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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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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 →

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Hozier headlines #XPNFest’s Friday lineup, with Dawes, Bettye LaVette, Japanese Breakfast and more

Hozer | photo courtesy of the artist // Dawes | Magdalena Wosinska // Bettye LaVette | photo by Mark Seliger | courtesy of the artists

The XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru returns to the Camden Waterfront in just a few short months, the weekend of July 26, 27, and 28.

Headlining the BB&T Pavilion on Friday, July 26 is Irish singer-songwriter Hozier, who debuted in 2013 with “Take Me To Church,” a ubiquitous song that led his 2014 self-titled album to double-platinum status. He returned earlier this month with his sophomore album, Wasteland, Baby! Watch him perform the opening track, “Nina Cried Power,” on World Cafe below.  Continue reading →

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Strand of Oaks, Killiam Shakespeare, Great Time and more will play the #AmplifyPhilly showcase at SXSW

Strand of Oaks | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // Killiam Shakespeare | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN // Great Time | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN

The annual SXSW festival is right around the corner, and once again the #AmplifyPhilly showcase is setting up shop on 6th Street in downtown Austin to show off some of the best names in Philadelphia music.

Headlining #AmplifyPhilly, which takes place on Monday, March 11th of this year, is Strand of Oaks, who is just ahead of releasing the new Eraserland LP on Dead Oceans Records. Continue reading →

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Foxtrot & the Get Down debut new songs to full house at Johnny Brenda’s

Foxtrot and the Get Down | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN | dylaneddinger.com

Proud Philadelphians Foxtrot & the Get Down premiered new songs off a forthcoming EP to the most excitable crowd I’ve ever seen at Johnny Brenda’s. The band, who have just been signed to Soundly Music, have definitely earned their place as one of our hometown’s most recognizable local acts. Just this past summer they played several sets at Dover, Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival and made their national TV debut on Fox’s The Q, and they don’t have any plans to slow down.

Foxtrot also shared last night’s lineup with longtime friend and fellow Philly native artist Brianna Judge. Fun fact: singer and guitarist Colin Budny told me that he and Brianna played their first ever shows together back in 2012 down the street at the local bar Kostas – though then called The M Room.

The setlist for the night included old favorites like “Shine,” a newer bluesey track called “Down & Out” (which also features a brand new music video that you can watch below), a brand new week-old tribute to the 27 club called “Legends Never Die,” and a sneak peak of a single dropping this Friday called “Battered & Blue,” which will be featured on their forthcoming EP under Sony. Continue reading →