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Fan the flames with the latest rocker from South Philly’s Sheer Mag

Sheer Mag, as pictured on the sleeve of their debut 7″
Sheer Mag, as pictured on the sleeve of their debut 7″

South Philly five-piece Sheer Mag has released a new 7″ (a followup to their debut released in Sept. 2014), and it’s full of rock/punk/pop anthems that are equally as heavy as they are catchy.

They’ve also accompanied the opening track, “Fan the Flames,” with a music video that confirms something we already found out at SXSW: this group can have a damn good time. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s (Non-#KeyFest) Concert Picks: Creepoid at Underground Arts, Cheerleader at Union Transfer, The Burgeoning at Bourbon and Branch

Creepoid | Photo by John Vettese

Okay, so Key Fest kicks off tonight, and that’s obviously the concert we’re most pumped about and think you should all go to. But we’ve been telling you about that all week – here are a few other live music options worth your attention, beginning with Creepoid‘s homecoming at Underground Arts. The band is moving back to Philly after spending the past year or so living in Savannah and writing their new record. Their new Cemetery Highrise Slum, is out on June 23rd via Collect Records, and the songs we’ve heard from it slay. Listen to “American Smile” below and get tickets and more info on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Rainer Maria at Union Transfer, Kiska at MilkBoy, Voss at Underground Arts and more…

Rainer Maria
Rainer Maria | photo via Facebook

Wisconsin-born trio Rainer Maria bring their reunion tour to Union Transfer tonight. When this show was announced, Key editor John Vettese took a look back at his five favorite Rainer Maria moments, from a spring night in 2003 when the emo / indie band opened for Mates of State and played “Ears Ring” off of their then-new record Long Knives Drawn, to their final Philly show in 2006 when they closed with “Tinfoil” from Past Worn Searching. Listen to “Ears Ring” below and pick up tickets for the concert here.

Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hippo Campus at Union Transfer, RX Bandits at The Troc, Cold Fronts at The Depot and more

Hippo Campus | Photo via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thehalocline?fref=nf
Hippo Campus | Photo via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thehalocline

Get to Union Transfer early tonight: twin cities rockers Hippo Campus will open the show for The Mowgli’s. Think of this young four-piece as the Vampire Weekend of the midwest; they incorporate lively Afro-beat melodies into fuzzy indie rock, nicely exemplified by “Suicide Saturday,” which you can download below. Continue reading →

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Watch the gut-punching video for Courtney Barnett’s “Kim’s Caravan”

 

Courtney Barnett | Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana
Courtney Barnett | Photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist

When Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett isn’t wowing us with her live performances or having her album debut at number 10 on the US Billboard album sales charts, she takes on other feats: releasing music videos that seamlessly complement her tracks. The visuals for “Kim’s Caravan” are no exception. Continue reading →

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Awesome Collab Alert: Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell come together for Sing Into My Mouth

Ben Bridwell, Iron & Wine | Photo via Facebook.com/ironandwine
Ben Bridwell, Iron & Wine | Photo via Facebook.com/ironandwine

Longtime friends Sam Beam (otherwise known as Iron & Wine) and Band of Horses‘ Ben Bridwell have come together for their first collaborative album.

Sing Into My Mouth, which is scheduled for release on July 17, will hold 12 tracks that have influenced both men as musicians, such as  ”No Way Out of Here,” originally recorded by Unicorn, and eventually released David Gilmour of Pink Floyd’s solo debut. The duo performed this track on last night’s Late Show with David Letterman. Continue reading →

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Danced Out and Super Satisfied: The Ting Tings at Union Transfer

The Ting Tings | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com
The Ting Tings | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com

Rocking a wild pony tail and a t-shirt that read “Good Vibes”, The Ting Tings‘ frontwoman Katie White really brought serious energy (and, as advertised, good vibes) to Union Transfer on Friday night. The British duo commanded the crowd with disco tinged tunes and electro-pop anthems, making sure to perform songs from all three of their albums in their short but sweet 65-minute set. Continue reading →

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All or Nothing: Listen to Hop Along’s explosive “Texas Funeral” from Painted Shut

Hop Along | Photo by Shervin Lainez
Hop Along | Photo by Shervin Lainez

The one thing that has drawn me to listen to Hop Along for hours, frequently on repeat, is Frances Quinlan’s open and honest lyricism. There’s nothing hidden under fluffy words; it’s just the raw, gritty vocals that channel the everyday internal battles.

Hop Along has been pouring out new tracks off their upcoming album Painted Shut these past few weeks – listen to “Powerful Man” here and “Waitress” here – and their latest, “Texas Funeral,” premiered today through Stereogum. The rhythm section throughout the song is complex, locked in and thrashing out, putting the band’s talent in combining words and sound in the forefront. Continue reading →

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Listen to Dreambook’s dark Burn the Light Out EP, see them open for Rainer Maria on Saturday

Dreambook | photo via dreambook.bandcamp.com
Dreambook | photo via dreambook.bandcamp.com

Local shoegaze four-piece Dreambook just released a new EP called Burn The Light Out, showcasing their captivating melodic rock sound. Twanging guitar riffs work off each other in the six-minute “Machine,” nodding to early 90s British favorites Slowdive with fuzzed-out bass and vocals, while “In My Time” delves into dark riffs and a haunting sound. Continue reading →

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Ivy Trippin’: Learning life lessons from Waxahatchee at Union Transfer

Girlpool | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
Girlpool | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

There’s something extremely powerful in surrender. Something about finding oneself in the losing of self. There’s a track on the new Waxahatchee record called “<” where Kate Crutchfield just repeats “you’re less than me. I am nothing.” Anger and rage and force have their moments and places, but in having the restraint to put that all aside there’s a strength that few find. Reductionism can destroys enemies without ever having to raise a hand. At the Ivy Tripp record release show at Union Transfer on Wednesday night, the crowd sat in silence at the feet of Master Crutchfield. Continue reading →