There was a lot of pent-up energy in the air last night as the XPNFest crowd settled in for the headlining BB&T Pavilion show. Was it going to rain or no? Would all the shifting around of sets and times throw a wrench in the festival works? Was that ominous flock of Canada geese going to go at it with the crowd on the lawn?
The answers: no, no and no. The show was kicked off by an explosive 30 minute set from Hop Along, sauntered through a powerful mix of Bright Eyes and solo tunes from Conor Oberst and was capped by a 95-minute jammer by Wilco — shorter than their usual fare, but nevertheless satisfying. Continue reading →
Before bringing the show to XPoNential Music Fest on Friday, Conor Oberst kicked off a weeklong tour with Philly’s Hop Along last Thursday in Brooklyn,playing the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival. The outdoor show took place at the Prospect Park Bandshell on a hot July night. Continue reading →
This week’s Indie Rock Hit Parade will be the last one for a little bit, but believe me I have a very good excuse. Listen at 11pm ET on XPN (right after a week-early edition of Land of the Lost with Robert Drake) for a full two-hour show that’ll hopefully tide you over until our post-XPNFest return. In the spirit of next weekend’s bonanza, we’ll hear from a few IRHP favorites who’ll be joining us at the festival, like Sweet Spirit, Strand of Oaks and Hop Along. We’ll also sample new releases from bands who won’t be at the festival (not this year, anyway). Listen for new singles from Providence political punks Downtown Boys, NYC’s preeminent ‘door girl’ Shilpa Ray, and a roadtrip-ready track from Oklahoma’s Broncho. Preview some of those new tracks below… Continue reading →
Philly indie rock faves Hop Along re-issued their much sought-after debut Freshman Year on vinyllast year, for its tenth anniversary, and this week the band announced a digital version with a mission. This week, the band told fans that 100% of the album’s online sales through Saturday will go to the American Civil Liberties Union. The album is available for $8 at Bandcamp, though you can certainly pay more if you wish. Give it a listen below. Continue reading →
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.
Dogfish Head’s Analog-A Go-Go music fest took things to a new level in its sixth year, moving the event to Bellevue State Park in Wilmington, DE and taking over the park in with its unique combination of live music, craft beer, vinyl and art. A diverse offering of local and national acts was a bold move for a festival in its first large effort- with headliners Built To Spill (a Dogfish favorite) supported by Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Taleb Kweli, Hop Along, Beach Slang and Fiancé. Continue reading →
There are definitely times when I love being wrong about things. Like the first time I went to Johnny Brenda’s: in fall of 2006, right after I first began as a volunteer with WXPN. It was a Silversun Pickups show, if you can believe that – Viva Voce opened. The Fishtown pub had recently re-invented itself as a 200-cap venue and, waiting for the show to start, I went to the bar to order a beer.
This was coming off of a half dozen years of living and breathing The Khyber, mind you, so I asked for a Yeungling. “We don’t have Yeungling,” the bartender sniffed. “Um, okay, PBR?” The bartender silently pointed to a chalkboard listing the all-local craft beer menu, which I simply could not wrap my brain around. No PBR? No Yeungling? I grabbed the cheapest thing (something called Kenzinger) and went back to my friends. “Dude, no Yeungling,” I said. “This place is gonna FAIL.”
Oh, young John, you had so much to learn.
Not only did JBs not fail – and thank the gods for that – it’s thrived for the past decade at the corner of Frankford and Girard, weathering rough years in the national music industry and seismic ripples in the local concertgoing landscape. It withstood the opening of the much-heralded and exactly-the-same-size’d Boot and Saddle; both clubs do their respective things in tandem with reliably strong calendars. It’s been dogged by the change in Fishtown and persists in the face of broverflow – though, seriously, if you’re grabbing food after 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, prepare yourself a very different world than it was at the start.
Most importantly, Johnny Brenda’s has been a welcoming home for the Philadelphia music community – the “made it” stage that upstart bands of all stripes aspire to, from Meg Baird to The Bul Bey to Abi Reimold and more. It’s the scene of secret celebrations for big hometown names like The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile; it’s held memorable New Years’ Eve throwdowns with A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Hop Along. And appropriately, to mark its 10 years on the Philly scene, it’s celebrating with two nights of all local music. Continue reading →
After blowing our minds at the Make The World Better Foundation benefit gig this spring, Hop Along returns to the stage in their hometown this fall for the Philly edition of the Project Pabst concert series.
The show takes place at the Electric Factory on October 8th, and will also feature aughties freak-psychedelic dudes Animal Collective and indie crooner Mac DeMarco. Continue reading →
No sports jokes in this one, I promise. And even more surprisingly, on Friday night when the 3rd annual Make the World Better benefit show went down at Union Transfer, none there, either. Put on and hosted by “The Street Eagle,” — the Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Connor Barwin — the event brought together music nerds and jocks, uniting them in the name of the greater good.
Unlike last year’s spicy, sporty takes from everyone’s favorite sassy Brooklyners Parquet Courts, this year featured very little mention of the love of the game. In fact, unless you had known previously that Connor plays for the team, you might never have learned at the event. And that’s okay. While last year’s event was radical, it seems lessons learned went into action, making the third incarnation of the event the most music-centric one yet, even while featuring fewer bands. Continue reading →
Tonight, Philly rockers Hop Along join Waxahatchee and other guests for Connor Barwin’s annual Make the World Better foundation benefit at Union Transfer. In previous years, Barwin and his organization have used money raised at these shows to rehabilitate city parks and playgrounds, and put money towards arts education – so it’s pretty much an amazing cause with amazing music. More information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →