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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Creepoid at Ortlieb’s, Chairlift at Underground Arts

creepoid
Creepoid | photo by Jammi York

Creepoid is celebrating Taco Tuesday (and drummer Pat Troxell’s birthday) at Ortlieb’s tonight. The grungy psych rock outfit just returned home from a two week tour with Restorations in support of last year’s Cemetery Highrise Slum LP. Check out “American Smile” below. Tickets for the 21+ show will be available at the door; more information can be found here.

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Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek talks music, danger, and what the band once did at the First Unitarian Church altar

Chairlift
Chairlift | photo courtesy of the artist

Caroline Polachek, vocalist, songwriter, and one-half Brooklyn pop duo Chairlift, has for many years now earned a reputation as one of indie’s most mesmerizing front women, thanks to her smart lyrics, strong pipes, and ability to completely immerse herself in a performance. Together with band-mate Patrick Wimberly, Chairlift has helped refine and defy expectations about pop music for over a decade, moving from a trendy band in an Apple commercial to an innovative musical force, whose repertoire includes everything from re-appropriated action-flick music to choose-your-own-adventure-style music videos—and has continued to grow and evolve with time.

Case-in-point: the band’s third full-length Moth, which dropped earlier this year and might be their best record yet. A glistening, sun-soaked journey through lows and super highs, Moth navigates vulnerabilities and triumphs while always remaining firmly planted in the groove. This month, the band will bring Moth to Philadelphia, playing Underground Arts on April 12. In advance of the show, we rung up Caroline to talk writing, tour, and what Chairlift once did at the First Unitarian Church altar. Continue reading →

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Chairlift release video for “Crying In Public”, playing Underground Arts in April

Chairlift
Chairlift | photo courtesy of the artist

Synth-pop duo Chairlift have expanded the tour for their newest album Moth, which will include a stop at Underground Arts, and they have also released a music video for their song “Crying In Public.”

In the video for “Crying In Public”, the Brooklyn band is shown performing in the studio in black and white. The video also cuts to shots of vocalist Caroline Polachek dancing in her city and riding the subway while the rain and snow drive her down, reflecting the melancholy nature of the song through the raindrops on her face. Continue reading →

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Cannonball: New DIIV, Parquet Courts & Twin Peaks on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade!

DIIV | Photo by Chiaro Tiso (Courtesy of Captured Tracks)
DIIV | Photo by Chiaro Tiso (Courtesy of Captured Tracks)

The Indie Rock Hit Parade comes at you TONIGHT at 11pm ET on 88.5 WXPN! Get your swimmies on because we’ll be spotlighting the dreamy new album from NYC’s DIIV, called Is The Is Are. It’s a masterful experiment in modern showgaze. We’ve also got new tracks from Parquet Courts, Chicago’s Twin Peaks and Winnipeg’s Living Hour in the big mix. Preview some of those down below…

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Run it: Spotlight on Chairlift plus new Islands and Deep Sea Diver on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade

Chairlift | photo courtesy of the artist
Chairlift | photo courtesy of the artist

Tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade is all laced up and ready to go, right after this month’s Land of the Lost with Robert Drake on WXPN! Listen in starting at 11pm ET for a full two-hour show that’s full of premieres and a few surprises, too. We’ll spotlight Moth, the new third album from Chairlift in the second hour of the show and we’ll hear songs from TWO new albums that our friends Islands will release in the Spring. Be on watch for those and more:

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Chairlift gets mellow and melancholic on “Crying in Public”

Chairlift | photo courtesy of the artist
Chairlift | photo courtesy of the artist

We’re two weeks away from Moth, the first album in three years from Brooklyn electro-pop duo Chairlift. The band’s first taste of the album came from “Ch-Ching,” a dance-pop earworm that’s so unbelievably catchy it somehow seems unfair. Today the band showed the flipside: a mellow and melancholic ballad called “Crying in Public” that’s reminiscent of Dido and Everything But the Girl. Give it a listen below: Moth is out January 22nd on Columbia Records. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Guards at Kung Fu Necktie, Elephant Stone at The Fire, Simian Mobile Disco at Making Time, The Coup and Lushlife at Underground Arts

XPN Welcomes emerging indie three-piece Guards to Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The New York project is spearheaded by Richie James Follin, frontman for Willowz and a former live guitarist for Cults (which his sister Madeline sings for). The group’s doom-meets-power pop vibe makes their seven-track EP an unexpected dance party staple, which you can pick for free below. Tickets to tonight’s 21+ show are available on our concert calendar here; the performance starts at 7:30.

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Weekend Picks: Disappears at Johnny Brenda’s, Free Energy at First Unitarian Church, Chairlift at JB’s

Chairlift performs at Johnny Brenda's Sunday, April 22nd

FRIDAY, APRIL 20th
Disappears performs with Lotus Plaza and Nothing at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.

