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Hinds bring the party to a Monday night at Union Transfer.

Hinds | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
Hinds | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

After a terrible weekend, I believe that many of us needed a release.  Monday isn’t a prime party day, but I needed the positivity, I needed the community, and I hadn’t really planned it, but I needed this Hinds concert at Union Transfer.  Their unbridled optimism, mixed with a hard dose of good old rock and roll was what plenty of people needed.  Garage, lo-fi, whatever you wanna call it, it’s undeniably fun. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hinds at Union Transfer, tinmouth at Kung Fu Necktie, Beach Fossils at Boot and Saddle

Hinds | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Hinds | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

Union Transfer hosts Madrid garage rockers Hinds tonight. These ladies know how to rock — as we learned when they played the Public Radio Day Stage at SXSW. They’ll play in support of their January sophomore LP Leave Me Alone,  from which you can hear the track “Garden” found below. Baltimore’s Sun Club and Philly lo-fi band Joy Again will open. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Check out a gallery of photos from the VuHaus SXSW showcase featuring Hinds, CHVRCHES, Lucius and more

Hinds | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Hinds | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

On Friday afternoon, the Public Radio Day Stage at Austin’s convention center hosted a fierce lineup of rock, electropop and soul with the VuHaus SXSW showcase. On the bill were Madrid-based indie rock four-piece Hinds, Brooklyn art-pop five-piece Lucius, Nigerian guitar wizard Bombino, UK soul machine The Heavy, Scottish dance-rock trio CHVRCHES and another electronic Englander, Jack Garratt, rounding out the lineup. You can watch videos from each artist’s set here, via VuHaus. Below, see a full gallery of photos from the day, care of The Key’s Hope Helmuth. Continue reading →

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CHVRCHES, Lucius, Hinds and more to play the SXSW Radio Day Stage on VuHaus

CHVRCHES
CHVRCHES | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com

This just in from Austin – and various other corners of the country. VuHaus and its partner stations will present a Radio Day Stage showcase at the Austin Convention Center on Friday, March 18th featuring Hinds, Lucius, Bombino, The Heavy, CHVRCHES and Jack Garratt.

The show begins at 1 p.m. EST (noon Austin time) and runs till 7 p.m.; set times can be found in the flyer below. For those in Austin for SXSW, your registration badge will get you into the show for free. For those who aren’t making the trip, you can watch the entire show live from your computer, via VuHaus. Continue reading →

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Meet Hinds & Pay tribute to David Bowie on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Hinds | Photo by Salva Lopez, courtesy of the artist
Hinds | Photo by Salva Lopez, courtesy of the artist

The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns tonight at 11pm ET on WXPN! Make sure you’re tuned in for this one, ’cause tonight’s show is a doozy. We’ve got brand new tracks from Yeasayer and Craft Spells, plus a spotlight on the debut album from Madrid’s Hinds! In the second hour, we’ll pay tribute to David Bowie, Hit Parade-style, with covers, remixes and tributes to the late icon.

Here’s a little sniff of what’s in store tonight:

Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Masie Blu

Philly’s Masie Blu was vying for an unsigned artist spot at the 2017 Firefly Music Festival when she first grabbed The Key’s attention with the gauzey, cirrocumulus soundscape of “Kundalini.”

Masie wound up not winning that competition (called the “Big Break Contest” or something of a similar nature), and in a way, she’s probably all the better for it. For sure, she would have played a striking set at the Delaware megafestival, and while she isn’t averse to traditional venue gigs, her meditative style is much more at home in art spaces and open mics, in yoga studios and living rooms, in community centers with ital food simmering very nearby.

Masie Blu’s music circles around themes of love, creativity, and personal transcendence, and with the release of last year’s uplifting Transform EP, she brought her skills as a producer and songwriter to new heights, delivering soaring, Erykah Badu-esque melodies to imaginative tapestries of bright horns and buoyant beats. The set she played for The Key Studio Sessions touches on all of that, with the aid of two backing musicians: Antonio Robinson on electric upright bass, and Nathaniel Savoth on electric guitar.

The instrumental arrangements added light and texture to songs like the dancefloor groover “Mocha,” and the atmospheric zen koan “Warm Reflection of Cool Hues.” Their collective playing also transformed Masie’s music further, with the cosmic spoken word bounce of set closer “Balance,” where Masie folded up her laptop and riffed along to reflective instrumental licks as she accompanied her bandmates on kalimba.       Continue reading →

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Falling Back Into It: Allison Crutchfield on the new era of Swearin’

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Alexander Rotondo | courtesy of the artist

It wasn’t long ago that Allison Crutchfield swore off the possibility of a future for Swearin’. 

The band she co-founded with singer-guitarist Kyle Gilbride and released two albums with dissolved not long after the songwriters’ romantic relationship did. Swearin’s breakup, perhaps inevitable at the time, gained a sense of finality as the years stretched on.

“We really had an idea about how this band was just gonna be,” says Crutchfield now, looking back on the events that led to Swearin’s end. “And so when we broke up, it was because none of us could imagine the band existing in the way that we were.”

Until recently it didn’t seem likely that Swearin’ would be revived. Its members moved on to other projects, and Crutchfield released her first solo album, the fantastic Tourist in This Town, last year. But then a conversation between Crutchfield, Gilbride and the band’s third core member, drummer Jeff Bolt, led each of them to admit they missed Swearin’. Weighing what it would take to do the band again, they realized it could be possible — just with a different approach than before. Continue reading →

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Donny McCaslin and Jason Lindner: The boys of Blackstar go beyond Bowie with Blow and The Buffering Cocoon

Donny McCaslin | photo by Jimmy Fontaine | courtesy of the artist

Tony Visconti and David Bowie walk into a bar. That sounds like the beginning of a joke.

Yet, that very real visit from the pair – in the spring of 2014, into 55 Bar, a longtime West Village jazz joint – is how the relationship between the Bowie-Visconti team, saxophonist Donny McCaslin, and his band of renown (drummer Mark Guiliana, keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre) began.

Their collaborative work on Bowie’s 2016 Blackstar would have been the stuff of legend even if the British experimentalist had not have died immediately following the album’s release. Blackstar was dark, spacious, free jazz-inspired electronic rock reminiscent of Bowie’s Berlin trilogy and its mad Manhattan follow-up (Low, HeroesLodger, Scary Monsters), yet, boldly new, inventive, genre-less, and often in tune with what McCaslin, Lindner and Co. recorded and performed before that auspicious meeting.

Which brings us exactly to where McCaslin and Lindner are now, with the former’s soon-released new album, Blow, his tour kick-off tomorrow night at Union Stage in D.C., and the newly-rescheduled show at The Foundry of The Fillmore Philly on January 12th, as well as the latter’s first album since Blackstar, The Buffering Cocoon, recorded with his Now Vs Now trio and out September 14. Continue reading →