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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Open Mike Eagle at Kung Fu Necktie, Rainer Maria at Underground Acts, Levee Drivers at Johnny Brenda’s

Open Mike Eagle

Los Angeles via Chicago alternative rapper Open Mike Eagle makes a stop on his Robert Taylor Homes tour at Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The Robert Taylor Homes are a housing project in Chicago on which Open Mike Eagle’s newest album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, is based. Tickets for and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Ever-Evolving: In conversation with Rainer Maria about time apart, the new album S/T, and Philly memories

Rainer Maria | photo by Shawn Brackbill | courtesy of the artist

Rainer Maria recently released their first album of new material in over a decade, the propulsive, powerful S/T. Short, sharp, and intense, it finds the trio simultaneously evolving from their signature emo roots while seeming to actively dialogue with them in real time.

They will be bringing those songs, past and present, to Underground Arts in Philly this Friday. Ahead of the show, I got to have a chat with Kaia Fischer, Caithlin De Marrais, and William Kuehn about what it’s like to be back together, how much has changed, and how those changes inform their music and approach to life now… Continue reading →

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The decade-plus wait is over: stream Rainer Maria’s new S/T album via NPR now

Rainer Maria | photo courtesy of artist

Hey, Rainer Maria fans: your eleven year wait comes to a close today. Though the band’s new heftily anticipated, self-titled album won’t be officially released until August 18th via Polyvinyl Records, NPR has secured an early listen for you — you can stream the album in full here.

S/T is able to keep the raw intensity of Rainer Maria’s earlier works, while also carving out enough space for growth. As example, personal favorite track “Suicide and Lazy Eyes” is a fuzzed-out, non-stop live wire of sound and energy, with “Lower Worlds” slowing it down but remaining just as heavy with a buildup to cathartic, muffled shouts. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Rainer Maria will perform at Underground Arts in September

Rainer Maria | via Polyvinyl Records

90’s indie emo-rock outfit Rainer Maria announced the end of their time together back in 2006 and stayed off the grid for nearly a decade, returning at the end of 2014 for one reunion show that turned into two reunion shows that turned into a reunion tour.

Fast forward to 2017 and Rainer Maria shows no signs of another break as they prepare to release their first album after reuniting as a band. Ahead of S/T, set for an August 18th release on Polyvinyl, Rainer Maria have released two singles, “Lower Worlds” and “Suicides and Lazy Eyes,” that show musical and lyrical growth but remain true to the trio’s original sound. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Rainer Maria at PhilaMOCA, April Mae and The June Bugs at Bourbon and Branch, Anna Wise at Johnny Brenda’s

Rainer Maria | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Rainer Maria at Union Transfer | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Although they announced an end to touring and recording back in 2006, Rainer Maria has recently made select appearances throughout the country, which includes a show at PhilaMOCA tonight. The band is reportedly in the studio this summer working on new material. Considering these shows are on the rare side, it’s no surprise the band’s 21+ show on Thursday night at Johnny Brenda’s is already sold out. But don’t worry, you can still snag tickets to tonight’s all ages show by going to the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to their song “Ears Ring,” off of 2003’s Long Knives Drawn below. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Rainer Maria adds an all-ages show at PhilaMOCA

Rainer Maria | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Rainer Maria at Union Transfer | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Exciting news for fans of turn-of-the-century emo / punk. Rainer Maria – who put out an incredible run of records between 1995 and 2006, who reunited last year and who just sold out their headlining 21+ show at Johnny Brenda’s – have added a second, all-ages Philly date. They’ll headline PhilaMOCA on Wednesday, August 10th; tickets go on sale Friday, May 20th at noon. More information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Rainer Maria return for a show at Johnny Brenda’s

Rainer Maria | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Rainer Maria at Union Transfer | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

When Rainer Maria announced a reunion tour last year, it was a big deal. Finding out that they’ve now expanded that reunion to include a second leg this summer, with a stop at Johnny Brenda’s on August 11th, is equally exciting.

The 90s-00s indie / emo trio – Caithlin De Marrais, Kaia Fischer and William Kuehn – was founded in of Madison, WI released several albums during their tenure, with 1999’s Look Now Look Again recently being named one of the greatest emo albums of all time by Rolling Stone.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Rainer Maria at Union Transfer, Kiska at MilkBoy, Voss at Underground Arts and more…

Rainer Maria
Rainer Maria | photo via Facebook

Wisconsin-born trio Rainer Maria bring their reunion tour to Union Transfer tonight. When this show was announced, Key editor John Vettese took a look back at his five favorite Rainer Maria moments, from a spring night in 2003 when the emo / indie band opened for Mates of State and played “Ears Ring” off of their then-new record Long Knives Drawn, to their final Philly show in 2006 when they closed with “Tinfoil” from Past Worn Searching. Listen to “Ears Ring” below and pick up tickets for the concert here.

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Listen to Dreambook’s dark Burn the Light Out EP, see them open for Rainer Maria on Saturday

Dreambook | photo via dreambook.bandcamp.com
Dreambook | photo via dreambook.bandcamp.com

Local shoegaze four-piece Dreambook just released a new EP called Burn The Light Out, showcasing their captivating melodic rock sound. Twanging guitar riffs work off each other in the six-minute “Machine,” nodding to early 90s British favorites Slowdive with fuzzed-out bass and vocals, while “In My Time” delves into dark riffs and a haunting sound. Continue reading →

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Five reasons I’m freaking out that Rainer Maria is playing Union Transfer in April

Rainer Maria
Rainer Maria

If I can remain calm and keep my hands steady enough to type this post, woah, wow, Rainer Maria. Rainer Freaking Maria, reunited and it feels so good, headlining Union Transfer in April, per an announcement just made this afternoon by R5 Productions. But wait, what’s the big deal, John? Some catching up for those who may not remember these stars of the emo / indie rock scene in the late 90s and early aughts – they’re an outstanding live band with a fierce power trio dynamic. Incredible vocals, incredible introspective lyrics, incredible arrangements and textures and rhythms. (Do I like the word “incredible” much? Maybe.) I’ve collected five of my favorite moments from the Rainer Maria catalogue below, and I am totally looking forward to screaming along to these when the band plays them on Saturday April 18th. Tickets for the all-ages show go on sale this Friday, and they’re insanely affordable. More details via the Union Transfer website. Continue reading →