Also Playing: Free Energy + Langor, Wildlife Control at First Unitarian Church (8:30 p.m., all ages, $12); Levee Drivers + Dirty Ghosts, Ghost Light, Peace Creeps at PhilaMOCA (8:30 p.m., all ages, $7-$10); Nicos Gun + DRGN KING, Tunde Olaniran And Miz Korona at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $8); The High Five + Crills Wilson, Wyldlife, The Donuts at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., 21+, $10)

SATURDAY, APRIL 21st
Tower Of Power + Average White Band at Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., all ages, $42.50-$49.50)

SUNDAY, April 22nd
Usually a group with bizarre interests tends to show off such eccentricities within its work. Yet such is not the case for Brooklyn-based synth-pop duo Chairlift. For a group whose original intent was to create music for haunted houses, it’s surprising that its musical style has somehow strayed as far from spookiness as possible. Chairlift is now known for its innocent, sanguine-sounding pop melodies and soft male and female vocals that radiate with an undeniable chemistry. One of the only remaining strange aspects of this band’s work is the videos that accompany its childlike tunes; one of the band’s most successful singles, “Evident Utensil,” features a music vid in which impressive animation allows the scenes to weirdly melt together. Though Chairlift is now widely known for the appearance of hit-single “Bruises,” in a 2008 iPod commercial, its music has truly evolved from a dark oddity to the style it exudes today. Chairlift performs with Nite Jewel at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the all-ages show are $13-$14. —Lisa Henderson

Also Playing: Grandchildren + Hume, The Dreebs, Son Step at PhilaMOCA (8 p.m., all ages, $7-$10); Lucero + Deer Tick, J. Roddy Walston And The Business, Turbo Fruits at Union Transfer (7:30 p.m., all ages, $20-$22); Young Widows + Ladder Devils, Pygmy Lush at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, SOLD OUT)

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Recap: Chairlift’s Free At Noon performance at World Cafe Live

Photo by Joe Del Tufo

In 2008, Chairlift faced a serious obstacle: proving its worth beyond one extremely viral single. The electronic pop group’s insta-hit “Bruises” was featured in the fourth-generation iPod Nano launch commercial that year, and it was both infectious and overplayed. Thankfully, there’s more to Chairlift than “Bruises.” In fact, at Friday’s Free At Noon show, they didn’t even play it. Their new album, Something, (to be released on Tuesday) is a sweeping and haunting homage to ’80s rock that is more in line with “Evident Utensil,” the second single from their debut album, Does You Inspire You. At Friday’s show, the duo—expanded to a five-member band for touring—played a strong, theatrical set from their upcoming album.

Chairlift formed in Denver, Colorado, originally as a trio that included Aaron Pfenning, Caroline Polachek, and Kyle McCabe. The group intended to write music for haunted houses, but they scrapped that idea for the Brooklyn music scene in 2006. Despite (or maybe due to) their 15 Nano-seconds of fame, Does You Inspire You wasn’t much of a critical success. The singles “Bruises” and “Evident Utensil” set conflicting expectations for the album, which ultimately fell short of living up to either. A tour of North America with Yeasayer followed and the stress of touring paired with growing creative differences began to split the group. Pfenning left Chairlift in 2010 to write music under the moniker Rewards, and Polachek and McCabe continued to make quirky, ’80s infused pop reminiscent of the group’s eerie early dream.

Over three years after Does You Inspire You, Polachek and McCabe have a new album that progresses naturally from where the debut left off—or, rather, trailed off after “Evident Utensil.” Something was written in the back room of an antiques store in Brooklyn and recorded in London with Hot Chip’s producer, Dan Carey. It emits a dark and weird coolness, especially because of the risks that Polachek takes with her vocals. She nearly yodels on some tracks and hits highs seemingly outside of a human register on others. “I Belong In Your Arms,” is this album’s pop gem, insufferable only because its ethereal hook is both difficult to shake and too high pitched to hum. “Sidewalk Safari” features a threatening monologue from Polachek; it was inspired by nightmarish visions that she began to experience after being hit by a car. Something avoids the cliché of “hauntingly beautiful” and instead goes for haunting in a creepy way.

Live, Polachek’s stage presence completely dominates the group’s presentation. When she wasn’t singing, snapping or making otherworldly noises into the microphone, she did a jerky, wobbling kind of punch dance. In a knee-length plaid skirt, with her hair parted in the middle and pulled into a low ponytail, Polachek looked like a Brat Pack character that’d just had her first beer. The performance featured castanets, melodramatic facial expressions and choreographed hand motions. Polachek and McCabe were joined by a keyboardist, guitarist and drummer, though Polachek migrated to the drum set for additional percussion on the brooding new confessional “Guilty As Charged.” After the NPR show finished recording, Chairlift came back for an encore for the World Café Live audience—and the encore wasn’t “Bruises.” Some audience members were audibly disappointed when the group left without performing the iPod Nano hit, but if Chairlift wants to move beyond from their Apple Ad glory days, it was a necessary move. “Evident Utensil” was the encore instead, and it was the evident choice, not only because this album finally lives up to what the single promised three years ago, but also because even Chairlift is tired of hearing “Bruises.” –Naomi Shavin

Set List:

Sidewalk Safari
Wrong Opinion
Take It Out On Me
I Belong In Your Arms
Guilty As Charged
Met Before
Ghost Tonight
Amanaemonesia
Encore: Evident Utensil