Going big for 2013′s first Shaking Through video, Weathervane Music called in Secretly Canadian / Jagjaguwar / Dead Oceans founder Chris Swanson to curate Volume 4 Episode 1. Swanson took the opportunity in an experimental direction, bringing North Carolina hip hop artist Steven A. Clark together with local musicians to create a scenario not often encountered in the hip hop world. Clark, who usually is a one man band, was backed by The War on Drugs‘ Dave Hartley (bass) and Robbie Bennett (keyboard) with Man Man‘s Chris Powell on drums and Ava Luna‘s Becca Kauffman and Felicia Douglass providing additional vocals. From the Shaking Through website:
Fayetteville NC’s Steven A. Clark is something of a “bedroom R&B” artist. Until that sunny day in late September, he had barely worked with others, and he certainly had little experience fronting a group of actual musicians. He arrived at Miner Street Recordings that morning with no instrument in hand, no cases full of equipment – just his song, “Bounty” and a voice to sing it.
Watch the episode below and download “Bounty” from Shaking Through’s Bandcamp page here.
This must have been something like a dream come true. Dave Hartley, bassist for The War on Drugs and frontman for Nightlands, joined his keyboard-playing WoD compatriot Robbie Bennett to sit with John Cale‘s backing band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. They played a song from Cale’s recent LP Shifty Adventures in the Nookie Wood, “I Wanna Talk 2 U” (which was not written by Prince, far as we can tell), and they dusted off the Velvet Underground classic “Venus in Furs.” Watch “Venus” below, see “I Wanna Talk To U” here. Nightlands is releasing its sophomore album Oak Island this month, and celebrating with a show at Kung Fu Necktie on Saturday, January 26. Tickets and information on it can be found at the WXPN concert calendar.
“I’m not going to stand here and tell you when it’s midnight,” Adam Granduciel told the New Year’s Eve crowd at Johnny Brenda’s. “You can work that out amongst yourselves.”
If he was attempting to play coy – like this was just another rock and roll show, rather than one of the biggest nights of the year with one of the biggest bands in Philly - Granduciel’s true excitement to be ringing in 2013 with The War on Drugs showed through in other ways. He handed out streamers to the capacity crowd before the set. He had a posterboard of multi-colored Jello shots spelling out the band’s name waiting in the wings (Key contributor Nikki Volpicelli posted a photo of this on her Philadelphia Area Music Showcase blog). And he timed the set perfectly, so the krautrock rhythms of “Your Love Is Calling My Name” raced nearly to midnight, then dipped into the genteel space jam “The Animator” while the clock (somewhere) struck 12. As streamers popped open, confetti flew and champagne was poured, the band closed the trilogy with an outstanding, moving rendition of “Come To The City,” the centerpiece of their 2011 album Slave Ambient. But the show was just getting going. Continue reading →
With 2012 wrapping to a close, there aren’t many more questions that have to be answered this year. One that you should definitely think about, though, is which concert you will be attending on New Year’s Eve. The two-night stand at Johnny Brenda’s from Philly’s The War on Drugs is sold out as of this morning, but we’ve got a round-up of what else is going on. So now all you have to worry about is how many friends will be begging to tag along! Continue reading →
For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing writer Nikki Volpicelli, who lived on the west coast for the past year and some, tells us about five local songs that made it easier to move back home.
I moved back to Philly 140 days ago today and for a while I wasn’t happy about it. I was living in Portland, Oregon for a year and a half. It’s like adult summer camp and it’s a really hard place to leave. Still, it was time to come home, get a job, sign a lease, and ask my parents for money and food. The past six months have been the most challenging and rewarding so far. Here’s a list of special songs that helped me feel really sorry for myself at times and slapped sense into me at other times. These five songs are part of a revolving play list of local music that I can’t get enough of, part of a scene that’s showed me my folly and made it easier to come home from summer camp. Continue reading →