Phosphorescent returns with “New Birth in New England,” new album C’est La Vie, TLA gig

Phosphorescent | photo courtesy of the artist

Singer and songwriter Matthew Houck has been somewhat off the grid for the past four or so years, ever since the release and extensive touring of his musical project Phosphorescent‘s sixth LP Muchacho. That silence ends today with “New Birth In New England,” a song reflective of what’s been going on in his life during that time period — finding love, having children, and leaving New York City.

The sunny, upbeat tune with a bit of an Afropop flare is the lead single from Phosphorescent’s seventh LP, C’est La Vie, due out on October 5th via Dead Oceans Records.   Continue reading →


Anthony Green’s Avalon tour reminds us that we’re all in the same spot

Anthony Green | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN |

On Saturday night, Anthony Green and his powerhouse of a band celebrated 10 years of Avalon at The TLA, along with Good Old War and new project Found Wild. For anyone who knows the closeness that Green, Keith Goodwin, Dan Schwartz, Tim Arnold, and Circa Survive member Brendan Ekstrom share, then you know that this tour is truly special. Though these guys frequently back Green on his solo ventures, Avalon is pivotal. It marks the beginning of an incredible decade of music and friendship that followed, and it showed onstage. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Kelela will headline the TLA next month

Kelela | photo by Daniel Sannwald | courtesy of the artist

R&B / electropop singer and songwriter Kelela impressed us twice last year: first with an early afternoon appearance at the Made In America Festival, and later with the release of Take Me Apart, one of our Top 15 Albums of 2017.

Of the record, our Rob Huff wrote:

A masterclass in tension and release, it cuts to the feeling of finally knowing what you want, in love and in life, and not being willing to wait for it anymore. And it expresses that with a determination and vulnerability that feels anthemic.

This week, Kelela announced a run of Winter tour dates with The xx in New Zealand, and a handful of stateside engagements upon her return — and one of those includes a February 27 gig at the TLA on South Street. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: mewithoutYou at TLA; Slaughter Beach, Dog at the First Unitarian Church

mewithoutYou | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN |

In recent years, Upper Darby art punk favorites mewithoutYou have toured in celebration of every milestone they’ve hit — this time it’s the 15th anniversary of [A–>B] Life, and they’ve hit the road to play the album in its entirety. Tonight’s stop at the TLA also includes a performance from Pianos Become The Teeth. Last time mewithoutYou played a show in town was for the 15th anniversary of Brother, Sister — read The Key’s review here. Find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Amine delivers his Tour For You to the TLA

Portland, Oregon’s Amine has had quite a year. He dropped a multi platinum single with “Caroline”, performed on huge talk shows and festival stages, did songs with people like Nelly, Charlie Wilson and Kehlani, and was picked as a XXL Freshman. Yet on my way to his Philly stop on the “Tour For You” (a play off the title of his excellent debut album Good For You ), my young Uber driver still had no idea who he was by name. It wasn’t until he asked me to play a song by him (I picked “Caroline” of course) that the driver began singing along to the melody, exclaiming “oh, I know this, it’s always on the radio!”. He also enjoyed the other songs from the album he heard, because it’s a dope, fun project. But when people know your big song but not your name, it’s a sign you might have bought a one way ticket to One Hit Wonderville. After seeing Amine’s live show, which grew my appreciation for his work even more, I can only hope that won’t be the case for him. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Christian Scott at World Cafe Live, Lady Gaga at Wells Fargo Center, Prophets of Rage at TLA

Christian Scott | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Christian Scott brings his innovative take on jazz at the intersection of popular music to World Cafe Live tonight. The New Orleans trumpeter recently released Diaspora, the second in a trilogy of albums all released in 2017. Check out XPN’s interview with Christian Scott about the new releases here, listen to the record below, and find tickets at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Just Announced: The Wonder Years to play a stripped-down set at TLA

The Wonder Years | photo courtesy of Big Picture Media

It’s been too long, The Wonder Years. The Philadelphia pop-punk band last performed in Philadelphia at the Fillmore for a sold out hometown show in November, and today they have announced the date of their triumphant return. In a nice twist, the six-piece will not be moving up to a larger venue but rather will be playing a stripped-down acoustic set at the Theatre of Living Arts on October 6th as part of a quick run of intimate dates to accompany the acoustic EP Burst and Decay. Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Shoegaze legends take the crowd on a buzzing, high octane Ride

Ride | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Fuzzed-out, atmospheric, gauzy greatness. Yep, you guessed it – I’m talking about shoegaze. The late 80’s genre brainchild has been seeing a major resurgence as of late — whether it be newcomers or pioneers making long awaited returns — and I’m most definitely not complaining about it. Neither was the Free at Noon crowd today, who piled in droves this muggy afternoon to WCL to give a warm (literally) welcome back to shoegaze legends, Ride.

R-I-D-E. These four letters stood big and bold behind the band as they made their way onto the stage. One letter for each member, the backdrop served as a concrete and symbolic visual cue of the band’s sturdy comeback even before they started to play. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Balkan Beat Box at TLA, Ladybird at Johnny Brenda’s, and Matthew Logan Vasquez at Boot & Saddle

Balkan Beat Box| via
Balkan Beat Box | via

Israel’s Balkan Beat Box continues their US tour at the TLA tonight. The long-running band encompasses Israeli rhythms and sounds with its electronica style, and is touring behind last year’s Shout It Out, its fifth album. The show is all ages, and more information / tickets can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Juliana Hatfield at Boot & Saddle, Tobin Sprout at Johnny Brenda’s, and Goldfrapp at TLA

Juliana Hatfield at Boot and Saddle | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Juliana Hatfield at Boot and Saddle | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Veteran singer-songwriter Juliana Hatfield takes over Boot & Saddle for a headlining gig with Laura Stevenson. Hatfield’s new record Pussycat (out April 28th) hits a little harder than most, using gritty guitar work and pure kickassery to create a fantastic sound. The show is 21+, and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →