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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Dove and The Wolf at MilkBoy, Get Up With It at Johnny Brenda’s, The Ok-Oks at Chameleon Club and more

the dove & the wolf
The Dove & The Wolf | photo by Colin Kerrigan | courtesy of the artist

Paris-founded, Philly-based duo The Dove and The Wolf captured a lot of people’s attention this year – locally and beyond – with their excellent EP, I Don’t Know What To Feel. With atmospheric guitar tones, moving lyrics and delicate harmonies, the duo evokes any number of artists from Azure Ray to The War on Drugs (whose Dave Hartley produced the new EP) to Neil Young and The Grateful Dead. Tonight they headline MilkBoy in center city; Dirty Dollhouse opens the gig. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch the band’s new video for “The Smell of Us” below and check out their Key Studio Session here. Continue reading →

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Lithuania join members of Speedy Ortiz, Laser Background and more for Steely Dan tribute in Brooklyn

steely dan
Lithuania | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo racheldelsordophotography.com

Tis the season of Yacht Rock, and what better way to celebrate than with a Steely Dan tribute show chock full of some of our favorite artists?

Eric Slick and The Talkhouse curated Reelin’ In the Years: a Tribute to Steely Dan as a spin-off of an in-depth piece the Dr. Dog drummer wrote, and they’ve wrangled members of Speedy Ortiz, Laser Background, The So So Glos, and Ava Luna, along with Ian Sweet, Twiga, Bad Faces and Slick’s own Dan-influenced Lithuania to be a part of it.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Drake at Wells Fargo Center, Emily Yacina at PhilaMOCA, Ween at Festival Pier

Drake | via facebook.com/Drake

Back in July, Toronto rapper Drake set off on his Summer Sixteen tour in support of his fourth album Views, released in late April of this year, and tonight he heads to the Wells Fargo Center tonight for one of two Philadelphia performances on the four month long tour (the next will be his penultimate stop before two final nights in Newark). Grab tickets and more info on this show by heading over to the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch the music video for Views’ track “Hotline Bling” below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Alice Bag at Treat Y’rself Fest at PhilaMOCA, Family Volleyball at Goldilocks Gallery, Ghost Gum at Everybody Hits, and more

Alice Bag | via Don Giovanni Records

Punk rocker, feminist and educator Alice Bag will be headlining tonight’s Treat Y’rself Fest at PhilaMOCA, a benefit for March to End Rape Culture. The all day festival includes an absolutely stacked lineup of 12 local and surrounding area musicians as well as a documentary screening for an event all about safe, inclusive, accessible spaces and self-care. More information on this event can be found on its Facebook event page here. Check out Bag’s track “Modern Day Virgin Sacrifice” off Don Giovanni Records below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Earth, Wind and Fire at The Borgata, Broken Beak at PhilaMOCA, The Youngers at Sellersville Theater, and more

Earth Wind and Fire | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Earth Wind and Fire | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Funky soul legends Earth, Wind and Fire take up a two night residency at The Borgata hotel and casino in Atlantic City tonight and tomorrow evening. As a band that has been writing, recording and touring since 1971, it’s no surprise their career spans genres, lineups and generations of fans. Bringing all their very best to the stage once more, this is your chance to see one of the greats live. Tickets and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch the music video for the 1981 hit “Let’s Groove” below. Continue reading →

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14 must-see performances at the Philadelphia Folk Festival

River Whyless | Photo courtesy of the artist
River Whyless | Photo courtesy of the artist

The 55th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival kicks off tonight, and over the next four days, it will explore the many definitions of folk music in the verdant fields of Schwenksville. You’ll hear heritage songsmiths like Peter Yarrow and Iris Dement as well as contemporary torch-bearers like Anderson East and The Lone Bellow, artists that draw on traditions from cajun (The Pine Leaf Boys) to French-Acadian (Vishti). With local troubadour and story-slinger Wesley Stace overseeing the proceedings along with longtime MC Gene Shay, the Festival boasts one of its strongest lineups in years, and we’re super excited to immerse ourselves in its world. We already gave you an overview of the incredible roster of regional performers on the festival; here are 14 more performers that we’re not planning on missing, and you should do the same. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Heart Harbor

Kerry Hallett has come a long way since her first-ever open mic at Atlantis: The Lost Bar in 2005. The Philadelphia-based singer, guitarist, songwriter and mastermind behind Heart Harbor has bounced between cities and coasts over the past decade and change, landing on a great batch of songs and the remarkable Tender Trap EP, which came out last autumn.
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Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Celebrate 10 years of Johnny Brenda’s with Bardo Pond, Birds of Maya, Hurry, Frances Quinlan from Hop Along and more

Hop Along | Photo by John Vettese
Hop Along onstage at Johnny Brenda’s | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

There are definitely times when I love being wrong about things. Like the first time I went to Johnny Brenda’s: in fall of 2006, right after I first began as a volunteer with WXPN. It was a Silversun Pickups show, if you can believe that – Viva Voce opened. The Fishtown pub had recently re-invented itself as a 200-cap venue and, waiting for the show to start, I went to the bar to order a beer.

This was coming off of a half dozen years of living and breathing The Khyber, mind you, so I asked for a Yeungling. “We don’t have Yeungling,” the bartender sniffed. “Um, okay, PBR?” The bartender silently pointed to a chalkboard listing the all-local craft beer venue, which I simply could not wrap my brain around. No PBR? No Yeungling? I grabbed the cheapest thing (something called Kenzinger) and went back to my friends. “Dude, no Yeungling,” I said. “This place is gonna FAIL.”

Oh, young John, you had so much to learn.

Not only did JBs not fail – and thank the gods for that – it’s thrived for the past decade at the corner of Frankford and Girard, weathering rough years in the national music industry and seismic ripples in the local concertgoing landscape. It withstood the opening of the much-heralded and exactly-the-same-size’d Boot and Saddle; both clubs do their respective things in tandem with reliably strong calendars. It’s been dogged by the change in Fishtown and persists in the face of broverflow – though, seriously, if you’re grabbing food after 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, prepare yourself a very different world than it was at the start.

Most importantly, Johnny Brenda’s has been a welcoming home for the Philadelphia music community – the “made it” stage that upstart bands of all stripes aspire to, from Meg Baird to The Bul Bey to Abi Reimold and more. It’s the scene of secret celebrations for big hometown names like The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile; it’s held memorable New Years’ Eve throwdowns with A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Hop Along. And appropriately, to mark its 10 years on the Philly scene, it’s celebrating with two nights of all local music. Continue reading →

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15 local artists to discover at the Philadelphia Folk Festival

Bethlehem and Sad Patrick | via Facebook.com/besadmusic

If you’re talking about summer music festivals repping Philly artists, nobody is more inclusive than the annual Philadelphia Folk Festival. Held in the rolling fields of upper Montgomery County for the past 55 years, the festival will welcome dozens of regional performers to the stage when it kicks off on Thursday, August 18th, and runs through Sunday August 21st. While we’re psyched to see everybody from our neck of the woods, we’ve rounded up a list of 15 can’t-miss locals performing this weekend at PFF this weekend. Read more below and let it be your homegrown festival guide. Continue reading →