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Getting to the heart of San Fermin with songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone (free show at Boot and Saddle tomorrow)

SanFerminLast month San Fermin, the project of Yale graduate Ellis Ludwig-Leone, released its grandiose debut album.  If you’ve checked out the band’s website after listening to the incredible single “Sonsick” on repeat this summer, you already know the story:  After graduating, Ludwig-Leone went into the mountains to write an album about, “youth, nostalgia, anxiety, unrequited love.”  The album combines elements of rock, with soaring orchestral arrangements to create one of the fullest, most complex indie releases of the year.  Tomorrow night, San Fermin will play a free show at new South Philly venue Boot & Saddle.  Get tickets here, and in the meantime delve a little deeper into the album after the jump as Ellis Ludwig-Leone talks about his influences, punting puppies, song meanings and much more. Continue reading →

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Watch the theme song from Boston DIY band Krill (playing Hong Kong Garden on 9/4)

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Last month, Krill released their quirky pop-punk LP, Lucky Leaves.  The DIY band somehow packaged this raw sound into concise and catchy songs and they have even dared to create their own theme song.  “Theme From Krill” is a self-homage featuring the group goofing off on camera mixed with footage of the group playing live.  Basically, the video takes the odd Boston trio and puts their personalities and musical style together, showing you what the band has to offer in 3.5 minutes.  Exactly what a theme song calls for.  Check out the video below and be sure to catch them September 4th at Hong Kong Garden.

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Watch Flag return to their first venue, Moose Lodge; get amped to see them at The Trocadero on 9/18

Flag

This may get a little confusing, but bear with me.

Black Flag formed in the late 70s and basically brought punk to California with their intense and experimental sound that at times leaned towards metal.  As the group evolved, their sound developed as well, become less about intense two minute songs and more about longer, improvisational mid-tempo songs.  Along with these evolutions came a ton of lineup changes, breakups, reunions and more breakups and reunions.  And now, the band has basically split in two.

Black Flag features Greg Ginn, the original guitarist and owner to basically all the rights to the band. Their reunion tour happened this summer, and hit up Union Transfer in June. Flag, on the other hand, features several members of the band throughout the years including one of many singers Keith Morris of Circle Jerks and Descendants guitarist Stephen Egerton.

Still following me? Good. On September 18th, Flag will perform at The Trocadero with all the energy and intensity a punk band can muster.  Below, is a video of the group from April, where they played the Moose Lodge, the very same venue where Black Flag first played live.  In it, the band seems just as hardcore as ever, wailing away at instruments and belting out vocals as the crowd jumps around in enthusiasm.  It’s just a glimpse of what you’ll see in September, but it looks like an incredible show.

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Get simple with No Age’s video for “An Impression” (playing PhilaMOCA 9/7)

No Age

Experimental pop group No Age released their fourth album, An Object, earlier this month, and their late summer tour brings them to town to play PhilaMOCA on September 7th. The duo recently released a video for their single “An Impression” which, like the music and the band itself, feels rather minimal. It mostly features a reddish background, with a piece of paper centered on screen and occasionally flashing ever-changing images.  The simplicity of the video fits perfectly with the mellow rock of the tune.  Waves of vocals wash over slightly distorted guitars and contact-mic drums.  Watch the video below and get more information on their show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Beta Hi Fi Finals at World Cafe Live, Salt N Pepa at Dell Music Center, Rosanne Cash at Sellersville Theater

A1RIdAICcAEi4n3.jpg_largeAll this week, the annual Beta Hi-Fi competition has showcased a variety of new, local bands at World Cafe Live.  The shows have been a great way to get to know emerging artists in the region and tonight marks the final set of performances for the week.  The groups were chosen by the audience’s votes, so all your favorites will be on stage tonight.  The show starts at 7 and best of all (besides the great new music) is that it’s free. Click here for more information about the show.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jawnzap7 at The Note, Fly Fest in Lancaster, Shawn Mullins at Sellersville Theater

jawnzapper7

Jawnzap7, though the name is confusing, can spit rhymes like no other.  Hailing from Philadelphia, he has a fast hip-hop flow and solid beats to match.  Though the rapper only has a large set of singles and EPs to their name, all of the releases are pretty impressive.  Tonight, Jawnzap7 plays The Note along with a lineup of other up and coming musicians.  Click here for ticket information and listen below to get in on the rap action.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Brandywine Folk Fest, Busses at Johnny Brenda’s, K-OS at Union Transfer

good-old-warThis weekend marks the second year of the Brandywine Folk Festival.  From Friday through Sunday, you can enjoy the warm weather and music with the many many incredible bands, many of which hail from Philadelphia.  To name just a few (and I mean a few) out of this fantastic lineup, you can catch Good Old War, Mean Lady, The Districts, The Lawsuits and Cheers Elephant.  So if you’re looking for the best way to spend the final days of summer, the Brandywine Folk Fest is an incredible way to go.  What’s not to love about great music, food and frisbee golf?  Click here for ticket information. Below, watch the video for Good Old War’s “Calling Me Names.”

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Watch Kathy O’Connell nail her washboard solo at Folk Fest

Photo by Steve Ramm
Photo by Steve Ramm
This is probably the goofiest and most entertaining thing I’ve seen all week.  At last weekend’s Philadelphia Folk Fest, Kathy O’Connell was invited onstage during the Kids’ Corner showcase performance of Marcie Marxer and Cathy Fink. What seemed like O’Connell being congratulated on 25 years of hosting Kids’ Corner on XPN took an interesting turn when Marxer placed a giant washboard around her neck.  Not one to be frightened off by a decked-out laundry appliance, O’Connell began to jam right along with the duo. If you missed it at the Folk Fest, or you wanna see it again, you can watch the video by Steve Ramm below.

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Download The Lawsuits’ new single “Dreaming #26″ via Rolling Stone

The Lawsuits | Photo by John Vettese
The Lawsuits | Photo by John Vettese

Philadelphia psych-Americana quartet The Lawsuits just announced a new album and, based on the first single, we couldn’t be more excited.  Currently streaming and downloadable from Rolling Stone, “Dreaming #26” is a beautiful piece of folk-rock about creativity and love for art and that special someone.  Quiet drums beat along to a softly played clarinet and delicate acoustic guitar as singer Brian Strouse channels his inner Dylan for a truly touching performance.

Head over to Rolling Stone for the first glimpse at Cool Cool Cool (out October 1st).  And be sure to catch The Lawsuits at one of their many shows around Philly including the Brandywine Folk Fest (August 24th), Sly Fox Can Jam (September 28th), and their CD release show at Johnny Brenda’s (October 18th).

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Listen to The Weeknd’s new track “Live For” and his remix of Lorde (playing Susquehanna Bank Center 10/4)

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It’s a busy week for The Weeknd, aka producer / musician Abel Tesfaye. He remixed the track “Royals” by  Australian artist Lorde, an homage to young middle class kids with big dreams facing boredom.  Keeping it simple, Tesfaye takes the original and adds his own subtle touches: a heavier drum beat, a sinister background synth and his own vocals.

Along with the remix of “Royals” he released a song from his upcoming album, Kiss Land.  “Live For” features the same reverb atmosphere full of synths and high-pitched croons from Tesfaye but with one key addition.  The new track features Drake, long-time Weeknd fan and collaborator.  It appears that although Tesfaye decided not to work on Drake’s label, the two remain friends. Check out the new songs below and look for Kiss Land September 10th.  The Weeknd will perform at Susquehanna Bank Center in October.