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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Land of Talk at Union Transfer, Ought at Arden Gild Hall, Odesza at Electric Factory

Land of Talk | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Following a seven-year break, Montreal indie rock four-piece Land of Talk returned this year with a majestic third LP called Life After Youth, released in May on Saddle Creek Records. The album finds singer and songwriter Elizabeth Powell and her bandmates in reflective mode, a bit wiser for the years than in their more emo-tinged earlier days, but no less willing to look within and self-reflect amid dreamy guitar tapestries. The band wowed earlier this year opening for The War on Drugs at the Dell, and tonight they’re at Union Transfer with American Football. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; watch the video for “Inner Lover” below. Continue reading →

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Wear Black: The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns with new Mountain Goats, Land of Talk and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart!

the Mountain Goats | Photo by Jeremy Lange, courtesy of the artist

After a NonComm-induced break (which, don’t get me wrong, was a ton o’ fun), the Indie Rock Hit Parade is BACK for you tonight at 11pm ET on WXPN! Listen right after the May edition of Land of the Lost with Robert Drake for a full two-hour show that will definitely feature me breaking a sweat trying to catch you all up on the new music that has come out since we last hung out. Two Album Spotlights will guide the way in the midnight hour: First, we’ll dig into the much-anticipated new release from Canadian singer Elizabeth Powell aka Land of Talk. Then, don your best hardcore shirt as we listen to selections from the newest Mountain Goats album. Add in a bunch of new singles and you’ve got a show that is a real jump-start to your long weekend. Check out some of the new tracks below…

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Land of Talk keep the slow burn going on “This Time”

Land of Talk | photo by Tyler Knight | via the artist's Facebook page
Land of Talk | photo by Tyler Knight | via the artist’s Facebook page

Midway through “Inner Lover”, the first new Land of Talk offering in years, Elizabeth Powell intones, “You light it slowly,” amidst crawling drums and droning guitar. It’s an strange, mystifying hook that pops up several times throughout the song’s sprawling five minutes, and with their latest single “This Time”, they continue taking it to heart. While the track falls more in line with the rest of the band’s catalog than its immediate predecessor, it features the same patient arrangement that made “Inner Lover” feel so fresh. Continue reading →

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Land of Talk returns with “Inner Lover”, their first single in seven years

Land of Talk | photo by Tyler Knight | via the artist's Facebook page
Land of Talk | photo by Tyler Knight | via the artist’s Facebook page

After returning from their long hiatus last year with a series of live shows, Elizabeth Powell’s Land of Talk has just shared their first new single in more than seven years. It’s off their new album Life After Youth, which drops this May 19th via Saddle Creek records.

If you’re a fan of Powell’s previous work, the first thing you’re likely to notice here is how few guitars there are. Until about two minutes deep, the track is all spacious drums, bass, and moody keyboard, so when the distorted leads finally crop-up during the silky-smooth chorus, it almost feels like a reward. There’s a patient, nocturnal quality to “Inner Lover” that we have yet to hear from Land of Talk, and it’s left us excited to hear what the rest of Life After Youth shapes up to be. Continue reading →

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Talking England, new music and Union Transfer with Brian Christinzio of B.C. Camplight

BC Camplight
B.C. Camplight | photo via www.bellaunion.com

Philly expat Brian Christinzio moved to England a couple years ago to make the best record of his career. How to Die In The North, his third release under the B.C. Camplight moniker, is out now on Bella Union Records, and Christinzio is back in the states for a while to tour behind the album – which includes a big homecoming stop at Union Transfer on Tuesday the 9th of June. Continue reading →

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The XPN Morning Show talks with Taney Dragons Assistant Coach Leland Lott

Taney Dragons
The Taney Dragons via Facebook

Tonight at 7:30 pm, Philly’s own Taney Dragons continue their quest for a Little League World Series Championship as they take on a team from Las Vegas in Williamsport, PA. Prior to tonight’s game, XPN Morning Show anchor Bob Bumbera had a chance to talk with Taney Asst. Coach Leland Lott, whose son Jared Sprague Lott plays for the Dragons. Listen to the interview below. Continue reading →

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Nightlands’ Dave Hartley talks tape speed, deconstructs “Nico” with ArtInfo (playing Arden Guild Hall tomorrow)

Photo by Catherine Maloney
A trademark of Dave Hartley’s Nightlands is swirling layers of vocals and psychedelic instrumentation. In an interview with ArtInfo yesterday, Hartley broke down his creative process to reveal how he arrives at his sound: recording take after take, manipulating the speed of his tape machine and other experimental tricks of the trade. To further illustrate, he shared three versions of the song “Nico” from Nightlands’ new Oak Island – the album version, an instrumental version and an a capella version. Listen to them below. Nightlands plays the Arden Guild Hall in Deleware tomorrow night, opening for School of Seven Bells – find tickets and more information on the show at the WXPN Concert Calendar.

