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More GD Gusto: Marge shines on its debut LP Bruise Easy

Marge | Photo courtesy of artist
Marge | Photo courtesy of artist

 

When I first heard a glimmer of Marge‘s new material back in June of last summer, songs like “Give It Time” and “Half Year” simultaneously stole my heart and punched me in the gut — a sort of lovesick ache that comes from such comfortable familiarity. Driving guitars play steadfast under simple yet sharp lyricism that offer up a relatability that’s not easily captured. “The pain feels new” /  “Let your heart rest” / “I had doubts anyway.”

Now, half a year later (not a pun, just a fact) and with a full cannon of work to share, Marge’s first full-length release, Bruise Easy, builds on that palpable sincerity and the results are effortless. Marge will impress you with their subtlety, if you have the ear to catch it all. With 13 tracks of lo-fi, fuzzed out, wailing, zig-zagging mania, the Philly do-it-yourselfers will reel you in with their ’90s alt rock sensibility and swallow you whole with their cutting one liners. Continue reading →

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Of All Things: Joyce Manor rip through first of two sold out shows at the Church

Joyce Manor | Photo by Sydney Schaefer | sydneyschaeferphotos.com
Joyce Manor | Photo by Sydney Schaefer | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

There’s nothing quite like a mid-fall gig at First Unitarian Church, except, of course, the fact that it felt increasingly more like a show in the middle of the dog days of summer with each step taken down to the basement on Friday night. After all, isn’t that the charm of it? Forfeiting sanity, personal space and healthy body temperature regulation just comes with the territory — and there was no better place than here to hold Joyce Manor’s back-to-back sold out Philly dates. Supported by New York up-and-comers Crying and alt heavy-hitters The Hotelier, the night was a showcase of powerful emotions, manifested in intricately diverse forms. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Drake at Wells Fargo Center, Emily Yacina at PhilaMOCA, Ween at Festival Pier

Drake | via facebook.com/Drake

Back in July, Toronto rapper Drake set off on his Summer Sixteen tour in support of his fourth album Views, released in late April of this year, and tonight he heads to the Wells Fargo Center tonight for one of two Philadelphia performances on the four month long tour (the next will be his penultimate stop before two final nights in Newark). Grab tickets and more info on this show by heading over to the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch the music video for Views’ track “Hotline Bling” below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Alice Bag at Treat Y’rself Fest at PhilaMOCA, Family Volleyball at Goldilocks Gallery, Ghost Gum at Everybody Hits, and more

Alice Bag | via Don Giovanni Records

Punk rocker, feminist and educator Alice Bag will be headlining tonight’s Treat Y’rself Fest at PhilaMOCA, a benefit for March to End Rape Culture. The all day festival includes an absolutely stacked lineup of 12 local and surrounding area musicians as well as a documentary screening for an event all about safe, inclusive, accessible spaces and self-care. More information on this event can be found on its Facebook event page here. Check out Bag’s track “Modern Day Virgin Sacrifice” off Don Giovanni Records below. Continue reading →

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YJY provides the perfect end of summer soundtrack with a new EP, The Same Noise

YJY | photo by Jill Hendershott | courtesy of the band
YJY | photo by Jill Hendershott | courtesy of the band

Jersey alt wunderkinds YJY just released their sophomore EP The Same Noise — and it’s anything but. Hurdling the band into more refined territory since debut EP Couch Surfin’ USA, piecing together four tracks with diverse qualities and standing out from the rest of the scene, YJY’s The Same Noise is the result of being unabashedly true to yourself and your craft — a mentality that simply couldn’t end in the status quo. Comprised of surf-tinged opener “Summer Lifeguard,” quirky pop “Past My Prime,” the anecdotal “Through Being Hip” and light as air closing track “Evergreens,” the new EP captures a mood and translates it amongst several different sounds and styles. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Earth, Wind and Fire at The Borgata, Broken Beak at PhilaMOCA, The Youngers at Sellersville Theater, and more

Earth Wind and Fire | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Earth Wind and Fire | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Funky soul legends Earth, Wind and Fire take up a two night residency at The Borgata hotel and casino in Atlantic City tonight and tomorrow evening. As a band that has been writing, recording and touring since 1971, it’s no surprise their career spans genres, lineups and generations of fans. Bringing all their very best to the stage once more, this is your chance to see one of the greats live. Tickets and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch the music video for the 1981 hit “Let’s Groove” below. Continue reading →

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Mumblr perform album bookends as part of the Out of Town Films series

Mumblr | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN
Mumblr | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Performing two live sessions for Philly film collective Out of Town Films, local rockers Mumblr chose to highlight two songs that would encompass their June sophomore release The Never Ending Get Down — album bookends “Mudmouth” and “Domingo.” Certainly different but nevertheless complementing one another, “Mudmouth” is the zany companion to the ever heavy “Domingo.” Continue reading →

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A Day Without Love shares music video for new LP title track “Solace”

Brian Walker
Brian Walker |Photo by Abi Reimold

As the trees pass by at speeds that make them morph into nothing more than a sea of green, we are reintroduced to Philly alternative musician Brian Walker’s project A Day Without Love in the latest music video for “Solace.” Sitting on a train unaware of the scenes shooting pass him, a common theme of the video quickly becomes the viewers ability to see more of the world around Walker than he does.

Utterly distracted or desperately seeking to blend in with his surrounding, quietly going by unnoticed like an introvert’s dream, Walker floats through his day enraptured by his cellphone. Missing countless (and surely more important) human interactions along the way, it’s a compelling reflection of a society stuck to the virtual and missing out on the actual. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Indie tunesmiths Whaler hold their own in “Deep End”

Whaler | photo by Frank Apollonio | www.frankapollonio.com
Whaler | photo by Frank Apollonio | www.frankapollonio.com

Some may call Philly’s Whaler fuzzed out lo-fi — a happy dosage of surfer vibes and slacker rock. But that’s a total injustice if you listened to the polished intricacies of their latest two song single Deep End. Though certainly beachy as times, there’s not much about this release that comes across as thrown together or unthoughtful, as the slacker genre would have you believe. Every note hits a sweet spot, a colorful combination of easy indie infused with swirling synths. Continue reading →