Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sir Sly at Boot and Saddle, Frightened Rabbit at the Electric Factory, Animal Collective at Union Transfer


Alt-pop rockers Sir Sly will electrify the Boot and Saddle stage tonight. The band released its Gold EP back in May. Their sound is poppy and electronic but they contrast it with melancholic lyrics (much like Tegan and Sara’s latest album Heartthrob). Get ticket information here and check out “Ghost” below.

Continue reading →


Animal Collective add second Union Transfer show on October 27th


Just shy of selling out their originally-scheduled October 28th date, Animal Collective have added a second show at Union Transfer for October 27th.  The Baltimore-born, multi-city-based experimental psych outfit released its tenth studio album Centipede HZ last year.  Weirder and featuring more surprising twists and turns than its pop-aligned predecessor, the record was a return to roots in both personnel and style – following a brief hiatus during the Merriweather Post Pavilion era, Deakin (Josh Dibb) rejoined Avey Tare (Dave Portner), Geologist (Brian Weitz) and Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) for the recording and touring of HZ.

While past tours have focused on new, not yet recorded material, the band has been digging into its back catalog for the recent run of 2013 dates.  Among the unearthed tracks is “Purple Bottle” off of 2005′s Feels, which hadn’t been played live in several years.  Watch a performance of the song filmed in Animal Collective’s practice space below and go here for tickets for the added Union Transfer show.


The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. The Fleeting Ends, Dr. Dog, XPoNential Music Festival)

Photo by Nicky Devine
Photo by Nicky Devine

Philly favorites Dr. Dog announce next LP B-Room, release lyric video for “The Truth” [link]

The Fleeting Ends stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session [link]

Check out this week’s show reviews and photo recaps including The Swirlies and Fun. [link]

Get psyched for this weekend’s XPoNential Music Festival by listening to past fest performances by Dr. Dog, Dawes and more [link]

The Civil Wars‘ track “Dust to Dust” is XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week [link]

Stornoway recorded a stripped down Folkadelphia Session, performing songs from their latest Tales From Terra Firma LP [link]

Wednesday’s My Morning Download featured San Francisco band The Family Crest and their song “Love Don’t Go” [link]

Brighton Sound Sessions went down a new path with their latest recording of jazz/funk trio ill Delta’s “Dark Chocolate” [link]

A slew of Philly dates were announced this week for bands including Animal Collective, Zola Jesus, Built to Spill and more [link]

The Dead Milkmen will headline a free show at Liberty Lands Park in support of music education on August 24th [link]

Instrumental Philly outfit North End will release their Cognoscere EP next month – get a preview with single “Gabardine [link]

Download Hezekiah Jones‘ cover of Damien Jurado’s “Shannon Rhodes” [link]



Just Announced: Animal Collective headining Union Transfer on 10/28

Photo by Charlotte Jacobson
Photo by Charlotte Jacobson

After closing out last summer with a surreal headlining show at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, psychedelic oddballs Animal Collective are returning to the comparatively cozier setting of Union Transfer on October 28th. Tickets to the show (with Dan Deacon opening) will be available this Friday at Noon. Below, watch the band performing “Lion in a Coma” at The Mann last year.


From Across The Pond: Photos and video of The Walkmen and more from Pitchfork Music Festival Paris

Our contributing writer / photographer Rachel Barrish is studying in Rome this fall, and this past weekend took the opportunity to head north for the Pitchfork Music Festival Paris. From Rachel:

I was in attendance on Friday evening with featured performances from Tallest Man on Earth, The Walkmen, Wild Nothing, Animal Collective, and more. The festival took place at the Grand Hall de Vilette, a large auditorium fit with two stages on either end. The room was filled with people excited and eager to catch their next favorite act.

Check out her photos in the gallery above, and watch a video of Tallest Man on Earth playing “Revelation Blues” below.


Getting weird at The Mann Center with Animal Collective (photos, review, setlist, video)

Appropriately, the stage was wrapped in teeth. Incisors hanging from the rafters, canines and premolars at the foot, forming a light-up, abstract, multicolored jaw. If you sat and thought about it long enough from the crowd, you might get in a distressing internal debate: are we on the outside of this giant mouth looking in, or vice versa? But that’s the thing about experimental rock trailblazers Animal Collective – they want you to be confused. They’ve made a career out of pulling the rug out from under their crowd.

Early shows in loft spaces and arty basements were notoriously uproarious, intense, unrestrained – playing a show at Haverford College circa 2005, keyboard player Geologist swung from piping along the ceiling, shimmying out over the crowd. As their freak-psych sound grew in appeal, the band took a right turn and made the ultra-catchy and accessible Merriweather Post Pavilion, released in 2009. On that tour, the band stood stoic and Kraftwerk-style behind four synthesizers, not showing much of the unbridled energy we saw early on. So, um, are they a pop band now? Nope – their first release on the heels of Merriweather was the minbending, alienating film-and-music collaboration ODDSAC, followed by the current Centipede Hz, an album that – while not overly weird – shows little of the catchiness of its predecessor. Which brings us to The Mann Center on Wednesday. What kind of Animal Collective would the thin-but-devoted crowd of maybe 3,000 be treated to? As it happened, it was the best of both worlds – a band with instruments and the energy of the early days, playing songs with a poppy and broadly-appealing spin. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Neil Halstead at World Cafe Live, Animal Collective at The Mann Center, Nick Waterhouse at Johnny Brenda’s, Polica at Union Transfer, Ben Harper at The Merriam Theater

British singer-songwriter Neil Halstead will be at World Cafe Live tonight.  A founding member of indie-folk group Mojave 3 and shoegazers Slowdive, Halstead has spent the last ten years building a solo career and released his latest record, Palindrome Hunches, in September.   Also playing tonight are Jim Hanft with Samantha Yonack.  Tickets are $15 at the World Cafe Live website; doors open at 6:00 p.m. with music beginning at 7:30 p.m. Watch Neil perform “Tied to You” off of Palindrome Hunches below.

Continue reading →


Tonight: Avey Tare and Eric Copeland at Johnny Brenda’s

avey tareAvey Tare’s first solo album, Down There, is anything but accessible. As Animal Collective’s founding member, Avey Tare (aka David Portner) stays true to his primary band’s experimental style. This style allows Down There to be built completely upon flitting, mechanical sounds and disconnected musical arrangements. But Portner takes it even further; much of the album is just downright extraterrestrial. Countless unidentified, robotic sounds coupled with Portner’s lurking vocals create a spooky realm that delves deeper than any Animal Collective album ever has. Tare said of the solo project, “(The record) primarily comes from being bummed out—which, I felt like in the past two years, I’ve had a darker time.” Avey Tare performs with Eric Copeland at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT. —Caitlyn Grabenstein