“Don’t Do Math Rock Kids” – TTNG

Too bad theres no Olympic gold to be won for writing songs with crazy complex time signatures or TTNG (This Town Needs Guns) would probably be taking it home.

When You're Trying to Figure Out the Time Signatures in a Prog Song

Currently on tour to promote their new album Disappointment Island, I finally got to bear witness the mathematical genius at The Foundry in Philadelphia this past Sunday.

On said island of disappointment was the drop of Giraffes? Giraffes! from the line-up, as they played only select shows and had just played with them in NY the night before. On the bright side, we got to experience LITE, a 4 piece instrumental band with lots of stamina and great collaboration. It was definitely something watching Jun Izawa slapping away at that bass. Very groovy vibe and worth a listen.

Lots of laughs and crowd interaction during TTNGs set. Beginning with Henry, bass/guitarist, telling us that Bush had been unknowingly touring with them, since he’d heard them playing at the same venue for 2 consecutive nights, with gratitude that we chose them of course.

Great choice of setlist and much excitement with the performance of +3 Awesomeness Repels Water, which they were able to play with help from a fill in (Henry of Mylets) since TTNG lost a member. Another oh sh*t moment during I’ll Take the Minute Snake, when Henry doubled up with a guitar and bass at the same time all while singing.

Henry of TTNG

The infamous quote of the night sparked when Chris Collis (drummer) couldn’t get the timing right and their unanimous confusion on where to jump back in caused them to start from the top. Understandable seeing as how their signatures bounce around within songs, it was evident to blame it on the genre.

“Don’t do math rock kids, it’s dangerous” – Henry Tremain

The crowd completely unaltered by the mishap was fully engaged in the comeback, once they were all on the same page. They ended with the perfect song 26 is Dancier than 4 to show just how clever math rock can be, 26 really is Dancier than 4/4.

Overall great show with valuable lesson learned.

Kickass Comeback, Thrice @ The Fillmore in Philadelphia

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After 4 years of hibernating, Thrice was able to make a comeback picking up right where they left off. This time around perfecting their sound, growing their fanbase, and topping Billboard charts with To be Everywhere is to be Nowhere.

Though kicking off their first tour since 2012 to push out their newest album, long term fans can still reminisce with their chosen setlist. Some songs including In Years to Come (off their second album, The Illusion of Safety), The Artist in the Ambulance (song titled after their first major label album), and a handful of tracks from Vheissu (their 05′ release).

Already half way through their tour, yet their performance at The Fillmore in Philadelphia was still highly spirited and one to remember. Fall tour dates have already been set, so if you haven’t seen them live, they’re definitely something to experience.

Back at it Again with the Street Art

For the second time this month I’ve gravitated towards an old coal mine [read previous] that has manifested into creative works of art.

Graffiti Pier, also known as Pier 124 and once 13339481_10153780490372833_5410413389745575982_nused for a coal mining operation, now houses the work of Philly’s great graffiti artists. There’s also a sweet view of the Delaware River at the end of the pier. Though not ideal, you’ll also find people diving into the river and fishing.

Not a great place to bring kids or dogs for that matter, unfortunately, it’s loaded with broken glass and empty spray cans, but definitely something to admire if you’re into street art and hidden gems.

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The Town that Inspired Silent Hill

So a buddy of mine mentioned not so long ago that a movie favorite, Silent Hill, was inspired by a town that just so happens to be located in the state I live in, Pennsylvania. Apparently Centralia, PA, a town of what used to be over 1,000 before a coal mine fire in 62′ has dropped down to 10 as of 2013 and is pretty much off the maps. 13220633_10153764124417833_2898754081477075718_o

The spontaneous side decided to come out of me this past Saturday, which led to a call to the mentioned friend, and we headed west soon after. From Philadelphia, it’s about a 2 1/2 hour car ride. Thats not so bad, but add in a thunder storm and no clear direction and it gets a little iffy. Setting out with expectations of finding some foggy terrain, burned down buildings, and maybe a few sketchy characters, when we did make it there was no such findings (damn motion pictures). I’m not sure if the weather was the reason for not coming across the smoke that was supposedly seen by others emitting from the ground or the fact that we may not have been in the right section of the town.

Following vague directions online or directions pre-google.maps-era we found ourselves circling around hoping to find a clear sign that pointed “This Way”, no such luck. We finally found a local to help with directions and to our surprise lots more people had our crazy idea that day.

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Graffiti Highway, what was once apart of Route 61 (the main road), is now closed off and hidden behind some dirt hills right next to a cemetary. It’s a long stretch of assorted colored tourist tags on mangled uneven black top as far as the eye can see. A little upsetting I had completely forgot to bring some spray paint to add to the landmark, but it’s all in memory now.

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While there we even got a quick show between some guys on long boards, quads and two off road Jeeps. It was super unexpected, seeing as how the road is not only closed off, but surrounded by steep forest hills and the ground itself being so damaged. I would say it’s worth the trip, but if you’re interested in going, I’d suggest looking at the below diagram to help you out. I couldn’t believe out of everyone who visits, no one’s thought to help post up more concise walking directions.

Here ya go…
You can use google maps, by inputting “Centralia, PA”. It will leave you right at a four way stop sign intersection Locust St & Centre Street. On Locust Street you can either follow route 42 or route 61, stay route 61, but you do not want to follow it through where the road bends. Saint Ignatius Cemetery will be on your righthand side with two lots you can park in. Lot 2 (see below) is closest to access Graffiti Highway. You’ll find it directly behind the No Trespassing and yellow turn sign, you may have to do some climbing.

Hope this helps!

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