The Minor Arcana
The Quelle Source, The Gut Strings, Sunset Recorder
1003 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107
Doors 8:00PM / Show 9:00PM
This event is 21 and over
The Minor Arcana
The Minor Arcana are the brainchild of musician-poet Matthew Landis, composer, pianist and lead singer for the ensemble. The band's full-length debut Emotional Alchemy is built around a blunt, hooky intensity as well as an overtly brainy approach to lyrical themes and musical arrangement. "Emotional alchemy," the frontman explains, "is the process through which we convince ourselves that hope is warranted."
Matthew Landis is best known internationally as the menacing keyboardist for the World/Inferno Friendship Society. Local audiences in his Philadelphia hometown will recognize him as a sideman to standout artists like Ross Bellenoit, Joshua Park and Liz Fullerton. His poetry was compiled in a 2010 chapbook, Like A Moth From His Dead Mouth.
Guitarist and composer Carl Cheeseman (Papertrees, Sweetheart Parade) joins Landis in defining the Arcana's searing yet densely orchestrated sound. Iconic drummer Brian Viglione (The Dresden Dolls, Nine Inch Nails), who joined Landis on multiple Inferno tours, contributes his trademark ferocity and intelligence to the ensemble in the studio.
Other key contributors include prolific bassist Philip D'Agostino (Hezekiah Jones, Wissahickon Chicken Shack) and percussionist Tony Mascara. In the studio, the Arcana are augmented by a quartet of impressive singers: Dawn Iulg, The Wadsworth Sisters, and Todd Barneson (The Lowlands, Ben Arnold). Also imported from the Inferno crew are Peter Hess and Ken Thompson on horns.
Accomplished producer-engineer Jeff Hiatt (Chris Kasper, Like Moving Insects) presided over the Minor Arcana's maiden voyage in the studio, co-producing the debut record with Landis and Cheeseman. The Minor Arcana will release Emotional Alchemy in spring 2011 and tour in support through the rest of the year.
The Quelle Source
Try pinning down Philadelphia's The Quelle Source - it's not easy. The group clearly operates in an indie rock aesthetic - they won "Best Indie Rock Act in Philadelphia" at Origivation Magazine's 2011 Reader's Choice Awards. But with press comparisons ranging from Deerhoof to The Decemberists to The Mountain Goats, it's evident the group takes what it needs from their influences - nasally vocals, tense lyrical content, and tight, dynamic arrangements - and smashes them together to see what happens. That's made easier thanks to two lead singers and songwriters bringing different ideas to the table. With songs that marry the joyful sounds of being young with lyrical content that tackles all the parts that suck about it, The Quelle Source will "put indie rock smiles on your faces" (Philadelphia City Paper), even if it is in a sinister, backward way. The group released The French Rapture EP in September 2011 and is currently recording demos and debuting songs from their forthcoming sophomore LP.
The Gut Strings
The Gut Strings, comprised of Ben Geise, Kevin Ryan and Phil Hutchins, perform earnest, tense songs about the doubt that interferes with commitment, the frustrated desire to avoid irony and insincerity, and the angry realization that compromise is inherent in growing older. Geise, the band's lead guitarist and songwriter, aims steadily toward classic rock arrangements but with surprisingly tender melodies that surface from beneath the commanding, insistent sound. This music is as unromantic as a knife blade, and just as sincere. It is clear from the way the band members interact that they found each other because they share a rare complicity and a desire to wade into dense, layered music -- with both Ryan and Geise providing vocals, they stack Geise's haunted guitar riffs on Ryan's driving bass and Hutchins' focused drums only to dissemble the whole piece to reveal precise structure and compelling melody lines. Songwriting and musicianship is really what this band is about -- they treat every song differently by making intuitive and fearless musical decisions that underscore the main motive of exploring the raw and unearthly. The Gut Strings is not one of those groups that takes a political stand – they're defiantly standoff-ish about the the world around them and, instead, inwardly focused and clear about the fierce truth in the music they make. The band's time is spent having a musical conversation and building a personal relationship with sound while searching for and pinning down some fractured, wild magic. It's difficult, dark and intense, and some of it is sweet enough to touch an angry heart, and it is supposed to be that way.
Lo-fi indie surf rock trio out of Philadelphia, Pa. Their influences call upon Beach Fossils, Rainer Maria, Kisses, and The Breeders.
Wed, May 29
Thu, June 6
Fri, June 7
Wed, June 12
Sun, June 16
Wed, June 19
Fri, June 28
Sun, June 30
Sun, June 30
Fri, August 23