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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Heyward Howkins at Ortlieb’s, Northern Valentine at Random Tea Room, River City Extension at TLA

howkins-2Folk singer/songwriter Heyward Howkins plays Ortlieb’s Lounge tonight. Howkins released a single in December 2012, entitled “Praline Country“, as well as his debut full length The Hale & Hearty in June 2012. Go here to watch a video of Hawkins playing his song “Flimsy Stock”. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Break It Up, Dreambook and Taggart can be found here. Below, enjoy the music video for “Sugar Sand Stitched Lip” off of Howkins’ album The Hale & Hearty.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dessa with Kuf Knotz at Sellersville Theater, Jesse Sparhawk at PhilaMOCA, No Joy at Kung Fu Necktie

Photo by Bo Hakala
Photo by Bo Hakala

The rapper/spoken word artist Dessa (of midwest collective Doomtree) will be performing at Sellersville Theater tonight with Philly hip-hop artist Kuf Knotz. Dessa is celebrating her newest album Parts of Speech, released on Doomtree Records. For more information on Dessa, check out a piece from The Key here. Alongside Dessa will be Philly native hip-hop artist Kuf Knotz, who blends elements of blues, rock, and other genres with his hip-hip. Tickets and information for the all ages show can be found here. Below, watch Dessa perform “The Man I Knew” for MN Original.

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Embrace the fuzz-punk with Philadelphia’s Mumblr and their new Nutter EP

MumblrA week or so ago, Mumblr dropped their new four song EP Nutter. For those who love fuzzed out guitar riffs sprinkled with nasty bass tones, thriving drums, and a Weezer-esque vibe will enjoy this release. (DISCLOSURE: The Key’s intern Kyle Rossi plays in Mumblr, but we’d like them regardless. -ed.) With four songs, and the longest song being roughly two minutes and thirty seconds, they pack a significant amount of depth into this EP. Not to mention the rock. Oh, boy, the rock.

Mumblr started out as a cooler, punkier version of Modest Mouse when they released their first EPs Rectangle and Rectangle Pt. 2, which were re-recorded and condensed into their White Jesus EP. Then they took a small turn toward the more emotional side when they released their split with Dark Orange Oriole Carving. Now, with Nutter, Mumblr fully embraced the fuzz punk. Each song is visceral, driving, and plain fun. They still bring the jams with this release, and embody the high energy, as well as musicianship, they have had on each release. But Nutter is faster and more raw than any of their previous releases. And it fits them completely. The four songs on this EP fully captures the energy they bring to their live set. From the first song to the last song, Nutter wraps ears inside several layers of heavy sounds and a static, but full atmosphere of sound.

Give Mumblr’s new EP Nutter a listen. Then give the rest of their material a listen. Then learn the words. Then go see them play. They are a great time. Below, check out their song “Space God” off of Nutter.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: TJ Kong at Johnny Brenda’s, Frank Cervantes Band at World Cafe Live

kongTJ Kong And The Atomic Bomb plays Johnny Brenda’s tonight for Brat Aid: A Concert Fundraiser for local theater company Brat Productions. Playing a blend of rock and folk, TJ Kong employs heartfelt and soulful sounds to their music, and released a full length called Manufacturing Joy in September. You may also read a piece about Kong performing a Tom Waits cover set, and watch a video here. Tickets and information about the show with The Brat Cabaret and Isadora can be found here. Below, watch TJ Kong And The Atomic Bomb perform “3 Wishes”.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Twin Sister at Johnny Brenda’s, Ghostface Killah at The Blockley, Beausoleil at World Cafe Live, Boz Scaggs at Keswick Theatre

Twin-Sister-Shaking-Through-1Funky dream pop band Twin Sister plays at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The band moves within elements of sound, all staying roughly onthe dreamy side, but also mixing indie pop with chillwave. Their album In Heaven was released in September of 2011. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Lockets and Acres of Diamonds can be found here. Below, enjoy the music video for Twin Sister’s “All Around And Away We Go” from their Color Your Life EP.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: James Blake at TLA, Todd Rundgren at Trocadero, Geoff Rickly at North Star Bar

james-blake-500Electronic singer/songwriter James Blake stops by the Theatre of Living Arts tonight. In April, Blake released his sophmore album Overgrown. The new album brings back Blake’s beautiful voice and rhythmic electronics. Tickets and information for the all ages show can be found here. Below, check out the music video for “Retrograde” off of Blake’s new album Overgrown.

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Get to know: Girl Scouts

Photo cred: Ally Newbold Photography http://www.allynewbold.com/
Photo cred: Ally Newbold Photography http://www.allynewbold.com/

Philly’s Girl Scouts are a trio that blend math rock and emo together to create a dynamic sound. Watching them perform live is a treat because the level of skill and coordination they have is exciting, especially for being a young band. Barely in their 20′s, it’s inspiring to see young musicians who are as talented as they are.

