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Take in the vintage punk influences on Ex Friends’ newest single “Fadeage”

Photo by Isaac Turner
Photo by Isaac Turner

Philly punks Ex Friends are mending acquaintanceships with the release of their single “Fadeage (City Inspector)” out via Alternative Press today.

It will be featured band’s latest EP, Animal Needs, which is set for release on 7-inch vinyl on May 13. However, “Fadeage (City Inspector)” gives us plenty to digest until then. The tune starts out with a guitar build up while symbols introduce singer Joel Tannenbaum’s raspy, in-your-face vocals. The song calms down a bit later in the track with the addition of a sax and melodic ahhh’s from bassist Audrey Crash.

“Fadeage (City Inspector)” has got that modern Philly-punkness to it, but somehow puts an older twist with obvious Clash influences. (Seriously though, listen to track next to “Career Opportunities”.) The band plays Kung Fu Neckgtie on May 21st with Shell Corporation; for tickets and more info on the show, check the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to “Fadeage (City Inspector)” here via Alt Press.

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You Do You derive some acoustic bliss from disco gem “Lil Birdie” in Random Tea Session

Photo by Tony Unander via facebook.com/youdoyoumusic
Photo by Tony Unander via facebook.com/youdoyoumusic

According to their Bandcamp page, Philly pop five-piece You Do You began “Lil Birdie” as a slow blues song – which is very different from how the song turned out on the band’s 2014 EP The Sweet Sounds of the Funky Sounds.

YDY’s performance kicks off the new season of Random Tea Session videos, and the band restores the uptempo disco track to its previous form. In this version of the song, singer/songwriter Katie Feeney’s vocal performance is raw, untouched, and straight from the gut as she nails each melisma. Marvel at this acoustic rendition or dance to the original below.

Catch You Do You live at their upcoming local shows: April 15th at Jose Pistolas (FREE) and April 27th at Boot and Saddle (tickets here).

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“Go Back to San Francisco” with Philly newcomers Tangiers

Photo via facebook.com/tangiersband
Photo via facebook.com/tangiersband

There’s something about melodic lo-fi indie-pop that’s just inherently fun and Tangiers take full advantage of this on their debut EP End of the World. Released on April 1st, the record is still in its infancy but “Go Back to San Francisco” is a clear standout that’s poppy, carefree, and full of boy-girl harmonies you can’t help but sing along with. And with spring in the air who could deny a little San Francisco? Check it out below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Neil Finn at Keswick Theater, Work Drugs at Boot & Saddle, Meet the Loopers at The M Room and more

Photo credit: Jen Carey
Photo credit: Jen Carey
New Zealand-based musical mainstay Neil Finn has gone more experimental than ever before. The singer/songwriter (and Crowded House co-founder) released his latest album, Dizzy Heights in February, and the album features just a little bit of everything. Sounds of airplanes flying overhead, whistling, synthesizers and groovy guitar lines are interwoven in a somehow cohesive 11-song LP. Though the musician’s known for his unique sound, his latest takes it to a new level. Finn plays tonight at Keswick Theater with openers Midlake who performed a Free at Noon today. Tonight’s show starts at 7 p.m. and the $35 tickets can be purchased here.
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Dig into A Victim of Good Times’ Full Catastrophe

Photo by Kelly Aileen
Photo by Kelly Aileen

Local newcomers A Victim of Good Times released their debut album The Full Catastrophe last week and it’s a flashback to mid-’90s indie rock and a flash forward to something fresh. Citing the Pixies, Weezer, Nirvana, and Pavement among their influences it’s clear that the ’90s are the era of choice from which they draw significant inspiration. The record release show isn’t until May 9th at Newark’s Mojo Main, but you can catch them live at Wilmington’s Oddity Bar on April 18th and at Jupiter Records for Record Store Day on April 19th. Listen to “Evening Fires” below and get the album for free here.

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Get hip to new sounds from tUnE-yArDs, EMA, The Afghan Whigs and more on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade!

tUnE-yArDs | Photo By Holly Andres
tUnE-yArDs | Photo By Holly Andres

Another action-packed Indie Rock Hit Parade is in your immediate future! Tune in to XPN tonight at 10pm for a full, two-hour mix of brand new tracks (and a couple of old favorites, too). We’ll spotlight the newly released sophomore album from EMA (that’s Erika M. Anderson), The Future’s Void, and meet a couple of truly outstanding up-and-comers. Here are a few songs you’ll hear in the mix tonight:

Continue reading →

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PRISM Quartet celebrates three decades of adventurous sax music with Heritage/Evolution at World Cafe Live

PRISM Quartet | photo by Jacqueline Hanna
PRISM Quartet | photo by Jacqueline Hanna

At the time that a group of students at the University of Michigan joined forces to form the PRISM Quartet in 1984, the saxophone repertoire was largely limited to mid-20th century French conservatory music. Following one concert featuring a program of that material, composer William Albright approached the group and offered up a piece of advice.

