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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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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 →

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Finding Philly in Austin: Catching up with nine local artists at SXSW

The Districts | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

South by Southwest: the festival to end all festivals. That time of the year when the entire world takes over the city of Austin for a week of networking, tacos, and lanyard tans. But somewhere amidst the corporate clutter, in between the long lines outside sponsored showcases and under the litter of promotional flyers strewn across the main drag of Austin’s 6th street by week’s end, is that which makes SXSW so strange and wonderful: the thousands of independent artists who chose to play more sets in just a few days than certain artists play in a year, compensated by the choice between $250 and a wristband, and the vague promise of discovery.

This year, I decided that I, myself, would participate in the SXSW hustle, running around the streets of Austin to the sound of a hundred bands at once, camera and notebook in hand (which is nothing, really, compared to the gear most musicians were toting) to catch up with nine of Philadelphia’s own artists showcasing at this year’s festival. Below, read excerpts from our conversations, and see photos from their live sets. Continue reading →

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Listen to a fuzzy new LVL UP track “Hidden Driver,” catch them at PhilaMOCA in September

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

New York lo-fi indie rockers LVL UP, a year removed from a gig here in Philly at Union Transfer, shared a new song Tuesday titled “Hidden Driver.” The single is the second to be released off the forthcoming album Return to Love — the band’s third LP overall, but first with Sub Pop Records.

“Hidden Driver” seems to be a title nodding to a higher power. Continue reading →