Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hardwork Movement at Johnny Brenda’s, Sorority Noise at First Unitarian Church, Daughter at The Electric Factory and more

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philadelphia hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement is playing a record release show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The group’s music boasts intricate jazz-tinged instrumental arrangements and a fierce pride of their deep roots in The City of Brotherly Love. 2016 was a fantastic year for the nine-member group: earlier this year they released their debut LP Good Problems, and a few months later they signed to Chill Moody’s #nicethingsMUSIC imprint. Come help Hardwork Movement celebrate and get a taste of their mixtape Draft Night at their last show of 2016 in Fishtown. Brooklyn-bred Tacuma Bradley’s Unity Band and Philadelphia singer-songwriter Julia Rainer are also on tonight’s bill. Check out the WXPN Concert Calendar for more information on this 21+ show, and check out Hardwork Movement’s performance of “City Bars” during a session with Philadelphia-collective Out of Town Films. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Run The Jewels will kick off its U.S. tour at the Electric Factory

Run The Jewels perform at Union Transfer in 2014 | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Run The Jewels perform at Union Transfer in 2014 | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN |

With their hotly anticipated RTJ3 on the horizon for a 2017 (?) release, hip-hop dynamic duo Run The Jewels — aka veteran wordsmiths Killer Mike and El P — just announced a North American tour that kicks off here in Philadelphia at the Electric Factory on Wednesday, January 11th. The two-month run also features The Gaslamp Killa, Spark Master Tape and Cuz, and wraps all across the U.S., concluding with a Terminal 5 show on February 25th. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 4th, at 10 a.m., more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; full dates can be found in the poster below.

The band is a combination of brutally clever lyrical craft, hard-hitting beats, socially conscious activism and a sense of humor — last year’s whole Meow the Jewels project, which is all sorts of awesome. Run the Jewels teased the new record in the recent single “Talk To Me”; they also appeared in “Nobody Speak” from DJ Shadow’s latest record The Mountain Will Fall. Check both out below, particularly the brilliant, Sam Pilling-directed video for “Nobody Speak,” which pretty well gets me in the election season feels.  Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sun Ra Arkestra at Johnny Brenda’s, Foals at Electric Factory, Frank Turner at World Cafe Live at The Queen

Sun Ra Arkestra
Sun Ra Arkestra at Johnny Brendas | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

For the second year in a row, the Sun Ra Arkestra will celebrate Halloween at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Under the leadership of multi-instrumentalist Marshall Allen, the spirit of enigmatic founder Sun Ra lives on through the Arkestra’s galactic funk and soul performance. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here; watch the band’s Tiny Desk Concert below.

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On this day 21 years ago, Sonic Youth played the first concert at the Electric Factory

Sonic Youth at the Electric Factory | still from video
Sonic Youth at the Electric Factory | still from video

Twenty-eight years ago today, downtown NYC noisemakers Sonic Youth released Daydream Nation, the album many consider to be their magnum opus, their defining statement, the record in their canon that spawned a generation of followers. It was one of the first albums of the pre-alternative era to be chosen by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the National Recording Registry. It’s the album that 16-year-old me rushed to buy at the Lollapalooza 1995 merch table after having my mind blown by their night-closing performance. I still have that CD on my shelves somewhere.

Twenty-one years ago today, Sonic Youth was not particularly interested in thinking about Daydream Nation, as they had a very worthy new release to celebrate at a very new music venue. On October 18th, 1995, the band headlined the first-ever concert at the brand-new Electric Factory in Callowhill. Their ninth long-player, Washing Machine, had just appeared on shelves, and it was an expansive and psychedelic collection of songs that thrillingly blended punk dissonance, ambient melody and occasional pop hooks. Opening the show was Dirty Three — the instrumental project of The Bad Seeds’ Warren Ellis, who was quite intoxicated and explained that songs were about bike seats not fitting correctly — and local psych luminaries Bardo Pond, which left a powerful impression on me as well. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sigur Ros at the Academy of Music, Hop Along at the Electric Factory, Birdie Busch’s Philly Opry at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

sigur ros
Sigur Ros | Photo by Noah Silvestry |

Orchestral Icelandic outfit Sigur Ros are at the Academy of Music tonight. Led by Jónsi, the post-rockers will perform two sets, pulling from their expansive catalog that includes standout records ( ) and Takk…. along with 2013’s Kveikur. Tickets and information for the all-ages concert can be found here. Watch “Óveður” below, released this summer.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Grayling at The Fire, The Faint at The Trocadero, Crystal Castles at TLA and more

Grayling | photo by Kim Woodcock | courtesy of the artist

Tonight, The Fire in Northern Liberties hosts emo-pop outfit Grayling. What started out as the independent project of frontwoman Lexi Campion has now turned into a four-person full time band. Grayling’s recent debut EP, Everything That Burns, dropped back in April. Tonight they play with Honeytiger, Zack Daniel, The Disgruntled Sherpa Project, and Foxster. If your music taste lies anywhere along the super versatile spectrum of indie/alternative music then be sure to get a ticket for this 21+ show that will have something for everyone. Check out Grayling’s studio session with The Key from earlier this week here. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Wildhoney at PhilaMOCA, Tiny Rhymes at Rigby Mansion, GoToBeds at Kung Fu Necktie and more…

Wildhoney | photo by Zach Inscho | courtesy of the artist

Baltimore outfit Wildhoney are doing a quick tour with Philly’s Literature, and the pair hit PhilaMOCA tonight. Wildhoney’s dreamy popgaze was put on glistening display with last year’s Your Face Sideways and continues with brand new track “Horror Movie.” The latter is part of a collaborative “mini LP” curated by Slumberland Records and Fortuna POP!. More information for the all-ages show with Hurry and Free Cake for Every Creature can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Beach Slang at Union Transfer, Ground Up at Bourbon and Branch, Live From The Lot at Electric Factory, and more…

Beach Slang
Beach Slang at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company | photo by James Breslin for WXPN

There might have been some rumors that punk rockers Beach Slang were going to break up recently, but their response? “If you’re still in, we are.” Well so are we. The band returns to Union Transfer tonight to light the venue on fire with blood, sweat, and rock and roll. Opening the show will be Potty Mouth, Dyke Drama, and Positive No. For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →