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Warpaint played a blistering, mystifying set at Union Transfer

Warpaint | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Warpaint | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

I’ve long said that Warpaint’s 2014 self-titled LP was the kind of music Radiohead should be making. Then again, the very fact that the Los Angeles 4-piece is churning out records at (or really, above) the standard of the most influential band in music is saying something (and it’s not just because they too work with Nigel Godrich). And by no means is Warpaint just another Radiohead pastiche project; they’ve nestled themselves quite comfortably into their own corner of the music world. So while you might think it would be entirely unfair to compare what happened last night to a Radiohead show, the very fact that I can’t get Warpaint’s ethereal images and haunting sounds out of my head is testimony that really, you can. Continue reading →

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Lykke Li gave an enchanting and engaging performance at Union Transfer

Lykke Li | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Lykke Li | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Swedish indie pop singer-songwriter Lykke Li took the stage to a packed Union Transfer on Wednesday night. Touring in support of her third LP I Never Learn, which was released in May, Li performed a set of upbeat and evocative songs of heartbreak primarily off her latest album and her previous LP Wounded Rhymes. Midway through her set, she broke out two audience favorites from her debut album Youth Novels, “Dance, Dance, Dance” (during which she encourage the crowd to dance along) and “Little Bit.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lantern at Johnny Brenda’s, Imelda May at Union Transfer, and Christopher Willits at First Unitarian Church Side Chapel

Lantern | Photo by John Vettese
Lantern | Photo by John Vettese

Philly blues-punk outfit Lantern will headline Johnny Brenda’s this evening. The three piece rock outfit have proven that rock and roll is most definitely not dead in Philly. With a distortion-induced sound similar to that of Dan Aurbach, the group has an ability to come out with instant hits that will stick in your head. Their most recent album, Rock n’ Roll Rorschach, received much attention locallly and nationally; Tiny Mix Tapes called their sound “a blessing of garage noir”. Check out their music video for “King Of The Jungle” below and find tickets and more information on XPN’s Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Banks entrances a sold-out Union Transfer crowd

Banks | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Banks | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Up and coming alternative R&B artist BANKS returned to Philadelphia on Saturday night at Union Transfer as part of her Goddess Tour. Despite the fact that her debut album, Goddess, was only released earlier this month, BANKS already has an impressive following drawing a sold-out crowd for an emotional set of evocative, heartbroken songs. With a two-piece backing playing a mix of drums, keyboard, guitar, and electronic effects, her minimal yet soulful performance entranced the crowd throughout the night. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RJD2 / Sugar Tongue Slim at Underground Arts, Banks at Union Transfer, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle and (much) more

RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com
RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com

DJ and electronic dance artist RJD2 headlines the Jump Philly-curated Sound Select show tonight at Underground Arts with Sugar Tongue Slim and Marian Hill. After gaining popularity for his song “Ghostwriter” from 2002′s Deadringer, RJD2 has continued to catch people’s attention with his jazzy, throwback mixes. Many might know his song “A Beautiful Mine,” which was featured as the theme song for AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Infused with samples from big band music and jazz standards, his songs takes from the old and mixes it in a fresh, current style. The artist has most recently been working with rappers on his latest album, More Is than Isn’t, including Philly’s Sugar Tongue Slim, who will be sharing the stage tonight. STS has become one of the top hip hop artists in Philadelphia and continues to maintain his presence in the music scene here. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar and watch RJD2′s music video for “1976″ below. Continue reading →

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Shovels and Rope had a rousing hootenanny at Union Transfer

Shovels and Rope | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Shovels and Rope | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

The ability of two people to rock a venue like Union Transfer from the stage all the way to the back of the balcony is certainly rare. On Wednesday night Shovels & Rope showed they can do this from their first notes to the last in a rousing hootenanny before a packed house.

Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst are husband and wife and the duo of Shovels & Rope. Switching from drums to guitar and back throughout the night, they show great versatility. Their love for music and each other shines through as well. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Shovels and Rope at Union Transfer, Slow Magic at Boot and Saddle, and OhBree at The Fire

Photo by Leslie McKellar
Photo by Leslie McKellar

There’s only one place you should be at tonight, and it’s not at home. You should be at Union Transfer, enjoying sweet music from South Carolina’s Shovels and Rope. The Americana folk duo consist of the happily married Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, who do a great job illustrating the soul of the south with their music. With songs like “Birmingham” and “The Devil Is All Around” on their new album Swimmin’ Time, this duo gives their audience a peaceful feeling of wanting to experience the simple life. Check out their song “Birmingham” below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The ever-evolving Ground Up is making its way to the top

Ground Up | via facebook.com/skilloverswag
Ground Up | via facebook.com/skilloverswag

It’s always interesting to see how an artist grows throughout its career. It’s like following a great television series; every season, you’re watching to see what’s different, hoping your favorite program doesn’t fall off, or worse, get cancelled. Fans of Ground Up haven’t had to worry about that too much. The hip hop group from Philadelphia has done a great job in the past three years with keeping their fans engaged and also generating a buzz that catches new listeners. What’s interesting about MCs Azar and Malakai is their knack for adjusting their sound to fit the state of hip hop in its present form, yet at the same time remaining who they are. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: KRS-One at The Trocadero, Tweedy at Merriam Theater, and OutBeat Festival ft. David Coss Quartet at Union Transfer

KRS 1
Photo via The Trocadero

South Bronx hip-hop legend Lawrence “KRS-One” Krisna Parker heads to perform at the Trocadero tonight. Following the death of his DJ in the ’80′s group Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One began effectively developing his solo career and today has over 15 albums under his belt. His most recent album The BDP Revival was dedicated to Boogie Down Productions and included powerful tracks “The Solution,” and “Introducing.” For tickets and more information head over to the XPN Concert Calender. Below, check out the video for “Aztechnical.” Continue reading →