There’s a lot that can be said of Alejandro Rose-Garcia. The man who hits the under the alias Shakey Graves is certainly no stranger to the limelight, having appeared in movies and television such as Friday Night Lights before moving on to music. Even though Saturday night at the Electric Factory was a far cry from his DIY-esque moments at Union Transfer earlier this year, Graves is still a force to be reckoned with and doesn’t lose an ounce of his irrepressible charm in a room that’s double the size. Continue reading →
Philly’s Purples have been particularly prolific as of late, and today they released what amounts to their seventh single since May, and the quality has only increased with each new output.
“Saving One For You” is the newest single from the psychedelic rockers and it takes a slower and more bare approach than last month’s “Get Hurt”, with singer Peter MoDavis giving off a lazy Sunday vibe with every stray observation. Continue reading →
Today, Lansdale sons The Wonder Years release No Closer to Heaven, their latest full-length of cathartic punk rock anthems (get it here), and the album finds the band in top form after ten years in the game. Following a series of pre-release teasers – including “Cardinals” and “Cigarettes and Saints” – the band dropped one more yesterday, the sentimental “Thanks for the Ride.” Frontman Dan “Soupy” Campbell told Spin that the song imagines what life would be like if a deceased friend of his were still living. Continue reading →
It’s official: the German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk will be visiting Philadelphia come fall. The Electric Factory will host the influential four-piece for an October 2nd show that is sure to showcase its vibrant and influential personality. Continue reading →
On a perfect Friday night, I was treated to more than my fair share of fantastic bearded singer-songwriters. Passenger and Stu Larsen amazed with their respective one-man shows, and The Once also astounded earlycomers with incredible Newfoundland songwriting. Continue reading →
The Electric Factory announced today Drive-By Truckers will play on October 18. The alternative country band is touring in support of its latest album, English Oceans, released back in March. This is the twelfth album for the southern band, and, like its predecessors, highlights the band’s roots rock influence. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, July 11 at noon. For tickets and more information, visit the ticket page here. Below, listen to the band’s recent World Cafe session and watch their live video for “The Part of Him.”
Every music fan has their own personal list of all-time favorite concerts. But imagine if you were old enough to experience a legendary rock and roll act like Chuck Berry in his prime, while in the same breath catching emerging bands like The Black Keys and Nirvana before they got huge. It’s pretty likely you never got to do either of these things. But there is one hypothetically feasible way to make it happen: invent a time machine. So let’s pretend for a minute this doable – here’s what I’d go back in time to see.
1. Led Zeppelin – March 31, 1970 at The Spectrum
The earlier you saw Led Zeppelin the better. Towards the middle of the 70s, Jimmy Page’s heroin addiction affected his onstage presence, and Robert Plant’s voice became noticeably strained. There’s a phenomenal video, which you can find on YouTube, of Led Zeppelin playing at the Royal Albert Hall in London from the same year, which features my personal favorite versions of “Communication Breakdown,” “Bring It On Home,” “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” and “How Many More Times.” The grainy video (which also features Page doing the seemingly impossible: making a sweater vest look cool) isn’t all that clear, but the sound is great and that’s really all that matters. It’s likely you would’ve gotten the same mind blowing performance in Philly (check out this vintage review by longtime Philly journo Clark De Leon).
2. The Strokes – October 9, 2003 at Tower Theater
Julian Casablancas’ voice in the early 00s was a thing of beauty. He had the perfect Jim Morrison-esque rock and roll growl, and is probably one of the most overlooked singers in rock history during his prime. Although, I’m a huge fan of The Strokes’s later stuff as well, there’s no denying their first two albums were two of the best rock albums in the early aughties – a time that was otherwise riddled with awful rock bands like Nickelback and Breaking Benjamin.
3. Oasis – October 23, 1994 at J.C. Dobbs
This was the first time Oasis ever played in Philly and also their first ever American tour. Around this time, tensions between Noel and Liam Gallagher had yet to reach the point of totally hating each other’s guts. Also, due to a randomly placed wall on J.C. Dobbs’ stage, this show was rumored to be the only time Noel played on the left side of the stage.