“You guys sound great,” tenor saxophonist Matt Levy recalls Albright saying, “but stop playing that French shit.”

Over the course of the ensuing three decades, PRISM has played an instrumental role in ensuring that future sax quartets aren’t limited to that French shit. The adventurous ensemble has commissioned numerous works by renowned composers who have explored the full range of the instrument’s potential. To celebrate their thirtieth anniversary, the PRISM Quartet will embark on a series called “Heritage/Evolution,” offering new compositions written for the group by several of modern jazz’s most inventive voices. The series kicks off Friday night at World Café Live with pieces by eclectic altoists Rudresh Mahanthappa and Steve Lehman.

“It seems like yesterday we were students at the University of Michigan, playing at restaurants and shopping malls,” says Levy, the sole remaining founding member of the group. “Things progressed so quickly, but looking back I think our most proud accomplishment has been creating a repertoire for our medium where there wasn’t a lot to start with just by virtue of the instrument’s age.”

The current line-up – Levy on tenor, Timothy McAllister on soprano, Taimur Sullivan on baritone, and Zachary Shemon on alto – has been together since 2007, when Shemon replaced co-founder Mike Whitcombe. In addition to creating an impressive body of work for four saxophones, PRISM has also sought to place their sound in a stunning variety of unusual contexts, working with traditional Chinese instruments, percussion ensembles, or electronic musicians.

“Heritage/Evolution” was born of Levy’s own interest in combining jazz and classical vocabularies. Continue reading →

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The Deadeyes release upbeat lament “Why Would She Love Me”

Photo via facebook.com/thedeadeyes
Photo via facebook.com/thedeadeyes

Philly folk-punk three-piece The Deadeyes aren’t short on inspiration lately – they’ve released three new songs in the past few weeks, with the latest being the upbeat string-laced affair “Why Would She Love Me”. Clocking in at 6 minutes, it’s a bit long for a punk rock song but the violin and the slight melodic shift keep it interesting. Check it out below and catch them live at Kung Fu Necktie this Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.

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Dig into the depths of Beck’s catalog in our Spotify playlist; #xpnfest tickets onsale today!

Beck | photo courtesy of the artist
Beck | photo courtesy of the artist

To say that we’re psyched that Beck is playing this year’s XPoNential Music Festival is a bit of an understatement. We were practically doing backflips when we found out that he was on the bill, and not because we remember that song “Loser” from the 90s and think it was a pretty good song.

Beck Hansen is a remarkably varied and adventurous artist: one who dabbles in blues, folk and bossa nova as readily as party-time funk, hiphop and punk rock. His twelfth album, Morning Phase, might skew mellow and melancholic, but that doesn’t mean the tenor of his Sunday night show will be sad-and-unhappy. Ever-unpredictable, he always mixes things up, whether its bringing uptempo dance moments to his show at Irvine Auditorium on the Sea Change tour or simmering down the Tower Theater on the high-energy Information tour with an aching “End of the Day.”

Tickets for Beck’s appearance at the XPoNential Music Festival with Band of Horses and The Districts go on sale today at noon. (That’s really soon, people.) You can purchase them through the Live Nation website. To provide you with a soundtrack to your ticket-buying, we’ve compiled an 18-track, “Loser”-free Spotify playlist giving you a primer on Beck’s career. The poppy, the introspective, the wild and crazy, the wacked-out and weird. Listen below, and stay tuned for the full XPNFest lineup announcement on April 17th.

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Download a World Cafe session with Toronto singer-songwriter Basia Bulat

Photo by Caroline-Desilets
Photo by Caroline-Desilets

Canadian singer-songwriter Basia Bulat visited the World Cafe last November to perform songs from her recent album, Tall Tall Shadow. Bulat was part of the World Cafe’s Sense of Place Toronto music series. During her session she performed intimate versions of songs from her recent album. Download all four songs from the session below, in exchange for your e-mail address via Noisetrade.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company