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Got $2.2 mil? You can own The Barbary.

Sorority Noise | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Sorority Noise | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Fishtown hotspot The Barbary – a space known for its raging dance parties like Tigerbeats and Space Jams, as well as its all-ages punk matinees – is going up for sale.

The Inquirer‘s Michael Klein reported this afternoon that the venue owner put it on the market in response to heavy development around its neck of Frankford Avenue – not the least of which is The Fillmore, the 2500 capacity Live Nation venue that opened in October. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jane Siberry at Tin Angel, Pell at The Barbary

Jane Siberry
Jane Siberry | courtesy of the artist

Long-running Canadian singer-songwriter Jane Siberry will debut her new album Ulysses’ Purse for Philadelphia fans tonight with a headlining gig at The Tin Angel. At the same time as she teases that it may be her last proper record – following a career that’s seen her move in step with Suzanne Vega, Mary Margaret O’Hara and Kristin Hersh – she also called it the album “more universal recording, meant for a wider audience” in an interview with The Key’s K. Ross Hoffman. Tickets and more information on tonight’s show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Revisit “One More Colour” below. Continue reading →

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Superheaven is celebrating the release of Ours is Chrome at The Barbary

 

Superheaven | via facebook.com/superheavenband
Superheaven | via facebook.com/superheavenband

The sun set long ago for the Doylestown band known as Daylight.

But that didn’t mean they stopped making the battering, heavy songs that offered a throwback to the 90’s, served up on their debut record Jar. In fact, they took that sound and perfected it. That is what you will hear from Superheaven – different name, same snarling attitude. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mick Jenkins at The Barbary, Lightninging at Boot & Saddle, Paper Hearts at World Cafe Live and more…

Mick Jenkins
Mick Jenkins | photo by Robert Beckham

Chicago hip hop artist Mick Jenkins is at The Barbary tonight. He released a new mixtape called The Water[s] last summer, a progressive electronic hip hop record that expertly blends gritty and sublime elements to sound like Jenkins rapping over James Blake. Listen to “Jazz” below and get more information here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Twin Peaks at The Barbary, Spuyten Duyvil at Ardmore Music Hall, and Zeus at Ortlieb’s

Twin Peaks | via facebook.com/twinpeaksdudes
Twin Peaks | via facebook.com/twinpeaksdudes

Chi-town garage rock group Twin Peaks will be headline an all-ages The Barbary tonight The group of 20-somethings has gained recognition for their light-hearted and happy approach to classic garage rock, combining the styles the three separate singers/songwriters in their band. Twin Peaks touring in support of its August release, Wild Onion, and will be supported by Tweens, Public Access TV, and Slow Animal. Below, check out Twin Peaks’ “I Found A New Way” and get information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joyce Manor at Union Transfer, Belgrade at The Barbary, and Busses at Boot and Saddle

Photo via facebook.com/joycemanorband
Photo via facebook.com/joycemanorband

Californian pop-punk band Joyce Manor will take the stage at Union Transfer tonight. Members Barry Johnson, Matt Ebert, Chase Knobbe, and Kurt Walcher recently released their third studio album Never Hungover Again. They refer to its as a collection of songs about how things fall apart – including the loss of friends (“In The Army Now”),  the regret of getting a tattoo (“Heart Tattoo”), and the panic of facing the unknown future (“Catalina Fight Song”). For tickets and more information check out the XPN Concert Calender. Below, listen to “Schley.” Continue reading →

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Philly needs an all-ages show space. TWOB Fest wants to make that happen.

The Hotelier | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
The Hotelier plays an all-ages show at The Fire. They headline TWOB Fest this weekend | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

DIY punk’s openness, accessibility and ability to survive (and thrive) hinges upon the existence of the right mix of venues. For the most part, Philadelphia has just that. The scene here is so nurturing that just about anyone can start a band, write a few songs, practice them and eventually, play a show. That conduciveness can almost seem passé sometimes just because we’re so acclimated to it, but the reality is that it’s just not like that in most cities. It takes a lot of hard work, some clever maneuvering, and the right mix of personalities to save a subculture from stagnation. In Philadelphia, that means a plethora of non-traditional, not-exactly-legal venues. Pennsylvania’s draconian alcohol laws, along with operating costs that are almost universally prohibitive for broke punks, mean that the vast majority of all-ages punk shows here are happening off the grid in musty basements, dirty kitchens and cavernous lofts, which makes for a uniquely wonderful, but perhaps unsustainable experience.