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Interview: Talking small town scenes with Portland, Maine’s The Milkman’s Union (playing tonight at Kung Fu Necktie)

Maine, to quote The Milkman’s Union, is an anomaly.  Geographically, it is about as accessible as a Wolf Eyes album.  The winter lasts 8 months or so, but those who make it through get one of the more rewarding and splendid summers around.  Shared suffering through the pretty brutal winters knits the community tighter.  The result, musically, is a dense population of thoughtful, composed and committed songwriters, some with big aspirations, and others contented in their situation.   The Portland, ME music scene has seemingly come out of nowhere, despite all of the challenges against it, to rival scenes twice their size.  One of the many achingly under-known artists is The Milkman’s Union, who are the sum of three especially talented musicians.  They each are extremely invigorated and humbled by their predecessors, but have an exciting, folk-rooted sound all their own.  With the band in town tonight for a show at Kung Fu Necktie, we talked to The Milkman’s Union about the internet making the world smaller, Hegel, and being a rapper trapped in a folk singers body.

The Key: Hey, Where are you? 

Henry Jamison: We’re in Cincinnati, we have nothing to do.

TK: Have you had Cincinnati chili?

HJ: We did last night, we had it on hot dogs…….Are we done here?

TK: Do you guys enjoy the weather in Portland?

Peter McLaughlin: There are things about the weather in Portland that are impossible to like.  I would say that the changing of the seasons is something I have liked. I don’t like that it can range in temperature by about 45 degrees and have three different types of precipitation in 24 hours.  But generally I like the weather as a package deal over the year.

HJ: Well, it gets very dark and I get very sad, but it is probably a good thing for me.

TK: Does the weather affect the music you make?

HJ: Yeah, in that is makes me sad.

PM: Winter is a good time to huddle inside and be creative and morose.

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Two to Tango: Kate Stables of This Is The Kit and Adam Schatz of Landlady

This Is The Kit | photo by Lucy Sudgen | courtesy of the artist // Landlady | photo courtesy of the artist

Bristol, England’s Kate Stables — the woman behind the alias and floating band membership of This Is The Kit — and Brooklyn’s Adam Schatz  — of the groovy art rocking Landlady — wouldn’t seem likely bedfellows or touring mates from the former’s Moonshine Freeze of 2017 (complex folk signature touches by subtle jazz washes) and the latter’s Upright Behavior of 2014. That’s what will probably make their shared June 26 showcase at Johnny Brenda’s riveting. Continue reading →

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever bring the mainland to Johnny Brenda’s

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever | Photo by Jack Madden for WXPN

Melbourne-based five piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever took to Johnny Brenda’s this past Thursday night for their second visit to Philadelphia. The band’s current month-long U.S. tour started with dates at both Coachella weekends, and ultimately lead the band to road trip across 30 states before closing out the U.S. leg in Philly, then flying to Europe for the second leg of the tour. Thankfully, the Aussie five piece still had plenty of energy when they stopped by JB’s to enchant the upstairs crowd.

As the clock stuck 11, the house spun George McCrae’s 1974 pre-disco hit “Rock Your Baby.” The disco ball‘s shimmering red lights cast upon the crowd as McCrae’s crooning faded, giving way for the band to take the stage. The disco ball would continue to paint the room in red, blue and green throughout the night as the band’s jangle pop infused summertime rock tunes dazzled the upstairs crowd.

The Melbourne-based quintet kicked off their set with “Clean Slate” from their 2016 debut EP, Talk Talk. In one sense, the lead track is quintessential Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: a trio of vocalists/guitarists contributing their own flavor to the mix, punchy upbeat punk drums, and a driving yet off-kilter bassline. The effervescent blend of neo-pop and sunny punk-tinged rock got the Thursday night crowd moving instantaneously. Continue reading →