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The Key Studio Sessions: Foxtrot and the Get Down

It’s hard to believe, but Philly rock faves Foxtrot and the Get Down are coming up on eight years in the scene. Like any good band active for that amount of time, they’ve grown — and I’m not just talking about going from the duo project of West Chester University friends Colin Budny (guitar and vocals) and Ken Bianco (bass) to the soaring six-piece band that filled WXPN studios this week. I’m also talking about growth sonically and stylistically.

In the beginning, and even a decent way into the mid-period, Foxtrot’s bag was bare-knuckled bluesy modern rock, amped up and aggressive. They’re still a loud band with a big sound, mind you, but today they boast an expanded scope and a dynamic range — something that came first with Erica Ruiz joining the band on keys and vocals in 2014, and then with the 2017 release of Roots Too Deep on Nashville’s American Echo Records, where the band began to incorporate country and folk melodies and arrangements into their poppy rock fold.

They’ve been releasing singles one-by-one in the couple years since then — and playing them for massively engaged crowds ready to dance, as we saw in a high-energy throwdown at Firefly last summer — and the latest batch of songs finds the band diving deep into the American soul stylings of Motown and Stax Records. All that is to say that the Foxtrot and the Get Down that joined us for The Key Studio Sessions is the expansive R&B-minded Foxtrot, fleshed out by saxophone leads from Will Schade and guitar licks from Collin O’Donnell, propelled by percussion from Jimmy Iovine, and not at all shy about flexing their prowess in a near-seven minute cover of Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” which Ruiz totally slays on the vocal front before letting just about everybody in the room take a solo.

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Firefly Bonus Reel: Photos from Smallpools, Foxtrot and the Get Down, Portugal. The Man and more

Smallpools | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

A week ago today, we were heading into the Dover Woodlands for our third day covering the annual Firefly Music Festival. We saw dozens of artists, shot hundreds of photos, and are continuing to sort out our thoughts on the experience — more of which we’ll share with you later this week. For now, take a look at some bonus photos from the weekend, shot by The Key’s Dylan Eddinger. Continue reading →

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Foxtrot & the Get Down wants you to disco along the Wissahickon to “Battered and Blue”

Foxtrot and the Get Down | photo by Dylan Eddinger | courtesy of the artist

In their flurry of a tour to Austin and back for SXSW, Foxtrot & the Get Down dropped the video for their discofied rocker “Battered & Blue,” and you’re 100% guaranteed to feel good after you watch it. Whether it’s meant to make you laugh or not, you will anyway. This video feels like Foxtrot is finally ready to cut loose and change up their sound a little bit, because this take probably wasn’t what anyone was expecting when they heard the song — and that’s definitely a good thing. No matter what creative direction Foxtrot has taken with their work, they’ve all been received by listeners incredibly well.

The cinematography behind “Battered & Blue” is a stark contrast to their second most recent video, “Down & Out,” which featured an action movie plot and exquisitely shot and edited scenes. What we have here is one take of drummer Jimmy Iovine dancing in a mink coat through the entirety of the song. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Foxtrot & The Get Down rep Philly with an energized opening set on the Marina Stage

Foxtrot & The Get Down | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN

Foxtrot & the Get Down started off this year’s #XPNFest with a high-energy performance at Wiggins Park. Band members strutted on stage wearing 76ers jerseys and made a point before their performance to acknowledge their love for XPN and the City of Brotherly Love. A six-piece band formed of life-long Philadelphians that attended West Chester University, they are inspired by elements of blues, pop, and rock indicative of their city roots. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Sidney Gish, JD McPherson, Kingsley Ibeneche, Lyle Lovett, and #XPNFest of course

Kingsley Ibeneche’s Realms ensemble | photo courtesy of the artist

Okay, friends, it’s the final week in July, and that means one thing here in the XPN universe: the XPoNential Music Festival. So while that is our number one concert suggestion for the week — and who can argue with this ridiculous lineup starring Hozier, Japanese Breakfast, Elvis Costello, Blondie, Amy Ray, Guster, Dawes, Lucy Dacus, Caroline Rose, Y La Bamba, local folks like Ali Awan, RFA, Foxtrot and the Get Down, and Zeek Burse — there is lots more live music to see this week. From the Glasgow post-punk duo Sacred Paws tonight to the jazz stylings of Lafayette Gilchrist and the retro rock swagger of JD McPherson, here are 13 concerts to see all around Philadelphia in the next seven days. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Legends Don’t Die” by Foxtrot & The Get Down

Foxtrot and the Get Down | photo by Dylan Eddinger | courtesy of the artist

Earlier this year, local rockers Foxtrot & The Get Down recorded a Key Studio Session, culling together a handful of new songs they’d been performing and releasing since their last full length album in 2017. Since then, the band – fronted by singer and guitarist Colin Budny, have been touring and finding a lot of new fans and friends along the way. Continue reading →

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Man Man returns to play Philly Music Fest 2019 alongside Sun Ra Arkestra, Vacationer, Restorations, Arnetta Johnson and more

clockwise from left: Man Man | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | Arnetta Johnson | photo by John Vettese for WXPN | Vacationer | photo by Joe Bloss for WXPN | Sun Ra Arkestra | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Philly avant-garde rockers Man Man have risen from hibernation this year, and will headline the 2019 edition of the Philly Music Fest, just announced today.

The project of songwriter Ryan “Honus Honus” Kattner and drummer Chris “Pow Pow” Powell was a highlight of the 2014 XPoNential Music Festival, but has since gone bicostal, with Kattner releasing solo music. Along with some previously-announced west coast tour dates, this gig marks their formal return to action, and their first time playing the city where they got started in four years. Continue reading →

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Ali Awan, Strand of Oaks, Rachel Andie and more rocked #AmplifyPhilly at SXSW

Ali Awan at #AmplifyPhilly | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddinger.com

Last month at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Amplify Philly convened during SXSW Interactive for three days of networking, cheerleading, panels, and partying from members of Philly’s tech, startup, business, music, and cultural communities. The Amplify Philly “house” took over the Pour Choices Bar and Restaurant in Downtown Austin for three days and nights. During the day, the programming featured panels and discussions, and the evenings were filled with some incredible Philly grown talent. Continue reading →

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And now, your full #XPNFest lineup: Elvis Costello, Blondie, Guster, J.S. Ondara, Lucy Dacus, and much more

clockwise from left: Elvis Costello, Guster, J.S. Ondara, Lucy Dacus, Blondie | photos courtesy of the artists

“When is the XPoNential lineup coming?” seems to be the question of the year over here at XPN HQ, and today we finally have a good answer for you: the full lineup is here. Right now.

We got a teaser of the 2019 XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru last week when we announced our Friday night headlinersHozier and Japanese Breakfast — along with the Wiggins Park lineup for that day, from Foxtrot and the Get Down to Dawes.

Today, the full lineup is here, capped by a headlining double-header on Saturday, July 27th with Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie at BB&T Pavilion. Sunday’s concert will take place entirely at Wiggins Park, and will feature festival-closing sets from Kathleen Edwards, Guster, and The Amy Ray Band. Continue reading →