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Ever-Evolving: In conversation with Rainer Maria about time apart, the new album S/T, and Philly memories

Rainer Maria | photo by Shawn Brackbill | courtesy of the artist

Rainer Maria recently released their first album of new material in over a decade, the propulsive, powerful S/T. Short, sharp, and intense, it finds the trio simultaneously evolving from their signature emo roots while seeming to actively dialogue with them in real time.

They will be bringing those songs, past and present, to Underground Arts in Philly this Friday. Ahead of the show, I got to have a chat with Kaia Fischer, Caithlin De Marrais, and William Kuehn about what it’s like to be back together, how much has changed, and how those changes inform their music and approach to life now… Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Deadfellow plays the lead in a postmodern rock drama

Deadfellow | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Deadfellow’s Hayden Sammak is quite a character. Burgundy velvet-jacketed and long-bearded, the Philly local looked every bit the old-fashioned classic rock n roller this Free at Noon as he drawled sweet verses of love and California livin’ while retro, psychadelic sounds bounced about.

But something just didn’t fit with this picture-perfect 60’s throwback. And if you’ve ever read an interview with the Deadfellow frontman, this disconnect makes perfect sense. Because despite the shiny exterior of Deadfellow’s latest album, Mescalifornia: A California Dream, the intent seems to be more sarcastic and critical in nature; where Hammak harps on a present-day shallow culture towards love. Continue reading →

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The decade-plus wait is over: stream Rainer Maria’s new S/T album via NPR now

Rainer Maria | photo courtesy of artist

Hey, Rainer Maria fans: your eleven year wait comes to a close today. Though the band’s new heftily anticipated, self-titled album won’t be officially released until August 18th via Polyvinyl Records, NPR has secured an early listen for you — you can stream the album in full here.

S/T is able to keep the raw intensity of Rainer Maria’s earlier works, while also carving out enough space for growth. As example, personal favorite track “Suicide and Lazy Eyes” is a fuzzed-out, non-stop live wire of sound and energy, with “Lower Worlds” slowing it down but remaining just as heavy with a buildup to cathartic, muffled shouts. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Hardwork Movement will headline Underground Arts on 9/15

Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz
Hardwork Movement | photo by Danny Gevirtz | courtesy of the artist | via instagram.com/dannygevirtz

Okay, seriously, can we talk for a minute about how great Hardwork Movement was at XPNFest yesterday? From the opening “City Bars” to a freestyle over an Anderson.Paak bassline, Chill Moody and Joie Kathos joining in to cover Future and the always incredible closer “Living Legend,” the Philly hip-hop crew brought a ridiculous amount of energy to the Marina Stage for only 12:30 in the afternoon. (Seriously — listen back here.)

The good news is it doesn’t end there. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Rainer Maria will perform at Underground Arts in September

Rainer Maria | via Polyvinyl Records

90’s indie emo-rock outfit Rainer Maria announced the end of their time together back in 2006 and stayed off the grid for nearly a decade, returning at the end of 2014 for one reunion show that turned into two reunion shows that turned into a reunion tour.

Fast forward to 2017 and Rainer Maria shows no signs of another break as they prepare to release their first album after reuniting as a band. Ahead of S/T, set for an August 18th release on Polyvinyl, Rainer Maria have released two singles, “Lower Worlds” and “Suicides and Lazy Eyes,” that show musical and lyrical growth but remain true to the trio’s original sound. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Diarrhea Planet at Underground Arts, Sistahs Attune at World Cafe Live

Diarrhea Planet | Photo by John Vettese

We’ve long moved past the band’s slightly concerning name and it’s time you do to – it is in no way indicative of the quality of their music. Diarrhea Planet have been around for a few years now, and every time the Nashville six-piece comes through Philadelphia it is a night of face-melting rock and roll. Diarrhea Planet will be at Underground Arts tonight along with Nashville tourmates Daddy Issues and Philly’s own Hound. Check the XPN Concert Calendar for more info on the 21+ show. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Barns Courtney at The Foundry, Harry Nilsson Tribute at Ardmore Music Hall

Barns Courtney
Barns Courtney | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

 

Bluesy grit rocker Barns Courtney is bringing his dark yet catchy, Western-type vibes to The Foundry tonight. With his upcoming festival circuit and general awesomeness, I have a feeling Courtney’s going to catching some major attention soon. Don’t miss out on seeing him perform in this intimate, smaller setting before the big wave arrives. Find more info on tickets here, and listen to “Hellfire” off of his latest EP The Dull Drums below. Continue reading →

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Go on a sonic journey in Grimace Federation’s new track, “Did I Ever Tell You?”

Grimace Federation | Photo courtesy of the artist
Grimace Federation | Photo by Mike Ryan | courtesy of the artist

You want to make your day infinitely better? Of course you do. In order to achieve this infinite better-ness, I suggest chucking on a pair of headphones and blasting Grimace Federation’s new track, “Did I Ever Tell You?” immediately. Or grab some friends (oh what the heck, strangers even) and make it a dance party. Whichever method you choose, just listen to this dang tune right away. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Jesus and Mary Chain at Union Transfer, Temples at Underground Arts

jesus and mary chain
The Jesus And Mary Chain | Photo by Steve Gullick

Scottish alt-rockers The Jesus and Mary Chain headline Union Transfer tonight in support of their new Damage and Joy LP. Released in March, the record marked the duo’s first new material since 1998 and despite the nearly 20-year break, the music is still just as hooky, just as 90s. Check out “Always Sad” below and pick up tickets for the all-ages show here.

Continue reading →