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More of the Best of 2015 on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Panda Bear | Photo by Fernanda Pereira
Panda Bear | Photo by Fernanda Pereira

The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns tonight at 11pm ET (right after What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese) for another round of the Best of 2015! We’ll hear tracks from notable releases by Panda Bear, Tanlines and Jamie xx, along with a few of our favorite Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session tracks from the year. Check out some of those below. We’ll also hear an encore presentation of our recent guest DJ visit with Jon Wurster, who (along with Tom Scharpling) brings The Best Show to Union Transfer this Sunday night.

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Best of 2015 plus new Animal Collective & ANOHNI on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Unknown Mortal Orchestra | Photo by Neil Krog
Unknown Mortal Orchestra | Photo by Neil Krog

It’s the most wonderful time of the year on the Indie Rock Hit Parade. No, not holiday time (though that’ll be coming in a few short weeks), but the time to look back at some of the best releases of 2015! Listen starting at 11pm ET (after Making Time RADio with Dave P) for a full two-hour IHRP, We’ll get to a bunch of new tracks in the first hour, like new Animal Collective, ANOHNI and Parquet Courts. Then, in Hour 2, we’ll hear from some of the best records of the year. Seriously!

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Philly’s Dead Milkmen threw the ultimate Halloweekend party at The Troc

The Dead Milkmen | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com
The Dead Milkmen | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com

Some mosh pits are sloppy, some mosh pits are scary, but some mosh pits are just pure joy – and the one that broke out at the Dead Milkmen’s Halloween-eve set at the Troc was absolutely the latter.

Rodney Anonymous fitfully weaved his way around the stage with all the energy of his high school self, shouting along with the cheering painted faces below him – equal parts millennial vampires and greying punk zombies. Continue reading →

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The Fillmore Philly opens in style with Hall & Oates and a hit-packed set

The Fillmore Philly | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
The Fillmore Philly | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

“We’re in Fishtown, right?” Daryl Hall asked the crowd at the opening night of The Fillmore Philly. “I used to be scared to come up here.”

Many concertgoers, clad in suit jackets and pumps, arrived to the venue wet after having parked their cars beneath I-95. Warm, colorful and even swanky, The Fillmore felt like walking into a high-end club after trekking through the pothole-filled streets of Fishtown on the first night of October. Continue reading →

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The Weeknd, Metric, Mick Jenkins and more bring the heat to Made In America Day Two

The Weeknd| Photo by John Vettese
The Weeknd| Photo by John Vettese

Day two of this year’s Made in America festival was decidedly more about the music than being seen in the same vicinity as Queen Bey. I was greeted by two very cheery security guards who, after searching my bags and person, handed me a bottle of water about three times bigger than the one I brought with me and told me to have a great time. That definitely set the tone for the day. Continue reading →

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Beyonce, Death Cab for Cutie, Hop Along and more light up Made In America day one

Beyonce | Photo by John Vettese
Beyonce | Photo by John Vettese

The fourth installment of Jay-Z’s Made in America festival kicked off yesterday with a full day of sun and sounds, from hard rock to hip-hop, capped by a knockout performance by pop idol Beyonce. When she played MIA back in 2013, Bey was just ahead of dropping her surprise self-titled release – the record that might just have gone on to be the biggest of her career. Continue reading →

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Stevie Wonder packed Dilworth Park to give back to Philly fans

Stevie Wonder pop up show at Dilworth Park, Philadelphia.  Photo by: Simon Klein / WXPN
Stevie Wonder performs a pop up show at Dilworth Park, Philadelphia | Photo by Simon Klein

Playing the second leg of his marathon three-show day across the northeast, Stevie Wonder packed Dilworth Park in the center of Philadelphia for a short performance and Q&A. Devoted to giving back to the fans that love him, and speaking out about current events, Stevie performed free shows in both DC and Philly (he is now en route New York for a final stop tonight).  Stevie played through a few songs from his magnum opus Songs in the Key of Life and had people packed in the park, with some people even leaning out of windows in nearby City Hall to get a view. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Indigo Girls play to the faithful, closing out the day at Wiggins Park

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Indigo Girls | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Longtime XPN favorites Indigo Girls ended this year’s XPoNential Music Festival with a rewarding set of old and new songs.

They got things kicked off with the poignant “Shame on You,” and kept the momentum going throughout.  Songs like “Least Complicated,” and “Joking,” involved much audience participation.  Singer and guitarist Amy Ray performed a blistering “Spread the Pain Around” from their new album One Lost Day,proving that Courtney Barnett and the Indigo Girls have more in common than many of XPN’s younger listeners may think.   Continue reading →

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XPN Fest: Courtney Barnett leaves the River Stage audience a group of happy campers

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Courtney Barnett | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

Australian phenom Courtney Barnett had the crowd in the palm of her hand after her performance on the River Stage. She and her bandmates, Bones Sloane (bass) and Dave Mudie (drums), played a combination of new tracks off 2015 release Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit and older favorites. 

The set began with single “Elevator Operator”, at which point the whole lawn was already awash with happy, happy concertgoers. After a strong rendition of “Lance Jr.” (off 2014’s The Double Ep: A Sea of Split Peas), Barnett continued on with a string of tunes from Sometimes, including an intimate performance of “Depreston” (“As close to Paul Kelly as we get,” she joked). Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Guitar jams and artistry from St. Vincent and My Morning Jacket at SBC

St. Vincent & My Morning Jacket | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com
St. Vincent & My Morning Jacket | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

At first glance, last night’s headlining XPNFest pairing was an unusual one. Theatrical, otherworldly indie rock diety St. Vincent played first, followed by a set from jam-intensive roots / Americana faves My Morning Jacket – how was this going to work?

As it turned out, it worked out phenomenally, and the artists has more in common than meets the eye. Both boast some of the best living guitarists in rock – Annie Clark, the woman behind St. Vincent, as well as Jim James and Carl Broemel, the dueling duo at the front of MMJ. Both have a strong artistic sensibility to what they do – St. Vincent’s cerebral pop songs and clever choreography, MMJ’s expressive and expansive jams. And both have songs that totally slay in concert – St. Vincent’s “Actor Out of Work” and “Digital Witness,” MMJ’s “Lay Low” and “One Big Holiday,” just to name a handful. Continue reading →