• Lucy Dacus, Feeling at Home at Union Transfer

    It’s hard to imagine a sold-out Union Transfer ever feeling quite as cozy as it did for Lucy Dacus’ Home Video Tour, which made the cavernous Eraserhood venue its home Wednesday, October 20th and Thursday, October 21st.  Literal home videos shot by Dacus’ own dad played on a theatre-size...
  • Emily Wolfe: “I love to play live, and I love a rowdy audience.” (10/31 at KFN)

    For those still looking for plans for Halloween night, might I suggest Emily Wolfe at the perpetually-decorated-for-the-holiday Kung Fu Necktie?  “I love to play live, and I love a rowdy audience,” says the guitar virtuoso during a recent phone chat, before adding, “We may dress up, we’ll probably play...
  • Tiberius b on Getting the Last Seat in TOPS’ Van (10/29 at JB’s w/ TOPS)

    London-based Postmodern pop prodigy Tiberius b got the gig opening TOPS’ current US tour in kind of an interesting way: “Part of the reason I’m touring with TOPS is because they had one space left in their van, so they said if I can perform my stuff solo, I...
  • Madison Cunningham, Feeling Surreal (10/24 at JB’s)

    “As my first headlining tour, I set manageable expectations, but I’ve been utterly blown away,” says Madison Cunningham.  She’s chatting with me over the phone, en route to her next gig.  Although just on her first headlining tour, the folk-pop singer/songwriter already has a laundry list of achievements of...
  • Eilen Jewell on the Pandemic, Playing Live, and Gangster Rap… (10/19 at WCL)

    For the past decade and a half Eilen Jewell has been kicking out jams that she has come to describe as, “Hillbilly-Rock n’ Roll-Noir,” a blend of the origins of alt country, Rock N’ Roll, and garage, that pay homage to the kinds of music celebrated by the Mystery...
  • Laura Stevenson on “getting more mature and more confident” (10/22 at JB’s)

    While the pandemic has left many artists with latest releases that are several years old and upcoming releases that are still quite a way off, indie folk artist Laura Stevenson’s latest release seemed to drop at just the right time.  Her sixth and self-titled album was released August 6th...
  • Catching Up with Frankie Rose (10/16 at UT w/ Nothing)

    It’s been a while since we’ve heard from post-punk popper Frankie Rose (formerly of Vivian Girls, Beverly, Crystal Stilts, and Dum Dum Girls).  Her last studio album, Cage Tropical, inspired by ‘80s sci-fi films and the extraterrestrial, dropped in 2017.  However, during a recent chat, she tells me about...
  • Saleka: “This feels like our hometown venue.” (10/13 at WCL)

    Saleka is not exactly a household name just yet, but there’s a good chance that you’ve recently heard a song or two of hers.  This summer, the Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter released “Remain,” a song that she wrote and recorded for big screen thriller Old by M. Night Shyamalan (Saleka’s own...
  • JoJo Goes Underground… Literally…

    Although child star-turned pop icon JoJo normally enjoys the glam life, donning a full-length vinyl trench coat from the stage of the catacomb-like Underground Arts, she more closely resembled an anti-heroine straight out of the pages of a Marvel publication.  Last Tuesday, October 5th, the songstress brought her Trying...
  • Big Thief, Night Two at Union Transfer

    The last time I caught up with Brooklyn-based indie folk rockers Big Thief was in 2016, when they were opening for Nada Surf at World Café Live, so their headlining show last Saturday, October 2nd, the second of two sold out nights at the 1,300-capacity Union Transfer, was something...
  • The Prog Pop(?) of Magdalena Bay (10/14 at The Church w/ George Clanton)

    Last March, just before sold-out tours supporting Kero Kero Bonito and Yumi Zouma were cancelled due to the pandemic, Mica Tenenbaum of LA-based electro indie-pop duo Magdalena Bay told me, “We really love pop music and it’s obvious and we hope that that shows through.  I mean, we’re solidly...
  • Anika: “I’m a different artist and a different person.”

