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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Preen at Everybody Hits

Preen | via preen.bandcamp.com

Start your week out with some crushing garage rock from Philly badasses Preen. The four-piece band has a jagged Fidlar / Screamales attitude with bountiful low-end sounds and minor key riffage, and they open the show tonight for Cincy’s Ovlov at Everybody Hits. Listen to the new song “Cereus” below and get tickets and more information on the show hereContinue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joseph Arthur at Sellersville Theater, Preen at Kung Fu Necktie, The Bul Bey at Boot & Saddle

Joseph Arthur | photo courtesy of the artist
Joseph Arthur | photo by Josephine Bono | courtesy of the artist

Prolific singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur headlines the Sellersville Theater for a perfect midweek pick-me-up. With 14 full-lenths and eleven EPs in his repertoire, Arthur is taking a look back into his long and storied career to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of Redemption’s Son, his third album that was released in 2002. He is currently on a limited tour to perform Redemption’s Son in its entirety. Available June 23rd, the album will also be rereleased with nine previously unheard bonus tracks. For tickets and show information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Saba, RJD2, Lotus, Franz Ferdinand, Hurray for the Riff Raff and more

Hurray for the Riff Raff | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

We are here once again with your guide to Philly concerts for the coming week, and as always, your choices are many. Start out tonight with local folks Petunia opening the gig at Johnny Brenda’s, and maybe hustle across town after their set to catch the end of Jukebox The Ghost. Do not miss Saba’s first-ever performance of songs from his new CARE FOR ME project at The Foundry tomorrow. And keep the energy going across the week, ending up at Union Transfer next Monday for the terrific triple-bill of Waxahatchee, Hurray for the Riff Raff and Bedouine. Read on for more about the week ahead: 21 shows to see in Philadelphia this week.  Continue reading →

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No Thank You stream album All It Takes To Ruin It All; play Kung Fu Necktie this Friday

No Thank You | photo by Dan Lidon | courtesy of artist

Philly-based trio No Thank You have made their sophomore album All It Takes To Ruin It All available early to stream on Bandcamp. The early stream comes as a treat to fans ahead of the album’s official release date, this Friday, which coincides with band’s record release show at Kung Fu Necktie Friday night. Continue reading →

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The Skeleton Key: Bottle rockets, Satanic Panic, Record Store Day and gigs from Screaming Females to Robyn Hitchcock

Screaming Females | photo by Farrah Skeiky | courtesy of artist
Screaming Females | photo by Farrah Skeiky | courtesy of artist

April Fool’s updates:

Swearin’ is back. HIRS is putting out an album with Shirley Manson from Garbage. Erik B. and Rakim are at the TLA. Oh, and Lou Barlow is playing a small show in a park on the Schuylkill in Southwest Philly. Did I mention that Sheer Mag is recording an album with Hall and Oates? Because that is totally happening.

Okay, so maybe one of those is a lie. I’ll let you figure it out on your own. But as usual in this great city of ours, there’s so much awesome stuff happening that even the absurd seems plausible. I mean, the Eagles won the Super Bowl! Anything can happen. Continue reading →

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Control Top sees right through your power trip on “Type A”

Control Top | photo by Vince Guglielmo | courtesy of the artist

Post-punk trio Control Top creates music with the goal of resisting conformity. And it works — their songs sound totally unlike most others. Over the last few years in the Philly DIY scene, the band has evolved into its own distinct sound while going through shifts in lineup before arriving at its currently tight configuration. Currently, Control Top is led by Ali Carter on vocals and bass, along with guitarist Al Creedon and drummer Alex Licktenhour — Ali, Al, and Alex, conveniently — and the band recently has been hard at work on its first full-length album, Covert Contracts.

While details on the release are still forthcoming, Control Top has shared a new single, “Type A.” Its energy is as urgent as the band’s driven punk sound calls for, and its lyrics are scathing in the best possible way: “I see right through your power trip / One loose screw and you will slip,” Carter sings with determination, “Who gave you the right to decide what’s right / Your false authority is dreadfully boring me.”

Continue reading →

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Course Correction: Philly four-piece Corey Flood plays with menacing moods and vulnerable lyrics

Corey Flood | photo courtesy of the artist
Corey Flood | photo by Emily Lyon | courtesy of the artist

Few things ever go according to plan, as the members of West Philly four-piece Corey Flood know all too well. Less than a year ago, their band emerged from a series of fortuitous course corrections: The spin-off of a Ween cover band switched up its lineup and started writing dark pop originals. Soon after, their hasty first stab at recording demos earned them a deal with Fire Talk and became their debut EP, Wish You Hadn’t. That EP, due out on February 23, comprises four songs that feel equal parts sinister and vulnerable. In them, frontwoman Ivy Gray-Klein is haunted and hushed, singing as a survivor of emotional warfare.

On a recent Saturday, the members of Corey Flood — Gray-Klein on bass and vocals, Em Boltz on guitar and vocals, Noah Jacobson-Carroll on guitar, and Juliette Rando on drums — met me for coffee on their way to practice at Planet Phitness, the performance space that Juliette runs in the house she and Noah share. They’ll be hosting their EP release show there tomorrow night , with support from Empath, Eight, and Preen. Continue reading →

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Meet Cat Park’s newest music project, the low-key angst-pop duo, tact

tact | photo by Cat Park | courtesy of the artist
tact | photo by Cat Park | courtesy of the artist

It seems that instead of releasing a succession of albums from one singular band — as most musicians do — Philadelphia’s Cat Park simply joins or creates a whole new band every time there’s new songs to share.

Creatively speaking, this separation of sounds and themes makes perfect sense, as this method allows for whatever different, new ideas that come to mind immediately be put to fruition — with the added bonus of not throwing off your bandmates and fanbase.

Continuing in this pattern, Park is now etching in her new duo, tact, to the already-long repertoire of musical projects — which boast the likes of Amanda XEight, All Bad and Preen.

Composed of Park on vocals, guitar, and bass, and Jarret Nathan on drums, tact evokes 90s riot grrl rock as much as 70s punk icon Patti Smith in this brief six-track release. Continue reading →

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Festival celebrating DIY publishing in Philadelphia returns to the Rotunda today

A 1982 edition of Savage Pink | via Fanzine Addiction

The Philly Zine Fest has been going strong for 15 years now, an annual gathering of zine makers, zine readers, and just all around zine nerds. They come to The Rotunda every year to share in a community that’s based around a shared love of DIY attitude and ethics and being able to express whatever it is you need to express in printed form. That can range from poetry and art to personal stories to zines about specific topics, like cooking or bike maintenance or politics.

In many ways, the zine, in its most pure photocopied and stapled form, is like a song or album created and recorded by a DIY band. There’s the initial idea that is tweaked and shaped – and tweaked and shaped some more – until a final form is achieved. It’s then ultimately written down or typed out and copied and distributed. Sometimes, if it’s that kind of piece, it can be shared with others in a live setting. Sometimes it’s just between the writer and the reader, a conversation in the hushed tones of mutual experiences and emotions. Seem familiar? Continue reading →