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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mount Moriah at Johnny Brenda’s, Auctioneer and Heyward Howkins at PhilaMOCA, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell at the Academy of Music

mount_moriah_stairwell_bgThere’s a whole bunch of blissed-out folk to be heard at Johnny Brenda’s tonight as Mount Moriah (from North Carolina) and Blessed Feathers (from Wisconsin) play one of the last shows of their tour together. The two acts are an appropriate pairing; Mount Moriah plays stripped down, rootsy country/gospel that focuses on highlighting Heather McEntire’s pop croons, while Blessed Feathers play a more updated kind of indie-folk, full of ambient two-part harmonies and driving melodies. The two sounds complement each other very well, and opening act Edison is definitely in the same realm, offering ambient space rock with hints of violin. The 21+ show begins at 8 p.m., tickets and information can be found at the venue’s website. Watch Mount Moriah’s video for “Plane” below.

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Just Announced: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell playing The Academy of Music in March with Richard Thompson Electric Trio

This winter, country music icon Emmylou Harris and singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell are embarking on their first official collaboration since 1975. On February 26, they will release the album Old Yellow Moon, and will tour in support of it with the Richard Thompson Electric Trio, who also has a new EP titled Electric. The tour comes to Philadelphia on Tuesday, March 26 at the Academy of Music – onsale information will be announced shortly. Below, watch archival video Emmylou and Rodney collaborating on “If I Could Only Win Your Love.”

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Watch the new video for “Holy Holy” by Wye Oak (opening for The National tonight and tomorrow at the Academy Of Music)

As we mentioned earlier today, Wye Oak will open for The National and Yo La Tengo at the Academy Of Music tonight and tomorrow night. Below, you can watch the new video for the Baltimore-based duo’s song “Holy Holy,” a sun-soaked, dreamy clip shot in Coney Island that follows the two as they ride roller coasters and swings against a washed out sky. “Holy Holy” is from the band’s latest album Civilian, which came out this spring. Wye Oak performs with The National and Yo La Tengo at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 7th, and Thurday, September 8th, at the Academy Of Music; tickets to the all-ages shows are $39.50.

Wye Oak – Holy Holy from Merge Records on Vimeo.

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: The National + Yo La Tengo, Wye Oak at the Academy Of Music

The National has been around for more than a decade—a lifetime by indie buzzband standards—but it continues to put out solid records. The Brooklyn-based quintet’s latest, 2010′s High Violet, proves that the band is still relevant, and at the top of its game. The album features collaborations with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Sufjan Stevens; it’s a more polished, lavish rendition of The National’s particular brand of alt rock. Philadelphia is in for a special stop on the band’s fall tour: It will perform not one but two shows, both of which are with Yo La Tengo and Wye Oak. The National performs with Yo La Tengo and Wye Oak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 7th, and Thurday, September 8th, at the Academy Of Music; tickets to the all-ages shows are $39.50.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Broken Records at North Star Bar, John Mellencamp at Academy Of Music

Broken Records

Photo by Chris Park

Given Arcade Fire’s recent Grammy Award for Album Of The Year, should fans of Broken Records stop railing against the “Scottish Arcade Fire” tag the Edinburgh-based indie-folk act has been saddled with and simply embrace it? (So what if the comparison is a stretch at best, and conjured up by lazy music journalists who are too busy trying to find Tomorrow’s Next Big Internet Band to bother accurately describing the bands of today?) Hey, if it increases Broken Records’ chances of achieving Arcade-Fire levels of success, we doubt the band will have any complaints. Broken Records performs with U.S. Royalty and Gunfight! at 8 p.m. at North Star Bar; tickets to the 21+ show are $12.

Also playing: John Mellencamp performs at 7 p.m. at the Academy Of Music ($48.50–$130); a screening of Kurt Markus’ documentary It’s About You, which follows the creation of Mellencamp’s 2010 album No Better Than This, will precede the performance.

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Our Friends Went To See Sufjan Stevens Last Night And All We Got Were These Videos

Sufjan Stevens played a sold-out show at the Academy of Music in Philly last night. Kate Bracaglia, who blogs at Underwater Explosions pretty much summed it up concisely in her review of the show for Phrequency.com:

Stevens delighted and mesmerized concertgoers with a 2-hour, multi-sensory carnival of lights, video, dancing, and sweet, sweet tunes.

And what has become the rule of the day, some videos of the show are making the rounds. Here’s one below of the song “Chicago.” For another video and set list from last night’s show head over here to The Swollen Fox music blog.

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Sufjan Stevens at Academy Of Music

Sufjan StevensHere we were, thinking we knew the real Sufjan Stevens—the banjo-slinging, indie-folk singer-songwriter with a penchant for spiritual themes, an obsession with history and geography, and an overall demeanor that earned him the distinction of being (as Pitchfork put it) the “poster boy for mannered indie-dude sensitivity.” Turns out, the Detroit-born critics’ darling is just a regular pissed-off guy, every bit as confused and melodramatic as the rest of us (albeit, much better of putting said anger and confusion to music). The recently-released The Age Of Adz is arguably Stevens’ most personal album to date, with Stevens’ frustration and bitterness laid out for everyone to see—both in the lyrics and in the artwork (which comes courtesy of paranoid schizophrenic and misogynist artist Royal Robertson). Then again, it sounds like there’s also some outside influences at work. In a recent interview with Exclaim, Stevens stated, “I did get very sick last year and had some serious health issues…it was really confusing and catastrophic in a lot of ways because it was a virus I had that affected my nervous system and I no longer had control of my responses to circumstances and events,” before adding, “So, this record, The Age of Adz, is, in some ways, a result of that process of working through health issues and getting much more in touch with my physical self.” Yikes. We’re glad to hear he’s feeling better these days. And we hope that selling 36,000 copies of The Age Of Adz in its first week helps ease any lingering pain of what sounds like an incredibly difficult songwriting process. Sufjan Stevens performs at 8 p.m. at The Academy Of Music; tickets are SOLD OUT.

Also playing: Shearwater + Damien Jurado at Johnny Brenda’s (8:30 p.m., 21+, $10); Bob Mould at Sellersville Theater (8 p.m., $25)