Tag Archives: Concert Previews

Tonight: Nikki Lane @ Johnny Brenda’s

Source: The Swollen Fox

Nikki LaneTonight, Johnny Brenda’s will host the incomparable Nikki Lane, who has carved her name into the timeworn trunk of country music using the switchblade that’s always tucked into her leather jacket (or so I like to imagine). Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who produced her acclaimed sophomore album All Or Nothin’, describes her songs as “old and new at the same time.” He’s spot on: she’s an old soul, kept young by her rebellious impulses that give her the mysterious air of an outlaw on the run.

Lane’s next LP will be out this coming winter and ...

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Brew Fair and RiverCity festivals this weekend in Philly

Source: The Swollen Fox

BloktoberfestFollowing last weekend’s Bloktoberfest and Midtown Village Fall Festival, two more outdoor festivals will keep the autumn party going this Saturday.

Right off the Delaware River at Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown will be the RiverCity Festival, which kicks off with a 5k fun-run and boasts an impressive local music lineup. Simultaneously, on the other side of the city, Brew Fair will offer beer, food and music at 27th and Girard.

Brew Fair debuted last year and is back for another round. They’ll have a dozen varieties of beer, including Crime & Punishment Brewing Co.’s full line and rare brews ...

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Preview: Bully @ Boot & Saddle

Source: The Swollen Fox

BullyAt the turn of the new year, I decided one of my resolutions in musical musings should be to avoid overly simplistic “sounds-like” comparisons. It’s not working out well—most of my favorite discoveries this year, from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to Leon Bridges, present a sound steeped in revivalism. Perhaps that’s what Bully had in mind when they decided to name their debut LP Feels Like, as it’s 2015 and somehow their music makes me excited about grunge again.

The brains behind Bully is its lead singer and guitarist, Alicia Bognanno. Hailing from Minnesota, Bognanno studied audio ...

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Preview: Pentagram @ Underground Arts

Source: The Swollen Fox

pentagramBobby Liebling should not be alive. Drug addictions, indecorous habits, and personal demons are just a few of the pitfalls that should have led the Pentagram frontman to his demise. Indeed, he came close several times, but is somehow still alive today. His antics are part of what kept Pentagram from reaching full-fledged rockstar glory, but their early work is revered as a pioneering force in doom metal.

Though the inverted crosses are gone and they’ve accepted the typical symptoms of age, the band is still cranking out new records. Curious Volume mixes fresh material with songs from the vault, ...

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Bloktoberfest returns to South Street West this Saturday

Source: The Swollen Fox

BloktoberfestBloktoberfest, one of Philadelphia’s finest street festivals, returns to its usual location on South Street West (Broad to 18th) this Saturday, October 3. The next installation of the festival that celebrates beer, food, music and Philly will once again raise funds for “initiatives that address education, green space, public safety and community development” for the South of South Neighborhood.

This year’s music lineup is topped by rising local stars Cold Fronts. Countdown to Ecstasy, Creem Circus, Kate Faust, Man About a Horse, New Pony and others will also perform.

Find more information and buy your beer tickets in advance ...

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Preview: Alabama Shakes @ The Mann Center

Source: The Swollen Fox

Alabama ShakesWe don’t hear as many Cinderella stories in rock ‘n roll anymore, at least none about bands as compelling and worthy of success as Alabama Shakes. It was only six years ago the Shakes were holding down day jobs as postal workers and house painters to finance the recording of their debut album, Boys & Girls, all the while honing their soulful roots rock sound by playing dive bars in their hometown and throughout the southeast U.S. Their track “You Ain’t Alone” made its way to the internet and, seemingly overnight, the band was signed to Dave Matthews’ ...

