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Download “Cherry Licorice” by The Felice Brothers

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Catskill roots rockers The Felice Brothers have a new album, Favorite Waitress, that is being released on June 17th on Dualtone. In an interview with Esquire, James Felice talked about the new album:

This record, we definitely wanted it to be a reflection of our live show. We honed it on the road. When we went into the studio to record it, we recorded it mostly live, with the intention of playing these songs and having them sound similar to the way they do live, and vice versa. That was very important to us. When we first started, for the first couple of records, even, we hadn’t done a lot of touring. Every studio we ever worked in was one we sort of built ourselves, so to actually go to a real studio in a different city was completely illuminating, and it gave us the opportunity to really play the songs because we didn’t have the ceremony of building a studio and testing it out. The bulk of the record, 90 percent of it, was done in a week. Practicing the songs and playing them live a lot brought us to a point where we could bang them out pretty quick.

Below, download the ragtag rocker “Cherry Licorice.” The band is plays Union Transfer on Thursday, July 10th with Robert Ellis. Go here for tickets and more information.

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Unlocked: Take a look inside the studio where Ataloft came to life

Ataloft | Courtesy of the artist
Ataloft | Courtesy of the artist

If you had to boil it down to a place, Amoeba Audio in Reading is where Ataloft came to life. As we’ll hear in tomorrow’s interview, Frog Holler members Darren Schlappich and Mike Lavdanski went into the studio owned by their friend Bruce Siekmann to mess around with recording some unreleased songs. The initial meetups went well, and the group kept returning until there was a full album and a new band in tow.

Earlier this month, the Reading Eagle met up with Ataloft to profile them upon the release of the self-titled album, and brought a video crew inside Amoeba to watch the band – now a six-piece – play live in the room where the music was born. Check out a performance of their very summery song “Old Jones” below, and get psyched to see these gents perform at Ardmore Music Hall on the 3rd of May.

Ataloft is the featured album in this week’s installment of Unlocked. Download “The End is Nearer Than We Know” in Monday’s post, read yesterday’s album review and check back later this week for an interview and more

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Philly’s Hoots and Hellmouth to take up residency at Boot and Saddle next month

Photo by Deneka Peniston
Photo by Deneka Peniston

Wednesday nights in May will get a bit more folksy as Hoots and Hellmouth prepare for their upcoming residency at Boot and Saddle. It’s a first for both the band, who will use the opportunity to unveil and test out new material, and the venue, who have never hosted a residency before. Both parties sound pretty amped as the shows approach. From the band’s email announcement:

“We’re really looking forward to our first time in this room, and to be doing it under the auspices of a new material workshop/residency makes it all the more special. A fresh room for fresh experiments. We’re inspired. The Hoots & Hellmouth ‘sound’ has always been a bit restless by nature, not unlike our touring schedule…We started with a much folkier sound, incorporating primarily acoustic instruments and stomp boards to propel our songs forward. In the years since, we’ve added all kinds of things to the mix from drums to keys to electric guitars.”

Boot and Saddle is also proud to have the band be the first to do a residency since the venue’s reopening late last year. In the announcement, R5 Productions owner Sean Agnew comments:

“We are excited to host our very first residency at the Boot & Saddle with a band that’s become an institution around Philly. It’ll be fun to watch these shows develop and to watch who comes out over each week.”

Each show is 21+ and requires $8 for admission.

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Plow United brings summertime punk to Asbury Lanes and Boot and Saddle in June

Plow United | Courtesy of Isaac Turner
Plow United | Courtesy of Isaac Turner

Plow United has some pretty exciting news for east coast fans.

Earlier this week, the seminal locally-bred punks announced they’d play two shows in July, the same month they’re releasing two records. The first show will be at Asbury Lanes on July 18th, but the one we’re most excited about will be on July 19th at Boot & Saddle.

