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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!

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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!

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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

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Rel’s Pick

Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation

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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.

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Rachel’s Pick 

Yo La Tengo – Electr-O-Pura 

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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.

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Carolyn’s Pick

The Ghetto Brothers – Power-Fuerza

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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.

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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

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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.

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Amanda’s Pick 

Mew – And The Glasses Handed Kites

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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!

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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.
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“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.”
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Zac – Bass
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“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.”
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Johnny – Guitar
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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.”
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Andy – Guitar, Vocals
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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.”

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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

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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
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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!
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Here’s some thoughts on a few records I love. Thanks for including me in this series!
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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.
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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.
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Bob Dylan- Blood On The Tracks (1975)

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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!

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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!

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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:
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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!
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favorite song: get disowned
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this album has stayed with me for the last five years and it never gets old.  frances quinlan’s voice is incredible.
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favorite song: syrup/shitbaby
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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.
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favorite song: two headed boy part two (and engine, which is not on this album but i felt the need to write it)
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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.
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favorite song: eye in the sky 
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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).
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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
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Peter is absolutely stoked about this new season of T5F and hopes you come along for the journey! He’s tweeting @peterwinter38
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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!

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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.

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Fleetwood Mac – Rumours:

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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.

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Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire for No Witness:

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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?

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Land of Talk – Some Are Lakes:

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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.

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My Bloody Valentine – Loveless:

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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.

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Lana del Rey – Born to Die:

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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.

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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

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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

 

Top Five Fridays: Abi Reimold

Hey Folks,

Welcome back to Top Five Fridays.  The part of the week where someone much cooler than myself takes over this lil’ ol’ blog and turns us all on to five records they have been jamming out to lately.  Last edition we were in Philly hanging out with the lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll of Public Health, and this week we remain in the City of Brotherly Love to have a sit down with Abi Reimold, the singing, songwriting, introspectively guitar bashing rock architect behind “Wriggling,” my hands down current favorite album of 2016.

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Abi Reimold

I have to shout out to the excellent crew over at Animal House Productions for turning me onto the sounds of Abi Reimold.  In late 2015 they booked Abi as the opener for the equally lyrically insightful and grunge guitar rocking Jessica Lea Mayfield. My attention was piqued from that moment on, but it was not until seeing her again at Everybody Hits in Philly (Go see a show there, you haven’t heard punk rock till you’ve listened to it in a batting cage) on a triple threat line up with Mannequin Pussy (new album coming) and Chastity Belt (would see them any day every day), that I brought a cassette copy of “Wriggling” and my musical year was turned on its head.

The word that comes to mind in regards to Abi’s debut record is “raw.”  While I know many of you may be ready to shut this page the second I stooped to such a cliche descriptive banality, hear me out.  Listening to album opener “Arranged” is like grabbing onto an exposed live wire.  The song starts bare and exposed, with just Abi’s instantly recognizable vocal and guitar playing.  When the band kicks in just after the minute mark, her voice is surrounded by guitars, but remains untouched by excessive reverb, effects, or anything else that would mask or hinder the visceral emotion of her performance.  There is an immediacy and an urgency that is present on this record that is a requirement for true rock ‘n’ roll. And be assured; this is rock ‘n’ roll of the highest caliber.

“Wriggling” is also an amazingly textured and dynamic record.  Tracks that start off in a whisper often ramp up to a roar and back in a matter of seconds.  I love that there is room on this album for crescendoing rockers like “Arranged” but also lo fi solo introspective torch songs like “Vessel.”  Finally I must commend the lyrical work on this record.  Abi’s command of the english language is obvious, and she makes dropping phrases like “stranger watch me as I sleep/ consume concessions I concede” seem like they are effortlessly tumbling out of her.

Abi’s music has been getting fantastic reviews from the likes pitchfork and stereogum, and so I’m so thrilled to have her on board to talk about some music that inspires her.  Give it up for Top Five Fridays with Abi Reimold!

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Emily Yacina–Overflow(demos)

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Emily is one of my favorite songwriters and these songs are beautiful and cathartic. I love how honest and thoughtful Overflow is. Emily’s songs are all so different from each other but her arrangements, voice and recording style tie them all together very neatly. Her songwriting is unique and original without being over complicated and inaccessible. Sometimes when people write songs this personal (myself included), listening to the record is a little too overwhelming or painful, but Overflow is emotive without being overly intrusive. We just toured together and it was lovely hearing the songs live every night for a week!

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Rihanna–ANTI

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I fall in love with a different song from this record everyday. Rihanna’s voice is obviously amazing. I love a record, especially from a singer/songwriter or solo artist, that showcases their different moods, abilities and dynamics by providing a sampling of songs from different genres. Whether she’s singing a complicated, jazzy melody over the cerebral “James Joint,” getting angry to a beat on “Kiss it better,” or letting out those singer-songwriter vibes on “Close to you,” her voice is a heartbreaking conveyer of emotion, personality and beauty in a way most listeners are able to relate to.

