Grammy-award winning Tuareg group Tinariwen will bring their sweeping sounds of the Sahara to Union Transfer tonight. The Malian rockers recently released their album, Elwan, which features contributions from Kurt Vile, Mark Lanegan, Alain Johannes, and Matt Sweeney. Find more info on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and take a trip to a rock show in the desert by watching the video for “Sastanàqqàm” below. Continue reading →
Early next year, Tuareg folk rockers Tinariwen will release their seventh album, Elwan, which features contributions from Matt Sweeney, Mark Lanegan, and Philly’s own Kurt Vile, to name a few. You can check out the gorgeous new video for “Ténéré Tàqqàl” below, and this coming April 18th, you catch the band live when they roll through Union Transfer. They’ll be joined by the also fantastic Dengue Fever, a band whose music is significantly more pleasant than the mosquito-borne illness for which its named. Continue reading →
This story begins on March 19, 1977. It’s the day after the release of Iggy Pop‘s solo debut, The Idiot, and he’s performing at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia with his collaborator and producer, David Bowie. Also in attendance is my concert connoisseur / photographer mother, Nancy. She has brought her camera, hoping to catch photos of Bowie but unwittingly bearing witness to a musical partnership that would connect Iggy Pop to another musical brethren decades later.
Fast forward forty years – I’m standing in front of the Academy of Music, waiting for my turn to photograph Iggy Pop. Continue reading →
As with the past twenty plus SXSW music festivals I’ve attended, coordinating seeing all the bands I’ve want to see each year I go is a function of timing and serendipity. And it’s nearly impossible to see everything I have on my wish list. At any time, there are both official and unofficial showcases all around the city, and there are literally hundreds of them. SXSW is a sprawling, crowded event where you can see a random band rocking out in a vacant parking lot, or see an emerging buzz band, or if you’re willing to wait in a long line to get into the Spotify house, or the Pandora stage or the Hype Hotel, you might be able to see some big name rock bands or rappers along with bands your industry friends have declared the next big thing. It can get very complex very quickly.
Going into SXSW this year I had a list of 23 artists I wanted to see, and given I was at the festival for less time than usual, I knew a list of that size was over reaching. I managed to see about a dozen shows over the three days I was in Austin. Here’s some of the best things I saw. Continue reading →
Yusuf Islam, who attracted millions of fans when he was known as Cat Stevens is releasing a new album called “Tell ‘Em I’m Gone” on October 27 and also doing his first tour in 25 years. Find out some of the guest artists & listen to the new song “Dying to Live” Continue reading →
A new episode of the web-show Guitar Moves has been released, and features Matt Sweeney talking to Dean Ween, co-founder of “avant-stoner royalty act” Ween, in Dean’s shack in New Hope, PA. While Ween may have been a band founded on the grounds of being somewhat of an inside joke, and merely a way to stir things up within the alternative world of music, there’s no denying the fact that Dean himself can really shred, as made further evident by his appearance on Guitar Moves. Check out the video below.
Late last year local indie rockers Spelling Reform gave us a stand-out debut LP in No One’s Ever Changed, a record that The Key’s Chad Snyder tagged “optimistic bummer rock for the teenage soul” thanks to its relatable theme of trying to be your best self. “Tuscaloosa” is the third single Dan Wisniewski and co. are highlighting, and today we have the premiere of its Bob Sweeney-directed video.
Nik Greeley is a man of many vibes. The local musician got his start with modern rockers Black Stars a few years ago, but it’s his current funky soul/rock project with The Operators where he’s really found his stride. The outfit released a debut EP called Town Gypsy in the spring of 2015 (check out a Key Studio Session highlighting those tracks here) and now they’re back with a video for a brand new single called “Stars.”
Paul Simon will bring his new album Stranger To Stranger to Fairmount Park tonight as XPN welcomes the legendary musician to The Mann. The June 3rd release is Simon’s 13th studio album. Below you can find “Wristband,” the second track of Stranger To Stranger. For tickets and more information on tonight’s show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Philadelphia psychedelic pop outfit The Morelings seemingly arrived on the scene this past year with a fully realized look and sound. Spectral guitars, shimmering melodies, distant voices breathlessly beckoning you to pay close attention. Then again, the band and its sound is the product of years of friendship and collaboration between founding duo Kedra Caroline and Matthew William, stretching back to their college days in Ann Arbor, MI. And the sound continues to evolve.
Caroline and William bonded over Nick Drake and Fairport Convention; William also had a strong fondness for John Fahey, and these disparate influences informed the first music they wrote together. Flash forward to Philadelphia in 2014, when The Morelings recorded its debut EP No Sign with Kyle Johnson. Their songs moved in a decidedly dreamy direction comparable to the giants of the shoegaze 90s – Slowdive, Lush and their contemporaries. Drifting, spacious and minimal, the EP strikes notes of haunting serenity, with Caroline’s voice floating in the fray as though it was another instrument. Continue reading →
Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head