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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sunwatchers at PhilaMOCA, Agnes Obel at Union Transfer, Jesse Hale Moore at Bourbon and Branch and more

Sunwatchers | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
Sunwatchers | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

New York progressive collective Sunwatchers head to PhilaMOCA for the night with opening sets by Skull Practitioners and Writhing Squares. These free jazz and krautrock inspired musicians define their own genre through jams of epic proportions, making anyone squeezed into Philly’s favorite arthouse freaking lucky. The show is all ages, and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Also, check out the band’s Studio Sessions when they stopped by last May. Continue reading →

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Delicate Steve soundtracks a cross-country segway ride in new “Tomorrow” video

Delicate Steve| courtesy of the artist
Delicate Steve | courtesy of the artist

New Jersey wonk rock project Delicate Steve has just shared its latest, This Is Steve, and to celebrate, they’ve also dropped a new visual for album cut “Tomorrow.” It details a coast-to-coast journey on a segway by a polite-looking business boy–exactly what you’d expect from such a whimsical, sprawling track. If that wasn’t what you expected, you just don’t get it, man, but you can stream it below anyway. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Polica at Union Transfer, Delicate Steve at Underground Arts

Poliça
Poliça | photo courtesy of the artist

Minneapolis five-piece Polica announced their tour dates, which included a stop in Philadelphia, all the way back in November. Well, the day has finally arrived — Polica will be performing at Union Transfer tonight. The group recently unveiled their third release, United Crushers, an album that provides an endless supply of synthesizer-driven hooks, but often with a dark, serious undercurrent (one of the album’s singles, “Wedding,” bluntly tackles issues of police militarization and the drug trade). You can find tickets and more information about the show via the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell at Union Transfer, Delicate Steve at Underground Arts, Milky Chance at The Mann

Ben Bridwell, Iron & Wine | Photo via Facebook.com/ironandwine
Ben Bridwell, Iron & Wine | Photo via Facebook.com/ironandwine

This year, Sam Beam of long running indie folk project Iron & Wine got together with Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses to produce Sing Into My Mouth, a record of covers from Talking Heads’ “Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place)” to Pete Seeger’s “Coyote, My Little Brother.” Tonight, they headline Union Transfer; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Bangles at World Cafe Live, Balance and Composure at the TLA, and Boban and Marko Markovic Orchestra at Ardmore Music Hall

Photo via The Bangles Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thebangles)
Photo via The Bangles Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thebangles)

80’s pop rock sensations The Bangles headline World Cafe Live tonight. After a long 8-year hiatus, the women produced their first album in 2011, Sweetheart of the Sun, and rejoined the music scene with gusto. The group achieved early success with their pop hits including “Eternal Flame” and “Walk Like An Egyptian”  and became one of the handful of all-female groups to achieve international attention in the 80’s. You can watch their music video for their hit “Manic Monday” below. Find more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dan Kassel at World Cafe Live, Delicate Steve at Tellus 360, and Fishtank Ensemble at Musikfest Cafe

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Renowned local cellist Dan Kassel will bring his virtuosic musicianship to the World Cafe Live stage tonight. Kassel released his new album Tribes Forgotten in February which he says “is meant to take the listener to great heights and over vast expanse.” He certainly does capture atmospheric unity and tensions throughout the record all centered around his somber cello. Listen to “Ascension” below and get tickets here.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Julie Miller’s Top 5 live sessions of 2013

Sam Cook-Parrott of Radiator Hospital
Sam Cook-Parrott of Radiator Hospital

Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, Key contributor Julie Miller shares her favorite video sessions of the year.

Live session videos are great because they give the musician a chance to experiment with their music and perform it in an unusual setting or surprising way.  From Out of Town Films to La Blogotechque’s Take Away Shows, there are more and more series popping up each year that put unique spins on the music video art-form.  These are five of my favorite live session videos of 2013:

1. Radiator Hospital – “Our Song” Piss Couch Session, filmed by Maggot House Records.  This is one of the most honest break-up songs since Bob Dylan’s demo recording of “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” and the guys over at Maggot House got an incredibly intimate and vulnerable recording of it.  Sam Cook-Parrott released a studio version of the song on his Something Wild LP a few months after the filming but this version is still my favorite.

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Human BBQ XXXV in photos ft. Delicate Steve, Norwegian Arms, Ghost Light and more

West Philly’s long-standing punk rock frat Pi Lam threw its annual Human BBQ celebration (35 years strong!) this weekend with a stacked lineup of Philadelphia favorites like Cold Fronts, Norwegian Arms and Ghost Light as well as out-of-town artists like Delicate Steve. Check out scenes from the day-long musical endurance test in the gallery above.

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Watch Delicate Steve perform “Afria Talks To You” for Out Of Town Films (playing Pi Lam on 4/6)

Delicate SteveNew Jersey experimental / instrumental outfit Delicate Steve put on a hypnotic and absolutely transcendent performance at PhilaMOCA last time they were in Philly, and local live session crew Out Of Town Films were on hand to record the sound check.  The Luaka Bop artists are continuing to tour in support of 2012’s phenomenal Positive Force LP and will join Norwegian Arms, Cold Fronts, Total Slacker, Banned Books and more at Pi Lam’s Human BBQ XXXV on Saturday, April 6th.  Tickets and information for the event can be found here.  Watch Out Of Town Films’ recording of “Afria Talks to You” from Positive Force below and dig into Delicate Steve’s approach to both their music and their image with Nikki Volpicelli’s interview for The Key here.

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Interview: Finding another angle with Delicate Steve (playing PhilaMOCA with Banned Books on 12/2)

I can say what I want. I can say that Delicate Steve‘s layered harmonies give me a feeling that can’t be classified as “good” or “bad.” I can say that the New Jersey-bred group’s absence of lyrics puts it’s music on a different level. That before listening to this group, I really didn’t appreciate modern music without spoken word. I could even tell you that listening to the first three tracks on Positive Force consecutively is, to me, the equivalent of watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie in between games of Nintendo 64 and playing in the dirt in the wooded backyard of my kiddish days, sun shining through tree branches, not warm and not cold, carefree and childish.

I know, I know… only weird kids watched Little House on the Prairie. But then that’s why this all makes sense. Continue reading →