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Shadow Experts: Palm play LIVE plus new Big Thief, Superchunk and Alvvays on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Palm | Photo courtesy of the artist

Tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade is packed to the gills with brand new tracks from beloved bands and up-and-comers alike! Tune in to XPN at 11pm ET for a full two-hour show that’ll also serve as the chaser for this month’s What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese. In the hopper, we’ve got a live session that John and I recorded together with the now-Philly based experimental pop band Palm. The quartet has a new EP, Shadow Expert, coming this month, and we’ll hear them perform tracks from it live in the studio. Also, since it was just released this week, we’ll spotlight the new full-length from Big Thief, Capacity. Be on the lookout for new singles from Superchunk, Alvvays and Ariel Pink, too!

Check out some of the new things below:
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Philly Boy, Part 2: Listen to Jon Wurster guest DJ on the Indie Rock Hit Parade

Jon Wurster | Photo by Eric Schuman
Jon Wurster | Photo by Eric Schuman

It’s always a good time when drummer Jon Wurster (Superchunk, the Mountain Goats) stops by the Indie Rock Hit Parade. This time around, Jon brought with him a batch of classic and rare Philly-centric indie and hardcore, along with some new and (perhaps rightfully) forgotten tracks. Jon also chats with host Eric Schuman in an extended conversation about his comedy partnership with Tom Scharpling, and how the duo are bringing The Best Show on the road for a live tour. Speaking of, you can see Scharpling and Wurster at Union Transfer on Sunday, December 13th.

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Planet JW: Guest DJ Jon Wurster returns to the Indie Rock Hit Parade

Jon Wurster and Tom Scharpling | Photo by Steven Brahms
Jon Wurster and Tom Scharpling | Photo by Steven Brahms

Tonight at 11pm, the Indie Rock Hit Parade welcomes back its resident guest DJ for another round of music and mayhem. Jon Wurster spends most of his time as the drummer for Superchunk, the Mountain Goats and Bob Mould, but is also one half of the celebrated comedy duo behind The Best Show, Scharpling and Wurster. The last time Jon visited the studio, almost exactly a year ago, he shared memories of growing up in and around Philadelphia and played songs that were formative in his earliest days as a musician and music fan. This time, Jon will share some rare tracks from the golden age of Philly indie and hardcore, and we’ll talk about translating the long-running Best Show into a live comedy experience. You can see Jon with Tom Scharpling (and some surprise guests) as they bring The Best Show to Union Transfer on Sunday, December 13th.

Along with Jon’s picks, we’ll hear a bunch of brand new tracks in the mix, such as…

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Folkadelphia Session: Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk & Merge Records)

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Mac McCaughan | Photo by Lisa Gotwals

Back in May, Folkadelphia teamed up with Drexel University’s Music Industry Program and a group of their insanely smart, inquisitive, and super helpful audio engineer students to live record a handful of in-studio sessions over a three day period. The results have been fantastic. We already shared one session with you, our encore with Christopher Paul Stelling. Now we bring you the second in this set – Mac McCaughan, best known for being the leader of Superchunk, Portastatic, and co-founder of Merge Records, which has brought you countless “this is my favorite album” albums. Continue reading →

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Philly Boy: Listen to Jon Wurster’s Guest DJ set on the Indie Rock Hit Parade

Jon Wurster as seen in Superchunk's "Crossed Wires" video
Jon Wurster as seen in Superchunk’s “Crossed Wires” video

Acting as our very first guest DJ on the Indie Rock Hit Parade, Jon Wurster brought an eclectic selection of songs to share. Each of the songs connects to a specific memory for the Superchunk/Mountain Goats drummer, many hearkening back to his days as a teenager growing up just outside Philadelphia. Wurster recalls shopping for records at the Montgomeryville Mall, befriending the Dead Milkmen and an incident while searching for the London studio where The Clash and the Sex Pistols recorded.

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Jon Wurster takes the reins on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Jon Wurster | Photo by Jason Arthurs
Jon Wurster | Photo by Jason Arthurs

The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns to the XPN wavelength tonight at 11pm! It’s a very special show tonight, as we welcome our very first guest DJ to the Hit Parade: Jon Wurster! You might know Jon as the drummer from Superchunk, the Mountain Goats and Bob Mould‘s band (among others). Or maybe you know him as one half of Scharpling & Wurster, the comedy duo behind The Best Show. No matter how you know him, you won’t want to miss him spinning some of his favorite songs and sharing stories about growing up just outside of Philly. Continue reading →

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By Surprise takes over Kung Fu Necktie tonight for an evening of classic 90’s indie rock jams

BySurprise_SBTSWEmo rockers By Surprise take over Kung Fu Necktie tonight for an evening of non-stop classic indie rock jams at the monthly Strangled by the Stereowire party. It’s their first live show since December, as well as a 90’s indie / alt showcase night where DJs Johnny and Mike spin everything from Pavement to Dinosaur Jr. to Blur and Superchunk and more. People attending can tweet their 90’s indie-alterna song requests to @SBTSW or #SBTSW. Get ready to ride the emotional rollercoaster down memory lane. Did we mention the best part? It’s free.

By Surprise is currently working on their follow up to 2011’s Mountain Smashers, so you can expect some new material tonight from the Jersey natives. You may even catch them doing a cover of Archers of Loaf, too (though not the song that the DJ night takes its name from). The show starts at 10:30 and goes ’til 2am. Free admission, 21+ to get in.

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Recap: The mighty Superchunk plays a career spanning set at Union Transfer (photos, review, setlist)

Superchunk | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
Superchunk | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

It has to be difficult, on a cultural level, to be Superchunk. To release a new album and play live shows 23+ years in to their career. The kids will say “Oh! This sounds like so and so” without ever realizing that ‘so and so’ sound like Superchunk. But Superchunk are better than I am, as people. They are above the music snobbery that I try to pretend I am not a part of, but instinctively propagate on a regular basis.

They are better than you or I, as music snobs, because they don’t talk about who Superchunk influenced or who listened to is first, they simply are Superchunk. And they kicked ass at Union Transfer on Tuesday night. And all of the people around me that had been talking about who they had seen at what venue focused on the stage and let loose as soon as the band did. It was a sight to see, the stage pushed forward as far as it would (presumably) go, and the small, but loyal, crowd pushed forward to greet them with open arms.

Playing a career spanning set of songs, the only noticeable hiccup in the evening was the obvious absence of Laura Ballance. While loosely addressed by the band themselves, there are apparent health issues involved that kept her from performing. A sad void, but understandable, and once the music was flowing through the crowds veins and the piercing, yet still melodic, vocals of Mac washed over everyone, all was right with rock ‘n roll.

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Preview tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade! (and listen back to last week’s show)

TV On The Radio
TV On The Radio
We’ve got a whole lotta new stuff to get to on the Indie Rock Hit Parade tonight! Here are a few things you might just hear in the mix starting at 10pm on XPN:

And just in case you missed last week’s show (or just can’t wait to hear the songs again), check out this Spotify playlist!

The all-new Indie Rock Hit Parade comes your way tonight at 10 on XPN!