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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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Listen to Grizzly Bear’s new “Mourning Sound,” see them at The Fillmore in November

Grizzly Bear | photo courtesy of the artist

Grizzly Bear has at long last announced a follow up to their 2012 indie-pop masterpiece, Shields. The new LP is called Painted Ruins and is set to be released on August 18th.

Though it’s been a while since new tunes, you can rest assured that Grizzly Bear wasn’t hibernating during this absence of jams. (Note: I am so very sorry for that. My dad would be too proud.) Continue reading →

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Now Hear This: New songs by Sylvan Esso, Juana Molina, Colin Stetson, White Reaper, Shugo Tokumaru, Alice Coltrane and more

sylvan esso
Sylvan Esso | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

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

Let’s see. Cruel April gave us DAMN., Coachella, the debacle-du-spectacle that was Fyre Festival (not actually much a music story, as it turned out)… oh, and Record Store Day. Which, I gotta say, is the one capitalism-based holiday I can fully get behind – not so much for the cavalcade of exclusive releases, which feels more extraneous and vaguely exploitative every year, but for the explicit excuse/occasion to go hang out in record stores, which I sadly rarely do otherwise. And also because quirky devised human-scaled social rituals like that are just great.

I missed RSD this year for the first time in a while, but I made up for it later in the week by swinging by the Numero Group “Factory Outlet Roadshow” tour stop in Kensington: a traveling pop-up shop from the peerless Chicago-based reissue label: where I stocked up on gorgeously-packaged reproductions/assemblages of 20th-century pop ephemera. (Including, to keep things semi-2017-related, the supafunky sample source of Jens Lekman’s megajam “How We Met (The Long Version)” which has also been in my head for about a week.) So far I’ve barely even scratched the surface of my Numero haul – I’ve been much too busy combing through new releases in order to winnow out the month’s absolute finest strains to share with you, dear reader – but I’m pretty amped to dig in deeper as soon as I hit publish! Continue reading →

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Small Circle announces remastered edition of melatonin out on Flower Girl Records

Small Circle | via twitter.com/smallcirclephl

Chill Philadelphia four-piece Small Circle (populated by vocalist Marissa D’Elia along with Sorority Noise’s Cam Boucher and Adam Ackerman, Rozwell Kid’s Sean Hallock) released a reissued version of their 2016 EP melatonin on Boucher’s new label Flower Girl Records. Mastered by Boucher as well, the four-track EP includes new track “sameness”, along with crisper versions of past relaxed tunes.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Young Statues at Boot & Saddle, The Districts and Abi Reimold at Chameleon Club, Mick Jenkins at The TLA and more…

 

Young Statues
Young Statues | photo by Shervin Lainez

South Jersey emo four-piece Young Statues makes their return to the stage tonight at Boot & Saddle, playing their first gig in two years. Their last release was 2014’s The Flatlands Are Your Friend, so we imagine some new material is in the works for a third album. Whether any of that makes the setlist tonight is unclear, but hey, any chance to hear them rock out on “Athens” is fine by me. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →