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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 →

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The Districts are headlining Union Transfer on Valentine’s Day, Chameleon Club on 2/13

The Districts | Photo by Ryan Farber
The Districts | Photo by Ryan Farber

Philly rock faves The Districts just announced their winter tour in support of their their latest full-length, A Flourish And A Spoil, and it has them playing a headlining show at Union Transfer on February 14th. It’s something of an adopted hometown show for them; their O.G. hometown show takes place two days earlier, at Lancaster’s Chameleon Club on February 13th. Tickets for both shows go on sale this Friday, November 21st. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: DakhaBrakha at Arden Gild Hall, You Do You at Bourbon and Branch, Ground Up at Union Transfer and more

DakhaBrakha | Photo via facebook.com/DakhaBrakha
DakhaBrakha | Photo via facebook.com/DakhaBrakha

After a well-received showing at this summer’s Philadelphia Folk Festival, Ukrainian four-piece DakhaBrakha returns to the area tonight for a headlining gig at Arden Gild Hall. The band calls their sound “ethno-chaos,” but what that really means is they’re a melting pot that transcends easy descriptions. You’ll hear a little bit of Eastern European folk music with sounds from India, Africa, Russia, the Middle East and Australia in the mix tonight. To get an idea what that sounds like, check out their Take Away Show below and pick up tickets and more information here. Continue reading →

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Le Butcherettes and Antemasque bring thrills and high energy to Union Transfer

Le Butcherettes | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Le Butcherettes | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

The one-two music punch of Le Butcherettes and Antemasque transformed Union Transfer into an aural canvas of raw punk last Thursday. Behind the leadership of Teri Gender Bender, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the fervent crowd was treated to some of the most unique and stirring rock around. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Don Bikoff at Little Berlin, The Werks at Underground Arts, Jessy Lanza at Union Transfer and more

Don Bikoff | via greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com
Don Bikoff | via greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com

Psychedelic folk guitar instrumentalist Don Bikoff released his most recognized album, Celestial Explosion, back in 1968, but don’t think that that’s the end-all of his career. Bikoff re-emerged in recent years, self-releasing his album Hallowed Ground and playing a handful of live appearances around the country, including tonight at Little Berlin for the last Folkadelphia show of the 2014 season. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to (and download) Bikoff’s 2013 Folkadelphia session. Continue reading →

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The Wonder Years celebrate a decade of pop punk with three nights at Union Transfer

The Wonder Years playing the First Unitarian Church basement in 2013 | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com
The Wonder Years playing the First Unitarian Church basement in 2013 | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com
One of the most triumphant shows I caught this year was The Wonder Years‘ sold-out headlining gig at The Electric Factory. The Lansdale-bred heroes of the U.S. pop punk scene had the venue packed to the rafters as the second leg of their Greatest Generation tour rolled through town, making for the best kind of homecoming. Frontman Dan “Soupy” Campbell reminisced to the crowd about coming to the Factory growing up and being in the front row for Saves the Day, and the corresponding thrill of being able to perform on its stage. This speaks to the massive growth TWY have had over their own career, and today the band announced what’s sure to be another round of triumphant gigs: three nights in a row at Union Transfer to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Continue reading →

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Jenny Lewis brings rainbows and euphoria to Union Transfer

Jenny Lewis | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
Jenny Lewis | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

I like to think that, even if her job was being the polar opposite of a musician (earplug fitter, I suppose), Jenny Lewis would still find use for a rainbow pantsuit. Her Technicolor garb matches the widescreen sound she’s explored since the last days of Rilo Kiley, right up to this year’s stellar solo effort The Voyager. Lewis brought an abridged version of her lively stage show to our XPoNential Music Festival this past summer, which featured guest appearances by members of Dawes and The Voyager‘s producer, Ryan Adams. Back on her own (and aided by a real wrecking crew of a backing band), Lewis returned on an unseasonably balmy evening for a sold-out show at Union Transfer. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Alvvays at Boot and Saddle, Drums Like Machine Guns at Kung Fu Necktie, Johnny Marr at Union Transfer

Alvvays | photo via facebook.com/ALVVAYS
Alvvays | photo via facebook.com/ALVVAYS

Toronto dream-pop five-piece Alvvays (pronounced “always”) returns to Philadelphia tonight for a headlining show at Boot and Saddle. The band released its self-titled debut LP on Polyvinyl records earlier this year, and its a delightful set of indie-pop anthems reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub, Black Tambourine and My Bloody Valentine. Check out the uber-catchy “Marry Me, Archie” below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Saintseneca at Johnny Brenda’s, Deerhoof at Union Transfer, Robyn Hitchcock at World Cafe Live and more

Saintseneca | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Saintseneca | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Columbus, Ohio indie-folk collective Saintseneca has had a heavy year of touring since releasing its latest LP, Dark Arc, back in the spring. Tonight, the band makes its third visit to Johnny Brenda’s in the past year. Fronted by singer and songwriter Zac Little with a rotating cast of accompanying players, the band fuses traditional sounds with a contemporary outlook; download a live version of “Happy Alone” performed on NPR’s World Cafe below, and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →