Divers, The Districts, DRGN King and more featured on Tri-State Indie’s Lou Reed tribute (12/7 at World Cafe Live)

Photos by Abi Reimold |
Photo by Abi Reimold |

This Saturday, a tribute to late rock and roll icon Lou Reed at World Cafe Live will raise money for hunger charities MANNA and Philabundance. Today, the event’s organizers – the Philly-based music blog Tri-State Indie – announced the lineup for the show, and it features a solid cross section of Philly musicians, including:

Levee Drivers
Pete Donnelly
Black Stars
Dominic Angelella (of DRGN KING)
Nero Catalano
The Districts
John Train
Pine Barons
Our Griffins

The all-ages show begins at 8 p.m., tickets are $8 and available here. Attendees are asked to bring canned non-perishable food items to donate to Philabundance. Below, watch The Districts paying tribute to Reed at a recent festival with a cover of “I’m Waiting For The Man” by The Velvet Underground.


Listen to an intoxicating remix of DRGN King’s “Holy Ghost” (playing PhilaMOCA 12/12)


DRGN King‘s “Holy Ghost,” a track featured on their full length album Paragraph Nights, was recently remixed by Alex Kimble, a rapper and producer from Oxford, Mississippi. The electronic remix bumps like a pop rager while still maintaining the chill vibe and catchy melodic hooks, making it as intoxicating as the original. A good vibe to zone out to, the Alex Kimble remix offers a unique take on a Philadelphia psychedelic / indie band. However, the original version’s chorus still comes out on top in terms of grandioseness. Listen to both versions of “Holy Ghost” below. Also, be sure to check out DRGN King on December 12th at PhilaMOCA with The Districts and Triathalon. You can pick up the full length album Paragraph Nights here.


Tonight’s concert picks: Pattern is Movement at Union Transfer, Beats Antique at TLA, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at North Star Bar and more

Photos by Peter English

Philly duo Pattern is Movement brings their high-pitched vocals and dynamic blend of keyboards, vocals and drums to Union Transfer tonight. Gaining notable recognition for their recent cover of D’Angelo’s “Unititled (How Does it Feel),” the group is getting ready to release its fourth album (and first since 2008). Their single “Suckling” is reminiscent of what James Blake would sound like blended with organ-like keyboard vamps and drums. Their music is like nothing out there, and the show is sure to be a treat. Get tickets here. Below, listen to “Suckling.”

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DRGN King, Cruiser and The Downtown Club will play a free show with YACHT at Boot & Saddle on 10/24

Photo by Joe Del Tufo
Photo by Joe Del Tufo

Red Bull Sound Select is presenting a night of indie pop at Boot & Saddle on October 24th.  The line-up was curated by Making Time and features DRGN King, Cruiser and The Downtown Club supporting West Coast electro-pop group YACHT.  Operating as a monthly showcase, Red Bull Sound Select pairs up and coming local acts with established bands chosen by local curators.  This month’s event is free with an RVSP, which you can do here.  Check out videos of the bands below.  Revisit DRGN King’s Key Studio Session here, and The Downtown Club’s Key Studio Session here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cold Fronts at Johnny Brenda’s, The Julie Ruin at Union Transfer

ColdfrontsPhilly-based rock band Cold Fronts are bringing their raw sound to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. It’s the kickoff of their fall tour with DRGN King, and we can expect some new music in the mix; including “Sum Grls,” the single they premiered on WXPN Tuesday night. Watch the four-piece perform the new song live below. Find tickets and more information about the 21+ show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Breakwater at World Cafe Live; Tedeschi Trucks Band at Mann Center, DRGN King at The Fire

breakwater-62While you’re hypnotized by that amazing animated GIF above, we’d like to invite you not to miss Breakwater, performing at the World Cafe Live tonight. When Daft Punk sampled their song “Release the Beast” in the 2005 hit “Robot Rock”, the 70s Philly funk band was put back on the map. See what our Bruce Warren has to say about the rediscovered band here. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s show here. Below, watch Breakwater’s performance of “Work It Out” at The Savory this past June.

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Watch XPoNential Fest artist DRGN King perform “Fail Big” at the Camden Aquariaum for Out of Town Films

Screen shot 2013-08-01 at 12.19.50 PMThe latest video in Out of Town Films’ series of shoots at the XPoNential Music Festival came out today: DRGN King strumming an acoustic take on their new song “Fail Big”, performed just before the downpour put the Wiggins Park side of the festivities on hold. From the filmmakers:

When we saw that our buds, DRGN King, would be playing the XPoNential Music Festival, we knew we had to meet up with them. A few months ago, they played an OOTF mini ‘pop-up’ show, with a full on electric set. This time around, they were under different circumstances.

