The Guru

Tropics, joy. Down to earth tones, hanging out with your friends all day to forget routine. Thinking of what should be, staying inside. Missing the one, swimming against waves. Holding on, dreaming. Meeting new people, realizing more about yourself. Lack of understanding, traveling far away. Remembering the folks you used to know, staring up at the stars above. Letting time pass you by, memories.

Giraffes? Giraffes!

Ken Topham and Joe Andreoli grew up in Massachusetts.

Even though they had never met, they both enjoyed the same amusement park. They both liked a ride called the Rotor. You would stand inside the Rotor and it would spin and you would stick to the wall and the floor would drop.

Joe once saw someone puke on the Rotor and it stuck to their face until the ride slowed down. Other names for the Rotor are the Gravitron, the Twister, the Vortex, the Turkish Twist and the Starship 2000. Have you ever seen The 400 Blows (Les Quatre Cents Coups)?

Ken has never seen anyone puke on the Rotor.

Joe and Ken first met while going to college in New Hampshire. Ken studied music, while Joe studied literature.

They drank coffee and talked about the theory that whales were once sea creatures and they evolved into wolf-like creatures that ran on land, but they didn't like it so they evolved back into sea creatures and eventually became huge fucking whales.

They formed a band.

They can both play guitar and drums, but in GIRAFFES? GIRAFFES! Joe taps and plucks while Ken taps and hits.

In 2004, Ken and Joe and their very nice and very attractive girlfriends moved to Santa Cruz, California. They liked it there. It was nice outside.

While living in California, GIRAFFES? GIRAFFES! released their debut album SUPERBASS!!!! (Black Death Greatest Hits Vol. 1) in December 2005 and their second album More Skin With Milk-Mouth in December 2007. They also put out two live releases, Live In Toronto and Live On KZSC.

You don't just get there straight out of the blue; those haunting humming synthesizers at the beginning of "Paragraph Nights," the melancholy piano chord changes, the emotional pull the song has on your psyche. It's a process, you know? It comes from years of growth, experimentation, revision, looking at the scene from another angle, considering the possibilities. "Take a picture, make it last, make it different," sings Dominic Angelella. And that's very much the road DRGN KING has taken.

Our story opens with Angelella onstage at a North Philadelphia rock club, his hair flailing, his guitar strings rattling, his face beaming. It's 2009 or thereabouts, and he's performing with one of his old bands, a punky Americana group with such high energy, folks are hanging out after the show to shake his hand. A couple months later, a different venue, a different scene entirely – an eclectic hip-hop outfit, and there he is again, rocking out on guitar. Later still, Angelella's face keeps showing up in band photos, on show flyers and venue websites. His enthusiasms run the gamut – experimental lo-fi psych, indie rock soul, arty grunge throwbacks. The question has to be asked - are you in every group in Philadelphia? He laughs, responds: No man, just a bunch of projects.

Meanwhile in South Philly, Brent "Ritz" Reynolds was holed up in a studio, making a name for himself as a young hip-hop producer. He cut tracks for The Roots, worked with Mac Miller and State Property alum Peedi Crakk. Reynolds knew his stuff and had the moxy for the hard haul of being a freelance recording guru. In early 2010 he and Angelella connected in a chance recording session, and the doors of possibility were blown open. Angelella's songwriting would become a prototype for Reynolds to test out his lush, imaginative production skills into the rock world. Conversely, Reynolds' studio alchemy would place Angelella's broad-spanning tastes and musical interests under a single umbrella. You don't have to be in a dozen different-sounding bands and call them a dozen different things. You can do it all, and call it DRGN KING.

DRGN KING debuted in a well-received warehouse show that fall. Angelella and Reynolds deemed the experiment a success, and kept it moving. Various musical collaborators were brought in, shows got played and new songs were written. Then they retreated into the studio, recorded, refined and recorded some more. Paragraph Nights comes after two years of nose-to-the-grindstone work, and its song are bursting with life, excitement, self-discovery, possibility. Listen to the pensive, introspective electronic pop of "Warriors." It's a nod to the community of artists and musicians in Philadelphia, and ruminates on crafting an identity through art: "People tell me I got no purpose," Angelella sings. "They're not wrong but it's allright."

High Pop

High Pop is primarily a recording project produced by Sean Henry Posila and Jordan Caulfield, who originally met at the same all-boy Catholic high school in Connecticut and bonded over punk bands like The Clash. Most recently, artists Daniel George and Alexander Goosmann joined the group, providing aid with writing and live performances. Now, living all over the Northeast, the band has sprouted scenes everywhere- from Boston to Brooklyn and in between. High Pop calls themselves a fuzzy, degenerated “pretend pop” experience, hyperactively exploiting many genres at once.

We are four friends growing up as neighbors that have a common interest in doing something great with the music that we write.

Chris Cappello

Chris Cappello is an eighteen year-old songwriter hailing from New Haven, Connecticut and currently attending Yale University. He has been writing and recording music since 2009, and self-released his first solo EP in 2011. His subsequent releases have shown a marked increase in compositional and lyrical complexity, dealing with themes of depression, loss, and the constant existential struggle to grow into oneself. His latest album, 2013's Could Be Bitter Forever, was recorded in Wallingford with Ian Bates of Manners, and features musical contributions from a host of Connecticut artists including Kayla Bastos of Circle//Circle, Jake Bellissimo, and Sub Verso's Brian Grochowski and Marco Vernacatola, who perform regularly in Cappello's live backing band. Could Be Bitter Forever draws equal influence from the razor-sharp punk edge of Desaparecidos and the defeatist melancholy of Red House Painters and Cat Power. It's a depressive album, deeply steeped in feelings of regret and self-loathing, but one that nevertheless finds empowerment in its desperation. In the live context, Cappello and his band bring these brooding emotions to the fore with a jagged, raw-throated intensity that leaves little room for imagination or subtlety.

Poverty Hollow

Poverty Hollow is a Connecticut based band comprised of friends who've been playing for years. The group run an eclectic sonic gamut that moves at breakneck speed from catchy post-punk to churning metal riffs to meandering, gentle melodies.

Strange Mangers

short, fragmented vocal melodies, carefully constructed harmonic/rhythmic patterns, eruptions of sound, etc

$15.00

Tickets Available at the Door

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The Guru with Giraffes? Giraffes!, DRGN KING, Oshwa, Art Decade, High Pop, Gulfer, Vasudeva, Chris Cappello, Pover...

Friday, August 16 · 3:00 PM at The Space

Tickets Available at the Door