Girl Scouts put out their first two song release entitled thanksalot in August 2011. In December 2011, they released a split single with Old Gray. Since their start, the trio has ripped up the basement scene in Philadelphia, playing some of the sweatiest shows I have ever been to. They’ve released one song that was going to be on a compilation, “Don’t Curse In Front of the Boys Goddammit!” as a single cleverly titled Some Song That Was Supposed To Be On Some Comp That Never Happened. The band also has a song, “Grist Mill Days,” that is on The BIG Comp, recently released on Lame-O.

Hopefully, after getting to know Girl Scouts, you will want to check them out. They are a lot of fun, and seriously talented. With just six songs, Girl Scouts have made quite an impression on the local scene. They Wednesday, May 22nd with Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe, Caravels, Sic Bacchus, and Secret Grief at Thirst Mountain

Below, watch P.J. Carroll (guitar/vocals) from Girl Scouts perform a new song acoustically for Temple News and listen to a couple of their songs.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Akron/Family at Johnny Brenda’s, Rhett Miller at World Cafe Live, Sons of Fathers at MilkBoy, Jamaican Queens at Little Berlin

rhettmiller
Rhett Miller, playing tonight at World Cafe Live

Singer/songwriter Rhett Miller stops by World Cafe Live tonight. His fifth album, The Dreamer, was released last year in June. Miller is also the lead singer for the Dallas alternative country band, Old 97′s, and plays in Serial Lady Killers, which you can watch a video of the band performing “Singular Girl” at last year’s XPo Fest here. Tickets and information for the all ages show with Cliff Hillis can be found here. Below, watch Miller perform “Lost Without You” from his album The Dreamer for an American Songwriter session.

Portland’s Akron/Family plays Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The band plays a combined style of rock/folk, with added psychedelic elements. Their new album, Sub Verses, will be released April 30th through Dead Oceans. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, and M Geddas Gengras can be found here. Below, watch the official video for “Until the Morning” off the new record Sub Verses.

Roots rockers Sons of Fathers plays MilkBoy tonight. They were featured as a My Morning Download on April 15th with their song “Roots & Vine” off their sophomore album Burning Days. Tickets and information for 21+ show with Maitland can be found here. Below, download “Roots and Vines”

Jamaican Queens return to Philadelphia tonight for a show at Little Berlin.  The Detroit based trio has acquired a swell of grassroots support for their debut LP Wormfood, which was released in early March is available as a name-your-own-price download on their Bandcamp.  With lyrics that recount experiences with relationships, parties and urban violence, the band’s intrigue runs much deeper than the initial hook of the album’s beat-driven, synth-laden sound.  Jamaican Queens will be joined by locals Banned Books and Avery Rosewater.  More information can be found on the Facebook event page here.  Below, watch the video for “Water.”

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Milk Carton Kids at World Cafe Live, Liz Longley at Burlap and Bean

milkcartonkids The California folk duo The Milk Carton Kids bring their heartfelt, contemplative story songs to the stage of World Cafe Live tonight. They recently released their new album, The Ash & Clay, in March. Within a word, their music is exquisite. The melodies lightly flutter over the senses, fading into an out of body dream like state, and their elegance is clear throughout the overall composition. The Ash & Clay is their third album on Anti-Records, while the previous two albums, Prologue and Retrospect are available for free download through their website. Tickets and information for the all-ages show with Aofie O’Donovan can be found here. Below, watch The Milk Carton Kids play a delightful three song set (the songs they play are: “Michigan”, “Stealing Romance”, and “I Still Want a Little More”) for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.

lizlongley
Photo by Shervin Lainez

Liz Longley performs at Burlap and Bean tonight. Although now living in Nashville, Tennessee, the singer/songwriter is a Philadelphia native and will be coming home to play some of her songs in anticipation of her upcoming album entitled Liz Longley, and her new single “This Is Not The End” released on April 16th available through iTunes. She has also been The Local Pick Of The Day back in October 2010 with her song “Free”. Longley will be touring steadily through April, May, and June throughout the US. Tickets and information for the all-ages show with Seth Glier can be found here. Below, watch an acoustic session with Liz Longley playing her new single “This Is Not The End” from her upcoming album Liz Longley.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Generationals at Johnny Brenda’s, Killing Joke at Union Transfer, Jake Shimabukuro at Keswick

generationals New Orleans duo Generationals play tonight at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. They recently released a new album, Heza, on Polyvinyl records. The indie pop band brings a lot of fun with their sound as they utilize various guitar tones, 80′s-esque beats, claps, bells, and an overall uplifting tone. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Splashh can be found here. Below, check out a music video for the band’s “Put a Light On” off their new record album.

Influential post-punk band Killing Joke comes to Union Transfer tonight. Hailing from England, the band formed in 1979 and have released 14 albums  (their most recent being MMXII in 2012), 3 EPS, and 23 singles, becoming a large influence on rock bands today. Tickets and information for the all-ages show with Czar can be found here. Below, watch the video for their classic, “Eighties.”

Jake Shimabukuro, ukulele master, will be playing at the Keswick Theatre tonight. He has used the instrument in ways many people have not seen before, and continues to do so with his recent album, Grand Ukulele . His style of playing breaks boundaries on many levels, and he has also been the subject of a documentary entitled Life on Four Strings. Tickets and information for the all-ages show with Leo Kottke can be found here. Below, check out an a live performance of his song “Dragon”.