The Deli Philly’s January Record of the Month: Zeitgeist - Damn Right

Electro duo Damn Right offers listeners an introspective yet hopeful slew of anthems on their latest full-length Zeitgeist. Tom Bradel and John Fissinger’s synth-drenched ballads are a timely balm capable of easing the discomfort of winter’s chill.

Beginning with “Our Love Is Blue,” Damn Right’s LP opens with a question – do you believe in miracles” – which quickly blooms into a conversation of sorts, comprised of a series of musings that will make you examine how you define romance and attraction. Coupled with subtle licks of bass and polished vocals, “Our Love Is Blue” is a pragmatic love song with luminescent truth at its center. “Nan Man,” is a mellow yet passionate litany of emotion, enhanced by a delectably retro backbeat and confessional lines like “you know that I don’t know how to end it/I never really end it.”

The album’s title track “Zeitgeist” begins with enticing chords that evolve into a pop-drenched, lush melody. Paired with meditative lyricism, the track urges listeners to consider their mortality and the way time can alter one’s identity, while “The Calling” is a reflective homage to friendship and self-discovery. Reminiscent of Wild Nothing’s Life of Pause and/or Craft Spells’ Idle Labor, Damn Right’s ability to unpack their feelings without being overly sentimental makes the song not just enjoyable but also memorable. “Hawaiian Justice Part 1” and “Hawaiian Justice Part 2” feel like a tropical instrumental riff on Glass Candy’s  “Digital Versicolor,” meshed with the energetic pulse of College & Electric Youth’s “A Real Hero.” Both tracks set the tone for the rest of the album, which is comprised of dance-ready offerings, defined by swelling chords and throbbing drum machines.

“Sleep in the Stars” and “Wait for Me” are cinematic and satisfyingly rhythmic, with “This is Leather” being delectable, moody cut that will make you think of the ‘80s in the best of ways before giving way to the album’s brief yet gripping “Outro. As buzzing synth rises and falls alongside the delicate trill of birdsong, Damn Right manages to seamlessly bridge the gap between the natural world and the fabricated within seconds, ending Zeitgeist in a fashion that fully lives up to its namesake.  – Dianca London 

Krust Toons: "Getting the Band Back Together" by Tedd Hazard

Krust Toons: "Getting the Band Back Together" by Tedd Hazard - please feel free to drop him a line at if you dig or have any funny ideas. You can also check out more of his illustrations and animation shorts HERE.


Band name: 
New Alone
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...):
Venue name: 
Trocadero Theatre
Band email: 

Q.D. Tran's Favorite Philly Albums of 2017

We are here once again at The Deli Philly’s final post of the year. It’s been an honor getting a chance to share new music with all of you this past year (and nearly a decade), and I look forward to continuing to discover the best of Philly’s underground music community with you. And without any further ado, here is my “Best of” year-end list for my favorite Philly albums of 2017. I look forward to seeing you on the other side.

Much love – cheers!

Q.D. Tran


1. Raw Rock Fury (Relapse) – Ecstatic Vision

Ecstatic Vision weren’t joking when they decided to name their latest album, Raw Rock Fury. There are few, if not any Philly releases that can match the pure intensity and glorious shredding found on my favorite local release of 2017. And it also provides you a glimpse into the awesomeness of their live performances.

2. Rocket (Domino) – (Sandy) Alex G

With Rocket, Alex Giannascoli proves that all the adoration from the media for the young songwriter is certainly not unfounded. Using the guise of an Americana framework, he is able to craft wonderfully intimate campfire songs that make left turns at all the right places.


3. Veblen Death Mask (Kill Rock Stars) – Taiwan Housing Project

Veblen Death Mask is music without boundaries – so chaotically beautiful!

4. Need to Feel Your Love (Wilsuns RC) – Sheer Mag

All riffs and vocals – garage-punks Sheer Mag make their retro-fit sound oh so good. Rock ‘n’ roll is not dead.

5. Out in the Storm (Merge) – Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee’s earnest songwriting speaks right to the heart, and it’s hard to ignore.

