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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Settled Arrows at Bourbon & Branch, Funkadelphia showcase at Silk City, Night Windows at Ortlieb’s

settled arrows
Settled Arrows | image by Michael E. Kelly | courtesy of the artist

Settled Arrows headlines Bourbon & Branch tonight. Leighton, PA native Andrew Mars began recording under the moniker just last year, making his debut with Public Privacy. He’s no stranger to performing live, though; now living in Philadelphia, Mars has appeared on stage with BalletX, Pig Iron Theatre, and sometimes plays piano at Tavern on Camac. His experienced showmanship shines through on the record, while the lyrics could have been ripped straight from a diary. Listen to “Jimmy Desert” below and pick up tickets to the 21+ show here.

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Night Windows blows off steam about the working week in “Interview”

Night Windows | Photo via facebook.com/nightwindows
Night Windows | Photo via facebook.com/nightwindows

When Philly singer-songwriter Ben Hughes isn’t busy releasing an album a month, he’s in the band Night Windows (pictured above). When Night Windows isn’t sitting on rooftops drinking Natty Boh, they’re making catchy, Replacements-esque indie rock.

The band just released a new music video for their song “Interview,” and it finds Hughes and his mates venting about those times when the 9-to-5 grind gets in the way of their more creative true selves: “Clean shaven, making it seem like I have enough money but really it’s just a lie / I don’t even feel like myself when I’m wearing a tie.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Katie Frank & the Pheromones at Bourbon and Branch, Alo Brasil at World Cafe Live, Rose Windows at Milkboy

Katie Frank and the Pheromones | Photo by Allie Wofarth
Katie Frank and the Pheromones | Photo by Allie Wofarth

Local countrified outfit Katie Frank & the Pheromones will be rocking out Bourbon and Branch tonight. The band, whose LP Counting Your Curses was released in March, have steadily been standing out as an artist to watch on the Philly scene, and will appear on the lineup of the Philadelphia Folk Festival later this summer. Information for tonight’s show is available on our concert calendar here, and below you can watch Frank’s smooth cover of Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock’n’Roll.”

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Lawsuits at Johnny Brenda’s, Chris Forsyth at Ortlieb’s, Rose Windows at MilkBoy and more

Lawsuits fourPhilly’s The Lawsuits will celebrate the release of their debut LP, Cool Cool Cool at Johnny Brenda’s. We’ve been spotlighting the band and the album all week on the Unlocked series; look for the final installment to go up around 11. Also of note are the opening acts: pop-rock power trio The Fleeting Ends and rowdy young Central Pa. rockers The Districts; it’s a solid all-local bill all around. Below, check out the very fun new music video for “Love is Weight” by The Lawsuits, and find tickets and information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Mike Watt and Meat Puppets rattle the windows at Underground Arts

Mike Watt | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Thumping his way through a sonorous solo, Mike Watt makes this pronouncement to a full basement at Underground Arts: “BASSSSSS!!” The delivery of both the declaration and the music is definitive, as if to make one thing clear: if you weren’t sure whether you’d ever heard a bassline before, you can be sure here, tonight. Watt stretches the single word affirmatively over the sounds, and lets it hang there for awhile. It’s not condescending; it’s instructive, as though at the end of a Sesame Street bit, as though we’ve just learned how to sound it out together, right there on the spot, with his guidance. Tonight’s set has been brought to you by the the letter “B.”

If you’re cool, you know of Watt from his heady hardcore days with The Minutemen and Firehose, in the seminal Southern Cali punk scene. But if you’re like me, you first heard about him when he mixed it up with the likes of more widely recognized ‘90s icons. Released in 1995, Watt’s first “solo” record Ball-Hog or Tugboat? was an ensemble effort, a virtual who’s-who of alt-rock featuring the likes of Frank Black, Thurston Moore, Kathleen Hanna, Anna Waronker and Flea, as well as Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl who joined him for the tour and who helped spotlight the bassist for some overdue mainstream attention. Continue reading →

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The man who makes the songs, and the songs that make the man: Two nights with The Magnetic Fields at Union Transfer

The Magnetic Fields at Union Transfer, night two | photo by K. Ross Hoffman for WXPN
The Magnetic Fields at Union Transfer, night two | photo by K. Ross Hoffman for WXPN

Stephin Merritt, the ingenious and wholly singular songwriter behind The Magnetic Fields, among other enterprises, calls himself “the least autobiographical person you are likely to meet.”  And yet, he has created his autobiography, of sorts, in 50 Song Memoir: the Fields’ latest, eleventh album as well as a two-part live performance (a concert, but also something slightly other than a concert) that was staged this past Wednesday and Thursday at Union Transfer.  The premise, or gimmick, is winningly simple and perfectly Merrittian: one song for each of the first fifty years of his life – bringing us from 1966 to 2015 – split evenly between the two nights.  The resulting experience was fascinating, complicated, revelatory – for fans, at least – and strangely human. Continue reading →

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Nightlands channels Simpsonwave in new “Lost Moon” video

nightlands
Nightlands | photo by Dustin Condren | courtesy of the artist

Dave Hartley is rolling out more material from his latest Nightlands project I Can Feel the Night Around Me, this week sharing a surreal video for lead single “Lost Moon.” The album is out on May 5th via Western Vinyl, and Nightlands will wrap up an accompanying tour at Johnny Brenda’s on May 27th (featuring Eliza Hardy Jones, Jesse Hale Moore, Anthony LaMarca, and Scott Churchman alongside Hartley in the live set-up). Continue reading →

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Spoon, Amos Lee ft. Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Suffers and Chicano Batman will headline night two of XPoNential Music Festival 2017

spoon
Britt Daniel of Spoon | Firefly | Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.deltufophotography.com/

This just in — Austin indie rock favorites Spoon will light up the BB&T Pavilion stage on night two of this year’s XPoNential Music Festival. Co-headlining alongside Britt Daniel and co. are Amos Lee and Friends, featuring Preservation Hall Jazz Band, with The Suffers and Chicano Batman kicking off the show; seated tickets for the concert on July 29th go on sale this Friday, March 10th, at 10 a.m. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: DIIV at Underground Arts, Spelling Reform at Johnny Brenda’s, Joseph Arthur at Tin Angel

DIIV | Photo by Chiaro Tiso | courtesy of the artist
DIIV | Photo by Chiaro Tiso | courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn outfit DIIV have spent 2016 making a resurgence after releasing their sophomore effort Is The Is Are in February, their first album since 2012’s debut. They’ll bring the shoegazy rock songs to Underground Arts tonight for a show with Moon King. Watch “Mire (Grant’s Song)” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Michael Kiwanuka goes retro in his video for “One More Night”

http://bighassle.com/publicity/michael-kiwanuka
Michael Kiwanuka | photo by Phil Sharp | courtesy of the artist

In support of the July 2016 release of his album Love and Hate, British singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka is touring the world and releasing a series of music videos.

The most recent video is for the track “One More Night.” This song has a slick bassline that casts a retro feel when paired with Kiwanuka’s raspy vocals. The video takes place on a city block where a young man with cartoonishly long legs is breaking it down in the street as neighbors watch from their windows. The track is breezy and this video perfectly aligns with the positive vibe put forth by the music. Continue reading →