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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Japandroids at Union Transfer, Maxi Priest at The Keswick Theatre, The Best of Joey Sweeney at Johnny Brenda’s, Work Drugs with Shark Tape at Ortlieb’s, XPN Welcomes Ra Ra Riot at The Chameleon Club

Vancouver, BC duo Japandroids shook the walls at their midsummer Johnny Brenda’s show and tonight they’ll shake the walls of Union Transfer.  Japandroids are touring in support of an album many consider to be one of the year’s best (here, here and here).  The punk rockers released Celebration Rock earlier this year and were subsequently named Band of the Year by Spin, with their song “The House That Heaven Built” being named Song of the Summer by Paste.  Tickets and information for tonight’s show with DIIV can be found here.  Below, watch the video for “The House That Heaven Built.”

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Photo Recap: Arctic Splash at Johnny Brenda’s


Philly rockers Arctic Splash made their Johnny Brenda’s debut – and, if I heard them correctly, their debut playing a venue with an actual stage – on Friday night, opening for Weird Hot and St. John and the Apostles. The band features Philebrity’s Joey Sweeney on keys and vocals (and WXPN’s Jared Styles on bass), along with a crew of players with psuedonymous “Splash” surnames. Check out a photo recap of their set above.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jason Karaban at Tin Angel, Blayer PointduJour at MilkBoy, Jello Biafra at the Trocadero, and Arctic Splash at Johnny Brenda’s

Philly-bred singer-songwriter Jason Karaban returns home from L.A. tonight to celebrate the release of his new album, Shift, which came out on September 4th. Karaban joined WXPN’s Helen Leicht on her show Leicht Lunch on Wednesday to play a few songs from his new album and his song “Misplaced” was Wednesday’s My Morning Download. Now, WXPN is welcoming Karaban to the Tin Angel tonight for a 21+ CD release party. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available here for $10. Below, watch the video for “Misplaced” from Jason Karaban’s new album.

Haitian kompa musician Blayer PointduJour just released his first full-length album this week with his band, the Rockers Galore. To celebrate, PointduJour is playing a record release show at MilkBoy Philly. The 21+ show also features I Yahn I Arkestra, The National Rifle, and Philadelphia Slick. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available here for $10. Blayer PointduJour was also this week’s Unlocked band on The Key. Check out The Key’s album review of his new record The Bull here and listen to his song “One Hit” in the player below.

Former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra is headed to Philly tonight for an all ages show at the Trocadero with his band, the Guantanamo School of Medicine. The show also features performances by The Ray Gradys, Honah Lee, and Thee Nosebleeds. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available here for $15.

Finally, Philly bands Arctic Splash, Weird Hot are playing St. James & the Apostles‘s record release show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. The doors for the 21+ show open at 8:00 p.m. and the show starts at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 here. Vinyl copies of St. James & the Apostles’ new album, Baphomet, will be available at the show.

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Download a new Arctic Splash song, “Denim Tuxedo” (playing Johnny Brenda’s Friday, September 7th)


Finally, after many months of waiting in anticipation, Arctic Splash has released their debut single, “Denim Tuxedo.” You can download it below for a “name your price.” Arctic Splash is Archie Splash (vocals and keyboards), Ron Splash on bass, Ron Splash Jr. (keyboards), Dick Splash (guitar), and Black Splash on drums. The song was recorded by Jeff White, Jared Michael Styles, and Mike DePolo in at WXPN’s World Cafe Studios, with overdubs at the Laundromat. Like the Splash on Facebook here; follow them on their tumblr here. They should be on twitter momentarily. Follow the band on twitter @ArcticSplashUSA. Arctic Splash are playing Johnny Brenda’s next Friday, September 7th. Go here for tickets and more information on the show.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Honey Watts and Don Black at Kung Fu Necktie, Arctic Splash at Gunner’s Run, Lyle Lovett at Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center, and City Rain / Cold Fronts at PhilaMOCA

Philly folk duo Honey Watts are playing with Infantree, The Jantiques, and Don Black (Avolcano/Ghiant) tonight at Kung Fu Necktie. Don Black and his project Avolcano/Ghiant just played a great set at Folkadelphia‘s Tuesday Tune-Out at PhilaMOCA this week. The 21+ show starts at 7:30PM and tickets are on sale for $10 here. Check out Honey Watts’ song “It’s a Shame I Know” in the player below.

Local rockers Arctic Splash (featuring Joey Sweeney of Philebrity) are celebrating their one year anniversary with a free show at 9PM tonight at Gunner’s Run. Check out the band performing “Denim Tuxedo” for Bands in the Backyard in the player below.

WXPN welcomes Lyle Lovett and his acoustic group to the Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center tonight at 7:30PM. The show is in support of the Grammy-winning artist’s most recent album, Release Me. Tickets prices range from $54 to 64 and are available here.

Finally, Philly bands City Rain, Cold Fronts, and The Mendles are playing a variety show with local comedians Lisa Yost, James Hesky, and Alex Grubard at PhilaMOCA tonight. There is an $8 donation fee at the door and a portion of proceeds will go to the organization To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Doors open at 6:30PM and the show starts at 7:30PM. Visit the event page here for more details. Listen to the title track off City Rain’s upcoming EP, Montage, in the player below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: WXPN Welcomes Sharon Van Etten to Union Transfer, Aaron Freeman at World Cafe Live, and the PhilaMOCA Summer Solstice

Sharon Van Etten first hit our radar as the inaugural artist in Shaking Through, the video and audio collaboration between Philly’s Weathervane Music and WXPN. In many ways, the seeds of her recent acclaim were born in that session for Shaking Through at Brian McTear’s Miner Street Studios in Fishtown in December, 2010. The song she recorded, “Love More,” was included on her gorgeous and intimate October, 2010 release Epic. Since then, Sharon’s career has grown significantly, solidified by an extensive touring schedule and her February 2012 release, Tramp on Jagjaguwar Records. Over the past couple of years Sharon has released hushed, indie folk tunes that reveal intimate truths; easily making audiences swoon. Tonight WXPN welcomes her along with Meg Baird to Union Transfer at 9 PM; purchase tickets here.

Also tonight:

PhilaMOCA Summer Solstice Ice Cream Social with performances from Arctic Splash, The Really Cooks, Attia Taylor, Shorty Boy Boy, and MC Juliet Hope Wayne. Tickets to the all ages show will be sold at the door and are $8. Doors open at 6 PM.

And over at World Cafe Live, previous singer of the late, great Ween, Aaron Freeman performs songs from his new Ben Vaughn produced album, The Marvelous Clouds. The 8 PM show tickets are $20

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Download a song by Arctic Splash, playing Fergie’s Pub on Wednesday, August 17th

One of our favorite new bands in Philly, Arctic Splash, is playing next Wednesday, August 17th, at Fergie’s Pub. The band made its debut at the 2nd Street Festival. With the announcement of their second show, the members of the band have also released a demo of a song called “Denim Tuxedo” on their website; you can download it below.

Disclosure: WXPN Director Of Engineering Jared Styles plays bass in Arctic Splash.

Denim Tuxedo (Demo) by arcticsplash