News


Welcome to the home of MAD Dragon Music Group! We are Drexel University's very own award-winning independent record label, MAD Dragon Records, and an entertainment services entity. Operating within the MAD Dragon Music Group, we offer marketing and media services, publishing, concert promotion, and tour booking. We are so excited to share with you all the exciting projects, events, records, shows, tours, and videos that we are working on!

Comment

Emily's Record Store Day Wishlist

Written by Emily Sollenberger

Every year on the third Saturday of April vinyl junkies wake up bright and early to get to their local independent music store for Record Store Day, the (~unofficial~) best day of the year.  This year was especially great, with exclusive releases from many legendary artists including, of course, the late David Bowie, as well as Bob Dylan, Madonna, the Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, & more. While I could’ve gotten all of these if I had a million dollars and a teleportation device, I’m a broke college student with a bike so, without further ado, here are all the records I WISH I could have gotten:

 

1. Florence & The Machine - Delilah // Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Florence Welch has been performing a cover of Neil Young’s ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ for quite some time now so it was no surprise when an official recorded version appeared on her RSD exclusive.  The album features both a studio version and demo of ‘Delilah’ on the A-side and the ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ cover on the B-side.  Pressed onto 180 gram custom blue vinyl, limited to 4,000 copies.

[Pro-tip: Listen to this mashup of Drake’s ‘Back to Back’ and Florence & the Machine’s ‘Delilah’ you will not regret it]

 

2. Alt J - Live at Red Rocks

As if my FOMO from missing the show at Red Rocks wasn’t bad enough, they have to remind me AGAIN that I wasn’t there….If you’re in the same boat as me their RSD exclusive will help ease some of the pain (emphasis on some).  The album features their live performance on 2 different colored LP’s as well as a DVD with live show footage and CD.

 

3. David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World  

Do you need me to explain how cool this is? David Bowie’s iconic The Man Who Sold The World was pressed onto a 12” picture disk with the rare German album artwork, limited to 5,000 copies. Holy moly.

 

4. BØRNS - Live at KCRW ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’

I was beyond excited when I saw BØRNS was going to be releasing a RSD exclusive live from KCRW’s ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’ show.  While KCRW is a college radio station the quality of their music rivals any larger station, bringing in top artists to perform acoustic sessions.  This album features acoustic renditions of songs from BØRNS’ debut album “Dopamine”.  If you weren’t able to get a copy this past Saturday you can listen to the acoustic session on the NPR website here. This RSD exclusive was pressed on some super fly colored 12” vinyl, limited to 2000 copies.

 

5. The Doors - Live at The Aquarius: The First Performance

While it was no surprise The Doors released ANOTHER RSD exclusive (is it just me or do they plaster Jim Morrison’s face on every piece of merch ever invented?) I’m not going to lie; this year’s album is pretty dope. While the recording quality has been criticized it really brings you back to their 1968 performance, before the Aquarius Theatre became Nickelodeon Studios and before live albums were mixed and mastered just as heavily as studio albums.   

 

Maybe we’ll all win the lottery next year and be able to buy the LP’s of our dreams but until then head on over to MAD Dragon Music Group’s Facebook page to enter our vinyl giveaways held every Wednesday! We might just have a super cool Record Store Day exclusive for you tomorrow….

Comment

1 Comment

MDMG's Spring Playlist

 

Written by Julia Singer

If you’re looking to switch up your music to go with the recent beautiful weather, we’ve got you covered. Spring is the perfect time to discover new music for your pool days, days in the park, or rainy days hanging out inside. Here are some artists that are worth checking out:

1. Chelsea Lankes

Chelsea Lankes is an indie/electronic singer/songwriter straight out of Nashville. Don’t be fooled by where this girl lives, she does not have your average Nashville sound.

 

2. Gallant

Gallant is an alternative R&B artist who rocks an amazing falsetto and some great electronic beats. 

 

3. The Hunna

The Hunna are a four-piece indie rock band form Hertfordshire, England. These guys will get you in the mood for warm weather with their upbeat songs and soulful vocals.

 

4. SonReal

SonReal is an alternative hip-hop artist from Vancouver. He puts a fun twist on rap that you need to check out. 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Comment

7 Things to Get Hyped for this Spring Quarter

Written by Emily Sollenberger

Spring Break may be over but MAD Dragon Music Group is here to keep the party going! Check out some of the awesome events we have coming up this term and be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the chance to win free concert tickets & merch! 

 

1. Communion Philadelphia

Communion Music has teamed up with Bonfire and WXPN to bring you Communion Philadelphia! The first show of the term is this Thursday, April 7th featuring Jakubi, Donna Missal, Walker Lukens Music, Aiden Knight, & Deal Casino @ Milkboy (Event is 21+) 

2. Mad Dragon Sessions

MAD Dragon Music Group is back with MAD Dragon Sessions, exclusively premiered on DUTV.  Coming up this term we will be releasing sessions from Tor Miller and Kashish with many more to come!  Be sure to tune in this Friday to see Tor Miller perform some of his fans' favorites!

3. Amplefest

Voyager Studios presents the very first AMPLEFEST. Spend TWO nights (April 15th & 16th)  in University City jamming out to amazing and diverse local talent with genres spanning from Indie Rock to Future Bass!  Let's set off the Philly Festival season right! Tweet with the hashtag #AMPLEFEST and tell us who you're excited to see!

4. Philly radness x mdm

MAD Dragon Music Group is teaming up with Philly Radness to bring you Queen of Jeans, Hemming and a special guest opener at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery on April 19th alongside a skate-able, projection mapped, generative art sculpture, and multimedia representation of skateboard culture in Philadelphia.

 

5. Jeff Buckley you and i documentary screening

Nearly 2 decades after Jeff Buckley's untimely death comes a brand new album, You and I, featuring newly discovered intimate recordings including originals and covers of Bob Dylan, The Smiths, Led Zeppelin, & more. Join us for an exclusive screening on April 21st of a documentary that goes behind the scenes as Buckley records You and I, and interviews those closest to him in the creative process including producer, Steve Berkowitz.

