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Japanese Breakfast





New Track/Video: "Glider" - Japanese Breakfast

Michelle Zauner, a.k.a. Japanese Breakfast, just shared that she'll be working on the soundtrack for another video game called Sable. (Last year, Zauner posted an online roleplaying game that she named Japanese Breakfast.) Her latest project is "a coming-of-age tale of discovery through exploration across a strikingly rendered open world desert." Below is the video for Sable's announcement trailer, which also contains the soundtrack's lead single, "Glider". The animation was provided by Micah Holland. The video game is scheduled for release in 2019 for PC and console.





New Track: "Dreams" (The Cranberries Cover) - Japanese Breakfast

For better or worse, we’ll always associate The Cranberries' “Dreams” with a scene from The Next Karate Kid. Known for including the 90’s staple in their live sets, Michelle Zauner & her Japanese Breakfast brethren recently recorded the song (paired with “Road Head”) as part of the Spotify Singles Series. An homage to the late Dolores O’Riordan, the group embraces the head-clearing climbs, with a bit of raw guitar thrown in for good measure, creating a powerful performance. You can catch Japanese Breakfast on Sunday, June 3 at Union Transfer, supported by Radiator Hospital and LVL UP.





New Track: "California Dreamin" (The Mamas & The Papas Cover) - Japanese Breakfast

In the midst of this deep freeze, one may be eyeing warmer climates. In that vein, Japanese Breakfast recently re-imagined The Mamas & The Papas' classic “California Dreamin” as part of a SiriusXMU session. This take hauntingly awakens, accompanied by synth, before the beat hits. Then, a sleek groove takes over, and vibrant guitar sets it off as the warmth and reassurance of vocal harmony warms the soul. Japanese Breakfast is scheduled to return to Philly on Sunday, June 3 at Union Transfer.





Weekend Warrior, September 1 - 4

September has arrived, and with it, comes the ceremonial conclusion of summer. However, before the sun-kissed season draws to a close, Ben Franklin Parkway plays host to a recently vested (6th overall) tradition Made In America. While an assortment acts will grace the various stages over, the 2-day event, the local contingent continues to grow. This Saturday includes the silky, serenading electro-pop of Marian Hill, the retrofitted, harmony-harnessing Queen of Jeans, the devastatingly tenacious, melodic whirlwind of Mannequin Pussy, and experimental instrumental textures meets sincere Americana-folk songwriting of (Sandy) Alex GAnd Sunday’s slate begins with PNB Rock, before a consecutive tandem that includes the heart-rendering, earnest elegance of Japanese Breakfast (whose Soft Sounds From Another Planet was our August Record of the Month) and the gritty, grab-the-wheel-and-drive indie rock of Beach Slang. Of course, the streets of Philadelphia will also be filled with bangers from Hova, Solange, Run the Jewels, Little Dragon, and many others. Hopefully the weather will hold out so that we can all enjoy a rad Labor Day Weekend in Philly! – Michael Colavita

More places where you can say goodbye to summer this weekend…

Made In America (Ben Franklin Pkwy) SAT Marian Hill, Queen of Jeans, Mt. Joy, Mannequin Pussy, (Sandy) Alex G, SUN PnB Rock, Japanese Breakfast, Beach Slang, Tigers Jaw

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SAT Night Raids, Barakka, SUN DJ Lil Dave

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Hawk Tubley & The Ozymandians, Jason Ager (Trio), Rachel Eve, SAT Goodnight/Goodluck, Wax Wav, Cologne

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Devil's Grippe, Truant Minds, Punkes/Gravers Lane ImHul/DJ Deejay, SAT Drones for Queens/Wolf Dem, KT Caustic, Teknacolor Ninja/Lunacy, SUN Sublaymen, Yeenar/Disinhume, Descendency, Depletion

PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) FRI The Improbables, SAT A Virgin

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Conjunto/Massive, Denelle Anderson, K-Soul, Rico Anderson, SAT (Upstairs) Steve Cal Quartet, Mike Kennedy

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) SAT Of the Archive (EP Release), Shy, Mage Hand, SUN Luxe

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) FRI Maggie Mae, Sonni Shine, Miss Cantaloupe, Granz

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI dot.gov, Dave Bakey, SAT Nicky P & Friends, Doug Wartman, Jeremiah Tall

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Shaky Deville, U.S. Lawns, SUN Langor, Circadian Rhythms

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI DJ Dav, Reed Streets, SAT DJ Deejay, SUN Astro 8000

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Alec Stewart, Bryant Eugene Vazquez, I am not the Universe, SUN Rusty Cadillac

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Project 28

Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza

Morgan’s Pier (221 N. Columbus Boulevard) FRI DJ Beatstreet, SAT Menace Cartel

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI DJ Chris Urban, SAT Ed Christof

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Christian O’Connor Band, Calla Bere & The Attitude, SAT Take Cover

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) SAT Eat Your Beats

First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut St.) FRI S-21 (Last Show)

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) SUN My Name Is Tom, MON Matt Kelly, Old Scratch

Beautiful World Syndicate (1619 E. Passyunk Ave.)  SAT Dark Web





The Deli Philly's August Record of the Month: Soft Sounds From Another Planet - Japanese Breakfast

Released last month by Japanese Breakfast, the solo project of ex-Post Post/ex-Little Big League’s Michelle Zauner, Soft Sounds From Another Planet begins with the crisp snare and buzzing synth of “Diving Woman”. Reminiscent of theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore and the chilling soundtrack of sci-fi classics like The Day the Earth Stood Still, the LP’s opener is bittersweet and atmospheric. Zauner’s lush vocals entrance with ease, wooing listeners with delicate bravado and immaculate execution, alongside swelling undertones of intimacy and unapologetic appetite. By the time she utters, “I want it all,” you will find yourself transported elsewhere via the frenetic hum of tender chords and reverb. A well-placed primer to the rhythmic pulse of “Road Head,” Soft Sounds From Another Planet’s first track is a seduction of sorts that deepens as the album progresses.

Dreamlike and hypnotically romantic, the confessional candidness of “Road Head” brings to mind Porches’ “Hour” and the brooding lust of Trust’s darkest cuts. The directness of Zauner’s narratives continues with “Machinist,” as she addresses her audience without hesitation. Oscillating between auto-tune and whispers, the melodic integrity of this anthem lies in its delectably retro aura, palpable immediacy, and abrupt end that quickly bleeds into the hushed drama of “Planetary Ambience,” at memorable preface to the album’s title track.  More of a proclamation of healing than a song about heartbreak, this gentle yet gripping ballad makes a promise that doubles as a warning: “I’ll never let you hurt me.”

Similarly, “Boyish” extends this theme with a subdued and maudlin melodrama à la Skeeter Davis and Camera Obscura. It is a tale of fractured desire and lovers on the brink of separation. Earnest like Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie, “Boyish” says what so few songs dare to, with unadulterated spirit and finesse. “12 Steps” (named after an iconic bar all too familiar to South Philly locals) channels the moody thrill of Veruca Salt’s “All Hail Me” and the swagger of Hole’s “Violet” but with an effervescent sense of empathy and affection rather than angst. It’s a love song with teeth.

“Jimmy Fallon Big!” is awash in ethereal echoes and crashing cymbals, two elements that reverberate in listeners’ minds long after its outro dissipates into the catchy hook of “The Body Is a Blade.” Through mantra-ready lines like “channel something good,” Zauner offers her audiences a methodology for not merely hope but survival. “Till Death” is an intoxicating portrait of the postmodern psyche, coupled with heartwarming horns and amorous irony, a pairing that effortlessly sets the mood for the haunting truth of “This House”. Like a Cat Power’s “Metal Heart” or Jenny Lewis in her most contemplative state, the strength of this record’s second to last track lies in its refusal to sugarcoat the trauma of human intimacy and its ability to honor the ways in which we are shaped by our pasts. Amplified by the toll of “Here Come the Tubular Bells,” the weight of “This House” and all that comes before it becomes a melodic meditation on what it means to honor and proclaim one’s truth. – Dianca London

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