Skip to content

Top Five Fridays: Reality Something

Hey Folks,

Welcome to another exciting installment of Top Five Fridays, the part of the show where a happening artist comes on board and shares 5 records that are near and dear to them! The result is a double musical whammy for you dear reader, as you not only have discovered a fantastic new musical architect but also an insightful look into some killer records that make them tick!

Today we find ourselves in ol’ Music City itself, Nashville TN to hang out with alt rockers Reality Something, a musical outfit that serves up melody and angst in perfect proportions.

RealitySomethingByBridgetteAikens2

Credit: Bridgette Aikens

 

Reality Something came onto my radar via Infinity Cat, the label dropping their debut cassette tape in just a few short weeks.  Infinity Cat, for those not in the know, is one stop shopping for anyone wanting to keep their pulse on Nashville’s unparalleled underground guitar rock scene. It’s the kind of label (like Burger RecordsSalinas Records, or Don Giovanni) where their curative instincts are so locked in that if you like one of their records, you should probably go ahead and check out every single album they’ve ever put out.

The first taste of Reality Something’s debut album “Life Noise” that hit my ears was lead single “Hate Yourself” and for me (even after hearing the whole record, and folks it absolutely rips) this song still stands as a microcosm of everything I love about the band.  The record builds from a slow burn verse to the kind of Alanis Morissette sized chorus that you hope you somehow stumble into when you’re in high school so you can lock yourself in your bedroom and crank it to absolutely inordinate volumes while you rage along and experience some true rock ‘n’ roll catharsis.  Let’s be real, it’s the kind of Alanis Morrisette sized chorus that I still hope I somehow stumble into in the tail end of my 20s so I can lock myself in my bedroom and crank it to absolutely inordinate volumes while I rage along and experience some true rock ‘n’ roll catharsis.

I could tell Reality Something was a band pulling from some choice influences (Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, Nirvana, and other such wonderful 90s grunginess comes to mind) so I was beyond stoked to when front-woman and songwriter Elena Franklin agreed to take some time and talk about some of her favorite records.  The resulting Top Five Friday reminds me why I keep coming back to this format and why it’s so incredibly rewarding to hear artists talk about the albums that have influenced them.  A list of favorite records can’t help but become even just a bit of a biography. In today’s case, we see how some killer LPs helped an artist find her voice and paved the way for Reality Something’s upcoming debut record!  So without further ado, I hand things over to Elena Franklin…

________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Is This It – The Strokes

1200x630bb.jpg

There’s one band that absolutely defines mine and everybody else’s teenage experience growing up in New York City in the early 2000’s. The Strokes.  We were completely oblivious to the fact that the rest of the world felt the same way. I didn’t even realize the Strokes were a famous band until I got older, because at this point we all discovered music through whatever was playing at ‘free crib’s’ and downloading it on Napster.  “We can go and get 40’s, fuck going to that party,” was the most romantic notion our young hearts could imagine. This record permeates memories of summer nights on the end of Pier 40, New Years Eves walking back uptown freezing our tits off in heels way too high and dresses way too short (don’t forget, we had Sex and the City too lol), comforting your best friend whose boyfriend’s dumbass got booked on a Friday writing graffiti and wouldn’t be out till Monday (..again), and late nights turning to bleary mornings in cabs speeding home down the West Side Highway.  

The Strokes at Summer Stage in Central Park was my first concert. I went with Tana who was and still is my coolest friend and polar opposite.  We were 15 and she had jet black hair, even blacker eyeliner, wore cherry dresses and had tattoos and did drugs. We hopped a fence, tramped through the general admission crowd, and assholes that we were decided VIP was the only way we were watching this show.  So we posted outside the exit until some suits walked out and asked politely for their laminates, which they bemusedly handed over, and proudly took our places side stage. Tana hid under the stage to pee (we did have a two liter full of I’m pretty sure tequila and Coca Cola or some other equally not-okay combination in a tote bag) and as I checked out my surroundings I realized I’m standing right next to Drew Barrymore who must have been dating Fab at the time. I didn’t know what else to say to her so I asked her for a cig, and we stood together, as fans, beaming at the stage watching Julian lean into ‘Take It Or Leave It’ as the sun went down over the Great Lawn.

As kids, we were too young and spoiled to realize how lucky we were. How long it had really been since there had been such a cool band.  And that band was our band. And there really hasn’t been one like it since.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Horses – Patti Smith

horses-cover_custom-95bd29494bd12ecab828302378aa305f62fb5ccf-s900-c85.jpg

One day I’ll be able to find all the words I need to fully express how much Patti Smith has done for me.  Until that day I will continue to squawk at people until they read her books and have awakenings of their own.  My life as I know it now, started when Kingsley’s sister gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. A paperback copy of ‘Just Kids’ with the words ‘Merry Christmas Elena, Kate Brock 2012’ written gently in pencil on the inside cover.  I had just left behind everything I had known about life until that point, and was in desperate need of something new and inspiring. I devoured it so feverishly that as soon as it was over I immediately flipped back to the beginning and read it again.  As William Burroughs said, Patti is a shaman. She has the unique ability to make you want to be not exactly like her, but exactly like yourself. I started that book as a lost girl, completely unsure of what I was going to do or my place in the world.. and I finished it an artist.  With new purpose, and an understanding to use any creative means available to discover who I was and what I could make of myself.

