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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Kath Bloom at Johnny Brenda’s

Kath Bloom | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Veteran singer-songwriter Kath Bloom put out new material this past spring with an album titled This Dream Of Life. Tonight she’ll be gracing us plebeians with her powerful songstress presence at Johnny Brenda’s, alongside a bill including Friendship and Most Selfless Cheerleader.  Find info on the show here, and watch the heartbreaking and touching video for Bloom’s new track “I Just Can’t Make It Without You,” below. Continue reading →

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The decade-plus wait is over: stream Rainer Maria’s new S/T album via NPR now

Rainer Maria | photo courtesy of artist

Hey, Rainer Maria fans: your eleven year wait comes to a close today. Though the band’s new heftily anticipated, self-titled album won’t be officially released until August 18th via Polyvinyl Records, NPR has secured an early listen for you — you can stream the album in full here.

S/T is able to keep the raw intensity of Rainer Maria’s earlier works, while also carving out enough space for growth. As example, personal favorite track “Suicide and Lazy Eyes” is a fuzzed-out, non-stop live wire of sound and energy, with “Lower Worlds” slowing it down but remaining just as heavy with a buildup to cathartic, muffled shouts. Continue reading →

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Listen to Moses Sumney’s heavenly new track, “Quarrel,” see him at the Church

Moses Sumney | photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
Moses Sumney | photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

If there is a heaven, or any kind of future otherworld, I’m pretty sure Moses Sumney’s gorgeous and comforting voice is what carries you into this next life. Particularly his new track, “Quarrel,” which you can listen to below.

Every little bit of this song’s epic, lush soundscape is fluid — as a myriad of sounds and textures meld and flow into one another with unbelievable ease. It’s a beautiful sonic journey that embarks with Sumney’s ethereal falsettos as your peaceful guide. Then before you know it, you’re traveling to different musical dimensions at a warp speed that also somehow feels like forever. Just trust me — I have not a clue how — but it does. Continue reading →

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Talking Popular Manipulations with The Districts’ Rob Grote

The Districts | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

A couple of years back, a young band started making waves in Philadelphia. There were many different stories surrounding these young kids from central Pennsylvania, but a couple themes remained the same: the thunderous live shows, the direct songwriting, and also the fact that they were only teenagers. The Districts were a band “ahead of their years,” as everyone would always say. Now, with the release of their new record Popular Manipulations, the band has grown into their persona and the stories have grown with them. Continue reading →

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The Districts bring Popular Manipulations home to Philly and a wild Union Transfer crowd

The Districts | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN

“We all almost went to college,” Rob Grote of The Districts told a sold-out Union Transfer on Friday night. “We talked about how this album is like a college degree. Hopefully we learned something, right?”

The band was headlining in support of their third record, Popular Manipulations, which came out on Friday. The record already sounds huge, but performed live it’s even more so, particularly the thundering “Violet” and the quiet-to-scream progression of “Ordinary Day.” The crowd was revved up and spent much of the night off the floor, stage diving and crowd surfing. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Grandchildren at Parks on Tap, Honeytiger at Kung Fu Necktie

Grandchildren | photo courtesy of the artist
Grandchildren | photo courtesy of the artist

It seems local indie art-pop outfit Grandchildren have been steadily releasing new material lately (which we’re more than okay with) such as their acoustic video series and the new side project of Baby & Shylow. And now you can catch them live and in person (and free!) at tonight’s Parks on Tap performance. Find info on the event here, and watch their recent acoustic rendition of new track “Okay I’m Waiting” below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Margo Price at BB&T Pavilion and The Stammer at Ortlieb’s

Margo Price | photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN
Margo Price | photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN

Nashville star Margo Price is bringing her country croons to BB&T Pavilion tonight in support of Chris Stapleton. Find tickets on the show here, and watch her NPR Tiny Desk Concert below, which takes on greater depth and meaning with the added context of having performed the set the day after the election this past fall. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Gordi bridges heady synth-rock and anthemic pop at World Cafe Live

Gordi | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

After playing a Thursday night gig at Johnny Brenda’s and before heading down I-95 to play D.C.’s Songbyrd Music House, singer-songwriter Sophie Payten — known onstage as Gordi — stoped by World Cafe Live for a Free at Noon concert performance.

Sonically, the Sydney, Australia singer and songwriter manages to exist in numerous stylistic zones simultaneously. After opening on the majestic “Myriad,” a simmering spacey synth-driven track, the mood shifted with “All The Light,” a poppy, Paula Cole-ish number peppered with samples. After that taste of her forthcoming Reservoir LP, out August 25th, Gordi dove back to her Clever Disguise EP for “Wanting,” her acoustic guitar strums providing an organic counterpoint to the drumpad rhythm. Continue reading →

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Listen to Abi Reimold and Rob Grote of The Districts Guest DJ on WXPN Local

Abi Reimold | photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist // Rob Grote | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN

Tonight, Philly rockers The Districts celebrate their brand new, just-released-today record Popular Manipulations with a headlining show at Union Transfer that is, as of this writing, mega sold out. Opening are fellow Philly indie favorites The Spirit of the Beehive and Abi Reimold. If you don’t have tickets to the gig, fear not; you’ll be able to see The Districts next Friday at WXPN’s Free at Noon concert (RSVP here), you’ll be able to catch Abi at the PHL Music Fest in September (more info here) and Spirit is on a stacked bill with Japanese Breakfast at the Church in October (deets here).

You can also see / hear a different side of both Reimold and The Districts’ Rob Grote by listening to a joint guest DJ set both artists hosted a couple weeks back on the WXPN Local Show. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Sonnder celebrates letting go in the “About Time” video

Sonnder | photo courtesy of the artist
Sonnder | photo by Samantha Bambino | courtesy of the artist

Philly modern rock four piece Sonnder released its debut LP Entanglement last year, following a year of monthly singles, gigs around the region and constant creativity. The band has kept the album in its forefront in the months since, releasing a string of music videos from the album with director Dan Levitt. Today, we’re happy to premiere their fourth and latest collaboration for you — a video for the album’s bittersweet romantic centerpiece “About Time.” Continue reading →