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Beautiful truths with Over the Rhine at Underground Arts

Over the Rhine | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Over the Rhine | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Last Saturday’s cold and wet attitude could not prevent the warmth and beauty of Over the Rhine from overtaking Underground Arts. Husband and wife duo of Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler let their folk rock wrap the seated audience in the wealth of their 23-year musical history. With their newest holiday-themed release Blood Oranges in the Snow as a backdrop, they delivered their take on “reality” Christmas. And with some cuts from other works, including their masterful 2013 double album Meet Me at the Edge of the World, it would be tough to disappoint anyone in the rapt crowd. Though a seemingly odd venue for such a band, Underground Arts ended up being quite a fine setting for Over the Rhine’s beautiful truths. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tinmouth at Kung Fu Necktie, Tribute to Ode to Billie Joe at Underground Arts, Dirty Dollhouse at Bourbon & Branch and more…

Tinmouth
Tinmouth | photo via Facebook

Tinmouth close out their 2014 concert schedule with a show at Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  The local indie rockers were the subject of this week’s Key Studio Session, previewing tracks from their forthcoming debut LP Says.  Check out “Same Noise” below and get the full session here.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show here

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Searching for Bobbie Gentry: Tara Murtha and a team of Philly musicians explore Ode to Billie Joe

Bobbie Gentry's classic Ode To Billie Joe will be explored in a new 33 1/3 book and performed by Philly musicians this Friday at Free at Noon and Underground Arts
Bobbie Gentry’s classic Ode To Billie Joe will be explored in a new 33 1/3 book and performed by Philly musicians this Friday at Free at Noon and Underground Arts

When Tara Murtha first heard the music of Bobbie Gentry, she couldn’t believe she hadn’t found it sooner.

It was about eight years ago, back when the Philadelphia writer started dating her now-husband Jesse Lundy. She characterizes it as the point in a relationship where one partner is trying to impress the other, show off their taste a bit, and Lundy did this with a copy of Ode to Billie Joe, the 1967 debut LP by the multifaceted Mississippi-born musician who disappeared from the public eye in 1980.

After listening, Murtha was intrigued, and took to Google to learn more. The first thing she came across was a video of Gentry on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, surrounded by dancers in bright colors, making her way through an elaborate stage set designed like a Louisiana swamp. It was 1967 and she was performing her rendition of “Niki Hoeky,” a song by Jim Ford and Pat and Lolly Vegas. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Residuels at Boot & Saddle, New Sound Brass Band at Underground Arts, Chuck Prophet at World Cafe Live

Residuels
Residuels | photo via Facebook

Residuels debut their new look as a four-piece tonight at Boot & Saddle. After drummer Pat Troxell dispersed for sunnier days in Georgia with his other band Creepoid earlier this year, frontman Justin Pittney thought the group was put to rest.  But a working relationship with Iggy Pop and some choice advice inspired him to charge on with a new line-up and new album, recorded at Uniform Recording with Jeff Zeigler.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here.  Listen to “Maligned” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Wiggz and Wooten at The Fire, Beano at Underground Arts, The Revivalists at The TLA and more

Photo via Broad Street Music Group
Photo via Broad Street Music Group

Philly hip-hop pop duo Wiggz and Wooten headline The Fire tonight. Affiliates of the HomeGrownPhilly collective, the duo has been around for a year and a half, released a string of digital singles and collaborated with other locals like Mic Stew. Check out their single “Local Love” below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets at PhilaMOCA, Thee Oh Sees at Underground Arts, Ben Kessler at Tin Angel

Pulp, circa early 90s
Pulp, circa early 90s
Pulp fans unite! The eagerly anticipated 2014 documentary on Jarvis Cocker and Co. – Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets – screens tonight at PhilaMOCA at 7:30 p.m. Known best stateside for their mega-hit “Common People,” the band is revered among British rock aficionados for its brilliant fusion of glam, disco and super-literate lyrics. As a storyteller, Cocker details the lives of the working classes, the artists and the generally sexually starved in vivid detail. Set around Pulp’s 2011 reunion while looking back across its career (which spans the early 80s to the late 90s), this retrospective will be a treat for die-hards and will win over new converts. Information at the PhilaMOCA web page. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Don Bikoff at Little Berlin, The Werks at Underground Arts, Jessy Lanza at Union Transfer and more

Don Bikoff | via greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com
Don Bikoff | via greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com

Psychedelic folk guitar instrumentalist Don Bikoff released his most recognized album, Celestial Explosion, back in 1968, but don’t think that that’s the end-all of his career. Bikoff re-emerged in recent years, self-releasing his album Hallowed Ground and playing a handful of live appearances around the country, including tonight at Little Berlin for the last Folkadelphia show of the 2014 season. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to (and download) Bikoff’s 2013 Folkadelphia session. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Run the Jewels at The TLA, TJ Kong Murdershow at Underground Arts, Dum Dum Girls at Union Transfer

Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels | photo via www.facebook.com/therealrunthejewels

Hip Hop superduo Run the Jewels will be at The TLA tonight.  The partnership between Brooklyn’s El-P and Atlanta’s Killer Mike resulted in a self-titled record in 2013, which XPN’s Bruce Warren touted as “the year’s best hip hop collaboration.”  Just last week they leaked RTJ2, giving it out to fans for free on their Facebook page.  Get the album here and listen to “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” below.  Tickets and information can be found here.

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Minus the Bear were worth the wait at Underground Arts

Minus The Bear | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
Minus The Bear | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

There is always magic to be found in seeing a band you love in a smaller, more intimate setting, especially if they’ve spent a few years filling larger clubs (or maybe even stadiums).  There is nothing to throw a wrench in to the experience quite like waiting around in a (seemingly) overpacked, poorly ventilated basement.  I love Minus The Bear, and I love Underground Arts, but when the two met a couple Saturdays ago, it almost got ridiculous. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Little Dragon at Union Transfer, Art Sorority for Girls at Kung Fu Necktie, York Street Hustle at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Little Dragon | Photo via facebook.com/littledragonpage
Little Dragon | Photo via facebook.com/littledragonpage

You might know Swedish electro-pop four-piece Little Dragon from frontwoman Yukimi Nagano’s collaborations with Gorillaz (“Empire Ants” and “To Binge” from Plastic Beach…and, confession time, that’s how I was introduced). Or you might just be a fan of their own fiercely eclectic stylings, now four albums deep. Either way, we can at least agree on two truths. There aren’t many artists making music right now that sound quite like them, and the band’s headlining show at Union Transfer will be a high-energy throwdown. Little Dragon is currently touring behind its recent, Nabuma Rubberband, which came in May and shows traces of big-beat 90s dance, groove-pop and melodic sould, sometimes all at once…such as “Klapp Klapp,” which you can check out the video for below. Get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →