Aesop Rock will play Union Transfer in June; Homeboy Sandman opening

Aesop Rock
Aesop Rock | Photo courtesy of the artist

Hip-hop mastermind Aesop Rock releases his first album since 2012’s Skelethon in April, and he has just announced a US tour that includes a stop at Union Transfer on Saturday, June 11th.

Rock’s new album, The Impossible Kid, comes out April 29th. He previously shared the single “Rings” in February. This will be his 7th studio album. Featured on The Impossible Kid will be Philly funk-freaks Grimace Federation (who used to tour as Rock’s live band). Continue reading →


Philly’s Grimace Federation is going to be all over the next Aesop Rock album

Grimace Federation | Photo courtesy of the artist
Grimace Federation | Photo by Mike Ryan | courtesy of the artist

Philly freeform groove masters Grimace Federation have a long and storied history with underground hip-hop icon Aesop Rock. When the band released its 2010 record On Velvet, Aesop blew their profile up to national proportions with his “butchered” remix of their song “Bosico.”

This led to a brief touring stint as the Aesop Rock live band, and further remixage on The Measure in Mixture, their 2015 debut for Rhymesayers.

This week, Aesop Rock announced his new record called The Impossible Kid and – you guessed it – it features our Grimace Federation boys collaborating on the record via synthesizers and samples. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Beak> at Underground Arts, The Music of John Denver at Keswick, Former Belle at MilkBoy, Aesop Rock at Union Transfer, Willy Mason at World Cafe Live

BEAK>’s sound isn’t far from that of its British contemporaries Hot Chip. Dark melodies and lyrics are delivered with electronic flourishes. The band’s first two albums could be described as dance-ably sad. Fortunately, the reverse (being sadly danceable) isn’t true. Their success is due in part to BEAK> being something of a super group. The trio is comprised of Geoff Barrow (producer of Portishead), Billy Fuller (of Fuzz Against Junk) and Matt Williams (of Team Brick). The group came together officially in 2009 and has released two albums and an EP to date. BEAK> has also had a chance to sharpen its (…beak?) live show with recent international tours. They’re currently on the road again and playing our own Underground Arts tonight with Instamatic. Tickets and information for the 21+ show are available here. Below, stream BEAK>’s track “Mono.”

Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Old Crow Medicine Show at the Electric Factory, John Francis at Tin Angel, Jukebox the Ghost at Morgan’s Pier, and Aesop Rock at Union Transfer

Tennessee roots rockers Old Crow Medicine Show have come full throttle since they began recording in 1998. After the release of their smash hit “Wagon Wheel” in 2004, it was a steady upward slope. Now they have just come out with their most recent album, Carry Me Back; a new step in their raw country rock sound. With four albums under their buckled belts and a slew of sold out performances, these boot stompin’ folksters have made their signature mark on Americana rock music with a slice of bluegrass. They play at the Electric Factory tonight with very special guests, The Lumineers who performed at our XPoNential Festival a couple weeks ago (you can listen to that entire performance here).

R5 Productions summer concert series at Morgan’s Pier continues tonight with a performance from Jukebox the Ghost. This show is totally free but apologies young’uns, you must be 21 to enter. The show kicks off at 6 p.m. Jukebox also played our free at noon in June, you can listen to it here (via the XPN media player). Special guests tonight also include Norwegian Arms, who you can read more about here (and listen to in the player below).

Ian Bavitz, who goes by the moniker Aesop Rock, practices hip hop while jumping the fence to a new wave underground sound. He’s an indie rapper, a hip hop producer, a San Franciscan. And you can catch him tonight at Union Transfer along with Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz. Tickets to this all ages show are $15-17; doors open at 8 p.m. Below watch a video for “Zero Dark Thirty” off his latest album Skelethon.

Tonight at the Tin Angel, WXPN welcomes John Francis. He wrote his first album, Strong Wine & Spirits while living in Philadelphia in 2005, and then followed with his sophomore album The Better Angels after relocating to Nashville. Francis takes inspiration from Johnny Cash and other blues rock influences. He performs tonight at 7:30 p.m., this show is 21+ and tickets are $10, grab yours here.