The Morelings at The Grape Room

The Morelings at The Grape Room

Last Wednesday, The Morelings made their second live appearance, performing at The Grape Room in Philadelphia’s trendy Manyunk neighborhood. Despite the mid-week booking on a lovely summer evening, a decent sized crowd gathered at the modest venue off Main Street.

Inspired by post punk and shoegaze, The Morelings’ sound is atmospheric and solemn, evoking the works of classic 4AD bands like Cocteau Twins and Lush, but without being imitative. Vocalist and bassist Kedra Kearis and guitarist Matt Kearis were accompanied by hired drummer Chris Cotter at The Grape Room; the trio’s set started just after 9:00 PM.

From the opener, “Only”, the first thing that immediately struck me was that this seems like a band that’s been together for a while, not a fledgling group playing their second show. The Grape Room can hardly be described as acoustically ideal; however, The Morelings sounded balanced, and large for a three-piece. Textured guitar and pulsing bass were complimented by raw, almost tribal drumming. And with her glowing appearance and ethereal vocals, Kedra is a mesmerizing frontwoman.

There was a consistency and cohesiveness to the eight song set of original material, suggesting that it could be an album played live. Throughout the evening, the group sounded tight and together—again, not at all like newcomers. My one gripe was with the low mixing of vocals, which made it difficult to discern lyrics.

The Morelings are a band with refined talent and great promise. They plan to be in a studio sometime this fall, so we can look forward to recordings in the near future. Stay tuned for further updates here and on social media:

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Flowtation

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01 Flowtation (Radio Mix)
02 Flowtation (Original Mix)
03 Flowtation (Continuous Cool Mix)
04 Flowtation (Ariel Mix)
05 Flowtation (Digital Blondes Mix)

INFO > Enigmatic Dutch producer Vincent De Moor has been creating electronic dance music since 1992. His breakthrough single was trance anthem “Flowtation”, first issued in 1996 through Deal Records. XL Recordings licensed “Flowtation” for a UK release featuring remixes by Steve Rachmad, Ariel Belloso, and Ricky Smith.

HELP > Anyone have the 1996 German CD single?

Narcotic Influence

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01 Narcotic Influence (Edit)
02 Narcotic Influence (Dave Clarke Mix)
03 Narcotic Influence (Secret Knowledge Mix)
04 Narcotic Influence (Meat Beat Manifesto Mix)
05 Narcotic Influence 1

INFO > Essex based Empirion comprised Jamie Smart, Austin Morsley, and Bob Glennie. “Narcotic Influence” introduced the trio’s techno-industrial sound; the single was released through the group’s Wanted Records imprint in 1993, prior to their signing with XL Recordings. Empirion ended with the passing of Glennie in 2005; however, Smart and Morsley reunited in 2010 to continue the project.

The Genius Of Alfred Matthew Yankovic

How can anyone not love “Weird Al” Yankovic, that purveyor of potent pop parodies? However, I do suspect that Al’s music probably has a polarizing effect on listeners—either you find his oeuvre to be comically brilliant or simply annoying.

Released last month, “Mandatory Fun” is Yankovic’s fourteenth studio album, and his first to top the US Billboard 200 chart. Among the LP’s clever ditties are “Tacky”, a celebration of social and fashion faux pas based on Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”; and “Word Crimes”, an educational send-up of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” While I loathe the original songs, both tunes become far more entertaining after undergoing Weird Al’s lyrical revisions.

The promo video for “Word Crimes” should be made mandatory viewing for all us illiterate Americans (yes, that adjective usage is regrettably redundant):

Visit Weird Al’s official pages on Vevo or YouTube for more of the master’s art.

The Morelings Live

The Morelings (cover)

A few months back, we introduced you to Philadelphia based indie band The Morelings. They made their live debut last week, but unfortunately, I was unable to attend the performance. Thankfully, the group has two more live dates scheduled this month:

Wednesday 13 August 2014
The Morelings + Blood Sound
The Grape Room – 105 Grape Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127
Show starts 9:00 PM | $5 cover

Wednesday 27 August 2014
The Morelings + The Stammer + Hidden Lights
The Fire – 412 W Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Show starts 8:30 PM | $7 cover

In addition to being musically gifted, Kedra and Matt are damn good lookin’ people and nice as pie. So if you’re in the Philly area, drop by and show some support for these guys. Mrs. Shelf and I will be at The Grape Room tonight.

By the way, The Morelings are in search of a drummer—if you happen to be (or know) a local drummer and are interested, message the band through Facebook for more info.

DMC The History Of DJ Part 2

The second installment in DMC’s The History Of DJ documentary series was posted today:

More info at DMC World TV.

