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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Weather Station at Boot & Saddle, Emily Haines at Union Transfer, Loudon Wainwright III at World Cafe Live, and more

the weather station
The Weather Station | photo by Yuula Benivolski | courtesy of the artist

After releasing a self-titled album earlier this fall, The Weather Station bring their folk-rooted tunes to Boot & Saddle tonight. The project of Toronto-based songwriter Tamara Lindeman, The Weather Station is known for its energetic and forthright yet soft and delicate sounds. The latest release, the project’s fourth LP, is perhaps its boldest yet — though Lindeman refers to it as a “rock and roll” record, it still maintains its laid-back folk vibes. James Elkington also plays tonight’s show. Listen to “Thirty” below and find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Weather Station’s new self-titled record ahead of their Boot & Saddle show

the weather station
The Weather Station | photo by Yuula Benivolski | courtesy of the artist

Toronto singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman’s newest self-titled release with her band The Weather Station takes a change of pace when compared to previous outings. The lyrics give the word “thoughtful” a whole new meaning. While it’s no question that Lindeman is truly a gifted songwriter, the themes of The Weather Station come across in such a realistic and understandable way because her word choices are so relatable. The every-day situations she writes about are so simple and elegant and not overthought at all, something that most musicians struggle with. Continue reading →

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Watch the The Weather Station stand unfazed against critics in new video for “Thirty”

The Weather Station | photo via artist’s Facebook page

About a month back, Tamara Lindeman, aka The Weather Station, released a new single titled “Thirty” along with news of an upcoming S/T album coming on the October horizons (the 6th to be exact.) Now, in addition to the song, we have a minimalist video as its company.

The video is sans-frill as it focuses on Lindeman through a black and white lens performing “Thirty” before a group of men. Standing in the shadows with furrowed brows and crossed arms, the men seem to be critiquing Lindeman as she’s cast in the vulnerable spotlight. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Weather Station’s single “Thirty,” get ready for new self-titled album

The Weather Station | photo courtesy of artist

As a young woman, you quickly learn growing up that turning the big “three-oh” is basically the equivalent to getting the plague. Somehow, some way, you must escape this fate at all costs. Well, unless you’re a young Jennifer Garner character in a spectacular rom-com, that is. A magazine headlining “flirty, thirty, and thriving?” I scoff at such lies.

Canadian singer-songwriter, Tamara Lindeman, does too. She knows the binary routes society has set out for women approaching their third decade of life: “children and suburbia or some sort of cartoonish loneliness.” Working as her project The Weather Station, Lindeman delves into this sexist matter on new single “Thirty,” which will be included on her upcoming self-titled album out on October 6th via Paradise of Bachelors. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Weather Station at Johnny Brenda’s, Dogs on Acid at Boot & Saddle, Robyn Hitchcock at Sellersville Theater

the weather station
The Weather Station | photo by Yuula Benivolski | courtesy of the artist

Canadian singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman performs as The Weather Station at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The band’s third LP Loyalty was released last year via Paradise of Bachelors and was heralded as one of 2015’s best indie folk records, earning a featured spot on David Dye’s World Cafe: Next podcast. Listen to “Way It Is, Way It Could Be” below; tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Weather Station at Johnny Brenda’s, Anthony Green at Underground Arts, Tinmouth at MilkBoy

The Weather Station | Photo courtesy of the artist | https://www.facebook.com/TheWeatherStn
The Weather Station | Photo courtesy of the artist | https://www.facebook.com/TheWeatherStn

The project of Canadian singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman, The Weather Station brings a sense of raw emotive folk music to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Coming off her third album, Loyalty, released in May, Lindeman has been touring with the likes of Bahamas, Basia Bulat, and Timber Timbre. While touring Lindeman also released an EP,  What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know. Tonight she headlines, with Jeff Zeigler & Mary Lattimore and Bad Braids playing in support. You can get tickets to the 21+ show here. Check out her song “What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know” below. Continue reading →

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XPN presenting Philly Local Wednesdays at The Porch at 30th Street Station

ChristieTo better greet the warm weather this spring, XPN has organized a weekly buskers’ series for the month of April. Each Wednesday, a different musician will be busking from noon to 1pm on The Porch at 30th Street Station.

Performers for the month are Dante Bucci on Wednesday April 3; The Fleeting Ends on Wednesday April 10; Christie Lenee on Wednesday April 17th, and The Splashing Pearls on Wednesday April 24th. The performances are free, of course, and would surely be a great lunch soundtrack for anyone in the area who can make it out. The series will continue through the months of April and May, and the performers for May will be announced next month.

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The High Key Portrait Series: Chris Smith

Chris Smith | 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.

When you speak with Chris Smith, you don’t get the impression that it’s a nervous energy, so much, that drives the discursive discourse — or even that the discursiveness is necessarily a negative quality, in his case. Rather, you immediately understand that he just has so much to say about all of his rich experiences, that he’s thought so deeply about it all: from the city streets he’s stomped for his decades living here, to the venues he’s played, the neighborhoods he’s called home, and most of all to the expansive community of musicians and artists and friends that he clearly feels so fortunate to have.

Smith is a veritable encyclopedia of music knowledge — for all music, sure, in the way you might expect or hope any passionate musician to be — but specifically and profoundly for Philly’s scene. He can’t seem to be able to say enough in his adoration for what this city’s managed to cultivate, over the past twenty years and even earlier, and parts of the conversation can begin to  trend toward extemporaneous encomium.

But although the multi-instrumentalist’s psych-folk outfit Espers were a beloved staple of Philly indie music back in their heyday, some 15 years ago now — back in the days when he wore his straight hair a lot longer — you don’t catch Smith dwelling much on that, beyond a passing reference, even if you might have hoped for a tale or two. In fact, he never even really references or plugs his own band’s really remarkable catalog and achievements at all, but instead directs almost of all of his acclaim outwards. From his accounts, you end up with a much broader picture of a reverie that wanders between the actual brick-and-mortar record stores of South Street record stores, through recurrent Philly occasions like First Fridays, his exploits and encounters with local artists and poets, and into a cheap rental property in the mid-’90s with his indie-rock compatriot Steve Gunn for a snapshot of the sometimes-controversial revitalization the Northern Liberties. And on top of all that, Smith is uniquely poised to be able to offer both an insider’s and outsider’s perspective on the Philly’s arts culture, as well as both a successful musician’s and a successful indie-record-label-owner’s perspectives on how to enable yourself to be both — even in a place that artists can sometimes have the tendency to malign as unconducive to that sort of professional growth.

At one point in this interview, after all of that, Smith catches himself, and feels the need to advise you that he’s not usually an unbridled optimist, lest you begin to feel your Philly-stiffened upper lip start to soften on the spot from all of his exuberance. Frankly, you really don’t buy his reminder.

Still kicking around in Philly, Smith is mostly focused these days on continuing to build remotely his record label, Paradise of Bachelors, based outside of Durham, NC, in partnership with co-founder and Carolina counterpart Brendan Greaves. The label has been blowing up lately, most recently offering new releases from The Weather Station and Gun Outfit — not to mention this fantastic and seasonally relevant sci-fi literature review. ”Paradise of Bachelors,” declares Smith after the interview ends, “Just check it out!” True to form, he adds after a short pause, “That’s about it . . . I’m so bad at plugging myself.” Continue reading →