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Ursula Rucker is My Father’s Daughter in NYC one-woman production

via Facebook

Philadelphia spoken word artist Ursula Rucker is bringing her one-woman performance, My Father’s Daughter, to New York City’s LaMaMa from October 10th through the 15th, and it won’t be a show to miss.

Detailing the life and struggles of mother and how it overlaps into her own, Rucker uses the art of spoken word along with live sound — provided by frequent collaborator Tim Motzer — to tell us her story. The show, presented in conjunction with Daryl Sledge and Rhymes Over Beats, reveals the stark differences of two lives, but also hints at where they could almost be the same. The tragedy is balanced with plenty of Rucker’s lively personality, and the uplifting message in the end is enough to keep any crowd moving. This is a live memoir about what it means to be a warrior and what it means to overcome. Continue reading →

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Ellen Siberian Tiger distills frustration into dance for the “Grinding My Teeth” video

Ellen Siberian Tiger | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPNPhilly trio Ellen Siberian Tiger ended their week by releasing a music video for “Grinding My Teeth.” The self-proclaimed feminist indie rock group began as Ellen Tiberio-Shultz’s solo project in 2009, evolving through various configurations and ultimately landing on the three-piece it is today. The band prides itself on its use of punk and orchestral influences, and when combined with Tiberio-Shultz’s breathy yet powerful vocals, their overall sound becomes instantly enticing.

“Grinding My Teeth,” found on last year’s Red Blooded Woman EP, is a song of not feeling enough, of that forceful letting go, which is a persistent theme throughout this EP. Just the name of the song itself — “Grinding My Teeth” – evokes frustration, the lyrics are counteracted by a beautiful acoustic guitar and strings. The contrast makes the song a little more settling than if the music behind the lyrics was also intense. Continue reading →

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Philly duo The Phosphenes do good-time basement rock right with Phive

The Phosphenes | photo via facebook.com/thephosphenesband

Local indie outfit The Phosphenes have “Basement Show” written all over them. They’re fun. Their newest album, Phive — their first full release since December of 2014 — is fun, and it’s the first one we’ve seen from them in a while, so there’s definitely been some growth from their older releases.

But that’s what I love the most about these underground Philly bands, they’re all about a good time. They’re so carefree in their sound because really, it’s just for them and whoever happens to stumble upon their Bandcamp, because making music is just what they do. Sure, everyone wants to get something out of it someday, but for today, the point is to just make music, and The Phosphenes do it right. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Flounder Warehouse reflects on intimacy and solitude in the “What To Do” video

Photo courtesy of the artist

Flounder Warehouse formed in 2012 in Philadelphia, and has showcased the work of frontperson and songwriter Seann Cantatore in the five years since. Lately, Cantatore — a Key intern alumus — has been living and working in New York, but continues working with Philly regional musicians on the project, today releasing band’s latest: a simple-yet-elegant video for the new “What to Do.” Continue reading →

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Catching up with Good Old War’s Dan Schwartz new sounds, second chances and making honest music

Photo Courtesy of Dylan Eddinger Photography

The original three members of Philly’s Good Old War are finally, finally, back together again, and I was lucky enough to catch the end of their reunion tour at World Cafe Live back in August. The band is set to play a SoFar Sounds Amnesty International Benefit on September 20th, with new music out in the world as well — “Part of Me” was released on September 1st. Guitarist Dan Schwartz — also known as Danny Black for his solo work — was kind enough to give me some insight into what went into the making of their newest EP. With the rejoining of drummer Tim Arnold, the band is back and really better than they’ve ever been before. Continue reading →

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Caroline Reese goes full country on new EP Two Horses

Caroline Reese | photo by Morgan Smith | phobymy.com

Reading  native Caroline Reese has just released her newest EP, Two Horses, a quick collection following her earlier 2017 album Tenderfoot. Reese has quite the expansive repertoire of alternative/indie songs under her belt, but she’s a country artist at heart, and these four new tracks really show us her roots.  Continue reading →

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Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties are going on their first full band tour

Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties | photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

The Wonder Years frontman Dan Campbell is becoming more and more known for his side project, Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, which just announced their first full tour following last year’s Bittersweet EP. This is a pretty big deal for Campbell. He’s played songs as the persona Aaron West at a few festivals, like Vans Warped Tour’s acoustic stage, but this is the first time we’ll get to hear his work they way he initially intended – full frame, full band, full story. This fall, he’ll be joined by Dryjacket, Shortly, Allison Weiss, and Norwegian Arms. The tour kicks off in New York on November 3rd and then heads West, then loops back home to end on December 2nd in Philadelphia. Continue reading →