Concert Preview: Ars Nova Workshop, January 2016


As WKDU’s resident jazz weirdo (at least until Marcel—er, the Night Fly, returns from his Southern Californian sabbatical), I feel some responsibility to keep the fine followers of WKDU abreast of Philadelphia’s jazz goings on. Fortunately, Ars Nova Workshop, longtime supporters of some of the best jazz and improvised music Philadelphia has to offer, recently announced a couple of killer shows for the month of January: the Tomeka Reid Quartet this Thursday, January 7 at the Art Alliance, and Nels Cline/Larry Ochs/Gerald Cleaver Trio at Boot & Saddle on January 15.

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Show Preview: Wild Child @ Union Transfer 11/14



by Maren Larsen

Wild Child, an indie pop six-piece with folky origins from the coolest city in Texas, is coming to Philly’s Union Transfer this Saturday.

When they first entered the music scene in Austin in 2010, Wild Child was all sugar and no spice. The band’s self-released first album, Pillow Talk, was bouncy and sweet—pleasant in the way that coffee with too much sugar is nice until about halfway through. The album blurred together into a stream of harmonized melancholy lyrics and toe-tapping guitar riffs.

But with their Kickstarter-funded second album, The Runaround, the band started to take on more wit and grit. My intro to the band came here, with “Crazy Bird,” the song they took to the stage of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. The Runaround experimented with more melodic diversity and some slightly edgier lyrics, propelling the band beyond the Austin scene.

Wild Child is currently on tour for their latest (and best) album, Fools, which hit the Internet October 2. Read the description for their newfound label, Duotone Records, and you’ll find it’s a match made in Americana-folk-indie-pop heaven. The title track gets the album off the ground with a more rock-influenced vibe than the band’s previous work—a welcome addition. The album then follows a long and enjoyable slide back to a soulful vibe that takes full advantage of lead singer Kelsey Wilson’s nostalgia-inducing pipes, though it often sidelines co-lead singer and baritone ukulele player Alexander Beggins to background vocals. But she shines, and she brings it home, backed up by some badass baritone ‘lele.

So tap your toes. Go to the show. I’ll see you there.

Show Preview: Sinkane @ Johnny Brenda’s 11/10


By: Nick Stropko

I see it as a positive sign when a label I like signs a band outside their wheelhouse. Deerhunter on Kranky. Nick Cave and Liars on Mute. When a label with a well-established niche gives a group that significant of a vote of confidence, the results are often excellent.

This was part of what initially drew me to Sinkane, whose first album with the label, Mars, is a relative outlier in DFA’s relatively consistent dance sound (sure, they signed Black Dice, but many of the label’s acts are instantly identifiable). Mars runs the gamut from jazz, to krautrock, to funk in a strikingly elegant way–much like label mastermind James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem, Sinkane synthesizes his influences in a way that feels less derivative, and more like original expression thorugh existing sonic templates.

His more recent effort, Mean Love, dials back the eclecticism a bit. While I prefer the more free-wheeling Mars, Sinkane’s restraint is not without its merits. The record is packed with slinky, funky jams, packed with the attention to detail one might expect from a studio rat multi-instrumentalist (he has previously worked with Yeasayer, Caribou, and of Montreal, among others).

Sinkane will be playing at Johnny Brenda’s on Tuesday, and I’d highly advise checking it out. The dude can play, and I’m sure his band will have chops to spare as well. Get more info and tickets here.


Funkin’ It Up For A Good Cause

by Wil Schade // @wilschade


World Café Live will be the place to be tomorrow night when some of the east coast’s funkiest acts come together to put on a Thanksgiving Eve performance for charity. The show will be in support of Will Funk For Food, an organization that works in conjunction with Philabundance to benefit those less fortunate facing hunger especially during this holiday season. Food donations will be accepted at the show, so bring a canned item! The lineup features some great music so here’s some info on the incredible talent that will be present:

Brother Joscephus and The Love Revolution

Based in New York City, Brother Joscephus was formed in 2007 on a cruise ship by David Mendelsohn (aka Brother Joscephus) along with keyboardist and music director, the Right Reverend Dean Dawg.   The band started out playing in NYC and eventually bought a van and made the pilgrimage to New Orleans, where they get much of their influence. They describe themselves as a combination of funk, jazz, and secular gospel.

