Indie Rock

Weekend Warrior, December 14 - 16

Sometimes, it's easy to be consumed by personal circumstances, to feel that your individual situations are unique. Hence, you justify insulating yourself, turning your back on the outside world, when that may be the remedy to breaking the cycle. The portal of connection that you forge with others, via empathy, is a vital component in establishing a sense of community. Thin Lips find a way to maneuver through personal trials and tribulations, exposing vulnerability and insecurities in an unflinching emotive fervor. Harnessing that raw force with a melodic, pop-punk orientation, the plots play out in heavy yet refined swells; controlled, explosive songs tear down self-imposed walls, revealing that we’re all in this together. Billowing with emotion, the quintet of State Champs rolls ahead in composed, impactful waves, setting the stage for the collective, anthemic outpouring of local legends The Starting Line this Saturday at Franklin Music Hall. – Michael Colavita

Other places where you can avoid shoppers this weekend…

Franklin Music Hall (421 N. 7th St.) SAT The Starting Line, Thin Lips

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SAT Photon Band, American Trappist, Mt Vengeance

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Dreamswell, iAlive

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Charley Coin/DJ Lil Dave, DJ Shango, SAT The Fleeting Ends/DJSC, SUN Full Bush, Dear Forbidden, Babe Grenade

Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT Automatic 253

The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SAT The 8th Annual Philly Hip Hop Awards, SUN Screamcloud, Big Handsome, Tiger Oil, Ascension Drive, Social Ruins, Dinosaur Diner, Mrs. Kitching

The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) SAT Danny & Mary

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Toby Lightman, SAT (Upstairs) School of Rock Philadelphia/Dukes of Destiny

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI The Virus, Batallion Zoska, Stolen Wheelchairs, The Asthmatix, SAT Last Minute Hero, Moonflower, SUN Earth7, Familiar Things, Voltheque

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) SAT Civil Holdup

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI The 1910 Chainsaw Company, Joey Sweeney, SAT Hotbed, Tetra, Dolphin Hotel

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) FRI Full Bush, Grace Vonderkuhn, SAT Adventure Lost, Mirrorsigns

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI DJ Sylo, Astro 8000, SAT DJ Deejay

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SUN Rusty Cadillac 

Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Stella Ruze, Pete Hill, John Gilbride, SAT 56 Men, SUN Tiffany Janell, Séana Bailey

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI The Eighth Fish of Christmas, SAT The Eighth Fish of Christmas

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI Royale, SAT Ed Christof, SUN A Celebration Of Nerds

Century (1350 S. 29th St.) FRI Secret Cutter, Bandit, SAT Thorazine, The End A.D.

The Tusk (430 South St.) SAT Wrong Planet, No Nothing, Belt Fed

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Stealing From Thieves, Delmont, Bohemian Mule, Goodthief, SAT Atomic Sky, The Band Sheep, Sonny Knockout, The Phazers

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Morgan Pinkstone, SAT Jeff Washington Band, SUN The Newspaper Taxis

Creep Records (1050 N. Hancock St.) SAT Goalkeeper (EP Release), Midfield

Green Line Cafe (4426 Locust St.) SAT Swanning, Greg Electric, Psychic Flowers

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI No Mere Machine, Snakes & Vultures, The Year End, SAT Overeasy, Blue Velvet

LAVA Space (4134 Lancaster Ave.) SAT Pinkwash, Iffy, Todd Killings

No Face Studios (5213 Grays Ave.) FRI Inspector Moon, Noera, In Trouble, Scyphozoan

The Music Ward (5101 Grays Ave.) FRI Port Arthur, Elaine Rasnake, SAT Internal Rhyme, PRLM CHLD

Living Room Show (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SUN Alec Ounsworth

   

Tempers finds an audience in Europe + releases concept LP about consumerism

A Brooklyn band that was born to be appreciated in the triangle of land enclosed between Manchester, Milan and Berlin, Tempers has been slowly finding recognition... exactly there. Proponents of a brand of coldwave (aka synth-post-punk) that most Americans will find unnecessarily depressing, the duo has released an excellent debut album in 2015 that - like all good records - has not stopped conquering hearts just yet (it's called "Services"). After spending four years touring and promoting that release, the duo has finally come out with their sophomore full length, which takes their lugubrious electronic music to new levels of abstraction and intellectual exploration. Presented as "a concept album about the architecture of consumerism," the record features conversations with iconic dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and a more explorative sound that's less influenced by the canons of the electronic new wave of the '80s. Check out the video for single "Love at the Mall."

   

Ruby Throated are at their best on inspired new single, "My Worst"

Ruby Throated spin around with regretful acknowledgment on "My Worst." The positively brainy new single by the progressive pop four-piece sounds as flummoxed as the song's conflicted subject, where their fractured time signatures give an air of distress to someone whose hopeless endeavor to make things better makes them fall deeper and deeper. Led by Jocelyn Raulston's playful vocals, the band introduce oft-kilter meters over eclectic jazz elements - it serves to mention that all band members come from academic musical backgrounds - with an otherwise agile simplicity. But nothing about "My Worst" sounds too studious or elaborate, as they let their free-spirited groove guide them with a joyful release. 

"My Worst" is the first single off of Ruby Throated's forthcoming EP, Breakfast Table Omen, which will be self-released on January 4. Juan Rodríguez

   

Debut Puppy Angst EP Available for Streaming & Purchase

Tiny Thoughts, the new EP from the quartet of Puppy Angst, is out now via Good How Are You Records. With an uninhibited, stream-of-consciousness style of lyricism, an endearing, relatable quality is present. Working through situations while acknowledging ones imperfections, the recordings stew between subdued moments and grittier, aggressive, shoegazy noise-pop. It finds balance between the cycle of replaying thoughts and stepping out to let off steam.

   

Black Fret Ball Gives Back to Austin Artists

 Black Fret’s fifth annual Black Fret Ball set a few different milestones this past Friday night, not the least of which was surpassing over $1 million in grants to local bands as well as upgrading the event venue to the ACL Live Moody theater.  Black Fret co-founders, Colin Kendrick and Matt Ott, have made progress by leaps in bounds since inception by not only growing the charity organization in Austin but also expanding to other cities as well. Moving the Black Fret Ball venue from the Paramount Theater, where it was held last year, to ACL Live could have meant a lot of empty seats. Instead, the crowd was massive and members and attendees flooded the venue in impressive fashion.

 The recipients of Black Fret’s grant money were a mixed bag of returning artists and some brand new acts.  Groups like the Greyhounds, Los Coast and Jane Ellen Bryant all returned from last year’s ball to claim $20k grants while newcomers Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad, Trouble In The Streets and The Texas KGB all claimed their first grants.

 Major sponsors like Dell, Deloitte and NY Life gave the notion that Black Fret has ascended to a high level of recognition within the corporate community as much as the artistic one.  While there is a bit of an Oprah-esque vibe to the grant giving, “You get a grant! You get a grant!”, ultimately the impact is profound for the artist – financially and with newfound exposure.

 Performances by Donovan Keith, The Texas KGB and Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad were all highlights of the night, as a dual stage setup allowed for a more fluid transition to showcase more music. While there is a lot of love in the room, it was still left to A Giant Dog’s Andrew Cashen to inject some legitimate Rock n Roll spirit by accepting his band’s grant while grandstanding on an amp like a golden god, with music writer Kevin Curtin in tow.

 A quarter million dollars was given out the night of the ball which was awe-inspiring, as artist after artist beamed onstage upon receiving their grant amount.  As Austin’s cost of living continues to skyrocket, charities like Black Fret are becoming more vital to allowing musicians to remain viable or reach the next level.