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Oh my, Clique’s got a stalker in creepy new video for “Usage”

clique
Clique | photo courtesy of the band

It seems that Philly punk four-piece, Clique, has a bit of a stalker situation in the new video for their song “Usage.” An opening shot introduces a man in his car, swigging back shots from a flask and getting his video camera ready. Creepiness immediately ensues when it becomes apparent that the man is stalking and filming the band members. Continue reading →

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Philly basement rock newcomers Henry roll out a double release, Is Paris Burning? and oui ja yes!

Henry | photo via henrypa.bandcamp.com

If you haven’t heard of new Philly band Henry yet, you have much wonderful listening to do. Previously working under the name Bloom, the band recently released not one, but two brand spanking new albums, Is Paris Burning? and oui ja yes!. While a double album release may sound like quite a hefty move for such a fresh band, these releases sound anything but fledgling. Though Henry incorporates various genres and sounds throughout the albums, they refrain from sounding finicky and unsure by exuding a noticeable element of confidence –weaving a cohesive, mature effect throughout the albums. Continue reading →

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Interview: Craig Finn talks Hold Steady anniversary, Seth Meyers, and his new solo record We All Want The Same Things

Craig Finn | photo via Partisan Records

Craig Finn may have spent years as the bar-band king of The Hold Steady and Lifter Puller, but the Minneapolis son has always primarily been a songwriter. Finn releases his third solo record, We All Want The Same Things, this Friday, March 24th, and it’s an exercise in both eloquent lyrical imagery and textured melodic phrasing. It’s only been a short while since his last solo outing, 2015’s Faith In The Future, but Finn has kept busy writing like he always does best: Pulling apart his specific characters and the exact moments from their daily life to tell a grander story. Whether it’s hanging in the park drinking dark Bacardi, fumbling through the jitterbug, or waiting on a savior to come, Finn writes slice of life epics that bring you with him.

His US tour with Japandroids ended a couple days ago, but I got a chance to sit down with him before their show at Union Transfer last month. We spoke about his thought process going into the new record, his residency with the house band on Late Night With Seth Meyers, the Boys And Girls In America anniversary shows, and more. Finn will be returning to Philadelphia this Saturday to play a free in-store performance at Main Street Music, open to fans who pre-order his new record. Read our conversation below. Continue reading →

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New documentary short highlights Christopher Sean Powell’s experimental sounds

christopher sean powell
Christopher Sean Powell | photo courtesy of the artist

Best known for his work as drummer in local avant-pop outfit Man Man, Christopher Sean Powell is an explorer of sounds with projects that reach far beyond his main gig. In a new documentary short called Sound Experimentation from the folks at Parallax, Powell gets some space to discuss his interest in improvisation and his alternative approaches to music structure.

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Laura Stevenson talks cover songs, creative streaks, constant touring and making a live record for Planned Parenthood

Laura Stevenson | photo by Kenneth Bachor | courtesy of the artist
Laura Stevenson | photo by Kenneth Bachor | courtesy of the artist

Laura Stevenson has been quite busy. Over the past year and a half, the punk scene songwriter fave released her excellent fourth LP, Cocksure, via Don Giovanni Records and went on several back-to-back-to-back laps touring the U.S. and abroad in support of it. She hit the festival circuit last summer, released a live album this winter, and appeared on the Don’t Stop Now covers compilation to benefit the ACLU. Somewhere along the way, she found a minute to marry her bass player, Mike Campbell.

Live At the Vera Club came out in December, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Planned Parenthood. It captures a night at the storied club and community creative space in Groningen, situated in the North of the Netherlands. The crowd was small, Stevenson recalls in the album notes, and she couldn’t speak Dutch, so she wasn’t as chatty as usual, but the show rules — the band sounds tremendous, from the uppers like “Torch Song” and “Runner” to the slow burn of “Out With a Whimper” and “Renee,” and a delightful cover of “Alex Chilton” by The Replacements.

Stevenson and her band — Campbell, Alex Billig on accordion and keys, John Burdick on guitar, and Sammi Niss on drums – just headed out on an east coast tour that brings them to Boot and Saddle Thursday. When I caught up with Stevenson via phone from the Hudson Valley home she’s lived in for the past few years, she had just gotten back from a solo tour of Australia with the frontpersons of various down-under DIY acts: Iona Cairns of Shit Present, Lucy Wilson of The Sugarcanes and Wil Wagner of Smith Street Band. We began by discussing this photo of them cuddling a chill koala named Waffles at the Lone Pine Sanctuary in Brisbane. Continue reading →

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March 21 in Music History: Faces and the Pixies release their debut albums

Faces

1952 – Cleveland stakes a claim on Rock history when the Moondog Coronation Ball is held at the Cleveland Arena. Organized by the WJW DJ Alan Freed (“Moondog” on the air), it is widely considered the first Rock concert, with Billy Ward and The Dominoes, Tiny Grimes, and Paul Williams on the bill. The crowd goes over capacity and police shut down the show because of fire code violations after just one song by Williams. The event proves to the music industry that this type of R&B music has widespread appeal.

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