Tonight’s Concert Picks: Blondie and Garbage at The Mann, Hurry at Everybody Hits, Amanda X at Ortlieb’s

Blondie | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN |

It’s a double header of still-vital rock and roll pioneers at The Mann Center tonight with Blondie and Garbage. In the 70s and early 80s, Debbie Harry and her bandmates bridged downtown New York punk rock with the dance-driven international New Wave scene, and wrote a massive amount of hits in the process; in the 90s, Shirley Manson brought a bold dose of glam and pop sensibilities to the dreary grunge landscape. Thing is, neither band is resting on its laurels or going through the nostalgia motions. Blondie and Garbage have both released albums of new material in the past year that stand strongly alongside their work from 20 (and 40) years ago — Pollinator, from the former, totally rips, as Harry and the band proved at NonCOMM this year, and Strange Little Birds is Garbage at its most vulnerable and honest but still kicks out driving anthems. Watch videos for “Long Time” and “Empty” below and get tickets and more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →


PREMIERE: Amanda X returns with the soaring rocker “Exquisite”; new Giant LP will benefit Women Against Abuse

Amanda X | photo by Kian Sorouri | courtesy of the artist
Amanda X | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly’s Amanda X has rocked a winning combination since debuting in 2012. Propulsive, power trio punk energy mix with serpentine, exploratory instrumental jams and graceful, poetic lyrics unpacking identity, self-doubt and the bigger questions in life.

The band’s debut 2014 long-player Amnesia was followed up in 2015 by the Hundreds and Thousands EP the following year, and in the time since, the trio of Cat Park (vocals, guitar), Kat Bean (vocals, bass) and Melissa Brain (drums) have been finalizing their second full-length album, recorded in South Jersey’s Gradwell House Studio.

That record, Giant, will be released on August 18th via Self Aware records, and we’re super excited to premiere the opening track, “Exquisite,” for you today. Continue reading →


Don’t let Clasp slip under your radar; listen to the new solo project from Amanda X’s Kat Bean

Clasp | photo by Adam Peditto via Bandcamp

Amanda X‘s Kat Bean quietly released a solo project at the end of June that is anything but quiet. If you search for Clasp online or spend a slightly embarrassing amount of time scouring social media for any information about the project, all that you will find is one congratulatory Facebook post by Big Mama’s Recording, the studio where the record was produced, and a Bandcamp page. There the description gives just a glimpse into the story of Clasp, which started “from some basements and some bedrooms across the US during a very something winter, 2015-2016.”

The good news is that this record doesn’t need any of the social media, any of the marketing or fanfare (though it certainly deserves some fanfare). Kat Bean allows Clasp’s self-titled debut to speak for itself, making it all about the music. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jaguar Wright plays Nina Simone at Ardmore Music Hall, Arto Lindsay at Boot & Saddle, Amanda X at PhilaMOCA (Get Better Fest 4) and more

Jaguar Wright | via
Jaguar Wright | via

Jaguar Wright & Gerald Veasley perform the music of Nina Simone tonight at the Ardmore Music Hall. Wrapping up the Philadelphia Jazz Festival, this Unscripted Jazz Series show unites two renowned soul artists to celebrate the life and legacy of Ms. Simone. The show is 21+, and more information/tickets can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Feel All Bad’s brash angst in new album, No Good

Philly pop-punk trio All Bad is a mega-band consisting of Cat Park (of Amanda XEight and Preen) Evan Bernard (The Superweaks) and Jarret Nathan (PEARS).  Combining their various music-project powers into one album, All Bad recently released the record No Good.  Staying true to the band name and album title, No Good’s 10 tracks are riddled with themes of brashy angst and anti-happiness, with titles varying from “Shut Up” and “Sour Smiles” to “Bad Mood” and “Unhappy Together.” Continue reading →


Thin Lips, Pinkwash, Trophy Wife and more playing benefit festivals in April

Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist
Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist

Local bands are teaming up for a run of benefit festivals this spring, supporting organizations that are crucial to queer and POC communities. Electrifest: Radical Queer Empowered Healthcare and Wellness expands the fest model to include symposium-style discussions on April 8th and 9th at The Rotunda, while the 4th annual Get Better Fest supports the Trans Assistance Project, Youth Emergency Services, and Women Against Abuse on April 28th at Glittery Gallery, April 29th at the First Unitarian Church, and April 30th at PhilaMOCA.

Continue reading →


Just Announced: Sheer Mag, Tigers Jaw and more come to Boot and Saddle for charity “Peace and Noise” series in January

Boot and Saddle can always be counted on to host killer shows and bring together good people for good causes whenever the chance comes their way.

This January is no different: the South Philly music venue just announced a three- series in January called “Peace and Noise.” Each show will benefit a charity of the headliners choice. Tom May and Greg Barnett of The Menzingers open it up on January 11th, Sheer Mag continues on the 18th and an acoustic set by Tigers Jaw on the 25th. Continue reading →


Four Philly heavy hitters to play The Fire in one stacked September weekend

Hemming | photo by Matthew Shaver |

Praise the indie concert gods for bestowing us with a stacked weekend of music over at The Fire from September 16th to the 17th. On Friday, one of a kind Philly alt-country rockers Marah take the stage, as well as recent XPoNential Festival performer Ben Arnold. The very next night scene favorites Amanda X joins forces with Candice Martello’s solo project Hemming on a stacked bill that also features Diet Cig and The Obsessives. Tickets for Marah and Ben Arnold can be found here and tickets for Amanda X, Hemming and more can be found here. Check out music from each of the band’s below. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Pick: Amanda X at PhilaMOCA

Amanda X
Amanda X | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN |

Amanda X headline PhilaMOCA tonight. The band of Cat Park and Kat Bean has long been a favorite of the local scene, ever since their 2012 debut Ruin EP. Since then they’ve given us songs that reach from garage rock to airy atmospheric punk, most recently on the 7″ single Hundreds and Thousands. Listen to that recording below and get more information for tonight’s all-ages show with Shelf Life, Winter Break and Yankee Bluff here. Continue reading →