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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ortolan at Kung Fu Necktie, John C. Reilly and Tom Brosseau at Sellersville Theater, Abi Reimold at Bourbon and Branch

via facebook.com/OrtolanMusic
via facebook.com/OrtolanMusic

Ortolan is a whimsical indie folk band of three sisters and one sister-in-law, bred in Delran New Jersey and based currently in Philadelphia. Last year, they released their second album, Covered In Black, recorded with Daniel Smith of regional favorites Danielson. The album is playful, poppy and brightly arranged, reminiscent of aughties indie favorites like Architecture in Helsinki, Los Campesinos! and Bright Eyes. Tonight the band plays Kung Fu Necktie; more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “Bottle’s Broken” from Covered In Black. Continue reading →

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Listen to Dave Hause play Jenny Lewis, Leonard Cohen, D’Angelo and more on his WXPN #guestDJ set

Dave Hause | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Dave Hause | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Philly-born rocker Dave Hause took to the airwaves on WXPN last night with a guest DJ set during the Philly Local show, showing off his wide-reaching musical tastes. He played a moving Leonard Cohen song right next to a searing Restorations jam, a blissed-out War on Drugs anthem next to an aggressive Run the Jewels gut-punch and kept the hour lively and unpredictable. Continue reading →

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Hear an archival performance from Richie Havens and new sets by Kicking Down Doors and Lover’s League on Sunday’s Folk Show with Gene Shay

Richie Havens | Photo by Heinrich Klaffs
Richie Havens performing in 1972 | Photo by Heinrich Klaffs

This past Sunday night on WXPN, long-time Folk Show host Gene Shay took his penultimate turn at the microphone with a show that, once again, mixed the old with the new.

While Gene dug into the archives for a 1967 interview with the legendary Richie Havens, as well as a 1977 interview with Germantown’s own Lew London, the show also contained performances by two standouts in the Philadelphia folk scene of today: Lover’s League and Kicking Down Doors (both of whom play the Winter Doldrums Festival at World Cafe Live on February 7th). Continue reading →

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Dave Hause will guest DJ tonight’s Philly Local show on WXPN

Dave Hause on stage at The High Dive during his FEST 13 set | Photo by John Vettese
Dave Hause on stage at The High Dive during his FEST 13 set | Photo by John Vettese

This week’s WXPN Philly Local show on WXPN will feature special guest DJ Dave Hause spinning an hour-long set with a lot of variety: some singer-songwriters, some rock bands, some punk and hip-hop, all chosen from the albums the Philly native has been listening to over the past year and change on the road in support of his excellent 2013 record Devour.

“When that album came out, I toured for ten straight weeks, and any new record that came out, I tried to check it out because we had those long van rides,” Hause says. “Now I’m off for a while making a new record, but most of 2014 I spent touring. It’s become such a big part of my lifestyle in general that if I don’t tour for too long it starts to feel weird. It’s about establishing some kind of balance between playing shows, writing and being home.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Musicians On Call Benefit ft. Brian Fitzy at Brittingham’s Pub, Power Animal at Bourbon and Branch

Brian Fitzy | photo via brianfitzy.bandcamp.com
Brian Fitzy | photo via brianfitzy.bandcamp.com

Poppy singer-songwriter, fiddler and sound loop artist Brian Fitzy is one of several artists performing at the Musicians On Call benefit concert today at Brittingham’s Pub in Lafayette Hill. Joining Fitzy are Anders Hyatt, Matt Santry, Kyle Herring, Tim Williams and more. More information on the event can be found here. Listen to a recording of Fitzy playing live last year below. Continue reading →

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A solemn but explosive set from Rosu Lup capped a solid local bill at World Cafe Live

Rosu Lup | Photo by John Vettese
Rosu Lup | Photo by John Vettese

“Life and death are opposing shores,” sang Josh Marsh to the upstairs crowd at World Cafe Live on Tuesday. “But we walk along till our feet are sore.”

Maybe it was the grey afternoon and licks of ice patching the sidewalk. Maybe it was the reminder of a ridiculously treacherous travel conditions not 36 hours before that had semis plummeting around the highway, claiming the lives of four commuters and injuring dozens more. Maybe it was my friend at the bar, moved by the headlines, talking about the preciousness of life.

In any case, the Tuesday night tour homecoming by Philly’s Rosu Lup struck a tremendous chord in that regard, imbuing tragedy with beauty in an explosive catharsis. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sonnder at Bourbon and Branch, Mercury Radio Theater at Underground Arts, W.C. Lindsay at Union Transfer

Sonnder
Sonnder | photo via Facebook

Early this month, local atmospheric rockers Sonnder kicked off a monthly singles project – one new digital track a month, culminating in a full album by December. The song “Drifter,” which kicked the series off, takes a more subdued and haunting approach to their sound compared to the band’s vibrant Thief EP from 2014, but where it goes from here is a total mystery – and we’re totally into following the journey. The band plays Bourbon and Branch in Northern Liberties tonight; tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Suburban Living

When he was living in Virginia Beach back in 2011, Wesley Bunch spent a lot of his free time writing and recording songs for a bedroom pop project he dubbed Suburban Living.  It yielded a couple releases: the Twin Peaks-referencing Cooper’s Dream EP in 2012 and the Always Eyes 7″ in 2013. And though some light touring and appearances at CMJ resulted, Bunch wanted more. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lia Ices at Boot and Saddle, Philebrity Awards at Johnny Brenda’s, Chris Zurich at 2nd State Lounge

Lia Ices | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Lia Ices | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Experimental pop singer-songwriter Lia Ices takes to the stage at Boot and Saddle tonight. Her third LP, Ices, was released last year and signified a sonic shift for the New England bred, SoCal based artist – a move away from haunting piano compositions and toward alluring electronic jams. It was highlighted on NPR Music at several points throughout the year, including a First Listen showcase and a session on World Cafe with David Dye. Watch a video of “Higher” recorded during the Cafe session below, and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Hear archival interviews with Ramblin Jack Elliott, Doc Watson and more on The Folk Show with Gene Shay

Ramblin' Jack Elliott | Photo by Douglas R Gilbert
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott (at right) looking over with Bob Dylan | Photo by Douglas R Gilbert

WXPN’s long-time Folk Show host Gene Shay continued his final run of shows behind the broadcaster’s mic on Sunday night, January 18th. In addition to live performances from Aaron Nathans and Michael Ronstadt as well as The Wannamaker Lewis Band, the show featured two interviews from Gene’s personal archives. Continue reading →