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This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Dinosaur Jr., Sloan, Owl City, Peter Gabriel, Eddie Vedder

Photo by Brantley Gutierrez

Dinosaur Jr.

FRIDAY, JUNE 24
After ending an eight-year hiatus in 2005, Dinosaur Jr. released two albums, but their current five-stop tour (which started in their hometown of Northampton, Mass.) will only be featuring their third album, Bug—the whole grungy, feedback-filled, ’90s alt-rock masterpiece in its entirety. The band toured in support of its last two albums, but this tour is undoubtedly crafted to allow fans to indulge in the nostalgia of Bug. Providing the material for reminiscing will be long-time friend and Black Flag front man Henry Rollins, who will conduct a 15-minute interview before Dinosaur launches into their set, talking about the album’s creation, poking around for amusing anecdotes and such. According to a review by the Hartford Courant, the first go at the on-stage Q&A was pretty awkward, with Rollins being far more talkative than the reticent Dinosaur band members. But if fans are curious enough to hear the backstory of the beloved album, they can bare with it. Dinosaur Jr. plays with Off! at 8:30 p.m. at the Electric Factory; tckets for the all-ages show are $29.50. —Danielle Wayda

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Euod9yyI2C0

The May 2011 release of Sloan’s latest album, The Double Cross, marked the Canadian band’s 20th year together. In all that time, their line-up has remained (almost miraculously) unchanged. Sloan is also noted for another oddity in the music industry: each of its four members (all Halifax natives) has contributed songs for every album. This balance is perhaps why they’re still together two decades later. Their 1991 debut, Smeared, is consistently voted one of Canada’s top albums of all time, coming in ahead of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, and they’ve been dubbed “Canada’s Nirvana.” But their music is more power-pop than grunge; it slides between punk rock jams and catchy ballads with ease. Sloan performs with HotKid at 7:30 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT. —Kiley Bense


Also playing:
Katy Perry + Robyn, Marina And The Diamonds at Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m., $39.50-$47.50); Koo Koo Kanga Roo + Brick and Mortar, Ecomog, Attack Slug at The Fire (5 p.m., $10); Pat McGee + Deep River, Boots Factor at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $29-$39)

SATURDAY, JUNE 25
Owl City + Mat Kearney, Unwed Sailor at The Mann Center (7 p.m., $28); Peter Gabriel + The New Blood Orchestra at Susquehanna Bank Center (8 p.m., $45–$280); Eddie Vedder + Glen Hansard at Tower Theatre (7:30 p.m., SOLD OUT); Garland Jeffereys at Sellersville Theater (8 p.m., $29.50); Bootsy Collins at The Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., $36-$50.50); June Divided + Kingsfoil; Alright, Junior, Weatherstar at The Trocadero (6:30 p.m., all ages, $12)

SUNDAY, JUNE 26
F*cked Up + Jeff The Brotherhood, Dry Feet at First Unitarian Church (7:30 p.m., all ages, $12-$13); Legendary Shack Shakers + The Sideshow Prophets, The Rumblers at North Star Bar (8 p.m., 21+, $12)

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: The Django Pages – A.D. Amorosi’s greyhound rates the hits, disses the misses of the year gone by

Django Amorosi | photo by Reese Amorosi | courtesy of the artist

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key contributor A.D. Amorosi turns to his trusty greyhound Django for some musical feedback.

Your best friend does not always like the music that you like. That’s what friends are for. At least this is the case of Django, our greyhound, with whom my wife and I share a loving bond and living/listening space on a daily basis. It’s his house, he just lets us live there.

If I am reviewing a Migos single with Pharrell Williams, he is reviewing it too.  Same with a Johnny Cash box set, a Sheer Mag download, an Archie Shepp YouTube moment, or what-have-you.  If I am laughing at Love & Hip Hop: New York and watching the dilemma between Remy Ma and her husband/manager Papoose, chances are Django is observing this behavior – and my reaction – with his ears pricked high. Does he enjoy everything on Love & Hip Hop? No. Can I tell the difference? Yes. Continue reading →

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Downtown Boys have a few questions to ask you, loudly.

Downtown Boys | photo by Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN

It’s been almost five decades now since Jefferson Airplane asked for volunteers to get out in the street. Where at one point American popular music could be relied on for a soundtrack that catalyzed the grassroots groundswell decrying racial segregation and our unpopular wars, overtly political rock ‘n roll seems to have become unfashionable. Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello raged for eight years against the Clinton machine, but turned off their amps through the invasion of Iraq. In 2005, Pearl Jam hardly played a full set without impaling a rubber mask of President Bush on a mic stand, but since Trump took office it seems that Eddie Vedder’s been talking about nothing but his hometown’s World Champs, the Chicago Cubs (even if it’s sorta hard to blame him). Anecdotally, at least, it feels sometimes like the days of abundant rock and hip hop that expressed our collective frustration with our dysfunctional institutions, unaccountable abuses of power, unjust policy systemic socioeconomic disease seem to have waned. Hashtags have replaced hands in the air, and if our revolution will not be televised, well at least we can always binge-watch Season 6 of House Of Cards instead.

