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The Key Studio Sessions: Ellen Siberian Tiger

Many facets make up Ellen Tiberio-Shultz’s musical personality.

There’s the teenager from State College, cutting her teeth on folk and blues-inspired songwriting but discouraged by the dude-centricity of the local open mic scene. There’s the grad of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, studious and cerebral, with predilections for askew guitar licks and unconventional arrangements that draw unashamedly from the prog world (and the classical genres that inspired it). And then there’s the working Philadelphia musician who cuts loose with power trio fuzz and feminist punk rock.

With all these disparate elements in play, her band Ellen Siberian Tiger — possibly maybe a modified anagram of her name? For you to decide. — is a unique and wholly captivating listening experience. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Cayetana will take Philly friends Hemming out on tour this fall

Cayetana | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Cayetana | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Philly punk faves Cayetana released a kickass record this year called New Kind of Normal, and they’re currently out on the road opening for Waxahatchee in support of it. When that run of dates is done, the band just announced a fall headlining run, bringing Philly’s Hemming along for the ride. Continue reading →

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Watch Palm go Gorillaz in their new “Shadow Expert” Music Video

Palm | Photo courtesy of the artist

In June, Philadelphia’s Palm released a new EP Shadow Experts to follow their debut full-length Trading Basics, proving that they are still thinking outside the box (like, way outside the box).

The experimental indie pop group turns away from all mainstream convention in the creation of their sound, and with today’s release of the music video for Shadow Experts‘ title track it appears that their visuals don’t fall too far from the song-tree (sorry). Continue reading →

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(Sandy) Alex G announces new headlining tour dates and an opening spot with Fleet Foxes

(Sandy) Alex G | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Alex G | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

On July 17th, the Fleet Foxes Instagram account posted an announcement that they had added several artists to their upcoming US tour(Sandy) Alex G in the Northeast, Natalie Prass in the Northwest, Bedouine in the Southwest, and Nap Eyes in the Midwest in addition to the already-billed Animal Collective and Beach House.

For a good 24 hours, information on this news was nowhere else to be found, save the account (likely run by frontman Robin Pecknold) answering direct fan inquiries in the comments section. Either way, I naively thought that it was safe to assume the addition of Philly’s own Alex G to the upcoming July 31st show at The Mann Center was a given, as he had no other scheduled shows that day and Philadelphia is a Northeast location. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Weather Station’s single “Thirty,” get ready for new self-titled album

The Weather Station | photo courtesy of artist

As a young woman, you quickly learn growing up that turning the big “three-oh” is basically the equivalent to getting the plague. Somehow, some way, you must escape this fate at all costs. Well, unless you’re a young Jennifer Garner character in a spectacular rom-com, that is. A magazine headlining “flirty, thirty, and thriving?” I scoff at such lies.

Canadian singer-songwriter, Tamara Lindeman, does too. She knows the binary routes society has set out for women approaching their third decade of life: “children and suburbia or some sort of cartoonish loneliness.” Working as her project The Weather Station, Lindeman delves into this sexist matter on new single “Thirty,” which will be included on her upcoming self-titled album out on October 6th via Paradise of Bachelors. Continue reading →

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Drink The Districts’ Popular Manipulations at Johnny Brenda’s to Benefit Beyond the Bars

The Districts | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

The Districts‘ highly-anticipated upcoming record Popular Manipulations is due August 11th, and now you can drink it too. The indie rockers have teamed up with Crime and Punishment Brewing to create the Popular Manipulations IPL, and the first keg will be tapped on Monday, July 31st at Johnny Brenda’s. The Districts themselves will be the event’s DJs, taking over the Fishtown venue to spin an all-vinyl, four-hour happy hour set – the perfect way to cap off a weekend at the XPoNential Music Festival. Continue reading →

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Watch a super-serious Strand of Oaks cover Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love”

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

Everybody has their own routine to get ready for work. Timothy Showalter’s just might be a little different (OK, a lot different) compared to the rest.

Before a show earlier this week in Athens, Georgia, Strand of Oaks posted a video of Showalter and some of the crew warming up their pipes with a cover of Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love.” The camera work and black-and-white editing add an entirely new level of entertainment value. Every few seconds brings a new surprise twist to this captivating and inspirational film. Watch it below for a good laugh. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: We guarantee Josh Ritter won’t get rained out at Union Transfer

Josh Ritter | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

Last year’s XPoNential Festival was an overall success, but if there was one negative takeaway, it was that Josh Ritter wasn’t able to reschedule his washed-out Saturday set. If you were one of the many who was disappointed about mother nature’s intervention, here’s some news to wipe away any bad memories: Josh Ritter is coming back to Philly and there’s no chance weather gets in the way of this one. Ritter’s fall tour will include a headlining show at Union Transfer on Nov. 5. Continue reading →

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Kendrick Lamar brings his intimate dance with good and evil to the stadium

ELEMENT.

A post shared by Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) on

In the fall of 2015, following the release of his critically-acclaimed, platinum-selling album To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar announced that he would bypass the round of huge, multi-city touring that would customarily follow such a successful project. While the decision to forgo a large stadium tour in the wake of Butterfly would have struck many as a misstep, the move was perfect.

Instead, Kendrick hit the road with a mini-tour, “Kunta’s Groove Sessions,” a quick and dirty, eight-city jaunt which found him pulling up on mid-sized theaters throughout the South and on both coasts. The purpose behind this choice was clear: To Pimp A Butterfly’s quirky, complex and jazz inflected hip hop songs required a level of intimacy and even physical proximity to the audience that would be difficult to reproduce in a 20,000 seat arena.

Much like Public Enemy’s Chuck D in the summer of 1988 or Jay-Z on 9/11, 2001, Kendrick Lamar had established himself as the pacesetter of the day. He was / is, the rapper with the loudest, most (culturally) resonant voice. In the months immediately following the reception of Butterfly, it was clear that in the minds of many that he was one of, if not the leading creative voice in mainstream hip-hop. A large part of his emergence as the mouthpiece of his generation has been his ability to relate his own personal fears, hopes and ambitions with those of his audience. Throughout his work, the notion of individual triumph and/or failure at the hands of forces larger than himself has remained a central component to his songs. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jill Scott at Sands Bethlehem, Hardwork Movement at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Rosali and the Middlemen at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Jill Scott | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Philly soul queen Jill Scott brings her 2017 summer tour to the Sands Bethlehem arena tonight. After building her name in Philly’s Black Lily open mic scene in the late 90s — and writing the hook for The Roots’ immortal “You Got Me,” and touring with them in the late 90s — Scott stepped to center stage with 2000 with Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds Volume 1. The record was universally acclaimed, and holds up to this day; I had it in heavy rotation earlier this week, just because, and it’s amazing the amount of new sound and nuance you discover with each revisit. Scott has had a successful run in the decade and a half since, building her profile from local star to global star, and her fifth album, 2015’s Woman, found her as knockout as ever with the hooks, vocals and introspective words. Tickets and information on tonight’s concert can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Revisit “The Way” below. Continue reading →