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The New Pornographers charm Union Transfer with a mix of old and new

The New Pornographers | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
The New Pornographers | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

You know it’s going to be a wild night at Union Transfer when the crowd is filled with dads. Really, though, an assembly of middle-aged men whistled and cheered before The New Pornographers took stage, presumably in anticipation of seeing Neko Case’s hair in real life. The crowd was mild, at best, during The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, despite some members’ Philadelphia-area roots. But an immediate rush to the stage took place as the opener left, and as the crowd finished their last beer at the bar. Continue reading →

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Sowing Seeds with the charismatic TV On the Radio at Union Transfer

TV On the Radio | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | htmichellemontgomeryphotography.com
TV On the Radio | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | htmichellemontgomeryphotography.com

Brooklyn-based indie icons TV On The Radio played their first Philly show since 2011 in front of a sold-out Union Transfer on Monday night. The band was touring in support of its fifth studio album, Seeds, which was just released on Monday, and most of the audience couldn’t contain their excitement as they heard some of the new songs for the first time ever during the live set, including recent singles “Happy Idiot” and “Careful You.” Throughout the show, they also played a mix of songs off their previous LPs and their debut EP. Continue reading →

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Restorations throw a wild hometown party for the release of LP3

Restorations | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Restorations | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

On Saturday night, hard-hitting Philadelphia rock band Restorations throw an enormous party at the First Unitarian Church to celebrate the release of their third full-length album, appropriately titled LP3.  Friends, family and local fans poured into the Church to share in the celebration. Restorations also brought with them some fellow Philadelphia bands to share the stage with them. Continue reading →

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Alt-J warmed up the crowd at The Tower Theater

 

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Alt-J | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

It was a bitter cold evening last night in Upper Darby, where many traveled to see the British indie rock group Alt-J on their headlining tour in support of this year’s This Is All Yours. After the global success of their debut An Awesome Wave, which won the Mercury Prize in 2012, the band start getting the rep as “The next Radiohead.” Last night, they definitely lived up to it.

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47 World Cafe performances you need to download now

Chet Faker | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Chet Faker | Photo by Cameron Pollack

For those of you not following World Cafe on Soundcloud, we’ve been quietly amassing a siginificant collection of performances from the show. We’ve been putting these up on the World Cafe tumblr and as select My Morning Downloads, and for the collectors out there, hese performances are different than the ones offered on Live at the World Cafe CDs. Continue reading →

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“An Echo Chamber for the Soul”: Laura Stevenson brings Wheel to MilkBoy

Laura Stevenson | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Laura Stevenson | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

There is a jangle, a soothing pop sensibility and something uncannily new encased in the sounds of Laura Stevenson. Last Friday she and her four bandmates turned MilkBoy into an echo chamber for the soul.

A voice both delicate and direct, Stevenson aims for the orchestral and the highly intimate on her 2013 masterwork Wheel. The crowd was hanging on her every syllable, often singing along to such catchy works as “Runner” and “Eleonora.” Continue reading →

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Le Butcherettes and Antemasque bring thrills and high energy to Union Transfer

Le Butcherettes | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Le Butcherettes | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

The one-two music punch of Le Butcherettes and Antemasque transformed Union Transfer into an aural canvas of raw punk last Thursday. Behind the leadership of Teri Gender Bender, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the fervent crowd was treated to some of the most unique and stirring rock around. Continue reading →

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Alvvays bring summer vibes to Boot & Saddle

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

I finally learned how to pronounce “Alvvays.” It’s, uhh… Actually just the same as how you would say “always.” Ever since first hearing of Alvvays several months ago, I had been awash with confusion over the band’s name—in a similar manner to the CHVRCHES crisis when that band appeared on the scene a few years ago. But Monday night’s Alvvays show at Boot & Saddle was more than phonetically satisfying—the avvant-garde spellers also spelled out in no uncertain letters that they just plain rock. Continue reading →

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Jenny Lewis brings rainbows and euphoria to Union Transfer

Jenny Lewis | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
Jenny Lewis | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

I like to think that, even if her job was being the polar opposite of a musician (earplug fitter, I suppose), Jenny Lewis would still find use for a rainbow pantsuit. Her Technicolor garb matches the widescreen sound she’s explored since the last days of Rilo Kiley, right up to this year’s stellar solo effort The Voyager. Lewis brought an abridged version of her lively stage show to our XPoNential Music Festival this past summer, which featured guest appearances by members of Dawes and The Voyager‘s producer, Ryan Adams. Back on her own (and aided by a real wrecking crew of a backing band), Lewis returned on an unseasonably balmy evening for a sold-out show at Union Transfer. Continue reading →