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Just Announced: Lemuria will play PhilaMOCA on Halloween

Lemuria | photo via lemuriapop.com

Tis the season for the announcement of Halloween shows in Philly, and long-running indie pop trio Lemuria is the latest band to join in on the fun. They’ll play PhilaMOCA on the spooky holiday itself, Wednesday, October 31, though there’s no word yet on whether any special shenanigans are planned. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Sun Ra Arkestra to play Johnny Brenda’s on Halloween

Sun Ra Arkestra
Sun Ra Arkestra at Johnny Brendas | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Sun Ra Arkestra, the eclectic and virtuosic ensemble of the late jazz legend Sun Ra are bringing their cosmic talents back to Johnny Brenda’s for a two-hour Halloween show. The Arkestra performs the visionary, multi-stylistic compositions of Sun Ra under the guidance of longtime alto-saxophonist Marshall Allen. This will be the Arkestra’s third Halloween appearance at Johnny Brenda’s and a rare opportunity to experience one of the truly singular legacies in the music world. Continue reading →

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Joey Sweeney holds on to the past with an ode to memories, “Polaroids on the Floor”

Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease | courtesy of the artist

Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease have dropped yet another single off upcoming album Catholic School, out September 7th. “Polaroids on the Floor” is laced with 80’s nostalgia, a bouncing tune with choppy keyboards and threaded with saxophone solos reminiscent of anything from Springsteen to early ska. Continue reading →

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Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease share new single “And Soon,” debut album Catholic School out Sept. 7

Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease | courtesy of the artist

After almost a year of slowly rolling out single after single, Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease have shared the long-awaited announcement of their debut album. Called Catholic School, it’ll be out on Sept. 7, and if that’s not reason enough to be excited, a press release describes it as “an album so steeped in dad-rock influences that it’s wearing a Members Only jacket and trying to get a job working for the city.” We’re also promised plenty of saxophone solos, so honestly, September can’t come fast enough.

The album’s lead single “And Soon,” which features vocals from Renée LoBue of Elk City, is out now. The mellow track takes a laid-back, laced-with-hopefulness approach to working through the experience of loss and finding comfort in grief, with a lyrical reference to the Sandy Denny song “Who Knows Where The Time Goes?” Continue reading →

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The Wonder Years find parallels between Philly and Japan in the “Raining in Kyoto” video

The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years | photo by Jonathan Weiner | courtesy of the artist

The Wonder Years‘ new album Sister Cities is built around the idea of human connection. It’s only fitting, then, that the band would continue this theme on film. The Wonder Years have shared a video for the track “Raining in Kyoto,” the opening track off Sister Cities, and one of the most personal songs on the new record.

“Raining in Kyoto” reflects on the death of vocalist/songwriter Dan Campbell’s grandfather, who passed away when The Wonder Years were on tour in Japan. Unable to attend the service, Campbell had to find a different way to pay tribute to his grandfather — on the song, he sings “Raining in Kyoto, I’m starting to shake / They’ll hold a service tomorrow, I’m an ocean away.” Continue reading →

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra bridges the gap between stage and crowd at Union Transfer

Unknown Mortal Orchestra | photo by Natalie Piserchio for WXPN | nataliepiserchio.com

Unknown Mortal Orchestra brought an energetic and intimate performance to a packed house at Union Transfer this past Saturday night. Their set included an eclectic mix of their discography with throwbacks like “FFunny FFriends”, “So Good At Being In Trouble”, favorites off of their 2015 album Multi-Love, and new tracks off their most recent album Sex & Food such as “American Guilt,” “Hunnybee”, and “Not In Love We’re Just High”.

The New Zealand four piece is touring with members including frontman Ruban Neilson, Ruban’s brother Kody Nielson (who played his sixth show to date in Philadelphia), and long-time bassist Jake Portrait. UMO is in the midst of a North American tour in support of Sex & Food; since its release in April of 2018, it was questioned how the band would work a crowd, given their new, more mellow and reflective songs, which shifts lanes from the pysch-pop, dance-y, disco-influenced tracks on previous album, Multi-Love, that won listeners hearts. Opener Makeness, a London-based electronic outfit, was fitting for UMO given it’s heavy-bass beats and entrancing, heady qualities, which compliments their new material on Sex & Food. Continue reading →

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Listen to Glen Hansard’s intimate showcase of Between Two Shores on World Cafe

Glen Hansard
Glen Hansard | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

From leading Dublin rock band The Frames for 25 years to winning an Oscar for Best Original Song, Glen Hansard‘s earnestly transcendent vocals have the ability to deliver an arresting effect.

Talking with host Talia Schlanger on today’s episode of World Cafe, Hansard talked about the journey to his latest record, Between Two Shores, and performed three songs from the record during a live session at Reservoir Studios in New York City. Listen to the performance below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joey Sweeney at Maas Building, AllegrA at All Night Diner, Muscle Tough at Johnny Brenda’s, and more

Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly songwriter Joey Sweeney and his band The Neon Grease lead the lineup at Jojo’s Holiday Variety Show tonight at the Maas Building. The pay-what-you-will event benefits Rock to the Future and is also a release party for Sweeney’s new holiday EP, Smilin’ Through. The event will also feature some other musical acts, including Beat Jams, Hi Soft, Settled Arrows and the Birdsall Band, plus comedy from Doogie Horner and Jaime Fountaine. Listen to Sweeney original song “Don’t Kill Yourself This Christmas,” off the new EP, below and find more information on tonight’s show here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Erica Corbo at Connie’s Ric Rac, Cabinet at Ardmore Music Hall, Joey Sweeney and the Neon Grease at Boot & Saddle

Erica Corbo | via ericacorbo.bandcamp.com

The night before Thanksgiving can be a quiet time for concerts, but Philly didn’t disappoint this year. First up is Erica Corbo — she was an Items Tagged Philadelphia find earlier this year and her release I, America is a theatrical pop gem with a unique steampunk aesthetic. Corbo is the featured artist at open mic night at Connie’s Ric Rac, which should provide perfect solace from the holiday rush. Get there early for happy hour and open mic signups; find more information here. Continue reading →