Icelandic rock royalty Sigur Ros are gracing us with their presence at the Mann Center tonight. Get swept away in their myriad of hits — whether in Icelandic or the band-created musical language of Hopelandic (like c’mon, how cool is that)– for an atmospheric, open-air performance of dynamic, otherworldly soundscapes. Find more info on tickets at the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to “Festival,” a.k.a. one of the most beautiful songs to ever exist, below. Continue reading →
Los Angeles punk band Hit Bargain are one of those acts that are great on tape, but for the full experience you really need to see them live. You’ll have a chance to do just that next month when they bring their quick east coast tour to Space 1026 on November 10th, performing alongside Taiwan Housing Project, URSULA, and Brooklyn’s DJ Freddy Nightliker.
Don’t get put off by the self-conscious “weirdness” of Brooklyn art-pop sextet Cloud Becomes Your Hand. Their live sets boast oddball outfits, spasmodic choreography, and craft-fair accoutrements – hell, their name was inspired by a hand puppet that frontman Stephe Cooper employed in another (presumably even quirkier) band. But look past the arch theatrics and the band’s delightfully off-kilter songs inhabit the same catchily cerebral terrain as earlier bands that weren’t afraid to bubble-wrap their complexity inside kiddie show trappings – names like DEVO and the Residents come easily to mind.
NYC indiepop outfit My Favorite has dwelled in the world of underground cult classics for a while now, but the band just released a 7″ of new singles, their second batch of new material since reuniting in 2014. The quintet will bring the recordings to Space 1026 on May 20th for a show with Philly’s Mercury Girls and and The Snow Fairies – the latter being another reunited band from the pop scene.
Philly born and bred Tiani Victoria performs at the Theater of Living Arts tonight, not long after her XPN Studio Session this past week. Her vocal skills have made her an up and coming Philly performer you should look out for; check out some video from the session below, and get ticketing info for the all ages $29 concert here.
Randy Randall was caught up in how good he and Sean McGuinness were feeling about starting their new project, Rat Fist, to the point that while laying the music, they’d looked past a crucial part: vocals.
“Sean and I were driving back to recording one day and we were saying, ‘Well, now all we have left to do is the vocals,’” Randall says. “So I asked him, ‘Do you want to sing?’ and he’s like, ‘No, do you want to sing?’ And then we’re both like, ‘Uh… well, let’s both do it. We can both give it a shot.’”
It’s the first time Randall and McGuinness – best known for being the guitarist in No Age and drummer in Pissed Jeans, respectively – are singing in a band, so it’s taken a little bit of adjusting. They’re splitting lyric writing roles too, another first for them both. And the lines on “Disrupt yr DNA,” “You smile and burp while your insides are rotting/ The stench of your decay is… offensive,” are Randall’s doing.
“But it’s an equal collaboration,” he says. “He came up with some songs, I came up some songs. That song, ‘Disrupt Yr DNA,’ I’m singing on that one and I’m not really a trained singer but it has a punk feel to it so whatever. It doesn’t really matter too much what sounds my mouth makes when I open my mouth.”
Even singing and playing guitar simultaneously is something new for Randall. He says that since his bandmate Dean Spunt writes the lyrics and sings in their experimental punk-leaning two-piece No Age, he generally refrains from it entirely. So the prospect of taking his song, “Disrupt yr DNA” out on the road is exciting. Continue reading →
Body / Head, the new duo project of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, played a set at Chinatown art gallery Space 1026 last night. Fun facts discovered per Bleeding Rainbow’s Instagram: Gordon and BR’s Rob Garcia play the same guitar, and Body / Head’s Bill Nace borrowed a Fender Twin amp from BR’s Al Creedon for the show. Check out photos from the set in the gallery above.
With this new band, Gordon and Nace dabble in long-form, expressionistic guitar playing that ebbs and flows in ambient textures, turns unexpectedly violent with aggressive feedback, then recedes back into drone, with Gordon adding her trademark spoken-sung vocals. Think of her song “Contre Le Sexisme” from Sonic Youth’s vastly underrated 1998 album A Thousand Leaves, or the early hit (is “hit” the right word?) “Making the Nature Scene.” Live, Body / Head compliments their show with projected visuals (which you can see in the video below), meaning the crowd at Space 1026 next month is in for a multi-sensory experience. More information on the show can be found at the WXPN Concert Calendar.
Last night, experimental guitarist and Sonic Youth founding member Thurston Moore played a collaborative, improvisatory set at Space 1026 in Chinatown with drummer John Maloney. Northampton, Massachusetts four-piece Speedy Ortiz opened the show; you can check out a gallery images from both sets above, and see a 14-second YouTube clip to give you a sense of the overall vibe after the jump. Continue reading →