6. love on the streets festival

The Second Annual Love on the Streets Festival is coming back to Paine’s Park! Love On The Streets (LOTS Fest) aims to reimagine skateboarding in the city through art and culture.  The festival will transform Paine’s Park on May 14th, 2016 into a destination where communities collaborate, celebrate, and spread awareness about the importance of preserving Philadelphia's street culture.

The money raised for this year’s event will benefit Franklin Paine Skatepark Fund in efforts to rebuild and diversify city spaces and experiences that foster the love of skateboarding and urban creativity.

7. Spring jam

A Drexel tradition and the highlight of Spring Quarter, CAB is bringing another awesome show to the Drexel community! Join us for a fun night of music & friends.   

 

For even more updates, cool pictures, and giveaways subscribe to our email list here!

Comment

Comment

Altered States [REVIEW]

Photo courtesy of Robert Proto

Photo courtesy of Robert Proto

 

Written by Andy Rote

            Being an electronic music fan in Philadelphia is exceptionally rewarding because every month hundreds of new artists are coming in and around the city to perform. However, fans of more eclectic styles of electronic music will always have to search a little deeper in order to find shows and venues that support artists of this nature, and these events can sometimes be few and far between.

            In October 2015, I had my first experience with a show series, called Altered States, which aims to bring a continuous stream of new and unique artists to Philadelphia. The concert series hopes to create a positive brand and scene within the electronic music community. Altered States is a series of shows presented by Funkadelphia and Deathwaltz Media Group that holds events at the Silk City Diner Bar & Lounge.

            I was attracted to this particular show series because they were able to acquire the dubstep duo from Belgium known as Ganja White Night. Being a huge fan of dubstep music I was blown away since the duo rarely travels to the US and they only play a handful of shows when they do. This meant that there was no way I could miss the show, but I often worry about the turnout at events such as this due to the relatively small fan-base Ganja White Night has compared to huge names in electronic music. To my amazement, I walked into the show that night and was introduced to a sold out crowd with devoted fans packing the place from wall to wall. It was incredibly satisfying being able to see a beloved artist of mine, and it was even more rewarding to be able to be a part of an exceptionally energetic crowd.

            While there are many shows around Philly every week, it can be very difficult to find events with that level of energy. In Philly, I have been to venues of all sizes and have seen both great and disappointing shows across the board. While Silk City has a relatively small live room, which reaches capacity at about 150, the intimate space combined with respectful and positive crowds has made it one of my new favorites. Altered States has also continuously impressed me with their lineups by bringing in different genres of dance music every month and acquiring some of the best yet underrated talent in the business.

            Since the first show, I have been back to Altered States on three separate occasions, but I honestly would have gone to more if I could have. They have attracted a phenomenal group of fans and artists, and I have seen a solid turnout for every show I attended. As a devoted fan of many different types of electronic music it is comforting to know that there are people putting on shows who are truly passionate about the music they are presenting. I look forward to new show announcements from Altered States every month. For those interested, the next show is March 6th with performances from Thriftworks, Esseks, and Agent Zero.

Comment

Comment

Alyssa Joseph of Kitchen Jams [INTERVIEW]

Written By Emily Sollenberger

 

Mad Dragon Media caught up with Alyssa Joseph, Drexel’s very own singer-songwriter, before her show with Henri Tyler, Kashish, and Matt Sharayko. Alyssa is the creator and star of Kitchen Jams, a weekly acoustic series currently located in the kitchen of Westphal Dean Allen Sabinson. 

 

MDM: This past summer you were in Nashville, home of the first ever Kitchen Jams.  How would you compare the music scene in Nashville to the music scene in Philadelphia?

Alyssa: Yeah, I did my co-op at a kooky Indie Record Label in East Nashville which is really cool because a lot of people think Nashville is commercial country, that’s what it’s known for, but there’s actually so much music there.  There’s a huge scene, like in Philly, but everything is a bit more polished. Rather than our DIY punk, Nashville has indie rock and Americana.

 

MDM: Did you have a specific venue or concert that stood out to you there?

Alyssa: I went to at least four shows a week so I got to experience a lot. I played an open mic at the Bluebird Café, which was really an incredible experience as a performer and also as an audience member.  My parents also came to visit and I went to see a show at the Grand Ole Opry that was just magical. 

 

MDM: The first Kitchen Jam was recorded in Nashville. How did that come about?

Alyssa: The other intern at my label had a camera and Drexel MIP alumni Sam Pita also moved to Nashville while I was there so I though “I have video and I have sound so I need to record something for my YouTube channel.” We procrastinated and the last night the three of us were together I was supposed to be at work at a showcase and I said “guys we didn’t record anything” and, being last minute, we had no location.  We had these great ideas that we would do it along the Cumberland River and with the Nashville skyline in the background, none of that happened, but I had a really cute kitchen! So we decided to use my kitchen and thought “what if I could call it Kitchen Jams that would be so funny,” and now we have Kitchen Jams!

 

MDM: You have quite a few shows coming up including three more Kitchen Jams in Dean Allen Sabinson’s kitchen as well as the 3rd Planet Festival at World Cafe Live.  What are you looking forward to the most this year, career-wise?  

Alyssa: Me and my friend, who’s also a local Philly artist, are partnering up and we’re going on a weekender, the first weekend in March and we’re looking at a longer week and a half tour in April or May but I’m really excited for the weekender, which is next weekend! We’re exploring North Jersey and ending it at a house show in Brooklyn, starting it at WMSC Radio on March 4th at noon.  It’s my first radio experience which is really exciting.

 

MDM: Who would you consider your greatest music influences? 

Alyssa: Regina Spektor was a big one for me when I was growing up.  I started out playing piano and the moment I realized I could incorporate piano with my singing was really life changing for me.  She has this one song called Samson, which I learned on piano and it was the first song I really played and sang at the same time.  She is such an incredible vocalist and just such an unconventional woman, which I really liked and took from.  I’ve always really been into female singer songwriters like Adele, Taylor Swift, and Ingrid Michelson of course. I grew up on Madonna, Celine Dion, and Queen; there was a wide variety in my house. 

 

MDM:  If you had the opportunity collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

Alyssa: For a lot of reasons, because of his talent, but also from a business perspective, probably Ed Sheehan, just because I think it would be an intelligent career move and I really do think he is a phenomenal songwriter and we’re kind of similar in the sense that he does perform mostly solo and right now in my career that’s where I’m at

 

MDM: Can we expect an album or any more music from you this year?

Alyssa: Right now I’m really focusing on Kitchen Jams and trying to bring new and creative things to them as well as collaborate with people and bring them to new kitchens.  I’m also looking to play more shows in Philly so I have the gig at World Cafe Live coming up and I’m looking to do something at Tin Angel soon and just a lot more live shows! I’ll also be recording an EP but it won’t be released until I’m sure it’s ready. 

 

 

**COMING TO A KITCHEN NEAR YOU**

 

 

If you’re interested in seeing Alyssa perform at the next Kitchen Jam you can find more information and sign up at http://bit.ly/1R8CPO0 !!  All Kitchen Jams are available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/user/alyssajosephmusic

 

Comment

Comment

Battlefest III: Back to the Fest [EVENT]

 

Written By Jonah Huynh

            On BBC, there's an interesting music television series known as “Later... With Jools Hollan.” The show has a simple but unique concept: a group of bands, typically of different musical styles, form a semi-circle and play one song each in a round-table fashion. Imagine going to a show and instead of each band playing their set before the next band goes on, the bands instead take turns playing songs!

            Enter Battlefest, Mad Dragon Media's very own round-table concert series. In the past, Battlefest has hosted popular Philadelphia and Drexel acts such as The Hundred Acre Woods, Keepers, Darla, and Mr. Sampson. Every performer brings something unique to the table, keeping things fresh and exciting. One moment you will be listening to a cool funk jam accompanied by an entire backing band, the next you will be hearing a singer-songwriter pouring out his emotions with nothing but a microphone and an acoustic guitar. This year's Battlefest is no exception and features three very different artists who, when combined, promise to deliver a truly special concert experience!

            Edelweiss is a self-proclaimed post post-punk revival group whose sound is distinguished by its distorted and electronic soundscapes, driving alt-rock-style drums, and catchy, smooth vocals. Of the three bands, Edelweiss can be described as the “middle” group, landing somewhere between fast and energetic and slow and emotional. Edelweiss released Philadelphia EP this past November.

            Abi Reimold provides a more dynamic sound to the bill. Influenced by artists such as Lana Del Rey and Radiohead, Reimold's music is described as “darkly colorful.” In one moment, the instrumentals are quiet and the vocals soothing and soft; in another, Reimold is borderline-shouting into the microphone with heavy emotion and power emanating from her voice. Reimold's brand-new album Wriggling was released in January earlier this year.


            Cold Fronts are a fun, energetic indie pop group that is sure to get the audience moving. Characterized by happy-go-lucky lyrics and vocals, vigorous drums and even the occasional guitar solo, everything about this band will get you on your feet. While different from either of the other two artists, Cold Fronts is welcome as the most energetic band on the bill. Their most recent release Forever Whatever was made available last October.

            As you can tell, none of these artists have much in common and each of them brings something special to the table; normally, seeing these three together on the same bill would make little sense. However, Battlefest's round-table format takes advantage of this vast range of styles and genres to create a truly unique concert experience. Don't miss this one-of-a-kind show – Battlefest will be happening at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at 3401 Filbert Street on Wednesday, February 24th starting at 7pm. And of course, food will be provided.

Comment

Comment

Mothers [Interview]

Album artwork for When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired by Mothers

Album artwork for When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired by Mothers

Written by Meghan McGovern

 

Last Thursday we met with the members of Mothers before their set at MilkBoy for Communion Philadelphia’s February Residency show to pick their brains on their touring dreams, feelings on the band's hometown, and upcoming debut LP When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired.

 

MDMG: Mothers, which was originally a solo project of Kristine Leschper, eventually came to be a full band when you guys got together in Athens. How has the city of Athens influenced you, if at all, and does the band draw influence from anywhere else?
Matthew: Athens is a great place to start a band. There's a lot of music there in general, and a lot of great things have come out of that city. I think we draw a lot of inspiration from previous acts from that city, like The Elephant 6 Collective.
Drew: Yeah there's so much. There's just always been very cool experimental music and kind of like psychedelic new fun stuff. There's a lot of exploring going on down there all the time. It's like a little breeding ground. People are always jumping in other bands and starting new stuff. It's very active. There's a ton of turnover. We all play in like at least two other bands, and this band's only been together about a year so, I'd say it's influenced us in that way more than like a sound. 

MDMG: It hasn’t taken long for Mothers’ to gain traction in the industry, after just releasing your first single last year. Your debut album When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired is coming out in just a few weeks! What was the writing/recording process like?
M:
 For most of the record, Kristine had all of those songs already written before we were involved with it. As far as the recording process, it was a mix of creating arrangements for song that were more solo works for her, and then also working out the band's sound that was really just starting to come together when we were recording it. We hadn't played together as a group very much; we had only played one show by the time we recorded that record. So it was a really intense process.
D: Trying to just figure out how to navigate between what was already good about Mothers as it existed and try to make it into what it's become, or what it’s turning into. Trying to push it forward without sacrificing anything that was already inherently really good about it. Just adding to it.

MDMG: You guys have a jam-packed tour schedule all the way through to May, even playing a couple of shows across the pond in London. How do you keep each other going on such a long stretch of being on the road? Do you drive each other crazy?
D:
 Well yeah haha…but I think that's natural.
M:  I try really hard to be open and communicate. It's kind of like having 3 significant others.
D: And you never leave their side. That's the biggest thing is that with any other type of work you get to check out a little bit, and with this you go to sleep one foot away from the person you're gonna wake up next to everyday.
M: It's kind of like being in the army or something.
D: But in ways that it's not the army. I think that our main thing right now is just trying to be appreciative because it's all kind of a whirlwind, so it’s easy to get lost in all of that and forget to appreciate what's in front of you. I think that's how we keep each other going: just trying our best to appreciate what's good about it, and knowing that you can't have a sunny outlook ALL the time, because that's just not human or natural. 
M: And trying to be thankful because we're in a very blessed position.
D: Yeah, we're lucky that we have this much work to do, honestly.