6. My Idols Are Dead + My Enemies Are In Power (Self-released) – Lushlife

7. Messy (Self-released) – Curtis Cooper

8. Play “The Songs You Like” (Salinas) – Radiator Hospital

9. Oh, My Heart (Lame-O) – Shannen Moser

10. Soft Sound From Another Planet (Dead Oceans) – Japanese Breakfast

11. Movie Was Bad (Self-released) – Sixteen Jackies

12. Spirits (Creep) – Julia Rainer

13. Slacker Paint (Self-released) – The Mary Veils

14. Everything Is Always in the Past (@Self-released) – Blood Sound

15. A Deeper Understanding (Atlantic) – The War on Drugs

16. We Were Babies & We Were Dirtbags (Polyvinyl) – Quiet Slang

17. Tourist in This Town (Merge) – Allison Crutchfield

18. Why Love Now (Sub Pop) – Pissed Jeans

19. Shadow Expert (Carpark) – Palm

20. Let’s Be Nice – b-sides, covers & demos (Self-released) – Pill Friends

21. Birdie (Lame-O) – Slaughter Beach, Dog

22. Wilt (Self-released) – Line Leader

23. You’re So Smart (Self-released) – Joy Riding

24. Pleasure Suck (Tiny Engines) – The Spirit and The Beehive

25. Nothing Special (Honest Face) – Harmony Woods

26. Amuse-oreille, Vol. 1 (Self-released) – American Trappist

27. Grow (Self-released) – Them Jones

28. The Vernes (Self-released) – The Vernes

29. Cool and FunMadalean Gauze

30. White ReindeerLithuania

31. Tunnels (Self-released) – Vita and the Woolf

32. S/T (Self-released) – Teen Spaceship

33. Good Wind Pt. 1 (Human Kindness Overflowing) – Power Animal

34. Popular Manipulations (Fat Possum) – The Districts

35. Crime WavesMoor Mother x Mental Jewelry

36. Jumpship (Lame-O) – No Thank You

37. Palisades (Egghunt) – Eric Slick

38. Dark Web (Suicide Bong Tapes) – Dark Web

39. Sadness is a Gesture (Inherent Sounds) – Aphra

40. Motel City Honey (Self-released) – Levee Drivers

Weekend Warrior, December 29 - 31

Over the course of two sold-out evenings, The Districts headline the locals-only billings at Johnny Brenda’s, waving goodbye to 2017. The quartet’s evolution continues as evidenced by the band’s latest album, Popular Manipulations (Fat Possum). The group reaches new depths, while still pulling from unsheathed, emotive, narrative bookmarks, with an experienced melodic refinement. Those gravitational, guttural swings and riff-fueled stompers still resound, as the collective can push the pedal to its limits, but by the same token, attention to the details that steer the sonic ship are well attended. On Saturday’s slate they’re paired with Mannequin Pussy, whose highly energized volatility galvanizes with pop-sensibilities.  Earnestly unabashed and catchy, Permanent Body will lead things off. Meanwhile, Sunday’s affair will be set off by the groove-generating folk rockers Pine Barons, whom branch off into experimental, psych trajectories while still maintaining traditional roots. With their new album White Reindeer in tow, the sticky, rumbling sensitivity of Lithuania reinforces a weekend worthy of capping off the year.  – Michael Colavita

Damn, it’s cold! Other places to stay warm and get numb this weekend…

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Matt Cappy, John Train, SAT New Year's Eve Eve with The Districts, Mannequin Pussy, Permanent Body, SUN New Year's Eve with The Districts, Lithuania, Pine Barons

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Lefty's Deceiver, JJL, I Think Like Midnight, SUN Kississippi

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Sweat Daddy/Matthew Law, Astro 8000, SAT Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza, Urban Resist/Dev79, Sideswipe, SUN Fame Lust

PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) FRI Petal

Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI The Superweaks, Yankee Bluff, SAT The Great Enough, Andorra, Resilient, SUN West Philadelphia Orchestra, Johnny Showcase & The Mystic Ticket, Red 40 and the Last Groovement, Mambisa

Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St,) SUN Making Time New Year's Eve: Dave P., Zillas on Acid

The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SUN Shannen Moser

TLA (334 South St.) FRI Boy Wonder, Chris Gennett, E-Hos, Dear Forbiden, Saint Wilde, Rachael Rota, John Gilbride, SAT Band of Brewers

The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) FRI Phat Geez, Pound$ide Pop, 100Proof Yannie, Reco Havoc, Lil Nizzy, ButterKnife, Lihtz Kamraz, SAT Billy Mungus Big Band, Archawah, Camera Thief

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Tiny Hueman, Past Life/(Downstairs) Bilal, SAT (Upstairs) Stu and the Gurus, SUN (Upstairs) Darla, Nik Greeley & The Operators/(Downstairs) Philly Bloco

Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Promise of Redemption, Triangle Shirt Factory, SAT Promise of Redemption, Sleepy Limbs, SUN DJ Kirsh

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) SAT No Option, SUN Imperial, DJ Ha, Left Rite

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Dave Patten, Luke O’Brien, Made Modern, SAT The Newspaper Taxis, Bickel Brothers

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI Craig Dash, SAT Shawn Ryan

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Red Means Run, The Vinegar Creek Constituency, SAT Alice In Underpants: A Tim Burton Cabaret, SUN Ruby The Hatchet, Hound

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) FRI Christine Irizarry & The Foolhardy, Seth Aaron, George Engel Brooks, SAT Ringtail Howitzer, Children’s Books, Pray To Keep/Afrobear

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Rich Medina, SAT DJ Deejay

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Nero Catalano, SUN Brown Sugar

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) SAT Menace of the Canvas, Adventure Lost

Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Ave.) SUN Vacationer, Mo Lowda & The Humble, Commonwealth Choir

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Vanderlyle, Luis, Free Pizza, SAT Slophouse, Hopscotch Jefferson, SUN Los Festingos

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Chris Forsyth, SAT Huffamoose, Rugby Road, Transistor Rodeo, SUN Start Making Sense, Swift Tchnique

Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Soul Glo, DJ Haram

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