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Local acts Coping Skills, Tombo Crush and more support the Trevor Project on benefit Heart Hitter comp

trevor project
Coping Skills | photo by Julia Leiby | courtesy of the band

Heart Hitter: Vol 1 is a new compilation of cover songs organized by local artist JL Simonson and featuring a handful Philly bands in support of The Trevor Project, a national suicide prevention organization that offers crisis intervention, mental health education, and other critical services for young LGBTQ people. The comp is available on Bandcamp now, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the organization.

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Tombo Crush stuns in their dreamy new LP Ant Farm

Tombo Crush | photo by Amanda Silberling | amandasilberling.com | via tombocrush.bandcamp.com

Upon first listen to “Teeth” by Philly’s Tombo Crush, I was instantaneously enamored with their ethereal vocals and decided to play to their LP Ant Farm three times consecutively. Not because I was obligated to for this write-up, but because I absolutely had to in order to satiate my yearning to know the contents of singer-guitarist Mary Allen’s mind. The album beckons to listeners like a siren to sailor, but I proceeded happily without fear of the potential consequences.

Accompanied by lo-fi guitar riffs and steady percussion — whether the beats are synthetically produced or not, I can’t tell — Tombo Crush puts forth throaty vocals comparable to big names like Halsey and Marian Hill. But that is where the comparisons stop. Their music characteristically hosts much slower tempos with significantly fewer words. Despite this, they managed to capture my wholehearted attention and my mind never once wandered while listening to Ant Farm. Continue reading →

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AllegrA unpacks social anxiety in their new “I’m An Introvert” video

AllegrA | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

We first met Philly native Allegra Eidinger when they were living in Pittsburgh, playing bass in Yes Yes A Thousand Times Yes and just starting their solo project, AllegrA with an antifolk-tinged offering called My Legs Are Growing. Flash forward twelve months and Eidinger has moved back to Philly, started playing lead guitar in Kississippi and prepped an LP’s worth of new material, a self-titled outing that will see its release on November 10th via Sad Cactus Records.

To announce the record this week, AllegrA released a cosmically colorful video for “I’m An Introvert,” a song that honestly addresses the social anxiety all of us encounter on the regular. Continue reading →

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Weller to set out on summer tour ending with a homecoming show at Everybody Hits

Weller
Weller | photo by Emily Dubin | courtesy of the artist

Philly basement rockers, Weller, are hittin’ the road this summer. The band just announced a tour along the East Coast starting in June, with support from Zanders for the first few stops, and ManDancing closing out the rest.

And of course, the band has kindly saved the best for last, as they’ll finish up the route with a hooplah of a homecoming show at Everybody Hits on July 1st. Along with ManDancing, the lineup also features the likes of Clique and Tombo Crush, so it’s sure to be a grand time. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: King Azaz at Haus of Yarga, Slaughter Beach, Dog at Boot and Saddle, Whaler at Kung Fu Necktie

King Azaz | via kingazaz.bandcamp.com

Drummer Sarah Schardt and singer-guitarist Christo Johnson met in North Carolina eight years ago, transplanted more recently to Philadelphia and are currently destroying in the punk two-piece King Azaz. Their record Spiritus Mundii was a quiet standout in 2016, filled with grungy riffs, hammering drums and minor key aggression – but there’s also a level of Fugazi / Dischord style socially charged catharsis. Tonight they’re on a pretty stacked lineup at West Philly staple Haus of Yarga, along with Thin Lips, Tombo Crush and more. Info on the show can be found at Facebook. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Petal at Everybody Hits, The Districts at Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center, A.M. Mills at Ortlieb’s, and more

Petal | Photo by: Ellen Miller | ellencm.com
Petal | Photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN | ellencm.com

You may have caught Petal in stunning solo form recently at that fantastic show with Julien Baker and Half Waif, and now the Scranton-based project of Kiley Lotz returns to Philly for another solo performance — this time on a smaller-scale, at Everybody Hits, but the show is sure to be no less beautiful and even more intimate than it was on the big stage. Born Without Bones, Super American and Tombo Crush will also play the Home Outgrown Presents gig. Petal’s latest release is the Comfort EP, which includes a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Silver Springs.” Listen below and find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Lone Bellow at Union Transfer, Friendship at Everybody Hits, AllegrA at Planet Phitness, and more

The Lone Bellow
The Lone Bellow | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

The wait is almost over for The Lone Bellow‘s long-anticipated Union Transfer appearance, the band’s first Philly show in two years. If you missed out on today’s sold out Free at Noon, you can still catch the folk rockers tonight, along with openers The Wild Reeds. The Lone Bellow released their third studio album Walk Into A Storm in September. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Listen to AllegrA’s self-titled debut ahead of their record release show

AllegrA | photo by A.W. Klass | via facebook.com/allegrabandmusic

AllegrA announced their new LP just a few weeks ago, but with enough time for quite a bit of excitement to build. The solo project of former Yes Yes A Thousand Times Yes bassist Allegra Eidinger, AllegrA released their first EP a year ago and returned recently with a few singles from the new album, “My Pillow is My Punching Bag” and “I’m An Introvert” (which has a delightful video to go along with it). After moving back to their native Philly after a few years in Pittsburgh, they’ve been previewing the new tunes at shows around town — including an appearance at Weller’s record release gig last weekend — and now we can treat our ears to the LP in full. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sigur Ros at Mann Center, Elvis Costello at The Tower Theater, Harmony Woods at Space 1026

Sigur Ros | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Icelandic rock royalty Sigur Ros are gracing us with their presence at the Mann Center tonight. Get swept away in their myriad of hits — whether in Icelandic or the band-created musical language of Hopelandic (like c’mon, how cool is that)– for an atmospheric, open-air performance of dynamic, otherworldly soundscapes. Find more info on tickets at the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to “Festival,” a.k.a. one of the most beautiful songs to ever exist, below. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s Top Six Philly Music Discoveries of 2016

Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2016 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps six of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.

Ah, Philly. Keep on being awesome. It’s once again time for me to look back and reflect on the past year of music that came out of our community, and once again I’ve had a harder time than ever narrowing it down.

Locally rooted artists are breaking into the broader music conversation, whether they remain at home (Modern Baseball‘s Holy Ghost receiving international acclaim) or venture outward to other cities and scenes (Michelle Zauner’s sometimes-Philly / sometimes-Brooklyn Japanese Breakfast, Ron Gallo and Liz Longley taking up residence in Nashville). More people than ever are moving from other cities to Philly – including The Dove and The Wolf, who got their start in Paris. And as always, artists like Dr. Dog (who released an impressive two albums in 2016), Kurt Vile (who celebrates New Year’s Eve at The Fillmore) and The Roots (still rocking the late night TV party) rep the city on a national scale.

But this post isn’t about that. It’s my annual reflection on artists who I had not heard of prior to this year, who totally bowled me over and made me want to find out everything about them. These are artists that deserve to be one of those high profile artists in coming years. These are my favorite music discoveries of 2016. Continue reading →