    This July Berlin-based musician Anika (Annika Henderson) released Change, her first album since her 2010 debut, Anika.  Although, despite this decade+ gap between LPs, the British ex-pat certainly never left the music world, taking up DJing, forming Exploded View, and collaborating with the likes of Shackleton, Dave Clarke, Tricky,...
  • Samia, Getting Used to Fandom (9/30 at Johnny Brenda’s)

    “It’s all totally autobiographical, down to transcripts of conversations,” says Samia about her music.  She goes on to add, “People hear my songs and ask me if those stories are real and I’m like, ‘Yeah!’”  This summer the 24-year-old singer/songwriter released Scout, a four-song EP (on Grand Jury) and...
  • The Natvral, Kip Berman Going Solo: “Songs of circumstance, you could call it.” (11/15 at UT w/ Luna)

    Although best known as vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for New York indie poppers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Kip Berman has spent recent years embracing a different sort of lifestyle… parenting, husbanding, but also making a slightly different kind of sound as The Natvral.  Earlier this year,...
  • Maggie Rose: “I have always wanted to play the one and only World Café” (9/29)

    This coming Wednesday, September 29th, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection will finally see the re-opening of our favorite listening room(s), World Café Live.  And while the official “Re-Opening Party” will be in The Lounge with SnackTime and Deborah Bond, I would argue that the best party...
  • Soccer Mommy Fills Union Transfer

    It’s well established that an indie act has officially “made it” when no one in attendance to one of their sold out shows seems to have ever attended a concert before…  This was certainly the case for Soccer Mommy’s September 18th stop at Union Transfer, which had what appeared...
  • Wild Rivers on the Beauty of Live Music (10/4 at The Foundry)

    “You put content of music out into the abyss and that doesn’t always feel like when you put music out to a person,” says Khalid Yassein, guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist, and songwriter of Canadian folk rock trio Wild Rivers.  The band spent the better part of the pandemic working on...
  • Sammy Rae & The Friends: “I didn’t want to be a solo artist…” (10/3 at World Café Live)

    “It’s rare to see such a large project, and it’s nice to see a lot of people all care about each other at the same time,” says Sammy Rae, frontwoman of Sammy Rae & The Friends, while describing her band.  She goes on to say, “I think it’s really...
  • Miss Madeline: “My music is so…extra…”

    Miss Madeline is every pop star you’ve ever wanted to be rolled into one.  She’s decadently raunchy, unapologetically nasty, ineffably gorgeous, and inexpressibly fabulous.  She’s what your parents pray you won’t become and what your boyfriend (or girlfriend) prays you will.  Her “megasuperstarprincess” style is a candy-coated, TRL-inspired take on...
  • Bria Talks Cuntry Covers

    Alt (in every sense of the world) country sensation Orville Peck may have just kicked off his Drive Me, Crazy Tour, but two of his bandmates have some additional news of their own.  Multi-instrumentalists Bria Salmena and Duncan Hay Jennings, of Peck’s backing band and Canadian indie rockers FRIGS,...
  • Beach Goons, Bringing the Surf, Bringing the Punk (9/26 at MilkBoy)

    It’s been a while since we’ve heard from San Diego surf punks Beach Goons…  But during a recent phone chat with Beach Goons mainman Pablo Cervantez, he tells me that he’s spent the pandemic working on what’s next for the band, and apparently there’s a lot: “I’ve just been...
  • Noga Erez on Her “happiest version.” (9/26 at Underground Arts)

    “The show is like extremely energetic, people are going crazy in the shows, so it’s kind of like going to a big, crazy, massive party,” says Noga Erez.  The Israeli electropop musician and producer is about to kick off her first-ever US tour this Friday (9/17) at Cat’s Cradle...
  • Faye Webster, 9/23 at The Foundry (“I have high expectations!”)

    Although Faye Webster’s September 23rd show at The Foundry has been sold out for quite some time now (There are still Verified Resale Tickets available.), when I talked to the singer/songwriter last month, she told me that she still had no idea what fans could expect of her current...
  • Breland Talks Cross Country (9/22 at MilkBoy)

    “I’m in service to the songs.  And what I mean when I say that is songs kind of have a life of their own.  There’s an energy when creating a song where I want the song to do what the song wants to do and not necessarily what I...
  • Bandits on the Run: “We try to cultivate a sense of community”

    “Recently we were playing a gig in New Jersey and the promoter said Now Is The Time made him feel inspirational, and that’s always our intention, so that was really cool,” says Regina Strayhorn, accordionist, melodica player, glockenspieler, and one-third of Bandits on the Run, a folksy, Brooklyn-based, indie...
  • Riddy Arman: “I’m happy I can travel for a living now.”

