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Addicted to the Build-up: Battles are masters of jiggling electronic rock

Battles | Photo by James Breslin
Battles | Photo by James Breslin

Experimental rock band Battles hails from New York and came to Union Transfer this past Sunday night in support of their third full-length album, La Di Da Di. The skilled trio produces instrumental music that falls somewhere between rock, funk, and dance, and does so by pairing technology with more classical instruments to create fluttering, robotic sounds. The main draw of seeing Battles live is the excitement that comes with witnessing them compile instrumental loops until each song shape shifts into its grandiose climax. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Chris Gennett at Bourbon and Branch, Battles at Union Transfer, Protomartyr at Johnny Brenda’s and more

chris gennett

Chris Gennett is a Philadelphia folk singer-songwriter, and he’s playing at Bourbon and Branch tonight. Chris released his debut full-length album, Hey Kid, earlier this year, and has played dozens of shows in Philly since. The nine-track folk record traverses the feelings of love and loss with blues guitar riffs and intricate drum patterns. Get tickets and show info at the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to “Lose My Mind” below. Continue reading →

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Dig into new album from The Front Bottoms, Kurt Vile, Battles and more on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade!

The Front Bottoms | Photo via Fueled By Ramen
The Front Bottoms | Photo via Fueled By Ramen

Such a special weekend calls for a super special Indie Rock Hit Parade, wouldn’t you agree? Tune in at 11pm (or better yet, stay tuned after Land of the Lost with Robert Drake) for a full two-hour show that’s nothing but nothing but ALBUM SPOTLIGHTS! We’ll hear three songs in a row from a variety of newly released records, including Kurt Vile‘s b’lieve i’m goin’ down, The Front BottomsBack On Top and Youth Lagoon‘s Savage Hills Ballroom! Here’s a sampling of what else you might hear tonight:

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Real Gone: Shannon and the Clams, BATTLES & Sun Club on the Indie Rock Hit Parade

Shannon And The Clams | Photo by Nadia Lee Cohen
Shannon And The Clams | Photo by Nadia Lee Cohen

Every Indie Rock Hit Parade is special in its own way, but tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade is even more special than usual. Tune in tonight at 11pm ET (or better yet, stay tuned after What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese) for a full two-hour Hit Parade, featuring things you might not believe. If you’re not familiar with the Oakland-based band Shannon and the Clams, we’ll set you right with a spotlight on the garage-punk trio’s new LP. There are also a ton of new tracks to dig into, so be on the lookout for a few of these in the mix:

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes the English Beat, Grimace Federation, Here We Go Magic, and Hallelujah the Hills

One of the bands who revolutionized traditional ska into new wave music, The English Beat (also known just as ‘The Beat’), play Philadelphia tonight. Only producing three albums in the 1980’s, they have a vast amount of hit singles including “Save it for Later” and “Mirror in the Bathroom”. The multi-instrumentalists play this evening at the Sellersville Theater. Go here to purchase tickets to this all ages show.

Tonight marks the opening of Grimace Federation and Sonkin‘s bi-weekly residence at Kung Fu Necktie entitled “Popular Science”. They will play with different musicians at each show; tonight includes Starkey b2b Dev79 and The Range. The next few dates include August 1, 15, and 29th. Grimace Federation recently played with Work Drugs, opening for Battles at the TLA and will be opening for Circa Survive at Union Transfer on August 25th. Tickets to tonight’s 21+ show are $8. Doors open at 8pm.

The psychedelic rock band from Brooklyn, Here We Go Magic play tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. The frontman, Luke Temple was previously a solo act and has since expanded it to a full band. They have toured with bigger acts such as The Walkmen, Grizzly Bear, and Broken Social Scene. Tonight, they play with The Spinto Band, who also held a weekly residency at Kung Fu Necktie during the month of May. Tickets to tonight’s 21+ show are $12, the set begins at 9:15pm.

The Americana folk rock group Hallelujah the Hills play with Wailbone, Nicotine and Brown, and Frank Cervantes at North Star Bar. This 21+ show costs $8 and begins at 8pm.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Philly tribute to Levon Helm at World Cafe Live and Battles with Work Drugs & Grimace Federation

Tonight at World Cafe Live Philadelphia, Ron and Marley Present: A Commemorative Tribute to Levon Helm. A legend and an inspiration to many, Helm is best remembered as the drummer and vocalist for the incomparable rock group, The Band. He was also an actor, a soloist, and a multi-instrumentalist. His southern roots music comes from his upbringing in Arkansas where he was introduced to rock ‘n roll after seeing performances by Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Helm’s bluesy and country influenced rock music has won him Grammy’s for three of his albums including Electric Dirt, Dirt Farmer, and Ramble at the Ryman. In 2008 he was recognized in Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All time and the same year was given “Artist of the Year” by the American Music Association.

At tonight’s 8 PM show, local bands pay tribute to him with performances from various Philadelphia country rock bands such as Toy Soldiers, The Lawsuits, Up the Chain, and many more… A portion of the proceeds will go to The Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. (Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, all ages)

Also playing tonight is Battles with Work Drugs at the TLA (7 PM, $15, all ages). Below, watch the video for “My Machines” with Battles featuring Gary Numan.