MDMG: Are there any shows or cities you’re especially looking forward to playing? 
D: London for sure! Matt’s been showing us Canadian music for like the last year and a half, so it’s exciting that we’re going to Vancouver.
Patrick: I’m looking forward to the west coast in general.
D: Yeah I've visited Seattle, but other than that I've never really been on the west coast.

MDMG: You're playing the Echo in LA, right? That's a great space.
D: Yeah! Definitely excited for that one. I've watched so many shows on Youtube from the Echo so it’ll be cool to actually experience. 

MDMG: You’ve already played CMJ this past fall and are gearing up for South By in March. If Mothers could play ANY festival in the world, or tour with any band, what would the dream be for each of you? 
M: All Tomorrow's Parties, the big festival in the UK.
D: That's a good answer. Yeah, they get someone different to curate it each year, like Jeff Mangum curated one. They just get someone cool to curate an entire festival basically. But for me, I don’t know, I want to play all of them!
M: I really wish we were on Moogfest this year, that lineup is amazing. But we have a lot of cool things coming up that’ll be announced soon.

Get Mothers’ new album When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired in stores and online February 26, 2016!

 

Mothers is Kristine Leschper (guitar, lead vocals), Matthew Anderegg (drums), Drew Kirby (guitar), and Patrick Morales (bass).
http://nestingbehavior.com/
https://www.facebook.com/nestingbehavior/
https://mothersathens.bandcamp.com/

 

Comment

Comment

What's Up, Darla [Interview]

Darla will be sharing the stage with The Disco Biscuits on Feb. 5.

Darla will be sharing the stage with The Disco Biscuits on Feb. 5.

Interview and Article By Meghan McGovern

This week we got to sit down with Richie Straub, drummer of Darla, to discuss the band's upcoming show with The Disco Biscuits, some of Darla's craziest memories, and what the group has in store this year...

Q: Darla has played some awesome gigs in the past, from headlining West Philly basement shows to opening for funk bands like George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. This Friday, Darla will be sharing the stage with Philly natives The Disco Biscuits! Can you elaborate on how that came about and your feelings surrounding the opportunity?
A: We met our current manager, Andy Hurwitz, at the George Clinton show last February who introduced us to Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits. We worked on a track with Marc at our studio in late 2015, which led to the opportunity to open for The Disco Biscuits. We couldn't be more excited to play. It seems like February is our month. 

Q: What was the craziest show you’ve played in your time as a band?
A: Moonbase Nix 2014. Between singalong Nickelback covers, audience members being lifted in glory and losing our bass player, Mike, to the crowd, nothing compares. 

Q: With a show history as extensive as yours, Darla has played quite a few local Philly venues. As a performer, which venue would say is your favorite?
A: The Fire is always a great time. We love getting packed and getting wild. World Cafe Live downstairs and Ardmore Music Hall are close seconds. They have such solid crowds and cool rooms. 

Q: Having eight members—with some already graduated while others are still in school—can't make it easy to get everyone in the band on the same schedule. How do you all manage to stay on the same page when it comes to rehearsals, touring, etc?
A: It's not easy, but we have learned to adjust on the fly. The member who makes the most effort to make it all possible is Alex Marino who lives in NJ and is constantly traveling to make our shows. 

Q: Can we expect new music from you guys in 2016?
A: Yes.


Catch Darla THIS FRIDAY at The Fillmore Philadelphia as they open for The Disco Biscuits! Tickets available here: http://bit.ly/DiscoDarla

 

Darla is Mike Morrongiello, Richie Straub, Alex Marino, Kosta Johnson, Jake Fabian, Brendan Monahan, Wil Schade, and Jake Held.

https://www.facebook.com/DarlaPhilly/?fref=ts 
https://twitter.com/darlaphilly
http://darlaphilly.bandcamp.com/

 

Comment

Comment

Jonah's Declassified Midterm Music Survival Guide

Written By Jonah Huynh

 

Believe it or not, week five of winter quarter is already here. As Drexel students, we all know that means midterms are just around the corner. Of course, accompanying midterms are hours of seemingly endless, agonizing studying and consequential farewells to our social lives. Speaking from experience, midterms can be an extremely overwhelming time. Even though the process is just as stressful as finals week, the end of midterms lacks the satisfaction of finishing all of our work.

But have no fear because I have come up with a playlist that will hopefully make studying for midterms a little more bearable. I give to you a beautiful genre of music you may or may not have heard of: Post-Rock. As someone who suffers from anxiety, Post-Rock is the perfect genre to help me relax and reduce stress. Even more important is the fact that, to me (and probably more importantly, to you), Post-Rock is the perfect music for studying. The genre creates a calm, soothing atmosphere that will not cause you to fall asleep like white noise or the sounds of nature might. Post-rock also does not overwhelm your mind or make you lose focus while you look over your notes for the hundredth time. While it can certainly be enjoyed on its own, I see Post-Rock like onions in a stir fry: it is not the focal point of the dish, but it certainly adds something special. Give these albums a try when you are up at four in the morning cramming for your exams – they might help calm your nerves and make your studying experience that much less painful.

1.     “The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place” by Explosions in the Sky

2.     “All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone” by Explosions in the Sky

3.     “Young Mountain” by This Will Destroy You

4.     “Another Language” by This Will Destroy You

5.     “All is Violent, All is Bright” by God is an Astronaut

6.     “Chasing After Shadows...Living with the Ghosts” by Hammock

7.     “A Perfect Dawn” by From Oceans to Autumn

8.     “On Land” by Brian Eno

Worth noting is that “On Land”, is not Post-Rock in the same regard as the rest of the albums on the playlist. Eno’s album leans more towards the ambient side and might sound a little “out there” to some listeners as it's something different. However, the album is still perfect for calming nerves and studying.

Finally, I will end this blog post with an interesting factoid: the final track, “Your Hand in Mine,” of “The Earth is Not A Cold Dead Place,” was feature in the 2004 sports film, “Friday Night Lights.”

