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Archpalatine stands out like a bright ray of joy against the darkness in the “Turbulence” video

Archpalatine | still from video

If you mix theatrical rock with futuristic funk and self-described “soul glam,” you end up with Archpalatine, one of the most interesting newer bands in town. Led by singer and keyboardist Derek Anthony Wilson, the project just shared a video for the song “Turbulence,” from their debut album Amalgam. Continue reading →

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Joy Again gets weird and poppy with new tracks, “Kim” and “On a Farm”

Joy Again | photo courtesy of the artist
Joy Again | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly five-piece Joy Again have been around the scene in one way or another for quite a bit. Adapting in different forms and names, they’ve worked with the likes of Mom + Pop records and Lucky Number, while playing a whole lotta basement shows along the way. Now, they’re back with a new bout of tunes via Never Grow Up —  in which they’ve recently released the two singles, “Kim” and “On a Farm.”

Both songs share a video, as well as the short and sweet length of just about two minutes. But the similarities pretty much smack to a halt there, as the tracks exist as a sort of A and B-side advertisement to their expansive style-sliding-scale from: a.) exuberant indie pop to b.) the oh so wonderfully strange. Continue reading →

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Joy Again brought down Hot Dog House last night. Catch their final show tonight at Everybody Hits.

Blaise from Joy Again | Photo by Simon Klein
Blaise from Joy Again | Photo by Simon Klein

The Philly basement show scene has become a beacon that attracts teens and young adults from all around Philly to make amazing art and music for their peers. Last night a huge mass of youth descended on Hot Dog House, a small house venue to see 3 touring bands, as well as the penultimate show of young Philly favorites Joy Again (formerly known as Forever Lesbians, and can be called so interchangeably).

Made up of teens from mostly northern Philly suburbs, this band has started to pull larger and larger crowds of Philly kids who can’t get enough.  They’re known for the relatable songwriting of guitar players Arthur Shea and Sachi Diserafino, and an amazing distorted sound sounds like the best of Ariel Pink.  Everybody was abuzz to see Joy again play, but noticeably saddened to see one of the best up and coming Philly bands break up. The place was packed wall to wall for every act, and all the groups played long sets to the noticeably excited young crowd of mostly teens. Continue reading →

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Falling in Love Again: Joyce Manor release first new song in two years, headline the Church in October

Joyce Manor | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN
Joyce Manor | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

California punks Joyce Manor have the art of the two-minute-or-less song down to a science. Always packing in a friendly dose of angst, a heaping of heart and a dash of wonderment, the band squeezes into a short song what some band’s can’t with double the time. With their well-oiled machine ready to roll out again, Joyce Manor has just announced a long-awaited follow-up to 2014’s Never Hungover Again. The album Cody is due out on October 7th via Epitaph, and Joyce Manor just released the first single, “Fake I.D.” Continue reading →

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Listen to Joyce Manor’s raw and infectious pop punk in Never Hungover Again

Photo via facebook.com/joycemanorband
Photo via facebook.com/joycemanorband

SoCal punk band Joyce Manor return with their third album Never Hungover Again. The album follows 2012’s Of All The Things I Will Soon Grow Tired Again. It’s the group’s first on Epitaph Records and is out July 22nd. Earlier this year, the group released the video for the first single, a DIY jiu-jitsu lesson, “Catalina Fight Song” was released in May.

Never Hungover Again certainly has a Smiths-like aspect, a sort of tragic Morrissey-esque feeling. The moody atmosphere is paired with nasal punk vocals and good, catchy guitar hooks. The first track, “Christmas Card” is a prime example. The album has its ebbs and swells. “Victoria” are full of energy but is preceded the final, definitely Smiths’ inspired tone of “End of The Summer”. The lyrics have the raw, emotional appeal of bands like the Front Bottoms and the instrumentation is strong.

Catch Joyce Manor at Union Transfer September 17th. Get more info here. Listen to Never Hungover Again via NPR Music’s First Listen series here.

 

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Team Rave On is once again running the XPN 5K in memory of Andy Katz, and this is their soundtrack

Team Rave On | photo courtesy of Debbie Blum

This fall, WXPN will hold our sixth annual 5K Run to raise awareness and funds for the Musicians On Call program.

Once again, the run has big supporters in Team Rave On, who banded together in memory of XPN supporter Andy Katz, who passed away on October 14, 2016. His wife Debbie Blum, along with his sons Aaron (20) and Daniel (18), began Team Rave On with family and friends to celebrate Andy’s life. Last year, I asked Debbie to put together a list of songs that celebrate Andy, an XPN member, lover of music and a believer in the healing power of music. This year, she did it again — another playlist for Team Rave On, and all of the 5K participants, to warm up to.

My Leicht Lunch today will feature some of the songs from Debbie’s list of suggestions. Enjoy today’s Leicht Lunch, check out the full playlist below, get to know Andy Katz in Debby’s comments, and go to our website to sign up for this year’s XPN 5K. I hope to see you Sunday morning October 6th at Penn Park. Continue reading →

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Confetti and Joy: The Decemberists and M. Ward made the Mann Center feel like home

The Decemberists | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN | katemccannphotography.com

It was one of those nights at the Mann Center for Performing Arts where every moment made you fall in love with Philadelphia all over again. And each song made you feel more at home with the ever-engaged audience.

The skyline aglow, M. Ward took the stage with an acoustic guitar, alone, and fervently played to the crowd. The band shuffled in, playing favorites like “Chinese Translation” and “Post-War.” Mid-set, Ward announced a surprise album release of What a Wonderful Industry, that dropped today and followed it up with a new single, “Miracle Man.” Continue reading →

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Dream team Common and Bilal continue to impress with “Joy and Peace” and “Home”

Common (left) and Bilal (right) performing "Letters to the Free" at The White House | via NPR's YouTube page
Common (left) and Bilal (right) performing “Letters to the Free” at The White House | via NPR’s YouTube page

Just a few days after premiering the politically-charged “Letter to the Free”, Common has share not one, but two new collaborations with Philly soul singer Bilal. All three songs come off of Common’s hotly anticipated new album Black America Again and see the dynamic duo continue their winning streak. Continue reading →

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Of All Things: Joyce Manor rip through first of two sold out shows at the Church

Joyce Manor | Photo by Sydney Schaefer | sydneyschaeferphotos.com
Joyce Manor | Photo by Sydney Schaefer | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

There’s nothing quite like a mid-fall gig at First Unitarian Church, except, of course, the fact that it felt increasingly more like a show in the middle of the dog days of summer with each step taken down to the basement on Friday night. After all, isn’t that the charm of it? Forfeiting sanity, personal space and healthy body temperature regulation just comes with the territory — and there was no better place than here to hold Joyce Manor’s back-to-back sold out Philly dates. Supported by New York up-and-comers Crying and alt heavy-hitters The Hotelier, the night was a showcase of powerful emotions, manifested in intricately diverse forms. Continue reading →