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This Is Us: In Conversation with Empress Of

Empress Of
Empress Of | photo by Adam Elramly | courtesy of the artist

As Empress Of, Lorely Rodriguez crafts precise, deeply personal electronic pop that’s both specific to her own life experiences and relatable for any number of listeners who have had their own. That ability for her music to take on more collective significance is mirrored and magnified with her sophomore album, Us, which found her branching out sonically and thematically to explore the fruits and feelings that come from working with and opening up to others after the emotional autonomy of her 2015 debut Me. Ahead of her show at Boot & Saddle this Wednesday, Lorely and I talked about that shift and all that went into and came out of it… Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Eli “Paperboy” Reed brings his latest collection of retro-rock to Boot & Saddle

Eli “Paperboy” Reed | photo by Roberto Chamorro | courtesy of the artist

Suave Brooklyn-ite Eli “Paperboy” Reed releases his sixth LP, 99 Cent Dreams, on April 12 via Yep Roc Records. Recorded in Memphis at Sam Phillips Recording Studio, the city and scene’s juke joint vibe seeped heavy into Reed’s already stylish sound, as we hear in the new single “Bank Robber,” featuring its backing vocals by Memphis singers group The Masqueraders. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Thin Lips at Boot & Saddle

Thin Lips
Thin Lips | photo by Scott Troyan | photo courtesy of the artist

Following the release of their fantastic new album Chosen Family this summer, Philly scene faves Thin Lips have announced their first proper headlining tour behind the record, which will take them up and down the East Coast this winter. The band has also added a new member to their chosen family: Delaware-based rocker Grace Vonderkuhn will open for them on the tour, which wraps up with a hometown show on February 2 at Boot & Saddle. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Empress Of will bring Us to Boot and Saddle in February

Empress Of
Empress Of | photo by Adam Elramly | courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn-via-LA singer and songwriter Lorely Rodriguez, better known as the electronic pop artist Empress Of, released her excellent new record Us today. It’s her second full-length release, and sees her emphasizing the “pop” end of “electropop” more than we’ve heard in the past, particularly on the incredibly catchy, multi-lingual single “When I’m With Him.”

You can spend 32 minutes with Us right here, and if you dig what you hear, get ready for a night at Boot and Saddle this winter, since Empress Of plays the South Philly venue on February 20th, the third night of her just-announced tour.
Continue reading →

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Entering Kazuashita with Gang Gang Dance’s Brian DeGraw

Gang Gang Dance | photo by Ari Marcopoulos | courtesy of the artist

Seven years after blowing minds with 2011’s Eye Contact, the alchemists of Gang Gang Dance finally re-surfaced this summer with their most beatific sounding album yet in Kazuashita. Its ethereal ambience juxtaposes with lyrics that emerge from the ether to reference police brutality, the protests at Standing Rock, and several other forms of tumult that inform life at large.

To hear founding member Brian DeGraw tell it, making the record didn’t come without its own share of struggle. Ahead of the band’s show at Boot & Saddle this Thursday, we talked about how the record came to be, how the band’s process of making music had to change, and what to expect when they take the stage this week. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: After seven years, Gang Gang Dance return to Philly this September

Gang Gang Dance | photo by Ari Marcopoulos | courtesy of the artist

After a seven-year hiatus, New York experimental outfit Gang Gang Dance is back on the road with new music in tow. Following the release of their new album Kazuashita, their first since 2011, the band has announced a short run of tour dates that will bring them our way this fall for a gig at Boot & Saddle on September 6. Continue reading →

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Inara George delivers a short set of solo indie-pop confection at Boot and Saddle

Inara George | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Inara George returned to a Philadelphia stage as a solo artist for the first time in over a decade this weekend. In that time, the prolific songwriter has certainly been no stranger to the recording studio, having released three records with each of two other projects, including the one for which she’s perhaps best known, LA-based duo The Bird and the Bee.

Those in attendance at Friday’s show were clearly fans of George’s entire catalog, and she expressed her appreciation for that in expressly acknowledging her other work, as well as those who may have been a fan of her father too: the late Lowell George, one of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention and co-founder of legendary ’70s boogie-rock juggernaut Little Feat.

Still, George was intent to focus on her latest solo material that night, as she and her three supporting musicians regaled the rapt Boot-&-Saddle crowd with a short set of solo indie-pop confection pulled with few exceptions from her new record, Dearest Everybody, released only about a week prior. Continue reading →

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Two to Tango: Inara George and Matt Whyte (Rupe Shearns)

Inara George | photo by Alexa Nikol Curran | courtesy of the artist
Rupe Shearns | still from video // Inara George | photo by Alexa Nikol Curran | courtesy of the artist

Inara George and Matt Whyte are going through some changes as late. The chanteuse from the bird and the bee and the one-time Earl Greyhound are moving beyond the celestial pop we identify them with into something heartier and more holistic, a la Whyte’s Rupe Shearns’ alter ego and his To A Deer Outside Ithaca release to say nothing of George’s gorgeous aptly titled Dearest Everybody. Plus the headliner George and the opening act Shearns are old buddies. So we got them to play Two to Tango before their Boot & Saddle date tonight. Continue reading →

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Listen to Madalean Gauze’s cathartically fun FUNeral EP, see them tonight at Boot & Saddle

Madalean Gauze | via instagram.com/madalean_gauze

Philly rocker Madalean Gauze has a very funny, very true tagline on her Instagram page: “💅🏼 IDC ABT FASHION 💅🏼 .”

This is applicable beyond the jeans-and-t-shirt-and-cat-mask aesthetic of last year’s Cool and Fun EP; it includes “fashion” as far as “what’s cool” or “what the music scene expects you to do.” Like I said earlier this week, Madalean does whatever the heck she wants, she makes art for herself, whether that means launching a stoner doom metal band or releasing an off-the-cuff EP, as she did today with FUNeral. Continue reading →