Hopefully this playlist helps calm your nerves a bit and makes midterms week a little bit less painful! Good luck and (not so) happy studying!

 

Comment

Comment

Matthew Sharayko - "Friends of Friends" Debut Full-Length [REVIEW]

Friends of Friends Album Artwork

Friends of Friends Album Artwork

Originally Published in the Drexel Triangle on Jan. 22, 2016

Written By Elisa Money

If you could take Thom Yorke’s voice, Passenger’s sound and Radical Face’s lyrics, you would end up with Matthew Sharayko. He’s an up-and-coming alternative folk singer-songwriter from Harleysville, Pennsylvania, with his first LP, “Friends of Friends,” dropping Jan. 22 on Bandcamp. Sharayko is currently unsigned and is working with the Mad Dragon Music Group for promotions and marketing. His tracks “Stage Fright” and “Cinnamon Girl” have both already been released as singles on his Bandcamp page. Sharayko’s full length debut offers a wide range of music from beautifully arranged tracks featuring violin and acoustic bass to full band grunge grooves.

The first track “Baby” is reminiscent of an early Radiohead, with Sharayko crooning about a lost love over a solid rock drum beat and crunchy arpeggiated electric guitar. In places the song is artfully sparse, leaving lots of room for the chorus to really explode. Sharayko also features in some small guitar solos, providing a small taste of the massive talent he has to offer.

Next up is “Cinnamon Girl,” arguably the best track on the LP. This intricate ballad features a gorgeous violin solo, skillful acoustic bass playing and tastefully simple acoustic guitar playing. Sharayko’s raspy voice is left to soar the complementary melodies provided by the violinist leave no need for vocal harmonies. The arrangement and musicality of the guitar, violin and bass produce a phenomenal sound, leaving no way to justly describe the listening experience.

Another track that is worth mentioning is “Something to Say.” This bluegrass tune is a standout on the LP because of its considerably noticeable country influence. The violinist from “Cinnamon Girl” is featured again, though this time as a fiddler rather than a classical soloist. Sharayko’s guitar playing is phenomenal, again displaying his diverse array of techniques and styles. The tone of his voice is also quite different in this song compared to the rest of the album. He clearly tries a more appropriately country tone here, but goes about it in his own way. Throughout the record his diction is a little lazy and laid back, his pitches and vocal quality are extremely intentional and supported by some audibly obvious vocal training.

The final track of the album“The Captain” manages to differentiate itself from the rest since it is the only song that tells a story. Because of this, it acts as a very refreshing resolution to the album. From a production perspective, it is worth mentioning that the breathing from the upright bassist was retained in the final mix. Generally, such elements from the recordings are removed from the track because these are not received well  by mainstream audiences. However, for Sharayko’s sound it fits right in, highlighting the fact that he and his band are actively interacting musically with both each other and the listener. Despite being Sharayko’s debut album, “Friends of Friends” is a must-listen for fans of a wide range of musical styles, and one can safely compare him to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Passenger, Radiohead, the Dixie Chicks and Bright Eyes.

Matthew Sharayko can be seen next headlining Drexel's Late Night Series on January 28, 2016 in the Creese Commuter Lounge (3210 Chestnut St.) at 8:30pm. 

 

 

 

 

Want more Matthew Sharayko? Check him out on these sites:

Bandcamp: https://mattsharayko.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattsharayko/?fref=ts

Comment

Comment

Mike Pays Heat - "Tape 1 Play" Debut Full-Length [REVIEW]

Mike Pays Heat's Tape 1 Play Album Artwork.

Mike Pays Heat's Tape 1 Play Album Artwork.

Written by Elisa Money

          Mike Pays Heat’s debut full-length, Tape 1 Play, premiered on New Noise Magazine on January 13, and saw its full release on Dead Medium Records on January 15, 2016. The indie-punk group’s first LP shows the evolution of the band, both in regards to song writing and melody construction, as well as production value and performance. The quartet once again recorded with producer Martin Black at Mad Dragon Studios, with an additional engineering credit going to Modern Baseball’s Ian Farmer, who also mastered the album.

          While the LP is divided into three “tapes”, with a wide range of individual track vibes and overall sounds, the record is still extremely cohesive. Upbeat, mosh-worthy tracks such as Miranda, We Can’t Swim, and NNFS all offer something different while still producing the same DIY basement atmosphere. The band re-recorded tracks “Breaking Pencils” (originally on Relaxatives) and “Bedroom Life” (originally on Pipe Down) with a much higher production quality.  The direct comparison between the new and old recordings show how the band has developed their visions of songs, emphasizing their attention to details. It was nice to see that the group also stayed true to where they started: in a university dorm, playing for their friends.  Tracks like “Sleepover”, “No Better”, and, again, “NNFS”, were very reminiscent of the group’s first EP, Pipe Down, featuring a more mature sound and stronger melodic composition across all fronts.

          Ian Hunter’s lyrics remain insightful, with just enough angst that you will find yourself going back to them after the listening experience is over. Specifically, these lines:

“I’ve got nothing good to say, is it okay if I talk anyway” – Sleepover
“ ’cause change is more suited to people with friends” – We Can’t Swim
“everybody’s going to hate themselves sometimes” – No Better
“cough your doubts into the kitchen sink, breathe stop think, on repeat every week”   –Bloom

These are perfect examples of Hunter’s ability to reflect on college life in a way that makes you think.

Mike Pays Heat members (from left to right): Ian Hunter, Will Schade, Daniel Siper.

          The group has done an excellent job of keeping their original sound while gaining more experience and insight behind their song writing and recording processes. Throughout the record, whenever it begins to feel kind of the same or repetitive, right as that feeling creeps up, the band does something new, something different, something cool, something that snaps you right out of it. Even though each track offers something so unique and different, the band has still managed to have the overarching sound and feeling of the fact that they are still those awkward freshmen all squished into a dorm room with their friends, writing songs that are applicable to their every day college lives, in such a raw way that it just keeps listeners and fans coming back.

Check it out for yourself! Here's Mike Pays Heat's debut full-length "Tape 1 Play".
Enjoy!

