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Cool new video for Cliff Hillis’ song “Keep the Blue Skies”

Photo by Laura Keen | laurakeenphotography.com

Philly power pop singer/songwriter Cliff Hillis just released a new video for his song “Keep the Blue Skies” with the help of his wife, Beth Lennon. The video is a compilation of home movie clips from abandoned film reels from the 40′s, 50′s, and 60′s that Lennon rescued from a trash bin. After converting the film to digital, Lennon edited the long-forgotten footage of this unknown family to go along with the opening track on her husband’s latest album, Dream Good. The video depicts heartwarming images of children playing and family gatherings in a simpler time, without the Internet and smart phones. These images, combined with Hillis’ melodic voice and the song’s catchy tune, make for a unique and refreshing music video. “Keep the Blue Skies” will also be featured as today’s Philly Local Pick on WXPN’s midday show with Helen Leicht. You can watch the entire video in the player below and check out Cliff Hillis’ album, Dream Good here.

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Stream the new Tegan and Sara single “Closer” (playing Susquehanna Bank Center 12/13)

Yesterday Rolling Stone premiered the catchy new single “Closer” from indie pop twins Tegan and Sara‘s forthcoming album. The infectious new single officially drops on September 25th, but you can stream it now in the player below. The duo also announced a slew of tour dates with The Killers this winter, including a stop at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden on December 13th. Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m., and you can get them here.

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Download “About That Life,” a trippy new single from Diplo (playing City Bisco at The Mann Center Oct. 5)

Philly hit-maker Diplo just released a vibey new track off his upcoming solo album. “About That Life” is a big departure from his previous work with its layered Eastern-influenced instrumentals and vocals that create a psychedelic vibe a la mid-1960s Beatles. Fittingly, the song features vocals by Jahan Lennon, also known as Zeb of the now defunct Mad Decent-signed group POPO. Rethink your perception of Diplo and vibe out to this new track in the player below. Diplo is back in town on Friday October 5 to perform at The Disco Biscuits’ City Bisco music festival at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets and information on the two-day event can be found here.

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Check out a new video interview with Ben Folds Five (playing Tower Theatre 10/7)

Billboard just released a new video interview with Ben Folds Five for their Track By Track video series. For this session, the band talks about each song on their new album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, their first full-length album together in thirteen years. The band gives us an insider’s look at the writing and recording process and how each song came together, including some surprising details, such how they were inspired by the Britney Spears song “Piece of Me” for their song “Erase Me.” The Sound of the Life of the Mind was released yesterday and is available for purchase here. Watch the full video interview below for more insider info on the new album.

Ben Folds Five will be playing the Tower Theatre on October 7th. Tickets and more information here.

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Contest: Win an autographed 7″ and a pair of tickets to The Walkmen’s Electric Factory show

East coast indie rock band The Walkmen are returning to Philly for their first major show since releasing Heaven, their seventh full-length record. They will be performing at the Electric Factory with The War on Drugs on Saturday, October 6th in support of the new album. Tickets are available here for $22, or you can enter to win a pair of free tickets from The Key. All you need to do is answer this trivia question: a few years back, The Walkmen covered an album by a ’70s psych-pop songwriter in its entirety. What was the name of the artist and the album? Leave your answer in the comments and we’ll choose a winner at random to receive a pair of tickets to the Electric Factory show and an autographed 7″ from the band. The winner will be announced this Friday morning. Good luck!

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Check out two new tracks from Ali Wadsworth (playing free show at City Hall tomorrow)

Powerhouse Philly singer Ali Wadsworth just released two rocking new songs from her forthcoming full-length solo album, just in time for her free show at City Hall tomorrow. The songs feature Tim Arnold of Good Old War on drums, Jaron Olevsky of Amos Lee on piano/organ, Toy Solders’ Dominic Billett on congas and percussion, as well as fellow local musicians Phil D’Agostino on bass, and Dan Schwartz and Joe Bisirri on guitar. Below, listen to Wadsworth’s new tracks and, if you like what you hear, make sure to RSVP for her City Hall Presents performance tomorrow night. The show runs from 5:30PM to 6:30PM at the Mayor’s Reception Room (City Hall, Room 202). RSVP ahead here, as seating is limited.

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Jam out at Greenfest Philly’s Earth Jam II with Cheers Elephant and Abstract Verses

Greenfest Philly is a free annual event sponsored by the Clean Air Council to promote sustainable living. In addition to the local and organic food trucks, sustainably-brewed beer garden, eco-friendly vendors, electronics recycling, clothing swap, and raffles, this years festival also includes live music from local bands Cheers Elephant, Abstract Verses, Mountjoy, and You Do You as part of the festival’s Earth Jam II.

