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Now Hear This: New songs from Ry Cooder, Neko Case, Wajatta, Bernice, Dear Nora, Stephen Malkmus and more

Neko Case
Neko Case | photo courtesy of the artist

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

Happy summer, is it?  I guess I got all the pop out of my system last month, cuz it’s about to get pretty indie in here.  You like indy music, right?  Good, cause I’ve got nothing major planned for this month.  After all, independence day is coming up soon.  In this June installment of Now Hear This, at the halfway point of an already-pretty-excellent year for all kindsa music, we’ll take some stock of the wide, white, anglophone (though in this case, hardly at all male) world of probably the least useful genre descriptor there is.  Then, eventually, we’ll get to some other places – Holland, Africa, outer space, Takoma Park.  We’ll meet some bands named after names, check in with some artists who’ve been around for fifty years, or seventy years, and some who went away for a while and have come back to us.  First, though, let’s hear a heavy hit from one of the least-categorizable heavy-hitters out there… Continue reading →

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Watch Stephen Malkmus’ solo acoustic “Middle America” video; see him and The Jicks at the TLA this June

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus — who performs solo these days with his band The Jicks — will be making a stop in Philly this summer, but in the meantime he’s shared a video for the band’s new song “Middle America.” This solo version sees Malkmus alone with an acoustic guitar, his familiar raw-edged vocals filling the room. Malkmus sits in front of a few windows, and outside you can tell it’s winter — but between the indoor tropical plants and the song’s warm and sunny tune, it’s like summer’s come a bit early. Continue reading →

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Purling Hiss, going out on tour with Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, releasing “new” LP in April

large_PurlingHiss
Photo by Tiffany Yoon
Our favorite Philly psychedelic/heavy rock power trio Purling Hiss are going out on the road in March, opening for Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks for a handful of dates. On April 22nd, the Hiss will release Dizzy Polizzy on Drag City Records. The 11 song LP, originally conceived as a tour only cassette, will have to hold Hiss fans in check until guitar whiz Mike Polizze and his band record their next album.

Dizzy Polizzy track list
She Don’t Mind 3:18
Icelator 4:10
Digh High 3:36
Sifting Through My Hands 4:15
Millions of Colors 3:48
Don’t Wanna Squeaky Fromme 4:29
Preface 1:42
The Earth Creature 3:21
On the Last Day 1:38
Drag-On 5:38
Headlights 6:38

Below, download/listen to “Lolita,” a track Purling Hiss recorded for Philly’s Shaking Through that was curated by Adam Granduciel of The War On Drugs.

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Watch the quintessentially quirky Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks in the “Cinnamon and Lesbians” video (playing The TLA on 3/1)

stephenmalkmus
Image via the artist’s Facebook page

Indie rock icon and Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus and his backing band The Jicks released the video for “Cinnamon and Lesbians” off of their upcoming album Wig Out Jagbags set to release on January 14th on Matador records. The quintessentially quirky video operates at about the same level of seriousness as the song itself (“I’ve been tripping since breakfast time”), while keeping drawn out guitar solos that are nothing to laugh about. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks perform in Philly on March 1at the TLA. Get tickets for the show here, and check out the video for “Cinnamon and Lesbians” below.

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Video: Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks (at TLA on Sept. 28th) perform a new song on Jimmy Fallon

Last night, Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks were guests on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. The band played the previously released single “Senator” and a new song, “Surreal Teenagers.” (“Surreal Teenagers” is only available on Jimmy Fallon’s website; the performance was not aired.) “Senator” is off Malkmus’ new album Mirror Traffic. Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks perform with Holy Sons at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 28th, at the TLA; tickets to the all ages show are $20.

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The Week Ahead: Jenny Lewis, U2, Eternal Summers, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and more

Jenny Lewis
Jenny Lewis | photo by Rich McKie for WXPN

You can’t tell us that there’s nothing going on this week — even if you don’t count the Firefly Music Festival (which you should totally count), there are more artists moving through the Philly region that we can pin down. Massive arena shows like U2 and Harry Styles to modest DIY gigs like Cold Fronts and Eternal Summers, the spectrum is huge. Here are 27 concerts you can see in and around Philly this week. Continue reading →

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The High Key Portrait Series: Sadie Dupuis

Sadie Dupuis | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN
Sadie Dupuis | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.

Philly, meet your new neighbor Sadie Dupuis. Oh sure, you know her best as the frontwoman of Speedy Ortiz, the now-veteran award-winning attention-getting indie-rock darlings of every music writer from Noisey to Pitchfork, who’ve been around the touring block with the likes of Thurston Moore, Stephen Malkmus, and the sisters Deal. You know. NBD.

But what you might not know is that, as mononymous solo artist Sad13 (and yes, that’s “Sad Thirteen”), Dupuis has moved from the heart of New England right to our backyard. With her debut record Slugger racking up the critical acclaim, she’s already on tour, and you can catch her at Girard Avenue’s Everybody Hits tonight.

As she settles into life in Philly, Dupuis compares and contrasts for us her experiences in Philly and Boston and tips you local vegans off to the best tofu hoagie in town. You’re welcome. Continue reading →