philadelphia

The Deli’s May CD of the Month: Stuck on Nothing - Free Energy

When I first listened to Free Energy’s debut album Stuck on Nothing, I was cruising around in my station wagon ingesting the joyous cassette, yes - cassette, and beating my poor speakers within an inch of their lives. I chose this setting for two reasons. Firstly, it is home to the last living tape player in my possession. Secondly, it is nearly impossible to listen to this music without desiring a wind-blown face. Their tunes are so completely purified and unself-conscious that it begins to seem as though these Bill and Ted spirited time-travelers somehow inherited all the secrets of the world and after much deliberation settled on, “Fuck it, let’s just rock ‘n roll!” They are the perfect older brother that will let you smoke his cigarettes, but won’t buy them for you before you are 18. He’d let you take sips from his tall boy while you watched him and his band perform some timeless amalgamation of good time songs filled with lots of love. The band kicks-in the album’s front door with the anthemic “Free Energy” carried by tasty dueling guitar licks and explosive drums. Paul Spranger sings with confident ease while the rhythmic dudes carry the energy of the song with just enough cowbell. The record seamlessly transitions into the mild tempered boogie “Dream City” with its beautiful hooks which highlight James Murphy’s endlessly creative and deliberate production. The snares that become handclaps and blissfully juvenile backing vocals contrasted by silky horn sections create a subtle, indefinable style present in all of their songs. The body of the album blasts through highlights like relatively downbeat, Strokes-esque “All I Know” that manages to implement a string section and bongos over their electric guitars and still keeps that effortless feel. “Psychic Lightening” pulses with good vibes equal to Nick Lowe’s Jesus Of Cool, and dare I say The Stranger era Billie Joel before they show off their musical mastery in blissfully poppy rock songs that ooze with Thin Lizzie influences such as “Light Love” and “Hope Child”. These boys certainly don’t shy away from their influences, yet they still managed to record a fully contemporary feeling album that shows creativity and progressiveness is not always about implementing the newest technology and following the newest trends, but rather utilizing the lessons of the past and making them relevant and new again. Physical copies available May 4, 2010 and released digitally on March 9, 2010.  - Adam G.

 

   

Free Energy

CD Name: 
Stuck on Nothing
Music Link: 
http://www.myspace.com/freeenergymusic
Album Cover URL: 
http://cdn.stereogum.com/files/2010/02/free-energy-stuck-on-aa.jpg
body: 
<p>When I first listened to Free Energy&rsquo;s debut album <i>Stuck on Nothing</i>, I was cruising around in my station wagon ingesting the joyous cassette, yes - cassette, and beating my poor speakers within an inch of their lives. I chose this setting for two reasons.&nbsp;Firstly, it is home to the last living tape player in my possession. Secondly, it is nearly impossible to listen to this music without desiring a wind-blown face. Their tunes are so completely purified and unself-conscious that it begins to seem as though these Bill and Ted spirited time-travelers somehow inherited all the secrets of the world and after much deliberation settled on, &ldquo;Fuck it, let&rsquo;s just rock &lsquo;n roll!&rdquo;&nbsp;They are the perfect older brother that will let you smoke his cigarettes, but won&rsquo;t buy them for you before you are 18. He&rsquo;d let you take sips from his tall boy while you watched him and his band perform some timeless amalgamation of good time songs filled with lots of love. The band kicks-in the album&rsquo;s front door with the anthemic &ldquo;Free Energy&rdquo; carried by tasty dueling guitar licks and explosive drums. Paul Spranger sings with confident ease while the rhythmic dudes carry the energy of the song with just enough cowbell. The record seamlessly transitions into the mild tempered boogie &ldquo;Dream City&rdquo; with its beautiful hooks which highlight James Murphy&rsquo;s endlessly creative and deliberate production. The snares that become handclaps and blissfully juvenile backing vocals contrasted by silky horn sections create a subtle, indefinable style present in all of their songs. The body of the album blasts through highlights like relatively downbeat, Strokes-esque &ldquo;All I Know&rdquo; that manages to implement a string section and bongos over their electric guitars and still keeps that effortless feel. &ldquo;Psychic Lightening&rdquo; pulses with good vibes equal to Nick Lowe&rsquo;s <i>Jesus Of Cool</i>, and dare I say <i>The Stranger</i> era Billie Joel before they show off their musical mastery in blissfully poppy rock songs that ooze with Thin Lizzie influences such as &ldquo;Light Love&rdquo; and &ldquo;Hope Child&rdquo;. These boys certainly don&rsquo;t shy away from their influences, yet they still managed to record a fully contemporary feeling album that shows creativity and progressiveness is not always about implementing the newest technology and following the newest trends, but rather utilizing the lessons of the past and making them relevant and new again. - <i>Adam G.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
   

The Swimmers Treading a New Wave at JB’s May 1

So has it been a while since you’ve seen The Swimmers? You remember them from back in the day when The Fire was their stomping grounds. You were around for the multiple times they released Fighting Trees so you know what they’re about. Right? Well, People Are Soft will surely change what you thought that you knew about The Swimmers. Yes, their pop catchiness will still get them on XPN, but along the way they’ve decided to take a journey through their 80’s new wave collection creating some infectious tunes that will get your eye-glass wearing head bobbing uncontrollably with nostalgic approval. They’ll be sharing the stage tonight with fellow XPN friendly rockers East Hundred. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ (Photo by Dawn Walsh) - H.M. Kauffman

 

   

Mondo Topless Freaking Out and Taking It All Off at KFN May 1

For a band that’s just 2 years shy of being around for 20 years, Mondo Topless has not missed a beat. And when you toss in the re-emergence of the garage punk sound that has been brought on by younger bucks like Tough Shits and The Midnight Beat, Philadelphia could not have a better predecessor that’s still going on strong! Mondo Topless has recently been hard at work on their first new album since 2006’s Take It Slow, and tonight the band is finally ready to have you Freaking Out with its lo-fi, guitar-fueled rock celebration. They’ll be joined by another classic throwback band in The Three 4 Tens, who have been rocking their 60s fetish since the summer of ‘97. The band has formed a tight knit bond with the likes of The Asteroid #4, whose bassist Gregg Weiss offered to release Throw Back Move on his label Lounge Records. And they have even opened up for The Who. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Frankford Ave., 8pm, $8, 21+ - Bill McThrill

 

   

Weekend Warrior, April 30 - May 2

When Grammar Debate! finished up their sophmore album Broken Heart Deluxe last summer, we don’t think anyone thought that it would take this long for them to celebrate the fruits of their labor, especially when your frontman is at the helm of concert promotion group Village Green Productions. But you’ll finally get your chance to toast their hard work tonight at Kung Fu Necktie, which we’re sure Joe Lekkas and the rest of the crew will be doing - over and over again. And when the band hit the road and toured the Midwest in support of Broken Heart Deluxe, they did it alongside long-time friends Adam & Dave’s Bloodline who will also be joining them on stage this evening. Ever since the release of their album Boycott Classics and the release of their newest single “Come See Come Saw/Living Gets Easy”, Adam & Dave’s Bloodline have been getting plenty of local love!
 
More things to get you out and about this weekend…
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) SAT Mondo Topless Album Release Party, SUN Attia Taylor and Creatures of Prey
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SAT The Swimmers and East Hundred
 
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI Urban Giants
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Infinien, SAT Surgeon and Big Terrible,
 
M Room (15 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Tough Shits, Invisible Friends, The Midnight Beat, SAT Psychedelphia
 
The Khyber (56 S. 2nd St.) FRI The Last Barbarian, SAT Kettle Pot Black and Crills Wilson
 
Tritone (1508 South St.) SAT Broad Street Blues
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Downtown Harvest and Stonethrown

Blockley Pourhouse (3801 Chestnut St.) FRI The Moxy
 
Danger Danger Gallery (5013 Baltimore Ave.) FRI Far-Out Fangtooth
 
Millcreek Tavern (4200 Chester Ave.) FRI Dirt Worshipper and Deathbeds
 
JR's Bar (2327 S. Croskey St.) FRI Monolith
 
Murph’s Bar (202 E. Girard Ave.) FRI Thee Nosebleeds and Shakey Lyman
 
The Carriage House (myspace.com/onlyonecarriagehouse or email OnlyOneCarriageHouse@gmail.com) FRI The Spooks, The Great Vibration, Far-Out Fangtooth