From the monthly archives: "November 2005"

Originally published on on November 2 2005. Written by Doug Wallen.

Class of ’05
The Philly indie scene is stronger than ever.

It’s been a big year for Philly. The Eagles went to the Super Bowl. The New York Times dubbed us the “sixth borough.” National Geographic named us the country’s “Next Great City.” Beanie Siegel got off. The Real World invaded Old City. And the quasi-chick-flick In Her Shoes showcased everything from the Rocky steps to the Jamaican Jerk Hut. At long last, it’s not hyperbole to say the world’s eyes are on our city. And its ears, for that matter.

This was the year Diplo and Hollertronix became a global phenomenon, party boy Dave P remixed Bloc Party, folkie Amos Lee toured with Bob Dylan, at least four different compilations chronicled our music scene, and Buried Beds and the Spinto Band each had songs featured in national TV commercials.

Even sticking to the narrow margins of underground rock, we had trouble keeping track of all the key players in Philly music this year. It’d take at least a few more cover stories to address the jazz-heads, the hip-hop scene, the avant-garde, the punk and metal enthusiasts, and those countless singer/songwriters.

 So here, for starters, is a cheat sheet. A Cliffs Notes version of the Philly bands that got national-and international-attention in the last 12 months, from Dr. Dog and Mazarin to Hail Social and Espers, plus the handful that couldn’t survive the year intact.

Sitting on such a musical hotbed, we surely missed a band here and there. So do us a favor-for every new band we tell you about, tell us about another.

You’ll be telling the world.


Sound like: Instrumental epics informed equally by film and video-game soundtracks.

Latest record: Heart of Sawdust.

Label: Bloodlink (Philadelphia).

Toured with: Evolution Control Committee.

What we said: “A booming battering ram of disparate riffs, epic synth atmosphere and every-instrument insanity.”

What Punk Planet said: “You have to hear it … highly recommended.”

Band highlight: Capitalized on trend of playing video-game music; performed special encore at First Unitarian Church alongside the Minibosses.

What’s next: Recording more and learning music to more games.

We’re starting to feel the early ripples of our national press release. Check out the following for us in the recent Philly Weekly “Best Indie Bands of 2005” feature. Dozens more are being processed, and will be released throughout the winter. We’ve been working hard in the studio on originals and video game material, and are starting to formulate our new “visuals collective”. Be sure to check out our two special home-city shows this weekend (one being all video game music insanity).


Press Coverage:
Originally published on on 2006-11-16.
When was the last time I saw a guy rocking out on a piano-tar and a double deck of keyboards, another guy on accordion, a guy on another double deck of keyboards, two guitars and a full set of heavy metal drums? Oh yeah, Saturday night at The Khyber. I rocked out to the tunes of Chromelodeon, a group of rockers inspired by soundtracks to video games. I’m not talking about the new ones with songs from the Top 40 stations. I’m talking about the 8-bit systems with some serious MIDI sound.

Lady goes to grad school with the piano-tarist and suggested we head out to see them and I’m glad we did. I have a flickr set of fourteen photos from their performance. I just noticed that Flickr has now enabled commenting on a set of photos and not just the individual ones, cool.

I wasn’t able to identify the songs nor the obscure games they came from except for one which I’m confident was the theme to the original Zelda for NES. I must say that the most rocking-est performer was the Kevin Smith lookalike accordionist. He showed up late, they announced from his own wedding, and just jumped on stage with his overcoat and flopping hair. He gestured to someone to hand him a case and out popped the accordion. The crowd went wild. Especially wild all throughout the forty minute set, blue glasses superfan #1. He was rocking so hard, his glasses fell off his face, but not before he caught them with his own hair. The piano-tarist reminded me a lot of Arty Ziff from The Simpsons – the same hair. The double keyboardist very much reminded us of the guy from Wayne’s World who was about to spew in the Mirthmobile.

I would be remiss in posting on a video game music inspired band without mentioning Minibosses introduced to me by that 1L Heller, AK.