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The Deli’s Featured Artist(s) of the Month: Controlled Storms

We caught up with our Featured Artist(s) of the Month and three-headed front Controlled Storms to find out a few facts and future plans for our local shoegazey ambient post rockers.
The Deli: When did you start playing together?
Controlled Storms: Steve and Brandon started playing together in early 2007, and our first show was in May at the Curiosity Shoppe (bike cops shut us down half-way through!) Ben started playing with us that October, just after we performed as part of Binding Sun at the Fringe Festival.

TD: What are your biggest musical influences, and what artists (local/national/international) are you currently listening to?
Our biggest collective influences are Tortoise, Brian Eno, David Byrne, Do Make Say Think, Tom Waits, and a bunch of Blue Note artists (Coltrane, Miles, Ornette Coleman, etc). Some of the Philly bands we're into are Cloud Minder, Infinien, Pink Skull, Levee Drivers... there are just too many to name. National artists? Tune-Yards is stunning (caught them at the Danger Danger Gallery - tons of soul) and El Ten Eleven (got a chance to play with them last year - one of the tightest live acts you'll ever see). As for international bands, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba, Jorge Ben, LITE, Samuel Jackson Five, and Aphex Twin.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
Brandon - My first concert was Jane's Addiction with my 8th grade girlfriend. First album: Pink Floyd - Animals (wax), REM - Monster (cd). 
Ben - I don't remember my first album, but my first concert was definitely Tommy James and the Shondells with my Dad.
Steve - Oh whatever, I'll admit it, my first album was an Aerosmith cassette, and my first show was the Rolling Stone's Voodoo Lounge Tour when I was in 5th grade. Blind Melon opened...we missed 'em, go figure!
TD: What's your take on the Philly music scene?
CS: Some people say the only thing Philly has going is freak-folk, but if you look in the right places, there is an eclectic scene here - indie, hip-hop, instrumental, bluegrass, punk. The DIY ethic is thriving in Philadelphia, and it's the right-sized city to create a sense of community between artists. We love playing NYC, but it's a huge exhausting place, and we've played in cities that were struggling to build a scene because they were so small. In Philly, there's a lot of opportunity AND a lot of community. It's a beautiful place to make music.

TD: What are your plans for 2010?
CS: 2010 is looking like a busy year for us! We’re knee-deep in writing and recording right now, and we’ll soon be deciding how to release this batch of songs. It's shaping up to be either two full-length albums or multiple EP's. Either way, we hope to finish it all in time for a few weekend warrior jaunts before touring in August. 
TD: What was your most memorable live show?
CS: It has to be our Rooftop-Record-Release-End-of-the-Summer-BBQ-Bash on South St. Toy Soldiers, Power Animal and Controlled Storms set up in a circle around the audience and took turns playing one song at a time while the other two joined in with extra percussion and ambience. Later that night, we threw an after-party at the splendid Soul Purl 77 gallery with an even more chaotic set from each band. Philly is lucky to have Power Animal and Toy Soldiers making noise on its streets, and we were psyched to team up with them for our first record release show. It was a blast.
TD: What do you like to get at the deli?
CS: Three bagels with cream cheese (and a side of nachos).
(Photo by RA Friedman)
- The Deli Staff



Organ Blues and Mirador at North Star Bar Feb. 28

Organ Blues just came out with a powerful new release This Didn't Just Happen. The indie grunge three-piece have addictive songs that are reminiscent to Pavement and Modest Mouse, and already have Philadelphia Weekly dubbing them “Fishtown hetero life partners inspired by Philly Grit, who make bluesy, slightly grungy rock for space outs.” Not bad for just a few short months! Although on a different side of the spectrum, the progressive electronica stylings of Mirador have also gained some attention from us lately. The three demos from an upcoming EP collection tentatively titled Chapel all have a worldly and ethereal sound that feel like a walk through a mystical temple. When both bands play tonight’s show at North Star Bar, it should be an interesting ride. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 9pm, $8, 21+ myspace.com/organblues, myspace.com/echomenopolis - Bill McThrill



Arc in Round Get Dreamy at JB’s Feb. 27

Formerly known as Relay, Philly outfit Arc in Round’s name change last winter marked a new chapter for the band. Fronted by indie sound engineer extraordinaire Jeff Zeigler (Uniform Recording), this dream pop four-piece is a delightful mix of shoegaze and lo-fi experimentalism. Juxtaposing pop construction with at times swirling abstraction, Zeigler and his bandmates’ well-crafted collection of songs are all things transcendent without laying it on too thick. Somehow recreating the familiar post-rock vibe, Arc in Round’s sound is indicative of evolution, enticing listeners with subdued innovation. Cross your fingers hard enough and maybe they’ll play “Spirit”. Arc in Round will also be joined by Busses, whose upcoming debut release was produced by Zeigler. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave, 9pm, $10, 21+ myspace.com/arcinround - Dianca Potts



The 2nd Annual PBR Craft Challenge at 2424 Studios Feb. 27

This looks like a hella lot of fun! If you ever walked into Bob & Barbara’s and wished that you could have some (if not all) of the cool Pabst shit everywhere, then “The 2nd Annual PBR Craft Challenge” might be a good place to start your collection. You’ll also be treated to performances by Univox, The Homophones, Chang Chang and TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb as well as FREE PBR so how can you go wrong! 2424 Studios, 2424 E. York St., 3pm - 10pm, $8 donation - H.M. Kauffman



Weekend Warrior, February 26 -28

The gothic quartet Sweetheart Parade are coming to Johnny Brenda’s tonight to share their Americana gloom with anyone thick skinned enough to listen. Tumbleweeds not included. They create subdued grievances and eerie folk tunes reminiscent of fellow balladeers Murder By Death. Sweetheart Parade’s latest release is 2008’s Sings Like A Priest, though a new release for Sweetheart Joshua Britton’s Psalmships is slated for a March release. Alongside Sweetheart Parade will be fellow rambling rockers Levee Drivers whose frontman August Lutz, guitarist Jason Schultz and bassist/banjo player for the day Kyle Perella will be nice and warmed up after their performance at The Deli’s Lunchtime Escape. These dudes have garnered the lofty comparison to Johnny Cash, and I think they sound like Ryan Adams if he would start rocking out and stop writing shitty books. The bill also includes the Cat Power-esque quartet Papertrees, and Kettle Pot Black who are releasing a new CD. Now, go rock away those winter blues you little whippersnappers! Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ myspace.com/sweetheartparade
Now that the weather didn’t live up to the hype - here are some places that you can swing by this weekend…
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SAT Arc in Round and Busses
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) SAT Grandchildren and National Rifle
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Problem Solving and Officer Roseland, SAT Joshua Park
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) SAT High Kick, SUN Mirador

The Khyber (56 S. 2nd St.) SAT The Silence Kit

M Room (12 W. Girard Ave.) FRI New Motels, North Lawrence Midnight Singers, Lux Perpetua
Tritone (1508 South St.) FRI Starving the Tsunami and Sounds from Atlantis, SAT Sugartown w/The Sky Drops and Kitten Disaster
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) SUN Andrew Lipke

Blockley Pourhouse (3801 Chestnut St.) FRI The Elevator Parade, SAT All Crazy
Millcreek Tavern (4200 Chester Ave.) FRI Vilebred and Enter the Rooms
Mar Bar (200 S. 40th St.) FRI Tigersapien, SAT Toy Soldiers
El Bar (1356 N. Front St.) SAT The Handsome Petes and The Noid
The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SUN Tsunami Rising
The Ox (2nd and Oxford St.) SAT The G

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