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Earthboy tightens their sound with the spacey lo-fi single “Bandaid”

Earthboy | via facebook.com/earthboypa

The first time I caught an Earthboy set was last January at now-retired venue The Sound Hole, along with local basement scene favorites Family Volleyball and Joy Again. I was captivated, fighting to listen beneath a rising chatter and the aluminum crunch of beer cans underfoot. Earthboy’s sound has only gotten tighter with their latest double release, “Bandaid + Chaser.” Continue reading →

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Family Volleyball’s new LP Juliana is equal parts sunny and wistful, dreamy and nostalgic

Family Volleyball | photo by Alana Gardner | via the artist’s Facebook page

Local basement scene-ers Family Volleyball may be solidly in the ‘band name = family member + random sport’ camp, but if their new release is any indication, they’re in no danger of being lost in the herd. It’s been a few years since Family Volleyball joined us for a Key Studio Session, and the band, made up of Ethan Kerr, Owen Zieger, Harry Welsh, Michael Zicchinolfi and John Moran, doesn’t show any signs of slowing down — their new LP Juliana is out now, and it’s brimming with all the soft yet catchy tunes we could ask for. Continue reading →

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Vern Matz explore themes of nostalgia in debut self-titled EP

Vern Matz | photo by Noah Silvestry | courtesy of artist

Vern Matz‘s self-describing slogan “Indie tunes for your winter blues,” whether jocular or not, is spot-on. From the blue-toned artwork to spacey effects in the songs themselves, Vern Matz thematically paints the bleakness of winter in their self-titled debut EP. Built on atmospheric, sweeping instrumentals, the opening track “Earthboy” shows shades of Bowie and hints of James Mercer from his Broken Bells era. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Shannen Moser, Dream Syndicate, Stratus Quartet, Greg Sover and more

Shannen Moser | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Welcome to 2018, and welcome to our new concert picks! To aid in your advance planning, we’ll be coming at you weekly with a roundup of shows not to miss for the next seven days — hence, The Week Ahead. This week, indie folksinger Shannen Moser kicks off the Lame-O Records residency at Boot & Saddle, while string-laden new music ensemble Stratus Quartet plays World Cafe Live, bluesman Greg Sover hits The Twisted Tail, plus six other shows. Dig in below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Zeshan B at Boot and Saddle, Vivian K at Kung Fu Necktie

Zeshan B | photo via Ticketfly

Chicago singer-songwriter Zeshan B channels the heartfelt big-band soul of classic artists from the 60s and 70s, particularly Sam Cooke. His album Vetted was released back in April on Minty Fresh Records, and tonight he plays a gig at Boot & Saddle that’s free with RSVP. You can do that right here, and if you need motivation, check out Zeshan B on Colbert performing George Perkins’ “Cryin’ In The Streets,” a Civil Rights Movement-era song written in response to Martin Luther King’s funeral. Recorded late last week, it was his network television debut, and with lyrics about marching to the streets in the face of hatred and injustice, it is just as relevant in these turbulent times as it was 50 years ago. Continue reading →