The first time I heard ‘Horses’ I woke up.  Like, “Whoa… I didn’t know you could do THIS..?”  I used to shut myself in a room in my new house in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, Tennessee, and listen to it over and over while I made my first paintings and furiously typed my first poems, drinking whiskey on ice and chain smoking and never having felt so alive..  and eventually, wrote my first songs. Patti’s complete abandon during her performance taught me to record then incorporate my first instinct of melody and lyrics into a song so it feels more expressionistic than ‘crafted.’ Patti taught me to explore the world within, instead of always looking externally and using escapism.  Through her I found so many of my favorite writers, artists and musicians that have shaped my experience. I think I can truly say, that Patti Smith saved my life.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Nirvana Unplugged in New York – Nirvana

Unplugged.jpg

My high school boyfriend did a lot of dumb things like cheat on me, choose weed over anything else, and play video games right after sex. But he also did a lot of cool things that I didn’t give him enough credit for. He was deceptively smart and had good taste in movies, and wrote obsessively in a notebook which I teased him for at the time but do now myself.  He also burned me a lot of CDs. Maybe the most important in my musical development was ‘Nirvana Unplugged in New York.’ I’ve listened to that album probably more times than anything else in my life. I think it’s one of the most beautiful, soulful, candid, and honest things that has ever happened in the history of live performances and music in general. I would return to it a couple of times a year and as the years went on I gradually got into the rest of Nirvana’s albums, B-sides, and read every book, interview and documentary I could find on Kurt.  Underneath everything ugly and sad Kurt was a beautiful genius with a gift for melody. I probably learned everything I know about songwriting from Kurt Cobain. Nirvana wasn’t a phase for me but more of a lifelong obsession, comfort, and friend. “Oh, Me’ (originally by the Meat Puppets) was the first song I taught myself on guitar.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Globe Sessions-Sheryl Crow

1200x630bb.jpg

 

Ugh. Heartbreak.  But through pain comes growth so they say (*eyeroll* but they are really right). Twenty one year old me, living in Los Angeles going through the first real heartbreak of my life so far.  I wanted to die every day and I couldn’t figure out how to get out of it. The echo of my sweet sympathetic best friend across the country having just gotten through her first love breakup, giving me some sort of a “I promise it will get better and until then Sheryl Crow really helps lol” kind of thing rang in my head.  When I saw a cassette of “The Globe Sessions” at Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd I figured I may as well give it a try.. and let me tell you… she was not wrong. Suddenly leaving my house was something I looked forward to instead of dreaded, when I could open all my windows and drive through the canyons singing along as loud as I could and reeeally feeling California. This album also came along at a time when I decided out of nowhere I wanted to learn guitar.  I closed my eyes sitting outside my powder blue duplex in Silverlake one day and asked the universe to send me a guitar of my own. I was imagining I’d find one at a garage sale or second hand store for a price my broke-ass could afford within a few months. Not even a week later, walking down those same stone steps I looked up to see a small wooden acoustic with photographs taped all over its body leaning against the across-the-street neighbors mailbox, looking right at me.  After a second or two of realizing it wasn’t a mirage I knocked on my neighbor’s door, “Are you guys getting rid of this??” “Yes! It was our old neighbor’s and we are about to move and it’s just been sitting unplayed and we were hoping somebody would want it, do you want it?” I wanted it. I spent the next months sitting on my daybed in the living room where I stayed (3 girls 2 bedrooms, shrug, at least they were my best friends) drinking mescal and slowly learning the basics of guitar. The action was so high and the guitar eventually disintegrated on a friends carpet who offered to change the strings for me when I went out of town (to Nashville..)  and never went back to get it, but it remains in my memory forever. My Sheryl Crow guitar. The thing that pulled me out of my hole and sent me on my way in the ultimate right direction.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Parallel Lines – Blondie

R-2580199-1327649065.jpeg.jpg

Something my mom told me as a kid any chance she got was that she saw Blondie and Talking Heads at CBGBs before they were famous.  My mom grew up in the suburbs in Connecticut but moved to NYC for college at 18 and never looked back. A true New Yorker who has bled for this city, loves it deeply and utilizes it fully.  I used to listen to a Blondie CD walking to the subway to school every day on my little discman I’d had since my third grade birthday, which is exactly what that music was made for. It sounds like jackhammering, hot crowded trains, and people bugging you for money or catcalling.  It sounds like freedom in the anonymity of living in a city with millions of people. Of making it out of a small scene and into the big time. I’ve since come to love Chris Stein’s photography and Debbie’s sense of humor, there’s a really great book they did with one of my favorite biographers Victor Bockris called ‘Making Tracks’ (if you can find a copy I recommend!!)  But no one can argue with Blondie. Everyone in the world thinks Blondie is cool. Blondie represents the cool I will never have but will always admire, and the city I will always call home.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thanks so much Elena.  Once again I am reminded that musicians are often the best people to talk about music.  Also yes yes yes to Sheryl Crow. Man talk about the broken hearted nights spent listening to both the self titled and “Globe Sessions” records. BTW folks if you enjoyed Elena’s musings on coming of age in 00s Strokes era NYC then I can’t recommend Lizzy Goodman’s oral history of that scene “Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001–2011” enough. Truly mandatory reading.

Here’s the dealio folks, as stated above and before, Reality Something’s debut record “Life Noise” drops on  5/4/18. Having been blessed to have wrapped my ears around an advance copy I can preach to you all from the mountains that this is not some cooler than thou emotionally muted hipster schlock. This is a serving of honest to goodness distorted, emotional rock ‘n’ roll of the highest caliber and you don’t want to miss out.  Preorder for cassettes can be found over here at Infinity Cat, while the LP is dropping on the band’s own Something Like Reality Records.  All the pre-order info for download, streaming, and physical releases you could ever want can be found HERE.

Thanks for reading folks! Remember to like Reality Something on facebook and all other available social medias, and remember that you can go back in the Top Five Fridays archives and find other great musical moments to explore including some other killer artists in the Nashville scene (Idle Bloom, Justin and the Cosmics).

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Peter writes about music and wonders if he will ever be cheerful again after seeing Avengers.  Follow him @peterwinter38

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Top Five Fridays: Pouty

Hey Folks,

Welcome to another Top Five Fridays! The part of the show were a hip and happenin’ artist comes on board and shares five records that they think you should be down with.  Last installment found us in Philly with the dream psych punk rockers Aster More, and today we’re across the country in sunny LA with another artist hailing from Philly, DIY punk pop rocker Rachel Gagliardi, who performs/records under the moniker Pouty .

