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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Alex G at Walla Fest in Norristown

Alex G | Photo by Abi Reimold
Alex G | Photo by Abi Reimold

Walla Fest continues at the Centre Theater in Norristown today with a dozen more acts, capped off by a performance from Alex G.  The Philadelphia bandleader / songwriter, who has been an Internet sensation for several years, released a brand new LP called DSU just a few weeks ago that caught the attention of Pitchfork and Rolling Stone.  His instantly memorable guitar melodies are paired with relatable lyrics that fans scream back at him from the crowd, whether he’s playing in a basement or on a stage.  More information for Walla Fest can be found here.  Listen to “After Ur Gone” below.

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Alex G, Pine Barons, Abi Reimold, The Snails and more on Walla Fest 2014

Snails_Van
The Snails | via facebook.com/thesnailspa2

 

Finally! The moment we’ve all been waiting for. This year’s Walla Fest lineup has been released, and it features some of the best local musicians the Philadelphia and surrounding metropolitan area has to offer including reggae group The Snails (who are back for their second year in a row), bedroom pop musician Alex G, folkish alt-rockers Pine Barons, cathartic singer-songwriter Abi Reimold mellow rock band Free Cake for Every Creature.  The festival will be held inside of Norristown’s Centre Theater. If you’re looking for more information about the fest, including the full lineup and ticket information, you can head right here to the festival’s website. Also, you can check out some tunes by Alex G below.

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Listen to Alex G’s euphoric new single “Harvey,” see him at Michael Jordan house tomorrow

Alex G | Photo by Abi Reimold
Alex G | Photo by Abi Reimold

Philadelphia artist Alex G has released a new single from his upcoming full-length album DSU. The track called “Harvey” has a wistful sound with hypnotizing harmonies and blissful music. It puts the listener in a euphoric state, but as quickly as “Harvey” starts, it ends. The listener falls down the rabbit hole and is left to struggle alone coming down from the high. Like a drug, the song becomes addictive — it’s hard to take it off repeat. Listen to “Harvey” below, and catch Alex G tomorrow night at West Philly show house Michael Jordan; information on the show can be found at its Facebook event page.

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Pi Lam announces line-up for Human BBQ XXXVI, including Slingshot Dakota, Laser Background, Alex G and more

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Ryan Russell | www.ryanrussell.net
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Ryan Russell | www.ryanrussell.net

West Philly’s punk frat house Pi Lam has announced the line-up for its 36th annual Human BBQ, taking place Saturday, April 5th.  The 18-band, day-long festival will feature performers from across the genre spectrum, including Haverford fan favorites Alex G, psych-Americana outfit Heat Thunder and “rotten fuzz punk” four-piece Mumblr.  Heading up the meat and music event are upbeat pop punkers Slingshot Dakota, post-hardcore emo outfit Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe and indie rockers Cold Fronts.  The mostly-local bill is filled out by Laser Background, Roof Doctor, ScooterJinx, Told Slant, Is and of The, No Stranger, Memorial Gore, The Interest Group, David Phosphor Walrus and Teenage Bigfoot.  More information can be found on the Facebook event page here.  Check out music from some of the acts below.

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Watch Winthrop of The Hundred Acre Woods perform an acoustic version of “Base of My Heart” (playing Golden Tea House tonight)

The Hundred Acre Woods | via Facebook

Folky Philly indie rock outfit The Hundred Acre Woods recently visited Space Jam Sessions – the new video project of local photographer (and Key contributor) Allison Newbold – where frontman Winthrop Stevens performed the gut-wrenching “Base of My Heart.” Totally stripped down to an acoustic and his voice, the music thrives with its simply heavenly melody. The band throws a release party for its new EP Cold In the Morning tonight at Golden Tea House alongside Alex G, I Kill Giants, Au Revoir, and SHMNS. For more info, check out the Facebook event.

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Palehound brings DIY passion and aggression to Philly this Friday

Ellen Kempner of Palehound | Courtesy of Exploding in Sound Records

New York based Palehound released the six song Bent Nail EP back in October, and I have to say I’m disappointed I did not hear about them until now. A lot of potential is wrapped up in this band, from the songwriting and lo-fi tunes, to singer Ellen Kempner’s striking voice.

Similarities can definitely be drawn to Philly’s own Hop Along - both feature passionate and aggressive front women backed by calculated hooks that result in something that is heartfelt and catchy.

“Drooler” contains a softly trudging verse that leads into a blown-up chorus where Kempner exclaims “Vandalize my body / If it helps you sleep soundly.” This song definitely grows on you. “Psycho Speak” is a trip through stories of rich lovers, bad neighbors, and laziness that flows with a non-stop upbeat guitar riff.

The band’s most notable song comes with “Pet Carrot,” with a great amount of humor and honesty intertwined throughout. Kempner takes us through this song as her voice dips and dives across her vocal range, but the guitar and bass also also pop. The EP finishes strong with “I Get Clean,” which focuses on the inability to clear your mind and “Flytrap,” which is a powerful humming ballad.

