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Space Rock, Punk Rock, Wolves: Listen to a WXPN DJ set by Restorations’ Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce (center) of Restorations at the Howling Woods Farm Wolf Sanctuary | photo via twitter.com/benstorations
Ben Pierce (center) of Restorations at the Howling Woods Farm Wolf Sanctuary | photo via twitter.com/benstorations

Philly’s Restorations got back from a long U.S. tour this week, and guitarist / keyboardist Ben Pierce wasted no time heading right over to WXPN studios for a guest DJ set that aired on the Philly Local show last night. After several weeks driving from city to city, the band had spent a lot of time listening to music on Spotify and Pandora, and Pierce curated a playlist of some of their favorites van jams, from tourmates Hard Girls to space rockers Spiritualized, to a bit of stand up from Joe Sib – one of the founders of their label, SideOneDummy Records. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner

If you’ve spent any amount of time watching the Philly music scene, it’s hard to miss versatile guitarist Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner. He’s ingrained in the local roots / Americana community, performing currently with No Good Sister, as well as collaborating with Psalmships and Kicking Down Doors; way back in the day, he led The Low Road and frequently sat in with Marah. Despite being one of the most skilled slide players – well, anywhere, but particularly in Philly – he also is very much about pushing the boundaries of what roots guitar means. He had a long-running collaboration with rapper Mic Wrecka in the aughts; going further back, the first time I caught him was at the North Star Bar in 2001, playing bluesy licks while a guy named DJ Vincenzo dropped breakbeats from two turntables. And for his current project, Brenner looks to the east. Continue reading →

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The Center-Stage Side Project: Eric Slick and Dom Angelella will bring a long-awaited Lithuania LP to Lame-O

Lithuania | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Lithuania | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

You probably know Eric Slick and Dom Angelella from the bands they play in full-time. But there’s another act that the two Philly musicians have been associated with for way longer than the former has drummed for Dr. Dog, or the latter has performed in DRGN King.

Lithuania has been active for going on ten years, but is often spoken about as a “side project” or a “duo project.” That’s not how the guys see it, and year the band takes the spotlight to release its long-in-the-works full-length debut. Hardcore Friends comes out this summer on Lame-O Records, and it’s the culmination of a collaboration Slick and Angelella began as UArts freshmen in 2005.

Continue reading →

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Creepoid is moving back to Philadelphia, headlining Underground Arts on 4/23

Creepoid at SXSW | Photo by John Vettese

When they played SXSW, we noticed that even though Creepoid moved to Savannah a year or so ago, they still introduced their set by saying “We’re Creepoid, we’re from Philly.”

It was telling, then, since the band left the south yesterday to re-settle back home; they’ll play a homecoming show at Underground Arts on Thursday, April 23rd. Continue reading →

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Download “Unified Theory” by Philly alt-rockers tinmouth

tinmouth | Photo courtesy of the artist
tinmouth | Photo courtesy of the artist

Philly alt-rock trio tinmouth is getting ready to release its debut LP Says, a bright and blooming collection of songs reminiscent of the 80s underground. You can hear bits of Yo La Tengo and IRS-era R.E.M. in Tim Tebordo’s songwriting, particularly on “Unified Theory,” which we’re premiering for today’s My Morning Download. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Legendary Divorce at Kung Fu Necktie

photo via facebook.com/legendarydivorce
photo via facebook.com/legendarydivorce

If their band name didn’t tip you off, Philly’s Legendary Divorce got together in the first place over a shared love of Nirvana. They actually were a Nirvana tribute band at a 2012 Halloween party, but had such a fun time at it that they started writing their own songs together. Brian Schmutz of The Starting Line is their bassist and Itarya Leo makes a compelling frontwoman. Their EP Make Me came out in August and they headline Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Six Philadelphia artists who crushed it at SXSW 2015

Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese
Sheer Mag | Photo by John Vettese

This time last week, I was traveling home from Austin after a jam-packed three days of nonstop music at SXSW 2015. Many who make the trek to the annual industry rodeo do it with an eye on discovering new artists. That certainly fits in the mix when I’m down there – and the sets I caught by California rapper Boogie and Indiana singer-songwriter Elephant Micah were impressive – but my primary focus is catching up with Philadelphians at the festival to see how they fared. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lauryn Hill at The Keswick Theatre, DRGN King at Everybody Hits, Big Terrible at MilkBoy

Lauryn Hill onstage at the Bowery Ballroom | photo by Wei Shi via consequenceofsound.net
Lauryn Hill onstage at the Bowery Ballroom | photo by Wei Shi via consequenceofsound.net

On the heels of her iconic 1998 album The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill being inducted into Library of Congress this week, the singer / songwriter takes the stage at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside tonight. Unlike last fall’s show at the Electric Factory, which was full band and freewheeling, tonight finds Lauryn in acoustic mode, reminiscent of her Unplugged 2.0 album. Get tickets and information about the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and watch a performance of “Turn Your Lights Down Low” from last fall below. Continue reading →

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In the van with Vita and the Woolf: A SXSW photo story

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by John Vettese
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by John Vettese

“I think we’re parked by that organic coffee shop up the street,” said Adam Shumski. We’re wandering alongside Interstate 35, the highway that divides east and west Austin, and the traffic is intense. During the annual SXSW music festival, the highway effectively becomes a parking lot that slowly trudges out of downtown Austin with vehicles and trailers jutting in at every angle.

Shumski’s band Vita and the Woolf didn’t take any chances. Rather than attempt to negotiate the fray of the downtown, their driver (and unofficial tour documentarian) Jay Miller left their van locked up on the east side of town, though the specific intersection eludes them at the moment.

Up ahead, Miller is jogging alongside Vita’s frontwoman Jennifer Pague; they’re hustling since it’s 1:45 and their gig at in.gredients – an independent grocery not unlike Weaver’s Way in Philly – is at 2:00. Time is of the essence, and it’s not till we get in the car, get the air conditioner cranked and get the GPS punched in with the proper coordinates that everybody breathes a sigh of relief. Continue reading →