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Tonight’s Concert Picks: American Babies at Ardmore Music Hall, The Spring Standards at Arden Gild Hall, Boog at Steel City Coffeehouse

 Photo by Skylar Carfi courtesy of the artist
Photo by Skylar Carfi | courtesy of the artist

Philly guitarist and songwriter Tom Hamilton has worked with forward-thinking jammers Brothers Past, Disco Biscuits and Kurt Vile, and tonight he brings his long-running American Babies project to Ardmore Music Hall. It’s always been an eclectic group, drawing on the fringes of CSNY-esque folk to Built to Spill style indie rock. Its latest, An Epic Battle Between Light and Dark, comes out March 18th via Royal Potato Family, and tonight American Babies light up Ardmore Music Hall. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to the new song “synth driver” below. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: American Babies release first taste of new record with “Synth Driver”

 

 Photo by Skylar Carfi courtesy of the artist
Photo by Skylar Carfi courtesy of the artist

 American Babies bridge the worlds of psychedelia, Americana and indie-rock. They take their genre-changing attitude from frontman and main creative force, Philly-native Tom Hamilton, and are also set to release their fourth studio album this March. Today we are happy to premiere the album’s first single, “Synth Driver.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: New Sound Brass at Boot and Saddle and Tom Hamilton’s American Babies at Ardmore Music Hall

Photo via facebook.com
Photo via facebook.com/NewSoundBrassBand

New Orleans by way of Philly by way of soul and R&B will be on display at Boot & Saddle tonight with Philly’s aptly named New Sound Brass Band. The band, which features members of 2 Street mummers, will bring the funk, soul and much more. To get tickets for the show go here, and make sure to check out their live performance below for a taste of what to expect. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Districts at First Unitarian Church, Swans at Union Transfer, Hoodie Allen at Underground Arts and more

The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

After a full year of festival performances and a nationwide tour with White Denim, there’s still no stopping The Districts. Yesterday, they performed at WXPN’s NonCOMM, and tonight, they’ll headline an all ages show in the First Unitarian Church basement along with Clear Plastic Masks, Pine Barons and Fly Golden Eagle. The show starts at 8 p.m. and the $12 tickets can be purchased here or at the door.

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When love is lost, drink and dance: American Babies release video for “Goddamn”

AmericanBabies6
American Babies | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Psychedelic jam band American Babies – led by prolific guitarist and Philly native Tom Hamilton – have released a soulful (and admittedly somewhat sad) video for “Goddamn”, a track off of 2013’s Knives & Teeth. The all-too-real ode to when love goes wrong and relationships go awry is brought to life in the video by a visually distraught Hamilton, doing what we all do when doused in pain, the best we can. A cheery breakdown and sing-a-long help soothe the sting, and despite Hamilton’s honest telling of regret, one can’t help toe tapping to the tune.

With the release of Knives and Teeth last year, and an upcoming EP Stark & Red due out April 1, American Babies has hit the road on a four month tour with two stops in Philly: they’ll play Union Transfer 2/14 and 2/15 with Railroad Earth. Find tickets and info on each show here and here. Watch the video for “Goddamn” below.

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Download The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 9 (feat. Amanda X, Balance and Composure, Mean Lady and more)

The Key Studio Sessions Volume 9
Album cover photo by Tiffany Yoon | tiffanyyoon.com

Today we bring you our latest Key Studio Sessions compilation, pulling together the best of what we’ve recorded in the final four months of 2013. I’m always psyched about these comps, but The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 9 in particular presents a tremendous variety of musicians from around the Philadelphia region that I’m excited to showcase for you. Bucks County has a healthy showing, from the acoustic alt-punk swagger of Balance and Composure and the retro-grunge of Daylight to the booming Americana of Levee Drivers and the flower child folk stylings of Lily Mae. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Willy Mason, American Babies, Ben Smith

The Districts | photo via www.shakingthrough.com
The Districts | photo via www.shakingthrough.com

Closing out 2013, Weathervane Music premiered a Shaking Through session with The Districts this week.  The Lancaster natives wrote, arranged and recorded “Vermont” in two days at Miner Street Recording for the episode.  Watch the video here and stream and download the track below.

Todd Hamilton brought in his American Babies project for a Key Studio Session.  Hamilton has floated around the music scene for many years, fronting bands, collaborating with other artists and taking a seat in the producers chair.  For this session his band recorded tracks from their latest Knives and Teeth LP.  Stream and download “When I Build My Fortune” below and get the full set here.

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The Key Studio Sessions: American Babies

Let’s not mince words: Tom Hamilton is one of the best guitarists in Philadelphia today. It’s hard to imagine the jam rock scene being what it is without him, between his boundary-pushing formative band Brothers Past, to his collaborations with The Disco Biscuits, to his current main squeeze American Babies – who this week make their return visit to the Key Studio Sessions. (Check out their 2011 appearance here.)

But beyond his acrobatic solos and precision riffage as a performer within one tight-knit scene, Hamilton’s ear and knack for arrangement span other scenes, ranging from indie-psychedelic (he recorded an early Kurt Vile demo in 2002) to folk (Joe D’Amico of Mason Porter is also a Brothers Past alum, and Hamilton produced their record Thunder In The Valley).

American Babies released its third full length, Knives and Teeth, and it’s the group’s most tuneful collection to date. Hot off a three-month tour, they played a polished performance of five of its songs in their Key Session, which you can stream and download below. Check it out, and catch the Babies in concert on February 14th and 15th at Union Transfer with Railroad Earth; tickets and information on the shows can be found here and here.

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ali Wadsworth at Ruba Club, The Deli’s 5th Anniversary Bash at PhilaMOCA, River City Festival at Penn Treaty Park and more

Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 9.30.04 PMAli Wadsworth is not a new voice in Philly by any means, but she’ll be releasing her debut solo LP at Ruba Club tonight.  The celebration will be an incredible one: a cocktail hour, sets by Auctioneer, Thom McCarthy and Divers and a “super top secret party band” will surround the centerpiece performance by Wadsworth and her band. Before striking out on her own, Wadsworth was a member of Unlikely Cowboy with Good Old War’s Dan Schwartz, Goldiebox with her sister Claire and Philly super-group Fantasy Square Garden.  The new album, recorded by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man), features songs written for Wadsworth by her friends and fellow musicians.  Tickets and information for the all-night party can be found on the Facebook event page.  Watch Wadsworth perform “Still Not Over You” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology below.

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Just Announced: Vacationer, American Babies, Cheers Elephant headlining 6th annual Fishtown River City Festival

Vacationer | Photo by John Vettese
Vacationer performing at 2nd Street Fest | Photo by John Vettese

The Fishtown River City Festival just announced the lineup for its sixth annual installment, and the free concert on October 5th will be topped by electro-pop crew (and recent 2nd Street Fest headliners) Vacationer. The band – fronted by Kenny Vasoli of The Starting Line – is still riding high on its 2012 LP Gone, and earlier this summer it recorded a fantastic Key Studio Session. They’ll take the stage along with jam rock crew American Babies, psychedelic pop boys Cheers Elephant and more. More information and set times can be found at the River City Festival website. Below, watch video of Vacationer recording their Key Session, and download tracks from Cheers Elephant and American Babies from The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 1.