I first caught Jonathan Cooney onstage in the basement of the First Unitarian Church in the spring, performing a set as No Stranger at one of music / education nonprofit The Quarterly’s fundraising showcases. It seemed, in a peculiar way, like I’d been transported to a Church show some ten or fifteen years earlier. Cooney’s style – intricate, acrobatic guitar playing with soaring and emotive vocals – is firmly rooted in the emo / acoustic era of the early thousands, stuff like Jonah Matranga, The Weakerthans, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes and so on. It’s bittersweet, sensitive, contemplative and totally engaging. Continue reading →
Bouncing between alternative and classic rock, even frequently incorporating jazz influences, Philly-area five-piece Seoul Delhi makes an impressive introduction with its debut Everything Must Go. The group consists of Ashley Ferrante on percussion, CoCo Brewer on vocals and keyboard, Tucker Hill on vocals, keyboard, and guitar, Chris Rudisill on guitar and Jessie Wexler on bass. Much of the stylistic influence and diversity, however, stems from the pen of the group’s premiere songwriter, Hill, though he’s quick to tell us ”
a big part of our sound now comes from the whole band arranging something together that I’ve written on my own.”
It’s going to be a party at 69th Street tonight when EDM poster boy Porter Robinson will be at the Tower Theater performing his debut album Worlds, which was met with mostly positive reviews from critics. As Rolling Stone states, “Although it doesn’t sound quite like EDM, Worlds manages to retain the thrilling rush of emotions that the best raves inspire.” Robinson’s music may not sound like typical electronic dance music, but there’s something about it that gives you a jolt of positive energy. With songs like “Sad Machine,” which you can check out below, Robinson manages to leave everyone feeling rejuvenated. Tickets and information for the show can be found here. Continue reading →
There’s only one place you should be at tonight, and it’s not at home. You should be at Union Transfer, enjoying sweet music from South Carolina’s Shovels and Rope. The Americana folk duo consist of the happily married Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, who do a great job illustrating the soul of the south with their music. With songs like “Birmingham” and “The Devil Is All Around” on their new album Swimmin’ Time, this duo gives their audience a peaceful feeling of wanting to experience the simple life. Check out their song “Birmingham” below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
A sparse, gentle piano, and cautious voice are how we are introduced to Douglas Thomas on his new track, “Amphibious”. Budding from the musical groundwork is a lush string section that transitions from playful to driving and back again. When Thomas sings, “It’s a little bit lonely to be everywhere,” you can hear the uncertainty in his gossamer tone. By the chorus the previously restrained instrumentals fully bloom, finding Thomas struggling with his own identity, pleading for understanding. The song lands softly, like a falling feather, waiting for the next gust of wind to take it away.
This is the first single from Douglas Thomas’ second album Gone To Seed, which is currently slated for a September 30th release date. Continue reading →
A co-headlining tour featuring Saint Louis’ Foxing and Worcester, Massachusetts’ The Hotelier brought an incredible lineup of bands to The Fire Sunday night. Two popular regional acts played alongside the touring artists, both of whom boast well-received new releases, making for a night of punk so exciting that it was sold out well in advance.
It feels like we just talking about beginning-of-the-summer shows, and somehow it is almost August. It’s still summer though! So make sure you take advantage of the outdoor weather as much as possible at these 5 awesome shows throughout August. Continue reading →
On Wednesday July 16th, The Fire hosted one of the best emo rock shows of the summer. Hailing from San Diego, California, Weatherbox headlined the sold-out show in support of their new record, Flies in All Directions, released this year via Triple Crown Records. On tour with Weatherbox is Dikembe, from Gainesville, on tour in support of their new record, Mediumship, released this month via Tiny Engines.
The surprise local support for this show was Philly favorites Modern Baseball, who was only announced a day before the show, and Hightide Hotel. This sold out show was easily one of the best line ups of the summer and was a truly incredible night full of stage dives, crowd surfing, sing alongs, and sweat.
Durham, NC electro-folk duo Sylvan Esso join tUnE-yArDs tonight at Union Transfer for a fun, funky and alternative show. Lead singer Amelia Meath has a smooth, haunting tone to her voice that manages to give more depth to the repetitive synths and beats. She bends her vocals so they compliment the abstract rhythms and somehow it just works. The single “Coffee” has a cool melody with lyrics that repeat “get up get down, get up get down.” Very good music to listen to while walking down the street on a sunny day. Doors open at 8 p.m., and make sure you arrive early to this sold out show!
Lancaster garage punks Placeholder will be at The Fire tonight to put on a high-energy show. The band released a digital 12″ back in February called I Don’t Need Forgiveness which you can stream here. Unlike some punk groups who can sometimes be all over the place with their sound, the foursome maintains a steady control throughout the 12-track long LP. Their live show will definitely guarantee gritty guitar solos along with commanding vocals.
Skinny Lister hail from the UK and if you listen closely, you can detect a slight bluegrass twang in their music. Dual lead vocalists Dan Heptinstall and Lorna Thomas don’t outshine each other, but use each others voices to enhance the quality of the music. I could picture these guys playing on a street corner in Dublin or London, captivating passersby. You can find tickets and info for their 21+ show tonight at North Star Bar here.
Tweens at Underground Arts ($10, 21+, 8 p.m.)
Uncle/Father Oscar at Kung Fu Necktie ($5, 21+, 3 p.m.)
Indigenous at Sellersville Theater ($22, all ages, 7:30 p.m.)
Pop-punk Philly band Modern Baseball will kick off their summer tour this afternoon at The Barbary. Earlier this spring, the guys participated a Key Studio Session where they successfully lit up the room with their charismatic energy. You can listen to a full album stream of their 2012 LP Sports here and watch the video for “Your Graduation” from this year’s awesome You’re Gonna Miss It All below. Get tickets for this afternoon’s show here (while they are still available!)