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Just Announced: Davy Knowles will play World Cafe Live on 10/27

Davy Knowles | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

After slaying the Marina Stage this Sunday at XPNFest, British guitarist Davy Knowles will bring his virtuosic blues chops to World Cafe this October. Since splitting from the band Back Door Slam, Knowles put out two albums in the last three years — The Outsider in 2014 and Three Miles from Avalon, which climbed the Billboard Blues Albums Chart shortly after its release. Knowles and his band tend to have a symbiotic relationship with the crowd; each feeds off the other’s energy. His deep voice is a perfect companion to his dark, gritty guitar solos. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Sweet Spirit brings the party to World Cafe Live on 10/5

Sweet Spirit | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

If you happened to have missed Sweet Spirit‘s rock and roll party on the stage at this year’s XPN fest, you’ll have another chance to see them belt, shred and tear up the room at World Cafe Live this October. The Austin-based eight-piece band’s latest record, St. Mojo, sports some high-energy, danceable tracks, like “The Power” and “I Wanna Have You.” Really the whole album is pretty much a riot, but the relatively peaceful, artistic kind. Continue reading →

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Philly’s Church Girls drop “Better Off,” a glorious preview of Hidalgo

Church Girls | photo courtesy of churchgirls.bandcamp.com

Philly-based indie rock quartet Church Girls is gearing up to release their second album, Hidalgo, on September 15th. Front woman Mariel Beaumont’s knack for frequenting basement shows and drinking 40’s in her teenage years seems to have seeped into her guitar-forward, rough-around-the-edges songwriting; melodic electric guitar work and snappy drum riffs are at the core of “Better Off,” a preview from the new record.

If it’s any indication of the rest of the album, maybe we’re in for more pop than punk. The band initially turned heads with their debut EP in 2015, and will most likely do the same with this latest collection of songs, however stylistically different from their first record. Take a listen to “Better Off.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Harmony Woods at Everybody Hits, Driftwood Soldier at Bond Villain, Ride at TLA and more

Harmony Woods | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Sofia Verbilla is at the songwriting helm of Harmony Woods, a relatively new installment to Philly’s rock scene. They just released their first record, Nothing Special, which, contrary to what its title might suggest, is quite lovely. Verbilla has put together a very genuine, sophisticated set of sometimes folky, sometimes punky songs. In the studio, she is joined by Brendan Lukens on lead guitar, Sophy Kelsall on bass and  Jeremy Berkin on drums; the live lineup varies from gig to gig. The current Harmony Woods configuration is wrapping up its summer tour, and plays a homecoming gig at Everybody Hits tonight. Listen to “Renovations” and check out details on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Amanda X at Boot and Saddle, Madalean Gauze at Johnny Brenda’s, R. Ring at Everybody Hits and more

Amanda X | photo courtesy of the artist
Amanda X | photo courtesy of the artist

Kensington power punk trio Amanda X will bring their high-energy tunes to Boot and Saddle tonight. Comprised of Cat Park on lead guitar, Melissa Brain on drums and Kat Bean on bass, the group doles out hooky guitar riffs, bumping drum grooves and memorable melody lines. This summer, they will release their second full album later this summer, Giant, and based on opening track “Exquisite,” they keep up with their tendency toward dance-able guitar licks, passionate vocal work and well-crafted melodies. Check out the song below and show details at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Continue reading →

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Listen to Digable Planets recorded live at Ardmore Music Hall

via digableplanets.bandcamp.com

It’s been almost exactly a year since hip-hop staples Digable Planets  performed a sold out gig at Ardmore Music Hall, launching their reunion tour in the process. The band recorded their 15-song set and recetly released it as their first live album.

In the record, available for streaming and download on Bandcamp, you can hear MCs Doodlebug, Butterfly and Ladybug spit rhymes with just as much energy as they did 20 years ago; the crowd goes wild just from hearing their introductions. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Fine Motor reflects on change and transition in its debut LP

Fine Motor | photo courtesy of the artist
Fine Motor | photo courtesy of the artist

Casey Bell and Dan Morse, also known as Fine Motor, are readying their debut full-length album, a self-titled project that they began in Philly and took to their new home in Reno, Nevada.

“The album is a product of transition,” says Morse over e-mail. “feeling initially uprooted but then finding a supportive community in Reno. Also, we should point out that both Reno and Philly are gritty, underdog cities. While the weather couldn’t be any more different, the vibe is strangely similar and similarly strange.” Continue reading →

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Members of Clique, Soul Glo and Sororoity Noise team up in En Route

En Route | photo via enroutephl.bandcamp.com

The seeds of Philly-based rock trio En Route came from guitar player and songwriter P.J. Carroll, of the punk four-piece Clique. Carroll teamed up with Soul Glo’s Rubin Polo on bass and Sorority Noise’s Charlie Singer on drums for a set of slightly downtrodden, guitar-infused songs self-described as “early ’90s slow core” on their EP, Then is a Song. Continue reading →