An American Chinese Worth the Journey to North Star Bar April 22

Panic Pilgrim masterminds, a.k.a. An American Chinese, keep things fresh with peculiar pop and buzzing vocals. With an end in sight for the release of their long-awaited debut full length Utopian Tree in May (we’re still a little salty about their posting of a January release so let’s stay friends, OK :o), the beats and blips of “Chasing Rabbit” are enough to elicit toe-taps and the occasional handclap while hissing snare and vocals rise beneath feverish chords. An American Chinese is well versed in rockin’ out and keeping crowds screaming for more. Their tracks are infectiously dancey without sounding trite. With subtle hints of folk and punk, this local seven-piece deserve to be part of the next crop of locals to get snatched up by a quality indie label. Between the driving beat and megaphone vocals of “Indian Punk” and the melodic crash of “The Distaste of Dairy Frank,” they’re well worth the cover charge. Don’t be surprised when they show-up visiting bands Roman Candle and Roadside Graves! North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Dianca Potts



The Deli’s Featured Artist(s) of the Month: The Spooks

The Spooks have been scaring up plenty of buzz from their rockin’ live performances. We asked them a few questions to give you a preview of what you might see tonight at Kung Fu Necktie when they share the stage with Matador’s Harlem and garage-y buddies Junkers. We’re guessing that it might be what their drummer had for dinner.
The Deli: Where did the name “The Spooks” come from?
The Spooks: Well, contrary to popular misconception it hasn't got anything to do with secret agent slang or antiquated racial slurs. Think ghost.

TD: What are your biggest musical influences?
TS: Probably Daft Punk or Free Energy. You know, the retro stuff.

TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
TS: Mostly those lo-fi beachy chillwave bands, especially the ones with aquatic names. That and the new MGMT and Vampire Weekend albums.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
TS: We've only known each other for a few years or whatever, but it turns out that we were all at the same concert when we were kids. Back in '91, coincidence had us all at the Tom Petty show when he played Philly on his "Touring the Great Wide Open" tour.

As for albums, I'm sure we were all listening to something by The Offspring by the time we'd gotten our first hand jobs...which is unfortunate.

TD: What do you love about Philly?
TS: The El Bar.

TD: What do you hate about Philly?
TS: These kids that seem to think that each new pair of shoes they buy from Urban Outfitters is going to bring them one step closer to living in Brooklyn.

TD: What are your plans for 2010?
TS: We'll be releasing our first LP, which we're recording with Adam Granduciel from The War on Drugs. It's coming out on Trig Club, a new label started by the bloggers behind Yvnyl and Frightened By Bees.

Other than that, we'll be on our second national tour. We're headed down South and out to California in July, so that'll be rad. The dates should be posted pretty soon.

TD: What was your most memorable live show?
TS: The memorable ones usually have something to do with Alex, our drummer.

We were playing a basement in Philly, when we started to notice the crowd looking uncomfortable. We looked back to Alex, and he was still playing (and even keeping rhythm), but his cheeks were full of vomit. He got to a bathroom in between songs, but it was pretty gnarly.

Then, there was this house show in Austin. We'd just finished our set, and everyone was cheering and sort of laughing, which we assumed was a show of appreciation. Then the smell hit us. Apparently, Alex had spewed everywhere during our last song. It was pretty great watching him carry his pukey snare through the crowd of gagging Austin

TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?
TS: Drunk.
(Photo by Tiffany Yoon)
- The Deli Staff




Arc in Round and Oh! Pears at Danger Danger Gallery April 21

You know that you’ll still be celebrating 420 through the weekend. Who are you kidding? Stop making excuses to puff down, but Arc in Round and Oh! Pears at Danger Danger Gallery tonight may be a good reason if you are looking for another excuse. Oh! Pears are headed by Cory Duncan, whom you may know as former Pattern Is Movement guitarist. His solo project has grown into a thirteen-piece orchestra with viola, violin, trumpet, drums, guitar, flute, vocals, clapping, and more, twisted and layered to create compositions that feel like they should be listened to alone in your bedroom in the middle of the night. They’ll be joined by Jeff Zeigler’s Arc in Round with a dream-pop core the likes of Sweden’s greatest, Club 8 and Sambassadeur. They bring you wind-blown vocals and songs reminiscent of watching a sunrise. At first, their musical vision seems dark and unclear, but steadily soft colors blend into the framework to create something new, beautiful and promising. Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave., 8pm, $5 - $10 donation, All Ages, (Photo by Miguel Angel) - Katie Bennett



Smoke ‘em If Ya Got ‘em!

OK, it’s 4/20, and there are plenty of college students getting blazed all day. While I think the whole 420 thing is pretty lame, I do love me some good herb. So here’s my (cough, cough) 4/20 rundown. NORML has been making friends with Philly’s music community lately, which makes sense because they probably know where the high-quality shit is at. They’ll be holding a fundraiser for their staffs’ trust funds (just kidding, you know that I’m down with the cause) tonight at The Blockley Pourhouse with jazzy, jammy Agent Mooshead and WXPN darlings The Hustle. If smokin’ Ls are more your scene, then 100.3 The Beat is sponsoring a sweet hip hop lineup at The Troc featuring Gillie da Kid and Freeway, who was recently featured on (above). But if you happen to get kicked out of The Troc because they tend to be hard asses about puffin’, then you can finish your blunt on your way to Silk City for Beats and Watson (members of Philadelphia Slick). I’m interested in the Paki not Indie Sunny Ali & The Kid and The Chickens at KFN, but for some reason, I feel like more whiskey will be getting kicked back there. That’s cool. Mixing works for me. Cheers! - H.M. Kauffman


The Quelle Source Headline at North Star Bar April 18

Since The Quelle Source started recording in their home studio, it has given them an opportunity to experiment with their own sound. On their newest album Enjoy the Ridge, they incorporate rapid drum beats, loud electric guitars, and screeching vocals to create songs with as much adrenaline as a first kiss. However, The Quelle Source still maintain the same type of perceptive lyrics found on their debut self-titled EP with lead singer Kevin Ryan’s vocals sounding like the Decemberist’s Colin Meloy on four hours of sleep and a few adderall pills (which is meant as a compliment). Each song is essentially a tribute to what they learned at St. Joe’s University, and I don’t mean in the classroom. Theirs is a story of late-night parties, youth, sweat, sex, booze, freedom, and rock ‘n roll. What else should your college years be about? Well, maybe more drugs. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 9pm, $8, 21+ - Katie Bennett