 

I first caught Pouty back in 2016 at Everybody Hits in Philly (cause we all know Rock ‘N’ Roll sounds the best when it is played in a batting cage) sharing a bill with the incomparable Peach Kellie Pop and Mannequin Pussy.   I left the show with a copy of Pouty’s stellar first cassette “Take Me To Honey Island,”  which basically lived in my walkman for the entirety of the time before I saw Pouty again, this time playing with Radiator Hospital and P.S. Eliot at PhilaMOCA (cause we all know the other place rock ‘n’ roll sounds the best is an artisanal movie house).  “Take Me To Honey Island” is a great record, with vulnerable, relatable lyrics, wonderfully fuzzy guitars, and Rachel Gagliardi’s ace ear for crafting infectious melodies on perfect display.

July 2017 saw the second Pouty release, the visual EP “Saint Mary of the Moods” which adds a great west coast desert haze and atmosphere to Pouty’s scrappy melodic hooks.

I was so thrilled to have Rachel come on and curate a Top Five Fridays, and she didn’t remotely let me down.  Going with the theme of “Five Favorite Albums To Sing Along With” Rachel has not only put together an excellent list of records (we both massively love Blondie as well as Heart’s disgustingly good debut record) but also including her favorite lyrics from each record as well.  So without further ado folks, give it up for Top Five Fridays brought to you by Pouty!

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Pouty’s Picks: Five Favorite Albums To Sing Along With

More Adventurous by Rilo Kiley

81h7azNGZVL._SL1448_.jpg

It’s literally impossible for me to imagine my life as a musician without ever hearing this record. I vividly remember being a freshman in high school, driving straight to Best Buy after school to buy this CD, and listening to it obsessively each and every single day. My Xanga username was “I_Am_Flawed_If_I’m_Not_Free” and I worshipped the ground Jenny Lewis walked on. I wanted to dress like her, sing like her, write like her, and front a band like her. I was such an outsider weirdo and understanding that the world was bigger than my small town was so hugely important to me. Daydreaming of California and longing to move out West eventually developed into a love affair with Los Angeles, and now I too call the Golden State home. There’s too many perfect songs on this record for me to choose a favorite, but “Does He Love You?” is perhaps my all time, most beloved song to listen to. 

Notable lyrics:

“And I’m afraid habits rule my waking life” 

“I know I’m alone if I’m with or without you, but just being around you offers me another form of relief” 

“And all of the beautiful things that make you weep but don’t have to make you weak”

“I’m sorry I’m hard to live with, living is the problem with me”

“I’m only a woman of flesh and bone, and I wept much, we all do, I thought I might die alone”

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dreamboat Annie by Heart 

R-1527343-1237774253.jpeg-1.jpg

My Heart obsession started fairly recently but there’s not a single record I can think of that’s more impressive to me. The fact that this was the first album they ever released is LITERALLY MIND BLOWING and I feel like I’m transported straight to 1975 each time I put this vinyl on. Not one not two but THREE title tracks, just to show you how cool the Wilson sisters are. With an iconic cover and one of the greatest band logos of all time, everything about this record is flawless in my mind. Like my jaw actually drops when I listen to this record, every.single.time. Also, the fact that this album was put out by “Mushroom Records” is just too cute to deal with. I highly recommend listening to their audio book, “Kicking and Dreaming” (which Ann and Nancy narrate) to learn so much more about this literally perfect album

Notable lyrics:

“Heading out this morning, into the sun” 

“Going down the city sidewalk alone in the crowd, No one knows the lonely one whose head’s in the clouds”

“If we still have time, we might still get by, Every time I think about it, I want to cry”

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Live Through This by Hole 

live_through_this.jpg

Words can’t even describe what this record means to me. It’s more than influential-it’s why I am who I am today. Some of my earliest memories are listening to “Doll Parts” in the car, singing along with my mom when I was in elementary school. This record is everything. The fact that, years later, I would eventually play in a band with Patty Schemel is just about the weirdest and coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. (Love you Patty <3) I have gone through phases where this is the only record I will listen to, where I will obsessively research Courtney’s songwriting process, where I binge watch videos of them playing live shows and doing interviews, just to get a whiff of what it was like to be there, to feel closer to these heroes that I never got a chance to see live. Hole was such a HUGE inspiration to my first band, Slutever, and I am so grateful that I had women like Courtney and Patty and Melissa to look up to. 

 Notable lyrics:

“I fake it so real, I am beyond fake, and someday, you will ache like I ache”

You should learn when to go, You should learn how to say no”

“When I get what I want, then I never want it again”

“I’ve made my bed, I’ll lie in it, I’ve made my bed, I’ll die in it, I’ve made my bed, I’ll cry in it,

I’ve made my bed, I’ll lie in it” 

“I don’t do the dishes, I throw them in the crib”

“Your milk’s in my mouth, it makes me sick” 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Best of Blondie by Blondie 

600x600bf.jpg

When I was younger I used to obsessively stress out about who my favorite band was. I tried so hard to have a simple, succinct answer to this question, in case my current crush happened to ask me, or in the off chance that the cool weirdo kids who also played music ever wanted to jam with me. It seemed like everyone had their answers all ready, that everyone had that one band they were obsessed with. As I got older, one day, it clicked-my favorite band of all time, has and will always be Blondie. Debbie Harry is it. Singing along to these songs, I feel pure happiness. I’m so glad that I got the chance to catch them live a few years ago, to see her In The Flesh and to understand all the hype after all these years. There’s actually too many albums and songs by this band for me to choose a favorite. I own a copy of The Best of Blondie cassette that I’ve had for years and it’s been the soundtrack to so many memories in my life. Blondie makes me think of camping in the Catskills & being a punk in Philadelphia (covering their cover of “Hanging On The Telephone”) & driving across the country & falling in love ❤

Notable lyrics:

“Dreaming is free”

“Something in my consciousness told me you’d appear”

“Levitating lovers in the secret stratosphere” 

“I can’t wait to see you, your picture ain’t enough, I can’t wait to touch you in the flesh” 

“You asked me what’s my pleasure, a movie or a measure, I’ll have a cup of tea and tell you of my dreaming”

“Imagine something of your very own, something you can have and hold” 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Self Titled by Paramore 

cd-paramore.jpg

I really don’t listen to a lot of contemporary music or a ton of pop music, but Paramore definitely makes the cut of records I am obsessed with singing along to. After this record came out in 2013, I moved to Los Angeles and was feeling really depressed. I was in a long distance relationship, far away from my friends and family, and felt lost. Singing along to this record at the top of my lungs was more than therapeutic for me, it was powerful and positive and hugely important. Hayley William’s perfect vocal delivery and genius song lyrics make me feel more alive. Listening to this record empowers me, suddenly I feel stronger and more confident in myself. I’m obsessed with the album’s three interludes, short and simple songs that contain advice on “Moving On” and finally not feeling angry anymore.

