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The Key Studio Sessions: Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells

Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells | Photo by Michelle Goodwin Photography for WXPN
Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells | Photo by Michelle Goodwin Photography for WXPN | michellerosegoodwin.com

Bookspace was a great DIY venue on Frankford Ave circa five years ago, if for nothing else than the sheer novelty of seeing crushingly loud rock shows in a towering warehouse stacked floor to ceiling with books. There was something about that straddling of artistic disciplines, sounds and literature, and it seems appropriate that this was the first place I saw Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells, the subject of this week’s Key Studio Session. I caught the Philly five-piece on a bill with the late great An American Chinese and they immediately impressed with arcing, angular blues guitar riffs and a thunderous rhythm section centered by soaring, dynamic vocals of frontwoman Kerrin Pantelakis. Continue reading →

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Catch Air is Human all week at Ortlieb’s

air is human
Air is Human | photo by Kara Khan from Popuppolaroid

Experimental Philly duo Air is Human kicks off an unusual sort of residency at Ortlieb’s tonight. They’re at the Northern Liberties venue every night this week, stretching out their progressive-influenced electronic rock. The band’s latest, Solstice 2, was released in January, and with the summer solstice approaching in short order, we imagine the band is getting seasonal with this hang. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Christopher Paul Stelling at World Cafe Live

Christopher Paul Stelling
Christopher Paul Stelling | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

After making a splash opening for Ben Harper this spring, Florida-born, NY-based and otherwise nomadic troubadour Christopher Paul Stelling returns to Philly tonight on a solo tour to headline World Cafe Live. He’s been hard at work on the road in support of Labor Against Waste, which came out last summer on Anti- Records. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RJD2 at Union Transfer, Pink Slip Daddy at Boot and Saddle and more

RJD2
RJD2 | Photo by Benny Mistak | courtesy of the artist

RJD2 moved back to his native Ohio from Philly recently, but with over a decade of local music making under his belt, we will always welcome RJD2 with open arms as an honorary Philadelphian. Tonight he headlines Union Transfer in support of his new album Dame Fortune, which you can listen to in full below. It mixes his trademark slick grooves with proggy surprises and a cavalcade of guest vocalists. Tickets and more information on the show can be found here.

Read our interview with RJD2.

Philly goth-punk trio Psychic Teens headlines Johnny Brenda’s tonight to celebrate the release of their new record Nerve, which has undeniable hints of Bauhaus and Joy Division and other dark / heave bits of awesome. They recently released a music video for “Everything,” which is depicts a kids’ birthday party with them acting as the entertainment – it’s pretty awesome, and you can watch below. Tickets and more information to the JBs show tonight can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Vita and the Woolf at Bourbon and Branch, Cheerleader at MilkBoy, Borns at the Electric Factory and more

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

Philly electronic pop duo Vita and the Woolf step out to Bourbon and Branch tonight for their first Philly gig in a minute. The band teased some new music this spring – the asskicking “Brett” – and it lends support to the final night of Queen of Jeans’ May residency. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Interview: RJD2 talks his new album Dame Fortune, collaborating, and the Columbus music scene

RJD2
RJD2 | Photo by Benny Mistak | courtesy of the artist

If you’re into RJD2, you know the electronic producer / songwriter is big on collaborating. Even longer than his list of studio albums (which clocks in at 10 with this year’s Dame Fortune) is his list of production work, and the names are big: Aesop Rock, Mos Def, Massive Attack, Elbow, Yo La Tengo and Son Little just scratch the surface. So when he started work on the new project, the Columbus native and former Philadelphia resident called up some old (and new) friends to fill in the gaps. The result is a synchronous, soulful album full of twists, turns and eclectic surprises.

We spoke with RJ about how his production and songwriting methodology has changed from 2002’s Deadringer debut to Dame Fortune, his long list of Philly collaborators and what it’s like to be back in Columbus. Read the interview below, and see the master in action at Union Transfer on Saturday, May 28th.

Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Courtney Barnett at the Electric Factory, Ill Doots at Johnny Brenda’s, Four Tet at 714

Courtney Barnett | Photo By Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com
Courtney Barnett | Photo By Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

Singer-songwriter-rock-and-roller Courtney Barnett is on a victory lap in support of last year’s acclaimed record Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit; tonight, she plays her biggest Philadelphia gig to date, headlining the Electric Factory. With jams like “Pedestrian at Best” and “Dead Fox” and aching numbers like “Deprestion,” it will make you feel all the proverbial feelings. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch Courtney playing XPNFest last summer below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Address at Kung Fu Necktie, CW Stoneking at Boot and Saddle, Royal Teeth at The TLA

Address | Photo by Peter Murray | via bandcamp

Fuzzed-out Philadelphia four-piece Address headlines Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Their Rejected Domestic LP, released last October, recalls Pavement and Death Cab; it’s also a community minded record, with proceeds going to Girls Rock Philly and Rock to the Future. Give it a listen below, and get more information on the show at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Sunwatchers

We’re heading a bit beyond our regular geographic region on this week’s Key Studio Session, but that’s okay – Sunwatchers is a band that knows no geographical boundaries.

I was hipped to them a few months back, care of NPR Music’s Lars Gotrich, who featured their song “Herd of Creeps” in his Viking’s Choice column (which you should definitely follow if you’re a fan of unusual and reliably compelling music). It’s a heavy, meditative jam rooted in Southeast Asian folk, krautrock and free jazz, exploding out of the speakers in simultaneous brilliance – and it totally bowled me over. Turns out, the New York-based four-piece features Philadelphian Peter Kerlin on bass, who we also know from Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel Band. After swapping a few emails, the band was setting up in studio on a Thursday afternoon following a late night gig and a long drive back home.

There was no loss of energy, as Sunwatchers powered through a set of riveting instrumental music. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop at Union Transfer, Palehound at PhilaMOCA, The Milk Carton Kids at Strand Capitol

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com

Singers and songwriters Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop bring their collaborative LP Love Letter for Hire to Philly tonight for a headlining show at Union Transfer. Last week, they dazzled the crowd at XPN’s NonCOMM-vention. Listen to their set here, and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →