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Beautiful truths with Over the Rhine at Underground Arts

Over the Rhine | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Over the Rhine | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Saturday’s cold and wet attitude could not prevent the warmth and beauty of Over the Rhine from overtaking Underground Arts. Husband and wife duo of Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler let their folk rock wrap the seated audience in the wealth of their 23-year musical history. With their newest holiday-themed release Blood Oranges in the Snow as a backdrop, they delivered their take on “reality” Christmas. And with some cuts from other works, including their masterful 2013 double album Meet Me at the Edge of the World, it would be tough to disappoint anyone in the rapt crowd. Though a seemingly odd venue for such a band, Underground Arts ended up being quite a fine setting for Over the Rhine’s beautiful truths. Continue reading →

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Work Drugs and Vita and the Woolf bring holiday cheer to Boot and Saddle

Work Drugs | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Work Drugs | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Friday, seasonal cheer arrived at Boot & Saddle early in the form of Work Drugs’ annual “Christmas Spectacle” show. Their brand of electro rock was just right for a Friday night boogie in South Philly. Santa hats, Christmas songs old and new (including a few of their own concoctions) and a balanced mix of guitar, keyboards and harmonies were received with open arms. Continue reading →

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Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express take on World Cafe Live

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Chuck Prophet | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Chuck Prophet is a genre all unto himself. Part ‘50s cool and ‘80s jangle with the sense of a big full sound that comes with four bandmates, he delivered on his promise of his 2014 record Night Surfer of crashing waves on last Sunday night at World Café. For 20-plus songs he rocked Philadelphia from head to toe. Continue reading →

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“An Echo Chamber for the Soul”: Laura Stevenson brings Wheel to MilkBoy

Laura Stevenson | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Laura Stevenson | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

There is a jangle, a soothing pop sensibility and something uncannily new encased in the sounds of Laura Stevenson. Last Friday she and her four bandmates turned MilkBoy into an echo chamber for the soul.

A voice both delicate and direct, Stevenson aims for the orchestral and the highly intimate on her 2013 masterwork Wheel. The crowd was hanging on her every syllable, often singing along to such catchy works as “Runner” and “Eleonora.” Continue reading →

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Le Butcherettes and Antemasque bring thrills and high energy to Union Transfer

Le Butcherettes | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Le Butcherettes | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

The one-two music punch of Le Butcherettes and Antemasque transformed Union Transfer into an aural canvas of raw punk last Thursday. Behind the leadership of Teri Gender Bender, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the fervent crowd was treated to some of the most unique and stirring rock around. Continue reading →

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Ex Hex rocks Johnny Brenda’s on a triple bill with No Other and Speedy Ortiz

Ex Hex | photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Ex Hex | photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

To experience Washington, D.C. based Ex Hex is to witness music in motion at its finest. Their 2014 record Rips captures the lyrical and guitar snaps, crackles and pops of Mary Timony, Betsy Wright and Laura Harris. But that is only half their story. Live they are a whirlwind of guitar picks, drum sticks, legs kicking and raw, sweet oozing rock. This past Tuesday their high octane brew entranced a sold-out Johnny Brenda’s.

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Rhett Miller serves up stories and rarities at World Cafe Live

Rhett Miller
Rhett Miller | photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

A sold-out crowd witnessed Rhett Miller in fine form this past Saturday at World Café. With Old 97’s and solo material at his disposal, he rattled through the lives of his many colorful characters with their grit and grime in full glory. Raucous and pure fun, it was certainly a great way to welcome November.

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The Kills give fans something to cheer about at The Trocadero

The Kills
The Kills | photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Wednesday’s oppressive rain was perfectly complemented by the bluesy punk of the duo of Allison Mosshart and Jamie Hince, better known as The Kills. Dropping into the Trocadero in between two appearances in New York City, they stormed through a set of songs that resonated with their Philly fans from start to finish.

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