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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Wildhoney at Boot & Saddle, Restorations at Johnny Brenda’s, Mavis Staples at Berks Jazz Fest and more…

wildhoney
Wildhoney | photo by Zach Inscho | courtesy of the artist

Baltimore outfit Wildhoney bring last year’s Your Face Sideways to Boot & Saddle tonight. The album blends bright indie pop with refracted shoegaze for a collection of songs that sound like a prism sitting in sunlight. Listen to “Laura” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jonathan Richman at Union Transfer, Tinmouth at Johnny Brenda’s, Coal Town Rounders at Bourbon and Branch

Jonathan richman | photo courtesy of the artist
Jonathan richman | photo courtesy of the artist

Rock and roll roadrunner Jonathan Richman has released heaps of material throughout his musical career, and he plays at Union Transfer tonight to support his new record, Ishkode! Ishkode! Richman is the Modern Lovers, and his gig at UT will surely mix old classics along with new material. Read our interview with Richman here; for tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cherry at Kung Fu Necktie, Laura Gibson at Johnny Brenda’s, Josh Nussbaum at Bourbon and Branch

Cherry | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
Cherry | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Russell Edling’s Cherry released their debut EP, Gloom, with Lame-O back in February, and they will be holding the record release show at Kung Fu Necktie tonight with Sun Organ, Lowercase Roses, and Cave People. The band stopped by The Key studio to perform a session last week which you can listen to below. For tickets to their gig at KFN, check out the XPN Concert Calender. Continue reading →

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Watch Wye Oak cover Pat Benatar’s “We Belong,” see them at Johnny Brenda’s on 6/17

Wye Oak | Photo by John Vettese
Wye Oak | Photo by John Vettese

Wye Oak, the indie-rock duo of Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, have gone through a number of permutations over the years. The group’s first three records each featured Wasner on guitar and were impeccable experiments that deftly combined both quieter folk elements and screeching rock. Everything was anchored by Wasner’s commanding vocals and Stack’s imposing drumming.

On the group’s 2014 record Shriek, things changed. Wasner ditched her guitar in favor of a bass, and Stack began relying heavily on synthesizers. While still a successful record, the shift rendered Wye Oak nearly unrecognizable.

This week, the duo covered Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” for the A.V. Club. It’s a somewhat amusing and peculiar song choice, but the group handles it well, with Wasner exploring a sultry, deep vocal register that doesn’t often showcase itself on Wye Oak’s own records. Continue reading →

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Left and Right calm things down on new EP Pivot Foot; catch them tonight at Johnny Brenda’s

Left and Right | Photo by John Vettese
Left and Right | Photo by John Vettese

Philly punk four-piece Left and Right are good at multi-tasking. Instead of taking the traditional approach of releasing new music and then going on tour, the group just released their newest offering, Pivot Foot, today, while on tour. The timing does make sense, though, as the band is coming home tonight to play Johnny Brenda’s and celebrate their EP release.

Pivot Foot is the first release since the group’s acclaimed, communism-referencing 2014 record Five Year Plan. Over the course of the five-track EP, Left and Right demonstrate a considerable amount of versatility. There are still moments of loud, adrenaline-heavy shredding, but on tracks like “Next Winter” they often suddenly dissipate in favor of calmer guitar riffs that tiptoe into moody emo territory. That cool, reflective quality is the norm on Pivot Foot. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells at Johnny Brenda’s, Maitland at Kung Fu Necktie

We start #recording 4 new tracks next weekend. Channelin #charliepatton and #hawkwind

A photo posted by Meddlesome Bells (@meddlesomebells) on

Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells open the show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The local blues-inspired / psych-rock band stopped by for a Key Studio Session this week, recording some new material that will hopefully appear on a follow-up to last year’s self-titled LP. Stay tuned for that session, and in the meantime check out “On the Way to Neptune” below. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here.

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Just Announced: Rainer Maria return for a show at Johnny Brenda’s

Rainer Maria | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Rainer Maria at Union Transfer | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

When Rainer Maria announced a reunion tour last year, it was a big deal. Finding out that they’ve now expanded that reunion to include a second leg this summer, with a stop at Johnny Brenda’s on August 11th, is equally exciting.

The 90s-00s indie / emo trio – Caithlin De Marrais, Kaia Fischer and William Kuehn – was founded in of Madison, WI released several albums during their tenure, with 1999’s Look Now Look Again recently being named one of the greatest emo albums of all time by Rolling Stone.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mannequin Pussy at Underground Arts, Port St. Willow at Johnny Brenda’s, Galactic at Electric Factory, and more…

Mannequin Pussy
Marisa Dabice of Mannequin Pussy performs at Hazzard Hall | Photo by John Vettese

Philly punks Mannequin Pussy will be performing at Underground Arts tonight with Guerilla Toss and Banned Books. Their most recent album, Gypsy Pervert, was released back in 2014 on Tiny Engines, and they’re recording the follow up this spring. Tickets and more information can be found via the XPN Concert Calender. Continue reading →

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The High Key Portrait Series: Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore

Mary Lattimore and Meg Baird | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | <A href=http://www.hellerhound.com/ target="_blank">hellerhound.com</a>
Mary Lattimore and Meg Baird | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.

For fans of Philly’s local music scene, it hurts a little to have to use the word “former” to describe Meg Baird’s residential whereabouts. The singer uprooted from her longtime home here about four years ago and settled into San Francisco, a transition she reviewed briefly with The Key for an interview last August, in advance of a show at Johnny Brenda’s where she shared a stage with friend and frequent collaborator, Philly-based harpist Mary Lattimore.

Luckily for Baird’s fans, whatever coast she’s living on, she has been as prolific as ever. Last year saw the release of her third solo album, Don’t Weigh Down The Light, where she was accompanied throughout by Charlie Saufley for a return more toward the fuller sound of records made with her Philly-based band, Espers. Baird premiered a music video for the title track from that record on NPR last December.

Lattimore is celebrating the release of new music of her own as well. Her new record At The Dam hit stores on March 4th – it’s an album of experimental harp music that she improvised as a document of recent trips in California and Texas. Having recently garnered a Pew Fellowship, Lattimore is looking forward to an upcoming tour playing a number of European dates. Though she’d played throughout Europe before — as a duo along with multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler, opening for Steve Gunn, or as part of Thurston Moore’s band — Lattimore looks forward to the autonomy and accolade of this tour as her first international venture as a solo headlining artist. Continue reading →