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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cheerleader at Johnny Brenda’s, Kalob Griffin Band at Union Transfer, York Street Hustle at World Cafe Live and more…

Photo via https://www.facebook.com/cheerleadersounds
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/cheerleadersounds

Cheerleader headline a night of local music at Johnny Brenda’s. The band just announced that they will be making the journey down to SXSW next March to showcase their new EP On Your Side. Cheerleader has been tightening their hazy dream-pop sound for a couple of years now after founding members and Connecticut natives Joe Haller and Chris Duran pulled together a full band here in Philadelphia.  Listen to their recent single “Tomorrow Always Knows” below and pick up tickets to the 21+ show with Dream Safari and Louds here.

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Hometown Heroes: Strand of Oaks hug it out, HEAL it up at Union Transfer

photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

“You know, I’ve been doing this for a long, long time,” frontman-of-Oaks Tim Showalter said, “and for a while I was playing to like three people at shows—like you three… But now? All you people, in this place… incredible.” Showalter was clearly moved to see the massive turnout for their largest hometown set and largest headlining set to date.

After releasing one of 2014’s most quietly celebrated albums, Philly’s loneristic folk-rockers Strand of Oaks arrived back at home on Wednesday night after six solid months of touring. But that was all “just practice” for the main event. Hitting the stage to the sound of the Boss’ “Born in the USA,” it’s impossible to miss how important having a strong community presence is to them. Showalter’s unbridled giddiness to be playing the show belied the sheer unchecked slay of the evening—Oaks doesn’t fuck around when it comes to their music. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Communion Night with Fly Golden Eagle at Milkboy, Strand of Oaks at Union Transfer, Generationals at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

fly golden eagle
Fly Golden Eagle | Photo courtesy of the band.
Nashville’s Fly Golden Eagle return for Communion club night at Milkboy. The October XPN Artist to Watch released an epic 26-track sophomore effort called Quartz in the fall, drawing inspiration from the 1973 Mexican / American film The Holy Mountain.  Download “Medicine Hat” from the record below and get tickets for the show with DRGN King and Big Terrible here.
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Pop’s Not Dead: Bleachers blow up Union Transfer on Thanksgiving Eve

photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

“POP’S NOT DEAD.” You’ve probably seen spray paint stencils boldly proclaiming this sentiment around our city, recently. Some days I kinda wish it were dead, though. If you know me, or have read my articles, you probably know that I’m not too excited about the Top 40 / pop music scene. But after a few recent experiences, I’m starting to come around. Experiencing Bleachers blow up Union Transfer on Thanksgiving Eve was one of those events which give me hope for pop. Continue reading →

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Cosmic Folk: Listen back to Strand of Oaks’ Guest DJ set on WXPN

Tim Showalter of Strand of Oaks, as seen in the "Goshen 97" video
Tim Showalter of Strand of Oaks, as seen in the “Goshen 97″ video

On the eve of his biggest headlining show to date, Strand of Oaks frontman Tim Showalter took to the WXPN airwaves for an hour-long guest DJ set themed loosely around what he described as “cosmic folk.” In the mix we heard Big Star’s Chris Bell, Sam Amidon covering R. Kelly, a newer track from Hiss Golden Messenger’s Lateness of Dancers, an older track from Sharon Van Etten’s Tramp, and the most beautiful unreleased Jeff Buckley song I’ve ever heard (recorded with Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins). Continue reading →

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The Electronic New Year: 4 EDM shows to get excited about in 2015

Giraffage | Photo by John Vettese
Giraffage opening for Porter Robinson at the Tower Theater | Photo by John Vettese

Electronic Music has come a long way in the last few decades, changing and creating new subgenres constantly, to the extent that artists and fans alike have adopted a “what’s next?” attitude to the genre. While no one knows for sure what style will sweep the EDM world next, here are a few shows coming to Philadelphia in early 2015 to get your year rolling. Continue reading →

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Interpol barrels through snowpocalypse to play career-spanning show at Union Transfer

interpol
Interpol | photo by Matthew Shaver | matthewshaverphoto.com

I once spent 23 hours on a flight over to Asia.  About 10 hours in to it, the very real thought popped in to my head that I may lose my mind and just go nuts.  That was on a vacation.  Can’t imagine being stuck in a bus for 50 hours on my way to work.  Interpol made it though, 3 cancelled shows later, Philly was their first stop post-snowpocalypse, and they were anxious to play to a sold-out Union Transfer crowd.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: St Lucia at The TLA, Blonde Redhead at Union Transfer

St Lucia
St Lucia | photo courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn’s St Lucia hits The TLA tonight in support of their 2013 debut When the Night.  The band’s sound is heavy on the sparkle and shimmer, creating a fully-enveloping sonic environment that translates exceptionally well from headphones to a live show.  The Key’s Skye Leppo spoke with frontman Jean-Philip Grobler last week about the record and touring; check it out here and pick up tickets for the all ages show here. Continue reading →

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The New Pornographers charm Union Transfer with a mix of old and new

The New Pornographers | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
The New Pornographers | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

You know it’s going to be a wild night at Union Transfer when the crowd is filled with dads. Really, though, an assembly of middle-aged men whistled and cheered before The New Pornographers took stage, presumably in anticipation of seeing Neko Case’s hair in real life. The crowd was mild, at best, during The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, despite some members’ Philadelphia-area roots. But an immediate rush to the stage took place as the opener left, and as the crowd finished their last beer at the bar. Continue reading →

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Sowing Seeds with the charismatic TV On the Radio at Union Transfer

TV On the Radio | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | htmichellemontgomeryphotography.com
TV On the Radio | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | htmichellemontgomeryphotography.com

Brooklyn-based indie icons TV On The Radio played their first Philly show since 2011 in front of a sold-out Union Transfer on Monday night. The band was touring in support of its fifth studio album, Seeds, which was just released on Monday, and most of the audience couldn’t contain their excitement as they heard some of the new songs for the first time ever during the live set, including recent singles “Happy Idiot” and “Careful You.” Throughout the show, they also played a mix of songs off their previous LPs and their debut EP. Continue reading →