The guys posted up outside of the Aquarium for this acoustic rendition of their new song, “Fail Big” and right as they finished, the skies opened up and drenched the festival.

Watch “Fail Big” below.


From The Districts to Dr. Dog, local artists shine at XPoNential Fest

Photo by Eric Ashleigh
The Fleeting Ends | Photo by Eric Ashleigh

Despite age, genre and prominence, local acts who played the 2013 XPoNential Music Festival showcased their best for a hometown audience, both on the stage and on the air.

For Aaron Brown, front man for Philadelphia-based rock and soul band Aaron and the Spell, kicking off the festival on Friday night made for an “absolutely fantastic” experience.

“For me and my music, its helping me to find an audience,” Brown said. “It’s really hard to break out there, it’s a lot of bands doing a lot of great work. It’s hard to get out there and get people to even know about you.”

Brown said he hopes playing the festival helped him come away with a few new fans, if not for him personally, than for any members of his talented nine-piece band comprised of all Philly musicians.

“I’m blessed and thankful that new people can find something in me and my band that they appreciate and, hopefully, want to follow, whether it’s the amazing background singers or the amazing horn players or the amazing drummer or guitar player,” he said. “Even if I’m at the bottom of the list, I don’t care.”

Though his soulful voice and sound is sometimes compared favorably to Stevie Wonder, Brown said he doesn’t mind getting constructive criticism from listeners.

“If you see music and you don’t like it and it’s bad, tell the artist,” Brown said. “Don’t be mean, but tell them so artists can get better, some critical thought there that artists can continue to improve. I appreciate that. People do that to me all the time, people tell me I suck non-stop. But you know what, it’s cool and it helps me out.”

Photo by Eric Ashleigh
The Districts | Photo by Eric Ashleigh

Lancaster-based bluesy rock band The Districts have had little time between playing Philly house shows and one of its biggest festivals, but didn’t falter during their first set for such a large crowd.

The four-piece band of 18- and 19-year-old musicians agreed that, aside from playing for new people, the best part of the festival was playing alongside some of their favorite national acts on the line-up.

“It’s coolest from like a fanboy stance,” said frontman Rob Grote (even though high-pitched screams from female fans echoed during their own set).

The Districts also cite Philly favorites like Dr. Dog, Man Man and Toy Soldiers as some of their biggest influences, and enjoy playing in the city because of the huge amount of other great acts.

“There are so many people to meet, so many places to go, and the connections between [bands], you find out they’re all connected somehow,” said guitarist Mark Larson. “So once you’re in, word just kind of spreads around. It’s a very music- accepting city.” Continue reading →


XPoNential Fest: DRGN King wakes up the River Stage crowd with high energy rock

Photo by Joe Del Tufo
Photo by Joe Del Tufo

Day three of the XPoNential Music Festival was turned up to eleven right away when local rockers DRGN King got things started on the River Stage.  Frontman Dom Angelella and his crew of Brendan Mulvihill on guitar, Ritz Reynolds on keys, Steve Montenegro on bass and Joe Baldacci on drums worked through songs off of their recent Paragraph Nights (released this past February through Bar None Records).  Following “Holy Ghost” (a song about “looking like Jesus”) and “Mens Wear” (a song about “avoiding paying your taxes”) Angelella intro-ed a new song called “Fail Big” off of an album the Philadelphians are currently recording in Elkins Park.  The rocking and rolling set was rounded out with “Warriors” (dedicated to The Key’s editor John Vettese) and some more cuts off of Paragraph Nights.  Angelella’s rockstar jumps and on-stage antics caused a few technical difficulties but the band recovered well and the crowd was more than forgiving.  See photos of the performance in the gallery below, read the setlist after the jump, and listen to the set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).

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Get to know the Philly artists on #xpnfest in this Key Studio Sessions sampler

XPoNential Fest

The XPoNential Music Festival starts in afew hours, and to properly prepare, we’ve dug into our archives so you can get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with some of the local bands and musicians that will be lighting up the stages this weekend. Six of the Philly-based bands on the lineup have recorded Key Studio Sessions: Aaron and the Spell, The Districts, Alo Brasil, The Stray Birds, The Fleeting Ends, and DRGN King. Take a listen and download some of their tunes after the jump.

If you like what you hear, check out their set times this weekend. For full information on the XPoNential Music Festival go here. Continue reading →