Notable lyrics:

“So I cried just a little then I’ll dry my eyes cause I’m not a little girl no more” 

“I told them all where to stick it, I left town with a dime to my name I said I’m done with all of my fake friends Self righteous pawns in a losing game” 

“Got my band and a light that won’t go out” 

“I wanna get out and build my own home On a street where reality is not much different from dreams I’ve had, A dream is all I have”

“Now I walk under a pink sky, Lovers float along and pass me by”  

“And what if I don’t ever want to leave my house? Stay on the couch while all my friends are going out”

“it’s really hard, I can’t cry in your arms Cause you’re not here It’s not your fault and if it was I wouldn’t care My heart is bigger than the distance in between us” 

“Baby if I’m half the man I say I am, If I’m a woman with no fear just like I claim I am, Then I believe in what you say, there’s nothing left for you to do, The only proof that I need is you” 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thanks so much Rachel!  Last year POUTY gave a great interview with NYLON which you should all check out.  Also if you want to get yourself a physical copy of “Saint Mary of The Moods” you can snag one via Born Loser Records.  If somehow you missed it embedded at the top, check out the visual album HERE.  If it doesn’t make you want to go roam around in the desert and think about your life, nothing will.  I also feel it behooves me to mention that last year POUTY toured with Nashville guitar warriors and Top Five Fridays alums Idle Bloom.

Stay in the loop with all things Rachel Gagliardi over at BRATTY her headquarters.  She makes super cool playlists if I do say so myself.  You can also check out her original music project Slutever over HERE.

Remember that you can check out past top five fridays with Philly Musical heroes like Abi Reimold, Radiator Hospital, Creepoid, Roger Harvey, and Aster More and more in the ARCHIVES!

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Peter Winter tweets about music and Star Wars and other things @peterwinter38

Top Five Fridays: Aster More

Hey Folks,

It’s time for another Top Five Fridays, where I wrangle a cool group of musical creators into giving the skinny on five albums that bring them joy! Last week we were in my home town of Harrisburg, PA talking with Concrete Beach, a garage rock outfit of the HIGHEST order (don’t believe me then listen to THIS GOODNESS).  Today we’re in philly with dream psych punk rockers Aster More!

15032218_1504403719576830_1525913590160507784_n.jpg

I gotta give thanks to The Key and Chad Snyder for bringing Aster More’s mix of raw punk and shoegaze to my attention back in December 2016 when he reviewed their debut EP.  I instantly fell in love with the sound of a band that was so effortlessly able to sound musically expansive, employing meandering guitars, keys, and even a freaking sax break, while still delivering the emotional directness and punch of any good 1:50 minute punk rocker.

I was over the moon when Aster More agreed to take some time and share some of their favorite records with you dear readers.  The result is one of the most eclectic and thought out Top Five Fridays I’ve ever received.  Give it up for Aster More!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hey Peter!

We decided to have each member of AM pick one album that they love, and write a bit about it. Thanks so much for asking us to do this!

– Kristine // ASTER MORE

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rel’s Pick

Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation

MI0003755583.jpg

This album is reminiscent for me, and every time I hear it, it takes me back some summers ago to all my bike rides through the city when I’d play this while riding through one of my head phones.  I love how fuzzy, dissonant and unapologetically loud this album is.  It builds and builds and goes haywire towards the end.  The droney and screeching guitars and weirdly recorded rumbling sounds only adds to it, making it the perfect combination of rock n roll, grunge and noise.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rachel’s Pick 

Yo La Tengo – Electr-O-Pura 

CS1384580-02A-BIG.jpg

This LP is over 20 years old, which seems impossible, but regardless is true and its allure from the early 90s is just as appealing as it was back then. The opening track, Decora, immediately sucks you in with James’ driving bass line and Ira’s twangy guitar.  This record is such a complete balance of soft and hard between the whispering vocals on “As the Hour Grows Late” and the organ freak-out jam on “False Alarm”.  It’s not a record you listen to when you’re in a certain mood because it takes your emotions on the most twisted, loop de loop roller coaster ride only to spit you out at the end with the most heart crushing finale, “Blue Line Swinger”.  This nine plus minute jam (where at least five of those minutes are dedicated to Georgia’s drum buildup) bring me back to a time in college when I was waiting for my bus to school, jamming out this track at full volume on my CD walkman and hoping the batteries wouldn’t die before the lyrics emerged beneath all of the tom hits and feedback fueled, repetitive guitar licks.  And when Georgia croons with her breathy voice to say ” And I’ll find you there…I’ll find you there” I know the end of this journey is near and that I am left only wanting more. Decades later the scenario is still the same only I find myself at the bus stop hitting play again on my on iPhone.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Carolyn’s Pick

The Ghetto Brothers – Power-Fuerza

ghettobrosshopify_1024x1024.jpg

An incredible pop/funk/latin rock band lead by Puerto Rican brothers Benjy and Victor Melendez.

The band took its name from the club the members belonged to, one of the most powerful in the South Bronx and instrumental in the Hoe Ave peace meeting on December 7, 1971.