“Brother Joscephus is a little bit of a music collective,” says Brother Joscephus, “We perform with a lot of different vocal artists from all over the country whenever we travel. We are a ten-piece band, almost like an orchestra. We like to get very over the top with our arrangements.” When asked about their creative process, he replied, “The music is very intricate and highly arranged. It becomes quite a process, but I think the end result is worth it.”

Over the years, their music has evolved to include more epic, nuanced, and grand-scale compositions.   They released their third album “Revolution of Love” last year which highlighted their secular gospel side, which contains messages of acceptance and a broader, more inclusive message of gospel music.

“It’s going to be a really special night of music, all three bands are going to work great together, and it’s for a great cause.”

Swift Technique

Swift Technique is a group of Philly funksters that we’ve recently had here in the WKDU studios for a live session which can be heard here. Formed in 2007, they started out as a live hip-hop group. As they progressed (and the emcee left the band), they began to evolve into a funk powerhouse in the tradition of James Brown. Bassist, Jake Leschinsky, plays in Swift Technique and Brother Joscephus.

“Swift Tech is more of a straight-up funk band, and BroJo is a group that draws more from New Orleans jazz and funk influences, but the two groups together really complement each other well. I wouldn’t call them the same genre, but it’s the same spirit and creative energy that should make for a really compelling evening for people who want to dance and let loose,” says Leschinsky. They are a band that focuses on delivering high-energy live performances to get audiences on their feet.

“Songwriting has always been a pretty organic process. We never really try to force anything.” Leschinksy elaborates, “We really make a point of collaborating in the rehearsal setting on the material. Being a predominantly instrumental group it gives us a bit of a creative license to have some unusual arrangements that are really unique to Swift Technique.”

The group is about to release EP of a mix of various recordings over the past year recorded in Philly, New Hampshire, and live recordings from the Ardmore Music Hall.

Tickets for the show can be purchased here.

NOTE: Non-perishable food items will be collected on behalf of Will Funk For Food and Philabundance the night of the show!

Not To Miss @ CMJ 2014

The CMJ marathon starts today! If you’re as confused as we are about how you’re going to make time for all the great artists this year, consult our list of artists we’re most excited for below. Will we see you there?

So many bands, so little time.
So many bands, so little time.

Repping Cheeseteaks: The PHILADELPHIA CREW

 Moody post-punk from Siltbreeze Records
Catch their set:
Tuesday @ Cameo Gallery, Saturday @ Knitting Factory

– Punk from members of Ceremony, Paint It Black, and Purling Hiss
Catch their set:
Sunday @ Rough Trade


Alt-rock straight out of 1995 from Tiny Engines Records
Catch their set:  Saturday @ Baby’s All Right

–Lyrically poignant punk from Drag City Records
Catch their set: Thursday @ Cake Shop, Friday @ Baby’s All Right

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– Cincinnati trash pop trio singin’ about boredom, love, and weed. Listen our live session with them here.

Catch their set: Wednesday @ (the soon-closing) Death By Audio, Thursday and Friday @ Baby’s All Right

– British house/techno duo
Catch their set: Thursday @ Verboten

Experimental dance pop from Ghostly International
Catch his set: Saturday @ Verboten


– Shoegazy rap from West London
Catch his set: Thursday @ Brooklyn Bazaar;
Thursday @ Rough Trade

– Fun and sentimental twee pop from NYC
Catch her set: Friday @ Brooklyn Bazaar

– Brooklyn sludge punks
Catch their set: Thursday @ Shea Stadium


–Eighties British shoegaze pioneers return after 20 years of silence
Catch their set: (Sold out!) Thursday @ Terminal 5

– Psych punk from the UK

Catch their set: Wednesday @ (the soon-closing) Glasslands; Thursday @ Baby’s All RightFriday @ Baby’s All Right

–Garage punk from Austin
Catch their set: Thursday @ Baby’s All Right;
Friday @ Cake Shop


Ripping off the Band-Aid: Why Feminism Matters in the Music Industry

The Color of Noise: Amphetamine Reptile Records Documentary with Q&A from director Eric Robel and Haze XXL

All Through A Life: Emo’s Revival

& of course, the College Radio Awards!
– Among the nominees for Station of the Year, Promoter of the Year and Best Taste in Music lies Best Community Resource. Check out what we’ve recently done for the Philadelphia community here and vote WKDU!

Beautiful Noise: Documentary screening and Q&A with Nick Chaplin and Simon Scott of Slowdive

See you in New York!