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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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Get Lost in An Sibin: The vinyl lounge at Lancaster’s Tellus360 is a prime space for music discovery

An Síbín | photo by Lauren Rosier for WXPN

Since launching in 2010, Tellus360 has been making a name for itself as an Irish pub and multi-purpose music and arts space in a state of constant growth and evolution.

Located in the heart of Lancaster City on King Street, Tellus360 began as a retail store for owner Joe DeVoy’s reclaimed wood furniture. But, he tells us, after experiencing how strongly the community hungered for a space that hosted daily cultural events, it expanded. Today, Tellus is not only an Irish pub, but also a prominent music venue…and now a record lounge.

Though Tellus360 has been open for several years, the Irish pub recently opened the speakeasy-like An Síbín (pronounced sh’been), a vinyl lounge with drinks, books, record players and occasional intimate performances. I recently had the opportunity to meet with events and marketing manager Bill Speakman, as well as vinyl curator Max Kornhauser to talk about An Síbín and visit the new space. Continue reading →

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Sun Organ showcases its range of musical mastery on Your Doomed

Sun Organ | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

Hazy dream-pop outfit Sun Organ hasn’t been quiet for long, but now they’re back — this time with a new full-length for us to enjoy. Your Doomed is out now, and follows Sun Organ’s February EP Something Doesn’t Feel Right and 2016 LP People In the Distance In the Dark.

Sun Organ is the project of Philadelphia’s Tim Jordan, who expertly mixes fuzzy, dreamy instrumentals with soaring, spaced-out vocals. Your Doomed was, according to Bandcamp, recorded all over the place — from Jordan’s bedroom to actual recording studios to a cabin in the mountains. The album features a long lineup of friends and collaborators, too, filling out the one-man solo project into a warm and coherent collaborative effort. Continue reading →

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Absurdist fridgepunk masters Kings of Freon return with Fridge Over Troubled Water

Kings of Freon | photo via kingsoffreon.bandcamp.com

Philadelphia’s Kings of Freon are icons of sorts in the very niche novelty indie rock world. Specifically, “fridgepunk” — that’s the genre descriptor the band uses and we can assume they likely coined the term themselves. The band was featured in a May edition of The Key’s Items Tagged Philadelphia after they appeared on Bandcamp with their relentlessly thematic tunes. After releasing an EP of surprisingly solid songs earlier this year — which are undeniably raw and catchy despite technically being about refrigerator repair –the fridgepunk masters (masters by default, I guess, since they may just be the only fridgepunkers out there) are back with Fridge Over Troubled Water. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hamilton Leithauser at Union Transfer, Ratboys at Everybody Hits, Telepathic at Kung Fu Necktie, and more

Hamilton Leithauser at Firefly 2016 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Hamilton Leithauser played a stunning show at Johnny Brenda’s at the beginning of the year, and now he’s moving his expansive sound into a bigger space with a headlining gig at Union Transfer. Known as the former lead vocalist of the Walkmen, Leithauser released an album with Rostam last year and a song with Angel Olsen just a few weeks ago, which you can listen to below. Courtney Marie Andrews opens tonight’s show; find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →