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Work Drugs & Power Animal Performing at WQHS Fall 2011 Showcase w/Tony Castles & Botany at The Rotunda Oct. 6

WQHS (Penn Student Radio) are ready to kick off what will hopefully be one of many seasonal concerts at The Rotunda tonight. And they have definitely used those Ivy League funds to put together a buzz-worthy lineup to help you forget that the event is dry. Brooklyn’s Tony Castles will be headlining the bill, but Philly’s own Work Drugs may be the one piquing the student body’s interest. The local act will be performing their last all ages show of the year so all our under 21 readers should swing by this evening. You’ll also be treated to another Deli fave Power Animal (a.k.a. Keith Hampson). He’ll be performing as a two-piece for the very first time with biological bro Matt Hampson. (But we are definitely sure that it won’t be last time - nudge, nudge, wink, wink ;o) Breakout Austin musician Spencer Stephenson, who is better known as Botany, is on tour with Keith, and will be opening the shindig. It’s an early show so all the 21+ folks should get nice and toasty at happy hour before you head on over. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St., 7pm, $8 adv/$10 door, All Ages - Bill McThrill
 
   

NYC Artists on the rise: We Barbarians play CMJ at Mercury on 10.21

Sporting t-shirts and jeans and short haircuts, it might be easy to confuse We Barbarians with New Order- era Euro arena rock, but they are indeed Long Beach, NY natives. Living in Brooklyn now, they’ve been hard at it. In the past five years, they’ve released four records and have opened for big indie bands from Ra Ra Riot to Tokyo Police Club. Their latest self- released EP Headspace contains a much more direct and close-mic'ed sound than their previous EP's, which were much more dronier and awash in reverb by comparison.
Standout “Chambray” yields that classic righteous warrior sound we've been hearing from bands like U2 for years now, but David has the voice capable of delivering a range to easily rival Bono’s, and the three-piece locks it in for anyone missing singers like Jeff Buckley singing to the rafters.
Arguably, the standout is their cover of David Byrne's “Strange Overtones”. We Barbarians’ treatment of this classic marries Byrne's world music dance vibe to Quon's penchant for anthems. It's a unique idea, and I give them credit for owning up to the challenge.
After so many EP's released in such short succession, I can only imagine a full-length is on the docket. But right now the band is getting ready for a tour, so I’m hoping they announce new dates soon! - Mike Levine (@goldnuggets)

   

Lotte Kestner- Conversation 16

Lotte Kestner has the quiet, understated intensity made possible by her bare bones production.  She is reminiscent of Seattle's Tiny Vipers, but even more closely related to the likes of Grouper with her wonderfully thin, beautiful, reverb kissed vocals.  Her compositions in general, at the heart of them, are melancholy folk meditations.  Rather than evoking woodsy, finger-picked platitudes, they manifest feelings of dissolution and isolation.

China Mountain, Kestner's last release in 2009 named after a mountain range in southern Oregon, was recorded over a year in her basement bedroom, and mixed with Trespassers bandmate Matt Brown.  Recently, on September 27th, Kestner released a cover of The National's "Conversation 16", which with her stripped down means, lays bare the effectiveness of the vocal pattern and lyrics, acting as a kind of distillation showcasing what makes the song function in its essence. 

   

The New Division comes out of the "Shadows" with new release

Los Angeles group the New Division introduces their own brand of woozy, ethereal new-wave music to the masses with a brand new song and album. "Shallow Play" comes off the group's brand new album, "Shadows", which was released last week. The panning effects of the twinkling synthesizer lines is disorienting at first, until you just allow yourself to get swept away by the sounds. John Kunkel's voice floats lightly on top of the music, but yet are so full, they sink to the bottom. The vocals soar up and up and up to guide you through the uncertainty of the soundscapes the band (made up of Kunkel, Brook Woolsey on guitars, and Mark Michalski and Michael Janz "Janzie" on synths) all create for our aural pleasure. If you're looking for new new-wave music that is great to vibe out to, look no further. Stream "Shallow Play" on SoundCloud now and check out their album "Shadows". - Taylor Lampela

Shallow Play by The New Division

   

Farewell Suzanna C!

We're losing one of our own-- well, let's say we're lending her to NYC for a spell. Suzanna Choffel is headed for bright lights, big city, and Momo's will see her off in style this Friday (10/7), with a performance by Suzanna herself plus Dan Dyer, Drew Smith, Erin Ivey, and many more covering some of Suzanna's work...party starts at 8, $10. Enjoy...