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Find the beauty in distraction with The Chairman Dances’ new video

chairman dances
The Chairman Dances | Photo by J. Randolph Brown

To gear up for The Chairman Dances‘ EP release this Friday at The Rotunda, check out their new video for “Consolation,” a track from the forthcoming Samantha Says. The video follows a girl with her nose buried in a book as the city of Philadelphia bustles around her. She seems pretty unphased by her surroundings, which include the band itself as the members surround her on a park bench. Continue reading →

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The Friends With Wolves Festival looks like it’s going to be great

 

Rosu Lup
Rosu Lup | photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia is in for a treat come March 14th when the Friends With Wolves Festival moves underway. From 2 until 9 p.m., Underground Arts will host the festival made up entirely of Philadelphia talent including the organizers of the initiative, orchestral folk ensemble Rosu Lup. The lineup also includes local experimental quartet Square Peg Round Hole, art rock collective The Chairman Dances, folk groups Liz & the Lost Boys and Sympathy and the Lion, singer/songwriter Gretchen Lohse, Sierra Cooke and DJ sets from The Key’s own John Vettese. Continue reading →

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A solemn but explosive set from Rosu Lup capped a solid local bill at World Cafe Live

Rosu Lup | Photo by John Vettese
Rosu Lup | Photo by John Vettese

“Life and death are opposing shores,” sang Josh Marsh to the upstairs crowd at World Cafe Live on Tuesday. “But we walk along till our feet are sore.”

Maybe it was the grey afternoon and licks of ice patching the sidewalk. Maybe it was the reminder of a ridiculously treacherous travel conditions not 36 hours before that had semis plummeting around the highway, claiming the lives of four commuters and injuring dozens more. Maybe it was my friend at the bar, moved by the headlines, talking about the preciousness of life.

In any case, the Tuesday night tour homecoming by Philly’s Rosu Lup struck a tremendous chord in that regard, imbuing tragedy with beauty in an explosive catharsis. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Rosu Lup, The Chairman Dances and Caroline Reese at World Cafe Live

Rosu Lup
Rosu Lup | photo courtesy of the artist

A solid triple bill of Philly music is setting up shop upstairs at World Cafe Live tonight. The symphonic, ethereal indie-folk outfit Rosu Lup is headlining the show; the project of songwriter Jonathan Stewart released its latest single, “Hem,” last week and is gradually shaping up a followup to their 2013 EP Currents. (Download their Folkadelphia session here.) Joining them are indie rock literati The Chairman Dances, whose 2014 record The Death of Samuel Miller was a conceptual narrative following the life of a single parent from the 50s through the 90s. (Read Kate Bracaglia’s interview with the band here.) Rounding out the lineup is Caroline Reese from Reading, a countrified pop songwriter with strong hooks and an engaging voice. She released her EP The Electric Year last may and also recorded a Folkadelphia session that you can download here. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to music from each of the artists below. Continue reading →

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Sonny Landreth, Busses and more…

Sonny Landreth
Sonny Landreth | Photo by Brittany Salerno for WXPN

Monday kicked off with a My Morning Download from Sonny Landreth.  The Legendary guitarist was on World Cafe for the show’s Sense of Place: Lafayette special recently and he performed a rocking version of his song “Native Son.” Get a free download of the song below and listen back to the full interview and performance here.

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The Chairman Dances cover Wilco and Woody Guthrie with “Someday, Some Morning, Sometime”

The Chairman Dances
The Chairman Dances | photo courtesy of the artist

Local art-rockers The Chairman Dances have released a cover of “Someday, Some Morning, Sometime,” a song with lyrics by Woody Guthrie and music by Jeff Tweedy and Billy Bragg and appearing on Mermaid Avenue Vol II.

The Chairman Dances’ version was premiered on XPN’s Sleepy Hollow with Julian Booker last weekend and comes along with the announcement of a new EP;  Samantha Says will be recorded with Daniel Smith (Sufjan Stevens, mewithoutYOU) and is the follow up to Chairman Dances’ 2014 The Death of Samuel Miller.  Stream and download the cover below.

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Hey you! Check out this new music video from The Chairman Dances

The Chairman Dances | photo courtesy of the artist
The Chairman Dances | photo courtesy of the artist

The Chairman Dances just released a music video for what will be their first single off their new album, The Death of Samuel Miller.  The track is titled “Dance to the Neighbor’s Stereo,” and it’s going to be the catchiest song you hear today.  You can’t not like it.  If you say you don’t like it, then you’re just lying to yourself.

The video is set in the year 1990, with the band members displaying typical 90s fashion trends such as flannel shirts, ugly sweaters, and Michael Jordan Bulls jerseys.  The band acts as a stereo, blasting their music loudly so the neighbors can hear and dance along.  But keep a look out for the single’s release this Tuesday, and the album’s release on June 27th via Grizzly Records (they’ll be playing the Rotunda on Walnut Street this same night).

Dance to the Neighbor’s Stereo from Steady State Productions on Vimeo.

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The Key’s Year End Mania: Kate Bracaglia’s Top 5 tunes by local artists

jb-laser-release-12-620x404
Photo by Laura Jane Brubaker
Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, our trusted reporter Kate Bracaglia talks Philly tunes.

Living in Philadelphia, I’m always blown away by how many amazing artists there are right in our back yard, crafting tunes capable of filling many, many carefully curated playlists. 2013 was no exception. There were so many great songs released this year that picking just five was really tough. And so—in support of all the unsigned and DIY bands out there—I limited myself to tunes that were self-released or on small indie labels (sorry Kurt Vile/Man Man/Purling Hiss). These are bands you might not have heard of yet, but who are very capable of becoming new faves. Happy 2013!

 5. Laser Background, “Disappearing Ink”

The first tune off Laser Background’s first full-length, Super Future Montage, teems with lush vocal layers, wiggly guitar lines, and Andy Molholt’s nasally vocals. Molholt tells John Vettese the record was inspired by childhood, Roald Dahl books, and imagination, a combo that apparently yields breezy, summertime pop.

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The Week So Far: 11 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Rosanne Cash, The Staves, Dr. Dog)

 

Rosanne Cash | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Rosanne Cash | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Rosanne Cash stunned a sold-out Sellersville Theater crowd Sunday night – check out photos and a review of the concert [link]

Experimental cellist Dan Kassel is featured in this week’s Key Studio Session [link]

Brand new Philly rapper JustXSudan released a debut track called “Away” – get to know him in this week’s profile [link]

Give a listen to XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week, “Young Fathers” by Typhoon [link]

Pattern is Movement will headline Union Transfer in October with support from Norwegian Arms, The Spinto Band and Worshyper [link]

Check out Kurt Vile‘s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Down In It,” recorded for A.V. Undercover [link]

XPN premiered a new track from TV On the Radio called “Million Miles” [link]

Before releasing B-Room in October, Dr. Dog have shared a second track “Broken Heart” [link]

The Staves joined Folkadelphia at the Historic St. George’s United Methodist Church for a spectacular Suitcase Session [link]

Fishtown River City Festival announced headliners for its 6th annual event, including Vacationer and Cheers Elephant [link]

The Chairman Dances will perform at Friday’s opening of the Pterodactyl Gallery’s new exhibit, the Unnatural Behaviour [link]