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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dr. Dog’s SWAMP (IS ON) at Union Transfer, Frances Quinlan at Johnny Brendas, Plainview at Full House and more

Do yourself a favor and see #drdog #swampison best thing I’ve ever seen ever

A photo posted by Katie Feeney (@robertafaceplant) on

Yesterday we told you about SWAMP (IS ON)Dr. Dog‘s inventive collaboration with Pig Iron Theatre Company; based on my Instagram feed last night, the show is every bit as fantastical and surreal and awesome as I imagined. The premise is that the band receives a cassette tape from outer space, and has to translate its encoded message; a parallel to Dr. Dog translating the pop songs from its early self-released album The Psychedelic Swamp. Friday and Saturday’s performances are sold out, so if you don’t have tickets already, tonight is your last chance to take in this unique show, since this won’t happen twice. Tickets and more information can be found here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: TJ Kong at Underground Arts, Mercury Radio Theater at Johnny Brendas and more

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 10.14.00 AMThe fourth annual TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb Halloween Spectacular will be raging at Underground Arts tonight. Referred to as a “Costume Ball Rock n’ Roll Murdershow” on the Facebook event page, this is sure to be an interesting event. With TJ Kong’s folk garage rock as the headliner, its going to get raucous and fun. They will be joined by Philadelphia up and comers Cold Fronts, so get there early!

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The Dodos release new single, “Substance” (playing Johnny Brendas 9/28)

Dodos-Carrier-1024x1024[1]San Fransisco indie-rockers The Dodos, whose new album Carrier, is due out this August, released the second single from the record this week. The song is called “Substance” and is available to stream via Rolling Stone. The west coast duo are set to start their tour in support of Carrier this fall, and will be making a Philly stop at Johnny Brenda’s on Septermber 28th. Tickets and info can be found here, and check out the song (and Carrier’s track list) below.

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Get to know Escondido – download a World Cafe: Next podcast (playing Johnny Brendas on May 15)

escondido_sm Escondido is the Nashville, TN based duo of Jessica Maros and Tyler James. James, a solo artist and member of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros met Jessica (a musician and clothing and jewelry designer) through mutual friends. Bonding over their love for 70’s music and Ennio Morricone, they recorded their debut album, The Ghost Of Escondido, at the Casino Studio in Nashville. Recorded in a single day, the album brings together dusty country, rock, the sound of the desert sky and spaghetti westerns. “We wanted it to be like Clint Eastwood playing pop songs at one of the honky-tonks downtown,” says James. “But we’ve been told it sounds like desert sex.” This week, Escondido are World Cafe host David Dye’s World Cafe: Next artist. You can download a segment from the show that includes two songs from Escondido’s debut album.

The band plays Johnny Brendas on Wednesday, May 15th, opening for The Staves.

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Download a new song from Conversations With Enemies, “Sailing Through” (playing Johnny Brendas in July)


Conversations With Enemies have a new album out called The Good Times that is available digitally. The band has a record release party on Saturday, July 7th at Johnny Brendas. Go here for more information about the show. Below, download the song “Sailing Through” from the band’s new album.

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My Morning Download: “Keep On Movin'” by King Tuff (playing Johnny Brendas tonight)


King Tuff recently released his new album on Sub Pop Records. Tonight, Philebrity Presents King Tuff at Johnny Brenda’s (9 PM, $10, 21+). King Tuff (real name: Kyle Thomas) is from Vermont and has been involved with a number of other bands including Happy Birthday, the stoner metal band Witch (with J. Mascis) and the avant-folk band Feathers. King Tuff’s self-titled second album (and first for Sub Pop) is a collection of garage inspired power pop that rocks from start to finish in an unapologetic manner. Opening for King Tuff is Habibi and Slutever.

Below, check out the video for “Bad Thing” and download “Keep On Movin” from King Tuff’s new album right below and

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Drenge at Johnny’s Brendas, Best Coast at Union Transfer

Drenge | Photo by Samuel Lewis
Drenge | Photo by Samuel Lewis

U.K. up-and-comers Drenge will headline Johnny Brenda’s tonight in support of their sophomore release, Undertow. The grunge rock band started as a duo of brothers playing guitar and drums, but they have since incorporated a bass player to create a new dynamic. Tonight’s show will be their second-to-last in the U.S. before they head off to play the European festival circuit. Watch their video for song “Running Wild” below and get tickets for their 21+ show with Made Violent here. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Sun Ra Arkestra to play Johnny Brenda’s on Halloween

Sun Ra Arkestra
Sun Ra Arkestra at Johnny Brendas | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Sun Ra Arkestra, the eclectic and virtuosic ensemble of the late jazz legend Sun Ra are bringing their cosmic talents back to Johnny Brenda’s for a two-hour Halloween show. The Arkestra performs the visionary, multi-stylistic compositions of Sun Ra under the guidance of longtime alto-saxophonist Marshall Allen. This will be the Arkestra’s third Halloween appearance at Johnny Brenda’s and a rare opportunity to experience one of the truly singular legacies in the music world. Continue reading →

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The Skull Eclipses homecoming at Johnny Brenda’s is a win for cross-continental hip-hop

The Skull Eclipses | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN

Philadelphia rap auteur Lushlife (Raj Haldar) continues on a hot streak of album partnerships, this time with beat connoisseur Botany (Spencer Stephenson) to form The Skull Eclipses.  Together, they specialize in a sort of lo-fi, kind of psych infused, and refreshingly nostalgic experimental hip-hop.  Analog synthesis, twisted beats, and rapid fire boom-bap are the name of the game here, and a three-year journey spanning cross country collaborations paid off, and Lushlife brought it home to celebrate. Continue reading →