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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Gary Numan at The Trocadero

Gary Numan | Photo by John Vettese
Gary Numan | Photo by John Vettese

80s icon Gary Numan headlines The Troacadero tonight in support of his latest album, Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind), released back in October. A driving mix of heavy industrial textures and dark melodies, it shows the singer in top form, and his setlists from earlier tour dates sees him balancing the new tracks with classics from his back catalog – like “Metal” and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric.” Download the single “I Am Dust” below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Eight artists that surprised us at SXSW

Kelis | Photo by John Vettese
Kelis | Photo by John Vettese

It’s been almost a week since the four-day nonstop multisensory rush that was the 2014 editon of Austin’s annual South by Southwest music conference, which has given me just about enough time to catch up on sleep, edit my way through thousands of photos and sort out my thoughts about the experience. Here are eight artists that grabbed my attention at this year’s SXSW, beginning with the woman you see above.

Kelis – The transformation of the onetime “Milkshake” hitmaker didn’t take me as unawares as it may have taken other festival-goers. A few years back, I caught her on tour with Robyn at The Trocadero, and saw that she’d moved on from her bubblegum dance days to a sleek and more sophisticated electropop sound. But still, this was impressive – her backing band was a dozen members strong, it had a sharp horn section and a disco-funk sound to die for, and the singer had enough awareness of nostalgia’s power that she dropped “Milkshake” in the final third of her late-night Friday set at the Hype Hotel. Which was totally fun, but it would have been a powerful performance without. Her sixth album, Food, was produced by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio and is out April 18th on Ninja Tune Records.

Feathers | Photo by John Vettese
Feathers | Photo by John Vettese

Feathers – These Austin locals just got off a European tour opening for Depeche Mode, and their sound sits nicely alongside the 80s icons’ dark synth-dance tones. I caught them Saturday at the goth-leaning Red River club Elysium, and frontwoman Anastasia Dimou freaking owned the packed room. While their sound is decidedly hard-hitting, she has the presence and command of a pop singer – or, say, an alt-pop singer a la Emily Haines of Metric. Even when the power momentarily cut out, Dimou kept singing a cappella and off mic. Their Only One EP dropped in January.

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Download “I Am Dust” by Gary Numan, playing the Trocadero this Sunday, March 23rd

Gary-Numan-2

Gary Numan has impressed generations of ears since his debut album back in 1978 with Tubeway Army. As the New Wave subsided, Gary found his footing in the rise of industrial sounds and put out a series of solid releases to his core fan base. With the years ticking by – perhaps led by nostalgia – Gary began to incorporate more electronics and classic “Numan” sounds into his songs – demonstrated with his 2006 Jagged release. His most recent visit to Philadelphia (and The Trocadero) in 2011 allowed everyone to experience flashbacks as he performed The Pleasure Principle in its entirety, in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Now he has come full circle – as his newest release – Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind) – truly embraces his past with a strong nod to the future. Below, download “I Am Dust.” Numan plays the Trocadero this Sunday night, March 23rd. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

Purchase Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) here.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Tonight’s Concert Pick: The Charlie Manuel Experience


Okay, so there really isn’t a band called The Charlie Manuel Experience, but we do think it’s a cool band name if someone out there really wanted to take the plunge. Let’s face facts: tonight’s Phillies game against the Giants is the game of the year. Being the super fans that we are, it’s quite challenging to suggest that you do anything but find one of those really giant TV screens somewhere and get involved with the game tonight. Sure, you can always go to pretty much any bar in town tonight for this experience or if you prefer being your own private fan, then stay home and settle in. The choice is yours.

If the BIGGEST, MOST IMPORTANT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAME OF THE YEAR isn’t your thing then we suggest you check out the following shows:

If you blew it and didn’t get tickets to either of the sold out Felice Brothers shows here in Philly this weekend, it’s not too late to take that drive to York to the Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center as WXPN Welcomes one of our favorite roots rock bands The Felice Brothers. 8PM. All tickets $16

If you can’t make it to York, and you’re still set on going out and missing the BIGGEST MOST IMPORTANT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAME OF THE YEAR we suggest you go see Gary Numan whose “Cars” has been forever branded in to our New Wave hearts. He is playing at The Trocadero. Doors at 7:00PM. Show at 8:00PM. All Ages. Tickets are $24 in advance, $26 at the door.

But hey. If it’s all about baseball for you, you could always watch the video below and then head to the neighborhood bar to cheer on the Fightin’ Phillies. And please remember to cheer responsibly.