Want more Mike Pays Heat? Check them out on these sites:

Bandcamp: http://mikepaysheat.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikepaysheat/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

Comment

Comment

Newest Edelweiss Press

Recently, Mad Dragon Music Group's Edelweiss has received some amazing press. Check out the links below:

Indie Obsessive- http://indieobsessive.blogspot.com/2015/11/philadelphia-by-edelweiss-ep-review.html

Indie Minded- http://indieminded.com/2015/11/new-ep-alert-philadelphia-by-edelweiss-ep-stream/

Ghettomaster Magazine- http://ghettoblastermagazine.com/2015/edelweiss-share-video-for-cookies-brownies/

Hype Machine- http://hypem.com/track/2dyjc/EdelweissOfficial+-+Species

Comment

Comment

All Hail Adele

Written by Jake Fabian of Mad Dragon Media

In preparation for the megastar’s upcoming release, 25, national governments have begun to issue instructions on how their citizens can safely transition into fascist rule under Eternal Supreme President Adele.  With the success of her latest single “Hello”, industry experts began to place their faith in Her Eminence as the savior of the music industry.  Ailing record sales have plagued the industry since the beginning of this century and experts have been looking for a catalyst to raise album sales back to their peak levels.  Recent analysis and forecasting has shown that not only will sales of 25 nearly double industry revenue, it will also eradicate poverty, hunger and global debt.  World leaders were so exhilarated by this report that they agreed to surrender all aggregate executive powers to the British pop star.  Soon-to-be former President Barack Obama shared these words:

“It was really a no-brainer for us.  Upon reading that report, it was evident that She possessed fiscal responsibility and frankly, dominance.  If She can theoretically resolve all of the problems that humanity has been struggling to address since the dawn of civilization, She should have complete and utter totalitarian control over our lives.  We’re already indebted to Her.”

Soon-to-be former Prime Minister David Cameron had this to say:

“We’re just so honored to be able to share the same nationality as the future Supreme Leader of the World.  It’s unfortunate that once She assumes rule, all nationalities will be technically eradicated, as we will all be Adele, but for the time being, this is the most exciting moment of my life.”

In addition to the modification of every country’s national monuments, citizens will be required to listen to the singer’s discography thrice daily while sobbing uncontrollably.  As per Her Excellency’s demand, all subsequent covers of “Hello” will be felonious and possibly punishable by death, depending on the quality of the perpetrator’s performance.  Rumor has it that the truly talented violators of this new law will be collected and forced to work on the Supreme President’s continent, which runs solely on the voices of inferior singers.  Undying Lady Adele prides herself on her sustainable energy platform.

The response from citizens all over the world has been unbelievably positive.  Many families have begun burning their outdated flags and national attire and replacing them with homemade Adele garments.  Others have begun to experiment with rituals and other forms of praise that they think might be pleasing to the All-Seeing Mother of the Land.  More extreme residents have started removing their own tongues in order to mitigate the temptation to sing along with the Omniscient Deity that Rules Over All and formed a respectable organization that allows members to devote everything to The Ruler.   When asked to describe the transition, Ohio homeowner Diane Finch said:
“It’s been amazing.  Even heart-warming.  I’ve never felt more connected or devoted to a cause.  I’m closer with my family and my neighbors and more importantly, I’m closer to the One True Creator That Gives All And Asks Nothing.”

When asked for her opinion, Adele exploded into a brilliant, cleansing light adorned with a hideous, but beautiful shriek that carried the entire spectrum of human knowledge and emotion.

Comment

Comment

A New Golden Era?

A Blog written by Jared Frankel of Mad Dragon Media

     2015 has been one of the greatest years for hip-hop in a very long time.  With three quarters of the year behind us at this point, we have already seen a wide variety of highly acclaimed albums gain mainstream commercial success as well as genre specific critical success. Up to this point, there has been a general ethos that mainstream hip-hop is trash and the 90’s genre defining milestones such as Ready to Die, Illmatic, and The Low End Theory were all things of the past.  However, a handful of contemporary artists are challenging that and taking the current state of hip-hop to a new level.
     First, one needs to examine why it is currently a good time for hip-hop and how it makes sense for a new age of quality hip-hop to come about.  Starting in the 70’s and 80’s, hip-hop was an obscure genre on the outskirts of the mainstream, viewed as something that would never break out and was a timely fad.  It was raw, it was personal, and it was almost the DIY punk for the black community for that time.  However, come the early 1990’s all this changed.  The colossal legends everyone knew took the world by storm. Some of these acts included, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Gang Starr, Outkast, Snoop Dogg, the list is endless. These individuals were artists, true to the original ethos as well as understanding that it was time to capitalize on the money that was then being thrown at them. Fast-forward 10 years to right after the new millennium, hip-hop was a genre young people loved and their parents despised, a genre that was on MTV consistently.  These were the high times of bling, drugs, and women.  This era was the result of hip-hop being commercialized like any other genre. Eventually people got fed up. 
    Come full circle to present day, the image of bling, drugs, and women that were pushed upon hip-hop by big labels in order to sell, are no longer as widespread as they once were.  We are currently at the point where people are tired of the faux-gangster/pimp caricature of what hip-hop originally was 20-30 years ago. Now people want something creative, raw, unique, and all the characteristics that came with hip-hop before it got commercialized.  Hip-hop is a huge genre with many sub genres, allowing a wide demographic of artists to explore spaces that have never been touched on before.  This year alone we now are seeing the success of artists such as Earl Sweatshirt, the ever artistic duo Death Grips, the purple ethos and fashion of A$AP Rocky, the comedy of Action Bronson, and obviously the don Kendrick Lamar.  All these artists are putting out great work that doesn’t fit the mold of hip-hop even 10 years ago.  If some of these artists and their friends alike came out 10 years ago, they probably wouldn't be where they are today. The genre is being stretched and artists are being challenged to do something new.  Hip-hop is now a formidable genre, with a long history, and listeners are finally looking for something new. If someone is still stuck saying mainstream hip-hop is garbage, tell them it is 2015 and their mentality is old school, and not in a good way.

 

Comment

Comment

Concert Review: Little May at Milkboy

Written by Billy Cook of Mad Dragon Media.

