This spring, two notable things occurred in the Philly music circles of Instagram. First, Cat Park – the singer-guitarist of power trio Amanda X – began more actively posting her visual art in the mix along with her slice-of-band-life photos. A couple weeks after that, Frances Quinlan of Hop Along started an Instagram for her sketches from the tour van.
Given that both women have a background in visual art before turning to music, it was exciting to get a look at this lesser-seen side of their creative work — a return to their roots as it were. It also provided an interesting contrast of their styles, Quinlan’s sketches leaning more classic and naturalistic with a touch of impressionism, Park’s work carrying a strong modern flare. Tomorrow night, we’ll get to see their work side by side during an art opening at Fishtown’s Rocket Cat Cafe. Continue reading →
Philly’s Dominic Angelella has been in more bands than anybody else I know. Going back a decade to his time in Dice Raw’s Nouveau Riche, his versatile chops have carried through Zoe Kravitz’ first band Elevator Fight, his own long running DRGN King project and Lithuania, his punk duo with Eric Slick of Dr. Dog. Not to mention his stint playing guitar in Philly favorites Hop Along.
This winter, Angelella is releasing music under his own name for the first time, first name only; Dominic‘s Goodnight Doggies drops on Lame-O Records on February 3rd. You can pre-order a vinyl copy here, and get a digital pre-order here. It was recorded with Brendan Mulvihill of Norwegian Arms, who plays in his current live band along with Andy Molholt of Laser Background.
The record has an eclectic and super lively vibe, very much reminiscent of another prolifc and fun artist, Harry Nillson. The first single, “Birthday Song,” is out today, and we’re excited to bring you a first listen to it below. Continue reading →
Whether he’s fronting his Dublin rock band The Frames, acting in the indie film favorite Once or releasing his own stunning solo albums, Glen Hansard never fails to strike an emotional chord. He headlines the Keswick Theatre tonight; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
There are definitely times when I love being wrong about things. Like the first time I went to Johnny Brenda’s: in fall of 2006, right after I first began as a volunteer with WXPN. It was a Silversun Pickups show, if you can believe that – Viva Voce opened. The Fishtown pub had recently re-invented itself as a 200-cap venue and, waiting for the show to start, I went to the bar to order a beer.
This was coming off of a half dozen years of living and breathing The Khyber, mind you, so I asked for a Yeungling. “We don’t have Yeungling,” the bartender sniffed. “Um, okay, PBR?” The bartender silently pointed to a chalkboard listing the all-local craft beer menu, which I simply could not wrap my brain around. No PBR? No Yeungling? I grabbed the cheapest thing (something called Kenzinger) and went back to my friends. “Dude, no Yeungling,” I said. “This place is gonna FAIL.”
Oh, young John, you had so much to learn.
Not only did JBs not fail – and thank the gods for that – it’s thrived for the past decade at the corner of Frankford and Girard, weathering rough years in the national music industry and seismic ripples in the local concertgoing landscape. It withstood the opening of the much-heralded and exactly-the-same-size’d Boot and Saddle; both clubs do their respective things in tandem with reliably strong calendars. It’s been dogged by the change in Fishtown and persists in the face of broverflow – though, seriously, if you’re grabbing food after 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, prepare yourself a very different world than it was at the start.
Most importantly, Johnny Brenda’s has been a welcoming home for the Philadelphia music community – the “made it” stage that upstart bands of all stripes aspire to, from Meg Baird to The Bul Bey to Abi Reimold and more. It’s the scene of secret celebrations for big hometown names like The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile; it’s held memorable New Years’ Eve throwdowns with A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Hop Along. And appropriately, to mark its 10 years on the Philly scene, it’s celebrating with two nights of all local music. Continue reading →
Beyond The Bars is a program that benefits music education for incarcerated youth in Philadelphia. Their programs consist of providing instruments and music lessons to “empower young men and women as they navigate the criminal justice system.” Beyond The Bars was founded by Matthew Kerr, Eric Ammon, Brian Thomas, and Christopher Thornton. The organization has been gaining momentum and was recently featured on WHYY. Continue reading →
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Yesterday we told you about SWAMP (IS ON), Dr. Dog‘s inventive collaboration with Pig Iron Theatre Company; based on my Instagram feed last night, the show is every bit as fantastical and surreal and awesome as I imagined. The premise is that the band receives a cassette tape from outer space, and has to translate its encoded message; a parallel to Dr. Dog translating the pop songs from its early self-released album The Psychedelic Swamp. Friday and Saturday’s performances are sold out, so if you don’t have tickets already, tonight is your last chance to take in this unique show, since this won’t happen twice. Tickets and more information can be found here. Continue reading →
A few months after the release of sophomore LP Painted Shut, Hop Along‘s Frances Quinlan visited with Noisey to record an acoustic version “Buddy in the Parade” from this year’s Painted Shut. The session takes place in the warehouse of a mural company, buckets of paint creating a backdrop for Quinlan and her guitar. And in typical fashion for the musician, her performance has just as much, if not more dynamism than the album. Watch the session below, and see Quinlan with the rest of the band at Made in America on September 5th. Continue reading →
Hop Along‘s Frances Quinlan looked over the moon happy in just about all the Instagram pictures the band posted last night, and with good reason; she was brought onstage to sing with Weezer in front of a sold-out Trocadero crowd. Continue reading →