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Preview: Godflesh @ Underground Arts

Source: The Swollen Fox

GodfleshGodflesh was born in Birmingham in 1988 out of Justin Broadrick’s boredom. He was dissatisfied with his involvement in then-new grindcore group Napalm Death, and his next project Head Of David couldn’t hold his attention either. When he teamed with G.C. Green to form Godflesh, it seemed that Broadrick had finally found an outlet that served his urge to continuously experiment. The duo spent the next thirteen years crafting impossibly heavy sounds and would later be credited among the first to combine metal and industrial music.

Despite similarities to bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails, Godflesh never reached the ...

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Preview: The Adicts, Reverend Horton Heat @ Underground Arts

Source: The Swollen Fox

Reverend Horton HeatThe Reverend Horton Heat has aligned with The Adicts to deliver a colorful extravaganza at Underground Arts on Tuesday. It’s an interesting match-up, with the Rev showcasing rockabilly flair and The Adicts leaning more toward punk. What the co-headliners have in common, though, is their shared penchant for mischief and merrymaking. With tongue-in-cheek song titles like “Love Whip” and “My Baby Got Run Over by a Steamroller,” it’s clear that neither band takes life too seriously. They’re each known for their flamboyant styles, too: Monkey leads The Adicts in full joker makeup, while Jim Heath and his trio look sharp ...

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Made in America Artist Spotlight: Metric

Source: The Swollen Fox

MetricMade in America returns to the Ben Franklin Parkway for a 4th year this Labor Day Weekend. Each day this week we’ll be highlighting the best parts of the lineup. We continue today with Canadian indie-rock band Metric. For more festival information and tickets, head here.

How will Metric follow up 2012’s award-winning Synthetica? That answer will officially come in a few weeks when the band releases its fifth album, Pagans in Vegas. Synthetica is a tough act to follow after it took the Canadian indie-rock band to the next level, building off the success of 2009’s ...

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Made in America Artist Spotlight: De La Soul

Source: The Swollen Fox

De La SoulMade in America returns to the Ben Franklin Parkway for a 4th year this Labor Day Weekend. Each day this week we’ll be highlighting the best parts of the lineup. We continue today with influential hip-hop group De La Soul. For more festival information and tickets, head here.

There will be a lot of hip-hop to enjoy at Made in America this weekend, including some of the hottest names of the genre. J. Cole, Big Sean, Future, Earl Sweatshirt, Vic Mensa. But perhaps the best booking is that of the influential trio De La Soul. The group’s debut album, ...

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Made in America Artist Spotlight: Vic Mensa

Source: The Swollen Fox

Vic MensaMade in America returns to the Ben Franklin Parkway for a 4th year this Labor Day Weekend. Each day this week we’ll be highlighting the best parts of the lineup. We continue today with up-and-coming Chicago rapper Vic Mensa. For more festival information and tickets, head here.

“And I still get jealous Vic / And Vic’s still jealous of me / but if you touch my brother all that anti-violence shit goes out the window along with you,” Chance the Rapper sings on “Acid Rain”—on the back end of his Acid Rap mixtape that introduced the world to ...

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Made in America Artist Spotlight: Local representation

Source: The Swollen Fox

Strand of OaksMade in America returns to the Ben Franklin Parkway for a 4th year this Labor Day Weekend. Each day this week we’ll be highlighting the best parts of the lineup. We start today with the group of local bands that will be there. For more festival information and tickets, head here.

Now in its fourth year, Made in America is doing a better job with each edition lining up strong Philly bands. Last year’s local contingent leaned heavily on punk, with Pissed Jeans, Nothing and The Menzingers all performing on the Skate Park stage. CRUISR, Vacationer and Moosh ...

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Preview: Social Distortion celebrates self-titled LP @ Festival Pier

Source: The Swollen Fox

Social DistortionSocial Distortion began checking off its nine lives decades ago, with addiction, death, and plenty of lineup changes peppered into the group’s history. Despite their tumultuous past, Mike Ness and his band have persevered long enough to see the silver anniversary of their self-titled record, which they’re currently celebrating on tour. The 1990 release wasn’t their debut, but as their first on a major label, the album introduced the SoCal punks to a much larger audience, yielding the singles “Ball And Chain,” “Story Of My Life” and the Johnny Cash cover “Ring Of Fire.” Tales of drugs and heartache are ...

