By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Strand of Oaks at Philly Music Fest, Soraia at MilkBoy, Thundercat at Union Transfer

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

It’s day two of the inaugural Philly Music Fest at World Cafe Live, and Strand of Oaks take the stage for a headlining set. The festival’s eclectic lineup seeks to showcase local musicians and encourage Philadelphians to support our scene. Also performing today are Steve Gunn, Deadfellow, Ivy Sole, Shannen Moser, and lots more. Check out the festival’s website for tickets, set times, and more info. We most recently saw Strand of Oaks rocking the Marina Stage at this year’s XPN Fest; read a recap of that performance here. Below, watch a video from the band’s recent World Cafe session. Continue reading →

By

Now Hear This: New songs by Thundercat, Alex Lahey, Justin Carter, Dirty Projectors, Spoon and more

Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist
Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist

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

Mmmm…You can just feel it in the air, wafting in on the alt-Spring breeze and/or bluster: South by Southwest season is upon us.  Like a gulf coast hurricane spinning off a series of storm fronts, the mid-March musical mega-marathon stirs up tour schedules all across the country ‘round about now (and again toward the end of the month) as countless up-and-comers begin plotting their way down to Texas and/or their triumphant return therefrom.  Early Spring is a time for new life and, especially, new music: bigger, better-established artists tend to take a backseat at SXSW (and to some extent, perhaps accordingly, in March release schedules), although there are always a couple notable exceptions, including, this time around, Austin’s favorite indie-rocking sons… Continue reading →

By

Thundercat shares latest Drunk single “Friend Zone”

Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist
Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist

California artist/producer Thundercat is laying out the roller skating disco vibes on his latest single. The prolific Stephen Bruner dropped “Friend Zone” earlier today, side-eyeing the Hallmark holiday with more of the “70s glitz and 21st century humor” that we heard on “Show You The Way” back in January. Both tracks are from the forthcoming Drunk LP, a 23-song follow-up to 2015’s The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam.

Continue reading →

By

XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Show You The Way” by Thundercat

Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist
Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist

Last week California bassist Thundercat announced his new album Drunk, the followup to 2015’s The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam. The 20 song collection includes contributions from Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar, and on “Show You the Way,” Thundercat invited Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins in on the soulful, smooth rock song. Continue reading →

By

Thundercat teams up with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins on “Show You the Way”, announces new album

Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist
Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist

California basslord Thundercat has finally announced the followup to 2015’s The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam, and he’s calling it Drunk. Where its predecessor came in at a criminally-short six tracks, this one makes up for lost time with a whopping twenty three. You can expect a variety of exciting collaborations from the likes of Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar, but the team-up that’s perhaps the most exciting is the one that dropped today. “Show You the Way” features both Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, and it’s everything you would want it to be. Continue reading →

By

Just Announced: Thundercat plots 2017 world tour, will hit Union Transfer in March

Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist
Thundercat | photo by Eddie Alcazar | courtesy of the artist

Los Angeles bass virtuoso Thundercat has just announced an extensive world tour. It kicks off this Feburary, and on March 4th, he’ll roll through Union Transfer with longtime bandmates Dennis Hamm (keys) and Justin Brown (drums). This is his first Philly date since playing Johnny Brenda’s in October of 2015. Continue reading →

By

Watch Thundercat perform on VuHaus, see him live at Johnny Brenda’s in October

You may have heard the name Thundercat, however if you’re unfamiliar with the work of Stephen Bruner, he’s an accomplished and talented bassist, producer and singer-songwriter. He’s worked with Flying Lotus, played bass with Erykah Badu, Wiz Khalifa, and Snoop Dogg, was a member of the Los Angeles thrash band Suicidal Tendencies, and has released several solo albums. He’s made incredible contributions to two of the best albums of 2015 – To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar, and The Epic by Kamasi Washington. Continue reading →

By

The Key’s Year-End Mania: Emily Herbein’s top unplugged and intimate performances of 2018

Mac Miller | photo by Elsah Attar for NPR

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2018 incredible. Today, Key contributing writer Emily Herbein reflects on her favorite stripped down performances of the year.

When artists go acoustic, they tend to reveal a whole new layer of their songwriting that we didn’t notice earlier. Whether it’s a touring artist stopping by a radio station to give an unplugged performance, or a band using their YouTube channel for an intimate take of a known-and-loved song, these performances have the ability to forge new emotional connections or solidify existing ones. Here are my top unplugged and intimate performances of the year. Continue reading →

By

Mac Miller delivers first live performance of Swimming at NPR Music’s Tiny Desk

Mac Miller | photo by Elsah Attar for NPR

Pittsburgh MC Mac Miller just dropped Swimming, his fifth studio release, on Friday, and fans have gotten their first glimpse of a live rendition before he takes the Swimming Tour on the road thanks to NPR’s Tiny Desk.

Miller, who hasn’t released anything since The Divine Feminine in 2016, is quickly taking the hip hop world by storm after re-emerging into the scene with almost no notice. After quickly announcing singles just a few weeks before the LP’s due date, fans shifted their attention away from Miller’s personal life and whirlwind breakup from singer Ariana Grande and refocused on why they loved him to begin with: he’s an artist, and Swimming is brilliant show of his skill. Continue reading →