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Gear up for Halloween with this spooky mix by Mercury Girls

Mercury Girls
Mercury Girls | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

The members of the Philly indie-pop band Mercury Girls took some time out of their busy tour schedule to create a deliciously spooky 31 song mixtape called The Halloween Party. If you’re as sick as I am of hearing “Monster Mash” at Halloween parties, then this mixtape should be an enthusiastically welcomed alternative. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mick Jenkins at The Foundry, Moor Mother at The Pharmacy, Shovels and Rope at Union Transfer and more…

mick jenkins
Mick Jenkins | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | brightloud.com

Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins brings his debut album The Healing Component to The Foundry tonight for a Red Bull Sound Select show. We first caught wind of the up-and-comer after his The Water[s] mixtape, a showcase of Jenkins’ prog-hop take on production. Check out his collaboration with BADBADNOTGOOD below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Marian Hill at Union Transfer, Alexander Charles at Bourbon and Branch, Thin Lips at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Marian Hill
Marian Hill | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | brightloud.com

Philly-founded electropop duo Marian Hill returns home tonight for another headlining turn at Union Transfer. The band’s debut LP ACT ONE was released this summer, and it finds them expanding on the captivating combination of Samantha Gongol’s studied vocals, Jeremy Lloyd’s pop production and Steve Davit’s jazzed-up saxophone contributions. Watch them perform “Down” live below, and get tickets and more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Free Cake for Every Creature at World Cafe Live, Lake Street Dive at Union Transfer and La Santa Cecilia at World Cafe Live Upstairs

Free Cake for Every Creature
Free Cake for Every Creature | Photo by Alyssa Yohana | courtesy of the artist

Indie-pop quartet Free Cake for Every Creature plays tonight at World Cafe Live. The Philly-based group released their first full length album, Talking Quietly With You, last April. Joining them will be Philly favorite Hello Shark, who just released Delicate, and Florida-based indie duo Sales. Tickets and information for the all ages show can be found here. Watch the video for “All You Gotta Be When You’re 23 Is Yourself” below, released last spring on their latest LP. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Warpaint at Union Transfer, Jazz Cartier at TLA and Joan Baez at the Academy of Music

Warpaint | courtesy of the artist
Warpaint | courtesy of the artist

The Cali-based indie four-piece of Warpaint will be playing tonight at Union Transfer. Known for their ethereal psych-rock songs, the band is sure to put on a dreamy show that is not to be missed. The women of Warpaint just released their new album Heads Up in late September. Playing with them will be the fellow Los Angeles natives of the band Facial. For tickets and more information on this all ages event, click hereContinue reading →

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From Superhuman to Simply Human: Anthony Green brings his Pixie Queen to Union Transfer

Anthony Green | Photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN | wendymccardle.com
Anthony Green | Photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN | wendymccardle.com
There’s no sensation in the world quite like the first breath of fresh air taken once you step out from a sweaty concert hall after a great show.  Especially on crisp Autumn nights, it feels like awakening from a dream.  Last Saturday night was particularly surreal as I took that step out of Union Transfer with the refrain “This feels like a nightmare!” repeating in my head.  As fellow concert-goers weaved around me, they echoed the same melody.  “THIS FEELS LIKE A NIGHTMARE!” they would exclaim randomly, practically skipping to their cars or awaiting cabs.  Such is the strange frenzy that can only be stirred by Anthony Green.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Helms Alee at Union Transfer, Bel Heir at Ortlieb’s, Jenny Hval at PhilaMOCA

Helms Alee | photo by Ryan Russel
Helms Alee | photo by Ryan Russel

Pacific Northwest ragers Helms Alee have been making noise in the metal underground for the past decade or so. This fall, the power trio released its fourth LP, Stillicide, via Sargent House Records, and it’s full of riffs and beats and propulsive energy like the best of its Seattle peers (we’re talking The Melvins moreso than Pearl Jam). But this crew also displays fierce dynamism, knowing how to get loud and shred, but also how to lure listeners in with the ebb and flow of a rumbling sonic tide. Listen to the fierce “Tit to Toe” from Stillicide below, and get psyched to see Helms Alee’s return to Philly at Union Transfer tonight opening for Russian Circles. Tickets and more information on tonight’s show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Bird and The Bee at Underground Arts, Whaler at Boot & Saddle, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry at Union Transfer

the bird and the bee
The Bird and The Bee | photo courtesy of the artist

California indie pop outfit The Bird and The Bee headline Underground Arts tonight. The duo of Inara George and Greg Kurstin released their fourth studio LP Recreational Love last year, following a 2010 Hall & Oates tribute album (check out “I Can’t Go For That” here). This tour features Inara sans Greg, though she’ll still be joined by her stellar backing band. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here. Watch “Will You Dance?” below.

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Desire Lines: Brit rock icons Lush played a riveting reunion set at Union Transfer

Lush | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN
Lush | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

A line of fans of all ages trailed down Spring Garden Street last night, all the way around the corner at 11th and halfway down to Callowhill, waiting for Union Transfer’s doors to open for the return of British rock faves Lush.

Their anticipation was twenty years in the making for this reunion, another in a recent wave of local appearances from ‘90s dreampop bands. Just last month, in another 20th anniversary reunion tour, record label 4AD compatriots Belly played the same beloved Philly venue, which celebrates its 5th anniversary this week. And in December, Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips of Luna and Galaxie 500 will play a Velvets tribute show, headlined by Yo La Tengo.

Each of these events is a highlight in its own right, and Lush’s stood out as special for all of the adoration. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Julien Baker at Underground Arts, Bardo Pond at Johnny Brenda’s, Corinne Bailey Rae at Union Transfer

julien baker
Julien Baker | photo by Jake Cunningham | courtesy of the artist

Julien Baker makes a return visit to Philadelphia for a show at Underground Arts tonight. The Memphis native brought her acclaimed Sprained Ankle debut to town earlier this year, wowing the audience with her gut wrenching but graceful songs about personal challenges and growth. Stream “Something” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show with Grayling here.

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