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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bilal at Johnny Brenda’s, Lushlife at Boot and Saddle, Lotus at The Mann Center and more

bilal
Bilal | Photo by Kawai Matthews

Soul / funk / rock artist and Philadelphia native Bilal headlines a show at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown tonight. In the past, he has worked with big names like Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Kimbra just to name a few. His last solo release was In Another Life, released last year. Opening up for Bilal will be the fellow Philadelphian Ursula Rucker. She is a poet, activist, and recording artist who has been performing for over seventeen years. This show featuring some of Philly’s finest is not to be missed. Tickets and more information about the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Check out the video for “Money Over Love” below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Allison Weiss at Boot and Saddle, Lee “Scratch” Perry at World Cafe Live, Matthew Sweet at Sellersville Theater

Allison Weiss
Allison Weiss | photo courtesy of the artist

An awesome lady of L.A. indie rock, Allison Weiss released her terrific third LP New Love last October on SideOneDummy. Coming out when it did, the record was sadly overlooked in the year-end wrapups of blogoland, but Weiss has been making up for it by taking New Love and all its hooky goodness on the road for the better part of 2016. Tonight she headlines Boot and Saddle. Even better: Thin Lips open. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hardwork Movement at Boot and Saddle, The Bigness and Liz De Lise at Ortlieb’s, Diet Cig at The Chameleon Club

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | Photo by Zack Garlitos | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia born alternative hip-hop group Hardwork Movement is sure to draw a crowd tonight at South Philly’s Boot and Saddle. The group promotes the importance of togetherness and striving for uniqueness. Hardwork Movement draws increasingly larger crowds each show they play, from venues like Kung Fu Necktie to Spruce Street Harbor Park. With fellow hip-hop inspired openers Ill Doots and TubaFresh, this is not a gig to miss. Get tickets and more information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Watch Vita and the Woolf re-invent “Mary” on electric guitar in The Temple News offices

Vita and the Woolf | still from video
Vita and the Woolf in The Temple News offices | still from video

Philly modern rock outfit Vita and the Woolf just had something of a back-to-school moment. The band’s core duo, Jennifer Pague and Adam Shumski, are both alums of Temple University, and they traveled back up North Broad this week for a visit to The Temple News offices.

The editorially independent, student-run news organization produces an occasional Tiny Desk-esque video series called Hear All About It where Philly musicians perform in their offices – in the past, it’s featured Open Wide, Hungry Ghosts and Chelsea Reed and the Fairweather Five.

For the Vita session, the band took a new approach to the song “Mary” — and its songs in general. Continue reading →

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Get psyched for Field Mouse’s Episodic with “The Order of Things”

field mouse
Field Mouse | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

We are beyond stoked for Episodic, the latest LP from Philly / Brooklyn rockers Field Mouse. Over the past three years, the band has expanded from a dream-poppy duo to an anthemic indie rock five-piece with a punchy drive and hooks for miles. Easy points of comparison range from 90s faves like The Lemonheads and Belly to aughties luminaries Rilo Kiley and Death Cab. But let’s not over-simplify here: this band has a voice of its own, centered around frontwoman / songwriter Rachel Browne.

The new record, recorded with Joe Reinhart of Hop Along at Headroom Studios, comes out on Topshelf Records on August 5th; we’ve already gotten a preview with “The Mirror” and “Out of Context,” and now the band has rolled out a third teaser from the album called “The Order of Things.” It’s a jaunty pop tune about feeling out of place, and the general ennui that comes with it.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dear Friend at Boot and Saddle, Weezer at BB&T Pavillion, Valley Exit at Kung Fu Necktie

Dear Friend | via Bandcamp

Fuzzed-out Philly riff rockers Dear Friend are at Boot and Saddle tonight, opening the show for Straw Hats and Prism Tatts. The project of singer-guitarist Kenny Luu (and featuring Julia Rainer, a great singer-songwriter in her own right) released its self-titled LP in 2014, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for a long summer weekend. Having just come off a long weekend, we think this will still sound pretty right-on tonight. Listen below and get tickets and more information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dungen at Boot and Saddle, Chali 2na at Fillmore, Indigo Girls at Whitaker Center

Dungen | photo courtesy of the artist
Dungen | photo courtesy of the artist

Swedish psychedelic band Dungen heads to Boot and Saddle tonight. They released Allas Sak in 2015, their sixth studio album. Also on the bill are Purling Hiss (performing solo) and Shadow Band. Listen to Allas Sak track “Akt Dit” below and head over to the XPN Concert Calendar for everything you need to know about tonight’s show. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: TJ Tindall Tribute at Underground Arts, Live From The Lot at Ardmore Music Hall, You Won’t at Boot and Saddle, and more…

T.J. Tindall
T.J. Tindall | Photo by Steve Acito | courtesy of the artist

Legendary Philly funk and soul guitarist TJ Tindall, who played on classic hits such as the O’Jays’ “Backstabbers” and the Trammps’ “Disco Inferno,” passed away back in January, and tonight Underground Arts will be holding a tribute concert in memory of one of the creators of the “Philadelphia Sound.” Performing at the tribute show will be Duke Williams & The Extremes, Freebo, and many more. For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Blood Sound crafts spectral soundscapes on “Decade of Nothing”

Blood Sound | Photo courtesy of the artist
Blood Sound | Photo courtesy of the artist

Last we heard from Philly darkwave trio Blood Sound, they were getting ready to release their second record of 2015. Today, we bring you their first outing of 2016. Bassist and synth player Tristan McKeever tells us the new “Decade of Nothing” – which nicely recalls Pornography-era The Cure, and which you can hear for the first time below – will be included on an EP the band is assembling for release later this year. Continue reading →

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Delta Spirit frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez digs deeper at Boot and Saddle

Matthew Logan Vasquez | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Matthew Logan Vasquez | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

On Tuesday night, Delta Spirit frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez made a stop at Philadelphia’s Boot and Saddle, performing material from his new album Solicitor Returns. The new collection dives into a harder rock and roll aesthetic and is crafted with manic instrumentals. The album is also comprised of a few ballads that have a strong way of hypnotizing you, “Bound To Her,” being one of them.

Vasquez’s new music really seems to dig a little deeper, and that showed watching his solo performance at the Boot. The singer songwriter played his wailing hit “Maria,” telling the crowd it was a story about the devil. Later in the set we heard an energetic singalong of “Halfcoalt.” Vasquez even brought us back to his Middle Brother days performing the super group’s hit “Blue Eyes.” The night closed with a bunch of shirtless men moshing to the the tortured “Everything I Do Is Out,” Vasquez proving that he continues to be a prolific songwriter with his gritty rock anthems. Continue reading →