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Screaming Females sounded stadium-ready at Union Transfer on Saturday

Screaming Females | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Screaming Females | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

On Saturday night, New Jersey’s Screaming Females ended their four week tour at Union Transfer with a set demonstrating that in their tenth year, they deserve all the good things coming to them. Focusing heavily on their new album, Rose Mountain, the songs translated well from basement show fare to something dare-I-say stadium ready. That might be a scary thought to some punk fans, but seeing Marissa Paternoster shredding for the masses rather than some dude from Walk the Moon is way more satisfying if you ask me. Continue reading →

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Delta Rae brings their relentless spirit to World Cafe Live at the Queen

Delta Rae | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com
Delta Rae | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com

What is it about Americana infused folk rock that makes siblings gravitate towards it seemingly more than any other genre?  I forgot to ask that to the members of Delta Rae, from North Carolina, by way of Fleetwood Mac. They were too busy gleefully bouncing around the stage at World Cafe Live at The Queen, so I don’t think they’d have answered anyhow.  A pleasing mix of the folk, pop-rock, and fun, their relentless spirit to their craft was fully on display. They could have easily shown up just to play, but worked it like this was the most important stop on the tour. Continue reading →

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If You Wanna: The Vaccines cut loose at The TLA

The Vaccines | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
The Vaccines | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

Despite vehemently protesting being one — charismatic frontman of The Vaccines Justin Hayward-Young is definitely some kind of teenage icon. Saturday night at the TLA, a substantial crowd of #teens packed in to see him and his band rip apart the South Street club. But far from being relegated to teen sensation, Hayward-Young and co. showcased nothing but pure swagger and true rock grit. Continue reading →

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Kamasi Washington brings The Epic to life at World Cafe Live

Kamasi Washington | Photo by John Vettese
Kamasi Washington | Photo by John Vettese

Saxophonist/composer Kamasi Washington brought an 8-piece version of the West Coast Get Down to World Café Live on Thursday as part of his first east coast excursion in support of his attention-grabbing debut The Epic. Even stripped of the orchestra and choir, his band lives up to that album title. Both roof-raising showmen and envelope-pushing adventurers, Washington and company delivered on the converging promises of George Clinton’s Afro-futurist funk and the boundary-obliterating jazz reinventions of late Coltrane and electric Miles. Continue reading →

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Everybody Hits, and Everyone Everywhere hit it out of the park

Everyone Everywhere | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
Everyone Everywhere | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Falling in love with bands that fall off the earth is something I do well.

When I first heard of Everyone Everywhere, it was mid-2013, and the band had just released their second self-titled the previous summer. I was in college far away from Philadelphia, so the chances of seeing them were slim to none. And just as I came home, they had pretty much vanished from the earth. It was like in dream in which I was visited by the most beautiful music, only to wake up the next day and remember nothing.

I’ve realized that the band did in fact play a few shows in 2013, but I was just beginning to dive into the Philly scene – and yeah, I missed my chance. Many times. But not this time around. Continue reading →

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Failure and Hum keep the 90s torch burning bright at the Electric Factory

Failure | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com
Failure | Photo by Matthew Shaver | brightloud.com

I don’t wanna be accused of hyperbole here, but the 90’s may have been the greatest decade for music in the history of time (yes,  including the 60’s).  John Vettese is doing a swell job of proving that with his show What’s The Frequency??? #WTFXPN (full disclosure: he’s my editor).  What could be a more wonderful way to celebrate the 90’s than on ‘Frequency’ Friday with a pair of woefully underplayed acts of the 90’s?

Failure began as so many behemoths did, with Steve Albini behind the boards.  Some touring with Tool and they should have been next up roster after Soundgarden.  Twas not to be, and they reached the status of popular bands that never quite broke through the surface (see Far and Quicksand).  Hum was a one hit wonder (if you let the charts tell you what a hit is) and much more expansive than that title implies.  More dynamic and dirty than their contemporaries, with a tendency to drone on a bit, and make the unpolished feel polished. Continue reading →

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#ThrowbackThursday to the 2015 Pitchfork Music Festival in words and photos

Sleater-Kinney rages at the Pitchfork Music Festival | Photo by Scott Troyan | scotttroyan.com
Sleater-Kinney rages at the Pitchfork Music Festival | Photo by Scott Troyan | scotttroyan.com

Summer once again proved itself to be Festival Overload – most recently, the successful Philadelphia Folk Festival! But right before WXPN hosted its annual XPoNential Music Festival, I headed over to Chicago to celebrate ten years of Pitchfork and their annual summer music festival.

What makes Pitchfork a unique music festival is the broad stroke they use when booking music for their three stages over three days. From the most modern hip-hop, electronic dance and alt-rock to showcasing some iconic “classic” artists from the past few decades. It creates a melding of communities and age brackets that is second to none when it comes to outdoor summertime festivals. Continue reading →