While planning for their 45th Anniversary this fall, Clean Air Council policy analyst Katie Feeney learned that in 1992, to celebrate its 25th year, the organization put on ‘Earth Jam’ in Chalfont, PA.

“We had a few acoustic musicians play at last year’s Greenfest ,” Feeney said. “But I thought it would be fun this year to really commit to reviving ‘Earth Jam’ 20 years later to celebrate the Council’s 45th anniversary. So we went all out!”

The eclectic bill of local artists for Earth Jam II came together, as Feeney put it, organically. “Personally, I don’t think there’s a more exciting band in Philadelphia right now than Cheers Elephant,” she said. “They’re so much fun to watch and they’re also wonderful people. Whether it’s true or not, I’ve convinced myself that their song ‘Jumbo Shrimp’ is about the BP oil spill. I think the message behind many of their lyrics is relevant and meaningful to those concerned for the planet.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jason Karaban at Tin Angel, Blayer PointduJour at MilkBoy, Jello Biafra at the Trocadero, and Arctic Splash at Johnny Brenda’s

Philly-bred singer-songwriter Jason Karaban returns home from L.A. tonight to celebrate the release of his new album, Shift, which came out on September 4th. Karaban joined WXPN’s Helen Leicht on her show Leicht Lunch on Wednesday to play a few songs from his new album and his song “Misplaced” was Wednesday’s My Morning Download. Now, WXPN is welcoming Karaban to the Tin Angel tonight for a 21+ CD release party. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available here for $10. Below, watch the video for “Misplaced” from Jason Karaban’s new album.

Haitian kompa musician Blayer PointduJour just released his first full-length album this week with his band, the Rockers Galore. To celebrate, PointduJour is playing a record release show at MilkBoy Philly. The 21+ show also features I Yahn I Arkestra, The National Rifle, and Philadelphia Slick. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available here for $10. Blayer PointduJour was also this week’s Unlocked band on The Key. Check out The Key’s album review of his new record The Bull here and listen to his song “One Hit” in the player below.

Former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra is headed to Philly tonight for an all ages show at the Trocadero with his band, the Guantanamo School of Medicine. The show also features performances by The Ray Gradys, Honah Lee, and Thee Nosebleeds. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available here for $15.

Finally, Philly bands Arctic Splash, Weird Hot are playing St. James & the Apostles‘s record release show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. The doors for the 21+ show open at 8:00 p.m. and the show starts at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 here. Vinyl copies of St. James & the Apostles’ new album, Baphomet, will be available at the show.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Instamatic at North Star Bar, The Tweeds at MilkBoy Philly, Patrick Watson at World Cafe Live, Strawbs w/ John Wesley Harding at Sellersville Theater

Tonight Philly synth pop band Instamatic will be bringing their electronic vibes to the North Star Bar for a melding of contemporary electo music with Chicago indie electronica band Gemini Club and Philly electro band The Bad Doctors. The 21+ show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available here for $10. Below, check out Instamatic’s new remix EP.

Philly psychedelic dream pop band The Tweeds are set to play MilkBoy Philly tonight with local bands The Gazettes, We Are Fauna, and Forest Fools. Doors for the 21+ show open at 8 p.m. and the show kicks off at 9 p.m. Tickets are available here for $10. Listen to The Tweeds’ latest release in the player below.

Montreal singer-songwriter Patrick Watson and his eponymous band will be playing a show tonight downstairs at World Cafe Live. The show also features fellow Canadian folk rock band Great Lake Swimmers. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $16 to $22 and are available for purchase here. Below watch the music video for Patrick Watson’s song “Into Giants” from the band’s latest album Adventures in Your Own Backyard.

Finally, WXPN welcomes English rock band Strawbs, who formed back in 1964, to the Sellersville Theater tonight for a show with English folk singer John Wesley Harding. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available here for $25.

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Listen to “Now,” a new song from Matt and Kim song (playing the Electric Factory in October)

Indie pop duo Matt and Kim have released another song, “Now” from their upcoming release Lightning, coming out on October 2nd. In support of their new album, the band are coming to Philly for a show at the Electric Factory on October 7th. For tickets and more information click here; listen to the single below. Listen to the song below and download it for free from Matt and Kim’s Facebook page.