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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tinariwen at Union Transfer, Oddisee at TLA, John Patitucci & Daedalus Quartet at World Cafe Live, and more

Tinariwen | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Grammy-award winning Tuareg group Tinariwen will bring their sweeping sounds of the Sahara to Union Transfer tonight. The Malian rockers recently released their album, Elwan, which features contributions from Kurt Vile, Mark Lanegan, Alain Johannes, and Matt Sweeney. Find more info on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and take a trip to a rock show in the desert by watching the video for “Sastanàqqàm” below. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Tinariwen and Dengue Fever will join forces at Union Transfer this April

Tinariwen | via the band's Facebook page
Tinariwen | via the band’s Facebook page

Early next year, Tuareg folk rockers Tinariwen will release their seventh album, Elwan, which features contributions from Matt Sweeney, Mark Lanegan, and Philly’s own Kurt Vile, to name a few. You can check out the gorgeous new video for “Ténéré Tàqqàl” below, and this coming April 18th, you catch the band live when they roll through Union Transfer. They’ll be joined by the also fantastic Dengue Fever, a band whose music is significantly more pleasant than the mosquito-borne illness for which its named. Continue reading →

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“My F’in Night at the Opera”: Iggy Pop channels the spirit of ’77 at the Academy of Music

Iggy Pop | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN | wendymccardle.com
Iggy Pop | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN | wendymccardle.com

This story begins on March 19, 1977. It’s the day after the release of Iggy Pop‘s solo debut, The Idiot, and he’s performing at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia with his collaborator and producer, David Bowie. Also in attendance is my concert connoisseur / photographer mother, Nancy. She has brought her camera, hoping to catch photos of Bowie but unwittingly bearing witness to a musical partnership that would connect Iggy Pop to another musical brethren decades later.

Fast forward forty years – I’m standing in front of the Academy of Music, waiting for my turn to photograph Iggy Pop. Continue reading →

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The 7 best things I saw at SXSW

Jack Garratt | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Jack Garratt | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

As with the past twenty plus SXSW music festivals I’ve attended, coordinating seeing all the bands I’ve want to see each year I go is a function of timing and serendipity. And it’s nearly impossible to see everything I have on my wish list. At any time, there are both official and unofficial showcases all around the city, and there are literally hundreds of them. SXSW is a sprawling, crowded event where you can see a random band rocking out in a vacant parking lot, or see an emerging buzz band, or if you’re willing to wait in a long line to get into the Spotify house, or the Pandora stage or the Hype Hotel, you might be able to see some big name rock bands or rappers along with bands your industry friends have declared the next big thing. It can get very complex very quickly.

Going into SXSW this year I had a list of 23 artists I wanted to see, and given I was at the festival for less time than usual, I knew a list of that size was over reaching. I managed to see about a dozen shows over the three days I was in Austin. Here’s some of the best things I saw. Continue reading →

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MusicNotes from the XPN Morning Show: Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) w/ new album/tour, Doors’ film “Feast of Friends” finally out, and how to get rid of U2’s “Songs of Innocence” from your iTunes

via consequenceofsound.net
via consequenceofsound.net

Yusuf Islam, who attracted millions of fans when he was known as Cat Stevens is releasing a new album called “Tell ‘Em I’m Gone” on October 27 and also doing his first tour in 25 years. Find out some of the guest artists & listen to the new song “Dying to Live” Continue reading →

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Dean Ween featured on new episode of Guitar Moves

dean-ween-fishing

A new episode of the web-show Guitar Moves has been released, and features Matt Sweeney talking to Dean Ween, co-founder of “avant-stoner royalty act” Ween, in Dean’s shack in New Hope, PA. While Ween may have been a band founded on the grounds of being somewhat of an inside joke, and merely a way to stir things up within the alternative world of music, there’s no denying the fact that Dean himself can really shred, as made further evident by his appearance on Guitar Moves. Check out the video below.

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Hour finds instrumental solace from the noisy streets of Philly on their new LP Tiny Houses

Hour
Hour | photo by Bob Sweeney | courtesy of the artist

Local instrumental supergroup Hour packs a lot into their quiet, delicate sounds. The group’s latest release, Tiny Houses, is out now, and showcases Hour at their finest, their skilled instrumentalists stepping away from their various other projects to pour their talent into a collective sound. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: The Wombats, PnB Rock, The Dove and the Wolf, Passion Pit and more

PnB Rock at The Roots Picnic | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Now this is a bit more like it. Last Tuesday’s edition of The Week Ahead was a bit tighter, a quiet first week of year. This week, though, we’ve got 18 shows for your consideration, from Brit rockers The Wombats at Union Transfer to the heavy atmospherics of True Widow at Johnny Brenda’s, Philly rapper PnB Rock headlining a homecoming gig at The Fillmore, and a lot more. Add into the mix a healthy slate of continuing Philly Loves Bowie Week activity, and you’ve got plenty of reasons not to stay in from the cold. Continue reading →

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Listen to Madalean Gauze’s cathartically fun FUNeral EP, see them tonight at Boot & Saddle

Madalean Gauze | via instagram.com/madalean_gauze

Philly rocker Madalean Gauze has a very funny, very true tagline on her Instagram page: “💅🏼 IDC ABT FASHION 💅🏼 .”

This is applicable beyond the jeans-and-t-shirt-and-cat-mask aesthetic of last year’s Cool and Fun EP; it includes “fashion” as far as “what’s cool” or “what the music scene expects you to do.” Like I said earlier this week, Madalean does whatever the heck she wants, she makes art for herself, whether that means launching a stoner doom metal band or releasing an off-the-cuff EP, as she did today with FUNeral. Continue reading →