By

The Key Studio Sessions: Dark Blue

While setting up for his Key Studio Session, John Sharkey III of Dark Blue remarked that he’d just revisited some of his old Echo and the Bunnymen records. “People keep comparing my voice to Ian McCulloch, so I figured I should listen,” he said. “Man. They wrote some fantastic songs.” While it might be a stretch to call Dark Blue a direct descendent of the Bunnymen – or any post punk band specific, despite what your Joy Division meter might be telling you – one commonality they share is placing mood and ambiance at an equal level of importance as tight songwriting. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Alvvays at Boot and Saddle, Drums Like Machine Guns at Kung Fu Necktie, Johnny Marr at Union Transfer

Alvvays | photo via facebook.com/ALVVAYS
Alvvays | photo via facebook.com/ALVVAYS

Toronto dream-pop five-piece Alvvays (pronounced “always”) returns to Philadelphia tonight for a headlining show at Boot and Saddle. The band released its self-titled debut LP on Polyvinyl records earlier this year, and its a delightful set of indie-pop anthems reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub, Black Tambourine and My Bloody Valentine. Check out the uber-catchy “Marry Me, Archie” below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Courtney Barnett at Union Transfer, Something Like A Monument at Kung Fu Necktie, These Wild Plains at Tellus360

Courtney Barnett | Photo via facebook.com/courtneybarnettmusic
Courtney Barnett | Photo via facebook.com/courtneybarnettmusic

It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for Courtney Barnett, who went from a Melbourne musician with a couple of EPs to the toast of the indie singer-songwriter scene. Propelled by her wit and lyrical charm, perhaps best exhibited on the infectious “Avant Gardener” – the first single from her 2013 release A Sea of Split Peas – Barnett headlines Union Transfer for the second time tonight, and according to her recent interview with The Key’s Kate Bracaglia, will show off a few new songs from the album she’s releasing next year. Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, watch a video of “Avant Gardener” performed live in the studio for World Cafe. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Little Dragon at Union Transfer, Art Sorority for Girls at Kung Fu Necktie, York Street Hustle at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Little Dragon | Photo via facebook.com/littledragonpage
Little Dragon | Photo via facebook.com/littledragonpage

You might know Swedish electro-pop four-piece Little Dragon from frontwoman Yukimi Nagano’s collaborations with Gorillaz (“Empire Ants” and “To Binge” from Plastic Beach…and, confession time, that’s how I was introduced). Or you might just be a fan of their own fiercely eclectic stylings, now four albums deep. Either way, we can at least agree on two truths. There aren’t many artists making music right now that sound quite like them, and the band’s headlining show at Union Transfer will be a high-energy throwdown. Little Dragon is currently touring behind its recent, Nabuma Rubberband, which came in May and shows traces of big-beat 90s dance, groove-pop and melodic sould, sometimes all at once…such as “Klapp Klapp,” which you can check out the video for below. Get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Swimm at MilkBoy, Dawn of Midi at Johnny Brenda’s, and Corners of Sanctuary at Kung Fu Necktie

Swimm
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/swimmmusic

Eclectic Californian duo Swimm will take the stage at MilkBoy tonight to treat the audience to a set of their genre-bending tunes. Their debut EP Feel unexpectedly combines dance, rock and roll, and folk with a hint of psychedelic flair. They recently released Souvenirs II, which includes fast-paced and upbeat “Endlessly” complete with the the catchy sound of a tambourine, and melodic “Wanderer.” For tickets and more information head over to the XPN Concert Calender. Below, watch their performance of “Tisk Tisk.” Continue reading →

By

Listen to Josh Olmstead Band’s power-poppy new single “Fun Again”

Josh Olmstead Band
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/josholmstead

When an artist describes his new single as a mix of T. Rex, Big Star, Heart, and David Gilmorem, it provokes quite a bit of head scratching. How…why? However, a few seconds into Philly four-piece Josh Olmstead Band‘s new single “Fun Again,” and you can tell they took the oddest assortment of inspirations and turned them into a catchy power-pop anthem. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Vita and the Woolf at Ortliebs, Dylan Jane at Kung Fu Necktie, Paolo Nutini at The Trocadero

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by John Vettese
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by John Vettese

Philadelphia’s newest electric soul-pop group Vita and the Woolf head to Ortlieb’s tonight for their EP release show. Frontwoman Jen Pague is expected to impress the crowd with her dynamic vocal range on tracks such as the passionate “Mary” and the circus-inspired “Slipping Hills,” both tunes off of their Fang Song EP, released on Tuesday. The eight-track record is result of Prague’s dedicated two years of writing. For tickets and more information head over to the XPN Concert Calender. Below, check out the eerie video for “Mary”, or click here to revisit their incredible Key Studio Session. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Black Prairie at Tin Angel and DollyRots at Kung Fu Necktie

Black Prairie
Photo via blackprairie.com

Portland bluegrass six-piece Black Prairie is set to take the stage tonight at Tin Angel. Though initially formed with the intention of being a casual side project for Decemberists members Jenny Conlee, Chris Funk, Jon Neufeld, Nate Query, Annalisa Tornfelt, and John Moen, the band shifted gears and made their music a primary focus. After finding success with  Feast of the Hunter’s Moon and A Tear in the Eye Is a Wound in the Heart (both peaking at number four on the US Bluegrass charts) they released fourth album Fortune this April. Below, watch the music video for “Let It Out.” Tickets and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calender. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: S.T.S. at MilkBoy, OhBree at Kung Fu Necktie, Polyphonic Spree at Prince Music Theater

STS
Sugar Tongue Slim | photo via stsisgold.bandcamp.com

We were already a fan of outside-the-box Philly rapper S.T.S. (AKA Sugar Tongue Slim), and then this summer he took his artistic scope to a prolific new level – and with it, our enthusiasm was amped even further. First, there was his weekly “In The Lab” series of remixes, collaborations and other audio ephemera he’s been releasing on pretty much a weekly basis since June. His latest – “How Philly Use To Sound” – features cuts from DJ Jazzy Jeff, alongside verses from up and coming rappers Dayne Jordan and Son Little, celebrating the jazz and soul roots of the city: “this was a renaissance town / full of seekers who found / a soul song in they heart / a sort of hip to their hop / a certain je ne sais quoi / a touch of jazz in the park / a saxophone in the dark.” Slim and his collaborators paint a vivid picture here, and especially so on We Can Talk Politics and World Affairs, the incredible EP he dropped this summer that’s equally parts hard-hitting beats, high-energy rock and thought provoking rhymes unpacking a bevy of social issues from religion to racial profiling. Tonight Slim headlines MilkBoy on a stacked bill that also features Hezekiah, The Bul Bey and more. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “How Philly Use To Sound.” Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Pretty Greens at North Star Bar, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Chameleon Club, The Warhawks at Kung Fu Necktie and more…

The Pretty Greens
The Pretty Greens | photo by Jason Blake | http://www.jason-blake.com

Local punk trio The Pretty Greens play North Star Bar tonight.  The self-described feminist art-garage pop-punk outfit released an EP called Jealous Waves earlier this year, reaching out to melodic surf punk to create a Best-Coast-with-a-mission vibe.  Watch the band play the title track to the EP live below.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here.

Continue reading →