New York synth-rocker Frankie Rose released her latest album Cage Tropical today and celebrates with a headlining gig at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. It’s a record rooted in sci-fi and ‘80s pop influences — read more on that in The Key’s own Rob Huff’s Q&A with Rose earlier this week. Joining her on the bill are Tempers and Sad Heaven. Doors for the 21+ show open at 8 p.m. For tickets and more information, head to the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Veteran New York synth-rocker Frankie Rose is set to release her latest, possibly greatest album Cage Tropical this Friday. Following a period of intense tumult and transition in her life, the album draws on vintage sci-fi and and ‘80s pop influences to illustrate and navigate her journey back to music, to New York, and to Slumberland who will release the album. This Friday will also see her kicking off her tour for the album at Philly’s own Johnny Brenda’s. Ahead of the show, I got to chat with Frankie about the hardships that preceded the making of Cage Tropical, as well how sci-fi and the paranormal has and continues to inspire her. Continue reading →
Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.
It’s prime time. As summer winds to a close, we’ve arrived emphatically at the part of the year where seemingly every week brings a fresh trove of high-profile new releases. The last few weeks have seen records from what feels like a who’s-who of top-tier “prestige” indie rock acts: The National, Grizzly Bear, Iron and Wine, LCD Soundsystem and, of course, Philly’s entry in the conversation, The War on Drugs. And there’s more right around the corner from Beck, St. Vincent, Destroyer, Wolf Parade and, of course, Philly’s entry in the next phase of the conversation, Kurt Vile (in collaboration with Courtney Barnett.) As always, it’ll be interesting to see which of these albums manage to live up to the anticipation, and how many wind up largely forgotten in a few months time.
But it’s a great time of year for all sorts of music; not just the big names and known entities. There’s so much stuff coming out it’s hard to even keep track of it all, and the influx of well-established acts means higher-than-usual potential for worthy smaller records to slip through the cracks. But I’ll do my best to help – read on for a smattering of relatively under-the-radar releases from the past month or so. No deliberate themes or through-lines this time, but there are a few trends that stick out. Notably, we are now sufficiently far enough removed from last November’s election – and the many varieties of devastating fallout that ensued – that an increasing number of new releases are referencing or responding to the national (and global) political situation at least on some level – and there are several examples below. Also, for no particular reason except that it just happened that way, all of these songs were made by women – well, with one or two exceptions right at the end, but at least those are sung in falsetto. Enjoy! Continue reading →
The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns to (relative) normalcy tonight at 11pm on XPN. Shortly after the July edition of Making Time RADio with Dave P, listen for a full two-hour show that, let’s face it, will be anything but normal. We’ve got a few new releases to spotlight, namely Broken Social Scene‘s rousing Hug of Thunder, the return of Chaz B. as Toro y Moi on Boo Boo, and Beach House‘s career-spanning set of B-Sides and Rarities. Also in the mix, new singles from Ted Leo, Widowspeak, Frankie Rose, L.A. Witch and more! Preview some of the new tracks below…
Indie poppers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart recently announced a summer tour with support from Frankie Rose and Ablebody, with the later joining the Pains at World Cafe Live Downstairs on July 2nd to finish out the tour. Their instantly classic style of romantic alternative pop is intriguing and hip-twisting, promising their forthcoming album to “a timeless grandeur, deeper and more satisfying than anything the band has done since their iconic debut.”
Brooklyn lo-fi pop band Beverly will headline Boot and Saddle tonight. The group originally started as a project between Drew Citron and Frankie Rose (of Crystal Stilts and Vivian Girls). Since then, Citron has added band members Jamie Ingalls (from Chairlift) on drums and Scott Rosenthal on bass. The band just released their debut album Careers in July. They also released a video for “Out on a Ride” off of Careers., shot with a VHS camcorder to give it a vintage, DIY feel. Watch it below. Beverly will be playing with local indie band Roof Doctor and fuzz pop duo Tender Vision. Get more info about the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
The Philadelphia music scene is being represented by two delegates at the Sundance Film Festival this year, which takes place in Park City, UT through January 26th. Local musicians Will and Brooke Blair, also known as the Blair Brothers, will be taking their score for Blue Ruin out to the convention. Meanwhile Philadelphia production group Klip Collective – whose lively visuals have accompanied performances by Sun Airway, Mahogany and more – was tapped to create a Festival trailer that will screen before each film.
After their synth-pop band East Hundred parted ways, the Blair brothers began composing a score for childhood friend Jeremy Saulnier’s revenge / thriller film, an opportunity they were well-equipped for, having previously worked with the Brooklyn director on a number of short films and commercials. In an interview with The Key in 2012, Will Blair discussed the partnership between the musicians and the filmmaker, which was seeded by the oldest Blair son, Macon, and his creative group of friends.
Blue Ruin tells the story of “a drifter from the eastern shore of Virginia who returns to his childhood home with plans of revenge that go horribly awry.” It was screened in the Spotlight portion of the Sundance Festival, having earned the FIPRESCI award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and showing at Toronto and Marrakech Film Festivals.
We’ve got a very eclectic mix of new tracks to get to on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade. Tune in at 10p for your own personal journey of music discovery. Don’t forget your pith helmet. Here are just a few of the tracks you’ll hear in the mix tonight: