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XPoNential Artist Spotlight: Ryan Kattner of Man Man talks kids, celebs, and how we should all bring him cloaks for #XPNFest

Honus Honus (Photo by Rachel Barris)
Honus Honus (Photo by Rachel Barris)

I’ve been a fan fan of Man Man for almost a decade now—the same amount of time I’ve lived in Philadelphia. Coincidence? Maybe. But I think there’s something quintessentially Philly about this wacky foursome—something passionate, and unhinged, and maybe a little sweaty—with a big heart underneath all the face-paint. For the past 10 years, I’ve loved watching them grow with the city, transitioning from a ragtag group of gypsy punk weirdos singing fantasy-inspired chants—to a (more) polished quartet crafting real moments of heartache—while never losing their unique essence.

From the start, front man Ryan Kattner (a.k.a. Honus Honus) has been the driving creative force behind the band, as well as one of our fave interview subjects. One year after our last chat, I rung up Kattner again, in advance of Man Man’s set at XPoNential Fest. We talked kids, celebs, and audience requests—read on to get the full scoop. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Purling Hiss at Spruce Street Harbor, Sarah McLachlan at the Mann, Yikes the Zero at Kung Fu Necktie

purling hiss
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/PurlingHiss

Philly fuzz rockers Purling Hiss will play a free show tonight at the Spruce Street Harbor as a fundraiser for Vox Populi Gallery.   A re-issue of their 2011 record, Dizzy Polizzy, was recently released and we can expect their new record, Drag City, on September 23rd.  Click here for more info about the pop-up show tonight. Continue reading →

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Commonwealth Choir, Pine Barons, Weekender and more to play at BITBY Summer Sounds

commonwealthchoir
Photo by Mike Bucher

Bands in the Backyard is bringing together some of Philly’s best for a one-night-only concert at the Theater of the Living Arts. BITBY will host the concert Summer Sounds on August 15. It’s a killer lineup topped by Bucks County rock band Commonwealth Choir as headliner (fresh off their slot at XPoNential Music Festival this weekend). Continue reading →

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Rock out with Cheerleader, The Lawsuits, Our Griffins and more at MilkBoy’s free three-day birthday party

Photo courtesy of artist.
Photo courtesy of artist.

Center city venue MilkBoy its third anniversary next month with three days of free shows. The party also marks the 20th anniversary of its parent company, MilkBoy the Studio. From August 14 to 16th, the venue will host phenomenal performances from artists like The Ataris, Cheerleader, and the Lawsuits. To help you map out your show-going, we’ve highlighted an artist (or two) for each day. Continue reading →

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The shape-shifting OOIOO plays a transcendent set at Johnny Brenda’s

OOIOO | Photo by Shaun Brady
OOIOO | Photo by Shaun Brady

Hearing OOIOO live is an experience akin to staring at one of those illustrated illusions, where a seemingly simple picture appears to be first one thing, then another – a duck that turns into a rabbit, or an old lady into a young girl. When the Japanese band plays, they lock into long, repetitive grooves that undergo similar transitions – you sway for a while to their tribal grooves when suddenly your focus shifts and they become an eccentric prog band, or you grin at their infectiously skewed take on girl-group pop before you’re suddenly taken aback by their raw punk energy. Continue reading →

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Imperfect Perfection: Neutral Milk Hotel plays an elated set at the Mann Center

There’s probably no indie rock group surrounded by more enigma than Neutral Milk Hotel. Their second record, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, is considered by many to be one of those elusive perfect albums. I’m not quite sure about perfect (maybe it’s just that I have a minor beef with “King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 2”, but not 3), but it’s certainly a record unlike anything else I’ve ever heard. To add to the intrigue, the band’s auteur, Jeff Mangum, played white rabbit in a magic trick and, for all intents and purposes, disappeared from the public eye a year after Aeroplane‘s release. After a decade of near hermitage, Mangum started playing shows, and has just recently reunited the original Aeroplane lineup for a reunion tour. Even though he’s no longer in mysterious hiding, he refuses to give an interview, record a followup record, or even be photographed. I guess it’s a case of wanting the music to speak for itself, but the world may never really know. So just as with any great indie rock show, music geeks, hipsters and fans of beards alike made their way out to The Mann Center on a beautiful midsummer evening to hear the most mystifying act in music. Continue reading →

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A focus on Fred Cockerham’s “Little Satchel” and a tight session with Mason Porter, tonight on Folkadelphia Radio

fredcockerham
Fred Cockerham

Nothing can stand in the way of true love or at least that’s what we’re led to believe. In fact, it seems, that many obstacles on this earth can block the meeting of two lovers. Such is the case in “Little Satchel,” a song composed by North Carolinian fiddle and banjo player Fred Cockerham. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ex Hex at Johnny Brenda’s, Sun Kil Moon at Union Transfer, Bronze Radio Return at Haddon Lake Park

exhex
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/pages/EX-HEX/174274669425857

Ex Hex is the new project from Mary Timony (formerly of Helium and Wild Flag).  Their newest single “Don’t Wanna Lose” is explosive from the outset; it is loud, in your face and full of girl power.  Listen below and see their show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s along with Hospitality and local fuzz-pop outfit Hurry.  This show is 21+. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Veruca Salt at TLA, Michael Franti and Spearhead at Mann Center, Conjunto Chapptoin y Sus Estrellas at World Cafe Live

Photo Credit: Gary Kordan
Photo by Gary Kordan

Chicago alt-rocke four-piece Veruca Salt will be at TLA tonight.  The band reunited after a fifteen year (too) long hiatus, and have been touring all around the U.S.  About a month ago, they released a new single titled “It’s Holy,” which you can hear below. Find tickets for the all ages show here. Doors open at 7pm.

Continue reading →

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