Daniel Anderson wants to create something sustainable. Since 2011, he and his roommate Ruben Polo have run local label Kat Kat Records, while booking shows both in their own West Philadelphia basement and at others across the city. They’ve also booked festivals of their own, beginning with Kat Kat Phest and culminating with the inaugural TWOB Fest this weekend, which will see local favorites like Kite Party, Marietta and By Surprise performing alongside out-of-town acts like Laura Stevenson, Sundials and The Hotelier to raise money for an all-ages, DIY show space in Philadelphia to hopefully open in the fall. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ron Gallo at Spruce Street Harbor, Dean Ween Group at Chameleon Club and Bok Nero at The Fire

Photo via www.facebook.com/rongallomusic
Photo via www.facebook.com/rongallomusic

Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo promotes his new solo album Ronny at this fun Summer Party event presented by Why I Love Philly at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Fellow Philadelphians The Lawsuits and Up the Chain will also be on the bill making for an exciting, action packed performance. Ticketing information for the $10 show for adults 21+ can be found here. Also, be sure to check out a new song below, entitled “Fine Diners and Finer Whiners.”

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Modern Baseball takeover The Barbary for back to back sold out shows

Modern Baseball | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Modern Baseball | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

You have to hand it to Philly pop-punk buzzmakers Modern Baseball – with all the momentum at the band’s collective feet right now, they’re very much about staying true to their roots. Following up a U.S. stint opening for The Wonder Years earlier this spring, the band returned to Philly to play its first headlining shows in support of the awesome new You’re Gonna Miss It All at the pocket-sized Fishtown venue The Barbary. Note that I used the plural there – when an evening show sold out like instantaneously, the band added an afternoon matinee, which also sold out. Hundreds of revved-up and enthusiastic fans packed the joint, crowd surfed, slam danced, screamed along to every one of the band’s myriad screamalong refrains, and generally showed how much this band is busting at the seams.

MoBo has very evidently outgrown spaces like this; these two small shows could have been one big sold-out show at the First Unitarian Church basement. If the ticket price and the lineup were right, I’d even wager that the band could hold their own at The TLA or Union Transfer. But the guys realize that part of the joy in performing – and part of the joy in watching them perform – is the intimate experience of being up close and tight with your crowd, with whom they converse with tones of jovial warmth and friendship, with whom they give hi-fives and lean into heavily, sharing the microphone with outstretched arms in the front row (drummer Sean Huber does a bangup job of that during his cathartic verse in “Your Graduation,” as you can see above, though the room was so densely populated at this point that I couldn’t see who took over for him on drums). It’s an amazing vibe, and of course they want to continue creating that experience for as long as possible.

Singer-guitarist Brendan Lukens powered through the two sets despite a bout of walking pneumonia – which, I don’t even know what that means to have a walking sickness, but it sounds pretty awful. The afternoon set was fun but a bit restrained; the band had loosened up by the night, really letting fly with selections like the very fun “The Weekend,” an absolutely stellar performance of the Death Cab-esque “Two Good Things” (bassist Ian Farmer’s  playing totally makes this song) and the fan favorite “It’s Cold Out Here” which was punctuated by the voices of a couple hundred fans joining in on the coda. Crowd surfers flailed, die-hards lunged at the microphones, and singer-guitarist Jacob Ewald at one point said “Let’s give it up for security for keeping you all safe,” acknowledging that, yes, it looked like mass chaos out there, but this was a band that cares and doesn’t want to see anybody hurt in the process of having an ecstatic time.

Opening both shows were Minnesota screamo three-piece Tiny Moving Parts, Massachusetts hardcore faves The Hotelier and Sorority Noise from Connecticut. Check out photos in the gallery below.