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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Frankie Rose at Johnny Brenda’s, URSULA at PhilaMOCA, Huffamoose at MilkBoy and more…

Frankie Rose | photo courtesy of the artist
Frankie Rose | photo courtesy of the artist

New York synth-rocker Frankie Rose released her latest album Cage Tropical today and celebrates with a headlining gig at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. It’s a record rooted in sci-fi and ‘80s pop influences — read more on that in The Key’s own Rob Huff’s Q&A with Rose earlier this week. Joining her on the bill are Tempers and Sad Heaven. Doors for the 21+ show open at 8 p.m. For tickets and more information, head to the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Watch Grandchildren unveil an unreleased song for their new acoustic video series

Grandchildren | photo courtesy of the artist
Grandchildren | photo courtesy of the artist

The acoustic sessions keep rolling out from Philly art-pop group Grandchildren, and it sure seems like they won’t be stopping soon. After we noticed a new clip from the group’s vocalists Shari Amanda and Aleks Martray as Baby & Shylow earlier this week, Grandchildren have announced a new acoustic vid series called At Home With Grandchildren. It’ll feature tunes from the band’s next album — which as of now does not have an announced release date — and will be filmed all across Philly. Continue reading →

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Worriers go back to their teenage years with new single “The Possibility”

Worriers | photo by Jake Cunningham | courtesy of the artist

Philly-via-Brooklyn punk rockers Worriers have shared the second single off their upcoming LP via SideOneDummy Records. Survival Pop is due out Sept. 29. “The Possibility” follows up the album’s first single, “Future Me,” which we shared with you in June.

Unlike the first single, “The Possibility” looks backward instead of forward. It is Worriers’ vocalist/guitarist Lauren Denitzio’s reply to their reality of growing up queer in New Jersey, a testament to the fact that not every NJ kid experiences the same life. “This song is for teenage me, who needed a love song that wasn’t just about riding around town with your sweetheart down the shore,” Denitzio says. It takes off from the get-go, emitting the triumphant sound that Denitzio intended to ooze from this record. It’s an anthem of self-preservation. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Ice Balloons, the side project from TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, at Everybody Hits

Ice Balloons | photo via iceballoons.bandcamp.com

Brooklyn-based six-piece Ice Balloons, which most notably includes Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, will play Everybody Hits on Friday, Oct. 13. They’ll be joined by Jersey experimental rockers Fond Han.

Ice Balloons released their debut EP back in 2013. Its sound goes much deeper into the realm of garage/punk synth-noise compared to its members’ other bands. And their live shows are just as much to be seen as they are to be heard, featuring projected video, pina-colada scented smoke and “a whirl of chaotic noises.” Continue reading →

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Bless your day with this performance of “It Ain’t Fair” by The Roots, Bilal and a freaking orchestra

Black Thought at The Roots Picnic | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Jimmy Fallon is lucky to have The Roots as his house band for The Tonight Show. Pretty much every night he gets to hear the Philly legends, and for Monday’s episode, though, it was a little more amazing than usual.

The Roots had the musical performance to play out the night’s show. Their longtime collab partner and soulful wizard Bilal joined them with vocals of his own, as well as a sizeable orchestra, for a rendition of “It Ain’t Fair,” a song from the soundtrack of the new movie Detroit. I already wanted to see the movie. Now I absolutely have to. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Palm at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Erykah Badu at Dell Music Center

Palm | Photo courtesy of the artist

Spruce Street Harbor Park’s weekly Waterfront Sessions continue tonight with Philly experimental indie rockers Palm. Their latest is the Shadow Experts EP, a six-song effort that abides by no certain genre’s boundaries. Part of that comes from the fact that none of the members have no formal musical training, part of it comes from their desire to reverse what popularity demands. At times it sounds a bit mathy, at other moments more noisey. Most of the time, though, it is very much original. The Guests, also a Philly band with more of a grim pop sound, will also perform. The show is free and begins at 6:30 p.m. More info can be found here. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: The Record Company shreds and then shreds some more

The Record Company | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

In a weekend full of bands so big they were tough to stuff onto one stage, The Record Company broke the trend. The Los Angeles trio spaced out across the River stage Sunday evening with plenty of room. They needed every inch.

Unless he was forced to stay seated because of a lap steel guitar, Lead man Chris Vos was all over the place. He was like an animal out there, thrashing around with his guitar in a solo-flooded set, starting with the band’s latest single “Baby I’m Broken.” After that, the band’s only released LP Give It Back To You filled up the setlist. The vibe floated between rock in its truest and most mind-blowing form, with occasional drops of a country flavor seeping through the cracks. It was simple but in a good way. Between songs, Vos had plenty of positive messages — thanks to WXPN’s very own Bruce Warren for spinning a demo of theirs in 2012, news that they’re working on a new album we can expect next year, and notice that bassist Alex Stiff is a local boy who loves playing shows near home. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Joseph’s sisterly harmonies mesmerize the Marina Stage crowd

Joseph | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

In an obvious way, Joseph‘s Closner sisters are a single unit. In watching them during a Sunday afternoon set at XPoNential Festival’s Marina Stage, their bond was detectable past their similar faces. Their harmonies intertwined by more than any certain key or pitch. There was something about the connection that wasn’t necessarily visible, but felt or understood.

Yet just as they exist as one, the three sisters also shined individually. Natalie, the eldest and clear leader — she was the one to announce, “these are my sisters” — flanked the right. Only she sported an instrument beyond her human abilities, equipped with an acoustic guitar and bass drum stomping pad. With those tools, she guided the 11-song set through each twist and turn like an older sister should. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Sweet Spirit has no shame on the River Stage

Sweet Spirit | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

Midway through Sweet Spirit‘s Sunday afternoon River Stage set Sabrina Ellis told the crowd she’s impossible to embarrass. She doesn’t mind how she comes off as a person. Then, only for a half sentence, she retracted. “The only thing that humbles me down to a slithery, slimy, pre-evolution being…I just can’t think of anything,” she joked. Continue reading →