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Andorra’s What You Wanted, What You Got is heavy in all the right places

Andorra | photo by Brittany Salerno | courtesy of the artist

Philly alt rockers Andorra are back with a new release, a  comp of their previous two EPs along with some never-before heard songs, packaged in the form of What You Wanted, What You Got. 

The overall vibe of this one is definitely toeing the line between easygoing modern rock and heavy punk, and Andorra makes that delicate balance work perfectly in their favor. These songs are very drastically different from one another while still managing to carry an overarching sound through the album. There’s that typical angst-ridden vocal and punchy guitar, but there’s also an intricacy to the lyrics and stylistic choices within the soundscape that sets each song apart. Continue reading →

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Darla will ring in 2018 with a New Year’s Eve show at World Cafe Live upstairs

Darla | photo by Magdalena Papaioanno | courtesy of the artist
Darla | photo by Magdalena Papaioanno | courtesy of the artist

Philly-based alt-funk octet Darla are a perennial party band in town, and they will play a New Year’s Eve show at World Cafe Live upstairs. The one-year anniversary of their newest release, Darla Rolls The Dice just passed by earlier this month, on which they worked with famed producer Phil Nicolo at Studio 4 in Conshohocken.

The record received lots of local love following the release of the single, “These Few Years,” and watching the 8-piece perform onstage is really something else – most big bands are nearly disastrous in trying to develop a level of cohesive performance among players, but Darla’s been doing it right from the start. Continue reading →

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Circa Survive delivers hypnotic hometown performance at Electric Factory

Circa Survive | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

There’s nothing I love more than a Circa Survive hometown show. There are very few bands who are received as well by Philly modern rock fans as Circa; frontman Anthony Green has this overwhelmingly magnetic ability to unify a crowd with two words, “Let’s dance.” This was my fourth show seeing Green, and he’s still my favorite performer of all time for this reason. There are few shows where I catch myself standing still and just smiling, in awe of the people on stage, and so deeply appreciative that I am here, but Circa is the exception. It’s one of those indescribable feelings, but no matter how they do it, I hope they never stop. Continue reading →

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Summer Scouts and Sonnder will play the Rock The Troc benefit for Play on Philly

Summer Scouts
Summer Scouts | photo by Sean Tierney | courtesy of the artist

Lehigh Valley modern rock five piece Summer Scouts and their Philly peers Sonnder are the first artists to be added to the lineup of the Rock The Troc benefit concert. Taking place at The Trocadero in Chinatown on May 19th, the show will raise money for the music education nonprofit Play On Philly. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Land of Talk at Union Transfer, Ought at Arden Gild Hall, Odesza at Electric Factory

Land of Talk | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Following a seven-year break, Montreal indie rock four-piece Land of Talk returned this year with a majestic third LP called Life After Youth, released in May on Saddle Creek Records. The album finds singer and songwriter Elizabeth Powell and her bandmates in reflective mode, a bit wiser for the years than in their more emo-tinged earlier days, but no less willing to look within and self-reflect amid dreamy guitar tapestries. The band wowed earlier this year opening for The War on Drugs at the Dell, and tonight they’re at Union Transfer with American Football. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; watch the video for “Inner Lover” below. Continue reading →

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RFA closes tour with a raucous homecoming show at PhilaMOCA

RFA | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

Philly rock faves RFA headlined PhilaMOCA Saturday night; it was their first show in Philly in a few months and, needless to say, the crowd missed these guys.

Dan Cousart, Brendan McHale, Alec Powell, and Christian Turzo have been consistent key members of RFA for the last four years, and the band received the warmest of welcomes back home after a long summer and fall on the road. They played a killer set, featuring both old favorites and new songs to love. “Suzie Lee,” “Teenage Love Song,” and “Freaking Out,” all made appearances, along with a soon-to-be-officially-released single, “Down Your Street.” Continue reading →

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Need a friend for the night? Go to a Dead & Company show.

Dead and Company | photo by John Bartol for WXPN

Dead & Company played Wells Fargo Center Thursday night, and after watching this show, I’ve decided that this is a band everybody needs to see at least once. Watching original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann jam on and on and on with the most notable new member John Mayer is entrancing. It’s hard to look away, even as their jams approach the fifteen minute mark. They’re not just repeating the chorus over and over; they’re following the song’s basic rhythm and structure while also exploring new melodies and ideas on the spot. That’s where the appeal comes from: like the Grateful Dead before them, and the generations of bands they inspired, Dead & Company could play the same setlist throughout their tour and each night would still sound different. Last night, they opened the first set with “Dancing in the Street,” a Martha Reeves and The Vandellas cover, which then seamlessly transitioned into Grateful Dead’s “Ramble on Rose.”

I’ve been to plenty of concerts, but this was the first time that I noticed nearly everybody was off their phone and just watching and present. I’ve never seen that before, ever, especially at a venue as big as the Wells Fargo Center. Everybody was just happy to be there, and listening to these truly timeless songs makes you feel like there could never be anything wrong. When you’re in Dead & Company’s presence, the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Continue reading →

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Desoto Jones to play anniversary benefit show at Underground Arts

Desoto Jones | courtesy of the artist
Desoto Jones | courtesy of the artist

Philly modern rock group Desoto Jones returns to Underground Arts on December 10th to celebrate ten years of their Deep Elm Records album, Aurora. All proceeds from the night will go to drummer Adam Francois and his wife Tracy as they continue to fight Adam’s battle with cancer. The show will feature an amalgam of cross-over acts to open, featuring past members of bands like A Life Once Lost and June Spirit as they embark on their current projects, Perilune and Keeper. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Taylor Swift brings Reputation to Lincoln Financial Field in July

Taylor Swift on SNL | via YouTube

Taylor Swift‘s long-awaited 2017 release, Reputation, just came out last Friday, and Swift takes it on tour during the summer of 2018, with a stop at Lincoln Financial Field on July 14th. General ticket sales for the US begin on December 13th, and advance tickets purchased through Taylor Swift Tix and Ticketmaster Verified Fan go on sale on November 28th. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Jeff Lynne’s ELO will play its first Philadelphia show since 1981 in August

Jeff Lynne’s ELO | photo via jefflynneselo.com

Electric Light Orchestra hasn’t played Philadelphia since 1981, but they’re back to end next summer at Wells Fargo Center on August 24th. This is huge news for fans of the band, because chances to see this group are rare. Tickets go on sale November 17th at 10 a.m., so make sure you’re by a computer, because this one will go fast. Continue reading →