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Firefly on the Fly, Day Four: The Shins, Phantogram, Muse, Hamilton Leithauser, Hardwork Movement, Busta Rhymes and more

The Shins at Firefly 2016 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Our ears are still ringing from this weekend’s tremendously fun excursion at Firefly 2017. A review is coming later this week, but for today, we bring you photos from our final day in the Woodlands of Dover, Delaware…from Busta Rhymes kicking off the day to Philly faves Hardwork Movement in the campground, Hamilton Leithauser soldiering through string breakage on the main stage and Bishop Briggs playing a dynamic set on the festival’s Treehouse stage, dueling stints from top-form indie rockers The Shins and the always-compelling electro rock royalty Phantogram, and an over-the-top energized closing set from Muse. Continue reading →

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Hamilton Leithauser induces goosebumps at Johnny Brenda’s

Hamilton Leithauser | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

“You guys should be more quiet,” Hamilton Leithauser sarcastically told the silent audience at Johnny Brenda’s as they scrambled to pick their jaws up off the floor.

Leithauser had just belted out the last chorus of “Sick As a Dog,” in which the singer had crooned the words “I use the saaaame voice I alwaaaaays haaaaaaave” to an awestruck crowd of lucky bastards who managed to procure a ticket to one of the most highly coveted shows you’re ever going to see at JB’s. It was only the second song of the night (Leithauser opened the show with “You Ain’t That Young Kid,” another off of his album with Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij entitled I Had a Dream That You Were Mine), and the patrons on the floor and in the balcony had already gotten their money’s worth. What could possibly come next? Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Hamilton Leithauser brings 2017 tour to Johnny Brenda’s in February (maybe with Rostam)

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | Courtesy of the artist
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | Courtesy of the artist

After making its live debut at Free at Noon earlier this fall, the latest project of indie rocker Hamilton Leithauser just announced a 2017 tour which will kick off January 13th in Texas and will come to a close in Dublin, Ireland on March 12th, stopping in Philadelphia on February 9th at Johnny Brenda’s. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam shake the rafters “A 1000 Times” over

Hamilton and Rostam | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
Hamilton and Rostam | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

When I first heard that Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij were putting out an album together, I was as excited as I was apprehensive. It sounded great on paper, of course, but rarely do collaborations like this go over as well as they’re theoretically supposed to. With The Walkmen and Vampire Weekend in their respective back catalogs, the duo had a lot to live up to, but this afternoon, they did just that with an exhilarating, eight-song set at WXPN’s Free at Noon concert. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Preview: Listen to Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam’s new LP “I Had A Dream That You Were Mine”

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | Courtesy of the artist
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | Courtesy of the artist

Two of Indie-Rock’s finest will put out their ten-track LP I Had A Dream That You Were Mine on September 23rd under Glassnote Records. Hamilton Leithauser formerly of The Walkmen and Rostam Batmanglij who left Vampire Weekend this past January have collaborated before, but this will be the first time they release work under the name Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam.

Fittingly, the album as a whole invites listeners into the neo-blues/rock dreamscape born of the collaboration between these established musicians. The introductory track of the album, “A 1000 Times,” eases listeners into the hazy world created by I Had A Dream That You Were Mine with Leithauser’s nostalgic vocals worthy of any lullaby accompanied by twinkling piano notes played by Batmanglij. As the narration continues, the mood of each track grows increasingly more persistent in regards to the love interest that Leithauser seems to have been pursuing for some time now. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Marian Hill at Union Transfer, CHVRCHES at Electric Factory, Hamilton Leithauser at Ortlieb’s and more

Marian Hill | Photo courtesy of the artist
Marian Hill | Photo courtesy of the artist

Philly’s Marian Hill have been favorites of The Key for a while, from their first track “Whisky” to their appearance at XPoNential Music Festival and their forthcoming debut record. Producer Jeremy Lloyd and singer Samantha Gongol played Made In America this summer and are bringing their talents back to the area tonight at Union Transfer at 8 p.m. Click here for more information. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Sidekicks at Golden Tea House, Suburban Living at Bourbon & Branch, Hamilton Leithauser at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

The Sidekicks
The Sidekicks | photo via Facebook

Ohio band The Sidekicks headline a stacked bill at Golden Tea House. They’re on tour in support of Runners In the Nerved World, their new LP that was just released through Epitaph Records. The Sidekicks have nearly become honorary Philadelphians through a friendship with Hop Along, who they invited on the road for a handful of tours over the last couple of years. Listen to “Deer” from the new record below and get more info on tonight’s show with Cayetana and All Dogs here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hamilton Leithauser at Prince Music Theater, Nightmares on Wax at Union Transfer, Brand New at Mann Center and more

Photo by Cameron Pollack
Photo by Cameron Pollack

Former lead singer of the Walkmen Hamilton Leithauser has set out on his solo career with the Jule release his debut album, Black Hours. With music reminiscent of the 1950s jazzy pop, Leithauser is expanding his sound, and brings his band to the Prince Music Theater tonight. Check out the XPN Concert Calendar for more information and listen to the single, “Alexandra,” below.

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Stream Hamilton Leithauser’s Black Hours in its entirety

Photo by Cameron Pollack
Photo by Cameron Pollack

Recently, during WXPN’s Non-COMM, Hamilton Leithauser – former lead singer of The Walkmen – performed a set of new songs that he showcased during his Free At Noon concert. He graced the stage with a large band that included a string section, yet dominated the set with his imposing height, charismatic showmanship, and excellent new material. Hamilton releases his solo debut album, Black Hours, on Tuesday, June 3rd, however you can listen to the record its entirety here via NPR Music.

In his review of the album, Stephen Thompson, of NPR Music, says:

The singer largely tones down the briskly jangled rush of The Walkmen’s sound throughout Black Hours, as he steers many of its songs toward a slow-burning seethe that suits him well. But there’s still a looseness to the record that allows Leithauser to play around on new terrain: “I Retired,” in addition to having the most solo-debut-friendly title ever, even finds him delving into doo-wop halfway through. But Leithauser still hews to themes of aging and alienation — “I retired from my war / No one knows what I was fighting for / I don’t even know myself anymore” — in ways that make Black Hours sound like a natural sequel to The Walkmen’s work.

Listen to Black Hours here.

XPN Welcomes Hamilton to the Prince Theatre on Saturday, July 12th. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased here

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Hamilton Leithauser slows it down with “I Retired”

Photo by Cameron Pollack
Photo by Cameron Pollack

After playing Day 3 of WXPN’s Non-COMM, Hamilton Leithauser is getting ready to his debut album, Black Hours, on June 3rd.  Soon after, he’s headlining the Prince Music Theater June 12.  One of the first tracks to be released from the album, “I Retired,” features Leithauser singing to a slow doo-wop shuffle alongside Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire weekend (who also sang backup, played additional instruments and produced the track).  The slide guitar in the beginning makes you feel like you’re sitting on a porch in the deep south in the late 1940s, drinking moonshine and listening your neighbor jam out on a Dobro.  Experience that feeling below, and get more information on Leithauser’s show at The Prince here.