Lost Property

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1.01 Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
1.02 The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary
1.03 Public Image Limited – This Is Not A Love Song
1.04 New Order – Blue Monday
1.05 The Smiths – This Charming Man
1.06 Echo & The Bunnymen – The Cutter
1.07 The Sisters Of Mercy – Temple Of Love (1992)
1.08 Bauhaus – Ziggy Stardust
1.09 Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again
1.10 The Psychedelic Furs – Pretty In Pink
1.11 Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
1.12 Simple Minds – I Travel
1.13 Electronic – Getting Away With It
1.14 Gang Of Four – I Love A Man In Uniform
1.15 The Wonder Stuff – Size Of A Cow
1.16 The Lotus Eaters – The First Picture Of You
1.17 The B-52’s – Rock Lobster
1.18 The Clash – The Magnificent Seven

2.01 The Jam – Going Underground
2.02 The Damned – Eloise
2.03 Wire – I Am The Fly
2.04 Magazine – A Song From Under The Floorboards
2.05 The Birthday Party – Release The Bats
2.06 Theatre Of Hate – Do You Believe In The Westworld
2.07 Spear Of Destiny – The Wheel
2.08 Pixies – Monkey Gone To Heaven
2.09 The Teardrop Explodes – Reward
2.10 Primal Scream – Loaded
2.11 The Jesus And Mary Chain – April Skies
2.12 Happy Mondays – Step On
2.13 James – Sit Down
2.14 Jane’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealing
2.15 The Farm – All Together Now
2.16 Morrissey – Everyday Is Like Sunday
2.17 Dexys Midnight Runners – Geno
2.18 The Waterboys – Whole Of The Moon
2.19 The Specials – Ghost Town

INFO > Taken together, “Lost Property” and yesterday’s “Machine Soul” effectively represent the two most significant sides of my music collection—the ‘yin and yang’, if you will. Subtitled ‘An Alternative History 1979 – 1992′, this compilation surveys prominent post punk and indie bands, predominantly from the UK (The B-52’s and Jane’s Addiction seem awkwardly out of place here). Common to both “Lost Property” and “Machine Soul” is the ubiquitous “Blue Monday”—quite appropriate given how New Order bridged the gap between indie and dance.

Machine Soul

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1.01 Kraftwerk – The Robots
1.02 The Normal – Warm Leatherette
1.03 Donna Summer – I Feel Love
1.04 Sparks – The Number One Song In Heaven
1.05 Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Electricity
1.06 Gary Numan – Cars
1.07 Throbbing Gristle – Adrenalin
1.08 Cabaret Voltaire – Yashar
1.09 Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force – Planet Rock
1.10 Newcleus – Jam On Revenge
1.11 Cybotron – Clear
1.12 New Order – Blue Monday
1.13 Rhythim Is Rhythim – Strings Of Life

2.01 M|A|R|R|S – Pump Up The Volume
2.02 Inner City – Big Fun
2.03 Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
2.04 The KLF – What Time Is Love
2.05 The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds
2.06 Moby – Go
2.07 The Shamen – Move Any Mountain
2.08 L.A. Style – James Brown Is Dead
2.09 The Prodigy – Charly
2.10 Underworld – Rez
2.11 The Chemical Brothers – Life Is Sweet
2.12 Fluke – Absurd
2.13 Überzone – 2kool4skool
2.14 Paul van Dyk – For An Angel
2.15 BT – Godspeed

INFO > Looking over the tracklistings for 2000 compilation “Machine Soul”, one might think it was a blueprint for this blog. Subtitled ‘An Odyssey Into Electronic Dance Music’, the collection spans from 1977 to 1999, and presents many of that period’s key genres: disco, synthpop, industrial, electro, techno, house, rave, ambient, big beat, breaks, and trance (the most conspicuous omission is drum ‘n’ bass). It’s far from comprehensive, and leans heavily toward popular selections, but “Machine Soul” is still a decent dance retrospective.

Various Artists – THE BANK

The Bank CD 1

Over at our sister blog, THE BANK, we’ve finally reached the 100th post. To celebrate that milestone, I have compiled three volumes of tunes that were all classics at the former Philly dance spot.

Design dude harry3 produced the packaging pictured above; you may recall that Harry also created the artwork for our custom Pet Shop Boys project, “Production.” The man certainly has undeniable skills and style.

For additional information, tracklistings, high quality images, and withdrawal links, please visit THE BANK.

(Please note that BANK100 will be that blog’s final update)


By the way, sorry I’ve been a bit of a slacker lately—flaking on updates and not responding to comments. Sadly, the old job gets in the way of doing fun stuff, as most of you can relate. Also, I’m still out there rescuing wildlife on a frequent basis. And honestly, it’s difficult to be enthusiastic about leisure pursuits given all of the horrible things happening around the world. This planet could use more peace, to say the least.

I’m heading off on a little holiday with the family, so the blog will be static for a while. Anyway, I know you all are understanding.

As always, thanks for your support of the blog.

Big Love

Hal David and Burt Bacharach couldn’t have put it better:

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…”

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01 Big Love (Eat Me Edit)
02 Atlanta (CD Edit)
03 Big Love (The Dronez Mix)
04 Big Love (Original Mix)*

*Bonus track

INFO > In 1999, I vaguely remember reading in Muzik magazine that Pete Heller recorded “Big Love” while Terry Farley was off on holiday—when Farley returned, his production partner’s debut single was topping the charts around the world. The story may be a bit exaggerated, but only just so; “Big Love” is one of the last truly great summer house anthems. The simple yet infectiously uplifting groove samples Stargard’s 1979 disco single, “Wear It Out.”