     I found Little May written up in a local Philly blog, listened to their latest record, For The Company, in its entirety (several times), then bought tickets for their Milkboy show that same night. Before even discovering that Aaron Dessner produced the record, there was a depth and complexity to Little May’s sound that immediately conjured The National’s ruminating intensity. It is a difficult thing for anyone, let alone an international band, to get a Philadelphia crowd pumped and moving at a show, but the energy in Milkboy that night reminded me of BOY performing Little Numbers for the first time in the US. The crowd unashamedly sang and cheered while Hannah Field and company beamed with delight. 
Field’s vocals paired with her Matt Berninger-like swagger projected a commanding presence, floating in the current without getting lost in the nervous tension of the music. Years of touring on an ever-growing stage have given Little May the confidence and power to take charge of an entire room. The onstage chemistry between Fields, guitarist Liz Drummond, and guitar/keys player Annie Hamilton is absolutely electric, with all three feeding off the others’ energy and tearing through album highlights “Home” and “Seven Hours” to start off the show. The connection between Drummond and drummer Catriona Hunter was particularly palpable. Hunter’s presence was relaxed, frequently flashing grins while hammering out feverish drum fills with inhuman control. While harmonizing with Field, Hamilton and Drummond deliver bright trickling guitar work that pulses with keys, creating ominous atmospheres like For The Company standout “Sinks.” As Drummond cries out “Something’s gonna rise,” Hunter flashes one more grin before leading them straight into the song’s chaotic breakdown. 
What I saw in Little May is a group with a tremendous amount of talent and chemistry, particularly in a band as young as theirs. The emotional complexity of their music possesses a quiet charm deliver with a modest enthusiasm. Before the start of the show, I cheered and raised my hand for a high five from Catriona Hunter as the band approached the stage. She failed to notice me in time and I turned back to my date.
Pat-ta-pat
    Hunter drums on my back, recovering from her whiffed high-five. I turned in time to see her grinning an apologetic, yet amused smile. 
    This among many other moments make Little May an incredibly endearing band. My advice for the next time Little May comes to Philadelphia: Buy the ticket.

 

Comment

Comment

Communion Presents: Mr. Sampson, Darla, and Secret Someones

Written by Kyle Kaczor of Mad Dragon Media

This past week at the bar/venue Milkboy in Philadelphia, I laid eyes on talent across several genres in the form of groups Darla, Mr. Sampson, and Secret Someones. A creative amalgamation brought together by hard work and the vision of a small independent record label. 

Communion Records was founded in 2006 as an artist run organization focusing on developing smaller up and coming bands in the ever-competitive music industry. Founders Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, Kevin Jones of Bear’s Den, and Producer Ian Grimble wanted to create a label with the interest of the artist in mind. To help achieve this, the label puts on a series of live shows known as Communion Presents in 15 cities around the world. The goal of Communion Presents is to showcase new emergent artists in a creative and professionally run environment. 

The Philadelphia representative for Communion responsible for running these monthly showcases is fellow Drexel Music Industry student Jessica Bumsted, whose hard work and effort has breathed new life into the Philadelphia music scene. Choosing the intimate yet hip bar and venue known as Milkboy gives the show a professional yet still young and vibrant atmosphere where Philadelphians can enjoy live music, food, and drink. 

The show itself was reflective of Communion’s mission to showcase new up and coming artists with serious talent. The night featured an interesting bill. The female fronted pop group Secret Someones delivered an energetic set reminiscent of acts such as Weezer and other 90s power pop groups. The following acts showcased some of Philadelphia’s finest. Both featuring Drexel students, the Future Funk electronic based duo of Mr. Sampson and the Funk group Darla rounded out the night. Showcasing elements of Trip hop, and funk-based samples Mr. Sampson was the perfect complement to the big band old school yet polished style of Darla. Both groups put on a fantastic and most importantly funky performance reminiscent of the close association between legendary funk band Lettuce, and the New York based Trip Hop/Dub group known as Break Science. Mr. Sampson and Darla represent different ends of the musical spectrum performance wise; however complement each other both on stage and as important contributors to the young and emergent Philadelphia Music Scene. 

Comment

1 Comment

Need To Know: Edelweiss

Written by Alexander Pirro of MAD Dragon Media

The post punk movement was arguably one of the most influential sculptors for the contemporary indie sound. Groups like Joy Division, Talking Heads, and Gang of Four forged a sonic renaissance in the 1980’s by experimenting with punk styles, cultivating aggression while redefining genre confines. Considering that post-punk influenced many artists and shaped indie rock, it’s no wonder that there was a healthy revival in the mid-2000s indie scene. This revival was heavily concentrated in two areas: the United Kingdom and the United States. British bands like Bloc Party and the Arctic Monkeys crafted inventive yet danceable tunes, while U.S. groups the Strokes and Interpol championed a sleek interpretation of alt-rock. Philadelphia group Edelweiss is staying true to the indelible spirit of post punk revival by challenging the constrictions of the genre. The three members Niko Porlier, Tony Young, and Lexi Campion all bring diverse influences to the table. Their tunes gravitate loosely to dance-driven indie rock while cherry-picking elements of math pop, post punk, and art rock.

 

    Edelweiss was conceived originally as a dual Iron Maiden + Arctic Monkeys cover band in 2010 by frontman extraordinaire Niko Porlier. As not to be restricted by performing other’s smash hits, Porlier gathered friends to transcend his native Stroudsburg, PA basement. While other members have come and gone, bassist Tony Young has been a mainstay throughout the band’s 5 year tenure. Thus, Edelweiss came out of the ether. The members diligently began to establish themselves by writing their own material. In their high school years, Edelweiss released three albums, titled Pre-Columbians (2011), Honduras (2013), and Edelweiss (2012), a Japanese exclusive release via record label Bullion Records. Since Young and Porlier relocated to Philadelphia, the group have quickly become a mainstay in the basement scene. After fitful lineup changes, the pair finally settled on vivacious drummer Lexi Campion who brings chaos to Young and Porlier’s calculated sound. Both Young and Campion are Drexel students, and the pair are the rhythmic powerhouse behind the band. They create the aggression in their grooves to which Porlier decorates with mechanic guitar lines. Through these releases and lineup changes, the group has cultivated their indie dance sensibilities while developing a unique aura along the way.  All in the name of keeping their sound fresh, indeed.

