pages, websites, Youtube videos will/may be included. (By the way, do check out the older posts. All good stuff. Let me know if any of the links are broken.)

Album reviews may pop up, too. I want to focus largely on new and relatively new releases, though if an older unknown album crosses my radar, or if I just damn well feel motivated to talk about something like Led Zeppelin II, then by golly I'm gonna do it.

As always, I'm open to ideas. Want me to post something, let me know.

Expect new content in the next few days. I hope I don't crap out on this.


Your Friendly Neighborhood Thomas Dorton

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sun Hotel - "Coast" sample

Awhile back, I posted Sun Hotel's "Team Spirit" EP on this blog. The link I posted was not one from my Mediafire account, so I don't know if anyone who reads this bothered to check it out. If you didn't, then A) you're a chump and B) go here to redeem yourself.

In any case, I received a pretty solid email today from one of the band's members. Attached to that email was a sample of three songs from their first full-length, "Coast", due out in September. (I didn't include the artwork here because for whatever reason I couldn't save it as an actual image file from the email sent. Whatever, internet.)

So yeah, being as this was basically like Christmas for me, I downloaded it immediately to see if they would be able to follow up on the exceptional promise their EP showed and, really, already fulfilled.

Unlike you people who pass over links to great music, these guys are not chumps. They know where it's at. Where's it at? It's in the hazy-yet-muscular guitars, the crashing I-refuse-to-be-in-the-background-drums, and the powerful, emotional vocals and woozy back-up vocals. Sun Hotel, my friends, is where it's at, complete with two turntables* and a microphone.

I'm not sure how you can classify Sun Hotel. I compared them previously to a hazy fusion of Teenage Fanclub and Pavement, which in retrospect feels reductive and inaccurate. Sometimes they sound like the best Silversun Pickups moments, when the floor drops out and you're happily drowning in a sea of distortion and cymbal crashes. But also sometimes they sound like they could take on a stoner-metal sound, or a haunting blues-folk persona. (It should be noted that I'm talking about all the songs they've recorded, not just the three I'm about to provide.) But they always sound like their own band; they're not imitating their influences, they're just incorporating it all into their DNA, and belching out the most beautiful mutt music you can find.

You can check out the sample for the new album hizzere. I gotta tell you guys, I'm pretty pumped for the whole thing.

You can also check out their site and download pretty much everything they've recorded at http://www.sunhotelsounds.com/.

*There aren't actually turntables involved, except the ones you might use to play their new album if they can successfully fund a vinyl pressing for "Coast". They're going to be doing some sort of fund-raising campaign for that; when I know more, you guys will know more.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sun Hotel - Team Spirit

Imagine the mellower Pavement songs with an Animal Collective-type psychedelic haze over them and Teenage Fanclub vocals. That kinda adds up to this wonderful EP which, I'm gonna say it, is probably one of the best releases of 2010 so far. And I'm not just saying that because the group personally submitted the album to me and will be reading this themselves. This really is an excellent release, can't wait to hear anything else they might commit to record.

Get it here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jacques de Villiers - Sleepsongs

A beautiful collection of lovely, lulling ambient tracks. I'd say the title says it all, except I didn't fall asleep listening to it because I had shit to do. I'm not as hip to ambient music as I'd like to be so I can't tell you who of his peers he is similar to, so I'm just gonna compare it to the closest example I know of, which is Brian Eno's Music For Airports. High praise indeed.

Go get it, guys. And if you have an album you want me to check out, please let me know. Even if I think your stuff is a piece of shit I'll still post it out of respect for the Local Scene.