By

Side Players to Solo, Studio to Stage: Listen to Killiam Shakespeare’s journey on XPN Local

Killiam Shakespeare | photo via facebook.com/KilliamShakespeare

Philly friends Corey Bernhard, Steve McKie and Chris Turner have an impressive resume as producers and session musicians alone — they’ve worked with Bilal, Jill Scott, Estelle, Ed Sheeran, Snarky Puppy and a lot more over the past decade and change.

But like most creative folks, they had their own fires burning in the mix of the gigs that were paying their bills. Enter Killiam Shakespeare, the band that came as a result of these longtime side players collabing in the studio — the project, with debuted in 2015 with a self-titled release on Ropeadope Records, spans the worlds of hip-hop, jazz, R&B / pop grooves and rock.

“We said ‘There’s no point in letting it sit around on our hard drive,'” recalls Bernhard of the music they were making. “We had all these songs, some of them instrumentals, some with our friends we still make music with.”

“Having our own studio in West Philly really gave us that platform to create our own music,” adds McKie. “You have times when you play in a band, it’s set up for you to play the show, you leave, you rehearse. For us, we felt we were more artistic, we had more to offer not just as musicians but producers and composers.” Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Kominas at Johnny Brenda’s, Shannen Moser at Union Transfer, Brackish at Kung Fu Necktie and more…

The Kominas
The Kominas | Photo by Eddie Austin

Philly / Boston punk outfit The Kominas are charged-up social critics wrapped in catchy hooks and high energy. Their most recent full length, 2015’s Stereotype, is essential listening; in the years since, they’ve released a string of thought provoking and funny music videos tackling institutional racism and xenophobia. Tonight, they headline Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown; watch the “See Something Say Something” video below and get tickets and more info at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

By

#TBTXPN: We’re number 1! Songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100

You heard the Number 2’s last week.

This Thursday, June 15th, we’re going one higher — an assortment of songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100. From The Rolling Stones‘ “Brown Sugar” to Blondie‘s “Rapture,” Prince and the Revolution‘s “Kiss” to Lauryn Hill‘s “Doo Wop (That Thing),” we’ll spend the day bringing you the songs that ruled the charts and the airwaves.  Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kevin Ross at The Trocadero, Weedeater at Kung Fu Necktie

Kevin Ross | via facebook.com/kevinrossmusic

Tonight, Atlanta R&B singer-songwriter Kevin Ross takes to the stage at The Balcony of The Trocadero in support of his 2017 album The Awakening. The set straddles hip-hop, rock and pop, with top notch production and infectious melodies. Listen below and get tickets and more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Maitland at Johnny Brenda’s, Resilient at World Cafe Live, Old Maybe at Everybody Hits and more

Maitland | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Maitland | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Atmospheric rock four-piece Maitland celebrates the release of it’s latest full-length, Glimpse, tonight with a headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s. The record is the product of personal isolation and reflection, as singer and songwriter Josh Hines detailed in an interview with our Tyler Asay. Read that story here, stream Glimpse below and get more info on tonight’s 21+ show at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Continue reading →

By

Just Announced: Aphra, Ivy Sole and Cheeky will play The Key’s Philly Showcase at MilkBoy in August

Aphra | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Aphra | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

This summer, we’re bringing some of our favorite local artists to the stage of MilkBoy in Center City for The Key’s Philly Music Showcase. Last month, we announced the inaugural gig on July 26th — a rock-forward lineup featuring Resilient, Honeytiger and The Vernes. Today, we bring you the lineup for show number two, which veers in an electropop / R&B / hip-hop direction.
Continue reading →

By

Listen to The Blair Brothers talk film scoring and Philly collaboration on XPN Local

The Blair Brothers | photo courtesy of the artist
The Blair Brothers | photo courtesy of the artist

Before they co-founded the aughties Philly rock outfit East Hundred, brothers Will Blair and Brooke Blair had a background in film and music video. After the band parted ways in 2011, they turned their sights back to that world, and it’s since become their full-time gig.

Out of a small studio on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, The Blair Brothers have crafted the tense sonic textures and evocative musical backdrops to a number of indie films of the suspense-driven variety; their big break came with Jeremy Saulnier’s acclaimed 2014 film Blue Ruin, and they’ve since teamed up with the director again on last year’s Green Room, and worked with their brother Macon on I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore.

Tomorrow, their latest soundtrack hits iTunes; it’s for Evan Katz’s Netflix thriller Small Crimes, and it draws on a variety of styles, from traditional salsa to mysterious jazz and haunting ambient textures. The Blair Brothers appeared on the WXPN Local Show this Tuesday evening to discuss their return to film, reflect on scores that inspired them and to share songs from the soundtrack. Continue reading →

By

PREMIERE: Brackish celebrates its home state and late bandmate on “Teflon”

Brackish | photo by Kendall Sharpe | courtesy of the artist

Philly-based punk four-piece Brackish returns this spring with a new EP, Coming Down – coming out this summer on 7″ vinyl via Black Numbers Records.

Today we’re happy to bring to a listen to “Teflon,” a chugging riff rocker from the single that’s at turns reminiscent of The Early November and Gaslight Anthem. As singer-guitarist Connor Byrne tells us over email, the single is something of a tribute to the band’s Jersey roots as well as its late lead guitarist Chris Baranowski, who wrote all the guitar parts for the song. Continue reading →

By

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile made a record together, are touring together, playing the Tower Theater in November

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

This is just too much good news in one shot, so we’ll do our best to keep our excitement in check.

Remember that story this spring about Philly’s Kurt Vile being spotted in Melbourne’s Newmarket Studio with Courtney Barnett? Yeah, well they weren’t just tracking a one-off single or doing some for-funsies collab…it was part of a full record they recorded together.

Better still: they’re taking the album on tour together across north America this fall.

And they’ve an all-star group of players, or what Vile is terming “A cookin’ band and an intercontinental country duo for the ages-minus the country.” The band will be a revolving cast of Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Rob Laakso (The Violators, The Swirlies, Mice Parade) and Katie Harkin (Harkin, Sky Larkin and touring member of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Beasts) They’re calling themselves The Sea Lice.

Oh, and they’re playing The Tower Theater in Upper Darby on Friday, November 3rd. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 9th, at 10 a.m. More info at the XPN Concert Calendar. (Phew.) Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ho99o9 at The Foundry, Twin Peaks at Chameleon Club

Ho99o9 | photo courtesy of the artist
Ho99o9 | photo courtesy of the artist

Founded in Newark, NJ, and based in Los Angeles, CA, the high-energy hip-hop outfit Ho99o9 blends the unflinching lyricism of hiphop with the visceral energy of punk rock. Comprised of theOGM and Eaddy, the duo released its debut LP United States Of Ho99o9 this year, following several years of hotly-received singles and mixtapes, and the record is a pointed collection of scathing social critiques on the state of the nation and the world. Check out the video for the title track below, and see Ho99o9 tonight when it headlines The Foundry of The Fillmore Philadelphia. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Continue reading →