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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Grayling at The Fire, The Faint at The Trocadero, Crystal Castles at TLA and more

grayling
Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

Tonight, The Fire in Northern Liberties hosts emo-pop outfit Grayling. What started out as the independent project of frontwoman Lexi Campion has now turned into a four-person full time band. Grayling’s recent debut EP, Everything That Burns, dropped back in April. Tonight they play with Honeytiger, Zack Daniel, The Disgruntled Sherpa Project, and Foxster. If your music taste lies anywhere along the super versatile spectrum of indie/alternative music then be sure to get a ticket for this 21+ show that will have something for everyone. Check out Grayling’s studio session with The Key from earlier this week here. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Key Studio Sessions: Grayling

While Philly alt-punk upstarts Grayling packed up after its Key Studio Session this week, frontwoman Lexi Campion told us a story about an old drum teacher.

It was back when she was ten years old, early on in her percussive education. She went in for a lesson, and to her dismay at the time, her teacher said they were going to spend a day learning how to take the drumkit apart and put it back together, to screw and unscrew all its miscellaneous hardware components, to tune and retune the snare and toms. “You need to know how to do this stuff,” she was told.

To reiterate: Campion was ten. And getting such a diligent education early on shaped who she is as a musician today, it instilled a work ethic that carried into her two bands — the math-pop outfit Edelweiss (where she spent a year and change killing it on drums) and the more recently formed Grayling, where she runs the show. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Listen to Grayling’s debut EP Everything That Burns

grayling
Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

Lexi Campion’s Grayling released her debut EP with NDE Records Everything That Burns this week, and you can listen to a stream of the entire thing via The Fader.

The first taste we got from Grayling was “Bidding War”, a slice of emo-pop that channeled St. Vincent as well as Circa Survive. Campion, who used to drum for indie rockers Edelweiss, takes powerful/experimental guitar music and gives it an extremely personal edge. Continue reading →

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Who is Harmony Woods? Getting to know the most exciting new artist in Philly DIY

Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

If you ask Sofia Verbilla, she’ll tell you she’s no good at onstage banter.

It gives her a not super comfortable feeling, a sentiment shared by just about any honest musician you’ll talk to. Her nerves are already frazzled enough getting up there with her guitar and performing; add in expectations for public speaking that’s witty, chill and conversational but also profesh enough to keep the show moving and remind you that, oh by the way, there’s merch in the back…it’s just daunting. Awkward. Verbilla is not the sort to toss around the word “hate,” so let’s just say the closest form of active dislike you can get.

I would argue that the frontwoman of Philadelphia basement scene favorites Harmony Woods is fantastic at banter, and here’s an illustration. It’s March, her band is playing Underground Arts for an International Women’s Day benefit; a tuning break is needed, and the slight silence that descended during the last song lingers. (Verbilla has that effect on crowds.) As bartenders dump ice buckets in the wings, she asks, “So, does anybody have any jokes?” A pause. “I know one. THE PATRIARCHY.” She blows a raspberry into the mic and gives a thumbs-down; the audience gathered round the stage laughs, and the band launches into another song.

Really, everything about it was perfect. The right thing to say for this crowd, at this event. (Or, let’s face it, in general.) The timing was spot-on. It was funny. And it got the gig from point A to point B. When it comes to banter, as with most things music-related, Verbilla is a natural. Continue reading →

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Watch PWR BTTM’s World Cafe performance of “Now Now” with Kiley Lotz of Petal

PWR BTTM | photo by Galea McGregor for WXPN
PWR BTTM | photo by Galea McGregor for WXPN

Adorned in rainbow face-paint and glittery makeup, and surrounded by special-guest friends, PWR BTTM shared their forthcoming sophomore effort Pageant with Talia Schlanger and the World Cafe crew in a session that premiered yesterday over on NPR.

In addition to the VuHaus video of “Answer My Text” that accompanied the session, which highlighted just one of the standout singles we’ve gotten to preview ahead of the LP’s May 12th release, the team also captured the short and spunky “Now Now” featuring backing vocals from Petal‘s Kiley Lotz.

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Underground Arts to host International Women’s Day benefit, featuring Louie Louie, Ivy Sole, Queen of Jeans, Harmony Woods and more…

Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist
Ivy Sole | photo courtesy of the artist

This International Women’s Day — Wednesday, March 8th — Underground Arts will host a benefit concert featuring Louie Louie, Queen of Jeans, Ivy Sole, Grayling, and many more. The event will benefit the new Crossroads Women’s Center, a community based self-help space. You can find a full lineup of the fifteen, possibly sixteen (wink, wink)  bill below. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more information. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Teenage Bigfoot at The Fire, Weekender at Bourbon and Branch, Snake Club at World Cafe Live

Teenage Bigfoot
Teenage Bigfoot | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
Local pop-punk trio Teenage Bigfoot returned last year with the playful and rifftastic 2 Lit 2 Quit EP. Tonight, the band rocks a set at The Fire on Girard Avenue; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Volume 18 (featuring Field Mouse, New Sound Brass, Mannequin Pussy, Ron Gallo and more)

Okay, let’s make this quick — we’ve got places to be and 2016’s to kick to the curb. It’s been another four months, another season of recording amazing Philadelphia artists, and our latest set is available for your streaming and downloading pleasure. Amazing indie rock anthems from Field Mouse and Grayling sit alongside hiphop from Voss, NoLa inspired horn action from New Sound Brass, modern rock / pop from Bel Heir, singer songwriting by Curtis Cooper, Rosali and Bethlehem and Sat Patrick. Punk rockingness by Mannequin Pussy. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Punk Talks Benefit at Everybody Hits, Tesselations at Bourbon & Branch, Spot Collins at Boot & Saddle and more…

grayling
Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

Grayling, Coping Skills, Curtis Cooper, and more team up at Everybody Hits tonight for a show that benefits Punk Talks. Founded in 2015, the Cincinnati-based organization supports musicians and music industry workers with mental health access and education while on the road and at home. Joining the headliners will be Harmony Woods (one of John Vettese’s top local discoveries of the year), the UK’s Parker Lee, Weller, David Bello of The World is a Beautiful Place, and Zoe Allaire of Kississippi. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here. Stream “Bidding War” by Grayling below.

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