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Hear Porches’ auto-tune stripped remix of (Sandy) Alex G’s “Sportstar”

(Sandy) Alex G | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Alex G | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

(Sandy) Alex G’s Rocket is a mighty fine, complex collection of some of his most eclectic, genre-crashing gems to date. One of these standout beauties is the dreamlike ballad “Sportstar,” in which frontman Giannascoli warps his voice with otherworldly auto-tune amidst a thick atmospheric soundscape of gauzy guitars and echoing piano. Aaron Maine’s NY-based synth-pop project, Porches, recently remixed the surreal tune, providing a clarified, breezy companion

Stripping away layers of vocal processing, Porches’ remix of the song summons the deeper and tad demonic Alex G monotone that we all know and love, while spicing it up with a hint of electro-steel drum, island music vibes. Continue reading →

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Porchfest announces kickoff event to connect West Philadelphians with porches and artists to perform on them

Porchfest
Porchfest organizers Owen Lyman-Schmidt, Ross Hoffman and Abe Taber in West Philadelphia | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Registration is now open for the second annual Porchfest, happening in West Philly on Saturday, June 3rd. As we reported last month, the day-long event will feature dozens of musical acts performing on the beautiful and spacious front porches situated along the Baltimore Ave corridor.

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Just Announced: Belle and Sebastian return to The Mann this summer with Andrew Bird and Porches

belle and sebastian
Belle and Sebastian | Photo by Kate McCann

Okay, indiepop sweethearts, have we got a show for you. Bookish Scottish faves Belle and Sebastian will return to U.S. soil for a headlining tour with orchestral singer-songwriter Andrew Bird and DIY electropopper Porches — and it includes a stop in Philadelphia on Thursday, August 3rd at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.  Continue reading →

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Porches drive us mad in new music video for “Car”

Porches | Photo by Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com
Porches | Photo by Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

You can’t deny that NYC-based band Porches is unapologetically themselves. The group has always had a knack for the unusual, take their April performance at Union Transfer with hometown favorite Alex G as an example. Frontman Aaron Maine shimmied and thrusted his hips to his hearts content, encouraging the audience to not only join him in dancing, but at one point asking every member of the audience to sit on the floor.

Stage antics like these make for visual spectacles at Porches’ shows, embracing all things odd while delivering a healthy dose of dream synth awesomeness. It’s exciting to see, now, that the band have come out with a new music video for the song “Car,” because the only thing as good as hearing Porches is watching them. Continue reading →

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Noisy Days: Field Music, SVIIB & Porches on the Indie Rock Hit Parade

Field Music | Photo courtesy of the artist
Field Music | Photo courtesy of the artist

The Indie Rock Hit Parade wants to be your Valentine, so do it a favor and listen to the show tonight at 11pm ET on WXPN. On tonight’s two-hour adventure, we’ll spotlight Commontime, the newest album from UK art-rock brothers Field Music! There’s also the business of new School of Seven Bells, Parquet Courts and Porches tracks to get to, so stuff your pockets full of conversation hearts and preview some stuff below:

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West Philly Porchfest returns for a third year this June

Porchfest
Porchfest organizers Owen Lyman-Schmidt, Ross Hoffman and Abe Taber in West Philadelphia | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Porchfest is exactly what it sounds like: a music festival that uses porches instead of stages. It’s a simple concept, but revolutionary in a way — can you think of a better way to spend a summer afternoon than wandering porch to porch while listening to musicians share their tunes? Get your calendars ready, because the third annual installment of West Philly Porchfest is happening Saturday, June 2. Continue reading →

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Now Hear This: New music by Belle & Sebastian, Django Django, Tune-Yards, Soccer Mommy, Nils Frahm, Shopping and more

Belle and Sebastian | photo courtesy of the artist

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

We’ve had a pretty good last month or so here in Philadelphia, on a couple of fronts.  Musically though, at least in terms of the broadest, pop-cultural arena, things have felt just a tad uninspiring lately.  The best-selling album of the year thus far, by a wide margin, is the Greatest Showman soundtrack; an artistic triumph I have no doubt.  Camila Cabelo’s full-length bow, despite a couple of serviceable bangers, basically failed to make good on the promise of “Havana,” the year’s first new Hot 100 chart-topper and one of the best we’ve had in a while.  The most notable musical performance, the halftime show of that one football game, was a perfectly enjoyable and well-executed medley of five-to-fifteen-year-old hits with no real relevance to anything in particular – I’m not sure whether it’s more dispiriting that Justin “Man of the Woods” Timberlake chose not to even attempt promoting his just-released new album by actually performing something from it, or that this was, on balance, probably the right decision.  I mean, no offense JT…

Then there were the Grammys, which despite well-deserved (if largely meaningless) acknowledgments for the likes of LCD Soundsystem, The National, Aimee Mann and our very own War on Drugs, overwhelmingly reaffirmed its own insignificance, diversity issues and fogeydom (I mean, no offense Bruno); adding insult to irrelevance by denying a performance slot to (sole female) album-of-the-year nominee Lorde.  That hot pile of nothingness was capped off by the truly vile, toxic comments of Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, who, in response to questions about the underrepresentation of women among winners and nominees, called for “women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls…to step up, because I think they would be welcome.”

Of course, it goes without saying that, beyond the psychotically warped bubble that is mainstream culture and the self-congratulatory machinations of the “music industry,” music itself continues on and, as always, the past month offered plenty of tunes worth digging into.  You’ll find a smattering below, from indie-pop earworms to exuberant dance jams, including a handful of artists experimenting in various, intriguing ways, with strains of world music.  And – I swear I didn’t plan this – it just so happens that all but one of the selections below were made, either by solely or in part, by female artists.  Step on up! Continue reading →