The forever travelling bass lines, the ripping lead guitar tones, the hypnotic use of vocal slapback, the incredible use of auxiliary percussion – to me I’ve heard very few albums that blend so much pop and Latin/funk rhythm. And the HARMONIES. These boys had passion. And for good reason – they were a part of one of the darkest eras of New York inner city existence. Fully involved in the height of New York gang violence. And yet they promoted peace and unity between gangs and turned their outrage to those who held back their economic opportunities. There’s now a graphic novel out that tells the incredible Bronx peace story – written by Julian Voloj and Claudia Ahlering (it’s called Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker)

Top tracks: “Viva Puerto Rico Libre”, “Ghetto Brothers Power”, “You Say You Are My Friend” but would 100% vote to listen to the entire album because they’re all catchy, they all tell a story, and they all (at the very least) hint at a sadness I don’t think I’d ever understand.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kristine’s Pick

Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

FionaApple_TheIdlerWheel-1.jpg

 

As time goes by, Fiona Apple continues to release material that inspires me and draws me to the darkest parts of my mind. Even though this album came out in 2012, it remains a constant on my record player. This album feels authentic; it feels fierce and determined, and empowers me in the best ways. The spareness and lightness of the percussion (i.e. the heartbeat on “Valentine”), accompanied by Fiona’s suspenseful and playful piano, underlies the strongest components – her voice and her lyrics. Apple’s words are assertive, demanding, and her delivery is raw. I love the way she plays between voicing a melancholy review of a relationship and then effortlessly builds to belt and scream her angry realizations on “Regret.” You can feel the pain and the pushing in her voice. “Every Single Night” perfectly captures the way a sleepless, restless night feels – the way a brain that never stops, spirals downward. The Idler Wheel… is so smart, and so beautifully arranged. I never tire of turning up the volume on Apple’s confessionals and finding my own self in each song.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Amanda’s Pick 

Mew – And The Glasses Handed Kites

9566-1.jpg

I came across Mew how I found out about most bands when I was in high school – randomly buying used CD’s because I thought the album artwork was cool, the name seemed interesting, or it was so cheap I just threw it on the pile. I decided to unearth bands this way mostly because I didn’t have many friends, and the ones I did have weren’t into music I actually enjoyed. My first blind Mew purchase was “The Zookeeper’s Boy EP.” Starting right into the first song –  ‘Apocalypso’ – I felt transported. I felt like I came across something (at the time), I thought no-one else had. Finding out about music on my own prompted my self-discovery through music in a way where each band became its own unique, very close, personal realization for me. Mew’s ethereal vocals and captivating lyrics, combined with powerful, well choreographed bass & guitar parts are what immediately pulled me in. I still to this day, can not get over their musicality. At the time, It was nothing like I was use to.I quickly realized this EP derived from their album ‘And the Glass Handed Kites’ – where my infatuation truly began. ‘And The Glasses Handed Kites’ is seamless from track to track – which is the ultimate calling card for attentive musicians, I find so attractive. Cascading vocals drip addictive melodies over dynamic drums communicating effortlessly with equally as mesmerizing bass, keyboard and guitar parts, only progressing you into another song you’re not even sure how you got to. ‘And The Glasses Handed Kites’ sounds like one massive dream – where in a single sleep you experience various figments, but somehow they were threaded together and you can’t decided which part was the weirdest.  Well, I am constantly trying to figure out which is my favorite song off of ‘And The Glass Handed Kites.’ For any interested in listening to this album, do yourself a favor and listen to it all the way through, beginning to end.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thanks so much everyone! Totally some of the most beautiful, vivid musical descriptions anyone has ever brought to the table for a T5F!

Now folks, on May 5th, 2017 Aster More will be playing on a killer lineup including Shannen Moser and katie ellen for philly diy punk heroes Cayetana’s all ages release show for their second record “The New Normal.” The action is going down at the First Unitarian Church in Philly. Find out more info HERE and score some tix here.

To help convince you to go to the show, here is a video of Aster More playing at one of my favorite venues in the world, Everybody Hits! (yup it’s a batting cage) back in January!

Be sure to do the 2017 Social Media dance and follow these cats on twitter and like ’em on facebook.  They have a killer self titled EP on bandcamp which dropped late 2016 as well as a live track for you to download and enjoy!

If you enjoyed today’s edition of Top Five Fridays, head on over to the ARCHIVES for other exciting installments including contributions from creepoid, Radiator Hospital, Abi Reimold, and Roger Harvey!

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Peter Winter is getting ready to find some exciting new music and also watch The Last Jedi trailer a million times.  He’ll tweet the adventures @peterwinter38

Top Five Fridays: Concrete Beach

Hey Folks,

Time for another Top Five Fridays, where a great band comes around and talks shop on some albums that make their world rotate.  Today I’m stoked to be in my home stomping grounds of Harrisburg, PA talking with (in my humble opinion) the best damn rock ‘n’ roll band in these here parts: Concrete Beach.

 

a1368193362_16.jpg

I first heard rumblings of this astute rock ‘n’ roll outfit around town, but I didn’t get to hear them kill it till I picked up a cassette copy of their 2016 record “Susquehanna Punch” at Little Amps Coffee.  From the second the guitar kicks in on album opener “Wormleysburg Yacht Club” I was hooked.  These gents know how to serve up garage, surf and psych in all the right amounts to have you calling out for more.  Without further ado, give it up for Top Five Fridays as presented by Concrete Beach!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

HISTORY:
Andy started writing some rock and roll songs. He was lonely so he thought to himself, stop being a lazy bones and start playing with and for people. He started jamming with drummer boy Matt. The idea was to write some fun, dance hall songs that the people could enjoy. Bass boy Zac joined, bringing his psychadelic roots and knowledge for song structure. The songs grew slightly more sophisticated. Lead ripper John boy was the last, but not least, to come aboard. His punk roots and soaring guitar leads added depth and style to the songs, while his denim and motorcycle gave the band its edgy attitude.
The band came together rather organically, never really stating from where influences came. This is their best attempt at putting some names to their sound.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Matt – Drumsstatic1.squarespace.jpg