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Preview: Mutoid Man @ Underground Arts

Source: The Swollen Fox

Mutoid Man by Mitchell Wojcik

Credit: Mitchell Wojcik

Side projects and so-called “supergroups” are a dime a dozen these days, especially in the increasingly incestuous world of punk, metal and hardcore, but Mutoid Man is one such group that truly deserves to be called “super.” The twisted brainchild of Converge’s drummer Ben Koller, Cave In’s vocalist/guitarist Stephen Brodsky and bassist Nick Cageo (sound man at the legendary Brooklyn bar St. Vitus), the men of Mutoid Man blend the crunch of hardcore with the speed of punk and the catchiness of garage rock into an expectation-defying stew of genre-bending infectiousness. They’ll be taking over Underground Arts ...

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Preview: The Captain The Pilot The Driver @ Bourbon & Branch

Source: The Swollen Fox

postcard-4inx6in-h-frontIt’s not often name alone is enough to spark one’s interest in a band’s music, but shortly after the ball dropped on 2015, I heard of The Captain The Pilot The Driver and my immediate thought was, “I need to know more about this band”. As we approach autumn, I’m confident in declaring The Captain The Pilot The Driver my favorite discovery of the year.

You see, there’s a cosmic pull within the brainchild of singer-songwriter Paul Hocynec. On the surface, the project is about the search for the meaning of life. Hocynec explains he believes there are three main ...

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Preview: Brandon Flowers @ Electric Factory

Source: The Swollen Fox

Brandon FlowersBrandon Flowers is best known as the singer of The Killers, but he will be performing at the Electric Factory on Thursday, July 30 in support of his new solo album, The Desired Effect. Flowers’ solo work is a bit lighter, more upbeat and Springstein-esque, but still doesn’t completely jettison The Killers’ new-wave influence.

The Desired Effect is Flowers’ second solo effort after 2010’s Flamingo, which produced the radio hit “Crossfire.” In addition to material from that record and the new one, Flowers has been performing covers of artists as diverse as The White Stripes and Spoon, which ...

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XPoNential Artist Spotlights: St. Vincent and Grace Potter

Source: The Swollen Fox

St VincentWXPN’s annual XPoNential Music Festival returns to Camden, New Jersey this weekend, with more than 30 bands in tow set to perform across three stages. Each day this week, we’ll take a look at one artist you should pay special attention to. Today, we look at St. Vincent and Grace Potter. Find more information about the festival here.

Yesterday we finished highlighting XPoNential Festival’s diverse local offering. Let’s take a glance at the rest of this year’s esteemed lineup. In addition to the Philly representation, I’m looking forward to hearing the cinematic sounds of Calexico, witnessing some intense ...

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XPoNential Artist Spotlight: Cheerleader

Source: The Swollen Fox

CheerleaderWXPN’s annual XPoNential Music Festival returns to Camden, New Jersey this weekend, with more than 30 bands in tow set to perform across three stages. Each day this week, we’ll take a look at one artist you should pay special attention to. Today, we look at Cheerleader. Find more information about the festival here.

Since I spent the earlier part of this week pondering what it might take for Philly to become the next great music scene, it seems only fitting to round out my previews of XPoNential Festival’s local flavor with a closer look at Cheerleader, a ...

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XPoNential Artist Spotlight: Pine Barons

Source: The Swollen Fox

Pine Barons by Caitlin McCann

Credit: Caitlin McCann

WXPN’s annual XPoNential Music Festival returns to Camden, New Jersey this weekend, with more than 30 bands in tow set to perform across three stages. Each day this week, we’ll take a look at one artist you should pay special attention to. Today, we look at Pine Barons. Find more information about the festival here.