4. The Who – October 19, 1969 at The Electric Factory
The Who actually played two shows at the Electric Factory on this day (bands did that back then, apparently). Anybody who’s ever seen Who videos from the late 60s knows that the band was a powerhouse back in this time period — especially with the late Keith Moon on drums. Also, this probably isn’t the Electric Factory you’re familiar with. The original one was at 22nd and Arch and closed down in 1973. The current one at 7th and Willow opened in 1994. Listen to audio from the show here.
5. The Clash – March 6, 1980 at Tower Theater
The year 1980 was a good one to see The Clash live. You would have heard songs from all their best albums including Give ‘Em Enough Rope, London Calling and their self-titled debut. Also, you’d get to see their iconic lineup. By 1983, drummer Topper Headon and guitarist Mick Jones would eventually be kicked out of the band.
6. The Black Keys – February 5, 2009 at Electric Factory
There were at least two or three times I almost saw the Black Keys before they got huge. For whatever reason, I couldn’t go to the concerts, but I always knew they’d be back in Philly again so I never let it bother me much. That is, until they released Brothers and the band made it big time. Continue reading →
Modern Baseball may have just wrapped up a tour with The Wonder Years, but that doesn’t mean they’re slowing down any time soon. The never-wavering Philly based pop-punk band has announced a stacked summer tour with the likes of post-harcore band Tiny Moving Parts, emo/rock band The Hotelier and pop-punk outfit Sorority Noise. And to top it off, the tour kicks off right here in Philly.
Coming off of the release of their highly acclaimed album You’re Gonna Miss it All, MoBo played a sold out show with The Wonder Years at the E Factory April 13, and if you missed it, the Barbary show on June 1 should be at the top of your list. Tickets go on sale tomorrow via TicketWeb. Get tickets when they become available here, and see the full list of tour stops via MoBo’s facebook page. Check out the studio session Modern Baseball did with The Key here.
To say that Modern Baseball has transcended the punk scene would be an understatement. The band had already been solidly successful, touring tirelessly, amassing an impressive discography, cultivating a rabid fan base even before they released one of the best records of the year.
You’re Gonna Miss It All is a rare album that spans musical worlds. On the one hand, it stays absolutely true to MoBo’s trademark self-effacing, brutally honest songwriting self-portraiture of life as an awkward and uncertain twentysomething. It’s funny and its sad, it’s silly but lyrically sophisticated, and the hooks are in no shortage. On the other hand, or perhaps because songwriters Jake Ewald and Brendan Lukens come from such a sharp and smart perspective, the record is one that will appeal to listeners outside the pop-punk world. There’s a Weakerthens-ish sense of melody and wit for the bookish indie rock types, there is an unbelievable pop-rock production for people who just like good music, every single song is one you’ll sing along to. With righteous jams like “Charlie Black, “here is no reason for MoBo not to be burning up the radio waves. (In my own small way on the XPN Philly Local show, I’m doing my part.)
The record impressed the tastemaking blog world, notably Vice and Pitchfork; the band landed a massive tour with punk scene stars The Wonder Years, who headline a sold out show this Saturday night at The Electric Factory. if you have tickets, get there early – Modern Baseball is not a band whose set you want to miss. Get a taste with the six-song Key Studio Session they recorded below, and check out a video of the band playing “Your Graduation” care of photo-video crew Allison Newbold, Megan Kelly and Rachel Del Sordo.
Truly a Philadelphia production, the album was produced by Modern Baseball’s own Ian Farmer and Jake Ewald, mixed by Philadelphia’s Jon Low, and mastered by Will Yip at Studio 4. Listen to “Your Graduation,” the first single off the album, below. Like most Modern Baseball material, it is instantly catchy and has a great chorus. Unlike Sports, however, the song is less polished, adding a sense of grittiness that and even a bit of yelling. Keep an eye out for the album, and catch up on Sports belowwhile you wait for the new record.