“They say people change their cell structure every seven years, so I’ve totally regenerated several times since we started Pylon forty years ago,” says Vanessa Briscoe Hay, frontwoman for that iconic Athens band and now frontwoman for Pylon Reenactment Society. “Over the course of your life, you’re going to learn new things. Your mind is going to change and expand. I’m a lot older now, and I can’t be something I’m not anymore. Pylon is our guiding star, but we’re not Pylon. We’re Pylon Reenactment Society.”
It's easier to explain what Pylon Reenactment Society isn’t than what it actually is. It’s not a continuation or a reunion, because Vanessa is the only member in both groups. It’s neither a tribute act nor a cover band, although they do perform Pylon songs. Instead, this new band draws inspiration from that old band, taps into its motivating principles.
Pylon Reenactment Society’s forthcoming album, 'Magnet Factory,' organically grew out of jams and writing sessions over several years. As the album took shape, the lyrics peeled away at the layers of time and shared spaces that make up a life. A pair of unrecorded songs by Pylon were brought in to round out this collective unspoken theme. All the music was recorded by the current four members of the band (Vanessa Briscoe Hay, Jason NeSmith, Kay Stanton, Gregory Sanders) with a stellar vocal duet with the incomparable Kate Pierson of The B-52’s.
Golden Apples is an indie rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. So far they have released 4 full-length albums, the most recent of which is called Bananasugarfire. Here is something our friend James wrote about it that I really like:
Bananasugarfire opens with a sub-two minute, quasi-introductory song that sets the stage for the record to come. “Anti-Ant Car” starts fittingly with Edling in Martin Newell-mode, a solitary jangling man surrounded by tape hiss–but then the band joins in and the world turns 3D through a steadily cresting melody that arrives at pure musical elation. “Guard Stick” picks up that momentum and runs with it, all towering wall of fuzzed out guitars and shimmering production that somehow layers more and more impossibly catchy melodies on top of one another. The band sound huge, and Edling sounds fearless as he sings about the need for kindness in an increasingly callous world. “We’re in a moment where ‘not being corny’ is such a big piece of social capital, and I think that makes it hard to put yourself out there in such an unabashedly optimistic way,” he says. “There’s a part of me that’s afraid to say things that are this sort of openly positive in a song because that’s just not the type of thing that people respond to anymore. I always thought it was the most daring thing to confess sadness and depression in a song, but now I see it’s much more intimidating to express joy.”
Today, Burlington-based band Robber Robber — Nina Cates (vocals / rhythm guitar), Zack James (drums), Will Krulak (lead guitar), and Carney Hemler (bass) — share their new single/video, “Sea or War.” Co-produced by James, Cates, and Benny Yurco (Grace Potter), “Sea or War” speaks to the moments of confusion and reflection that happen as you try to navigate a messy world, represented through relentless percussion contrasted with fluid melodies. Of the track, the band explains: “‘Sea or War’ explores how fine the balance feels between comfort and futility. There are various opposing forces being fused together, which can be felt in the lyrics, musical arrangement, and production.”
James and Cates have been playing music together since they were kids. Immersing themselves in the eclectic Burlington scene, they began writing songs and formed Robber Robber. The past few years has given the project time to “live and breathe” while the band honed in on their songwriting and captured the tangible group dynamic they’ve cultivated on stage: “With this curiosity-driven approach, we were able to really conceptualize and fine-tune what we wanted Robber Robber to be,” says the band. “This project is very conceptual, and therefore can be difficult to pinpoint, and that’s part of what we find refreshing about it. We feel a lot of freedom in having loose parameters to fit into.”
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