Tonight’s Concert Picks: Son Little at Boot and Saddle, Kid Cudi at Mann Center Skyline Stage, and Two Door Cinema Club at Electric Factory

Son Little | photo by Marc Lemoine | courtesy of the artist
Son Little | photo by Marc Lemoine | courtesy of the artist

XPN favorite singer-songwriter and guitarist Son Little plays his second of two Boot & Saddle headlining shows tonight. On tour for his acclaimed new album New Magic, the Philly native takes influences from gospel,  R&B, and  neo soul artists like D’Angelo and Musiq Soulchild, with a smoky voice to match tight songwriting and soothing melodies. Get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Dust ‘Em Off: Two Door Cinema Club breaks out the classics at The Fillmore


Two Door Cinema Club | photo by Joseph Bloss for WXPN
Two Door Cinema Club | photo by Joseph Bloss for WXPN

Two Door Cinema Club needed a break.

By the end of 2013, they’d been touring for nearly five years straight and were starting to hate each other. A trio of friends since childhood, they decided to take some time apart — with no timetable for reconvening to continue the career that had taken them from Northern Ireland’s tiniest clubs to festival stages around the world.

Lead vocalist Alex Trimble moved to Portland and holed up with all sorts of pills. Bassist Kevin Baird ditched the drugs while in LA, and guitarist Sam Halliday found love in London. It was a necessary end to a long stint supporting their 2010 debut, Tourist History, and 2012’s follow-up, Beacon.

Now the band is back, fully refreshed. They began work on album three sometime mid-2015, and we finally got our hands on the disco-infused Gameshow last month. A North American tour kicked off last week, and Saturday night its third stop was The Fillmore Philadelphia.

If there’s one thing to take away from Saturday’s gig, it’s that the time off did nothing but good things for TDCC. Refreshed could be an understatement — on that Fillmore stage they appeared recharged to a voltage immeasurable. The new tunes were brought to life with an intensity that’s hard to grasp when listening to the studio recordings. And as for the old songs, they sounded as good as ever. Continue reading →


Two Door Cinema Club is back with “Are We Ready? (Wreck),” will headline Firefly Thursday night

Last night was siiiiiiiick

A photo posted by Two Door Cinema Club (@twodoorcinemaclub) on

It’s been nearly four years since the release of their sophomore LP Beacon, and finally Northern Ireland indie rock trio Two Door Cinema Club is back with some new material. “Are We Ready? (Wreck)” debuted Tuesday night on BBC Radio 1 and is now available for streaming. The band also announced the new album Gameshow will be out October 14th.

I’ve been waiting patiently for this moment since Beacon came out back in 2012, and while I could do without the kids repeatedly chanting throughout the chorus, “Are We Ready? (Wreck)” is everything I’ve been hoping for. It’s fast paced and retains the sound Two Door has gone for since Tourist History, their 2010 debut LP. Continue reading →


Download a new song by Guards, “Silver Lining” (opening for Two Door Cinema Club this Saturday night)

Photo by Olivia Malone
“Silver Lining” is the first taste of the new album by Guards, the three piece indie rock band fronted by Richie James Follin (whose sister Madeline Follin is in Cults). The band’s album, In Guards We Trust, is out on February 5th. In case you missed their delicious EP – released in July/2010 – you can download it here. Guards also includes Loren Ted Humphrey & Kaylie Church and specialize in rough around the edges, highly melodic rock and roll with waves of lush guitars and lots of attention to pop detail; sort of like The Raspberries and Primal Scream meet Teenage Fanclub and Phil Spector. The band is currently out on tour with Two Door Cinema Club; they play the Electric Factory this Saturday evening, September 29th. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.


Work Drugs to tour and open for Two Door Cinema Club

Philly’s up and coming yacht rock/beach-wave influenced Work Drugs got a phone call out of the blue a couple weeks ago from a booking agent and asked the band if they’d be interested in opening for Two Door Cinema Club. Talking with the band’s Thomas Crystal and Benjamin Louisiana the other night at the Hezekiah Jones record release party they seemed quite excited about the tour. “How could we pass this up?,” Crystal told me. “We’re ready for it,” said Louisiana about the tour that will have them playing in Philly on April 2nd (venue TBD) and across the country playing in some rather large venues including First Avenue in Minneapolis, Park West in Chicago and the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco.

