By

Matthew Borlik’s Top Five Local Albums of 2011

Psychic Teens

This week, we’ll be taking a look at several WXPN/XPN2 staff members’ Best Of 2011 lists. Today, The Key editor Matthew Borlik’s five favorite local albums of the year.

1. Psychic Teens, Teen (Golden Voyage Records) Listen to Psychic Teens’ Key Studio Session

 

2. Meg Baird, Seasons On Earth (Drag City)

 

3. Creepoid, Horse Heaven (Ian Records) Listen to Creepoid’s Key Studio Session

 

4. Arches and Banned Books, Split 10″ (Magic Death Records) Listen to Arches‘ Key Studio Session

 

5. White Birds, White Birds EP (self-released) Listen to White Birds’ Key Studio Session

 

Honorable Mentions:
Break It Up’s self-released single “Excavate,” which the band posted on Bandcamp earlier this year and is easily my favorite local song of 2011. Had it received an official release this year (either as a 7-inch or on a full-length), it definitely would been included on my list. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll have to wait until next year for the band to release its debut. Listen to Break It Up’s Key Studio Session

 

Lantern and Dirty Beaches’ self-released live album, Live At Glasslands—because live albums don’t count. Listen to Lantern’s Key Studio Session

By

John Vettese’s Top Five Local Albums of 2011

This week, we’ll be taking a look at several WXPN/XPN2 staff members’ Best Of 2011 lists. Today, XPN2′s John Vettese—who records and produces our Key Studio Sessions—tells us his five favorite local albums of the year. 

1. The War On Drugs, Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian) Listen to The War On Drugs’ Key Studio Session

 

2. Creepoid, Horse Heaven (Ian) Listen to Creepoid’s Key Studio Session

 

3. Zakee, Assimilations(Green Owl)

 

4. Meg Baird, Seasons On Earth (Drag City)

 

5. Saturn Never Sleeps, Yesterday’s Machine (self-released) Listen to Saturn Never Sleeps’ Key Studio Session

By

Listen to Meg Baird’s appearance on World Cafe

Local folk musician Meg Baird is currently on tour in the UK with no Philly performances scheduled for the near future. However, you can click here to listen to her recent interview and performance on World Cafe with David Dye. During her appearance, she discusses and performs tracks from her second album, Seasons On Earth, which was released by Drag City back in September.

By

Watch the new video for Meg Baird’s “The Finder”

Local folk musician Meg Baird has a new video for her single, “The Finder,” off of her latest album, Seasons On Earth. The video is just as sparse and mellow as Baird’s eerie, wandering vocals, featuring the artist in vacant rooms and empty fields. The whole thing isn’t entirely melancholy, though; make sure to catch the unexpected but sincre smile the songwriter cracks toward the end. (Thanks to Make Major Moves‘ Elliott Sharp for the heads up.) —Marielle Mondon

Meg Baird’s “The Finder” from Naomi Yang on Vimeo.

By

Today and tonight in concerts: Popped! Music Fest, Philly F/M Fest, Riot Fest with X and the Dead Milkmen, Meg Baird, Revolution, I Love You, Ted Leo, Andrew Lipke


Take a deep breath and get ready to rock: it’s an eventful Saturday in Philly. Today both the Popped! Music Festival and the Philly F/M Fest continue.

Popped! is at the Liacouras Center at 1776 N. Broad Street on Temple’s campus. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Lineup for Popped! is:

Nikki Jean 11:25am
Anamanaguchi 11:50am
Patty Crash 12:15
Black Landlord 12:40
Zee Avi 1:05
Mates Of State 1:35
Cults 2:15
Sun Airway 2:55
Budos Band 3;35
Charles Bradley 4:15
Titus Andronicus 4:55
Rakim 5:35
Kreayshawn 6;15
Foster The People 7:00
Girl Talk 8:00
Pretty Lights 9:30

Today’s Philly F/M Fest highlight is the two stage Riot Fest at Festival Pier. Gates open at 11:30. Purchase tickets here.

Riot East Stage
12:00 p.m. – The Heels
12:40 p.m. – Brothers From Another
1:40 p.m. – Population Zero
2:40 p.m. – The Holy Mess
3:40 p.m. – The Menzingers
4:40 p.m. – Samiam
5:40 p.m. – 7Seconds
6:40 p.m. – Suicide Machines
7:50 p.m. – Hot Water Music
9:10 p.m. – X (plays “Los Angeles”)

Riot West Stage
12:20 p.m. – Lionize
1:10 p.m. – The Claw
2:10 p.m. – Larry And His Flask
3:10 p.m. – Shot Baker
4:10 p.m. – Weston
5:10 p.m. – Excitebike
6:10 p.m. – Naked Raygun
7:10 p.m. – Plow United
8:30 p.m. – Dead Milkmen
9:50 p.m. – Descendents

