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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Melaena Cadiz, Colleen Green and more

Melaena Cadiz
Melaena Cadiz | photo courtesy of Folkadelphia

Folkadelphia debuted a session with musician Melaena Cadiz this week. The Michigan native performed six stripped-down songs, pulling from her 2014 Deep Below Heaven and including one track from her recent song-a-month singles project called “Motel Evangeline.” Take a listen to that song below and download the full session here.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s favorite reissues of 2014

The Allman Brothers | Photo by Jim Marshall
The Allman Brothers | Photo by Jim Marshall

Year-End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2014 awesome. In this installment, XPN Program Director Bruce Warren shares his favorite reissues of the year.

Some of the best “new” music I heard this year was old music. Led Zeppelin, The Velvet Underground, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Tears For Fears all got the reissue/remaster/bonus track treatment in 2014. Dylan released The Basement Tapes Complete, and Miles Davis completists must put their hands on every second of his 1970 Fillmore concerts. Personally I think 2014 was better in the reissue department than the new music department. Here’s a list of some of the best reissues of 2014. Continue reading →

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Download a new song by Montreal psych-rockers, Elephant Stone

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

The Montreal indie rock band Elephant Stone are releasing their new album, The Three Poisons, on August 26th on Hidden Pony Records. The band was started in 2009 by sitarist/bassist Rishi Dhir, one of the most highly sought out sitar players in the international music scene. He’s recorded, performed and toured with Beck, the Black Angels, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Horrors, and many more.

They band has released two albums and an EP, and with each new release the band garners more fans and greater acclaim for their psychedelicized groove laden “Hindie” rock. The new album, Three Poisons, is their best yet.

Dhir explains the story behind the making of the album:

It all started on January 1st, 2013. I got a call from my brother-in-law; he had found a box of vinyl on his door step and offered to let me take my picks before he dropped them off at the local vinyl shop. He mentioned there was some Echo & The Bunnymen and bunch of stuff he didn’t recognize. Being the vinyl junkie that I am, I headed over.

What I found in that box was beyond anything I could have imagined. Yes, there was Echo’s “Songs to Learn & Sing”, but there was also a 12” single release of the Happy Mondays “Step On” and “Kinky Afro”, Spaceman 3 “Recurring”, The Stone Roses “Waterfall” and “One Love”, New Order’s house masterpiece “Technique”, Ride’s “Today Forever”, and the list went on. I was dumbfounded as to why someone would abandon such treasure. Were they starting off the New Year by purging themselves of their material possessions? Payback from a wounded lover? Divine intervention? Whatever it was, I lucked out and began reacquainting myself with Shaun, Rowetta, J Spaceman, Sonic Boom, Ian, Bernard, Hooky, et al.

Fast forward a year later and the band is in deep, working on the follow-up to our self-titled 2013 release. I don’t think it was just me, but things felt different this time around. The grooves were groovier, the sonics rumbled heavier, and the songs were connecting to something bigger. It wasn’t until Malika Tirolien came in to record her inspired backing vocals for “Knock You From Yr Mountain” and “All Is Burning” that I reflected on that abandoned record collection I inherited and the trip it took me on. In that moment I heard the groove of the Mondays, the darkness of Echo, the jangle of Ride… but what I truly heard and felt coming together in these new batch of songs was—and is—unequivocally the sound of Elephant Stone.

Below, download this psych-groove song from Elephant Stone’s forthcoming release. It’s as good a Primal Scream A-side as you can get. Look for Fall tour dates to be announced soon.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Loop at Kung Fu Necktie, The Revivalists at World Cafe Live, The Behn Gillece Quartet at Underground Arts

Loop | Photo via facebook.com/soundheads
Loop | Photo via facebook.com/soundheads

Before there was Pure Phase, before there was Screamadelica, there was Loop. The short-lived UK four-piece blended nervy electronic rhythms and towering psychedelic arrangements in a similar manner as Spiritualized and Primal Scream, but disbanded before those artists really took off. Reunited in 2013, Loop is taking a pass through the U.S. this spring and headlining Kung Fu Necktie tonight; get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and watch a video for their cover of Suicide’s “Rocket U.S.A” from the 1987 album The World In Your Eyes below.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Weekender

It’s no surprise that Philly four-piece Weekender is appearing on this Saturday’s Making Time $2 Bill show. When you look at the roots of DJ Dave P’s long-running futuristic sounds party, you’ll find they actually lie in fuzzed-out psychedelic Britpop of a couple decades ago. During the early days of Making Time (its tenure at Transit or The Troc), it wouldn’t be uncommon to hear Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, The Stone Roses or Slowdive blaring out of the speakers in the dancefloor mix, and those are exactly some of the artists that the Sheehan brothers draw inspiration from. After making noise in The Tweeds for a number of years, singer-guitarist-older-bro Derek and drummer-younger-bro Nic recruited scene friends from Gypsy Death and You (bassist Emily Cahill) and Bleeding Fractals (Tom Anthony) to refocus with a sound rooted in new nostalgia for the tripped-out 90s. The driving single “No Help from Jesus” was in regular rotation on XPN for a while, and the band got picked up by Brooklyn label Paper Cup Music; the Spanish Peaks EP was reissued in November, and a followup is being finished with producer Kyle Johnson for an early 2014 release. On the heels of Weekender’s appearance at Tri State Indie’s Lou Reed Tribute and in advance of its Making Time set, they stopped by our studio to record a feisty live set; listen to it below, and download three songs – including one unreleased cut, “Beautiful System.” In addition, check out a stream of the band’s very pretty and drifting take on “I’ll Be Your Mirror” as a streaming-only track. Get info on Weekender’s Making Time appearance on December 14th here, and look for more from the band in 2014.

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Jagwar Ma playing Making Time on November 30th

Jagwar Ma photo by Laura Coulson
Jagwar Ma photo by Laura Coulson
This just in: Australia rockers-with-dance-moves Jagwar Ma are playing Making Time on November 30th. Leave it to Making Time’s Dave P to bring to Philly some perfect dance floor provocateurs. If the hypnotic, swirling Madchester influenced grooves on Jagwar Ma’s debut album, Howlin, are any indication, there will be no parking on Voyeur nightclub’s dance floor. Jagwar Ma have got the psychedelic rock/dance floor vibe of Primal Scream, Stone Roses and Happy Mondays down to a science, with their own shiny twist on the sound. Watch their new video for “Come Save Me,” and listen to “The Throw” below.

PS – don’t forget to listen to Making Time RADio with Dave P on XPN this Friday night at 7PM.

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My Morning Download: “Trouble With Forever” by The Proctors

proctors The Proctors hail from the West Midlands in England. Combining jangly pop and indie rock, the band formed in the early 90s. Fronted by singer and guitarist Gavin Priest, the band’s new album, Everlasting Light, is their first since 1995’s Pinstripes and Englishmen. With a guest appearance from Terry Bickers of The House of Love, The Proctors have a classic boy-girl vocals, indie-pop sound that’s instantly familiar and reminiscent of bands like early Primal Scream, The Chills and almost any band that put a single out on Sarah Records. Below, download “Trouble With Forever.”

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company