“My album is Analphabetatology by Cap’n Jazz. It is not a true album, but rather a compilation of songs that Tim Kinsella and his band wrote while under the name Cap’n Jazz. I particularly enjoy the quick, hi-energy,angular drumming by Tim’s brother Mike Kinsella, who I have been a long time fan of as well. Particularly though the youthful and high energy nature of the drumming in Cap’n jazz’ writing was what I hoped to bring to Concrete Beach. I am by no means capable of the mathy drumming of Cap’n Jazz, but its style and energy is what I aspire to.”
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Zac – Bass
1339525594-witchlpcoverregular.jpg
“I was listening to a lot of WITCH, a band that pioneered “zamrock”.  I really liked the mix, especially the way the lead guitars were recorded.  It’s garage influenced but carries other elements of funk, R&B, and psych with great rhythm section.”
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Johnny – Guitar
157820.jpg
King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King – The album touches every extreme on all sides of the creative spectrum. The gentle wash of lows.. The manic blitz of highs.. The lightning speed and clockwork precision of a band playing perfectly together, the raw technical magnificence.. The ethereal, mellow rushes, the eighty-foot tall tidal waves of slow building emotion. Less a demonstration in what to play, and more an instruction manual on how to play it. A masterpiece in composition and mood. Not just one you hear, but one you feel – sometimes as a gentle breeze, others as a bullet train. As of now, this recording has stood tall for almost – literally – a half a century. That says it all…Pumped I’ve gotten to introduce a bunch of people to this album, cheers bräj.”
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Andy – Guitar, Vocals
8e7507d5.jpg
Manipulator – Ty Segall is a song writing prodigy, brandishing eight studio albums (among numerous other releases) at only 29 years of age. I surely take influence from Ty. His early washed out garage rock sound caught my ear. He packs in a lot of energy and excitement into his work. I found out recently that we share a similar song writing process: chords, melody, structure, lyrics. Fuzzy guitar riffs most often shine as the main focus of the songs with reverby soundscapes on top of pop rock song structures and vocal hooks. Susquehanna Punch stands as a pop record but we tried to keep it fresh by varying style from song to song. Just as Manipulator gets songs stuck in your head, but also brings an interesting mix of fresh sounds through out the record. All I want is to make some good ole rock n roll.”

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Thanks guys!  Alright folks be sure to give these happening lads a like on facebook.  They absolutely slay live and you don’t want to miss out on the goodness.  Remember you can listen/purchase their jams over on their bandcamp.  Special thanks to Little Amps Coffee for spreading the word on the happening ‘burg scene, and selling killer cassettes and records. Oh and also great coffee.

 

Remember if you enjoyed today’s episode of Top Five Fridays, you can always find more goodness over in the archives, as well as stop back in next week for another installment!

 

well peace out good people of the world,

 

Peter Winter

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Peter Winter is tweeting at @peterwinter38 give him a follow if you like music, food, and Star Wars.

Top Five Fridays: Roger Harvey

Hey Folks,
Welcome to the first Top Five Fridays of the month!  The way the game works is that I bring aboard someone crazy musically talented that I want you all to listen to, and they in turn bring along with them five records they want you all to listen to. The result being you are left with not only a new artist to jam out with but also an exciting look into some of the music that makes them tick.  Last week we were in Philly (DIY music capital of the world) with the dreamy power pop outfit Oxblood.  Today I’m so excited to be sticking around the city that loves you like a brother to have a chat with indie “peace punk” songwriter Roger Harvey
15940445_1142554979195723_1532244899132222244_n.jpg

Photo by Autumn Spadaro Cali

 

I first caught Roger solo and acoustic back in early 2016 when he played a kicking music showcase put on by Animal House Productions with the equally talented and amazing Laura Stevenson.  I was drawn in by the simplicity and beauty of Roger’s music stripped down to the bare minimum and took a chance on a cassette copy of his excellent record 2015 record “Twelve Houses.”  The purchase ended up being one of the best $5 I ever spent.  “Twelve Houses” is a singer/songwriter record with a kicking band vibe and truly masters the “intimate yet anthemic” aesthetic.  I could rave about not only the quality of Roger’s songwriting, but also how the freakin’ guitars sound on this record.
Today Roger has amassed one of my favorite collection of records ever in the history of Top Five Fridays.  Like his own work, these are amazing songwriters that not only know how to write but how to record.  Each of these records has a sound all their own, and they all manage to bring you to a very distinct place each and every time you drop the needle.  Some of you may notice that there are actually six records listed today.  To that I remind you that that you don’t pull your man when he’s pitching a no hitter.  Give it up for Top Five Fridays presented by Roger Harvey!
_________________________________________________________________
Here’s some thoughts on a few records I love. Thanks for including me in this series!
_________________________________________________________________
51RZ01V3GDL.jpg
The first time I heard On The Beach I remember thinking that there was something inherently punk rock about this record. It’s so straight up like a lot of Neil Young’s albums. It’s heavy, it’s soft, it’s thoughtful, and the electric guitars. Perfect.
_________________________________________________________________
61Pw3VrJxRL.jpg
I love how deep this record digs. To me it represents an advanced process of songwriting. Capturing moments of reflection upon where you’ve been, where you want to go, and what you think might be the truth. This is my shit.
_________________________________________________________________

Bob Dylan- Blood On The Tracks (1975)

51LvtLuKtCL.jpg
I always wondered why this record put me in a specific place and when I learned that the entirety was recorded in open D, It’s the first time I reflected on the relationship between key and message. I love this record for so many reasons but the way that relationship drives the delivery & intention of the ideas so precisely is what initially hooked me. Blood On The Tracks is the ultimate breakup record, in my opinion.
_________________________________________________________________
12543-elite-hotel.jpg
I love Emmylou and these kinds of classic sounding arrangements. This record has a bit of it all; honky-tonking tunes all the way down to desolation blues, and Emmylou covering Gram Parsons is heartbreaking in the most beautiful way.
___________________________________________________________________
MI0003863548.jpg
When I was 19 I took the bus from New York City to the Grand Old Opry to see Loretta Lynn play. I feel like Loretta redefined a lot of things about the direction of country music in her prime, or at the very least defined a representation of a different narrative, which is represented intensely on this album. So much admiration and respect for her power.
______________________________________________________________________
townes-van-zandt.jpg
All Townes has to do is play and sing. No showing off, just songs and delivery that make you certain that he is telling the truth. In a heavy way.
_______________________________________________________________________
Thanks Roger! Such great choices.
Folks check out Roger on FACEBOOK, and his official site so you can stay abreast of his plans and machinations.  Also give a listen to his latest musical offering, a gorgeous lofi cover of Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos).” The track is free but donations to the ACLU are encouraged.  Remember that if you enjoyed today’s Top Five Fridays there’s far more magic where this came from in the  ARCHIVE, where you will find T5F by musical superheroes including Philly artists Oxblood, Abi Reimold, Radiator Hospital, creepoid, and an interview with Roger’s pal and fellow singer/songwriter DIY punk pop powerhouse Laura Stevenson.
well peace out good people of the world,
Peter
_________________________________________________________________
Peter Winter is getting ready to see LOGAN tonight.  Tears will be shed.  Follow him on twitter and see how man @peterwinter38

Top Five Fridays: Oxblood

Hey Folks!

