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Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.





New Johnny Utah EP Available for Streaming & Purchase

Issued via Slovakian label Z Tapes, Johnny Utah, a.k.a. Jacob Sullenger, recently shared a new self-titled EP. Draped in the fabric of acoustic bedroom tones, the songs blossom into bright, melodically exuberant pop. Inhabiting a personal, penetrating space with smooth, surprising transitions and a sugary stickiness, there’s an undeniably infectious creativity. Integrating layers of sonics while retaining an overall lightness allows these tracks to perculate, bringing to mind contemporary artists such as (Sandy) Alex G and Beck.





Russian Bath’s “Slenderman” contrasts airy vocals with noisy shoegaze

Beginning with pummeling tom drums, Russian Baths' first single from the upcoming “Penance” EP could easily be a soundtrack to fleeing the titular Slenderman character. While the airy vocals emote almost plainly, the instrumentals jostle with each other to occasionally cacophonous peaks. At its calmest, “Slenderman” is a foreboding, gothic track but the noisy, feedback-laden guitars topple over in threatening outbursts that do justice to the fictional character’s horror legacy. Most startling about “Slenderman” is the calm portrayed in the vocals throughout it all. In another context the voice might be a soothing reassurance, but here it only adds to the tension. "Penance" is out February 23rd via Good Eye Records. – Cameron Carr





“Foreclosure” is the haunting debut album of Michi Tassey side project Nature Shots

The debut release from singer/songwriter Michi Tassey of Nature Shots is as haunting and spacious as its title suggests. Foreclosure is an exercise in both patience and resilience within its cavernous landscape, employing a slow-burn, textural approach from start to finish. Tassey’s vocal harmonies, layers of acoustic sounds, and intimate dialogues call comparisons to emotive songwriters like Laura Marling and the ladies of Warpaint. What serves as the foundation of Foreclosure is an innate and peaceful simpleness, an inward migration from her role as frontwoman for the feverish indie rock/jazz group People Like You. Get lost in the meditation of Foreclosure below. -Charley Ruddell





Weekend Warrior, January 19 - 21

MessyThe Deli Philly’s December 2017 Record of the Month and the latest album from Curtis Cooper, is being celebrated with a release show this evening at Johnny Brenda’s. Cooper harnesses an ability to expose an emotional intensity that’s endearingly accessible, developing a well-conceived, melodic framework, while still tapping into a raw, rip-it-out-of-your-chest, guttural tone. In contrast, they can create a sense of stillness, instrumentally illuminating pensions with a dim, folk backdrop, allowing the weight of the words to wrap around you in a comforting manner that still sends chills up the spine. The Andy Molholt-led Laser Background will also be joining them tonight, instilling ease as waves of playful, candy-coated dreams wash over. And infusing joy and humor into their infectious bummer-pop, the duo of Coping Skills will be leading the way. – Michael Colavita

More places to be this weekend…

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Curtis Cooper (Record Release Show), Laser Background, Coping Skills, SAT OOLALA, David Fantasy & Adult Content

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI 722 (Reunion Show), Church Girls, Dylan Jane

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Eliza Edens/Slagmatter, Thunderbird Divine, The Gravies/Lil' Dave, Dr. Plotkin, Gummibear/DJ Deejay, SAT The Charley Few, Fucksake/Pet Lizard, The Space Cats, Mesén Around/DJ Sylo, DJ PHSH, SUN Scantron, Trash Beach

PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) SUN Kohoutek, Northern Liberties

Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT Al-Tarik

Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St,) SAT Patrick Richards

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) SUN Glenn Bryan & Friends

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Mt Vengeance, Bryant Eugene Vazquez, SAT Fixation/Traitor, Blasphemous

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Damn Right (Album Release), American Dinosaur, Greg D., SAT Mach22, Everlit, Siravo, Night Mission

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Air Is Human, SAT Goodnight Lights, Witch Bomb

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) SAT Creem Circus, RunHideFight

Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Reed Streets, SAT Queue, Lizdelise, SUN Plastic Shrines, Styrofoam Dinosaur

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Bo Bliz, Low Budget, SAT DJ Deejay

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Hambone Relay, SUN Rusty Cadillac

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease, Hannah Taylor & The Rekardo Lee Trio, DJ Dan Reed, SAT Adventure Lost, Tyler Kingsley

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI Ben Aire, SAT Ed Christof

Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) SAT The Exclusive Tri-State Showcase

Century Bar (1350 S. 29th Street) SAT Blackhand, Buzzherd, Off Meds

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Port Arthur, Tiger Castle, This Kills Me, Justin Kerecz, SAT Kenny Price, XPresidents, Hank Henny

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Music For The Arts (11th Annual Benefit): Old Soul Revival, Chris Grunwald & The Slow Response, The TC Cole Riot, Droppin Deuce, The Bad Larrys, SUN The Whiskeyhickon Boys, Hannah Taylor and the Rekardo Lee Trio

Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) FRI PT Benefit: Narra, SUN Small Circle, AllegrA

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI Seeing Snakes, Billy Bollinger, The Absolute Sky/Heaven Man, Swwik, Sitting in Cars, The Ugly Barnacles, SAT Badnew, Snakeboy, Flamingo Chicks, SUN Shelf Life, Mavis the Dog/Fred Beans

Planet Phitness (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.)FRI Maryn Jones, Mowgli’s Mirror, SAT Crooked Spine, Tim Woulfe

The Spreehive (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.)  SAT Supine, Get Well, Jennifer

Skulls (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Leadrs, Median

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