Thee, Idea Men
Sleep Study, Katie Frank & The Pheromones
847 N Third Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19123
This event is 21 and over
Thee, Idea Men
While Thee, Idea Men are the first to make fun of themselves in their signature self-deprecating yet gloating style, their rock and blues EP is a multilayered homage to beloved influencers while laying the groundwork for a rich, opulent eight-track album that diversifies their goofy, over-the-top personas. The melodic cadences the three-piece band contrives from their Philadelphian home is strategically crafted but adhered with reputable talent that eclipses many struggling contenders. But it’s not their fault; they were clearly birthed and then serendipitously met in their mid-20’s to form Thee, Idea Men.
After Matthew Jurasek, (guitarist/vocals) was asked by fellow Drexel University student, Tyler March, (drums), to write a few songs for his senior project at Drexel University, the two snowballed the classroom assignment into a full-fledged band, adding Kris Prinat (bass) to complete their trio while luckily adding some good-looks to their somewhat homely group. They soon moved in together and converted their spare room into a studio where the three started jamming regularly just for shits and giggles. Soon the sounds they were making became too rousing that they were all but cornered into turning their stoned-jam sessions into the real deal; a few months later we are graced with Thee, Idea Men – and luckily too.
When asking Thee, Idea Men who actually has the best ideas, Jurasek interjects, “Let’s get something right. We all have the best ideas, hence why we are Thee, Idea Men. And we have them because we are thinkers, and drinkers.” This assemblage of inspiration and education clearly represents itself on the cover of their album where they chose to wear bold leotards for their photo-shoot, because it’s obvious these three soon-to-be college grads take everything with a grain of salt and a shot of whiskey, minus the meticulous care and attention to detail given to their standout EP “Getcho Groo Von”. But what truly rounds this young band into their old-soul groove is a compilation of raw talent, their genealogy given to the rock and roll greats, and their obvious spirited obsession with music, sounds, and living life in an ultra-engaged fashion. Sucking the marrow out of life, Thee, Idea Men are not only set and ready with their sails ready, but they are filled to the bone with determination to play music for the rest of their lives.
Assembled in 2011, Minneapolis rock quartet Sleep Study has lived up to high expectations set by their dedicated followers and the media. "Coupled with strong chemistry within the band and an updated '70s aesthetic as heard on their first single 'Flower Girl,' the group has been making waves since their formation last summer." (NPR – 89.3 The Current). The band has tackled the near impossible task of being relevant while nodding to heroes of rock's past.
After signing with boutique NY label Simon Recordings, their debut album Nothing Can Destroy was officially released August 2012 and immediately noted by Star Tribune writer Chris Riemenschneider as an album expected to "be on many local critics' year-end lists".
The band's formula is a natural cooperative of strengths from all members, combining Ryan Paul Plewacki's (vocals/guitar) brand of Brit flavored rock with Justin Hartke's (vocals/bass) jazz upbringing and Cory Eischen's (keys) extensive pop background. The calculated drumming of Alexander Young solidifies their retro sound. Each individual has a rich history in the Minneapolis and national music world. Collectively, the members of Sleep Study have shared stages and played on recordings with Al Kooper, Kid Dakota, Jeremy Messersmith, Owl City's Breanne Düren, Mayda, Bella Ruse, The Honeydogs, Minor Kingdom, Rogue Valley, and more.
In their brief existence, the young band has performed at premier venues and events throughout the Twin Cities, contributed to compilation albums with Minneapolis' finest and established musicians, had significant social media and Youtube presence, and is now preparing for a US tour to support their acclaimed debut record. Sleep Study's unapologetic dedication to their modern take on a 70's pop sound has them earning continued press from news outlets in their home state as well as The Austin Chronicle during SXSW.
And that's just the first year…
Katie Frank & The Pheromones
Singer/songwriter Katie Frank hit the Philadelphia music scene with her debut EP, Covered Bridge Road (released September of 2012 via BITBYmusic). Hailing from Elizabethtown Pennsylvania, the 24 year old graduated from Temple University with a degree in therapeutic recreation in 2011 and soon after realized her dream of becoming a musician.
With only an acoustic guitar and her sultry voice, Frank composed a collection of four songs that would become the compositions known as Covered Bridge Road within six months of graduating. “I finally completed my education, and I hadn’t written anything in about two years, so I had my fingers crossed that as soon as I was finished with school I would have the inspiration to starting writing songs again.” Thankfully that inspiration came.
“I was in a terrible environment to write during college,” reflects Frank. “Between class work and my part-time job at an adult day center, I really didn’t have the time to focus on my passion.” It wasn’t until completing her degree was that focus harnessed. After writing the songs what would encompass her debut EP, she was introduced to Philadelphia-based producer/engineer Josh Werblun through a mutual friend. Her natural talent for songwriting as well as her already seasoned voice captivated Werblun and he would not let go. He relentlessly pursued Frank to start performing these songs live, which eventually led to her performing at Legendary Dobb’s open mic nights. After a few well-received outings, the duo decided it was time to record these compositions.
In February of 2012, Werblun and Frank recruited veteran Philadelphia guitarist Tom Hampton to join them in the studio as well as pianist/vocalist Dan Orlando, bassist Greg Orlando, and drummer Jon McNally to fill out the band. Soon after, arranger Jim Boggia was recruited to help arrange background vocals for the recordings. The result was a collection of polished folk inspired rock/pop songs with country-tinged hooks, drawing inspiration from artists such as Dawes, Brandi Carlile, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Ben Folds.
Since the release of Covered Bridge Road, Frank hasformed her live band under the name Katie Frank and The Pheromones. The Pheromones consist of lead guitarist Kevin Killen, rhythm guitarist Josh Werblun, bassist Kris Pirnat, and drummer Jon McNally, all adding their own flair to the live performance as well as being part of the Philadelphia music scene in their own projects. The group has since opened for actor/musician John Corbett at the Sellersville Theatre, embarked on a South by Southwest Tour including dates in Cincinnati, Nashville and Austin as well as performances at local Philadelphia venues such as MilkBoy, PhilaMoca, Kung Fu Necktie, Ortlieb’s, and Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing. Frank has also been gaining support in the Philadelphia area from local media outlets, promoters and fans alike; including airplay from 88.5 WXPN FM, numerous write-ups from WXPN’s The Key and Phrequency Magazine's spotlight of new releases.
Katie Frank and The Pheromones show no sign of slowing down anytime soon, with plans to record a full-length record in August of 2013. “Our sound has evolved as a group and I’m very excited that this record will include contributions from the talented musicians I have in my band,” notes Frank. “I’m extremely optimistic that this new album will take us to the next level and allow us to expand our audience. Performing this music has given me the opportunity to be my self and is one of the few things I get really excited about in life.”