Other highlights:
Meg Baird + Glenn Jones, Watery Love at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15, 21+, $10); Andrew Lipke And The Azrael Quartet at Tin Angel (10:30 p.m., 21+, $10); Ted Leo And The Pharmacists + Dry Feet at Johnny Brenda’s (1:30 p.m., all ages, $15); Black Landlord at Milkboy Philly (9 p.m., 21+, free); Revolution, I Love You (record-release show) + Penrose, Panic Years at World Cafe Live (8:40 p.m., 21+, $11)

By

Contest: Win a pair of tickets to Meg Baird’s record-release show on Sept. 24th at Johnny Brenda’s

Photo by Jeff Elstone

This week, we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for Meg Baird‘s record-release show at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday, September 24th. The performance will be in celebration of the release of Meg’s new album, Seasons On Earth, which will come out on Drag City on September 20th; Glenn Jones and Watery Love will open. For a chance to win the tickets, all you have to do is leave a comment below by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21st. We’ll select the winners at random that evening and notify them via email; once you’ve confirmed that you and your guest will be attending the show, your names will be added to the venue’s guest list. (Just make sure to use a valid email address when posting your comment; we promise not to sign you up for anything—we just want to be able to get in touch with you if you win.)

By

Listen to Meg Baird’s new album, Seasons On Earth, via streaming audio

Photo by Jeff Elstone

From NPR Music:

On her new album Seasons on Earth, out Sept. 20, Philadelphia songwriter Meg Baird stokes that sonic campfire, using its heat to draw listeners near to her thoughts and observations. These are songs about transitions: growing up, growing away, searching for a place to be and a way to love. But while Baird’s lyrics may be about changes and uncertainties, she sets them to music that offers a sense of reassurance by connecting her audience to old traditions in new ways.

In “Stars Climb up the Vine” and “The Finder,” Baird’s finger-picking shares common ground with the meditative musical patterns of minimalism. There’s a discursive, unhurried quality to the way her songs unfurl, transcending the usual shape and size of folk songs. Baird’s singing — familiar to some listeners from her work with the band Espers — is both fragile and robust. There’s a sense of authenticity to this music: It’s authentically felt and expressed, authentically new, and authentically part of an ancient tradition.

You can read the full write-up and listen to the album in its entirety here, courtesy of NPR Music’s First Listen.

By

Video: Strand Of Oaks’ and A Sunny Day In Glassgow’s Black Cab Sessions performances

The Black Cab SessionsEarlier this month, we posted the trailer for the Black Cab Sessions‘ tour through the USA, which included a stop in Philadelphia and recording sessions with several local acts. The Philly-centric part of the trailer specifically lists performances by Freeway, Spank Rock, Meg Baird, Kyp Malone, Plastic Little, and Reading Rainbow; back when they were here last November, we noted that they had recorded with Grandchildren as well. For now, however, babelgum.com has videos of sessions with Strand Of Oaks and A Sunny Day In Glasgow. You can watch both videos below; more videos of the Black Cab Sessions’ USA tour are available on babelgum.com. (Thanks to The Swollen Fox for posting about the videos earlier today.)

By

Download a new Meg Baird song, “The Finder”


Singer-songwriter Meg Baird has a new album coming out on Drag City on September 20th called Seasons On Earth. You have two chances to see the incredibly talented singer-songwriter soon; Meg opens for Thurston Moore at the First Unitarian Church next Tuesday, August 30th and she’ll have her record release party at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday, September 24th. Below, download a new song – “The Finder.”

By

Black Cab Sessions USA featuring Philly’s Freeway, Spank Rock, Meg Baird coming soon

Last November the Black Cab Sessions folks rolled in to Philly with their, um, Black Cab and a video crew. If you’re not familiar with these video sessions, the concept is basic. Bands get in to the back of a black British cab and play while the cab drives around the city. The BCS folks have had dozens of artists perform in the back seat of their cab: Weezer, Richard Thompson, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver, Brian Wilson and many others. When the Black Cab folks (based in London) came to the States, they decided to visit six cities: Athens, New York, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Philly. They reached out to folks in the music scenes in each city to find out what bands they needed to check out and record. While they were in Philly they connected with music blogger Mark Schoenveld of YVYNYL and some other scenesters and put a bunch of Philly bands in the back of their cab to perform including Meg Baird, Plastic Little, Freeway and Spank Rock. The other day the Black Cab Sessions folks posted a trailer for the series which you can view below. They also launched a Black Cab Sessions tumblr here with the trailer and the words: “Coming soon, folks.” We’re excited to see how it came out.

Black Cab Sessions USA from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.