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Belle and Sebastian and Andrew Bird delight generations of fans at Mann Center

Belle and Sebastian | photo by Kate McCann for WXPN

“Young and hip and beautiful, that’s what we used to be,” Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch laughed. He was referencing the opening set by Porches, now almost three hours ago at the Mann Center, but spun it into self-depricating self-reflection in the middle of a lively and high-energy set.

It was a night full of many instruments, and attendees got their money’s worth with hours of music during sets by Porches, Andrew Bird and a delightful selection of songs by Belle and Sebastian. After Porches played some of their synthpop jams, including a very deadpan version of “Car,” Andrew Bird took the stage with his band. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Blondie and Garbage at The Mann, Hurry at Everybody Hits, Amanda X at Ortlieb’s

Blondie | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

It’s a double header of still-vital rock and roll pioneers at The Mann Center tonight with Blondie and Garbage. In the 70s and early 80s, Debbie Harry and her bandmates bridged downtown New York punk rock with the dance-driven international New Wave scene, and wrote a massive amount of hits in the process; in the 90s, Shirley Manson brought a bold dose of glam and pop sensibilities to the dreary grunge landscape. Thing is, neither band is resting on its laurels or going through the nostalgia motions. Blondie and Garbage have both released albums of new material in the past year that stand strongly alongside their work from 20 (and 40) years ago — Pollinator, from the former, totally rips, as Harry and the band proved at NonCOMM this year, and Strange Little Birds is Garbage at its most vulnerable and honest but still kicks out driving anthems. Watch videos for “Long Time” and “Empty” below and get tickets and more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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Just Announced: Cage the Elephant and Portugal. The Man will play The Mann’s Skyline Stage

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Cage the Elephant | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

In what is bound to be an energized double-bill of epic proportions, modern rockers Cage the Elephant and Portugal. The Man just announced a Philadelphia gig on Thursday, May 12th at the Skyline Stage of The Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

Cage the Elephant released its Dan Auerbach-produced fourth LP Tell Me I’m Pretty back in December, via RCA Records. Portugal. The Man’s most recent outing is 2013’s Evil Friends, though they have reportedly been in the studio working on its follow-up with collaborators ranging from Mike D to Mac Miller. Continue reading →

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Ingrid Michaelson and friends pull out all the stops for the last night of tour

Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

To say that Ingrid Michaelson gets better every time I see her is in no way an understatement. Over the past year, this is the fifth time I’ve caught her live; you think I would have seen everything, but you would have thought wrong. She throws in new (though equally beloved) songs, always makes sure to love her band in the most creative ways possible, and with this week’s Mann Center appearance being the last show of her Summer Night Out tour, antics were sure to occur. Occur they did. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Brian Wilson at the Mann Center, Sondre Lerche at Boot and Saddle

Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Legendary Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson performs tonight at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. With a 2014 album called No Pier Pressure and a recent biopic called Love & Mercy, the 73-year-old Wilson hit the road with a stellar backing band to perform new songs as well as classics from all across his career. His set at NonCOMM back in May was an incredible trip down memory lane and it was only a half-hour long Free at Noon; expect tonight’s show at the Mann to be much bigger and filled with feeling. Rodriguez opens the show; get tickets and more information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Sizzling summer show alert: Tedeschi Trucks Band and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

 

Tedeschi Trucks Band | Photo by Mark Seliger
Tedeschi Trucks Band | Photo by Mark Seliger

Summertime is for outdoor venues, and Tedeschi Trucks BandSharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and special guest Doyle Bramhall II will take on a slew of al fresco venues for TTB’s Wheels of Soul tour this summer. Philly’s slot is scheduled for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts on August 2, and tickets go on sale this Friday, April 10. Continue reading →