Palehound will be playing a show at Dog Morgue this Friday with Krill, Alex G, Pumba, and Anchor 3. Stream Bent Nail below, and download it via Bandcamp.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Goodnight Lights at MilkBoy, Alex G at PhilaMOCA, Kite Party at Boot and Saddle

goodnightlightsPhilly alterna-indie mainstays Goodnight Lights must have cranked up the “epic” knob on their amps since we heard from them last. Yesterday, the five-piece band quietly unleashed a new track called “Convinced,” a selection from their recent recording stint with Bill Moriarty over at Waking Studio in East Falls, and it’s thundering drums and soaring guitar licks sound massive in a Siamese Dream via Synthetica kind of way. The song is a teaser for a five-song EP the band plans to release in 2014, but tonight, they open up the show at MilkBoy alongside Born Cages and NGHBRS; tickets and information can be found here. Listen to “Convinced” below.

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Kat Kat Records announces line-up for Phest Two, happening 12/28 to 12/31

Lemura | photo via www.facebook.com/lemuriapop
Lemuria | photo via www.facebook.com/lemuriapop

Add this to your list of New Year’s Eve celebrations: Kat Kat Records presents Phest Two on December 28th-31st at The Fire and various other locations around town.  The indoor festival will span four days with seven shows featuring forty bands during both matinee and late night events.  The line-up includes local acts The Hundred Acre Woods, Mumblr, Nicknames and Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe alongside touring bands Lemuria, Elvis Depressedly, Swan of Tuonela and more.  This year’s Phest Two will also mark the second much-anticipated NYE Stinky Smelly reunion, following last year’s midnight set at Maggot House.  Check out the full-lineup and get four day passes here.  Check out some of the performing bands below.

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Download “Lucy” by Alex G (playing Church of the Advocate on 7/20)

Alex G | Photo by Abi Reimold
Alex G | Photo by Abi Reimold

“Lucy” is a trance-inducing two-minute track from Haverford’s Alex G, released as a single on the young musician’s Bandcamp last month.  Following up last November’s Trick full-length, “Lucy” is a hushed and relaxing song with minimal lyrics ( just “I love Lucy” floating through every now and then) and Alex G’s always on-point guitar melodies.  When he’s not playing solo, Alex is the lead singer in The Skin Cells.  But it’s his early solo work that landed him on a list with The Smiths, Animal Collective and Sunny Day Real Estate – music blog Pigeons and Planes tipped his 2010 track “Gnaw” for its 20 Indie Classics by Artists Under 20 composite this past April.  He’ll return to North Philly’s Church of the Advocate on July 20th for a show with Coma Cinema, Julia Brown, Olive Drab and Girl Scouts; more information can be found on the Facebook event page here.  Download “Lucy” and stream “Gnaw” below.

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PhilaFunkLive brings basement shows above-ground in a new all-ages venue (grand opening tonight with Alex G, Bleeding Fractals and more)

Photo by Teresa Salinas
Bleeding Fractals  |  Photo by Teresa Salinas

It’s opening night at PhilaFunkLive (PFL), a new all-ages venue in West Philadelphia that will bring stability and consistency to the city’s underground / house-show scene.  As PFL’s booking manager Mark Harper knows all too well (he fronts Roof Doctor and is a former resident of North Philly show space Maggot House), it can be hard for bands to get legitimate shows in this city.

“I’d like PFL to be a mainstay for touring and basement bands in a city where DIY spaces are constantly opening and closing,” Harper says.  ”I want to be able to help touring bands who need a hand as well as put on events that showcase Philly’s underground bands.”

Helping out-of-state and local bands play shows in Philadelphia is something Harper has great experience with – until recently he co-managed the events at the much-loved Maggot House and has booked both high-profile projects (Cold Fronts, Avery Rosewater) and basement favorites (Stinky Smelly, The Hundred Acre Woods).  With a mission to “be a proponent of DIY culture,” PFL is ready to take the aesthetic and camaraderie of this underground scene to a new level.

Conveniently located right off of Market St. near the 40th St. El stop, PFL is re-fitting the historic Bell Telephone Exchange Building as a multi-purpose and affordable place to host concerts.  The building also includes a recording studio, gallery room, coffee shop and office space and upholds a no-drinking policy, ensuring that fans of all ages can enjoy shows that would otherwise likely be booked at one of the cities many 21+ spots.

To kick-off the summer season, Harper has called in bands that are well-known throughout the basement scene: emo-y garage punks SMOOTHER, Alex G (prolific leader of The Skin Cells) and rowdy math-punks Bleeding Fractals will play alongside Virginia’s Trust Fall.  More information for tonight’s inaugural show can be found on the Facebook event page here.  The fun continues at 8 N. Preston St. tomorrow night with Chet Williams, Brown Rainbow and I Wish I Could Sing Beautiful Words (information here).

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