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Mose Giganticus (That’s What She Said) at DDG May 8

Keytar God Mose Giganticus recently became the newest acquisition of Relapse Records. His upcoming release Gift Horse is going to feature a heavy hitting sound. Being no stranger to touring, Mose is ready to pack up the vegetable oil powered van and hit the road before the albums release. And tonight’s show at Danger Danger Gallery will be the tour’s kick-off party. The Robot Rocker may even be set to do double duty if the chance arises because another project that he’s been heavily involved with, Hulk Smash, will take the stage with their rampaging barrage of gamma-rayed tunes. The group recently put out an impressive release in Jeer, and took part in PiLam’s “Two Piece Fest”. Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave., $5 - $10 donation, All Ages (Photo by Laura Webb) - Bill McThrill



Younglove’s Uber-fun Official Grand Opening Party May 8

Younglove specializes in new, underground and hard-to-find vinyl, used slabs of wax, vintage men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, magazines, and vintage music gear. It has been the next door neighbor of the Danger Danger Gallery for a little bit now, but today they will be hosting their official “grand opening” party. Photographer/actress/musician Molly Landergan will be showing her photographic works titled Still Looking which “blurs the border between waking and sleep, public and private”. You may know Landergan from her onscreen debut in Oddsac, the recent collaboration between local director Danny Perez and Animal Collective. She’ll be joined by some of Philly’s finest experimental lo-fi adventurists, U.S. Girls, Serpents of W.I.S.D.O.M. and Akasha Blade. They’ll be performing from 7 - 9pm “amidst the murky, dreamlike images of themselves” as captured by Landergan. You’ll also be treated to some FREE tasty BBQ food (vegetarian, meatatarian and vegan) grilled by a crew of Badmaster all-stars as well a keg and fancy adult drinks from their wet bar. This definitely sounds uber-fun! The event also coincides with “West Philly’s 2nd Saturday Craft Fair” hosted by VIX Emporium and Satellite Café so it looks like you have a good reason to hand out all day and night on the other side of the Schuykill River. Younglove, 5011 Baltimore Ave., 5pm, FREE, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman



Schoolly D Opening for Aqua Teen Hunger Force at The Troc May 8

When it comes down to it, Aqua Teen Hunger Force are “#1 in the Hood G”, and if you’re a fan then that’s why you’re probably scrambling to see the show’s creators put on a live performance at The Troc tonight. But Frylock, Meatwad and Grand Master Shake wouldn’t have received that timeless moniker if it wasn’t for our local “Godfather of Gangsta Rap”, Schoolly D, who will be opening the evening. Along with the show’s theme, expect him to dish out his latest single “Family Affair”, and some songs from his upcoming album International Supersport! The Troc, 1003 Arch St., 8pm, $24, All Ages (Photo by Jonene Taddel) - Bill McThrill



Album Review - Man/Miracle: The Shape of Things

Man/Miracle’s debut album The Shape of Things sold out of its first pressing rather quickly when it was originally self-released by the band towards the end of 2009. Now The Shape of Things has received a proper release thanks to the Bay Area label, Third Culture Records.

The Shape of Things has an admirable diversity, the 10 songs vary enough to all sound unique without sounding like 10 different bands. The four members that make up Oakland’s Man/Miracle are somehow able to shift the energy and intensity of their songs effortlessly, drawing you in for the quiet moments only to explode into an engrossing rhythm moments later. Songs like “Above the Salon” and “Pushing and Shoving” lean on the dancier side of indie rock, while songs like “Up” and “Back of the Card” mix afro pop and Talking Heads into some weird and catchy fun. Not to make The Shape of Things sound too light, there are definitely times when this record gets intense, aggressive, and even dark.

Lead singer, Dylan Travis, heads the diverse musical landscape with a strong and intriguing voice. His vocals can be rather easy going in the more straightforward moments of the record, but once the music intensifies his voice surges with energy, adding a haunting and enthralling narrative to the songs.

There is definitely a substantial afro and David Byrne style pop influence to this record, something that has become popular recently in the indie rock world (i.e. Vampire Weekend). However, Man/Miracle definitely makes it their own, bringing a healthy amount of dirt, grit, and raw energy to the mix. A talented group of musicians and an impressive debut album!

The Shape of Things is out now on Third Culture Records. Man/Miracle just finished up a tour with Rogue Wave and play Milk Bar on May 20th.

-Glenn Jackson


CD Review: Maps & Atlases

Maps and Atlases found their beginnings at Columbia in 2004 and have recorded two EPs prior to Perch Patchwork -work that garnered comparisons to TV on the Radio and Deerhoof. For those who haven't heard the band's previous work, you'll find a group who is certainly talented, inventing their own brand of indie folk pop complete with custom guitar playing methods. Though "Perch" is catchy as hell, none of the songs stand out as particularly special.

Instead Perch Patchwork comes off sounding as if producer Jason Cupp manipulated the band's signature quirk into a palatable mainstream framework that could potentially alienate old fans while attracting a new and perhaps less indie base of listeners.

David Davison's unique and brassy vocals highlight the group's folk routes on an album clearly about breaking up. The second track on the album, "The Charm" finds Davison crooning "I don't think there is a sound that I hate more than the sound of your voice, when you say that you don't love me anymore." The tragic lyrics continue against a backdrop of ironically upbeat music throughout the album. While Erin Elders' acclaimed slap guitar playing still sounds interesting, many of the songs on Perch Patchwork sound too similar, for instance "Solid Ground" and "Pigeon." Having a common thread or theme on an album is certainly necessary, but Maps and Atlases may have pushed theirs a touch too far on this most recent effort.

Despite all these criticisms, one would be remiss to deny pop lure of the tunes on Perch Patchwork. Regardless of their similarities, the album-as one big song-gets caught in a listener's head after a single play through. The blend of folk and pop is almost pastoral and reminiscent of the group's mid-western roots. If not an album to absolutely love, Maps and Atlases have created a piece that at least has a little something for everyone.

Perch Patchwork comes out on Barsuk Records June 29th 2010. Catch Maps and Atlases opening for Frightened Rabbit at the Metro this Saturday, May 8th at 8pm. - Erin Keane


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