Work Drugs have been receiving lots of music blog love since they released their first single “Third Wave” in December which we debuted here. Their latest song, “Rad Racer,” has met with even wider acclaim amongst music bloggers. When we wrote about it here we said: “If “Third Wave” was their “Peg,” (Steely Dan) and “Dog Daze” was their “I’m Not In Love,” (10CC), then “Rad Racer” is their “Love Is The Drug,” (Roxy Music). Below the video for Work Drugs’ “Rad Racer” is the latest video for Two Door Cinema Club’s “What You Know.”


Download a new Two-Door Cinema Club song for a limited time (playing Electric Factory in Sept.)

North Ireland indie rock trio Two Door Cinema Club is gearing up to release the full-length followup to its 2010 debut Tourist History. Today, the band unveiled a free download of “Sleep Alone,” the first single from Beacon and a song they been playing on tour since they were on the Euro festival circuit last fall. The download comes courtesy of the band’s US label, Glassnote Records, and will be available for 24 hours only – so grab yourself an mp3 at the band’s website. Two Door Cinema Club are on tour this summer and fall, and will be swinging by Philadelphia on September 29 for a performance at The Electric Factory. Tickets to that all-ages show go onsale tomorrow, and range from $26.50 to $36.50. Beacon will be available in the U.S. on Sept. 4.


This Weekend’s Picks: Joan Of Arc, Here We Go Magic, Tokyo Police Club, Matthew Dear, Universal Order Of Armageddon

Joan Of Arc

Joan Of Arc performs 1/21 at Johnny Brenda’s

Most fans of mid-’90s indie-rock probably stopped trying to figure out Chicago’s Joan Of Arc around the time of the band’s 2000 release, The Gap. After all, it’s not as if—after subjecting yourself to enough of Tim Kinsella’s oblique lyrics and flights of artistic fancy—you’d ever be able to discern whether he was a wrongly maligned genius or simply an over-earnest musician whose ambition exceeded his talent. And what would be the point, anyway? But the time you came to any conclusion, the band would have had a complete roster change, switched to a different label, taken some time off to pursue a side project or two, and then returned with a new head-scratcher of an album. This time around, Joan Of Arc’s latest opus is Oh Brother—and everything you need to know about the album comes straight from Polyvinyl’s press release: “Oh Brother is the combination of four distinct albums embarked upon but never completed by Joan of Arc curator Tim Kinsella. The four albums became four long movements which fill the totality of each side of the double LP…Kinsella, known for the elegiac density and free-associative quality of his lyrics, has dispensed with words altogether on this album – choosing rather to break up and splice together these instrumental studio sessions into a tessellating unity.” Joan Of Arc performs with Soft Circle and Hermit Thrushes at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $12.

Here We Go Magic + Nightlands / Ape School / Norwegian Arms at The Ox (8 p.m., all ages); Tokyo Police Club + Two Door Cinema Club, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at The Trocadero (7 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT)

Don’t call Universal Order Of Armageddon’s performance at The Barbary a “reunion” show. As far as the members of the Baltimore-born, ’90s post-hardcore quartet are concerned—according to a recent article in the Baltimore City Paper—they’re just another band “popping out of a manhole” to play another show. Sure, UOA (which broke up back in 1994) is considered a hardcore legend in its hometown and beyond, having released records on labels such as Kill Rock Stars and Jade Tree; the fact that ex-members of the band went on to form acts such as The Great Unraveling, The Convocation, Skull Kontrol, and Wrangler Brutes doesn’t hurt UOA’s legacy, either. But guitarist Tonie Joy, drummer Brooks Headley, singer Colin Seven, and bassist Anthony Scott Malat don’t really care if you know the names of those bands—or their own names. In fact, as Joy states in the CP article, the reaction UOA hopes to draw from today’s audiences is, “Who are these weirdos and where are they from?” Universal Order Of Armageddon performs with Trophy Wife and Northernmost at 7 p.m. at The Barbary; tickets to the all-ages show are $10.

Also playing: Matthew Dear + Joe Lentini at Kung Fu Necktie (9 p.m., 21+, $12); The Menzingers + Algernon Cadwallader, Tigers Jaw, Glocca Morra at First Unitarian Church (7 p.m., all ages, $7); Little Dragon + Billygoat at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, SOLD OUT)