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Download 100+ songs from Cayetana, Screaming Females, Solarized, Palehound, and more in the Get Better Records benefit comp

Solarized | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

In the wake of the recent violence in Charlottesville, local punk label Get Better Records solicited contributions from artists local and national to raise funds to help those injured in the wake of the protest.

There was an outpouring from the scene, and today the label released a compilation of music from 100+ bands including Cayetana, Potty Mouth, Screaming Females, Sadie Dupuis, S-21, Worriers, Cameron Boucher, Palehound, Radiator Hospital, Mannequin Pussy, Roger Harvey, Solarized, Joe Jack Talcum, Dominic, King Azaz and more. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Palehound at Boot and Saddle, Pronoun at Kung Fu Necktie

Palehound | Courtesy of the artist

Along with all the other albums we’ve been waiting years for, Palehound‘s sophomore LP A Place I’ll Always Go was recently released on June 16th on Polyvinyl and it is as much fantastic as it is pure emotion. The trio from Boston brings their indie rock lo-fi sound to Boot and Saddle tonight as the second stop in their US tour in support of the new release. Joining them are Philly’s Queen of Jeans and Ursula at the 21+ show. For more information, see the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop at Union Transfer, Palehound at PhilaMOCA, The Milk Carton Kids at Strand Capitol

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com

Singers and songwriters Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop bring their collaborative LP Love Letter for Hire to Philly tonight for a headlining show at Union Transfer. Last week, they dazzled the crowd at XPN’s NonCOMM-vention. Listen to their set here, and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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A good night for punk in its many forms: LVL UP, Palehound, and more at Union Transfer

LVL Up | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com
LVL Up | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Friday night’s bill at Union Transfer offered attendees a variety of punk acts, each with a distinct flavor.

The show began with Boston’s Palehound, who were celebrating their record release of debut full-length Dry Food. Singer Ellen Kempner brought a quiet energy with her band’s captivating brand of bedroom rock, playing tracks from Dry Food and 2013 EP Bent Nail. It was also encouraging to hear Kempner end her set by assuring audience members to come find her during the show if they felt at all uncomfortable with anyone’s behavior. Nice to see an artist making conscious efforts to keep the show as safe a space as possible. Continue reading →

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Stream the new album from Palehound, see them at Union Transfer

Palehound | Photo via artist's Facebook
Palehound | Photo via facebook.com/palehoundsounds

Twenty-one-year-old Ellen Kempner is the brains behind Palehound. Known for writing songs that are both brutally honest and a pinch playful, Kempner – along with backing bandmates Jesse Weiss (drums) and Nick Koechel (bass) – has recorded a new LP, cleverly titled Dry Food. The album is streaming in its entirety via NPR Music’s First Listen series.

Beginning with “Molly”, a punchy track about a girl who “only knows how to love all alone,” Dry Food takes listeners on a journey through the head space of a young adult trying to assert herself and navigate life’s emotional landscapes.  Continue reading →

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Palehound brings DIY passion and aggression to Philly this Friday

Ellen Kempner of Palehound | Courtesy of Exploding in Sound Records

New York based Palehound released the six song Bent Nail EP back in October, and I have to say I’m disappointed I did not hear about them until now. A lot of potential is wrapped up in this band, from the songwriting and lo-fi tunes, to singer Ellen Kempner’s striking voice.

Similarities can definitely be drawn to Philly’s own Hop Along – both feature passionate and aggressive front women backed by calculated hooks that result in something that is heartfelt and catchy.

“Drooler” contains a softly trudging verse that leads into a blown-up chorus where Kempner exclaims “Vandalize my body / If it helps you sleep soundly.” This song definitely grows on you. “Psycho Speak” is a trip through stories of rich lovers, bad neighbors, and laziness that flows with a non-stop upbeat guitar riff.

The band’s most notable song comes with “Pet Carrot,” with a great amount of humor and honesty intertwined throughout. Kempner takes us through this song as her voice dips and dives across her vocal range, but the guitar and bass also also pop. The EP finishes strong with “I Get Clean,” which focuses on the inability to clear your mind and “Flytrap,” which is a powerful humming ballad.

Palehound will be playing a show at Dog Morgue this Friday with Krill, Alex G, Pumba, and Anchor 3. Stream Bent Nail below, and download it via Bandcamp.

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Courtney Barnett is releasing a new album, playing Union Transfer, being generally awesome

Courtney Barnett | photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist
Courtney Barnett | photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist

Okay, so about that mysterious news from the awesome Courtney Barnett? It’s exactly what we suspected, and it is good news indeed.

There’s a new album coming out. It’s called Tell Me How You Really Feel. It’s got a wicked lead single called “Nameless, Faceless,” a total F the patriarchy jam about power, inequality, internet trolls and objectification set to hard-hitting riffs; the chorus incorporates the Margaret Atwood quote, “Men are scared that women will laugh at them, women are scared that men will kill them.” There’s a video for the song by Lucy Dyson, and you can watch it below. The album comes out May 18th through Mom + Pop, and you can pre-order it hereContinue reading →

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Now Hear This: New music by Miguel, Baths, Karl Blau, Phoebe Bridgers, Little Mazarn, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and more

Phoebe Bridgers | Photo by Frank Ockenfels | via Dead Oceans

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

Happy 2018! The year’s off to a great start, musically speaking, with much to look forward to on the horizon (including some heavy-hitters poised to return – The Breeders, David Byrne, Superchunk and Jack White among them) and a surprising number of strong releases already out in the world, a mere two weeks into the year. Plus the local concert calendar is already heating up, possibly more than any January I can remember. Let’s take a look at some of what’s ahead, concert-wise, by simultaneously taking one final glance back to 2017 at some cuts by artists who had notable breakthrough years, a few great late fall/early winter releases, and a smattering of others that you (or I) might have overlooked along the way. All but one have upcoming Philly tour dates – many of them happening this month and several further on down the line. Continue reading →

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Waxahatchee and Cayetana are playing Union Transfer, touring together this summer

Waxahatchee | photo courtesy of the artist
Waxahatchee | photo courtesy of the artist

Out in the Storm, Katie Crutchfield’s fourth album under the Waxahatchee banner, is due out July 14th on Merge Records, and the band just announced a hometown Union Transfer show on record release day. Better news: Cayetana shares the bill, along with Snail Mail. Better still: Cayetana and Snail Mail will join Waxahatchee on tour through early august, hitting the midwest, Canada, Pacific Northwest and Southwest. From there, the tour branches off, with Palehound and Outer Spaces teaming up with Crutchfield & co.

Check out the full dates in the flyer below, and get details and more information on the Union Transfer gig at the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch Waxahatchee’s recent appearance on Shaking Through here. Continue reading →