Welcome to the kick off of the newest season of Top Five Fridays, where every week a great artist comes on board and shares five records they love!  This week I couldn’t be happier to be hosting Aimee Lin, the principle singer/songwriter/guitar player behind Oxblood, a dreamy power pop trio based out of Philly!

0007553251_10.jpg

I first encountered Oxblood thanks to their split EP with the equally wonderful Philly outfit CABBAGE.  It’s so great to find music that just feels effortless.  Songs that from the very first bar, you connect with.  For me that is the intimate sounds of Oxblood. Each of these songs are perfectly crafted, chilled out power pop nuggets of the highest order.  Don’t listen to my words though, just take a moment and allow the EP’s opening track “ryan” to wash all over you.  After you have done that, sit back, relax and allow Aimee to share some fantabulous LPs!

_________________________________________________________________

hi! this is aimee from oxblood. i moved to baltimore from philadelphia so we don’t play shows very often. i am also a visual artist and find that there’s a strange dichotomy where i cannot work on my art if i am focused on writing a song, and if i am making an album, it is hard to carry out my projects.
usually i put on a tv show or documentary as background noise when i am working instead of playing music. for me, listening to music all the time or as background noise makes it less special for me. when i do listen to music, i find myself listening to the same songs or albums on repeat. here is my “top 5” in no particular order:
_________________________________________________________________
news-14-11-julee-cruise.jpg
like everyone else, twin peaks introduced me to julee cruise. whenever she sings i feel like i am in some sort of magical trance. the other day i danced to her music while in a diner and it was so great!
_________________________________________________________________________
favorite song: get disowned
R-4551188-1368121618-3913.jpeg.jpg
this album has stayed with me for the last five years and it never gets old.  frances quinlan’s voice is incredible.
__________________________________________________________________
favorite song: syrup/shitbaby
a4101322533_10.jpg
it is very hard for me to pick a favorite song from this album as i always play whole thing from start to finish whenever i listen to it. it feels like one huge, wonderful dive into a magical pocket. it is one of the most beautiful things ever created.
______________________________________________________________________
favorite song: two headed boy part two (and engine, which is not on this album but i felt the need to write it)
R-566284-1331079946.jpeg.jpg
when i first started listening to neutral milk hotel, i was incredibly disappointed when i found out that they had stopped making music a long time ago. miraculously, two years later i saw them play their first show in 15 years at a church in baltimore. it was a very intimate experience and they played my two favorite songs last (one for the encore). i don’t listen to this album much anymore, but it has played a very significant part in my life and i always come back to it every now and then. the only time i ever kind of babysat was for a couple who’s first dance at their wedding was to neutral milk hotel.
______________________________________________________________________
favorite song: eye in the sky 
the-alan-parsons-project-eye-in-the-sky-arista-3.jpg
i grew up listening to this song a lot. on long road trips and drives to school, my dad would play his mixtape which were full of great songs. there was lots of abba, beegees, simon and garfunkel, tears for fears, enya, etc. it was pretty wide range of music that also included phantom of the opera (the sarah brightman version).
_______________________________________________________________________
Thank you so much Aimee!
ok people, you can hit up the sounds of Oxblood on their bandcamp.  Also make sure you like ’em on facebook in case a show is going down!
Remember you can catch up on past Top Five Fridays (including installments from philly musical stalwarts such as Abi Reimold and Radiator Hospital) over in the ARCHIVES!  Finally, remember to tune in NEXT week for another exciting edition of Top Five Fridays!
well peace out good people of the world,
Peter Winter
_________________________________________________________________
Peter is absolutely stoked about this new season of T5F and hopes you come along for the journey! He’s tweeting @peterwinter38
Video

Top Five Fridays: Fake Boyfriend

Hey Folks,

It’s Friday! That means it’s time to get ready and get set for what ever kind of trouble you have cooked up for this weekend, and it’s also time for another great musical act to come on board this site and share 5 records that they love and cherish with the rest of us.  Today we’re hanging in west philly to talk with Ashley Tryba, Sarah Myers, and Abi Reimold of the punk three piece Fake Boyfriend (you loyal readers will remember Abi from last week when she did a Top Five Fridays as a solo artist).  Now normally I would simply post a picture of the band and start talking about why I think they are great, but in this instance I am going to let Fake Boyfriend introduce themselves with this stellar live performance of their song “WAX” off their 2016 EP “Mercy.”

I first discovered Fake Boyfriend this year on philly punk three piece Cayetana’s twitter feed, a well known source of wonderful music and just general all around greatness.  My first reaction to opening track “Ship” was, “Oh my gosh, there are 3 people singing together!”  Seconds later my reaction was, “Damn. Now there are three people screaming together.”   Fake Boyfriend would be on my radar based simply on the fact that they are the rare punk band capable of tear jerking three part harmony, but the fact is this is also a band that can rage with the best of them.  It is these two extremes of “gritty and pretty” as the band describes it that makes “Mercy” such an engrossing listen and hands down my favorite EP of 2016.  Everyone else can keep their applications.  I’m also convinced that there is a Virginia Woolf reference on “Ship,” which warms my heart.

For their list today, Ashley, Sarah, and Abi have chosen five albums that have brought them together not only as a band, but also as friends.  It’s a killer list, and the band members even took time to single out their favorite tracks.  The result is one of the best T5Fs ever presented on this site and I’m so stoked to share it with you all.  Give it up for Fake Boyfriend!

_________________________________________________________________

0004502261_10.jpg

These are 5 albums that have united us; either because we grew up listening to them separately, or because we learned about them together, or drove long hours listening to them, or drunkenly danced around to them. They are woven into our friendship and memories and influences, and each have become comforting security blankets, albums to go back to over and over, albums that each of us individually and together rely upon.

_________________________________________________________________

 

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours:

1977_0204_rumours.jpg

What do we say about Rumours??? Only that there have been many nights after shows that we’ve stomped around our living room to this album.

Favorite Songs:

Ashley – Dreams – My mom would drive me around the suburbs and this was the only CD we could both agree on.

Sarah – Second Hand News – The baw baw baw vocal solo thinga ma bob is rock n’ roll genius.

Abi – Go your own way – My mom and dad would listen to this song while nordic tracking.

_________________________________________________________________

 

Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire for No Witness:

11134-burn-your-fire-for-no-witness.jpg

This album got us through several cold cold winters.

Favorite Songs:

Abi – Unfuck the World – It’s so painful and broken – it’s so bold to open a record this way, so captivating

Ashley – Stars – I love the beginning and the first line: “I think you like to see me lose my mind/ You treat me like a child I’m angry blind”. Those two lines are so bold because it’s everything I’ve ever tried to say in a relationship and she just says it. And then she talks about wanting to speak for her environment and that’s what I went to school for and what I care most about.

Sarah – Hi Five – This album hit me while I was ending a long relationship and that line “I’m stuck too, I’m stuck with you,” I would just scream over and over and over until I cried while I was driving home from school. There’s like a hopeful tension to the song, like maybe being with this person will be different but then it just ends with this realization that none of these people are different, and I keep getting stuck, and what am I doing that makes this keep happening? Can I do anything different?

_________________________________________________________________

 

Land of Talk – Some Are Lakes:

LBJ-126_large.jpg

Favorite Songs:

Sarah – Some Are Lakes – I remember listening to this song while on mushrooms at the beach with all our friends and the sky was just refracting and kaleidoscoping and it just sucked us all in and it was glowy and beautiful.

Ashley- Some Are Lakes – I remember listening to this song the first summer I had a car, out in the suburbs and just driving around all summer and daydreaming about being in love.This song just gets inside of you, it’s like listening to someone who can be happy because they understand being sad, it’s rich.

Abi – Yuppy Flu –  I hosted at a restaurant and this song would come on once every day and it made my day every time.

_________________________________________________________________

 

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless:

tumblr_le7eiz0dL01qdh7bo.jpg

It was hard to choose between this album and Slowdive’s Souvlaki because one of the first shows we went to together was Slowdive. But this album was a part of one the first times Abi and Ashley hung out and was the first album Sarah listened to in our first apartment together, so it feels essential.

Favorite Songs:

Abi – When You Sleep – I love how the lyrics are so simple but they capture the whole record and it’s like the thesis of the record. And that’s the only song where I can really understand the lyrics.

Ashley – When You Sleep – I took a psych elective for college and you had to pick a song that was you and I picked this one. I feel like the notes sound like me, or sound like how I think I sound: they’re pretty, but also sad, it’s sad but also super upbeat. The song also evokes this feeling of “I believe in love enough to get heartbroken,” I want to believe in the magic, but don’t want to get hurt by the world. And it reminds me of my favorite weather: those hot humid days in the beginning of summer where you’re excited because you have spring fever but also it could just start storming. It’s still gray, but the sun is there somewhere.

Sarah – When You Sleep – I feel like I tie songs to memories really tightly. Like I remember listening to this song over and over and over while cleaning the house that Abi and Ash and I moved into together the first time, and it just felt solidifying, like i was crazy and depressed and manically cleaning but there were these bright spots like in the song. The song is so gray and blue, but there’s these orange and yellow bright spots and that was like the light of living with Ash and Ab, even though we were in our own dark places.

_________________________________________________________________

 

Lana del Rey – Born to Die:

132741952892.jpg

We couldn’t pick favorite tracks because we love them all so much, so we discussed what it is about this album that keeps us coming back to it.

Abi – She doesn’t sugar coat love, she’s like love is fucked up. And she seems to be searching for someone that’s big enough to hold her and can’t find it, but does self-destructive shit because it’s not out there – she’s a Hollywood horror story, it’s still glamourous but it’s not. And it’s like she wants to be dumb so that she doesn’t have to deal with all the shit that’s going on in her mind.

Ashley – She makes me feel less sorry for being a girl and less apologetic for being dramatic, and being less careful or regretful of the times I’ve hurt people’s feelings. She makes me feel better about fucking up, and being dramatic about it because we’re all young and dumb. And when she sings about love it’s like I’m fucked up but there’s gotta be someone out there to help me, and the only person that can help you is you, but it’s nice to put it out there and not bring the responsibility back on yourself. It’s way easier to be like boys boys boys rather than be like why do I hate myself? It’s easier to throw yourself into a relationship, even one that won’t last, than to think about self-care.

Sarah – I remember the first time I watched one of her videos, and I remember feeling like I didn’t want to get into it, but I was immediately sucked in. She has this honesty, this self-conscious narcissism, sugar coated poison thing that she shares so openly and is so identifiable. It’s like this femme-narrative of almost constant self-hatred, but sometimes you feel hot, and shiny, and glamourous, but that self hatred is still there.

_________________________________________________________________

Thanks so much Fake Boyfriend!

These people are making great and wonderful things folks, and you don’t want to miss a moment. In 2016, that means giving this band the ol’ “LIKE” on facebook, and follow on twitter.  You wouldn’t want to miss a Fake Boyfriend show in your town would you?  “Mercy,” their stellar EP, can be purchased on bandcamp either by downloading or by ordering a pink cassette. If you are like me and prefer owning all your music on pink cassette, then you should go for the latter.  While you are busy buying music, both Abi and Sarah have solo work that you should check out as well!

If you are so inclined, you can check out exciting past Top Five Fridays including such Philly Music luminaries as creepoid, Stupid Bag Records, Goodbye Party, Radiator Hospital, Salinas Records, and yes even Abi Reimold as a solo artist!

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

_________________________________________________________________

Peter Winter is amassing large amounts of fantastic albums on pink cassette tapes. If you want to see pictures, maybe you should follow him on twitter. peterwinter38