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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Harmony Woods at Everybody Hits, Curtis Harding at World Cafe Live, Aster More at Boot & Saddle

Harmony Woods | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

If you missed Harmony Woods on the big stage opening for Modern Baseball a few weeks ago, you can still catch them tonight at Everybody Hits. The project of Philadelphia’s Sofia Verbilla, Harmony Woods has been making strides this year following the release of Nothing Special. Verbilla and band joined us for a Folkadelphia + Key Studio session a few months ago, listen below and read The Key’s feature on Harmony Woods hereSave Face, Secret Stuff and Brackish also play tonight; find more information on the Home Outgrown Presents gig here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Aster More at The Barbary, Commonwealth Choir at The Fire, HR at MilkBoy and more

Aster More | via their Facebook page
Aster More | via their Facebook page

After debuting at this summer’s First Time’s The Charm festival, Philly six-piece Aster More released a self-titled EP of amped up tunes indebted as much to shoegaze as post-hardcore. Tonight, the band plays The Barbary; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Aster More bring punk hooks and shoegaze instrumentation on self-titled debut

Aster More | via their Facebook page
Aster More | via their Facebook page

Philadelphia’s Aster More may have just hit the scene a few months ago, but they’ve already shared their debut, self-titled EP, and it’s a promising start for the sextet. If you like your guitars blaring, your vocals passionate, and your lyrics confessional, then stop whatever you’re currently doing–this is more important. Find somewhere private, put on your headphones, and slam dance your troubles away. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Katie Frank and the Pheromones at MilkBoy, The Wood Brothers at Prince Music Theater, Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival and more

Photo by Will Hoover | Courtesy of facebook.com/katiefrankmusic
Photo by Will Hoover | Courtesy of facebook.com/katiefrankmusic

Foot-stomping folk rock band Katie Frank and the Pheromones will fill MilkBoy with their Americana roots sound tonight. This is the band’s record release party for Counting Your Curses, their debut full-length from Elizabethtown, Pa. native Frank. The band broke through with their country-influenced, twangy sound and shared their tunes with us in a Studio Session. Fit to their sound and style, their newest record was recorded in a homey, carriage-like recording studio outside of Philadelphia with Kawari Sound, according to an interview they did about the new album with The Vinyl District. Joining them will be indie-pop folk favorites The Lawsuits and folk/Americana artist Kevin KillenThis 21+ show will start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8 in advance, $10 at the door and can be purchased here.

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James Cotton, Loudon Wainwright III, Carsie Blanton and more playing the Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival on 2/21 and 2/22

Photo by Laura Jane Brubaker
James Cotton | Photo by Laura Jane Brubaker

The annual Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival will take place on February 21st and 22nd of next year, with over 50 musicians set to perform during the multi-venue event.  Currently billed artists range from folk to bluegrass to funk and include Loudon Wainwright III, Edgar Winter, and James Cotton, who recently closed out XPN’s Mississippi Blues Project.  The local contingent includes Carsie Blanton, Dana Alexander and Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Check out videos of some performers below.

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XPN Weekend Arts Crawl: First Friday, Middle Eastern cinema, Chinese puppets, and much more!

img_1389 It’s Philadelphia’s First Friday in Old City and elsewhere. 3rd Street Gallery has two new exhibitions: Interact by Heather Riley, exploring consumption and the role of objects in our lives, and a solo show by Kristine Flannery, abstract interpretations of cityscapes, flora, and the human figure. A097_C008_1204IZ

New Middle Eastern Cinema is presented by the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Jewish Film Festival at International House,  Aziz Ayse and Facing Mirrors are screening on Friday and Horses of God and Rags and Tatters (pictured above) on Sautrday.Theatre Horizon

I Am My Own Wife is a Pulitzer Prize winning play based on the true story of a German man who survived both the Nazi and Communist regimes in the guise of a woman. The play, which runs through November 24, is a one man show presented by Norristown’s Theatre Horizon, and stars Charlie DelMarcelle in over 30 roles.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 11.13.54 AMDream Journeys, a solo exhibition by Beijing born master puppeteer Hua Hua Zhang, defies the traditional boundaries of the gallery by using puppetry as a form of sculpture, installation and performance. Zhang’s work is deeply rooted in her upbringing during China’s cultural revolution, and deals largely with self expression in a climate of creative restriction. Hosted at the Asian Arts Initiative, the exhibition runs through January 24, and features an opening reception and performance Friday and a performance on Saturday..

And there’s always more going on…
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Ivy Sole will take you for a ride on “Rollercoaster,” the new single from her upcoming EP OVERGROWN

Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

The last time we heard from Ivy Sole, was when she released her duo EPs West and East last year. Early this week, the Philly rapper released the lead track off of her upcoming EP OVERGROWN titled “Rollercoaster”, which is set to drop in the fall via her new Les Fleurs Records. Produced by CRO, Kam DeLa, and Ethan Tomas, the single has a nice bounce that will get you boppin’ in your seat. What gives you that rollercoaster effect is Ivy’s lyrical work. It dives deep into feelings of being mistreated and ignored — “You gon hate me til you love me again / You gon hate me til I’m at your doorstep / Hate me til I’m getting undressed / Love me when you hear that door lock” — and her vocals are so smooth on top of that laid-back melodic rhythm. Continue reading →

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Now Hear This: New songs from Ry Cooder, Neko Case, Wajatta, Bernice, Dear Nora, Stephen Malkmus and more

Neko Case
Neko Case | 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.

Happy summer, is it?  I guess I got all the pop out of my system last month, cuz it’s about to get pretty indie in here.  You like indy music, right?  Good, cause I’ve got nothing major planned for this month.  After all, independence day is coming up soon.  In this June installment of Now Hear This, at the halfway point of an already-pretty-excellent year for all kindsa music, we’ll take some stock of the wide, white, anglophone (though in this case, hardly at all male) world of probably the least useful genre descriptor there is.  Then, eventually, we’ll get to some other places – Holland, Africa, outer space, Takoma Park.  We’ll meet some bands named after names, check in with some artists who’ve been around for fifty years, or seventy years, and some who went away for a while and have come back to us.  First, though, let’s hear a heavy hit from one of the least-categorizable heavy-hitters out there… Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Jenny Lewis, U2, Eternal Summers, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and more

Jenny Lewis
Jenny Lewis | photo by Rich McKie for WXPN

You can’t tell us that there’s nothing going on this week — even if you don’t count the Firefly Music Festival (which you should totally count), there are more artists moving through the Philly region that we can pin down. Massive arena shows like U2 and Harry Styles to modest DIY gigs like Cold Fronts and Eternal Summers, the spectrum is huge. Here are 27 concerts you can see in and around Philly this week. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Harmony Woods, Kendrick Lamar, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, The Wonder Years and more

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar in the “Alright” video | still from video

Between the ridiculous rain and the Ticketfly “cyber incident” shutdown, it’s been a weird week to be a concertgoing Philadelphian. Don’t let that stop you from getting out and getting to the gig, though. Here are 22 concerts you can see in and around town in the next week, from indie folk true believers The Decemberists to reigning rap king Kendrick Lamar and his Top Dawg Entertainment showcase tour. Continue reading →