This Sunday, as we nurse hangovers from watching St. Vincent and My Morning Jacket wrap up night two of XPoNential Festival, day three will kick off at noon with the inebriated rock of Pine Barons.

The New Jersey-based quartet ...

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XPoNential Artist Spotlight: Hop Along

Source: The Swollen Fox

Hop AlongWXPN’s annual XPoNential Music Festival returns to Camden, New Jersey this weekend, with more than 30 bands in tow set to perform across three stages. Each day this week, we’ll take a look at one artist you should pay special attention to. Today, we look at Hop Along. Find more information about the festival here.

Whenever I interview a local band, I always ask, “What do you think it’s going to take to put Philly on the map as one of the great music scenes in America alongside Nashville, Austin and New York City?” The response is always ...

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XPoNential Artist Spotlight: Son Little

Source: The Swollen Fox

Son LittleWXPN’s annual XPoNential Music Festival returns to Camden, New Jersey this weekend, with more than 30 bands in tow set to perform across three stages. Each day this week, we’ll take a look at one artist you should pay special attention to. Today, we look at Son Little. Find more information about the festival here.

Lately I’ve found myself in a rut while seeking out soul and R&B. I realized the artists to whom I was paying the most attention, like Charles Bradley and Leon Bridges, were packaged in an almost too-slick retro vibe. I wondered, is there ...

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Preview: Sleepy Kitty @ Milkboy

Source: The Swollen Fox

Sleepy KittyWhat started as a side project for a pair of artists has evolved into a multimedia enterprise known as Sleepy Kitty. Shimmery pop is cut with grungy guitar and swirled with the glossy voice of Paige Brubeck. Evan Sult, who was previously heard in Harvey Danger, holds down the foundation on drums. Loops give the duo a full range of sound on stage, creating a ’60s-psych vibe. The two collaborate on visual art as well, designing album art, posters, and even choreographed laser displays at their home base in St. Louis.

Sleepy Kitty will bring this mass of artistry ...

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Preview: The Lawsuits headline our anniversary show @ Johnny Brenda’s

Source: The Swollen Fox

The LawsuitsThis Saturday night, we here at The Swollen Fox will be celebrating 5 years of music blogging. To help us do so, The Lawsuits, Commonwealth Choir and Lou have agreed to lead the party at Johnny Brenda’s. We’re thrilled to have all three bands on the bill—we’ve already discussed Commonwealth Choir and Lou. Today I’d like to tell you a little about the headliner, The Lawsuits. Read on below and get your tickets for Saturday’s show here.

For the past few years, The Lawsuits has been one of the hardest working bands in Philadelphia. Since 2012, the quintet ...

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Preview: Commonwealth Choir @ Johnny Brenda’s

Source: The Swollen Fox

Commonwealth Choir by Hope HelmuthThis Saturday night, we here at The Swollen Fox will be celebrating 5 years of music blogging. To help us do so, The Lawsuits, Commonwealth Choir and Lou have agreed to lead the party at Johnny Brenda’s. We’re thrilled to have all three bands on the bill, and today we wanted to tell you a little about Commonwealth Choir. Read on below and get your tickets for Saturday’s show here.

Allow me, for a moment, to reuse some material. Here’s what our Wendy McCardle wrote in a preview of a Commonwealth Choir show a couple of years ago:

Their ...

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Preview: Poisoning North America Tour @ Underground Arts

Source: The Swollen Fox

GoatwhoreThe Poisoning North America Tour arrives at Underground Arts tomorrow, led by the blackened thrash of Goatwhore. The show will mark exactly one year since the release of their sixth studio effort, Constricting Rage Of The Merciless. The album was tracked to two-inch tape, relying on optimum performance from the band. This do-or-die attitude drove them to deliver nothing less than cataclysmic wreckage and the result is organic and unyielding, showcasing the New Orleans natives in all of their heathenized glory.

Have your phones and GoPros at the ready: Goatwhore are asking for fan contributions to their upcoming video ...

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