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The Stray Birds celebrate Best Medicine with intimate show at World Cafe Live

The Stray Birds
The Stray Birds | photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Thursday, music fans flocked to World Cafe Live to witness the record release show of a very special feather — The Stray Birds. The trio out of Lancaster cracked open their just-released Best Medicine and strutted their Americana for a highly appreciative audience.

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MusicNotes from the XPN Morning Show: Allman Brothers Band plays final show at Beacon Theater, New film-doc shows how music helps dementia patients, & Watch Ingrid Michaelson’s video for “Afterlife”

Karsten Moran for The New York Times
Karsten Moran for The New York Times

The Allman Brothers Band concert, this past Tuesday night at the Beacon Theater in New York City, was most likely the last in the band’s remarkable 45 year history. Continue reading →

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Primus make a career-defining statement at the Tower with Chocolate Factory show

Primus
Primus & The Chocolate Factory | photo by Julie Miller

Primus has nothing to prove to anybody.  They are at a golden point in their career that very few of their 90s contemporaries have been able to reach.  They have paid their dues, crafted a completely unique and totally unmistakable sound, worked tirelessly for years to carve out a loyal cult of a fanbase, and now can essentially expound upon any creative whim they happen to have at any given time.  This point was driven home at their Primus & The Chocolate Factory tour opener at The Tower Theater last Wednesday night.

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The Kills give fans something to cheer about at The Trocadero

The Kills
The Kills | photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Wednesday’s oppressive rain was perfectly complemented by the bluesy punk of the duo of Allison Mosshart and Jamie Hince, better known as The Kills. Dropping into the Trocadero in between two appearances in New York City, they stormed through a set of songs that resonated with their Philly fans from start to finish.

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Dads takes on one of the last regularly scheduled shows at the First Unitarian Church

Dads | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Dads | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Last month R5 productions announced that they would be scaling way on booking shows at the legendary First Unitarian Church basement (read full story here). Emo heavyweights Dads hit the stage Thursday night as one of the last regularly scheduled at The Church. Dads is on tour in support of their new album I’ll be the Tornado which was released October 17th on 6131 Records. I’ll be the Tornado shows huge strives in maturity for the band. They do away with the two minute tracks and tongue in  cheek lyrics seen on their first full length American Radass (This is Important) and put forth forth a much more thoughtful sophomore album. They brought fourth a huge amount of depth in their live performance, mixing slower, more introspective songs with their usual fair of loud high energy fair. In true First Unitarian Church style crowd surfers flew onto the stage during old favorites “Shit Twins” and “Groin Twerk.” Seeing Dads live I am always amazed by how the band can get such complex sounds with sofew people on stage. Continue reading →

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Temples and The Districts excite the Union Transfer crowd

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

English psychedelic rock band Temples hit the stage at Union Transfer on Saturday night playing to a packed crowd. Touring in support of their debut album Sun Structures, which was released in February, the UK four-piece already has a close following. For such a young group, they have received positive album reviews and praise from respected musicians such as Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher. Continue reading →

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Dancing Like A Wild Fire: Bombay Bicycle Club and more at Union Transfer

Bombay Bicycle Club / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Bombay Bicycle Club / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

“All right, let’s get this dance party going!” Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman beckoned as he brought forward a small drumset and launched straight into “Feel” off of 2014′s So Long, See You Tomorrow.

Tuesday evening, Union Transfer filled up with a mixed crowd of older adults tapping into their youth, teens trying to amp up their cool, and every age in between fashioning beanies, boots, and military jackets. But as broad as the crowd might have been, they all gathered with one thing in common… a love for the London-based indie rock six-piece. Continue reading →

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I’m Shakin’: World Cafe Live was rocked by Shakey Graves

photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

I’m not gonna lie: The first time I was introduced to Shakey Graves, I was more than a bit skeptical. A fellow music nerd showed me a video of Graves jangling away on his arch-top guitar, stomping like mad on a suitcase-turned-kick-drum, yowling away about God knows what, and I instantly reacted with the obligatory “UGH. Yet another Mumford-esque, insipid, nu-folkster poseur.”

In the interstitial year or so, I’ve come around to Graves. And after seeing him perform live at a very sold-out World Café on Wednesday night, I must say: If it is all just an act, then it’s a pretty damn good one. Graves—the stage name of one Alejandro Rose-Garcia—brought his deeply rooted brand of stomp-folk to Philly in support of his brilliant, just-released album, And The War Came. Continue reading →