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Yikes The Zero, E. Grizzly join forces in Radio Ghost

Yikes the Zero: a Philly hip hop artist to watch
Yikes the Zero | Photo courtesy of the artist

The majority of the music you’ll hear from Radio Ghost – a new collective made up of Philly MCs Yikes The Zero, Tommy Tucker, O-Severe and E. Grizzly – sounds like a cypher. It’s four artists with distinctive sounds coming together on each track to not only annihilate the beat but to also show who’s the better rapper. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Common at The TLA, Pompo & The Community College Rejects at Kung Fu Necktie

Common | via twitter.com/common
The cover of Common’s Nobody’s Smiling | via twitter.com/common

After a brief hiatus, Chicago rapper Common re-emerged this year with his tenth studio album, Nobody’s Smiling. Released on Def Jam Records in July, it was a timely artistic statement, as the album deals with the high crime rate in his hometown that hit a peak this summer, with guest collaborations from Jhené Aiko, Big Sean, Vince Staples and more. Tonight Common headlines the TLA in Philly; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “Kingdon” featuring Vince Staples. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: HR at Kung Fu Necktie, Nalani & Sarina at World Cafe Live, I IM EYE MY at Bourbon and Branch

HR of Bad Brains | via kungfunecktie.com
HR of Bad Brains | via kungfunecktie.com

“You have to experience HR,” says rapper Mos Def. “You don’t talk about him, you experience him.” The pioneering punk rocker and lead singer of Bad Brains, HR (short for Human Rights, birth name Paul D. Hudson) performs tonight at Kung Fu Necktie. By fusing dub, reggae and hardcore thrash in the late 70s, HR and Bad Brains charted new territories; he in particular built a rep as a dynamic, compelling frontman. Over the years, his sound has steered more towards the reggae end of his musical palette, which is the show he and his band bring to Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Tickets are $8 at the door, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tinmouth at Kung Fu Necktie, Tribute to Ode to Billie Joe at Underground Arts, Dirty Dollhouse at Bourbon & Branch and more…

Tinmouth
Tinmouth | photo via Facebook

Tinmouth close out their 2014 concert schedule with a show at Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  The local indie rockers were the subject of this week’s Key Studio Session, previewing tracks from their forthcoming debut LP Says.  Check out “Same Noise” below and get the full session here.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show here

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The Key Studio Sessions: Tinmouth

Fittingly, I first had a conversation with Tinmouth‘s Timothy Tebordo at a house show. It was the first night of OK Fest at Golden Tea House this summer, and Tebordo wound up standing near my wife and I; he recognized us from having been at a couple of his own concerts, and we killed time between sets talking about music.

His band has a very distinct, vintage DIY sound; it draws from influential artists that would have been playing the Golden Tea Houses of the early 80s. In their Key Studio Session, you’ll hear a sharp Mission of Burma and Gang of Four edge (“Same Noise”), a catchy Yo La Tengo-style sense of pop (“Prevent Defense”), and a bit of R.E.M. contemplation (“What More Can I Say?,” which nods lyrically to “Pretty Persuasion” and on which Tebordo’s voice sounds positively Michael Stipe-ian). Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The World Is… at World Cafe Live, Jill Scott at Liacouras Center, Dark Blue at Kung Fu Necktie and more

TWIBPAIANLATD | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
TWIBPAIANLATD | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Soundscaping punk army The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die (mercifully abbreviated to The World Is) headline World Cafe Live tonight. The band, currently a ten-piece, is firmly rooted in late 90s emo but blends it with a post-rock sensibility, amplifying the catharsis to impressive levels. Their latest, Between Bodies, was released in October to much frenzy, and scene faves The Hotelier open the show. Also worth noting is the setting: World Cafe Live is one of our favorite Philly venues, but it doesn’t hold punk shows too often, so when it happens, you know it’s something special. Tickets and information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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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 Psychedelic Furs records. “People keep comparing my voice to Richard Butler, 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 Furs – 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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →