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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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Free at Noon Flashback: Marissa Nadler turns World Cafe Live into the Roadhouse

Marissa Nadler | photo by Taylor Johnson for WXPN

I don’t know if Boston singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler was a fan of Twin Peaks: The Return (or the original series, for that matter) but I could 100% imagine her downbeat, distressed electric folk resonating from the stage of the roadhouse at the end of an episode.

Nadler performed at World Cafe Live today for WXPN’s Free at Noon concert series, on the heels of a Boot & Saddle gig earlier this week; her latest record, For My Crimes, was released in September on Sacred Bones Records. Her setlist pulled predominately from that record, with the exception of the spectral closer “Drive,” which came from Nadler’s 2014 album “July,” and the tender beauty of “Leave The Light On,” which came from the demos compilation Before July.   Continue reading →

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John Legend brings Yuletide cheer, camp, and stately soul to The Met Philly

John Legend | photo by Senia Lopez | senialopez.photography

John Legend is corrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrny. That’s a compliment when it comes to doing Christmas right. At least in the manner in which he — the one-time University of Pennsylvania student/singer — has this season: giving modern R&B heft, humor and sensuality to a Nat King Cole sense of savoir faire for everything from last week’s NBC TV special, A Legendary Christmas with John and Chrissy (Teigen, his model/actress/author wife), to a holiday album of newly-penned and classic carols with A Legendary Christmas, to this Christmas-themed gig at The Met Philly.

The Tuesday evening concert, in the bitter chill, no less, was part of the opening week of Live Nation and North Broad Street’s newest, most dramatic entrée into the venue scene: an old one, all 110-years and $56 million dollars’ worth of rejuvenated proscenium arches, gold leaf rosettes, mezzanines and large scale stages and sightlines. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: James Blake will play The Fillmore Philadelphia

James Blake | photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
James Blake | photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

2018 has been an intensely busy year for producer/singer/songwriter James Blake. He toured with Kendrick Lamar, collaborated on the Black Panther soundtrack and was featured on a single from Travis Scott’s Astroworld. Although there isn’t word on a new album just yet, he released two of his own singles, “If the Car Beside You Moves” and “Don’t Miss It.” Continue reading →

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Circa Survive wraps the Amulet tour, thanks fans for keeping them grounded

Circa Survive | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Circa Survive came home Saturday night to play their second to last date on the Amulet tour at The Fillmore, and if you weren’t there, you missed what might have been the end of a truly epic era. The tour’s lineup featured local openers Queen of Jeans and La Dispute, and, like Circa Survive, they have both recorded with Conshohocken-based producer Will Yip, who got a special mention between sets as the common ground between all three bands. This will be the last Circa Survive tour for a little while, as the band takes a much needed hiatus from traveling, so take it in while you can. I’ve seen them several times, but I know this show is going to stand out in my mind for a long time, and you’ll see why.

But Philly. Anthony Green says it time and time again – there is nothing like a Philly show, especially if it’s your hometown gig. But why was this one so good? Continue reading →

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Khruangbin encourages us to stay close during a sold out Union Transfer show

Khruangbin | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddinger.com

Texas-based Thai funk rockers Khruangbin played a sold out show at Union Transfer Friday night and, without any introduction needed, they tirelessly played a 16 song set with practically no breaks. Pulling from their extensive instrumental discography, the set consisted of old tracks from their debut LP, The Universe Smiles Upon You, and their 2018 LP, Con Todo El Mundo.  Continue reading →

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The Internet puts the Fillmore into a spiral of emotions

The Internet | photo by Isaiah Spicer for WXPN | iospicer.com

Five years ago, I was on my way to Festival Pier to see Cali pop-funk band The Internet along with Chance The Rapper, Vince Staples, Meek Mill, and the late Mac Miller. It was a hefty line up filled with some later to be very influential artists in the music industry. Thursday night, I was heading to the Fillmore to see the LA-based collective once again. Continue reading →

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WHY? go back in time at Union Transfer

 

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photos by Kristen Buroojy

The sold out show at Union Transfer on Thursday night may not have been in celebration of The White Album’s 50th anniversary, Daydream Nation’s 30th birthday or Hello Nasty’s 20th. Try telling that to WHY? fans dedicated to bedsit recording artist/producer Yoni Wolf’s  lonely nasal bleats, angst-ridden cat-calls and literary referenced, socially astute songs, all of which found their fullest flower in 2008’s Alopecia – an album whose 10th anniversary was being celebrated that night. As the record that moved Yoni Wolf’s game from solitary to full-band recording (yes, his brother Josiah was always around) and from smallish art rap to somewhat grander chamber hop, the nerdy throng that sang every phrase back to the singer made it clear – Alopecia is their Pet Sounds, their teenage symphony to God, odds and sods.

The most fascinating thing about hearing Alopecia, “back to front,” and “turned to side two,” after “imaging you’re flipping the vinyl” (Wolf’s in-between song patter), was how much bigger Yoni and his WHY? troupe made the once-flowery epic. Continue reading →

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Killiam Shakespeare and friends brought A Town Called Elsewhere to Johnny Brenda’s

Killiam Shakespeare with Bilal | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN

Philadelphia groove-riders Corey Bernhard and Steve McKie keep plenty busy as session musicians and producers in Philly and beyond, so when they manage to converge for a new Killiam Shakespeare project, it’s cause for celebration indeed.

Saturday night, the band — McKie on drums, Bernhard on keys, augmented by guitarist Anthony DiCarlo — took the stage at Johnny Brenda’s to celebrate A Town Called Elsewhere, the band’s second full-length project. Continue reading →