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How writing the emotional “We Are Selfish” saved The Ghost In You

The Ghost in You | Photos by John Vettese
The Ghost in You | Photos by John Vettese

In a plaintive voice, Billy Polard sings “Save them from the dark in me. / Spare them from this misery. / They walk the earth on solid ground. / I won’t give in, I won’t back down.”

The stirring lyric opens the latest song from the singer-songwriter’s project The Ghost In You, and when you know that it stems from something very real and tangible, it becomes all the more powerful. Continue reading →

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PRhyme makes a powerful impact at Underground Arts with Black Thought in tow

PRhyme | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
Black Thought delivers a verse during PRhyme’s Underground Arts show | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

At close to midnight, in the cold basement club of Underground Arts in Philadelphia, a powerful decree was made in the world of hip-hop as Detroit’s Royce Da 5’9 proclaimed that DJ Premier was his DJ, making the duo official.  As PRhyme the pair have put out a masterpiece, and the stunning declaration was as well received as it should have been, wiping away any worries that this may be a one-off project. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Farah Siraj at World Cafe Live, Superheaven at Voltage Lounge, PRhyme at Underground Arts and more

Farah Siraj | Photo by Ann Blake | www.annblakephotography.com
Farah Siraj | Photo by Ann Blake | www.annblakephotography.com

Farah Siraj grew up in Amman, Jordan, and though her music is rooted in the traditional sounds of her home country, she takes an expansive approach to songwriting. Incorporating bits of jazz, flamenco and folk, Siraj breaks down traditional barriers, and also uses her songs as a means for humanitarian advocacy. Tonight she headlines World Cafe Live; tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bardo Pond at Underground Arts, His Name is Alive at Johnny Brenda’s, Into It. Over It. at The First Unitarian Sanctuary and more

Bardo Pond | Photo by Katie Tapman
Bardo Pond | Photo by Katie Tapman
Philly psych rock favorites Bardo Pond will play their first show of 2015 tonight at Underground Arts. The band’s ninth album, Peace on Venus, was released in 2015 to critical acclaim, and the band performed songs from it on the Key Studio Sessions this week – along with two brand new songs. Listen to the set here and get more info on the show at the XPN concert calendar.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells at Boot and Saddle, El Malito at Underground Arts, Beausoleil at World Cafe Live and more

Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells | via facebook.com/meddlesomebells
Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells | via facebook.com/meddlesomebells

Philadelphia-based heavy psych five-piece Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells headlines Boot and Saddle tonight in celebration of its self-titled new LP. It’s the third release from the band – whose brooding, distortion heavy sonic tapestries recall PJ Harvey as easily as Black Sabbath – and it will be available at the show on limited edition pink vinyl. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to the single “Willow Willow” below. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Bardo Pond

The longer they’re at it, the louder they get. Philadelphia psychedelic mainstays Bardo Pond have been a band for more than two decades at this point. Following an early handful of limited run 7″ singles, their proper debut Bufo Alvarius Amen 29:15 was released in 1995. Those numbers at the end of the album title? That was the running time of the closing track, and it was an epic game-changer. By the end of that year, the band had signed to Matador Records and were opening for Sonic Youth at the Electric Factory.

Over the ensuing years, Bardo Pond released immersive, gripping records at a steady clip. Continue reading →

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Get ready for The Lone Bellow’s Free at Noon with their new Then Came Morning

The Lone Bellow | via Facebook.com/thelonebellow
The Lone Bellow | via Facebook.com/thelonebellow

This Tuesday, Brooklyn-based trio The Lone Bellow released their sophomore album, Then Came the Morning, showcasing their critically-acclaimed bluesy, Americana sound.

The group is no stranger to Philly, rocking a main stage slot at the 53rd annual Philadelphia Folk Festival in August.  Their anticipated show at Underground Arts is set for March 24. And they just announced a performance at XPN’s Free at Noon concert next Friday. (RSVP here.) Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sonnder at Bourbon and Branch, Mercury Radio Theater at Underground Arts, W.C. Lindsay at Union Transfer

Sonnder
Sonnder | photo via Facebook

Early this month, local atmospheric rockers Sonnder kicked off a monthly singles project – one new digital track a month, culminating in a full album by December. The song “Drifter,” which kicked the series off, takes a more subdued and haunting approach to their sound compared to the band’s vibrant Thief EP from 2014, but where it goes from here is a total mystery – and we’re totally into following the journey. The band plays Bourbon and Branch in Northern Liberties tonight; tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Vaselines with Amanda X at Johnny Brenda’s, Mic Stew and Reef the Lost Cauze at Underground Arts, Arc Iris at Tin Angel and more…

The-Vaselines-1

Scottish outfit The Vaselines visit Johnny Brenda’s with Amanda X tonight. The indie pop veterans first released material in 1987 on an EP called Son of a Gun. Seven more efforts followed, culminating in last year’s V for Vaselines LP which was partially a nod by The Vaselines to the sound of the Ramones. Tourmates Amanda X kept busy last year with shows near and far while recording a new 7″. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here; watch The Vaselines’ video for “High Tide Low Tide” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Chicano Batman at Underground Arts, Spaceship Aloha at Johnny Brenda’s, Meyhem at Union Transfer and more

Chicano Batman | photo courtesy of the artist
Chicano Batman | photo courtesy of the artist

Drawing on 60s and early 70s bossa, and samba, cumbia, psychedelia, and soul, Los Angeles four-piece Chicano Batman plays Underground Arts tonight. The retro-leaning Latin rockers released Cycles of Existential Rhyme last year, and will be joined by Las Cafeteras at tonight’s show. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Read The Key’s interview with Chicano Batman here, and listen to “She Lives on My Block” below. Continue reading →