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Under new management, Drexel’s reimagined Flux fosters community

Drexel battlefest at Flux Space | photo by Marshall Woodruff | courtesy of the artist
Drift performs at the Flux-curated Battlefest | photo by Marshall Woodruff | courtesy of the artist

Everybody’s heard the philosophical question about the tree falling in the forest, and frankly, I could care less about figuring it out. Why should I care if some random tree in some random forest is making noise? It’s a tree. With that being said, when you apply the same question to an up-and-coming band, the answer becomes a lot more interesting and a lot more clear-cut. Yes, of course they can make a sound, but wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if someone was around to hear it?

Before you headline Madison Square Garden and save the world with your music, you just need to find a community that’s willing to give you a chance. For a lot of bands, that community is the school they’re going to—just ask R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Slowdive, Radiohead, and countless others. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the more supporting and accommodative that somewhere is, the easier it is to get your feet off the ground. As a student and musician currently finishing up my undergraduate at Drexel, I understand this all too well, but for much of my college career, the campus has lacked a place like-minded friends and I could call home. It wasn’t always that way, though.

About six years ago, a Drexel student received a grant for over $90,000 in top-of-the-line sound equipment. It was eventually installed in the basement of the James E. Marks Intercultural Center, resulting in the birth of Flux, the university’s premier concert venue. For the next few years, the space hosted performances from student, local, and touring acts, including Modern Baseball, The Districts, The Front Bottoms, and more. It was the community-centric space I had always dreamed of in high school, but just as I was beginning to feel optimistic about the future, things took a turn for the worse.

Midway through 2014, “The Man” had his manly say.  It’s announced that the Intercultural Center is being torn down to build a hotel, and shortly after, Flux hosts its last show.  The team spends the ensuing months searching for a new space to no avail. With no venue, they lose funding, the students involved graduate, and just like that, Flux disappears completely. Continue reading →

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Hear the title track from The New Pornographers upcoming Whiteout Conditions LP

new pornographers
The New Pornographers | photo by Jenny Jimenez | courtesy of the artist

For the past few months, Canadian indie vets The New Pornographers have been teasing their latest album Whiteout Conditions with a string of new tracks. First, there the rousing synth wash of “High Ticket Attractions.” Then, there was the angular, hooky guitars on “This Is The World Of The Theater.” Now we’re getting the title track; stream “Whiteout Conditions” below. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Abi Reimold will tour with The Districts this April

Abi Reimold | via abireimold.bandcamp.com
Abi Reimold | via abireimold.bandcamp.com

Self-professed “sad alternative girl” Abi Reimold has just announced that she will join The Districts on tour this April. Her last official release was 2016’s Wriggling, but she’s been keeping busy since then with a string of local dates, an appearance on an ACLU-benefitting covers compilation, and a Little Elephant session where she debuted a new song, “Workshop”. She and her band will rendezvous with their tourmates in Albany for a 4/12 gig at The Hollow. Continue reading →

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Land of Talk keep the slow burn going on “This Time”

Land of Talk | photo by Tyler Knight | via the artist's Facebook page
Land of Talk | photo by Tyler Knight | via the artist’s Facebook page

Midway through “Inner Lover”, the first new Land of Talk offering in years, Elizabeth Powell intones, “You light it slowly,” amidst crawling drums and droning guitar. It’s an strange, mystifying hook that pops up several times throughout the song’s sprawling five minutes, and with their latest single “This Time”, they continue taking it to heart. While the track falls more in line with the rest of the band’s catalog than its immediate predecessor, it features the same patient arrangement that made “Inner Lover” feel so fresh. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Aye Nako at Everybody Hits, PAWS at Ortileb’s, Twiddle at Sherman Theater

Aye Nako | via the band's Facebook page
Aye Nako | via the band’s Facebook page

New Jersey punks Aye Nako play Everybody Hits tonight with Pinkwash, Ursula, and Solarized. Their latest, Silver Haze, is out on April 7th via Don Giovanni Records. Check out “Particle Mace,” the hooky first single from the album, below. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more information. Continue reading →

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Listen to the Dans discuss Chuck Berry and more in the latest Dan and Dan Music Podcast

The 51st episode of the Dan and Dan Music Podcast is here. This time around, the Dans tackle the recent passing of rock & roll legend Chuck Berry. In between reflecting on his highest highs and lowest lows, the dynamic duo listens to material from Berry’s soon to be released new album Chuck and lists their favorite Chuck covers. Eventually, their conversation leading them to a discussion of the interplay between a star’s career and their personal life. Stream the show below. Continue reading →

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The Menzingers explore what happens “After The Party” in new music video

The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Pop-punks The Menzingers already showed us what happens during the party in the video for “Bad Catholics.” Now, we’re getting the aftermath. Earlier today, the band shared a new visual for After The Party’s title track, which dropped this past February via Epitaph Records. If you’re one half of a sexy, young couple, and both of you work in the same craft brewery, you’ll find a lot to relate to here. Stream the video for “After The Party” in all its glory below. Continue reading →

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Watch Xenia Rubinos dance up on some strangers in the video for her vibrant new single “L.O.V.E”

Xenia Rubinos | Photo by Shervin Lainez

If you come across something more unequivocally positive than this new Xenia Rubinos single by the time Sunday rolls around, you are having a very good week. “L.O.V.E.” is the latest from the Brooklyn singer/songwriter, and it’s as vibrant, funky, and soulful as you’d expect. With its heartwarming new video, which sees Rubinos dancing with people all over New York, she positions the track as a joyful extension of the olive branch in the face of prejudice, anger, and hate. Stream the track below. Continue reading →

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Katie Frank returns with fiery rocker “Through Your Window”

Katie Frank | via the artist's Facebook page
Katie Frank | via the artist’s Facebook page

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Philly singer and songwriter Katie Frank. That changes now; she and her band just recently made a return to the stage at Ortlieb’s earlier this month, and she just shared “Through Your Window,” her first new single since 2014. Where she’s only flirted with blues rock in the past, she comes out guns blazing here, and it results in one of the most exciting tracks we’ve heard from her yet. Stream it below. Continue reading →

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Hear Strand of Oaks discuss and play tracks from Hard Love on World Cafe

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN | spotlightviews.com
Strand of Oaks | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN | spotlightviews.com

If you haven’t been able to get enough of Strand of Oaks since the release of their brand new album Hard Love, World Cafe has you covered. The band’s Timothy Showalter recently sat down with David Dye to discuss the process of recording the album and the events that inspired it. In between stories, you can hear performances of some of the album’s tracks from the band’s recent Free At Noon performance at World Cafe Live, including a heartbreaking take on the whisper-quiet “Cry”. Check out the whole interview now below, via NPR. Continue reading →