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PREMIERE: Sonnder celebrates letting go in the “About Time” video

Sonnder | photo courtesy of the artist
Sonnder | photo by Samantha Bambino | courtesy of the artist

Philly modern rock four piece Sonnder released its debut LP Entanglement last year, following a year of monthly singles, gigs around the region and constant creativity. The band has kept the album in its forefront in the months since, releasing a string of music videos from the album with director Dan Levitt. Today, we’re happy to premiere their fourth and latest collaboration for you — a video for the album’s bittersweet romantic centerpiece “About Time.” Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Japanese Breakfast will headline a stacked bill at the First Unitarian Church this fall

Japanese Breakfast | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Japanese Breakfast | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

As the saying goes, Japanese Breakfast is having a moment. The band’s sophomore album Soft Sounds From Another Planet came out last month on Dead Oceans to widespread acclaim in outlets from The Guardian to NPR, and it went from a summer tour of sold-out clubs with (Sandy) Alex G to much bigger spaces opening for Tegan and Sara. And now they’ve got a fall run of dates on the horizon and a just-announced homecoming show in the basement of the First Unitarian Church.

The show, set for Thursday, October 19th, caps Japanese Breakfast’s month-plus on the road with Mannequin Pussy and Spirit of the Beehive — which, talk about a Philly-rooted power lineup. Fun fact: frontwoman Michelle Zauner is a proud R5 Productions intern alumnus, so this is one of many full circle experiences she’s experienced since her onetime side project became a full-time thing with 2016’s Psychopomp LP. Continue reading →

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Watch Sammus perform “Mighty Morphin'” and “1080p” for Folkadelphia and The Key Studio Sessions

Photo by John Vettese

Earlier this summer, Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo — known to underground rap fans as SΔMMUS — wrapped up her grad school studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and relocated to West Philly, setting up a new base for her multi-pronged career as an artist, activist and educator.

SΔMMUS has been cultivating a following in the Bandcamp universe for several years now, going back to 2010’s Fly Nerd EP. Her 2016 full-length project, Pieces in Space, was picked up by the venerable New Jersey indie label Don Giovanni Records, where it caught the ears of Folkadelphia host Fred Knittel, who then passed it along to me.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ensemble Novo at Penn Museum, Gene Ween at The Queen

Ensemble Novo | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly’s Ensemble Novo is at the tail end of a busy week of performances. They played 2nd Street Festival, headlined at South Jazz and recorded a Key Studio Session showcasing their recent record Who Saw You Then, Who Sees You Now, an infectious collection of jazz tunes and interpolations informed by samba and Brazilian pop. Tonight, they’ll be at the Penn Museum’s summer concert series; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, watch them play “Upa Neguinho” in WXPN Studios.
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It’s Official: Bruce Springsteen is going to Broadway

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN | deltufophotography.com
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN | deltufophotography.com

The rumors were milling earlier this summer that Jersey son Bruce Springsteen was planning on taking up residency at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City for a limited run of dates. Today, that news is official: as NPR Music reports, the Boss will be lighting up Broadway for a limited series of shows beginning in mid-October.

Springsteen will perform five shows a week at the intimate theater from October 12th through November 26th. Continue reading →

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R.I.P. Glen Campbell; listen to his 2008 World Cafe session

Glen Campbell | photo via Rolling Stone

We’re sad to report that iconic singer and songwriter Glen Campbell passed away today at age 81, according to a report in Rolling Stone. Campbell was the voice and the pen behind 21 Top 40 hits across the 60s and 70s including “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”; he’s also known for Vietnam-era songs like “Galveston” and a cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier,” and most iconically, “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Hemming gets witchy in the haunting “Counting Stones” video

Hemming | photo by Mike Dean | courtesy of the artist
Hemming | photo by Mike Dean | courtesy of the artist

It’s never too early in the season for grey tones and haunting tales. So while we’ve still got a month-ish left of summer and its hopes for warm spirits on sunny days, it’s good to remember all those things — the weather, the emotions — are fleeting. A brief interlude from the colder and more contemplative rest of the calendar, particularly autumn, aka the best time of year.

All that’s to say that the new song and corresponding music video from Philadelphia’s Hemming will totally vibe perfectly in a couple months when everybody’s all binge-watching Stranger Things while downing pumpkin lagers, but it’s possibly more powerful now.

Candice Martello, the project mastermind, collabed on the video with Mike Dean, who also directed Hemming’s video for “I’ll Never Be The Man for You.” Like that clip, “Counting Stones” also involves costumes and location shoots, but ups the ante into more suspenseful cinematic territory. Shot in and around Philly last October, it has a definite Pan’s Labyrinth feel of witchiness and fantasy, while the music is a brooding ballad led by piano, e-bow guitar and powerful instrumental swells. Martello says a lot of the new songs she’s been writing for Hemming’s new EP (due out in September) have this vibe: “darker than some of my previous stuff, if that is possible.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Falsa at Franky Bradley’s, Jade Jackson at Sherman Theater, The Selecter at Boot and Saddle

Falsa
Falsa | photo courtesy of the artist

West Philly singer songwriter Umer Piracha brings his medatative instrumental ensemble Falsa to Franky Bradley’s. Drawing on 14th century Sufi classical music, the band creates a space of warmth and intimacy, whether performing in living rooms or nightclubs — as it will tonight, opening for  West Philadelphia Orchestra.
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Watch Grandchildren’s Aleks and Shari perform as Baby & Shylow in a Random Tea Session

Baby & Shylow | photo via artist’s Facebook page

It’s been a year since vocalist Shari Amanda moved from Raleigh, North Carolina to Philadelphia to join local art-pop ensemble Grandchildren. After seeing her debut in the new “Phantom Pains” song and video this spring, we also connected the dots between Shari and Baby & Shylow, a folk-oriented duo project featuring Grandchildren frontman Aleks Martray.  Continue reading →

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Preview Philly trombonist Dan Blacksberg’s new Radiant Others LP with “Doina”

Dan Blacksberg | photo via danblacksberg.bandcamp.com

From traditional klezmer workshops to daring experimental performances with his duo Archer Spade (not to mention his recent Double Decker Music Series engagement), Philly’s Dan Blacksberg covers a impressive expanse of territory with his trombone.

It’s a little tricky, therefore, to guess what that could mean for Radiant Others, the LP he’s releasing on September 27th. His band includes Archer Spade partner Nick Millevoi on electric and acoustic guitar, indicating it could certainly lean more left-of-center. But reading the credits, we see that with the exception of the opening “Doina,” these songs are all pieces of traditional music, arranged by Blacksberg.

Listening to that original, which is streaming right now on Bandcamp, one gets the sense that this collection might just be straddling both sides of Blacksberg’s world. Continue reading →