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Members of Hurry, Bleeding Rainbow and Cassavetes will cover Weezer at Yards Brewery this weekend

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This weekend’s Weezer tribute will raise money for breast cancer research and treatment

Awesome event alert: in support of Yards Brewery’s annual Pynk charity ale, a bunch of players from the Philly DIY scene are getting together to cover Weezer this Friday beginning at 7:30 at the Philly beer company’s Delaware Avenue tasting room. The program classic records Pinkerton (get it?) and The Blue Album – which is great news for fans who are on the fence about going to the recently-announced “we’re-playing-our-new-album-in-its-entirety” Trocadero show later this month; this Friday’s homespun gig will have all the fan favorite cuts that you really want to hear (but likely won’t) from the band itself. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lykke Li at Union Transfer, Catfish and the Bottlemen at MilkBoy, and Rise Against at The Tower Theater

Lykke Li | photo via facebook.com/lykkeli
Lykke Li | photo via facebook.com/lykkeli

Swedish indie pop singer Lykke Li plays Union Transfer tonight with Mapei. After emerging on the scene in the late 2000s, Lykke Li has continued to pump out evocative new material that has been incorporated into major motion films including Twilight and The Fault In Our Stars. Her latest album, I Never Learn, was released in May and was caleld”both spartan and expansive” by Pitchfork. Sharing the stage with Mapei, the Swedish-American  R&B pop singer, the show tonight is sure to draw out quite a crowd. Check out her video for “Gunshot” below and visit the XPN Concert Calendar for more information. Continue reading →

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20 Years Later, It’s Still Illmatic: Reflecting on Nas’ milestone debut

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Photo by Danny Clinch

Twenty years ago, rap icon Nas debuted with his critically acclaimed album Illmatic. Since its release, this album has been considered a classic not just by hip hop heads, but by music lovers of all genres. There’s something about the street poetry from the Queensbridge MC that still still captures not only listeners’ ears, but also their minds.

But how do we celebrate 20 years of a milestone album? A couple ways, beginning with the new documentary Time is Illmatic, which takes us into the thought process of the young Nasir Jones when he made his first album, including interviews with Busta Rhymes, Alicia Keys and Pharrell. The tour in support of the documentary – which includes Nas performing the album in its entirety – comes to The Keswick Theater this weekend.

Another question we must think about is what made Illmatic so great? Why is it that this album is still being praised 20 years later? Continue reading →

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Ohio songstress Lydia Loveless rocked MilkBoy with TJ Kong, Josh Olmstead

Lydia Loveless | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Lydia Loveless | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Equal parts rock and country, Lydia Loveless is a shot of rhythmic fire. And for 90-plus minutes last Thursday the Ohio-based songstress and her band held a crowded MilkBoy under her spell.

Only 24, Loveless spins tales of desire and soul with a knowhow of someone twice her age. Her voice curls with country swirl on songs like the utterly brilliant “To Love Somebody,” while her lyrics often instantly become memorable, like on “Verlaine Shot Rimbaud.” Both aforementioned songs are from her solid 2014 album Somewhere Else, which was heavily featured in the setlist. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lantern at Johnny Brenda’s, Imelda May at Union Transfer, and Christopher Willits at First Unitarian Church Side Chapel

Lantern | Photo by John Vettese
Lantern | Photo by John Vettese

Philly blues-punk outfit Lantern will headline Johnny Brenda’s this evening. The three piece rock outfit have proven that rock and roll is most definitely not dead in Philly. With a distortion-induced sound similar to that of Dan Aurbach, the group has an ability to come out with instant hits that will stick in your head. Their most recent album, Rock n’ Roll Rorschach, received much attention locallly and nationally; Tiny Mix Tapes called their sound “a blessing of garage noir”. Check out their music video for “King Of The Jungle” below and find tickets and more information on XPN’s Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Twenty One Pilots blows away the Tower Theater, twice

Twenty One Pilots | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Twenty One Pilots | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Alternative pop/rock duo Twenty One Pilots lit up the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby last night. The Columbus, Ohio band attracted enough fans for two sold-out performances, both Saturday and Sunday. I, along with four city blocks of people, waited outside to get a prime spot for the general admission performance. (Some devoted fans claimed to have spent the night outside the Tower in order to get a front row spot.) Continue reading →

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Banks entrances a sold-out Union Transfer crowd

Banks | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Banks | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Up and coming alternative R&B artist BANKS returned to Philadelphia on Saturday night at Union Transfer as part of her Goddess Tour. Despite the fact that her debut album, Goddess, was only released earlier this month, BANKS already has an impressive following drawing a sold-out crowd for an emotional set of evocative, heartbroken songs. With a two-piece backing playing a mix of drums, keyboard, guitar, and electronic effects, her minimal yet soulful performance entranced the crowd throughout the night. Continue reading →

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The Chiptune Summit: 8static Music Festival

Cheap Dinosaurs will play the 8static music festival
Cheap Dinosaurs

Fresh off an “Event of the Year” nomination in the 2014 Philadelphia Geek Awards, experimental electronic collective 8static is preparing to host its second 8static Festival from October 16th to 18th at the First Unitarian Chuch. The festival will consist of both and audio and visual art by artists using only technology considered to be old or obsolete, re-purposing and giving new life to old gaming objects such as GameBoys and other 8-bit adventure tools. Continue reading →

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Esperanza Spalding brings a spectrum of tastes to the Keswick

Esperanza Spalding | Photo courtesy of the artist
Esperanza Spalding | Photo courtesy of the artist

Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding responded to becoming jazz’s “it girl” – she was, after all, the one artist who could nab a Best New Artist Grammy from under Justin Bieber’s tween-dream coif and win one for the jazz team – by going ambitious. On her last two albums, Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society, Spalding folded all of her multifarious musical interests into two packed albums. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Swimm at MilkBoy, Dawn of Midi at Johnny Brenda’s, and Corners of Sanctuary at Kung Fu Necktie

Swimm
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/swimmmusic

Eclectic Californian duo Swimm will take the stage at MilkBoy tonight to treat the audience to a set of their genre-bending tunes. Their debut EP Feel unexpectedly combines dance, rock and roll, and folk with a hint of psychedelic flair. They recently released Souvenirs II, which includes fast-paced and upbeat “Endlessly” complete with the the catchy sound of a tambourine, and melodic “Wanderer.” For tickets and more information head over to the XPN Concert Calender. Below, watch their performance of “Tisk Tisk.” Continue reading →