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Drive-By Truckers to play at Electric Factory on October 18

Drive-By Truckers | photo via facebook.com/drivebytruckers
Drive-By Truckers | photo via facebook.com/drivebytruckers

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.”

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20 Philadelphia concerts you should go to if you ever invent a time machine

Led Zeppelin onstage at The Spectrum in 1970 | Photo via ledzeppelin.com
Led Zeppelin onstage at The Spectrum in 1970 | Photo via ledzeppelin.com

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.

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The Clash at The Tower in September, 1980 | Photo by Todd Heft |

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 →

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Modern Baseball will kick off its summer tour at The Barbary in June

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Modern Baseball | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com

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.

“Your Graduation” by Modern Baseball: The Key Studio Sessions from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Modern Baseball

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.

“Your Graduation” by Modern Baseball: The Key Studio Sessions from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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Modern Baseball will release the new You’re Gonna Miss It All LP on 2/11, tour with The Wonder Years in the spring

Modern Baseball | photo via band's Facebook
Modern Baseball | photo facebook.com/modernbaseball

After releasing Sports last year, Modern Baseball kept the ball rolling in 2013 by signing to Run For Cover Records, touring all this past summer, and releasing a split with The Hundred Acre Woods. Now, Modern Baseball has announced their next album You’re Gonna Miss It All, which is due out February 11 via Run For Cover Records.

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 below while you wait for the new record.

Catch Modern Baseball at the TLA on 12/30 with Man Overboard, Real Friends, Young Statues, and Fireworks or at The Electric Factory on 4/12 with The Wonder Years, Defeater, Citizen, and Real Friends.

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Celebrate the holidays with Philly’s Dr. Dog and the Oh My Christmas Tree EP

drdog_epWith their fall tour supporting The Lumineers a wrap, Dr. Dog are back home in Philly for the holidays before embarking on a big 2014 tour in support of this year’s B-Room. Perhaps they’re feeling a bit celebratory about it, since the band is releasing a digital holiday EP tomorrow via their label, Anti- Records. Called Oh My Christmas Tree, it’s a collection of lo-fi Christmas originals songwriter Scott McMicken originally intended for family and friends, but decided to bring to a broader audience. It’s streaming today via Slate, and McMicken writes that while the songs are poppy and playful on the surface, as is the case with Dr. Dog’s best songs, there’s a flipside:

Christmas music can be so playful and fantastical but it can also be very melancholy and foreboding. To me thats the best. The spirit can guide you to balance and the spirit can be found anywhere you choose to look. In the cartoons and in the cold blood. In the wild imagination and in the strictest tradition. These four songs will ultimately live as that reminder for me and hopefully they serve you in some way too.

Listen to Oh My Christmas Tree here. Dr. Dog headlines the Electric Factory on January 31st and February 1st; tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Paws at The Barbary, Alkaline Trio at The Electric Factory, Hayden / Doug Paisley at Boot and Saddle and more

PAWS | Photo via www.facebook.com/wehavepaws
PAWS | Photo by Kasper Volgelzang

Glasgow-based pop-rock trio Paws will play The Barbary tonight on their third US tour this year. The trek comes amidst the band’s recording of their follow-up to last year’s Cokefloat!; its lo-fi sound is enhanced by their catchy melodies and introspective lyrics. Watch “Sore Tummy” below and get tickets here.

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Just Announced: MGMT playing one night (maybe two?) at The Electric Factory in December

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MGMT release their self-titled new album today and have announced a tour that brings them to the Electric Factory on in December. The psych-pop duo broke through the scene back in 2008 with Oracular Spectacular, an album that landed on many best-of lists.  The December 3rd appearance at the Electric Factory was announced this afternoon; tickets for the show go on sale September 28th and will be available here. The tour dates announced earlier today via Consequence of Sound, however, list two Philly dates – so perhaps a second night will be announced imminently? In any case, watch MGMT’s new music video for “Cool Song No. 2″ and below, and check out a video of them performing “Plenty of Girls in the Sea” live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon after the jump.

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Just Announced: OCD Moosh & Twist to join Hoodie Allen on tour (playing Electric Factory 11/23)

ocd-moosh-and-twistLocal hip hop favorites OCD: Moosh & Twist announced yesterday that they will be opening for Hoodie Allen, an independent rapper from New York who begins his “Party With Your Friends” tour this fall. The two young artists from Philadelphia have already built a large fan base by combining the easy flow of Moosh and the sharp and raspy rhymes of Twist. This past March, the duo shared their fourth mixtape, Back to the Basement, which proved another testament to OCD’s extensive enthusiasm and energy. Joined by fellow openers Mod Sun and D-Why, OCD: Moosh & Twist will perform at the Electric Factory on November 23rd. Check out the video for “Top of the World” and find tickets and information here.