(Sandy) Alex G announces new headlining tour dates and an opening spot with Fleet Foxes

(Sandy) Alex G | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Alex G | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

On July 17th, the Fleet Foxes Instagram account posted an announcement that they had added several artists to their upcoming US tour(Sandy) Alex G in the Northeast, Natalie Prass in the Northwest, Bedouine in the Southwest, and Nap Eyes in the Midwest in addition to the already-billed Animal Collective and Beach House.

For a good 24 hours, information on this news was nowhere else to be found, save the account (likely run by frontman Robin Pecknold) answering direct fan inquiries in the comments section. Either way, I naively thought that it was safe to assume the addition of Philly’s own Alex G to the upcoming July 31st show at The Mann Center was a given, as he had no other scheduled shows that day and Philadelphia is a Northeast location. Continue reading →


The Epic Return of Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up is out now

Crack-Up | via Nonesuch Records

Everyone, stay calm. Take a deep breath. (Or don’t, because I know I haven’t since the first signs of real studio work began appearing on social media last year). It’s finally here: Crack-Up was released last week via Nonesuch Records, the third studio album from Fleet Foxes who after nearly six years have returned in a decidedly grand fashion. Crack-Up is an epic of complex, smart, and just plain beautiful tracks that go better together, making sense musically and lyrically in context of the record yet feel slightly incomplete alone. Continue reading →


XPN MusicNotes: Fleet Foxes reforming, Stone Temple Pilots holds auditions and a new David Bowie video released

fleetfoxes - courtesy of the artist PR - - 4/2016
Fleet Foxes | Photo by Sean Pecknold, courtesy of the artist

Following a 5 year hiatus it looks like Fleet Foxes will get back together again. Fleet Foxes last album was Helplessness Blues which came out in 2011, but in an interview with the website DISTINCT vocalist/guitarist Christian Wargo says that he and Robin Pecknold have talked about the idea of getting the Seattle folk outfit back together again.

Wargo told

“It’s not, like, ‘announced’ or anything, and none of us really knew it was coming, but it’s happening. Possibly unofficially at this stage, but it’s definitely a thing.”

No word if Joshua Tillman- AKA Father John Misty– would rejoin a reunited Fleet Foxes. Stay tuned. Continue reading →


Frank Cervantes bridges indie rock and rock and roll with new album Terror of the Heart, due out May 20

frank cervantes
Frank Cervantes | Photo via

Although the (temporary) disintegration of The City Music Project was a tough pill to swallow for many fans, there has been one major positive to the band’s hiatus: Frank Cervantes has gone solo and is making truly great indie rock music.

After releasing his first solo album Forgotten Summer back in 2012, as well as the EP The Only Light, a charity record made in the interest of raising money for struggling music programs in Philadelphia, Frank Cervantes is back, and has announced the release of his new record- Terror of the Heart- due out May 20.

In celebration of his third solo record Cervantes has released four tracks from the album, available for streaming via Soundcloud. The tracks are a perfect conjuncture of melodic indie rock meets pounding, plugged in rock and roll, with heavy electric guitar riffs (thanks to Ryan Porcini) especially potent in “Gabriella” and “Pay it Forward”. The track “Tell Me (if it isn’t real)” is especially grabbing, with bluesy guitar melodies and Cervantes’ catchy, falsetto vocals carrying the track along in a cyclical motion. The title track, “Terror of the Heart”, is almost reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, with less of a “choral” arrangement, but the same style of far ranging vocals and addictive melodies.

In addition to the recently released tracks for our listening pleasure, Cervantes has also released a short documentary on Youtube, which you can watch below. Cervantes will host a record release party on Saturday, May 24 downstairs at World Cafe Live. Get tickets for the record release show here. Stream “Tell Me (if it isn’t real)” and “Terror of the Heart” below.


Indie rockers to pay tribute to The Byrds’ Gene Clark at Union Transfer on January 22nd

a_no-otherFront On Wednesday, January 22nd the lead singers of three established indie-rock bands and one indie-rock band on almost hiatus are coming together at Union Transfer to pay tribute to one of the founding members of The Byrds, Gene Clark.

Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes), Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear, Department of Eagles), Victoria Legrand (Beach House) and Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen) will be performing Clark’s classic album, No Other, originally released in 1974. Clark wrote or co-wrote many of The Byrds’ best songs including “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better,” “Here Without You,” “The World Turns All Around Her,” “She Don’t Care About Time” and “Eight Miles High.”

Clark started The Byrds in 1964 after he met Roger McGuinn and along with David Crosby, Michael Clark and Chris Hillman, set off on a path to change rock influenced folk music in the Sixties. Clark released his first solo album in 1967, while he was still in The Byrds. When he released No Other, it was considered to be a commercial and critical failure. Musicians however, have clung to it’s folk-rock songwriting and arrangements for years. Songs like “Silver Raven,” the eight minute epic “Some Misunderstanding,” and the soulful “Lady of The North,” give the album its lasting resonance. “What it adds up to,” writes Thom Jurek in AllMusic “is a sprawling, ambitious work that brought elements of country, folk, jazzed-out gospel, blues, and trippy rock to bear on a song cycle that reflects the mid-’70s better than anything from that time, yet sounds hauntingly timely even now.

Joining the band in the tribute will be Iain Matthews of Fairport Convention, Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, with members of Lower Dens, Celebration, Cass McCombs’ band and Mt. Royal rounding the lineup out. Beach House had this to say about the album on Pitchfork:

Though we generally love all of his music, we are most infatuated with his 1974 record, No Other. It feels like a special moment in Gene Clark’s songwriting. At first, the overdone, studio nature of the album feels overbearing: the electric violin, the female chorus, the bass riffs, the layered guitar sequences. However, with more listens, Gene Clark’s very unique lyrics, voice and spirit become the central focus. It’s one of those records where each time you listen, you love a different song the most. Every song is nuanced and amazing in its own way.

Go here for more information and tickets to the show. Below, listen to several songs from the album.


Watch: Bands in the Backyard sits in on a Light Heat rehearsal with with guest players Peter Bauer of The Walkmen and Skye Skjelset of Fleet Foxes

This is sweet – the Bands in the Backyard crew got to sit in on a Light Heat rehearsal in preparation for some dates the band has coming up in New York (January 12 at The Cake Shop) Philly (February 23rd at Johnny Brenda’s). Joining them are guest players Peter Bauer of The Walkmen on keys and Skye Skjelset of Fleet Foxes on guitar, and they’re rocking out to an as-yet unreleased jam from the pen of Light Heat mastermind Quentin Stoltzfus. Check it out below, find out more about the Johnny Brenda’s date at WXPN’s Concert Calendar.


Listen to Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, R.E.M., Fleet Foxes, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more on a new charity album for climate change awareness

Artists Project Earth (APE) is an international organization that, according to their website, “has funded over 300 projects and awareness-raising initiatives around the world that combat climate change and develop local resilience and solutions to climate injustice – and gives emergency funding for natural disaster relief.” Some of APE’s projects have been collaborations with musicians resulting in three fundraising albums to date including Rhythms Del Mundo Cuba, Rhythms Del Mundo Classics and Rhythms Del Mundo Revival. Next Tuesday Rhythms Del Mundo Africa is being released. It includes contributions from Coldplay, R.E.M., Fleet Foxes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mumford & Sons, Aloe Blacc, Beyonce, Eminem, and others, along with African musicians including Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré Band and Rokia Traoré. Listen to the album below. Go here for more information.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Sweetback Sisters at PSALM Salon, Ani Di Franco at the Keswick Theatre, Aspiga at The Balcony at the Troc, Frank Fairfield at Johnny Brenda’s, Lisa Marie Presley at Chameleon Club

Brooklyn rockabilly group The Sweetback Sisters are performing tonight at the PSALM Salon. The group’s 2011 album Looking For A Fight has a classic throwback sound to country legends like Carl Perkins with retro harmonies and lively melodies. Tickets for their all-ages show tonight can be found here. Below, watch the video for their single “Be Back Home Tonight.”

Continue reading →