The Key Studio Sessions: The Teeth - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

In their first run as a band, The Teeth was revered for high-octane live performances and left-of-center songwriting that channeled the spirits of David Bowie, The Beatles, Tom Waits and Violent Femmes. It was a little bit rock and roll, a little bit jazz age, and packed with emotive intensity. The Philly band — co-songwriting brothers Aaron and Peter MoDavis on guitar and bass, drummer Jonas Osterele, and guitarist Brian Ashby — gigged relentlessly, sharing stages and labels with scene pals Dr. Dog and The Capitol Years. They burned bright and fast, and ended their tenure in 2009, not long after releasing their second album, You’re My Lover Now; its members went on to play in projects like Purples and The Squawk Brothers.

Flash forward fifteen years, and The Teeth are together again, playing shows again, and sounding absolutely incredible. It was a gradual path to get here; first there was the unexpected viral success of “Ball of the Dead Rat” a decade after its release. A run of vinyl reissues from their old label followed, and this winter, the band regrouped and tested the waters with a run of January shows at Johnny Brenda’s. All three nights sold out in a heartbeat, people traveled from around the country to be in attendance, and lo and behold, The Teeth have more activity on their agenda — beginning with this week’s Key Studio Session.

Respect to the band for some deeper pulls in the session setlist; the thundering drift of “Sea Chanty” and the bracing energy of “Peter Goes To 43rd St.” date back to 2003, and The Christmas City, a split EP The Teeth released with Racoon, the band Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken played in prior to Dr. Dog. In the middle, the theatrical “Mercy Mercy Pudding Pie” comes from Carry The Wood, the band’s label debut from 2006, and its dynamic crescendo is made all the more explosive with gnarly saxophone from Dom Malandro and multi-instrumental keys/percussion/vocal action from Mike Quinn. Check out video of the session below, and for a bit of a bonus, keep scrolling for a shimmering cover of Bowie’s “Ashes To Ashes” from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).

The Teeth’s next reunion gig happens this Friday, March 8th, when they’ll play an all-ages concert at the First Unitarian Church with a solo set from Leaman opening the show; be sure to mark your calendars for July 13th as well, when The Teeth will reconnect with their old friends Dr. Dog to open their big headlining gig at The Mann Center. Details on both shows can be found at WXPN’s Concert Calendar.

The Teeth - The Key Studio Sessions (Full Set)
The Teeth - "Ashes To Ashes" (The Key Studio Sessions)

“Sea Chanty”
“Mercy Mercy Pudding Pie”
“Peter Goes To 43rd St.”
“Ashes To Ashes”

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