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Field Mouse start at the end with new single, album closer “Out of Context”

field mouse
Field Mouse | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Ahead of their sophomore effort Episodic, due out on August 5th, Topshelf Records darlings Field Mouse have now released the album’s first and last songs as its two first singles.

We heard “The Mirror” earlier this month, a cathartic liberation fit with sneers (an audible, exasperated laugh makes it onto the track) and jeers (the first line holds nothing back with, “what a way to say fuck off”).

Changing pace, and for good reason seeing as an entire album’s worth of material lie in between them, second single “Out of Context” offers what feels like a culmination of the feelings as they may have diminished or burst on the previous tracks. These musical bookends help to define the album’s structure and what we can come to find in a little over a month. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mayer Hawthorne at Union Transfer, Liz Longley at Chameleon Club

Governors' Ball
Mayer Hawthorne

It’s about to get real funky at Union Transfer tonight as we welcome singer / producer / multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne to the stage. His fourth studio album, Man About Town, is an impressive display, not just for its downright groovin’ tracks and old school vibes, but because Hawthorne wrote every single song and played nearly every instrument in the process. Head over to the XPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information on the show and check out the animated music video for “Robot Love” below. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: The Lawsuits make some changes in “Hailstorm” video, announce fall tour

The Lawsuits
The Lawsuits | photo by Ed Newton | courtesy of the artist

They may not be as well known for their hair as some other Philadelphia musicians, but it’s hard not to notice the sheer amount of it that members of The Lawsuits have on their heads (and in some cases faces). The local rockers address that trait in a new video for “Hailstorm,” which we are pleased to premiere today.

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Listen to sixteen minutes of Harmonica Dan jamming with Chris Forsyth

Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band
Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band | photo by Kait Privatera | courtesy of the artist

You never know when Harmonica Dan is going to show up, but it’s always a mesmerizing occasion when he does. Reliably found at Philadelphia Record Exchange in Fishtown, Dan Balcer has been a mainstay of the psych-folk community in town since the treasured days of Jack Rose.

Last month he turned up at Boot & Saddle, joining Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band for what the band leader is calling “The First (Sixteen?) Minutes of Cocksucker Blues.” Adapted from this year’s The Rarity of Experience, the performance takes album cut “The First Ten Minutes of Cocksucker Blues” (named after a Rolling Stones doc) into uncharted territory with Balcer’s playing.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Orion Tango at Ortlieb’s, Mali Music at World Cafe Live

Orion Tango
Orion Tango | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com

Philly guitarist Tim Motzer takes his experimental three piece Orion Tango to Ortlieb’s tonight, making its first performance in Philly proper. We did a studio session with the band back in February and we can’t wait to see how they’ve grown since we last saw them. Get ready for the show by listening to the session recordings below and check out the XPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information. Continue reading →

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Listen to Sara Watkins’ new Young In All the Wrong Ways via NPR Music

sara watkins
Sara Watkins | photo by Maarten deBoer

With her new Young In All the Wrong Ways LP, Sara Watkins steps firmly out of the bluegrass frame and continues on a path of personal and musical evolution that sees the Nickel Creek co-founder declaring the strength of her own person. The album, which comes out Friday, July 1st via New West Records, is up on NPR Music’s First Listen for a week of advance streaming.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Rosali at Ortlieb’s, Modern Baseball at The Fillmore, Good Girl at The Trocadero

rosali middleman
Rosali Middleman | photo by Alyssa Maloof Photography | courtesy of the artist

With the release of her debut LP Out of Love just last month, Rosali is in Philly tonight for a hometown record release show at Ortlieb’s. The folk singer songwriter premiered her music video for the track “Black As Ashes” with us earlier this month and you can check out the kaleidoscopic world she creates below. Check out the XPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information on this show. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Liz De Lise

Philly singer-guitarist Liz de Lise writes arresting songs rooted in observational honesty – whatever tone they happen to take. When we first met her early this winter, the music was jazzy folk-pop, and reminded us of 70s Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro records. The project at hand was a series of monthly DIY videos completed across the course of 2015, preceded by 2014’s To & Fro – an acoustic collection based on stories the songwriter gathered from homeless youth she encountered in Portland, Oregon.

In the time since, de Lise has developed her sound into something more cerebral – yet no less catchy. As we hear in this Key Studio Session, she has two chief collaborators: Mark Watter on bass and vocals (you might know him from Rosu Lup, Caroline Reese + the Drifting Fifth, and his own band Howlish), and a tight network of effects pedals and loopers, which she works with skill and finesse (I guess that’s more of a tool than a collaborator, but you get the picture). The set swallows you in sound, with layers of vocal rounds floating alongside askew lead guitar reminiscent of St. Vincent’s Annie Clark. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Listen to a new song from June Divided’s Melissa Menago, “Traveler”

Melissa Menago } Photo by Lauren Fleming
Melissa Menago } Photo by Lauren Fleming

Little Crimes is the debut solo album from Melissa Menago, from the band June Divided. Out on July 22nd, Menago took time out from her lead singing duties from the band to record the album.

Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Menago attended the Cab Calloway School of the Arts and continued her music education at Drexel University’s music business program. Little Crimes showcases a more intimate, acoustic side of Menago’s music, and features June Divided’s Chris Kissel on guitar and Keith Gill on percussion. Continue reading →