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The Key Studio Sessions: Left and Right

Power pop punks Left and Right got their start in Charlottesville, Virginia a few years back, then moved to Philly and set up shop locally with a few cassette releases. We premiered their single “Low Expectations” back in August, and it immediately struck a chord with a sound spanning Weezer, Archers of Loaf and Mudhoney. Since then the band has alternated between short tour runs and stints working at coffee shops back home and playing DIY-minded spots like The Pharmacy in South Philly. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tobias Jesso Jr at Boot and Saddle, Impressionist at Bourbon and Branch, The Cloth at Underground Arts

Tobias Jesso Jr | photo via tobiasjessojr.com
Tobias Jesso Jr | photo via tobiasjessojr.com

Buzzing Vancouver artist Tobias Jesso Jr. headlines Boot and Saddle tonight. The singer-songwriter and pianist writes smooth and sincere pop songs in the vein of Randy Newman, and was produced by members of The Black Keys and New Pornographers (and features drumming from Danielle Haim). His album Goon came out last week on True Panther Sounds. Watch the video for “How Could You Babe” below and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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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.
Continue reading →

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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 →