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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kishi Bashi at TLA, Divers at Boot and Saddle, Jack Johnson and Amos Lee at The Mann and more

via facebook.com/mrkishibashi
via facebook.com/mrkishibashi

Multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Kishi Bashi just released his latest album Lightght (pronounced “Light”) this month. The latest album, named after a controversial one word poem by Aram Saroyan, features uplifting indie pop with chaotic yet beautiful mix of violin and technology. K. Ishibashi also is an utility player in of Montreal as well as a founding member of Jupiter One. Watch him perform live at the TLA; get more information at the XPN Concert Calender.

Kishi Bashi – Philosophize in It! Chemicalize with It! from Geoff Hoskinson on Vimeo.

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XPN Welcomes Amos Lee at American Music Theatre June 9th

Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Philly’s Amos Lee has added another local stop to his summer tour that brings him to Lancaster’s American Music Theatre on June 9th. The new date falls right in between his sold out Mann Center show with Jack Johnson and performance at this year’s Firefly Music Festival. Why not ring in the summer season with Amos Lee’s folksy acoustic soul? Get tickets here and watch him perform “Chill in the Air” from his latest album Mountains of Song, Rivers of Sorrow on Jimmy Kimmel Live! below.

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Amos Lee performs songs from Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Philly local artist Amos Lee performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday night.  If you missed the episode, you can check out his performance of “Chill In the Air,” one of my favorite songs on his latest album Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, and “Tricksters, Hucksters, and Scamps,” which was a web exclusive, below.  Lee will be back in the area for shows on April 18th at The Borgata in Atlantic City NJ, June 9th at The American Music Theatre in Lancaster PA and Firefly Music Festival in Dover DE.  Tickets and information for all shows can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar here.

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Just Announced: Jack Johnson brings special guest Amos Lee to The Mann on 6/6

Jack Johnson | photo by Emmett Malloy
Jack Johnson | photo by Emmett Malloy

Jack Johnson has announced a summer tour with a stop at The Mann Center on June 6th with special guest Amos Lee.  Johnson released a new record last year called From Here To Now To You on his Brushfire Records label, his sixth studio effort since debuting in 2001.  Philadelphia favorite Amos Lee also released a new record last year called Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song.  Tickets for the all-ages show go on sale Friday, January 31st, with a WXPN presale happening on Thursday, January 30th.  Tickets and information will be available here.  Below, listen to “Radiate” off Johnson’s recent LP followed by a trailer for Lee’s Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song.

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Just Announced: XPN welcomes Amos Lee to The Music Box at the Borgata on 4/18

Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Amos Lee continues to tour behind his 2013 LP Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song with an east coast tour this spring, stopping in Atlantic City for a show at The Music Box at the Borgata on April 18th.  Lee was recognized by Mayor Nutter in November, acknowledged for his extensive work with charities like Musicians On Call.  Learn more about the commendation here.  Tickets and information for the New Jersey show will be available here on January 10th.

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The 10 most popular stories on The Key in 2013

1. This is what the punk scene looked like in the 1980s

2. Exclusive Listen: Amos Lee covers “Some Days Are Diamonds” from The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver

3. Album Premiere: Listen to the debut album by Wild Belle, Isles

4. Download Meek Mills’ Dreamchasers 3 mixtape

5. Download a new Drake song, “All Me,” featuring 2 Chainz and Big Sean

6. Ballin’ Oates: Wu-Tang and Kanye West meets Hall & Oates

7. My Morning Download: “Recover” by CHVRCHES

8. Listen to J. Cole’s album Born Sinner

9. Gotta Hear Song of The Week: “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

10. Listen back to Helen Leicht’s interview with Paul McCartney

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The 12 Days of Local Christmas: “Holiday Song” by Amos Lee

Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

The XPN Local 12 Days of Christmas continues today with a holiday strummer with hometown hero Amos Lee, who recently headlined The Tower Theater. Lee is currently on the road in support of his 2013 offering, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, but this tune dates back to 2009, when Amos offered it as an exclusive download to his Facebook fans. It’s a solitary and soulful acoustic guitar song that would sound just right by a warm fireplace, as Lee belts out a simple, powerful message: “Peace starts with me.” Get a download below, and watch Amos perform it at the Buell Theater in Denver in December of 2009,

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Review: Amos Lee brings Rivers of Song to the Tower Theater

Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Amos Lee | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Philadelphia native Amos Lee took on Philadelphia’s historic Tower Theater Tuesday night as part of a tour supporting his most recent album, Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song. Lee’s soulful alt-country songwriting, classic voice and stellar backing band pleased a packed crowed and went down as a win in my book.

Lee opened his set with “Johnson Blvd”, the first track off of his latest record, a song that, between its slow build to a beautifully resolving chorus and having been written in a way that truly showcases Lee’s voice, was a very appropriate song with which to open. Continuing with Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, Lee and his band then played “Stranger”, the second track on the album, during which the combination of warm guitar and piano interaction and a taste of Lee’s falsetto made the crowd feel right at home.

Midway through his set, Lee ditched the band and played a few solo tunes, including “Dresser Drawer”, a song with a surprising backstory about Lee’s San Franciscan friend Johnny whom, after being separated from his wife, Lee visited for a period of time. “Johnny sent me a photograph on the iPhone,” Lee added, “of his wedding ring in a dresser drawer, which is really sweet. And then, 5 minutes later, I got another one, and it was a photo of his wedding ring in a dresser drawer next to some condoms.”

Still solo, Lee played a tune dedicated to his late grandfather, “Jesus”, which actually works better as a solo acoustic song than with a band. It practically goes without saying that, after bringing his band back on stage, “I’m the Man Who Wants You” got people on their feet and dancing to its soulful, groovy tempo.

Amos Lee was joined by fellow Philadelphia native Mutlu who, maybe lacking in a truly original sound, made up for it with playful lyrics and a unique brand of charisma. He got the crowd engaged with the tongue-and-cheek tune, “Board Games”, a song Mutlu describes as what you get when you try to write a sexy song about, you said it, board games. Lee brought Mutlu back on stage late in his own set to perform Mutlu’s on song, “Caramel”, which was at the very least fitting of the Thanksgiving spirit.

Amos Lee and his band have a very polished sound, and at its core is Lee’s songwriting and strikingly unique voice. It made for an excellent hometown performance, making us Philadelphians proud to call Amos Lee our own.

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Watch Amos Lee receive a commendation from Mayor Michael Nutter at City Hall

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Before headlining the Tower Theater last night, Philadelphia singer-songwriter Amos Lee stopped by City Hall to receive a commendation from Mayor Michael Nutter. In a short ceremony attended by Amos’s parents, managers and reps from concert promoters LiveNation, Nutter commended Lee:

…for his talent, his success as a singer, songwriter and performer, and for the pride he brings to Philadelphia as a musician who is giving back to the community at large. We commend him for his volunteer support of the WXPN Musicians on Call bedside performance programs, and for his efforts to raise awareness of the healing powers of music.

He also presented Lee with a Liberty Bell award, offering suggestions for its use: signaling the beginning or end of practice, or using it to rally his bandmates. Watch a video of the ceremony below.

After his mayoral citation was presented, Lee’s mother underscored how significant it was for the family, who are lifelong Philadelphians with roots in Kensington, while Lee himself spoke of the evolving perception of the city at large.

“People would ask me where I’m from, and when I’d say ‘Philadelphia,’ they’d ask ‘Where do you live now?’” Lee said. “But it won’t be long before this city is recognized as a major cultural center around the world, and I applaud [Mayor Nutter] for the work he’s done towards getting us there.”

Check out photos from the ceremony in the gallery below.