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56 scenes from the 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

Music, art, creativity and community — this is the stuff that’s in the air at the annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, from the mainstage headliners to the sidestage workshops to the famed Dulcimer Grove and the bustling campground scene. This year, the festival was packed with sounds and songs from big names Graham NashOld Crow Medicine Show, and Taj Mahal; local favorites Black Horse MotelLadybird, No Good Sister, and The End of America; and Helen Leicht’s annual XPN Local Showcase featuring Jesse Hale Moore, Greg Sover Band, and Vita and the Woolf.

And then, of course, there are the pick-up players at colorfully constructed campsites, the folks strumming acoustic guitars while lounging in hammocks, the budding artists making sketchbook illustrations and watercolors of the action. Philly photographer Lisa Schaffer has been a Folk Fest fixture for as long as we’ve known her, and this year she presents us with the sites she saw; 56 images for the 56th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Allison Weiss at Boot and Saddle

Allison Weiss | via facebook.com/listentoaw

Los Angeles punk rock singer-songwriter Allison Weiss returns east tonight for a headlining gig at South Philly’s Boot & Saddle, and based on her latest, the potential for dancing is high. Weiss released New Love on SideOneDummy in 2015, and it launched her sound into the zone of shimmering power-pop anthems; her latest single, “Runaway,” takes that energy and adds a layer of effervescent synths and electronic production in the mix. It’s undeniably reminiscent of later-era Tegan and Sara, which makes sense as it was a co-write collab with Tegan Quinn; watch the video below, and get info on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. It’s a strong lineup, too, as Weiss will be joined by Augusta Koch of Cayetana playing a solo set, as well as Anomie, the project of Field Mouse’s Rachel Browne. Continue reading →

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Lord Willin’: Reminiscing on the impactful debut of Clipse

Clipse’s Lord Willin’

August 20th, 2002: two street poets from Virginia Beach released their debut album, telling the tale of the journey of young hustlers from poverty and crime-infested neighborhoods. With the assistance from two highly respected hip-hop producers, who happened to be childhood friends of theirs, the two southern rappers created lyrical theatrical visuals of the good, bad and ugly sides of the route of a gangster.

That timeless hip hop album is known other than Lord Willin’ based on the life of The Thornton brothers Pusha T and Malice better known as hip hop duo Clipse. Continue reading →

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Listen to Cities, the new solo mixtape from Hardwork Movement’s Sterling Duns

Hardwork Movement | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Of all nine members of Philly hip-hop family Hardwork Movement, Dwight Dunston — aka Sterling Duns — seems to relish the spotlight the most. That’s no small feat, considering how much energy and charisma everybody in the crew has, from hook-masters Jeremy Keys and Dani Gershikoff to cool-as-ice MCs R.B. Ricks and Rick Banks, suave horn section Martin Gottlieb-Hollis and Becca Graham, and energized rhythm section Jeremy Prouty on bass and Angel Ocana holding it down on drums.

What gives Duns the edge? Dude requires a minimum of three wardrobe changes per set; and outfits are rarely repeated from show to show. What can we say? He’s got a flare for fashion and a knack for grabbing our attention. So it makes sense that’d he’s the first member of the Hardwork crew to branch out with a solo joint. Continue reading →

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The Dead Milkmen will play a Halloweekend show at The Troc

The Dead Milkmen
The Dead Milkmen | Photo by Morgan Smith for WXPN | phobymo.com

It certainly is a good day for Halloween centric concert announcements from Philly punk bands. As Modern Baseball announced its three-night mid-October stand at Union Transfer with a flyer in costume, Philly icons The Dead Milkmen announced gave word that it would headline The Trocadero on Saturday, October 28th — a significant spot for the band, as it is where the band played its first farewell in 1994 and where it headlined on Halloween a couple years ago.  Tickets are on sale Friday, August 25th at noon, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Modern Baseball is playing its last shows for the forseeable future: three nights at Union Transfer this fall

Modern Baseball
Modern Baseball | Photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist

UPDATE 2:27 p.m. As Brendan Lukens tweeted this afternoon, these shows are the band’s last for the forseeable future.

Philly indie rock darlings Modern Baseball have been on hiatus since the winter – and today, we’re happy to report that they’ll return to the stage for a three-night stand at Union Transfer. This comes on the heels of its stint backing Daniel Johnston at The Tower in October — the band and friends will headline on Friday, October 13th Saturday October 14th and Sunday October 15th. Tickets are on sale now at Union Transfer’s website, and will probably sell out mad fast, so act quick.

Seriously, though, this is going to be huge. People are going to travel for it. It effectively makes up for missed opportunities to see the band when its touring plans earlier this year fell apart. Continue reading →

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Take a boatride down the Schuylkill in The War On Drugs’ video for “Pain”

The War on Drugs
The War on Drugs | photo by Emmett Malloy | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia space rock faves The War on Drugs release their hotly anticipated fourth LP A Deeper Understanding this Friday, on Atlantic Records — and this morning, we bring you another pre-release taste of the record.

As the melancholic “Pain” plays out in the background, we see Adam Granduciel and his bandmates performing in a cargo barge that cruises down the Schuylkill River, intercut with kids on bikes popping wheelies on the Philly streets. Shot by filmmaker Emmett Malloy in glorious black and white, the video is an elegant and timeless depiction of one of our favorite Philly bands still discovering new angles on their hometown a decade into their career. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Preen at Everybody Hits

Preen | via preen.bandcamp.com

Start your week out with some crushing garage rock from Philly badasses Preen. The four-piece band has a jagged Fidlar / Screamales attitude with bountiful low-end sounds and minor key riffage, and they open the show tonight for Cincy’s Ovlov at Everybody Hits. Listen to the new song “Cereus” below and get tickets and more information on the show hereContinue reading →

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PREMIERE: Roger Harvey’s new track “Two Coyotes” is a yearning, intimate letter on the pains of separation

Roger Harvey | photo by Autumn Spadaro | courtesy of artist

Since Roger Harvey traversed from Pittsburgh to Philly a few years back, he’s been known in the scene for his punk tunes — touring with the likes of The Menzingers, Cayetana, and Against Me!. But today, he’s shaking that notion up with the release of a new track titled “Two Coyotes.” Sans searing guitar and driven, poppy hooks, the new track is an intimate folk-rock breed that blends together the best of the two genres, and highlights Harvey’s intricate storytelling abilities. Continue reading →

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And now, music to score the solar eclipse care of Lushlife, Mary Lattimore and Botany

Lushlife
Lushlife | Photo by Ebru Yildiz ebruyildiz.net | courtesy of the artist

Today, for the first time in nearly four decades, the moon will cross the path of the sun in the skies above North America — and finding the right soundtrack for the total solar eclipse has become something of a cottage industry in the past week.

Playlists were crafted — check out WXPN’s here — viewing parties were planned, and in the case of Philadelphia’s Raj Haldar, a score was written. Continue reading →