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Mitski shares new single “Nobody” from upcoming album “Be The Cowboy”

Mitski | photo courtesy of the artist

Ahead of Mitski’s new album Be The Cowboy, Mitski has released a music video for the second single “Nobody”. I first heard this track a month ago, closing out Mitski’s set at NON-COMM. I was struck by how different it is than her previous work, in everything but the sentiment. She ventures farther up the fretboard on this track, upping the tempo to create a perfect bop while the chorus, only the word “nobody,” hints at a darker side. The song builds in its subtle eeriness, an offsetting key change near the end creating unease while the chorus fades in and out. The song perfectly collides pop and disco with Mitski’s self-reflective nature. Think “crying-but-dancing”. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Drummer Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit talks about his late brother and mental health awareness

Scott and Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit | via NME

“Now is the time for men to be as gentle and open and emotionally fluent as they can be, I suppose.”- Grant Hutchison

A year after the late Scott Hutchison formed the Scottish indie band Frightened Rabbit in 2003, his brother Grant became its drummer. Now, Grant Hutchison has given his first interview since his brother’s death this past May 10th. Continue reading →

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Dr. Dog officially kicks off summer at Festival Pier with (Sandy) Alex G.

Dr. Dog | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | brightloud.com

There is an old proverb dating back to the year two thousand that goes something like “If Dr. Dog didn’t play a show, did summer ever really begin in Philadelphia?” And though it’s a rhetorical question, don’t doubt the power of a good doctor. Case in point – everything in my technological wheelhouse stated that we were due for a storm, probably a big one. Scott, Toby, Zach, Eric, and Frank had other plans, and the rain that was threatening to cancel their show never showed up. It’s a rare ability, and quite frankly impossible to prove, but there were nothing but believers in the house at Festival Pier on Saturday night. Continue reading →

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Records, Hoops and Sneakers: Bobbito Garcia’s autobiographical doc Rock Rubber 45s makes its Philly debut this week

Rock Rubber 45s | via Facebook

“Cutting and pasting is the essence of what hip-hop culture is all about for me. It’s about drawing from what’s around you, and subverting it and decontextualizing it.”
– DJ Shadow

There are few cliches in popular culture that get bandied about more than the term “renaissance man.” While the phrase may work as part of an easy promotional tagline, it does little to help us understand the complex ways in which individuals relate to and process culture. New York born cultural polyglot Bobbito Garcia is often referred to as a renaissance man, but a look into his backstory reveals much more. Known around the world as a DJ and label owner (the legendary 90’s indie rap outfit Fondle Em’ Records), writer, sneaker collector and Basketball historian, filmmaker and co-host of the greatest radio show in hip hop history (Columbia University WKCR’s Stretch & Bobbito Show), Garcia’s name rings bells in a variety of seemingly disparate corners of the music, art and entertainment worlds. In a time of corporate multiculturalism and cheap eclecticism, Garcia’s multifaceted career is the product of Hip Hop’s exploratory spirit and nearly 5 decades of New York street culture.

With his latest film, Rock Rubber 45s, Garcia takes us through an autobiographical trip his highly diverse life and career. Continue reading →

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Watch two stylish videos from Kali Uchis’ new album Isolation, see her at the TLA in October

kali uchis
Kali Uchis | photo courtesy of the artist

R&B songstress Kali Uchis has grown steadily more visible over the last few years with features on recent albums by Gorillaz and Tyler the Creator. Now she’s backing up this year’s sultry, enchanting debut album Isolation with a major tour set to grace Philly’s Theater of the Living Arts on 10/15.

Isolation is available now on all major streaming services and features collaborations from Tyler the Creator, Steve Lacy, Bootsy Collins, and more. Check out the stylish music videos for “One Girl” and “After the Storm” below along with full tour dates. Continue reading →

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Hit the road with #XPNFest artists Sylvan Esso in their new “Signal” video

Sylvan Esso | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Electronic duo Sylvan Esso just released a video for the song “Signal” off What Now. The video is composed of clips from their tour of massive audiences dancing under glowing neon lights, shots of glittering cityscapes and vertigo-inducing rooftop views. It captures playful, candid moments and breaths of composure stolen backstage. Amelia Meath’s buoyant personality and charm is the core of her magnetic performances, and her chemistry with Nick Sanborn gives their shows a compelling energy. Continue reading →

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Tormato: Watch prog titans Yes wild out at The Spectrum in June of 1979

Yes at the Spectrum | still from video

When UK progressive / psych rock trailblazers Yes took their ninth album Tormato to the road in 1979, it was the last run of their classic lineup. A year later, founding vocalist Jon Anderson departed the band, along with Rick Wakeman, the keyboard virtuoso whose playing defined the band’s sound in the 1970s. Although Anderson did rejoin the band’s ranks by the “Owner of a Lonely Heart” era, and Wakeman was back on board for a few stints in the 90s, the split at the turn of the 80s marked a dramatic shift in the band’s identity.

This Tormato tour performance, filmed live at The Spectrum on June 20th, 1979, captures the final time the adventurous Yes of its initial incarnation played Philly. Continue reading →

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Watch a cinematic video for Kamasi Washington’s gamer theme song “Street Fighter Mas”

Kamasi Washington | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN

Jazz star child and saxophonist Kamasi Washington has treated fans to an epic music video for his single “Street Fighter Mas.” As the title suggests, the song is inspired by Washington’s love of video games, specifically his childhood accomplishment as a Street Fighter champion. According to Washington, he planned on becoming a pro gamer, and wrote this song to serve as his theme song at tournaments. Continue reading →