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The Week Ahead: Hiss Golden Messenger, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Caracara, State Property and more

DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s another chill week, but we’re fortunate in Philly when a chill week still means we’ve got a diverse spread of concert options large and small. The DIY scene goes acoustic in the First Unitarian Church side chapel, a Philly legend cuts it up on the 1’s and 2’s, a cult favorite of reggae at Kung Fu Necktie, and a reunion by a force of nature in 90s rap: here are ten concerts to see all around Philadelphia in the next seven days.  Continue reading →

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Head-Banging Brilliance: The Front Bottoms do what they do best at The Fillmore

The Front Bottoms | Photo by: Ellen Miller for WXPN | ellencm.com
The Front Bottoms | photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN | ellencm.com

It’s 2010. You’re at a dive bar somewhere in North Jersey when this little band comes on whose name you never learned. The set goes by in a flash, a livewire of spunky punk-rock anthems of love had and lost, of pissy angst, of singular moments in hectic adolescence.

Cut to eight years later at a massive club in Philadelphia, where this same band, who you now know and love as The Front Bottoms, has cultivated their sticky-as-the-barroom-floor sound into an aesthetic all their own. Continue reading →

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Miles Away: Explore a dream gig of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Ted Leo at the First Unitarian Church in 2001

Yeah Yeah Yeahs | still from video

The maddening thing about music from the post-internet, pre-social media aughties: it is woefully under-documented in the digital ephemera of today.

This is after guerrilla videographers stopped hauling bulky camcorders to shows and before digital cameras were capable of filming anything that wasn’t a pixelated mess. This is when concerts were photographed mostly on film, and the photographers maybe didn’t have enough time to get five HQ scans of their images, much less fifty. This is the era of tours still being plotted and shows still being logged on paper, and maybe those notes have not yet been transferred with any sense of definitiveness to Setlist.fm (if they exist at all anymore). This was before Friendster even existed, much less MySpace, much less Facebook.

That’s why we have to say things like “what appears to be Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ first Philadelphia concert,” since we’re not 100% certain they didn’t play at least once before this gig on December 16th, 2001. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Phosphorescent lives up to their name at World Cafe Live

Phosphorescent at WXPN’s Free At Noon Concert | photo by Taylor Johnson for WXPN

Merriam Webster dictionary defines phosphorescence as “luminescence that is caused by the absorption of radiations (such as light or electrons) and continues for a noticeable time after these radiations have stopped.” Minus the more science-y parts of that, one can only assume that Phosphorescent is going for a similar vibe with their music. Though the hazy glow that envelops the band during their live set is technically thanks to the lighting crew, their soft and airy songs are lush and drawn-out, winding on and on in a way that breathes life into their mouthful of a name. Continue reading →

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Weezer takes on the extravagant Met Philly with a nonstop hit-parade

Weezer | photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

On Wednesday night, Los Angeles rockers Weezer landed on North Broad Street to perform at the newly opened Met Philly. The four-piece group dropped in on tour in advance of their upcoming album, the black album coming in March 2019.

Weezer has always been the band in the back of your mind that you think of as an eclectic cornucopia of genres — rock ’n roll, surf rock, alternative, pop, but always leaning on the indie rocker vibes. Their songs have resonated with so many since the mid ’90’s self-titled (blue) album came out. Many of those classics were also played in the grand room at The Met. Already a unique venue to see a “legacy alternative rock” band, and having just held its opening night concert with Bob Dylan the week before, it was actually the perfect space for this performance. Because many Weezer fans have been intimately listening to the band since they were teenagers, the large-scale, extravagant venue felt like a better fit than a Frankford Hall or Fillmore. Continue reading →

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Firefly 2019’s lineup led by Panic! At The Disco, Travis Scott, Post Malone, with Courtney Barnett, Vampire Weekend, Hop Along on the undercard

from left, Panic! At The Disco | photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN // Travis Scott | photo by Isaiah Spicer for WXPN // Post Malone | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

While Firefly‘s recently-announced 2019 lineup isn’t doing anything to improve the Dover, Delaware festival’s track record of booking overwelmingly male headliners, seeing psychedelic rap visionary Travis Scott take the big-font Saturday-night prime slot is indeed a silver lining, especially in the wake of his ridiculous ASTROWORLD tour stop at the Wells Fargo Center.

Scott is sandwiched between Friday’s appearance from pop punk dramatists Panic! At the Disco and Sunday’s closing set from hip-hop’s voice of suburban ennui, Post Malone, who admittedly has a few catchy songs in his playbook. But as the case is with most festivals of this scale, the true excitement at Firefly lies in its undercard. Continue reading →

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Two to Tango: hackedepicciotto and Eric Hubel

HackdePicciotto | photo by Sylvia Steinhäuser | courtesy of the artist

hackedepicciotto and Eric Hubel may, at first, seem as if they come from two different worlds with wide paths. The married twosome behind hackedepicciotto – Alexander Hacke and Danielle de Picciotto – come from the noise and beauty of, respectively, Einstürzende Neubauten and the Love Parade, and together have found an elegant, elegiac center point filed with auto harp and kemençe, for their divergent aesthetics within cool works such as Menetekel and Joy.

When Eric Hubel isn’t busy with his certification from Manhattan’s Dharma Yoga center where he is both teacher and student), the string-focused multi-instrumentalist, composer and performance artist, has worked with the likes of Glenn Branca, Eliot Goldenthal and Hackedepicciotto throughout their recoded catalog. Now, the three are touring as a full-evening of thunder and lightning with Hubel not only opening for Hackedepicciotto, but playing with the ensemble on December 11 at PhilaMOCA.  Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Phosphorescent, Ingrid Michaelson, Cat Power, Bouncing Souls

Cat Power
Cat Power | photo by Eliot Lee Hazel | courtesy of the artist

We’re in the year-end wind-down zone, but that doesn’t mean you should plan on spending the next week huddling up at home and binge watching Schitt’s Creek (though that wouldn’t be a terrible idea in moderation). We’ve flagged a several shows that are totally worth your attention, beginning tomorrow night with rock legend Ronnie Spector in Bethlehem, and carrying through Sunday when Bouncing Souls take on The Queen in Wilmington. Here are 12 concerts you can see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Lucy Dacus will headline Union Transfer in March

Lucy Dacus | courtesy of Matador Records

After a busy 2018, Lucy Dacus has just announced her next tour, which will bring her to Union Transfer on March 21 for her biggest Philly show yet. The tour will take Dacus up and down the East Coast and through the Midwest, stopping in some smaller cities she’s never played before. She’ll be joined by illuminati hotties for the first leg and Mal Blum and Fenne Lily for the second leg. Continue reading →