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Michael Kiwanuka goes retro in his video for “One More Night”

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Michael Kiwanuka | photo by Phil Sharp | courtesy of the artist

In support of the July 2016 release of his album Love and Hate, British singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka is touring the world and releasing a series of music videos.

The most recent video is for the track “One More Night.” This song has a slick bassline that casts a retro feel when paired with Kiwanuka’s raspy vocals. The video takes place on a city block where a young man with cartoonishly long legs is breaking it down in the street as neighbors watch from their windows. The track is breezy and this video perfectly aligns with the positive vibe put forth by the music. Continue reading →

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They Came. They Saw. They Conquered: The Orwells at Underground Arts

The Orwells | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN
The Orwells | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

BuzzFeed can suck it. Punk rock is alive and well in the Millenial generation, and if you need proof look no further than The Orwells. The group of early-twenty-somethings who hail from the rural outskirts of Chicago grew up with a punk rock education that’s become increasingly prevalent among today’s college-aged kids. The group’s new album set to come out this February, Terrible Human Beings, will likely be the latest addition to a flurry of great garage-punk albums to come out in recent years.

It’s a list of bands that’s becoming ever more impressive, featuring acts like FIDLAR, Twin Peaks, Speedy Ortiz, Bully, Tacocat, Downtown Boys, The Summer Cannibals, and Philly’s own Sheer Mag. But without a doubt, chief among them is The Orwells. The Orwells have a more melodic take on punk than most other punk bands; it’s a sound not unlike that of The Replacements or The Clash. The band’s two albums to date are brilliant, but the band’s live show is what makes them stand out.

That show was on full display Friday night at Underground Arts. The Orwells kicked things off with the latest single from the new album called “They Put a Body in the Bayou,” sending the overwhelmingly under-25 crowd into a moshing frenzy. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hardwork Movement at Johnny Brenda’s, Sorority Noise at First Unitarian Church, Daughter at The Electric Factory and more

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philadelphia hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement is playing a record release show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The group’s music boasts intricate jazz-tinged instrumental arrangements and a fierce pride of their deep roots in The City of Brotherly Love. 2016 was a fantastic year for the nine-member group: earlier this year they released their debut LP Good Problems, and a few months later they signed to Chill Moody’s #nicethingsMUSIC imprint. Come help Hardwork Movement celebrate and get a taste of their mixtape Draft Night at their last show of 2016 in Fishtown. Brooklyn-bred Tacuma Bradley’s Unity Band and Philadelphia singer-songwriter Julia Rainer are also on tonight’s bill. Check out the WXPN Concert Calendar for more information on this 21+ show, and check out Hardwork Movement’s performance of “City Bars” during a session with Philadelphia-collective Out of Town Films. Continue reading →

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Dance, Improv, Nudity, Absurdity: Har Mar Superstar wows Underground Arts

Har Mar Superstar | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | <a href=http://brotherlylost.com target="_blank">brotherlylost.com</a>
Har Mar Superstar | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | brotherlylost.com

With such an intoxicating voice, literally and figuratively, and lyrics to swoon the clothes off of any concert-goer (although it’s usually himself who winds up stripping), Har Mar Superstar brought an unforgettable performance to Philly this past Monday. Making his fourth stop as the headliner of his Best Summer Ever Tour with Texas rock band, Sweet Spirit, he showed Underground Arts his timeless dance moves, hilarious improvisation, and partial nudity. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sad13 at PhilaMOCA, Mexrrissey at The Kimmel Center, T.J. Kong and The Atomic Bomb at Underground Arts and more

Sad13 | photo by shervin lainez | photo courtesy of the artist
Sad13 | photo by shervin lainez | photo courtesy of the artist

Mostly known for her role as frontwoman for grunge-pop band Speedy Ortiz, Sadie Dupuis is slated to release her first solo album Slugger on November 11th under the moniker Sad13. She kicked off her debut tour on Thursday, and is paying Philadelphia a visit tonight at PhilaMOCA. Sad13’s music is largely centered around the idea of empowering women, and we’re all for it. Joining this Massachusetts synth-popper will be Philly artists Ivy Sole and Empath with NYC-based rapper Sammus topping off this stacked lineup. Go to the WXPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information on this all ages show. Get a taste of Sad13 with this song off her new album, “Devil in U.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tacocat at Underground Arts and Barns Courtney at Johnny Brenda’s

Tacocat | photo by Michael Lavine, courtesy of the artist
Tacocat | photo by Michael Lavine, courtesy of the artist

Seattle pop-punk quartet Tacoat headlines Underground Arts tonight. The group produces music reminiscent of the 90’s riot grrrl feminist music movement that also originated in Washington State. Supporting Tacocat will be Daddy issues, Queen of Jeans, and Pouty all bands that dabble in their own unique genres that fall somewhere on the spectrum of grunge, pop and punk. Most recently, Tacocat released their third studio album Lost Time in April of 2016 with the label, Hardly Art. Take a look at their ultraviolet video for “Talk” from their new record. For more info on this 21+ event, head to the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Bird and The Bee at Underground Arts, Whaler at Boot & Saddle, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry at Union Transfer

the bird and the bee
The Bird and The Bee | photo courtesy of the artist

California indie pop outfit The Bird and The Bee headline Underground Arts tonight. The duo of Inara George and Greg Kurstin released their fourth studio LP Recreational Love last year, following a 2010 Hall & Oates tribute album (check out “I Can’t Go For That” here). This tour features Inara sans Greg, though she’ll still be joined by her stellar backing band. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here. Watch “Will You Dance?” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Julien Baker at Underground Arts, Bardo Pond at Johnny Brenda’s, Corinne Bailey Rae at Union Transfer

julien baker
Julien Baker | photo by Jake Cunningham | courtesy of the artist

Julien Baker makes a return visit to Philadelphia for a show at Underground Arts tonight. The Memphis native brought her acclaimed Sprained Ankle debut to town earlier this year, wowing the audience with her gut wrenching but graceful songs about personal challenges and growth. Stream “Something” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show with Grayling here.

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Thy Friends Profanely Rage: mewithoutYou celebrates the long homecoming at Underground Arts

mewithoutYou | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
mewithoutYou | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Thursday marked one year of mewithoutYou’s most recent record, Pale Horses, and what a year it’s been. When I interviewed frontman and songwriter Aaron Weiss last year before the record’s release, I distinctly remember him saying “Every time we finish one, I’m so grateful and I tell myself ‘never put yourself through that again.’” If there was ever a year that he would choose to lay it all down, this would have been it. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Ceramic Animal gets whimsical along the water in the “Maybe” video

Ceramic Animal
Ceramic Animal on the set of the “Maybe” video | courtesy of the artist

“At some, point Warren said the word ‘whimsical,'” reflects Erik Regan. “And we all gravitated towards it.  That became the guiding light for the six of us on shoot day.”

The drummer of Doylestown psych-rock five-piece Ceramic Animal is talking about the band’s latest video for the song “Maybe,” which we’re happy to premiere for you this morning. It takes them out of the studio, out of the club, and sets them up in a forest in suits and turtlenecks, climbing out of a hobbit hole (actually a sewer entry, I think?) and playing their instruments alongside the Neshaminy Creek.

“This is our first live action music video, we knew we wanted something other than the ‘here is Ceramic Animal playing the song,’ type of approach,” explains Erik’s brother Warren, singer-guitarist of the band. “We wanted a storyline but nothing too serious, just something fun that left room for spontaneity the day of the shoot.” Continue reading →