A session with Dean Wareham, a spotlight on Woods and much more on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Dean Wareham | Photo courtesy of the artist
Dean Wareham | Photo courtesy of the artist

Tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade is packed to the gills with special fun! Tune in to XPN at 10pm as we dig into countless new releases and share some exclusive features. First, it’s a live in-studio session with the legendary Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500/Luna), then we’ll get to a spotlight on the newly released album from Woods, With Light And With Love! Here are a few more things you’ll hear in the mix tonight:

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Watch Strand of Oaks watching his friends rollerskate in the lonely / fun video for “Goshen ’97″

Oaks1On “Goshen ’97,” the lead single from Strand of Oaks‘ forthcoming LP Heal songwriter Timothy Showalter perfectly captures the isolation of himself as a lonely teenager, and in the song’s new music video for the song – premiered today on The Fader - director Rick Alverson nails it in visual form. In an anonymous rollerskating ring, Showalter sits and listlessly gazes at his friends looping the room (spotted among the crowd are Deven Craige of Little Big League and Craig Hendrix of Auctioneer). We see him in other disaffected settings, smoking cigs, but when he’s at home listening to music, it’s pure bliss. “The song doesn’t celebrate the huge victories in life or mourn the heaviest memories. It’s about the moments between the ups and downs,” Showalter tells The Fader. “That’s exactly what the video captures.” Watch “Goshen ’97″ below.


World Cafe premieres Strand of Oaks’ new single “Goshen ’97″; new LP Heal out this summer via Dead Oceans

PrintWe were psyched to hear that Philadelphia’s Tim Showalter, aka Strand of Oaks, got signed by Dead Oceans Records late last year, and today we have some additional details about his new album.

The record is called Heal, and World Cafe premiered the lead single “Goshen ’97″ this morning. (That’s the single art above.) Whereas Showalter has been immersed for the past couple albums in songwriting centered around fiction and fantasy, this new release finds him at his most autobiographical, and the single starts at the beginning. As I said on the Cafe premiere of the song:

It moves fast and rocks hard, exhibiting an urgency we haven’t heard from Strand of Oaks in the past. Showalter describes it as a joyful punk song, with lyrics revealing the little details of life in Indiana at age 15. He hides his packs of menthol cigarettes and lip-syncs to Smashing Pumpkins songs in his mirror. He hangs out in his parents’ basement, writing, and discovers his father’s tape machine — “and that’s where the magic began.”

“I was lonely, but I was having fun,” Showalter sings in the soaring refrain. “I don’t want to start all over again.”

“That’s what I never realized before: This is not a bad life,” Showalter says. To him, the song represents what it feels like to be a teenager, and what’s saving you when you don’t fit into narrowly defined teenager roles.

Read more of my interview with Showalter and stream “Goshen ’97″ here, via NPR music.


Strand Of Oaks signs to Dead Oceans Records, new LP coming next year

OaksI could write you a long eloquent piece about this morning’s news, but I think that above photo sums it up. Philly singer-songwriter-vibemaster Strand of Oaks – aka Timothy Ross Showalter – will release a new LP next year on Dead Oceans Records, the venerable indie label and home to recent Oaks tourmates Phosphorescent, as well as Juliana Barwick, Sun Airway and others. Super amped for this news, and join us in congratulating one of the hardest working musicians in Philly.


X-Files vibes will creep you out in Strand of Oaks’ “Satellite Moon” music video

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 10.44.55 AMKind of like the infamous Brad Pitt solemnity from the 90s classic Se7en, the cinematic new music video from Strand of Oaks will leave you wondering what’s in the box. Shot in moody, stunning black and white by director CJ Foeckler, and set to the Darker Shores EP version of “Satellite Moon,” the video follow a denim-clad drifter into a seedy motor inn where he smokes cigarettes, drinks whiskey and is interrupted only by a knock on the door. Nobody’s there, but he discovers an ornate wooden box – and from that point onwards the video travels weird roads that evoke David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino and cult TV classic The X-Files. Check it out below; Strand of Oaks kicks off a three-week European tour next week.


Magic Gardens Art/Gage Festival expands for 2013 with more music, more food trucks, more installations

art gage PMG

Tomorrow night, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens will be hosting the Art / Gage Festival, an annual arts-music-food street fair event. Now in it’s sixth year, the festival has expanded to cover eight blocks of South Street, from Front to 9th. Magic Gardens events manager Allison Boyle says the festival aims to “bring in local artists, local music, and celebrate the creativity that we have here in Philly.”

For the first time this year, Art / Gage is partnering and collaborating with Night Market Philadelphia to expand the festival, both in size and in offerings; Night Market and The Food Trust will bring over 80 food trucks and local vendors to South Street – it’s supposed to be the largest Night Market Philly has yet seen.

There will be two stages – one on 9th Street and one on Second Street, playing live music all evening. ”People love the bands – I think they’ll come out especially to see them,” Boyle says. Many awesome local musicians are set to perform, including Night Panther (who just released their debut LP), Norwegian Arms, Strand of Oaks, and The Late Ancients.

Beyond the music, there are many other artistic outlets to explore. Continue reading →