About that, the Downtown Boys have a few questions to ask you, loudly. The Providence punks brought their kinetic choral rock and roll to Underground Arts on Thursday night with all the energy and swagger of the Dead Kennedys, and the tasteful touch of brass that would make the late Poly Styrene proud. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mondo Cozmo at Union Transfer, Jake Clemons at World Cafe Live

Mondo Cozmo | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Mondo Cozmo have been one of our new favorite bands for quite some time now, and after memorable performances at NonCOMM and Firefly in recent months, we’re happy to welcome them back for a headlining gig at Union Transfer. The project of Joshua Ostrander, the LA-via-Philly rockers are sure to bring a heavy dose of their signature energy. Mondo Cozmo is touring in support of debut album Plastic Soul, released in August. Opening acts Flagship and Illinois are worth arriving early to catch. Watch Mondo Cozmo’s video for “Automatic.” Continue reading →

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Mike Watt and Meat Puppets rattle the windows at Underground Arts

Mike Watt | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Thumping his way through a sonorous solo, Mike Watt makes this pronouncement to a full basement at Underground Arts: “BASSSSSS!!” The delivery of both the declaration and the music is definitive, as if to make one thing clear: if you weren’t sure whether you’d ever heard a bassline before, you can be sure here, tonight. Watt stretches the single word affirmatively over the sounds, and lets it hang there for awhile. It’s not condescending; it’s instructive, as though at the end of a Sesame Street bit, as though we’ve just learned how to sound it out together, right there on the spot, with his guidance. Tonight’s set has been brought to you by the the letter “B.”

If you’re cool, you know of Watt from his heady hardcore days with The Minutemen and Firehose, in the seminal Southern Cali punk scene. But if you’re like me, you first heard about him when he mixed it up with the likes of more widely recognized ‘90s icons. Released in 1995, Watt’s first “solo” record Ball-Hog or Tugboat? was an ensemble effort, a virtual who’s-who of alt-rock featuring the likes of Frank Black, Thurston Moore, Kathleen Hanna, Anna Waronker and Flea, as well as Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl who joined him for the tour and who helped spotlight the bassist for some overdue mainstream attention. Continue reading →

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Listen to Pearl Jam’s rocked up cover of Brandi Carlile’s “Again Today”

Pearl Jam at The Spectrum | photo by John Vettese
Pearl Jam at The Spectrum | photo by John Vettese

It’s been ten years since Brandi Carlile released her incredible breakthrough album, The Story, and to celebrate the ten-year anniversary, a tribute album titled ‘Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years of The Story – An Album to Benefit War Child’ is on it’s way. Out on May 5th via Legacy Recordings, this release is teeming with amazing artists–including iconic rockers, Pearl Jam.

Pearl Jam covers Carlile’s song, “Again Today,” by throwing an up-tempo, jam-worthy spin on it. Foregoing Carlile’s stripped down opening, Pearl Jam dives right in from the first striking power chord. This doesn’t detract from the song’s raw emotion, however, as Eddie Vedder’s vocals drip with aching intensity throughout, and is backed by Carlile herself in the powerful chorus. Continue reading →

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25 Years Was Worth It: Temple of the Dog plays its first official show at the Tower Theater

Temple of the Dog | Photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN | wendymccardle.com
Temple of the Dog | Photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN | wendymccardle.com

It was a show 25 years in the making, and there was only one city strong enough to play host.  “Philadelphia, this is the first Temple of the Dog show!” frontman Chris Cornell howled as he took the stage before a sold out crowd on Friday night – the first of a two-night run at the Tower Theater kicking off Temple of the Dog’s limited-date 25th Anniversary Tour.  “And we did that on purpose, just so you know,” he continued as the band spread its arms wide with the flourishing opening chords of “Say Hello 2 Heaven”. Continue reading →

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Download Pearl Jam’s Halloween 2009 show in Philly (aka closing night at The Spectrum)

Pearl Jam at The Spectrum | photo by John Vettese
Pearl Jam at The Spectrum | photo by John Vettese

You’ve got to hand it to Pearl Jam: when they throw a party, they go all in.

The year was 2009, and the scene was South Philadelphia arena The Spectrum — a space that, since opening its doors in 1967, was the site of hundreds upon hundreds of concerts and home to various pieces of local rock and roll lore…as well as, you know, sports and whatnot.

The storied venue had been on the chopping block since June of 2008, and curiosity was strong among the local music community about who would be the last to play its stage. The announcement went out in July of 2009, and it was perfect: following a pair of performances by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, The Spectrum would shut down in late October with a four-night stand by Seattle rockers Pearl Jam – with the final show landing on Halloween. There was no way this was going to be anything short of incredible. Continue reading →