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Tigers Jaw presents Otherly Love, a mini festival with a dream lineup from Jeff Rosenstock to Gladie

Tigers Jaw | courtesy of the artist
Tigers Jaw | photo by Jimmy Fontaine| courtesy of the artist

Tigers Jaw has been busy over the past year, with the release of spin last June and more recently, the 10-year anniversary tour of their self-titled album. This week, Tigers Jaw added their own mini festival to the agenda: Otherly Love comes to Philadelphia on December 27th at The Fillmore. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Jeff Rosenstock delivers politically charged, high energy set

Jeff Rosenstock | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

Long Island rocker Jeff Rosenstock took the stage upstairs with a crazy amount of energy and a set of songs from his most recent solo release, POST-, which came out in January on Polyvinyl. In what seems like typical Rosenstock fashion, he arrived with just enough time to spare to start his set. Immediately after the band’s warmup, he addressed the eager crowd with: “This goes out to anyone listening who feels disgusted to live in a country that no longer represents you unless you are rich, white, or male. Thanks,” before jumping into “USA.”

Rosenstock is a blast to watch. He is messy. He is loud. He is pretty much insane. His lyrics are so weirdly on point, his guitar is heavy and fast and constant. The crowd absolutely loved every second of this set. He might have started the first ever NonCOMM mosh pit! Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Full Bush, Josh Ritter, Christine and the Queens, Kaia Kater and more

Christine and the Queens
Christine and the Queens | photo by Jamie Morgan | courtesy of the artist

While there’s not much doing on Halloween itself, that’s fine — it’ll just give you more time and space to roam your neighborhood as a free agent looking for parties, collecting candy, or collecting candy with your kids if you’re at that point in your life. The rest of the week, though: JAM. PACKED. Here are 18 concerts to see in the next seven days in and around Philadelphia, from tonight’s punk rock mischief night gigs at Johnny Brenda’s and Ortlieb’s, to indie rock, soul and trance all round the region on Sunday. Continue reading →

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Need A Little Time: Courtney Barnett slays at The Fillmore

Courtney Barnett | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN

When Courtney Barnett first barged into the scene back in 2013 with The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, I was floored. I couldn’t get enough. The Modern Lovers-derived, cheeky lyric-infused catchy songs were addictive. Literally. For, like, two years straight I listened to Barnett’s music multiple times a week. It wasn’t healthy. I’d listen to the songs before I’d go to sleep because they were stuck in my head, but the infectious melodies would energize me to the point of not being able to fall asleep. I was not a morning person.

But it was too much. I got burned out. Too much of the same music can do that to you, and if you really overdo it, it will ruin the music for you permanently. This happened to me with Billy Joel. It’s not that Billy Joel writes bad music, it’s just that I heard it too much. Nowadays, whenever the sound of Billy Joel is emitted from the intercom of a CVS I happen to be shopping in, I have to quell my oncoming apoplexy and refocus my attention on which overpriced toothpaste I’ll buy this time.

I started to feel this condition setting in with Courtney Barnett. As a result, I effectively went on a Courtney Barnett hiatus. When she came to Union Transfer last time around, I didn’t even go. I could sense myself getting worn out.

Fast forward to this year’s NonCOMM. Courtney Barnett was on the bill, and I wasn’t even excited about it. I was stoked to see Starcrawler and Jeff Rosenstock, but Courtney Barnett was an afterthought. I went to Barnett’s performance anyway, figuring I had nothing better to do. The energy in her set was palpable. The new songs were still catchy and witty, but a bit more structured that the stuff from the Split Peas era. Instantly, the hiatus had ended. I was re-obsessed and committed myself to seeing her upcoming show at the Fillmore in October. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Guided By Voices, Julien Baker, Bilal, Los Lobos and more

Guided by Voices | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist

Get things started tonight with prolific indie rockers Guided By Voices; keep it running throughout the week with soul master Bilal, or heartrending songwriter Julien Baker; get lost in the tones of etheral soundscaper Madam Data, then wrap up with The Mountain Goats in Ardmore. Here are 16 shows you can see in and around Philly over the next seven days. Continue reading →

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The Skeleton Key: Bottle rockets, Satanic Panic, Record Store Day and gigs from Screaming Females to Robyn Hitchcock

Screaming Females | photo by Farrah Skeiky | courtesy of artist
Screaming Females | photo by Farrah Skeiky | courtesy of artist

April Fool’s updates:

Swearin’ is back. HIRS is putting out an album with Shirley Manson from Garbage. Erik B. and Rakim are at the TLA. Oh, and Lou Barlow is playing a small show in a park on the Schuylkill in Southwest Philly. Did I mention that Sheer Mag is recording an album with Hall and Oates? Because that is totally happening.

Okay, so maybe one of those is a lie. I’ll let you figure it out on your own. But as usual in this great city of ours, there’s so much awesome stuff happening that even the absurd seems plausible. I mean, the Eagles won the Super Bowl! Anything can happen. Continue reading →

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Happiness Is Just A Moment: The Menzingers, in top form, share a night with The Fillmore

The Menzingers | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

“Did anybody here go to Temple?” Greg Barnett asked a packed house at The Fillmore last night, and befittingly, a large portion of the Philly crowd screamed. Barnett smirked, and continued “I’m sorry about that.”

In lesser hands, it could have been a diss, some jockish taunting to stoke whatever higher educational rivalries were seemingly in need of being stoked. But that’s not what the co-frontman of The Menzingers was doing here, as he introduced “Midwestern States” — a song he said was about his last semester at college — and the crowd knew it. They laughed loud at his quip, they cheered en masse.

They knew that these four dudes, despite being the center of attention for 2,500 spectators over the course of 90 minutes last night, was no different from them. Adrift in their late 20s and early 30s, feeling overlooked and tossed aside from self-absorbed older generations who won’t step out of the way, unsure of what they wasted their youth on, unsure of what their place was in this world that’s messier and less compassionate by the day.

This is one of the core themes of After the Party, The Menzingers’ excellent fifth LP — their most mature work, and their work most explicitly about maturing — and that restless discontent is the backbone of “Midwestern States.” Continue reading →

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The Menzingers explore what happens “After The Party” in new music video

The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Pop-punks The Menzingers already showed us what happens during the party in the video for “Bad Catholics.” Now, we’re getting the aftermath. Earlier today, the band shared a new visual for After The Party’s title track, which dropped this past February via Epitaph Records. If you’re one half of a sexy, young couple, and both of you work in the same craft brewery, you’ll find a lot to relate to here. Stream the video for “After The Party” in all its glory below. Continue reading →

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Watch Early Riser cross off an eccentric bucket list in the video for debut single “The Nevers”

Early Riser | photo by Andrew Bisdale | courtesy of the artist
Early Riser | photo by Andrew Bisdale | courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn folk pop duo Early Riser write upbeat songs for downtrodden people–just listen to their debut single “The Nevers.” Combining acoustic guitar, cello, and piano in a simple yet effective arrangement, Kiri Oliver and Heidi Vanderlee have crafted a touching ode to perserverance that has a very high probability of putting a smile on your face.

If you’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, let “The Nevers” be the reminder that it’s worth it to keep going. Things may not be going your way right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look forward to life’s little victories like finally getting your driver’s license or a tattoo behind your ear. The track has a similarly uplifiting video (featuring cameos from Chris Gethard and Jeff Rosenstock), where the duo crosses off a collective bucket list that features everything from “save a life” to “boop a celebrity’s nose.” As they in the track’s final refrain, “It’s okay to go out with a whimper as long as you come back in with a bang.” Continue reading →