When Joey Sweeney, editor of city blog Philebrity, glided down the marble steps of National Mechanics a few months ago to announce the launch of Philebrity Label, it was easy to imagine him walking the plank of a ship sailing in shark-infested waters. A record label? Now? Why not Philebrity Medical Leeches or Philebrity Hummer and Rotary Phone Dealership?
Sweeney acknowledged the poor timing up front at the launch, saying, quite rightly, it’s the “worst time in the history of American commerce to start such an endeavor,” before adding an important, game-changing kicker: “That’s kinda the point.”
Sweeney went on to talk about how “unspecial” modern music has become, and announced the first signing to his label, Blood Feathers, who would be working with him on bringing some of the magic back to our collective ears via digital and vinyl releases.
Blood Feathers—lead by guitarists Ben Dickey and Drew Mills—are big on ear-pleasing harmonies and catchy singalongs. Their (and the) Philebrity Label debut, Goodness Gracious , has hooksaplenty and shimmering guitar chords as perfect as Mills’ pomade-stiffened coiffure. This (Dr.) Dog will hunt. And there’s a pinch of Dylan mixed in with your Scott McMicken to help it all go down. (You’ll never confuse them with Blood Brothers.)
Or, in Sweeney’s words: “the record is pretty timeless.” Turns out he’s right, which puts us in the wholly unfamiliar position of agreeing about something musical with him. This is a guy, after all, who’s written 1) that the Jesus Lizard should be thrown into the same mook-rock/date-rape soundtrack bin as groups like Limp Bizkit and 2) Polvo ruined 1990s guitar rock.
Goodness Gracious is available now on iTunes. Buy it. Go see Blood Feathers live this weekend. And then, I don’t know, start a travel agency. Or, um, a newspaper.
Sat., Jan., 16, 8pm. With BC Camplight + Josh Olmstead Band. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
The Pack A.D. are built for the road
PW's Music Issue 2014