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Watch Philly’s Evening Magazine explain The Grateful Dead to viewers in 1979

Segment title screen. Love the Star Wars font.
Segment title screen. Love the Star Wars font.

By 1979, The Grateful Dead was closing in on a decade and a half of recording and touring, were headlining arenas on the regular, and the non-countercultural media was becoming reasonably certain that Jerry and the boys were, you know, not just a fad. Enter Evening Magazine, a television news features program that aired locally on CBS-3; they caught up with the Dead and their devout Deadheads at The Spectrum in this segment that aired on November 6, 1979. Continue reading →

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Watch The War on Drugs jam with Kurt Vile at Johnny Brenda’s

The War on Drugs | Photo by John Vettese
The War on Drugs | Photo by John Vettese

I remember a time, not too long ago, when Philly space rock luminaries The War on Drugs could comfortably fit all their gear on the stage at Johnny Brenda’s with room to spare. But as their sound and scope has expanded, so has their spatial footprint, and I found myself at the foot of the Fishtown venue on Friday night, looking at the dozens of pedals cabled together and a veritable fortresses of keyboards, of amps and microphones and Charlie Hall’s drumkit tucked way back into the corner, wondering to myself how the heck this was going to work. Thankfully, the dudes pulled it off tremendously, and had enough room for founding member Kurt Vile to join the band for guitar shreddery on “Under the Pressure,” “Arms Like Boulders” and “I Hear You Calling.” Continue reading →

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How Dr. Dog recorded a Beatles song in parking lot attendant’s booth

Dr. Dog
via instagram.com/drdogmusic

On a Monday morning in early June, Dr. Dog’s tour van pulled into the parking lot of Stage AE in Pittsburgh. It was technically their day off, but the band had work to do before headlining the venue the following night. They had just played the Wakarusa festival in Ozark, Arkansas, and while they were there, they took in a set by The Flaming Lips, met Wayne Coyne and got to talking. It turns out Coyne and the Lips were planning an ambitious, star-studded tribute to The Beatles‘ iconic, influential psychedelic opus, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band – and they wanted Dr. Dog on board, with one catch – they had to work fast. Continue reading →

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Obscura celebrates local talent at West Philly’s A-Space

Obsucra | Photo by John Vettese
The Bul Bey | Photo by John Vettese

The latest in the semi-regular Obscura series brought a stellar lineup of local talent to the A-Space anarchist community center in West Philly on Saturday night. Founded by local writer and promoter Lissa Alicia Simpsons, the series aims to spotlight local independent artists who are all too often overlooked in the Philly music scene. Continue reading →

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Dead Milkmen raise hell at Laurel Hill Cemetery

The Dead Milkmen at Laurel Hill Cemetery | Photo by John Vettese
The Dead Milkmen at Laurel Hill Cemetery | Photo by John Vettese

You probably know them as a fun punk rock band, but that doesn’t mean Philly’s Dead Milkmen don’t have a dark side. Last Friday, the local favorites headlined a benefit at Laurel Hill Cemetery in East Falls. The band performed between the pillars of a mausoleum off of Hunting Park Avenue, while the crowd – reportedly over 1,000 in attendance – gathered along the walkway and among the headstones up the hill. As dusk turned to dark and clove cigarette smoke filled the brisk pre-autumn air, the four guys on crypt  stage launched into a squalor of rumbling beats and instrumental feedback as frontman Rodney Anonymous murmured “White on white translucent black capes.” Holy shit. They were covering “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus. So perfect. Continue reading →

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Go behind the scenes at Dr. Dog’s Electric Factory double-header

Dr. Dog at The Electric Factory | Photo by Caitlin McCann | <a href=http://www.caitlinmccannphoto.com/ target="_blank">caitlinmccannphoto.com</a>
Eric Slick of Dr. Dog at The Electric Factory | Photo by Caitlin McCann | caitlinmccannphoto.com

Back in in the winter, on the heels of their eighth album B-Room‘s fall release, Dr. Dog headlined two sold-out hometown shows at the Electric Factory, like they’ve done for every album they’ve released since 2010′s Shame, Shame. But like I said at the time, they have a way of giving a huge nightclub / warehouse the intimacy of a living room, and I think that stems from the band being the opposite of typical rock stars. Anyone who’s bumped into them and had a conversation with them will tell you they’re the most down to earth dudes imaginable, and that comes across in the photos we’re bringing you for today’s installment of the Dr. Dog Days of Summer.   Continue reading →

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On Repeat: Little Big League’s new jam “Tropical Jinx”

Little Big League | photo via Spin.com
Little Big League | photo via Spin.com

We were pretty pumped to hear that Philly indie rock faves Little Big League got signed by by Run For Cover Records earlier this summer, and today we’re equally psyched to hear the first single from the album they’re putting out this fall. “Tropical Jinx” blends intertwining guitar lines reminiscent of Built to Spill with blissed-out indie pop harmonies and frontwoman Michelle Zauner’s direct, personal lyrics. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Vita and the Woolf

Photos by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Philly art-pop trio Vita and the Woolf is going to knock you out. The band is about to release it’s vibrant, eclectic debut EP Fang Song, and it’s super-impressive for a first release, a sophisticated collection of songs that can be anthemic and expressive (the winning “Mary”) in the same breath that it’s quiet and withdrawn (“Song For Pedro”). But what’s most exciting is the way the band’s best work is clearly ahead of it. Continue reading →

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John Mellencamp will headline the Merriam Theater in June

John Mellencamp
John Mellencamp | Photo by Brad Barket
Heartland rocker John Mellencamp just announced a 2015 tour in support of his latest album, Plain Spoken, and it comes to Philadelphia on June 16th at the Merriam Theater. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 19th, at 10 a.m. The album – out on Tuesday, September 23rd -  is the 22nd studio release for the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame-r and Grammy Award winner, and each ticket comes with a download of the album. Listen to the new “Sometimes There’s God” from the album below, and get more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Ten essential deep cuts from the Dr. Dog vaults

Dr. Dog
Dr. Dog in 2012 | Photo via Anti- Records

Songs are one thing that Dr. Dog isn’t short on. Before it broke out in 2005 with the Easy Beat LP, the band had a robust back-catalog of home-recordings that were available in varying forms – most notably 2003′s Toothbrush, still a cult favorite. But even today, their records come in accompanying deluxe editions, containing usually an EP’s worth of extra material that handily holds up to the the stuff on the album proper. And it’s not like this is stuff that you’ll never hear anywhere but the iTunes library of the Dr. Dog completist – the band is known for digging deep into the vaults in setlists. For today’s installment of the Dr. Dog Days of Summer, here are ten essential deep cuts from the Dr. Dog vaults – any or all of these would make totally sweet inclusions at the band’s Lawn of Mann show this Saturday. Continue reading →