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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Gary Numan at Union Transfer, Secret Nudist Friends at Boot & Saddle

Gary Numan | Photo by John Vettese

80s New Wave icon Gary Numan headlines Union Transfer tonight in support of his new album Savage: Songs From A Broken World, released in September. It’s been over three years since the electro and industrial music pioneer’s last album and stop in Philly. Garage pop duo Me Not You opens the show. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Gary Numan at The Trocadero

Gary Numan | Photo by John Vettese
Gary Numan | Photo by John Vettese

80s icon Gary Numan headlines The Troacadero tonight in support of his latest album, Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind), released back in October. A driving mix of heavy industrial textures and dark melodies, it shows the singer in top form, and his setlists from earlier tour dates sees him balancing the new tracks with classics from his back catalog – like “Metal” and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric.” Download the single “I Am Dust” below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Download “I Am Dust” by Gary Numan, playing the Trocadero this Sunday, March 23rd

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Gary Numan has impressed generations of ears since his debut album back in 1978 with Tubeway Army. As the New Wave subsided, Gary found his footing in the rise of industrial sounds and put out a series of solid releases to his core fan base. With the years ticking by – perhaps led by nostalgia – Gary began to incorporate more electronics and classic “Numan” sounds into his songs – demonstrated with his 2006 Jagged release. His most recent visit to Philadelphia (and The Trocadero) in 2011 allowed everyone to experience flashbacks as he performed The Pleasure Principle in its entirety, in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Now he has come full circle – as his newest release – Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind) – truly embraces his past with a strong nod to the future. Below, download “I Am Dust.” Numan plays the Trocadero this Sunday night, March 23rd. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

Purchase Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) here.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Eight artists that surprised us at SXSW

Kelis | Photo by John Vettese
Kelis | Photo by John Vettese

It’s been almost a week since the four-day nonstop multisensory rush that was the 2014 editon of Austin’s annual South by Southwest music conference, which has given me just about enough time to catch up on sleep, edit my way through thousands of photos and sort out my thoughts about the experience. Here are eight artists that grabbed my attention at this year’s SXSW, beginning with the woman you see above.

Kelis – The transformation of the onetime “Milkshake” hitmaker didn’t take me as unawares as it may have taken other festival-goers. A few years back, I caught her on tour with Robyn at The Trocadero, and saw that she’d moved on from her bubblegum dance days to a sleek and more sophisticated electropop sound. But still, this was impressive – her backing band was a dozen members strong, it had a sharp horn section and a disco-funk sound to die for, and the singer had enough awareness of nostalgia’s power that she dropped “Milkshake” in the final third of her late-night Friday set at the Hype Hotel. Which was totally fun, but it would have been a powerful performance without. Her sixth album, Food, was produced by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio and is out April 18th on Ninja Tune Records.

Feathers | Photo by John Vettese
Feathers | Photo by John Vettese

Feathers – These Austin locals just got off a European tour opening for Depeche Mode, and their sound sits nicely alongside the 80s icons’ dark synth-dance tones. I caught them Saturday at the goth-leaning Red River club Elysium, and frontwoman Anastasia Dimou freaking owned the packed room. While their sound is decidedly hard-hitting, she has the presence and command of a pop singer – or, say, an alt-pop singer a la Emily Haines of Metric. Even when the power momentarily cut out, Dimou kept singing a cappella and off mic. Their Only One EP dropped in January.

Continue reading →

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Preview tonight’s very special Indie Rock Hit Parade! (and recap last week’s ‘compact’ show)

Cub Sport | Photo by Liam Kidston
Cub Sport | Photo by Liam Kidston

Tonight, we’ve got perhaps the most exciting, action-packed edition of the Indie Rock Hit Parade in history! Tune in tonight starting at 10 p.m. (after the November edition of Making Time RADio with Dave P) for a full two-hour show that will include these special features and more:

Our very first Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session with Aussie popsters Cub Sport!

Selections from Arcade Fire’s fantastic new album, Reflektor!

An Indie Rock salute to the late great Lou Reed, featuring Luna, Jonathan Richman and a rare pre-Velvet Underground recording from Lou himself!

And if that wasn’t enough, here are a few new songs you might just hear in the mix:

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Preview tonight’s ‘Compact’ Indie Rock Hit Parade! (and revisit last week’s show)

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Arcade Fire

As things go every final Friday of the month, the Indie Rock Hit Parade gets boiled down to a condensed, hour-long ‘compact’ edition. Immediately following Land Of The Lost with Robert Drake, the Indie Rock Hit Parade kicks off at 11 tonight. Tune in for new sounds from new wave icons like Gary Numan and Prefab Sprout, plus new projects of familiar friends like Neil Halstead and Dean Wareham. And yes, there will be some Arcade Fire.

Here are a few things you might hear in the mix tonight:

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Get pumped with an eclectic mixtape from Kurt Vile, learn about his new EP and deluxe edition of Daze

ScaredWith his latest double LP Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze generating international acclaim, Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile today announced the forthcoming release of a deluxe edition of the album, along with a new EP called it’s a big world out there (and i’m scared).

The six-track EP, billed as a Kurt Vile and The Violators recording, was laid down during the sessions with John Agnello for Daze, and will be released as a stand-alone EP, as well as the bonus disc for Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze (Post Haze) – which also features new artwork from cover artist / muralist Steve Powers. Both releases come out November 19th.

By way of context, Vile also shared some background stories about the final recording sessions for the album, which took place in late 2012, in a post on his website. He also released the soundcloud mixtape that he gave his backing band The Violators and studio team to “pump myself up” for the album’s completion – cuts from Tom Petty, Gary Numan and more. Says Vile:

i don’t want to dissect all my favorite music for everyone. but i sent this mix to my friends involved in my record for the purpose of loose/good vibes. and then i sent it to some other friends and loved ones. some of whom complimented it, and of course i was flattered cuz i did work hard on it like a total dork, hah… i didn’t just throw it together.

i don’t wanna say all this stuff influenced my record in any obvious way.
but subliminally? most def.
cuz that’s life. always influenced by your surroundings.

some top faves (besides “a quick thing”) :
bill fay “warwick town”
the byrds “truckstop girl”
flamin groovies “whiskey woman”

“…and all of the rest.”

Listen to the mixtape below, and take a look at the track listing for the EP and new cover art for Daze after the jump. Kurt Vile headlines Union Transfer on October 26th. Get tickets and information on the show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Philly tribute to Levon Helm at World Cafe Live and Battles with Work Drugs & Grimace Federation

Tonight at World Cafe Live Philadelphia, Ron and Marley Present: A Commemorative Tribute to Levon Helm. A legend and an inspiration to many, Helm is best remembered as the drummer and vocalist for the incomparable rock group, The Band. He was also an actor, a soloist, and a multi-instrumentalist. His southern roots music comes from his upbringing in Arkansas where he was introduced to rock ‘n roll after seeing performances by Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Helm’s bluesy and country influenced rock music has won him Grammy’s for three of his albums including Electric Dirt, Dirt Farmer, and Ramble at the Ryman. In 2008 he was recognized in Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All time and the same year was given “Artist of the Year” by the American Music Association.

At tonight’s 8 PM show, local bands pay tribute to him with performances from various Philadelphia country rock bands such as Toy Soldiers, The Lawsuits, Up the Chain, and many more… A portion of the proceeds will go to The Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. (Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, all ages)

Also playing tonight is Battles with Work Drugs at the TLA (7 PM, $15, all ages). Below, watch the video for “My Machines” with Battles featuring Gary Numan.