The band released its first album in 16 years, Marching Band, last March. Loaded with heavy bass lines, gritty vocals and thrashy drums, the 12-song LP saw the three-piece picking right up where its left up in the late 90s. Along with the shows, Plow announced that it would re-release its first-self-titled LP and put out a new 4-song 7″ called DELCO. Both drop on July 10th.

Join ‘em at Boot & Saddle during the dog days of summer with openers The Scandals and Chumped. The show starts at 8 p.m. and the $12 tickets can be purchased here. Below, watch their cover of “Burn Up” by Siouxie and the Banshees from their 2013 Key Studio Session.

Plow United “Burn-Up” – WXPN Key Studio Session from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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Get goosebumps from Psalmships’ Kettle Pot Tacks session

Psalmships, courtesy of Kettle Pot Tracks
Psalmships, courtesy of Kettle Pot Tracks

The latest On the Hill Session at Kettle Pot Tracks with Psalmships is a powerful one.

The sessions, which were founded a couple years back by local engineer Michael Batchelor “to capture an authentic performance as you would experience live in a small, intimate venue,” chose Psalmships as their 50th session by request. A long write-up Batchelor gave some insight into his friendship with Josh Britton, the singer and songwriter who performs under the Psalmships moniker.

Joshua Britton is a very special artist, musician, and friend. Anyone who has enjoyed the Kettle Pot Tracks On the Hill Sessions over the past year-plus has him to thank as much as anyone else. I think he expected me to write something silly and pseudo-deprecating, but I and we have nothing but love.

Psalmships On the Hill Session is one you’ve got to listen to with headphones in. Britton self-describes the music as “ghost folk,” and there might not be a better name for the sounds he produces. It’s eerie, but it’s sweet. The video gives you goosebumps, but more importantly, certainly makes you feel like you’re right next to Britton in that small, intimate venue Kettle Tracks strives so hard to achieve.

Psalmships — Yven from Michael Batchelor on Vimeo.

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Secret Weakness releases psych-pop soaked debut LP

Secret Weakness | photo courtesy of the artist
Secret Weakness | photo courtesy of the artist

Secret Weakness, the solo project of Philadelphian Aaron Joseph, has released a self-titled debut LP to introduce his experimental bedroom pop.  The songs blend the psychedelic elements of MGMT with the perpendicular, kaleidoscopic production style of Animal Collective, and on the single “Die Young” Joseph shows a knack for writing simultaneously succinct and layered pop songs that would be right at home at a summer festival.  Take a listen to “Die Young” below and check out the full LP here.

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Philadelphia Museum of Art presents vocalist Yeahwon Shin at Art After 5 this Friday

Yeahwon Shin | photo by Woong Chul An
Yeahwon Shin | photo by Woong Chul An

Korean-born singer Yeahwon Shin’s performance at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this Friday is doubly appropriate. Most obviously, it ties in with the museum’s current marquee exhibition, “Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910.” But coming just a couple of weeks prior to Mother’s Day, it’s also an early celebration; Shin’s latest CD, Lua Ya (ECM) was inspired by her newborn daughter and is dedicated “to mothers and children everywhere.”

Lua Ya consists of Korean lullabies and songs that Shin remembers learning from her own mother, along with a few originals that maintain the album’s quiet serenity. Shin’s music contains traces of jazz laced into it; there is improvisation, but it’s delicate and reserved, never threatening to dispel the music’s intimate fragility. Shin caresses these songs as she would her own child, with a gentle and nurturing touch.

The collection pairs Shin’s lovely, placid voice with Aaron Parks’ hushed, spare piano and Rob Curto’s breath-like accordion. Parks is a gifted jazz keyboardist who recently released his own ECM debut, the solo outing Arborescence. He has also worked with trumpet great Terence Blanchard, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, and as one-fourth of the collective James Farm with saxophonist Joshua Redman. Originally a pianist, Curto studied the accordion with masters in Brazil – an influence he shares with Shin, whose self-titled debut was heavily influenced by Brazilian music and earned a Latin Grammy nomination.  More information for their performance at the Philadelphia Museum of Art can be found here.