    *Update: Sadly, Colter Wall’s entire fall tour (including all of his dates with Riddy Arman) are postponed until next year. “I started writing music as a form of meditation and therapy, without realizing it at the time.  That’s what I was using music and songwriting for.  So, my music...
  • Alright Junior and pandemic music: “Our stuff can be a little darker anyway” (9/9 at MilkBoy w/ The Dollyrots)

    Philly’s favorite local alt rockers, Alright Junior, released their latest EP, Battle Scars, last July, in the middle of the worst part of the pandemic.  But during a recent phone chat vocalist/guitarist Jace Miller tells me he thinks that the sound of the EP, and maybe the band in...
  • The Return of Heartless Bastards (10/1 at World Café Live)

    2021 sees the return of bluesy, folksy, garagey Americana rockers Heartless Bastards.  A Beautiful Life, their first album since 2015’s Restless Ones, drops September 10th courtesy of Sweet Unknown Records/Thirty Tigers.  This current iteration of Heartless Bastards has singer/songwriter/mainperson Erika Wennerstrom (who released her first solo record, Sweet Unknown,...
  • Durand Jones & The Indications, Looking to Make People Dance (9/8 at Union Transfer)

    This weekend, our favorite contemporary purveyors of soul, Durand Jones & The Indications, kicked off their latest headlining tour in Harrisburg.  And this Wednesday, September 8th, they will find themselves headlining our very own Union Transfer.  After those dates wrap with two nights at the Hollywood Palladium on the...
  • Paper Jackets: “I think we’re mature alternative”

    “Maybe it’s because of my age, but I don’t really understand music these days… I think we’re mature alternative, but alternative has grown kind of outside of what I recognize the genre to be,” says James Mason, vocalist for LA outfit Paper Jackets.  Since last October the band has...
  • Half Gringa on Family, Separation, and The End of the World (9/28 at Johnny Brenda’s)

    “A lot of bands that are in our bracket have a checklist, like what venues they have to play or whatever but, for me, just being able to put out a second record was a big highlight for me,” says Isabel Olive, perhaps better known as Latinx indie folk...
  • AZRA Talks “Substance Pop” (Headlining Koreatown 3.0 documentary tonight in LA)

    “I actually created the word.  I created my own genre,” says AZRA, founder and ambassador of “substance pop.”  Last month I got a chance to chat with the LA-based Korean-American artist (who actually lived in Queen Village in 2016 and 2017), who tells me, “I always have to have...
  • Julien Baker, LPs and EPs Ranked (9/15 at Franklin Music Hall)

    All three of our beloved boygenius girls are gearing up to play their biggest Philadelphia shows yet… Up first is Julien Baker, the youngest and emo-ist of the trio, who will be headlining Franklin Music Hall on September 15th (Phoebe Bridgers will be at the Skyline Stage at the...
  • Andrea von Kampen: “Expect a lot of hilarious stories and some new songs as well.” (Tonight at City Winery)

    Andrea von Kampen should be your next folk obsession!  (Our friends The Ballroom Thieves and WXPN’s Bruce Warren are already fans!)  Earlier this month, the Nebraska-based singer/songwriter released the whimsically woodsy That Spell (courtesy of Fantasy Records), the follow-up to her debut LP, 2019’s Old Country.  The songs found...
  • Sleater-Kinney Take on Sheds (Live @ The Mann Center, 8/22)

    Sometimes it just takes a pandemic…  For me, it took a pandemic to give a fair shake to what I’ve been calling Sleater-Kinney 2.0.  Sure, Dig Me Out and One Beat soundtracked much of my coolest years, and I’d seen the riot grrrl, power trio numerous times at the...
  • Madi Diaz: “Came back to Nashville, got a fuckin’ bar job, and wrote a record…”

    “I think I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot.  I’ve never gotten so personal, and maybe blunt.  I’ve never allowed things to feel this raw and vulnerable,” says Nashville-based singer/songwriter Madi Diaz of her forthcoming album, History of a Feeling, out August 27th on ANTI-.  The LP, which...
  • Waltzer Goes Vintage

