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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Literature at Johnny Brenda’s, Benjamin Booker at World Cafe Live, and Merchandise at First Unitarian Church

Literature | Photo by Eric Schuman
Literature | Photo by Eric Schuman
Philly indie pop foursome Literature will play Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The group’s classic 60′s style pop has been building buzz after the release of their sophomore album Chorus back in August, snagging attention from the likes of Stereogum and Pitchfork who commended them for their fresh take on a classic genre. The group’s quirky music is sure to entertain tonight. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch them perform their song “Cincinnati” on a Ferris wheel below. Continue reading →
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Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Literature

Literature | Photo by Eric Schuman
Literature | Photo by Eric Schuman

Our latest Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session is with a band who are certainly no strangers to our studios. The Austin-born, Philly-based quartet Literature have stopped by several times over the years, most recently in May 2013 to test out material for their then-in-progress second album. That album, Chorus, was released earlier this summer on Slumberland Records. Continue reading →

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Hear Literature play live, plus new Death From Above 1979 and Ex Hex on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Death From Above 1979 | Photo courtesy of the artist
Death From Above 1979 | Photo courtesy of the artist

Tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade is a special one indeed! Tune in to XPN at 10pm for a two-hour mix of brand new tracks and some old favorites, with a special spotlight on the newly released (and highly awaited) new album from Death From Above 1979! We’ll also hear a brand new Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session with the Philly quartet Literature! Don’t miss these new tracks, either:
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Double up with The New Pornographers & Ty Segall on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade!

The New Pornographers | Photo by Jason Creps
The New Pornographers | Photo by Jason Creps

It’s the Final Friday of the month, and that means it’s time for an hour-long ‘Compact’ Edition of the Indie Rock Hit Parade on XPN! Tune in at 11pm (immediately following Land of the Lost with Robert Drake) for a very special bite-size show. We’ll be spotlighting not one but two newly-released albums: The New PornographersBrill Bruisers and Ty Segall‘s Manipulator! You’ll also hear a few of these new tracks in the mix:

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Get flashy with Beach Day, The New Pornographers & Literature on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Beach Day | Photo by Kimmy Drake
Beach Day | Photo by Kimmy Drake

The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns to the XPN airwaves tonight at 10pm! Tune in for a colossal assortment of brand new tracks from Beach Day, The New Pornographers, Tennis, Alvvays and more! And don’t miss our album spotlight on the newly released sophomore LP from Philly’s own Literature! Here’s a sampling of what’s in store tonight:

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Stream Literature’s Sixties influenced album, Chorus

Photo via facebook.com/literatureband
Photo via facebook.com/literatureband

Earlier this month, we got a taste of Philly pop band’s  Literature‘s new album when they released “English Softhearts.” Now you can stream the album via Hype Machine, until its August 19th release via Slumberland records. In many ways, the album is a natural progression from Tie Dye and Arab Spring. The band channeled its energy into tighter sounds and an upbeat atmosphere.

The new album can safely be called an ode to the 60s. Continue reading →

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Dance to Literature’s upbeat pop on new(-ish) track “The English Softhearts”

Photo via facebook.com/literatureband
Photo via facebook.com/literatureband

Philly indie-pop quartet Literature released their newest track “The English Softhearts”. The song is off of their upcoming album Chorus out August 19th on Slumberland Records. A few months back, the band did a session with The Cherry Blosom Clininc on WFMU. Recently, they played a great show with the UK group Flatmates in Philly.

“English Softhearts” starts off where their previous albums, Tie Dye and Arab Spring left off.  In the intervening year, the group tightened up their sound, and slowed down from the manic energy of Arab Spring.It’s an carefree, upbeat pop affair. As the song’s title suggests, it’s a bit of a tribute to English pop classics like the Cure and the Smiths. The group actually played a version of the song on their Key Studio Session last year.

Listen to “The English Softhearts” below.

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The Flatmates, Literature and more showcase past and present indiepop styles at Connie’s Ric Rac

The Flatmates | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
The Flatmates | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

On Thursday, Connie’s Ric Rac played host to a quartet of time-traveling indie pop acts. Bringing the past to the present was the recently resurrected 1980s U.K. band The Flatmates. Playing music inspired by the sound fashions of the time, whether it be the dreamy (Tender Vision), jangle-pop (Expert Alterations) or a toned-down Cure (Literature), the rest of the lineup were appropriate complements.

With two original members in tow — Martin Whitehead on guitar and Rocker on keyboards — The Flatmates played classics like “Shimmer” alongside songs from an upcoming release and a cover of Prince’s “When You Were Mine.” With new vocalist Lisa Bouvier leading the charge, the songs were quite infectious and had the compact crowd shaking their hips. Despite playing the second-to-last set of the night, they were certainly the highlight.

But each of the other bands had their shining moments, with Philly bands Tender Vision and Literature bookending the night. The reliably elusive Adrianne Gold, formerly of Catnaps, fronted Tender Vision with her catchy hooks. The six-piece may not always have been tight, but their potential was palpable. Baltimore-based Expert Alterations rocked well, while Literature turned the lights down and got the crowd to dance into early Friday morning.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Melody Chiang’s Top 5 Philadelphia Transplants of 2013

Radiator Hospital | via Facebook
Radiator Hospital | via Facebook
Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, photographer Melody Chiang shares the best of who’s new to town.

When I first moved to Philadelphia four years ago, alot of people questioned my sanity for electing to leave California. In the beginning, I stayed almost exclusively inside the comfortable, familiar bubble of University City. But with help from some friends, locals, and of course the XPN crew, I began to spend more time exploring other parts of the city and getting to know Philly’s amazing, rollicking music scene a little. Now as I head into my final semester of college that will quickly be followed by another period of terrifying transition, I’ve discovered that I’ve kind of fallen in love with this vibrant, unapologetically spirited, sometimes disconcerting, one of a kind place. And I hope I get to stick around here longer.

So, for my 2013 year end list I wanted to compile my favorite recently local acts who, like me, all hail from elsewhere but have come to call Philadelphia home. Here are my top five Philly transplants of 2013:

5. Maitland
Maitland originally hail from Williamsport, PA. Josh Hines and Jeff Mach play gorgeous atmospheric folk songs that have oft elicited comparisons to Bon Iver and Jose Gonzales. Their EP (from a cabin in the woods), which was technically released last fall in 2012, is sonically minimalistic but chock full of natural imagery and nostalgic snapshots in time.

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