 

    The group’s first effort Pre-Columbians is a testament true to their math rock roots. The five track EP released in 2011 charts similar territory to Antidotes-era Foals, a hands-down favorite of the group. Tireless dance patterns are neatly plotted among the 4/4 grid, punctuated by agile guitars. At certain points, every instrument diverges into independent parts, creating a flurry of syncopation. Cryptic lyrics add an element of abstraction to the neatly-packed rhythms. Standout track “Icarus” thrusts with a hi-hat disco beat with punches of staccato strums and expansive synths. Truly, it is a head-bobber’s dream. As a debut, the release holds it’s own as an indie dance album. Otherwise, the album is a killer debut for the group, and it’s indicative to the transformation of their sound. Second EP Honduras is currently undergoing re-recording, and will have a physical release alongside Pre-Columbians via Lentil Records coming late in the year.

 

 

    In upcoming EP Philadelphia, Edelweiss combines math rock edginess and post punk experimentation in heavenly matrimony. The trio teamed up with Philly producer Joe Reinhardt, ex-member of Algernon Cadwallader and current guitarist for Dogs on Acid and Hop Along. With Reinhardt’s production know-how and punk proclivities, the 7” takes on a boastful and ruthless personality. Edelweiss cleanly sheds a laidback songwriting style with unabashed ease, preferring an expressive fortitude. Commanding dance patterns chisel colossal grooves, while angular melodies sculpt the finer details. Even in his bass parts, Young takes command on the melodies with slick bass parts, just to lie back and strike again. Campion ditches the idea of drums being a support instrument with versatile grooves. Porlier is animated in his dynamic vocal delivery while the dancing around acute lyrical themes. It’s as if the group has three frontmen/women. Attentiveness to each song’s character urges comparisons to the songwriting expertise of Bloc Party, with every instrument an independent moving part of the whole machine. Noodling guitar melodies nod appreciation to math rock greats such as Maps & Atlases, The Edmund Fitzgerald, and This Town Needs Guns.   

 

 

Be on the lookout, because Mad Dragon Records is prepping for the release of the Philadelphia EP with vinyl pressings. In the meantime, stay updated with Edelweiss for an official release date and singles off of Philadelphia EP.

 

 

Bandcamp: https://edelweissofficial.bandcamp.com/music

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EdelweissOfficial

Twitter: @EdelweissPA

Instagram: @EdelweissEdelweiss

 

1 Comment

MDMG at Dewey Beach Music Conference

- Crystal Nguyen of MAD Dragon Media

This past weekend, I took a trip down to Dewey Beach, Delaware with Unclaimed Bands. We were heading to the Dewey Beach Music Conference. We were interviewing over sixty bands that were playing the festival. 

Untitled1.png

    DBMC has been around for over ten years. It brings together musicians and industry professionals. The conference aims to help both parts of the music industry. There are artist and industry workshops, panels, hours of performances, and constant networking. At Dewey, everyone is on the same level. No one is given special treatment. I met Paul Sacksman, who took the time to talk to me about the importance of content curation. Sal “Spyder” Manteria of Midnight Mob describes DBMC as a place where “you don’t know anybody, but everybody’s family”. 

    It was my first time down at Dewey. I had an amazing time. When the conference started, I knew about half the bands. Lou Plaia, co-founder of Reverbnation told me about some new features for his service. They were updating the fan experience, which he expects to be released in October. By the time we left on Sunday, I knew almost everyone that was there. Don Boyette of Sweet Leda said that Dewey “is a family reunion where a bunch of like-minded people facing the struggle.” By the time we left on Sunday, I got to know almost everyone. 

    Ron DiSilvestro, lead engineer at Forge Recording, summed up Dewey perfectly. “DBMC, a legacy and rite of passage.” I’ll be back next year!

Comment

Salad Days Film Screening at Drexel University

MAD Dragon Media is pleased to present Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC.

A screening of the film along with a Q&A session with the directors of the film is coming to Philadelphia's Drexel University on Thursday, May 21st!

Free with Drexel ID, $5 for General Public 

The night will feature a screening of the Salad Days documentary, a Q&A with Writer/Director Scott Crawford and Director of Photography Jim Saah, a free food and drink reception, PLUS a live performance by Philly punk band Mumblr.

Doors open 5:30pm / Screening at 6:15pm

http://saladdaysdc.com/

THE MOVIE:

“Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90)” is a documentary film that examines the early DIY punk scene in the Nation’s Capital. It was a decade when seminal bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Government Issue, Scream, Void, Faith, Rites of Spring, Marginal Man, Fugazi, and others released their own records and booked their own shows—without major record label constraints or mainstream media scrutiny. Contextually, it was a cultural watershed that predated the alternative music explosion of the 1990s (and the industry’s subsequent implosion). Thirty years later, DC’s original DIY punk spirit serves as a reminder of the hopefulness of youth, the power of community and the strength of conviction.

Comment

Comment

XPN Presents: The Mad Dragon Stage at Love On The Streets Festival

Today, we are happy to present The Mad Dragon Stage at Love On The Streets Festival! 

Love for skateboarding has grown in Philadelphia’s street culture for generations. In honor of the deeply rooted history skateboarding has brought to the city, Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund presents Love On The Streets (LOTS), a street culture festival that embraces the artistry of communities in Philadelphia. As a fundraiser and kick off to build the future of FPSF’s educational programming, LOTS will connect diverse citywide communities to grow Philadelphia's youth and young adults through skateboarding.

Love On The Streets will feature skate demonstrations, local music, street art, vending, and food in a day long celebration. LOTS will also feature a first time Paine’s Park performance by the youth and professionals of Philadelphia School of Circus Arts!
______________________________________________

THE MUSIC: XPN Welcomes the Mad Dragon Stage

Featuring:
Radiator Hospital
Dogs on Acid
W. C. Lindsay
CLIQUE

Moon Bounce
Jack Deezl
Mr. Sampson

Comment