    “I’m bringing this vintage TV onto the stage.  At Lolla we played a Simpsons episode.  We’re incorporating this Adult Swim vibe into our show, while we play these sad, heavy songs,” says Sophie Sputnik, better known as Waltzer.  Waltzer is garage rock from a former musical theatre kid and...
  • Bella White Talks Teendom, Touring, and Joni Mitchell (MilkBoy SHOW CANCELLED)

    *Update: Sadly, and very much at the last minute, Bella White’s show 8/26 at MilkBoy has been cancelled due to health concerns at the venue. “All of Joni Mitchell’s earliest albums are my favorite of her stuff.  She got more honest as she progressed, but a lot of emotional...
  • Lindsey Stirling Talks Performance, Gratitude, and Comic Books

    “One of my favorite things about my fans is how eclectic and diverse they are.  I’ll have ravers in the back that are spinning lights, little girls in tutus, and older couples that just love violin.  Sometimes I’ll see the line for the meet-and-greet and be like, ‘Who are...
  • The Return of UT, with Japanese Breakfast and PVRIS

    The 215’s official/unofficial return to live music was marked with the reopening of Union Transfer, our favorite Eraserhood haunt, mega-venue, and former family restaurant…  The grand reopening kicked off with a record five sold out nights of hometown indie pop icons, Japanese Breakfast, who drew a pandemic-capacity crowd...
  • Employed To Serve go “straight up metal”

    Last week British metal outfit Employed To Serve released “Mark Of The Grave,” which frontwoman Justine Jones has called, “A positive metal anthem for people to blast when they’re having a shitty day.”  The song is the second single off of Conquering, the band’s forthcoming album, set to drop...
  • Lana Love: “We need more love.”

    “I hope to spend the remainder of my life just making more stuff,” says singer/songwriter/actor/dancer/entrepreneur Lana Love during a recent phone chat.  Lana already has quite a resume under her belt.  In her teens she appeared in international musical productions for Disney and Nickelodeon; she’s found herself on US...
  • Dying Wish: “We live in a difficult time. It’s easy to be angry about things and be sad about things.”

    “We talk a lot about diverse topics, and people have been asking us if there’s more clean singing, because our lead single has some clean singing.  There are a few songs with clean singing.  We have some songs that sound like ballads, and songs that are mosh parts,” says...
  • The Booklights Revisited… Literally!!!

    Today New York-based Americana outfit, The Booklights, release their debut EP, Into a Ball, a release that likely wouldn’t have happened, if it wasn’t for the pandemic.  “It’s so wild to be releasing an EP right now.  We recorded almost everything last summer and, for the most part, it...
  • Welcome Back Live Music w/ Japanese Breakfast and UT

    Although there have been a small handful of live concerts throughout Philadelphia over the course of the summer, The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection will have its unofficial welcome back to live music with Japanese Breakfast, who will be headlining a record five sold out nights at...
  • Lex Leosis: “This is a fully-healed version of myself.”

    “I was a tomboy growing up, and that’s starting to become cool again, but when I was growing up, it wasn’t,” says queer alt-hip hop artist Lex Leosis, laughing.  “I mean, I’m 6’2’’, so it was always hard to find clothes that fit anyway, but I’ve started focusing on...
  • Within Temptation Talk Performance

    Always at the cutting edge of progressive performance spectacles, Dutch symphonic metal juggernaut Within Temptation recently put on what could possibly be the most epic live show we see in 2021… On July 15th and July 16th, the band performed The Aftermath – A Show In A Virtual Reality,...
  • FEELS Get a Little Dystopian

    “I think coming from the last year and a half of this crazy stuff, spending time rehearsing and writing, we definitely have magical moments together where you really feel like, ‘This is why we started doing this in the first place’,” says Michael Rudes, drummer of LA alternative rockers...
  • May Rio on “Stay[ing] open, and a little bit confused.”

    Earlier this week May Rio (of Poppies) released a music video for “Reservations,” a morosely quirky ballad about being smitten with a recovering junkie.  The video, directed by Michael Jenson, was rendered on Mario Paint and edited on VCRs.  The audiovisual combo is a poignant reminder of the early-mid...
  • Frances Lion Talks Linda Perry, Home, and T-Shirts and Fishnets

    Last month a new partnership between legendary songwriter and producer Linda Perry and Repost released its first single, “Home,” by British singer/songwriter Frances Lion.  The song is a bold folk anthem recorded during lockdown and inspired by Lion’s hometown of Hampshire, England.  It was produced by her own brother...