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Cub Sport beam with self acceptance at The Foundry

Cub Sport | photo by Maureen Walsh for WXPN

When I spoke to Tim Nelson of the Brisbane band Cub Sport last week, he remarked his confidence has just been building and building. Tuesday night at The Foundry he demonstrated just how confident he has become. Despite performing in little more than leather pants and a web of leather straps and metal chains, Nelson never once winced or shivered. He swayed boldly as he sang about personal struggles, coming to terms with his sexuality, and accepting love. Every movement felt purposeful, either because they were, or because Nelson has moved beyond doubting himself.

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Building Confidence: Cub Sport on where they are and where they’re going

Cub Sport | photo by Joe Agius | courtesy of the artist

“Unwinding Myself”, the opening track of Cub Sport‘s eponymous third album, signals that the record that follows is a different beast from its predecessors. Where This Is Our Vice focused on depression and BATS chronicled Tim Nelson’s experience with coming out, Cub Sport is marked by self love and acceptance. The album, released in January, comes after Australia finally legalized same-sex marriage, allowing Nelson and bandmate Sam Netterfield to wed last August. Bursting with catchy hooks, addicting synths, and beautiful lyrics, the album is both a personal and musical triumph.

The Brisbane band is currently on a North American tour in support of the album. They will play The Foundry on on Tuesday. Before their show in Montreal this past Friday I got the chance to catch up with Nelson over the phone. Conversation ranged from fans’ responses to the album, where he sees the band going next, and being serenaded by Solange.  Continue reading →

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Cub Sport’s new “Limousine” video celebrates self-acceptance, personal growth, and vampires

Cub Sport | photo by Natalie Jurrjens | via facebook.com/CubSport

Brisbane, Australia pop four-piece Cub Sport has been throwing all of their personal selves into their music for the past several years. On their 2016 debut, lead singer Tim Nelson sang intensely about depression and repression, about personal lows; the band’s 2017 album Bats was a brilliant and candid chronicle of Nelson coming out as a gay man, a journey he made with his bandmate and now-husband Sam Netterfield.

This January, Cub Sport released their self-titled third record, and it follows Nelson more deeply along that personal journey — not only self-acceptance but self-comfort and self-love, the process of fully embracing who you are. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Maggie Rogers at the Fillmore

Maggie Rogers | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

Maggie Rogers has been an unstoppable force over the last few years, rising from relative obscurity to the upper ranks of pop stars. Her second album, Heard It in a Past Life, drops in January 2019, and so far we’ve heard three fantastical singles from the new LP. Next month the singer-songwriter tours with Mumford & Sons, and has just announced her own 2019 tour with Mallrat and Melanie Faye Continue reading →

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31 Concerts in 31 Days: Here’s your Philly live music agenda for December

Rhett MIller | still from video // Norah Jones | via Blue Note Records // Kurt Vile | via Matador Records
Rhett MIller | still from video // Norah Jones | via Blue Note Records // Kurt Vile | via Matador Records

I don’t want to hear about it. I know it’s a busy time of the year, what with the holidays and all. I know things in the world have been all out of wack lately. I totally feel that, believe me — I didn’t go to shows for like three weeks last month which, given my job, is sort of an abomination. But then I stepped into Johnny Brenda’s last Saturday, and from the second The Dove and the Wolf started playing, I knew what I had been missing. Music heals, music sets you free, and we all need to make time for music in our lives this month.

There are a lot of great prospective gigs on the December calendar — from perennial favorite Norah Jones to New Year’s Eve with Philly’s Kurt Vile, a hip-hop dance party with Mac Miller to a holiday spectacular with Work Drugs, a soaring all-ages set by Vita and the Woolf to a contemplative Tin Angel show starring Kristin Hersh – so once again, we’ll present you with a concert to see almost every day in December.  Continue reading →

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Slaughter Beach, Dog leads a stacked Philly bill at Everybody Hits

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Joseph Bloss for WXPN
Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Joseph Bloss for WXPN

Jake Ewald said Tuesday night was his first concert. Before the show, he pleaded with Brendan Lukens to buy his record. Ewald was kidding, of course — he and Lukens have put on many shows themselves as two-fourths of Modern Baseball, so it’s hard to imagine he had to sell anything to his friend.

This kind of playfulness is commonplace with any show involving some of the MoBo guys. It bleeds into the crowd, too. Everyone seems to be friends. Tuesday night was no exception, as Ewald’s project Slaughter Beach, Dog kicked of a tiny six-date tour at Everybody Hits. Abi Reimold and Harmony Woods rounded out the all-Philly bill. Continue reading →

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They Came. They Saw. They Conquered: The Orwells at Underground Arts

The Orwells | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN
The Orwells | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

BuzzFeed can suck it. Punk rock is alive and well in the Millenial generation, and if you need proof look no further than The Orwells. The group of early-twenty-somethings who hail from the rural outskirts of Chicago grew up with a punk rock education that’s become increasingly prevalent among today’s college-aged kids. The group’s new album set to come out this February, Terrible Human Beings, will likely be the latest addition to a flurry of great garage-punk albums to come out in recent years.

It’s a list of bands that’s becoming ever more impressive, featuring acts like FIDLAR, Twin Peaks, Speedy Ortiz, Bully, Tacocat, Downtown Boys, The Summer Cannibals, and Philly’s own Sheer Mag. But without a doubt, chief among them is The Orwells. The Orwells have a more melodic take on punk than most other punk bands; it’s a sound not unlike that of The Replacements or The Clash. The band’s two albums to date are brilliant, but the band’s live show is what makes them stand out.

That show was on full display Friday night at Underground Arts. The Orwells kicked things off with the latest single from the new album called “They Put a Body in the Bayou,” sending the overwhelmingly under-25 crowd into a moshing frenzy. Continue reading →

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Jake Ewald grows up on Slaughter Beach, Dog’s eclectic debut

Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Jess Flynn | courtesy of the artist
Slaughter Beach, Dog | photo by Jess Flynn | courtesy of the artist

When an established musician starts a new band, it’s hard to avoid drawing comparisons. There’s almost bound to be some overlap, especially when that musician is a primary songwriter for both projects. While this is definitely the case on Welcome, the debut record from Jake Ewald’s Slaughter Beach, Dog, the Modern Baseball guitarist manages to take his songwriting in a new direction. In fact, he takes it in several, and it’s those deviations that make the album so successful. Continue reading →

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Local punks Cousin Brian return with “Green”

Cousin Brian | via facebook.com/cousinbrianphilly
Cousin Brian | via facebook.com/cousinbrianphilly

We met Philly four-piece Cousin Brian back in August 2012, with a studio session at The Key that proved their college-punk sound was directly infused with their IDGAF-attitude. Their debut (aptly titled) album, First, released on vinyl via Mallrat Records, was the last official release we’ve seen from them in a while.

But their fearless, headbanging sound stands its ground in their latest release, a track off of their upcoming Closer to Dog titled “Green.” Continue reading →