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Mumblr returns from the great beyond for a new (final?) album, Genie, and a new video for “Game Show”

Mumblr | still from video

Things have been quiet in the world of once-ubiquitous Philly DIY rock four-piece Mumblr since they wrapped up a tour in late 2016 and played a sold-out Johnny Brenda’s show with The Districts. Not that they haven’t been busy — drummer Scott Stitzer in particular has been recording and mastering several projects, and has drummed in Curtis Cooper’s power trio, among other acts.

But Mumblr remained bubbling in the background, and next month they’ll return with their first album since 2016’s The Never Ending Get Down. Titled Genie, it will be released on April 1st, and the band gave it a bit of a teaser this week with a goofy music video for “Game Show” which depicts the bandmates heads superimposed on vintage game show footage. Unlike the Mumblr of yore, which was typically hard-hitting out the gate, this one starts off tentative and reserved with breezy beats and clean-tone guitars as frontperson Nick Morrison sings about struggling to think of the correct answer on a quiz show, battling the countdown, and realizing “it’s just a waste of my time, a waste of my time, a waste of my time.” Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Low Dose

Like a lot of Philadelphians who encountered them last summer, I was completely taken by surprise the first time I saw Low Dose. It was one of their first-ever shows, it took place at the Everybody Hits batting cages, was headlined by the always-galvanizing Soul Glo, and found the bandmates setting up gear in the wake of an instrument-slamming set by post-hardcore ragers Great Weights — in other words, they were bookended by two fellow Philadelphia punk scene players who don’t skimp on the captivating energy.

Not that it was an obstacle. Frontwoman Itarya Rosenberg stood quietly holding the mic, a brutal guitar riff began looping out of the speakers, and it was like a switch flipped on — bandmates Mike McGinnis on guitar, Jon DeHart on bass, and Dan Smith on drums launched into a crushing jam, Rosenberg crouched to the floor, and howled. I stood to the side, next to Great Weights’ Meri Haines, and we both watched drop-jawed and awestruck. Twenty minutes of poppy hooks, dissonant freakouts, and general punk catharsis later, we looked at one another all like “What the hell was that?”

Low Dose, to put it lightly, knows how to make a formidable first impression. Continue reading →

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Mavis Staples teams up with Ben Harper for new album We Get By

Mavis Staples | photo by Myriam Santos | courtesy of the artist

Mavis Staples has announced that her new album We Get By will be released May 10. Produced by Ben Harper, it will be the legendary songwriter’s 12th studio album. The lead single “Change” is out now, setting the tone for an album that will be filled with Staples’ messages of love and hope for a divided world. Continue reading →

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Tierra Whack’s new song “Unemployed” was co-written with her mom

Tierra Whack | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

One of my favorite parts of seeing Tierra Whack at last year’s Roots Picnic was the moment she got the crowd to chant “HEY MAMA WHACK” for her mother, who was watching the set from backstage. It’s always great to see that, much as an artist might be at the center of the zeitgeist, much as they may have captured the attention and imagination of fans and tastemakers alike, they’re still a real person with real roots, and they’ve still got time for family. And it continues nearly a year later. Continue reading →

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Two To Tango: Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale and Meow Meow

Meow Meow and Thomas Lauderdale | photo via World Cafe Live

Before collaborating on an inter-twisting new album, Hotel Amour, and intertwining set lists the likes of which bring them to World Café Live on March 26, Pink Martini leader and pianist Thomas Lauderdale played accompanist and bestest bud to the toast of the Australian cabaret scene, Melissa Madden Gray, otherwise known as Meow Meow.

For the last 15 years, when Lauderdale wasn’t busy touring the land or hitting recording studios for Pink Martini’s space-age bachelor pad lounge orchestrations, he was tinkling the ivories for the kittenish chanteuse. Now fully united and integrated, the pair discussed their origin story from two parts of the globe during one conversation, with Lauderdale in his home of Portland and Meow calling from London.

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lylyly finds their niche on “Home”

lylyly | photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist

Local garage rockers lylyly are slowly but surely making a name for themselves in Philadelphia. The band just released their second single, “Home,” with news that a full-length album will follow sometime in late 2019. Continue reading →

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Tierra Whack continues #WhackHistoryMonth with the L.A. dystopia “Wasteland”

Tierra Whack | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

New music has been beaming on the regular from the ridiculously creative mind of Philly rapper Tierra Whack. Since mid-February, she’s released several singles under the #WhackHistoryMonth banner, and the latest single — called “Wasteland” — finds Whack on the west coast, ruminating on her surroundings in a serious of free-associative bars. The beat moves at a mellow pace, while Whack’s bars unfurl at double-time, creating a unique low/high energy as she catalogs various observations on L.A. existence.
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