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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hamilton Leithauser at Union Transfer, Ratboys at Everybody Hits, Telepathic at Kung Fu Necktie, and more

Hamilton Leithauser at Firefly 2016 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Hamilton Leithauser played a stunning show at Johnny Brenda’s at the beginning of the year, and now he’s moving his expansive sound into a bigger space with a headlining gig at Union Transfer. Known as the former lead vocalist of the Walkmen, Leithauser released an album with Rostam last year and a song with Angel Olsen just a few weeks ago, which you can listen to below. Courtney Marie Andrews opens tonight’s show; find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Foxing brings drama, high energy, and beautiful catharsis to Union Transfer

Foxing | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

You’ve got to hand it to Foxing; the St. Louis experimental rock outfit knows how to set a mood.

Before they stepped on stage at Union Transfer, all the lights venue’s lights powered off, and into the shivering pitch blackness piped the ethereal tones of Enya’s “Only Time.” Not the song I was expecting to hear at this juncture, but as the pulsing green lights faded up and the band walked out on stage — each clad in matching Foxing sports tees with corresponding surnames on the back — it totally worked. It was a bit of serious drama, a bit of ironic irreverence, and as frontperson Conor Murphy strutted to the edge of the stage, arms flailing at the front row like a conductor wearing a huge grin, he was the living embodiment of this dichotomy. Continue reading →

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Hop Along wrangles with sympathy and understanding in two parts on “Not Abel”

Hop Along
Hop Along | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Philly’s Hop Along will release its latest LP, Bark Your Head Off, Dog, on April 6th via Saddle Creek Records, and today the band released the latest teaser from the album.

“Not Abel” is a journey of a song in two parts. Opening as a stately, waltzing English folk ballad with immaculate string arrangements by Sarah Larsen of local folk faves Ladybird, the song progresses across lyrical images of war and poverty that could be the distant past as much as they could be today. Just before the three minute mark, a dissonant orchestral squall gives way to a rousing indie rock riff, and the song shape shifts into anthem territory for the last minute and 36. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Brendan Menapace’s artists that should just move to Philly already

Pup | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key contributing writer Brendan Menapace beckons a handful of bands to move to the 215.

Philadelphia is awesome. We know this. From huge rooms with expensive sound systems and multiple bars to batting cages, we have some of the best places to check out live music in the country. We’ve cultivated the growth of artists that are now world-renowned, and we’ve played adoptive home to artists who have moved here. I think it’s great that bands and artists want to move to Philly, especially coming from places that used to be the hubs of culture, like New York or LA. Given how huge Philly is (and thanks to the condos that are popping up everywhere, we guess?) we have plenty of room for more people. So, here are a few bands that I think should just move to Philadelphia already, rather than prolonging the inevitable. Continue reading →

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Tag along on Slingshot Dakota’s shenanigan-filled tour with video for “You”

Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

Bethlehem duo Slingshot Dakota are about to kick off a new tour with label-mates Ratboys, leading them to Austin for SXSW. But before they set out, the band has released a video for their song, “You,” which reminisces on the fun, kooky moments of their past tour with Kississippi — which they booked entirely themselves.

For a song that’s just so dang catchy and fun, this light-hearted video is the perfect, playful match. Giving fans a close look into the kinds of shenanigans that spouses Carly Comando and Tom Patterson get into while on the road, the video ranges from car malfunctions, to a day at the jungle gym, to Patterson’s fabulous news/weather reports, to just simply lounging around — all amidst clips of the two rocking out and Patterson’s bountiful curls magically blowing in the wind. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hardwork Movement at Johnny Brenda’s, Sorority Noise at First Unitarian Church, Daughter at The Electric Factory and more

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philadelphia hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement is playing a record release show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The group’s music boasts intricate jazz-tinged instrumental arrangements and a fierce pride of their deep roots in The City of Brotherly Love. 2016 was a fantastic year for the nine-member group: earlier this year they released their debut LP Good Problems, and a few months later they signed to Chill Moody’s #nicethingsMUSIC imprint. Come help Hardwork Movement celebrate and get a taste of their mixtape Draft Night at their last show of 2016 in Fishtown. Brooklyn-bred Tacuma Bradley’s Unity Band and Philadelphia singer-songwriter Julia Rainer are also on tonight’s bill. Check out the WXPN Concert Calendar for more information on this 21+ show, and check out Hardwork Movement’s performance of “City Bars” during a session with Philadelphia-collective Out of Town Films. Continue reading →

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Slingshot Dakota and Kississippi announce fall tour, including one local stop

Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN
Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

What a DIY dream. Longtime favorite of The Key Slingshot Dakota and recent XPoNential Festival artist Kississippi have teamed up for an awesome fall tour that’s a testament to doing things on your own terms, not accepting the status quo of the business, and, of course, playing kick ass music. They’ll bring the house down on October 9th at the lovable batting-cages-turned-show-space Everybody Hits with a opening performances by a solo Kiley Lotz of Petal and Fake Boyfriend. Continue reading →

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Pinegrove will headline PhilaMOCA this summer

Pinegrove
Pinegrove | photo by Andrew Piccone | courtesy of the artist

New Jersey indie rockers Pinegrove have plans for a full U.S. tour this summer, beginning here in the Northeast and hitting PhilaMOCA on June 28th. The band released its Run for Cover Records debut LP Cardinal in February, though their catalog of recordings reaches back to 2010. Read a review of the album here and listen to it below. Tickets for the all-ages show with Ratboys go on sale Friday, April 29th at 10:00 a.m.; more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Continue reading →