Ashley Hans: Philly Music Vocalizer
Indie music lovers pride themselves on having an eclectic taste in music; so do I. But there are two differences between the pretentious masses and me. One, my taste is better. Two, I'm not pretentious.
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Indie Music Madness: A Seven-Song Playlist for Following Your Path
There's nothing more beautiful than following your path. It's the one and only road to self-actualization. But how do you know what you're meant to do? You know because when you're doing the thing you're supposed to be doing, it feels right. The feeling is quite literal, a vague and sweeping warmth that grows in and from your solar plexus, the center of your being.
Madi Diaz (Concert Review)
"Don't call it a comeback…." That's the first thing I said right before a Madi Diaz show when I met back up with, and was subsequently cut off by, the fabunomenous Queen McLean. Lauren McLean is both my friend and photographer; a friendtographer, Lauren has a knack for saying the exact right thing at the exact right time. Instead of allowing me to carry on with a hackneyed LL Cool J song quote, which I was saying to welcome Lauren back for her return to Philadelphia after she lived in Texas for seven years, Lauren nipped my lameness in the bud with a witty retort of her own. Lauren replied, "Call it a welcomeback." More than a retort, though, Lauren's quip was a report. Queen McLean's reportmanteau was prescient because she was reporting back on what, at the time, hadn't yet happened. This past Monday night in Philadelphia was a welcoming back to the future. This statement is not just true of Lauren and I as individuals, and the two of us as a pair, but more importantly it was true of Madi Diaz at her recent and redonkulously rad Union Transfer show.
Spring Cleaning Your Messy Music Files
Now that spring is well underway, I hope you've taken some time to do some spring cleaning. There is nothing more liberating than letting go of junk, removing the unnecessary, and saying "Sayonara!" to suckers of energy. Getting rid of clutter is one of the best ways to find freedom and clarity. And what better place to declutter than your computer?
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Concert Review)
When I saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club perform live, it was a spectral Sunday. However, the stars didn't align just for me, but for all of Philadelphia. First, there was the Broad Street Run in the morning. Next, there was the Equality Forum at the Piazza in the afternoon. And finally, there was the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC) rock concert later that night. Add perfect weather to the mix, stir it around with a couple of highly saturated Seven and Sevens, and enjoy both with an amazing-photographer-slash-phenomenal-friend combo, and you've got yourself a life that just doesn't get any better.
Indie Music Madness: A Seven-Song Playlist of Spring Stompers
Spring has officially sprung! What better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than with these seven springtime songs? They're a helpful reminder about life and how fast it moves. Remember to take advantage of your time while you still have it. Resolve to slow things down a bit, to savor each day for the beautifully delicious treat that it is.
Sigur Ros (Concert Review)
If you and I ever attend the same concert, we should hang out. I'm not saying that because I'm fun to hang out with (which I am); I'm saying that because I always meet the most interesting people at concerts, so I should meet you. A Sigur Rós concert I went to at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia's historic Fairmount Park was no different.
Wampire's "Magic Light" (Song Review)
One of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is to go outside at night, lie on my back, and stare up at the night sky. I used to do this as a kid, and I still do it as an adult kid. Since Philadelphia is finally starting to thaw out, and spring is right around the corner, it won't be long before I'm out on my roof enjoying the sights and sounds of the soon-here vernal season. And when I do go out on my roof, I'm going to bring along Wampire's debut album Curiosity (released on Polyvinyl Records in May of 2013), so I can chill out and spill out to Wampire's psychedelic song "Magic Light." There's no better way to stare into the dark spacey sky than to do it while listening to dark spacey music.
Indie Music Madness: A Seven-Song Playlist of March Minglers
March is a fascinating month, particularly in the Philadelphia region. It's a grab bag of unpredictable weather conditions. The month starts out rather cold and snowy, just like this playlist. But before you know it — like this playlist too — sun starts sneaking through. However, just when you're getting comfortable and relaxing into radiant rays of sunshine (also like this playlist) a surprise snow squall cold snaps you back to reality. But before you can get your thermals back on, the ground thaws again. This time for good. The mingling of snow and sun is over and spring is here to stay.
Junip at Union Transfer (Concert Review)
My first time at the Union Transfer, on a Sunday night a few flips of the calendar ago, was for a Junip concert in mid-June. That Sunday night in early summer started off great and only get better. One of the things that immediately struck me about how wonderful the Union Transfer (aka the former Spaghetti Warehouse) is was the music venue's amazing sound system. I noticed instantly the sound system was just as crisp and clear as that of the now-bygone Tin Angel's. Which says a lot, because the Tin Angel was a completely different kind of music venue. Tin Angel was not a rock venue; it was primarily set up as a listening room for acoustic singer-songwriters.
Eisley Album Review
In tenth grade I had a history teacher who liked to make us believe he was the most intelligent person who ever hobbled the planet. One of the ways he did this was by reciting quotes any chance he got. Which means basically the only thing he did was recite quotes. His all-time favorite and most overused quote was "The only constant in life is change itself." At the time, whenever my teacher said this, I thought he was just being an arrogant groin phalange. And I'm sure he was. But now that I'm older and not-that-much wiser, I can at least appreciate what the quote means. The band members of Eisley and I were not in the same history class, but this is nonetheless a lesson Eisley has taken to heart. The theme of Eisley's album Currents is about movement and change. It's a message that's relayed as listeners are taken on a nautical auditory journey.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Concert Review)
If I had just one word to describe a previous Yeah Yeah Yeahs' performance at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, I would've said "sparkly." From the confetti that blew like a whirlwind off and around the River Stage, to lead singer Karen O's shiny Michael Jackson-esque studded leather jacket that I wanted to steal, to the way the moonlight danced across the Delaware River Waterfront as if under a sorcerer's spell, everything about that supernaturally spectacular and magical mid-September night was sparkling.
Beacon's "Drive" (Song Review)
I'm not a huge fan of sappy love songs. Before you think I have a heart like Tin Man, let me assure you that's not even a little true. I love love. The world doesn't have enough of it. It's the best thing Hallmark ever created. When it comes to music, though, there's just too darn much of the sugary and syrupy sweet stuff.