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Watch Sharon Van Etten join Big Thief onstage at Bowery Ballroom

Sharon Van Etten and Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief | photo by @joe_saturday via Brooklyn Vegan

Think of it as an old favorite teaming up with a new favorite. On Saturday night, Brooklyn breakouts Big Thief headlined The Bowery Ballroom in New York City in support of their killer 2016 record Masterpiece, and they were joined onstage by the wonderful Sharon Van Etten — who has taken a bit of a detour from her music career to act in the new Netflix series The OA, stunt double and all. Continue reading →

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The Key Presents: Big Thief

 

Big Thief | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
Big Thief | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

It’s been quite the year for Big Thief. Between getting picked up by Saddle Creek in Feburary, putting out the stunning debut LP Masterpiece in May, and filling the rest of the year with tour dates both headlining and alongside folks such as M. Ward and Frankie Cosmos, they’ve been quite busy. The Brookyln-based band has also racked up accolades in everywhere from Pitchfork to NPR Music. (They’ll even appear on World Cafe next week.)

And with good reason. With sensible, classic Western-Americana-influenced songwriting, the band rips ballads while also making a hard left each time you think they’re about to play right into a classic alt-country troupe. Sitting on the southern borderline of “indie,” Big Thief avoids falling into those all-too-familiar patterns, as well. Adrianne Lenker’s fragile, yet tempered songwriting carries the band down a winding road, that allows her to exert great strength both in quietus and with actual sonic force. Continue reading →

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Album Spotlight Alert! Thee Oh Sees, of Montreal, Field Mouse and Best of 2016 (so far) on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Thee Oh Sees | Photo courtesy of the artist

This week’s Indie Rock Hit Parade, like most weeks’, is a special one. Tonight’s show (starting at 11pm ET on WXPN, right after What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese), will spotlight not one, not two, but fifteen releases from 2016! We’ll dig into a few newly released albums, namely those from fuzz freaks Thee Oh Sees, celebrated funk-twisters of Montreal, gut-punch punks Field Mouse and more, plus hear from some of the year’s most exceptional recordings so far. It shouldn’t surprise you that we’ll get to tracks from Parquet Courts, Big Thief and Car Seat Headrest, but there might also be a few albums in the mix whose initial releases you might have missed. It’s part best of, part new music showcase, part treasure hunt. It’s the Indie Rock Hit Parade, and it’s coming for you.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Strand of Oaks at Parliament Summer Arts Market, Garbage at The Fillmore, Big Thief at Boot and Saddle

Strand of Oaks
photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

Local rockers Strand of Oaks are taking part in an awesome FREE concert this afternoon in York, Pa., orchestrated by the Summer Art Market in York. The show will also feature New York’s Quilt, the psychedelic Boogarins and Big Thief on the York College Stage at Royal Square District. More info on this first-year event can be found right here; watch a video for Strand of Oaks’ “Same Emotions” below. Continue reading →

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Creativity captured: Watch Big Thief’s Shaking Through recording session music video

Big Thief | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com
Big Thief | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

Last week, we had the treat of being a fly on the wall during New York indie band Big Thief and producer Luke Temple’s recording session with Weathervane Music, thanks to the music documentary series Shaking Through. The in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into the creation of the song “Mother” was captivating for any music lover — watching how ideas take shape and what goes into the production of each song adds a personal touch when listening to the final product. Continue reading →

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Watch Big Thief toil though the recording process of “Mother” on Shaking Through

Big Thief in Miner Street Studio | photo via Weathervane Music

Brian McTear has overseen over 50 episodes of Shaking Through, the music production documentary series produced by his non-profit, Weathervane Music. But until the latest edition featuring New York quartet Big Thief and guest producer Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic, McTear and his crew had never been so nervous.

That’s because Temple and Big Thief decided to go into the one-day recording project, which worked on the band’s song “Mother,” with basically no preparation or premeditation. Temple returned from Europe the day before the session, and had never even heard the song until he joined Big Thief at Miner Street Recordings here in Philly. So naturally the first step was to expose Temple to the song he’d be producing that day. Continue reading →

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Tween Dream: New Wye Oak, Guided By Voices & Pill on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Wye Oak | Photo by Natasha Tylea, courtesy of the artist
Wye Oak | Photo by Natasha Tylea, courtesy of the artist

The Indie Rock Hit Parade is headed your way tonight at 11pm ET on WXPN! Embrace it.

On tonight’s show, we’ll spotlight the newest release from Baltimore favorites Wye Oak. Tween is the duo’s latest release, and it collects tracks from, yes, between their two most recent full-lengths. We’ll hear a couple of these rarities tonight, plus new tracks from Guided By Voices, Preoccupations and Pill. To name just a few, that is. Check out some of the new tracks below:

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Masterpiece: Big Thief LIVE plus new Wye Oak, of Montreal & Todd Terje on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Big Thief | Photo by Sasha Arutyunova, courtesy of the artist
Big Thief | Photo by Sasha Arutyunova, courtesy of the artist

We’ve got a very special treat for you on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade! Listen in starting at 11pm ET on WXPN (that’s right after What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese, you know) for a full two-hour show that’ll kick off with a phenomenal live performance. The New York band Big Thief recently played an opening slot for Nada Surf at World Cafe Live Philadelphia, and we were there to record it all! Hear Big Thief play songs from their newly released debut Masterpiece LIVE on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade! Also in the mix are new tracks from Baltimore’s Wye Oak, Norwegian DJ Todd Terje and Nashville sludge-popsters Diarrhea Planet. Check out a few of the new things below…

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Golden Broad: Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson (and her dad Alan) guest DJ, plus new Steve Gunn & Weaves on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Abbi and Alan Jacobson | Photo by Richard Chaitt, courtesy of Golden Slipper
Abbi and Alan Jacobson | Photo by Richard Chaitt, courtesy of Golden Slipper

Tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade is a pretty special one, so make sure you’re tuned in at 11pm ET on WXPN (not too long after Making Time RADio with Dave P, you know?). On this week’s full two-hour show, we’ll be joined by a pair of guest DJs: co-creator and star of Comedy Central’s Broad City, Abbi Jacobson, and her dad Alan! The pair chat about their connection to Philly and, in particular, to the Golden Slipper organization. They’ll also play a few of their own favorite songs from Courtney Barnett, Tom Waits and Arcade Fire’s Will Butler. Also on tonight’s show, a spotlight on the newly released album from Steve Gunn. The former Kurt Vile sideman just released Eyes On The Lines, the latest in an evolving string of solo records. And be on the lookout for new tunes from Weaves, Big Thief and Wild Beasts in the mix, too…

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