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Who the heck is playing the first National Park festival at Bourbon and Branch?

american trappist
American Trappist | photo by Brian L. Tice Jr.

“A lot of music, on a smaller scale.” That’s the idea behind the National Park mini-festival, which brings six bands to the stage at Bourbon and Branch next Saturday.

Coordinators of this event recognize the indifference experienced by many concertgoers when forced to sit through long sets of bands they don’t know in addition to long changeover times while waiting for the act that they came to see. National Park intends to remedy this in a way that encourages listeners to pay attention to new acts in hopes that they’ll discover more local music.

National Park will be headlined by blues rock hybrid artist Joe Michelini (formerly of River City Extension), also known as American Trappist and the 60’s psych rock influenced Madalean Gauze. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Moor Mother at ROCKERS, Madalean Gauze and Three Man Cannon at Kung Fu Necktie, Madeleine Peyroux at World Cafe Live and more

Moor Mother Goddess
Moor Mother | Photo by Chris Sikich for WXPN | sikichphotography.com

Philly’s Camae Defstar is the longtime organizer of the ROCKERS series, and also creates aggressive spoken-word sound-art under the name Moor Mother, which just signed to Don Giovanni Records. Tonight, the final ROCKERS happens at Community Futures Lab Everybody Hits, and Moor Mother performs along with The Kominas and Ghetto Songbird. More information can be found at Facebook; listen to “Deadbeat Protest” below.

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Key Fest At-A-Glance, Part Two: A Saturday of indie rock dreamscaping with Kississippi, Shelf Life, Cherry and Madalean Gauze

Kississippi | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Kississippi | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

We’re still reeling from a mindblowing opening night of #KeyFest over here at XPN HQ – pictures later today! – but there’s plenty more where that came from. Tonight at MilkBoy, we celebrate the vibrant sounds that come from DIY basements and indie rock bars around the city. Read on for an overview. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Julien Baker at Boot & Saddle, Madalean Gauze at Kung Fu Necktie, Torres at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

julien baker
Julien Baker | photo by Jake Cunningham | courtesy of the artist

Memphis native Julien Baker brings her debut solo LP to Boot & Saddle tonight. K. Ross Hoffman explored Sprained Ankle for a Key profile last week, noting that that the songs are “harrowing stuff; an impressionistic but unflinching annal of addiction, self-loathing and spiritual crisis…” set up against “unadorned but graceful melodies and simple, minimal acoustic guitar and piano arrangements.” Listen to “Something” below and pick up tickets to the 21+ show with Abi Reimold here.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Bruce Warren’s Best of Philly Music 2015

Queen of Jeans
Queen of Jeans | photo by Kelly Kurteson

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2015 incredible. Today, WXPN program director Bruce Warren shares five musicians she found on Spotify in 2015.

This past Thanksgiving The Key’s John Vettese wrote about the 15 Philly songs we’re thankful for. The songs were just a small snapshot of by Philly’s vibrant music scene, represented by the likes of Hop Along, Jazmine Sullivan, Kurt Vile, Agudos Clef, Hemming, Hezekiah Jones, Lithuania, Lushlife, Jill Scott, and others. What stood out to me in Vettese’s article then, and what’s stood out to all of us at The Key for the last several years is how wonderfully diverse, and prolific, the music scene in Philly continues to be. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Madalean Gauze at Boot & Saddle, Motherwhore at Ortlieb’s, Lou at PhilaMOCA and more

Madalean Gauze | Photo by John Vettese
Madalean Gauze | Photo by John Vettese

Philly singer-songwriter Madalean Gauze caught a lot of people’s attention last weekend when she delivered a kickass performance of “Gloria” in our tribute to Patti Smith’s Horses. Obviously, there’s a reason we asked her to take that lead-off spot: her debut album Sing was one that demanded attention.  A collection of eleven emotionally raw and beautifully arranged tracks came together to create one our favorite albums of the year. You can hear her play many of the songs tonight at Johnny Brenda’s with fellow local rockers Woven In, making for one hell of a lineup. For more information on the show go to the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Stream Sing, the dynamic debut LP from Madalean Gauze

Madalean Gauze | Photo by John Vettese
Madalean Gauze | Photo by John Vettese

To say that we here at XPN are excited about the debut LP from Philly indie-rock songwriter Madalean Gauze may be a bit of an understatement. Ever since we talked to her earlier this fall about the long and often turbulent process of getting this album to the public, we have eagerly awaited its release. The wait is thankfully over, as the talented singer-songwriter has released her album, Sing, in its entirety via her Bandcamp and it does not disappoint. Continue reading →

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Just In: Madalean Gauze gets the VuHaus Local Artist Spotlight treatment

Madalean Gauze | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com
Madalean Gauze | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com

Philly’s Madalean Gauze is getting set to release her debut LP, Sing, this December. It’s a moody, haunting collection for the fall, and it was a long time coming – Gauze made it during a long process of recording and re-recording until she felt it was perfect. Hearing the title track for the first time, she tells us, “really made me feel like everything I went through since deciding to be a musician was worth it. All the nights playing in dark bars, the feeling of being ignored by the audience all the anxiety … The album Sing really pushed me. It made me completely broke, and I now live with my parents, but I am so proud of my work. I think that is all that matters in the end.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Frank Turner at The Fillmore, Madalean Gauze at Boot and Saddle, Built To Spill at Union Transfer

Photo By: Rachel Del Sordo
Photo By: Rachel Del Sordo

In support of his newest album, Positive Songs For Negative People, Frank Turner is embarking on a full US and UK tour, and will be hitting The Fillmore tonight. The British folk-rocker will be performing with his backing band, The Sleeping Souls. Get more information about the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and check out the music video for “Get Better” below. Continue reading →

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The journey that led to Madalean Gauze’s haunting new “Sing”

Madalean Gauze | Photo via facebook.com/MadaleandGauzeMusic
Madalean Gauze | Photo via facebook.com/MadaleandGauzeMusic

Making her debut LP has been a long road for Philly songwriter Madalean Gauze. We first heard the haunting singer-songwriter-rocker last spring when she released a fantastic EP of heavy, compelling, narrative-driven songs called American War. Initially, she tells us, the plan was to follow it up right away with new material – and a show we saw her play at Ortlieb’s featured a lot of music from the record-in-progress.

But when she wrapped up production with Jeff Zeigler and her bandmates at the time – Pat Berkery on drums, Ramon Monras-Sender on bass and Ross Bellenoit on guitar – the songs sounded great, but not complete. Continue reading →