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blue smiley– return 

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Bryan’s guitar playing is so original, quirky and thoughtful without being over-cerebral or inaccessible. The melodies and chord changes are so refreshingly unique and complicated, but he ties them together with haunting, questioning vocal melodies. I love how this record has a variety of types of arrangements, but every instrument really pulls its weight on every song with a badass part.

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Richard Drueding– Wissahickon

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Richard was an amazing guitarist from Philly who passed away this winter. I got this CD at his memorial and have been listening to it in the car ever since. It’s really peaceful and helps with driving anxiety. But it’s not at all boring– Richard’s playing is so technical while still being soulful and not at all show-offy. It’s all instrumental. While it’s clear that Richard is pouring his emotions into these songs, he does it in such a way that the listener can easily paint whatever they need to onto the songs to be touched in the moment.

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Porches– Pool

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This record is a little less of a variety pack than the other ones I mentioned, but it’s hard to get enough of these synthy, groovy emotive jams crafted with a palette of carefully selected sounds. I feel like this record could be so accessible and enjoyable to so many people– the songs are a kind of artfully crafted moody pop with delicious hooks that are perfect for driving, working, partying, or thinking through things.

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Thanks so much Abi! Killer list.  That Rihanna record is so stellar. Don’t even get me started talking about the guitar on “Kiss it Better.”

I must also take a second to note that Abi Reimold is not only responsible for my favorite long playing release of 2016, but also her three part harmony all girl punk trio Fake Boyfriend released “Mercy,” a four song EP that is just flawless.  I discovered Fake Boyfriend due to Philly punk trio Cayetana being amazing people and sharing great music on twitter.  It is my mission to deliver a Fake Boyfriend T5F to you all in the next year if I do nothing else.  Check their goodness out over here via bandcamp.

Dear readers, you know what to do: Go buy Wriggling.  Buy it right now.  Go over to her store and download this.  If you, like myself, are more down with tangible forms of music media you can also order it on CD or Cassette.  Go for the cassette. That’s what I got and apparently as I write this there are only six more.  Plus it’s “cactus green.”  After that, be sure to do the usual social media square dance and LIKE Abi on facebook and FOLLOW her on twitter.  On 9/25/16 Abi Reimold is playing a show at Space 1026 in Philly with the INCOMPARABLE Ava Luna (Infinite House was one of the best records of 2015) and Laser Background.  That is a stacked line up people, more deets HERE.  There is also a fantastic short video on Abi and the making of “Wriggling” that you can find on youtube.

Remember, you can check out past editions of Top Five Fridays (including lists from the likes of Radiator Hospital, Stupid Bag Records, The Goodbye Party, and Laura Stevenson) by wandering over to the ARCHIVES.

 

well peace out good people of the world,

 

Peter Winter

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Peter Winter is trying to just enjoy the end of Summer and not think about all the Horror Movies he is going to be watching in a couple short months.  Follow the journey on twitter.

Top Five Fridays: Public Health

Hey Folks,

The time has come in the week for a brand spanking new edition of Top Five Fridays, where I find a great and happening musical or otherwise artistically inclined cat to share a handful of their favorite records with the rest of us.  Last week found us for the first time ever in Melbourne, OZ, where the garage rockin’ shoe gazin’ genius known to the world as Steph Crase aka Summer Flake shared some of her top albums (you can check out that action over here).  Today we’re in Philly with Alex Moxam, the primary force behind Rock n’ Roll band Public Health.

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Alex Moxam of Public Health

 

I came upon Public Health’s stellar 2015 EP “Down” by hanging out on the wonderful Theory 8 Records home page.  The Nashville label/management company first came on my radar as they put out another of my favorite releases of 2015, Idle Bloom’s face melting “Some Paranoia” EP (You can check out Idle Bloom’s T5F over HERE). When you see that alums of Theory 8 include the likes of Caitlin Rose and Bully, you know they mean business.  Spending time on the Theory 8 page reminds me why true indie labels are so helpful to all of us out there scouring the interwebs for musical gold. Whether I am clicking through Theory 8, Stupid Bag, Salinas, Don Giovanni, Burger, or Infinity Cat, I feel like I can trust the musical taste behind it all putting out these records.  If I liked one release, chances are I’ll probably like the rest of the label’s output.

Anyway, listening to “Down” reminds me of one of the reasons I love Rock ‘n’ Roll so doggone much.  You can’t buy your way or gear your way to a great rock ‘n’ roll record.  You can have the most expensive producer, the best mixing board, and record the whole damn thing to tape, however if the songs and the spirit aren’t there, some group of cats who recorded their album in their living room with a handful of mics are going to come and blow you away.  On “Down,” Alex Moxam and his cohorts (album credits shout out to Kevin Kearney, Jordan Mrazik, Kevin Comly, Julien Rossow-Greenberg, Sam Combs and Ben Fra) deliver a handful of songs that are fun, raw, immediate, and totally thrive in the lo fi/home recording aesthetic of the record.  There isn’t a weak track amongst these five songs, but “Name of the Game” is a standout for me, where the urgency and introspection of the music drives home a lyrical expression of emotionally/intellectually fueled insomnia.

Read more…