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Two to Tango: Mark Volman of The Turtles and Susan Cowsill of The Cowsills discuss the 10th Anniversary of the weird Happy Together tour

The Turtles (left) and The Cowsills | photo courtesy of the Happy Together tour

Despite each act’s sunshiny harmonies and quirkily humorous lyrical eclat, there’s definitely something wonderfully weird about The Turtles and The Cowsills, two of the groups on Flo & Eddie’s Happy Together tour of pop-psychedelic 60s acts, now celebrating its 10th anniversary at the Keswick on June 19.

While Flo & Eddie are renowned for time collaborating with Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention during that mad ensemble’s most conceptual period (e.g. the “Billy the Mountain” song cycle), The Cowsills were the initial inspiration for ABC Television’s The Partridge Family, but were too odd a lot, gangly and pimply to be Hollywood stars.

Though any conversation with Mark Volman and Susan Cowsill, alone, could go a million different ways and tackle a million unique subjects, this Two to Tango interview focused on the relationship between The Turtles and The Cowsills, past and present, and in connection to the gathering of minds that is the decade-long Happy Together. Continue reading →

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David Bazan documentary Strange Negotiations will be screened at Johnny Brenda’s

David Bazan | still from film

Strange Negotiations, a new documentary about the life of Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan, will make its East Coast premiere at Johnny Brenda’s on June 21. The Kickstarter-funded film premiered at SXSW this year, and now filmmaker Brandon Vedder is taking it on tour, with a series of screenings later this month. Bazan will join Vedder for a Q&A following the screening. Continue reading →

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Isolation feels familiar in Tate’s new single “Bad Hangover”

Tate | Photo by Sarah Rudderow | via facebook.com/tatethings

Everyone is familiar with occasional feeling of loneliness where you feel oddly detached from a person or a place you’re usually connected to. Maybe somebody screwed you over, or maybe you’re exhausting yourself by repeating your own mistakes. Either way, you’re unsettled. Philadelphia four-piece Tate conveys this aura in their latest indie-rock single “Bad Hangover.” We’ve all been there. Continue reading →

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Beano French, A.M. Mills, Octave Cat and more join the Waterfront Sessions July lineup

A.M. Mills | photo by Joshua Cicetti | courtesy of the artist // Octave Cat | photo by Ben Wong | courtesy of the artist // Beano French | photo courtesy of the artist

On a Thursday night in the summer, there’s no better place to be than Spruce Street Harbor Park. The park’s annual Waterfront Sessions encourage you to “tap your toes and groove to jams by some of Philly’s finest artists,” with a free concert each week throughout the season. The sessions kicked off last week, and the July lineup has just been announced, bringing us four more weeks of music to look forward to. Continue reading →

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Y La Bamba’s “Mujeres” music video is a call to protect and fight for all women

Y La Bamba | still from video

Y La Bamba ‘s new music video for “Mujeres,” the title track to its 2019 album, is exactly what the commanding, percussion-heavy song deserves. It features women of every demographic embracing and celebrating their femininity. The group’s lead singer and songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza said, “This song is a daily mantra to continue to protect and fight, for all women, for myself.” Continue reading →

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Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Jeff Buckley’s Grace with a Key-curated, all-Philly tribute gig

via World Cafe Live

Jeff Buckley fans will celebrate 25 years of the beautifully strange, heartbreaking and uplifting songs on his iconic album Grace this summer, and on the Philadelphia front, The Key is happy to join the festivities on the night of the album’s anniversary with a tribute concert at World Cafe Live starring some of our favorite local artists.

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Naeemah Maddox and folk rock band The End Of America will be joined by a host other special guests — including Curtis Cooper, Matt Duke, members of Hardwork Movement and Ruby The Hatchet, and more — on August 23 to celebrate the album that was released on that date in 1994. The musical performance will be preceded by a screening of a documentary on Buckley’s life and career. Continue reading →

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Olivia Neutron-John presents a weird summer playlist for late nights and long van rides

Olivia Neutron-John | photo by Jen Dessinger

West Philly-based musician Anna Nasty — AKA Olivia Neutron-John — has had a busy few months.

There was a tour to Texas and back in March for South by Southwest. A new album came out in May on Sister Polygon, their first recordings in five years. The record release show, a truly memorable night at PhilaMOCA with The Ire and Radiator Greys, was a couple weeks before they set off on their current tour with Memphis no-wavers NOTS that’s taking them from Cincinnati to Durham with a stop in Philadelphia tonight. There’s a West Coast jaunt starting later this month that includes a show in Tijuana and a bunch of dates with DC post-punk darlings Priests. Oh, and in September they’re opening up for a little band called Stereolab in Brooklyn, no big deal.

All that adds up to a lot of time spent in the van. For Anna Nasty, that means a lot of time digging deep into all manner of music. We asked for a recent playlist and the self-described “aggressive bedroom pop” performer, whose own songs occupy a space of sparse-but-purposeful electronic minimalism of keyboard, bass, and vocals, happily and excitedly obliged.

Olivia Neutron-John plays at Boot & Saddle tonight with NOTS and Deep Tissue; more information can be found here. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Selwyn Birchwood, Sun Ra Arkestra, Sinkane, Sweet Spirit and more

Sun Ra Arkestra | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s a big week for shows big and small — noisemakers NOTS taking to Boot & Saddle tonight, The National bringing their sweeping new record to The Mann on Tuesday, Sun Ra Arkestra leader Marshall Allen celebrating his 95th at Union Transfer on Thursday, Dave Matthews Band settling into the BB&T for a two-night stand this weekend. And that’s just for starters; here are 16 concerts to see in the next seven days, all around Philly. Continue reading →