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Circa Survive wraps the Amulet tour, thanks fans for keeping them grounded

Circa Survive | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Circa Survive came home Saturday night to play their second to last date on the Amulet tour at The Fillmore, and if you weren’t there, you missed what might have been the end of a truly epic era. The tour’s lineup featured local openers Queen of Jeans and La Dispute, and, like Circa Survive, they have both recorded with Conshohocken-based producer Will Yip, who got a special mention between sets as the common ground between all three bands. This will be the last Circa Survive tour for a little while, as the band takes a much needed hiatus from traveling, so take it in while you can. I’ve seen them several times, but I know this show is going to stand out in my mind for a long time, and you’ll see why.

But Philly. Anthony Green says it time and time again – there is nothing like a Philly show, especially if it’s your hometown gig. But why was this one so good? Continue reading →

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Khruangbin encourages us to stay close during a sold out Union Transfer show

Khruangbin | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddinger.com

Texas-based Thai funk rockers Khruangbin played a sold out show at Union Transfer Friday night and, without any introduction needed, they tirelessly played a 16 song set with practically no breaks. Pulling from their extensive instrumental discography, the set consisted of old tracks from their debut LP, The Universe Smiles Upon You, and their 2018 LP, Con Todo El Mundo.  Continue reading →

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Loner, Together: Caroline Rose pushed the limits of a rowdy Underground Arts crowd

Caroline Rose | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddinger.com

Sporting a red Armani dinner jacket that “cost more than her soul,” the ever unpredictable Caroline Rose delivered an electric set to fans at Underground Arts Friday night. Standing on a stage that was a total explosion of red – her signature – she kicked off the night with four songs from her newest LP, Loner, in the original order that she intended them to appear on the tracklisting. She promised us all the hits “since we paid good money to be there,” so she gave us “To Die Today,” “More of the Same,” “Cry!” and “Jeannie Becomes a Mom” one after the other. Continue reading →

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Iron & Wine delivers unapologetically beautiful performance for The Keswick Theater

Iron and Wine | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddinger.com

Sam Beam is one of those rare talents who sounds better live than recorded, and whose songs have the ability to move a theater full of people to tears. Known professionally as Iron & Wine, Beam’s music has been a staple in folk, indie, and singer-songwriter for over 15 years. His shows go on your bucket list. His use of imaginative, cryptic, and personal lyrics coupled with intricate fingerpicking and meaningful percussion makes his sound immediately recognizable. His modest and gentle demeanor onstage add to the unsuspecting wealth of talent beneath the surface.

Coming off the release of 2018’s Weed Garden, I expected this tour to be a celebration of a new chapter in his discography. Instead, Beam handpicked his favorite songs off of nearly all of his albums. It was just a celebration of Iron & Wine, and seeing as this was my first time at one of his concerts, it was perfect. Continue reading →

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Foxtrot & the Get Down debut new songs to full house at Johnny Brenda’s

Foxtrot and the Get Down | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddinger.com

Proud Philadelphians Foxtrot & the Get Down premiered new songs off a forthcoming EP to the most excitable crowd I’ve ever seen at Johnny Brenda’s. The band, who have just been signed to Soundly Music, have definitely earned their place as one of our hometown’s most recognizable local acts. Just this past summer they played several sets at Dover, Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival and made their national TV debut on Fox’s The Q, and they don’t have any plans to slow down.

Foxtrot also shared last night’s lineup with longtime friend and fellow Philly native artist Brianna Judge. Fun fact: singer and guitarist Colin Budny told me that he and Brianna played their first ever shows together back in 2012 down the street at the local bar Kostas – though then called The M Room.

The setlist for the night included old favorites like “Shine,” a newer bluesey track called “Down & Out” (which also features a brand new music video that you can watch below), a brand new week-old tribute to the 27 club called “Legends Never Die,” and a sneak peak of a single dropping this Friday called “Battered & Blue,” which will be featured on their forthcoming EP under Sony. Continue reading →

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Lighten Up, Buttercup, because Hippo Campus blew away Union Transfer last night

Hippo Campus | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddinger.com

Last night, Minnesota indie rockers Hippo Campus joined the crowd at Union Transfer to celebrate the release of their newest LP, Bambi. They brought to the stage their instantly recognizable bubbly, ethereal, and smooth-yet-edgy sound to the stage, and then amplified it times ten. Singer Jake Luppen dove right into the new stuff, opening the show with the relaxed and pulsing track “Bambi,” followed by “Honestly,” and then the off-kilter, electro-rock “Doubt.” What a way to kick things off, honestly. These guys are loads of fun, and the set was atmospheric and loud and both gentle and aggressive when the tracks called for a change of pace. Ever appreciative of the crowd, as most bands who roll through Philly are, both Luppen and guitarist Nathan Stocker thanked us several times just for being there. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Muscle Tough brings the futuristic funk to World Cafe Live

Muscle Tough | photo by Senia Lopez | senialopez.photography

Philly instrumental improv trio Muscle Tough spent the afternoon downstairs at World Cafe Live to share what was possibly the most interesting Free At Noon concert I’ve seen in a while. I went in not knowing what to expect, and left having witnessed psychedelic robo funk, super heavy guitar and drum battles, and even jokey synchronized dance moves from guitarist Ross Bellenoit and bassist Jonathan Coleman. It was entertaining all across the board, and cheers of “When I say Muscle, you say Tough!” were prevalent throughout the entire forty-five minute set, just to remind the crowd that they were awesome. Continue reading →

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Vampire Weekend makes an atypical entrance, announces new album at Lollapalooza

Vampire Weekend at Lollapalooza | photo by Timothy Hiatt | via Billboard

When Vampire Weekend took the Lallapalooza stage in Chicago last weekend, the crowd went wild for their opener “A Punk,” their first big hit from the start of their career.

And then they went wild again when the band played it a second time.

And then they figured something was up… Continue reading →

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Circa Survive will bring La Dispute and Queen of Jeans on tour this fall

Circa Survive | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Philly alt rock staples Circa Survive are hitting the road again this October in support of their 2017 release, The Amulet. The last time we caught them was at the Electric Factory in November with Thrice, so we haven’t had to wait long for a return. Circa just recently wrapped up an Australian/Pacific Coast tour earlier this summer, and frontman Anthony Green just ended his Avalon 10 Year Anniversary tour earlier this week. No rest for these guys, as they’re already ready to get back on the road again for most of this fall.

Though it’s been almost a year since Circa has put out any new releases, the individual band members have done anything but relax. Green released his newest solo album, Would You Still Be In Love, at the beginning of June, and was joined by Circa Survive’s Brendan Ekstrom on the Avalon Tour. Continue reading →

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Mac Miller delivers first live performance of Swimming at NPR Music’s Tiny Desk

Mac Miller | photo by Elsah Attar for NPR

Pittsburgh MC Mac Miller just dropped Swimming, his fifth studio release, on Friday, and fans have gotten their first glimpse of a live rendition before he takes the Swimming Tour on the road thanks to NPR’s Tiny Desk.

Miller, who hasn’t released anything since The Divine Feminine in 2016, is quickly taking the hip hop world by storm after re-emerging into the scene with almost no notice. After quickly announcing singles just a few weeks before the LP’s due date, fans shifted their attention away from Miller’s personal life and whirlwind breakup from singer Ariana Grande and refocused on why they loved him to begin with: he’s an artist, and Swimming is brilliant show of his skill. Continue reading →