Local indie group Turning Violet Violet play Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The Key Studio Session alums carve out chamber alt-rock songs on the fringe of art-rock that seem bathed in a purple glow, though that might just be residual effects of their band name. Either way, the songs on Turning Violet Violet’s debut full-length Double Cure are swathe-y, sweeping compositions that strike all the right feelings chords. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with TeamMate and Donora can be found here. Revisit Turning Violet Violet’s Key Session here and watch their video for “Cold Bread” below.
Legendary reggae group The Wailers will perform Bob Marley’s 1979 album Survival in-full at World Cafe Live tonight. The release of Survival followed criticism of Marley’s previous record Kaya for being too easy-going and non-influential in subject, which may have played a part in Survival‘s unmistakable call-to-action message for African unity. Since Marley’s death in 1981, The Wailers have performed with Sting, Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder and others, with bass player Aston “Family Man” Barrett leading the group alongside singer Koolant. Tickets and information for tonight’s all-ages show with special guest and Wailers historian Roger Steffens can be found here. Below, watch The Wailers perform “Zimbabwe” from Survival with Bob Marley.
When she lived in Muncie, Indiana, Arrah Fisher was more into the college town’s indie-pop scene. When she moved to Philadelphia in 2010, she found a new voice, one with a lot more twang. The east coast lineup of Arrah & The Ferns developed a raw country sound that fit, to say the least, and the lineup grew in 2011 with new additions to the group including guitarist Ryan Belski, drummer Mike Harkness, and bassist Buddy Szczesniak. Their folk alt-country style is led by Arrah’s unique and poppy voice. Their most recent work is their EP, Soldier Ghost. They will be going into the studio soon to record their next release, but not before playing Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Tickets to this 21+ show are $10, grab yours here. We did a Key Studio session with Arrah and the Ferns in February, you can watch that video and an interview with Arrah below.
The nitty, gritty boys from Alabama Low Cut Connie are moving east for a show at North Star Bar tonight. They released their debut album Get Out the Lotion last year, giving a glimpse to their gritty lyrics and having an “explicit” label on the purchase page. Nonetheless, they bring a fun vibe to the stage with their indie rock 1950′s styled jams. Tonight’s show is 21+ and tickets are $12. Show kicks off at 9 p.m. Below listen to the catchy song “Rio” off the album.
In the early 2000′s, Tom Hamilton spent the majority of his musical days producing electronic beats in the band Brothers Past. After a little while he chose to go on a different path and slowly ascended into creating a new raw style of music with friends that surely became American Babies. Philadelphia homebodies, the babies toured for a while and came back to Philly to record their second LP, Flawed Logic with Bill Moriarty (Man Man, Dr. Dog). They play tonight at Kennett Flash, doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $12 in advanced, $15 day of show.
The trouble with LAKE’s previous album, Let’s Build A Roof, was that it wandered dangerously close to Jimmy Buffett territory. The tranquil tone and subtle apathy suggested something only meant to be listened to at a summer barbeque or on the beach with friends—music for a relaxed party. Fortunately, the sepia melodies and a strong rhythm gave the record depth; it’s relaxed party music you can be proud of. The new record, Giving And Receiving (released earlier this month), is similar to the previous album, but it has a little less sunlight. (Perhaps the barbeque was moved indoors due to inclement weather?) The music’s social vibe must come from the fact that LAKE is as much a tight-knit community as it is a band. Two leading members, Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson, are married. And LAKE’s website (which refers to the members only by their first names) explains that the band originated in order to play a friend’s birthday party in their hometown of Olympia, Washington. LAKE performs with AgesandAges (today’s My Morning Download on the WXPN site) and Royal Shoals at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $7. —Dave Simpson
Also playing: Titus Andronicus + Dinowalrus, Frost Watson at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $12); Camplight + Illinois at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10-$12); Balkan Beat Box + Uproot Andy, Joro Boro at The Trocadero (8 p.m., all ages, $21); American Babies (record-release show) + Mason Porter, Former Belle at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $14)
The Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume One—which you can download for free here—features one exclusive track recorded at the WXPN studios by 17 local acts, including Cheers Elephant, Grimace Federation, Summer Fiction, Moon Women, Prowler, Attia Taylor, 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers, Res, Purling Hiss, The Shackeltons, Soars, Johnny Miles And The Waywards, Creepoid, By Surprise, Lady, Slutever, and American Babies.
Want to hear more? Click here to listen to the full sessions by all 17 local acts. You can also download The Key Studio Sessions Compilation, Volume One in its entirety as a .zip file.
Philly’s Tom Hamilton is a study in guitar-playing duality. He came to prominence in the band Brothers Past, an electronic/ instrumental act popular on the jam-band circuit. (Think of them as distant cousins to The Disco Biscuits.) In that group, Hamilton’s playing is very loose, fluid, and improvisatory—but the man has tremendous focus, which we see on display in his more recent outlet, American Babies. Its second full-length, Flawed Logic, dropped last Tuesday, and the band recently swung by WXPN to record a Key Studio Session showing off its new wares. Recording them, I was impressed by Hamilton’s knack for writing timeless rock ‘n’ roll hooks (the vaguely gospel-influenced backup vocals on “Streets Of Brooklyn”) as well as smartly-arranged anthems (“Winter Wargames” is massive, but spacious). He dips into some impressive solos throughout, but doesn’t wander too far from the task at hand—playing his songs, not showing off. (On a non-guitar note, the session featured some of the tastiest drum tones I’ve had the pleasure of recording, so good on Dave Butler for the fine-tuning in that department.) American Babies’ release show for Flawed Logic is tomorrow night, April 28, at World Café Live – also on the bill are Mason Porter and Former Belle. Tickets for the all-ages show are $12.