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Tonight’s Concert Picks: A.M. Mills at Ortliebs, Dawn Hiatt at Tin Angel, The Warhawks at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Philly singer-songwriter A.M. Mills celebrated Record Store Day at AKA Music and tonight he plays at Ortlieb’s. Last month, he released a stellar track titled “Wreckin’ My World” which has a ’70s California-rock ballad feel to it (think Tom Petty). It’s simple, melodic and feels good all around. Check it out below and get tickets here.

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Auctioneer bring some pieces of summer to us in the new video for “Hard to Believe It”

Auctioneer | Photo by John Vettese
Auctioneer | Photo by John Vettese

Auctioneer have released a new video for “Hard to Believe It,” a track taken from the Philadelphia outfit’s upcoming record.  The footage used in the clip was filmed by band member Jesse Moore during a trip to Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos last September.  From Moore:

During this particular trip we were met with one of the last really warm weekends of the season.  Rest assured none of us took it for granted as we spent the day water skiing and the night bathing in the light of the rising Super Moon. It was pretty magical and I never really used the footage that I gathered.

The nostalgic nature of the video draws out the song’s own yearning and sentimental sides, the images of sunshine and t-shirts emphasizing the art-pop piano hooks and energetic rhythm.  The video for “Hard to Believe It” also comes at a pretty opportune time, as Moore says “I also hope it serves as a bridge between seasons. I know we’re all ready to pack away those flannels.” Get ready for the next season by watching the clip below.

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Marah, Auctioneer, Katie Frank & the Pheromones and more

Photo by Will Hoover
Photo by Will Hoover

This week on Unlocked, The Key got the full scoop on Counting Your Curses by Katie Frank & The Pheromones.  It’s the debut full-length from the local roots rock outfit, and you can download a track from it called “Halfway Gone” below before checking out the full feature here.

Joe Kille is the subject of this week’s Folkadelphia Session.  The fiddler for Morning River Band struck out on his own with a new record Arkadelphia, described by Fred Knittel as “a smart set of timeless sounding country-noir songs.”  Check out some live-recorded tracks from the LP for yourself below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Auctioneer at Johnny Brenda’s, Eternal Summers at Boot and Saddle, Air is Human at Ortlieb’s

Auctioneer | Photo by John Vettese
Auctioneer | Photo by John Vettese

Philly art-pop outfit Auctioneer headlines Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Singer and songwriter Craig Hendrix is in the midst of working on a new album – in between his stint playing keyboards in bands like Birdie Busch and The Greatest Night – and gave us a taste of it via the new single “Hard to Believe It,” which you can grab a free download of below. The song has shimmering hooks that our Elisabeth Joyce compared to Kings of Leon, while the beat is a slick krautrock rhythm, nicely balancing the avant and the pop. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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PREMIERE: Philly art-poppers Auctioneer debut the melodic “Hard to Believe It”

Auctioneer1

Auctioneer | photo by John Vettese

Motley art rock crew Auctioneer - the brain child of Philly’s Craig Hendrix – has a new track available for free via Bandcamp titled “Hard to Believe it,” and it showcases a different side to the Philly multi-instrumentalist.

The band is known for its eclectic range of genres, recalling Talking Heads with more of a brass influence, but this track ventures into pop. The deep sincerity of Hendrix’s vocals remains, but the melody has a feels not unlike a Kings of Leon track, a simple structure that remains ever-engaging. Lyrically Auctioneer is always pretty profound, and “Hard to Believe it” flows and reconciles within the mind without trying too hard.

Hendrix’s collaborators on this recording are Todd Erk on bass (Hoots & Hellmouth), the illustrious Jesse Moore on piano and organ and Tommy Bendel on percussion. You can steam and download the track below for free. Catch Auctioneer with Fenster and Hello Shark this Wednesday, March 5 at Johnny Brenda’s. Get tickets for the show here.

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Just Announced: Auctioneer record release party / video shoot at Big Bunny Art Space on 10/18

Auctioneer | Photo by John Vettese
Auctioneer | Photo by John Vettese

It’s been a couple years since Philly’s Auctioneer captured our ears with a sad, oddly comical, uncomonnly structured and undeniably engrossing song called “The Loser.” In the time since then, the art pop band – primarily the project of singer and multi-instrumentalist Craig Hendrix, who also performs with Birdie Busch and several others – has recorded a Shaking Through session with Weathervane Music, toured with mewithoutYou and put the finishing touches on their debut LP, Our Future Faces.

The album has been streaming on Bandcamp since the summer, but the band announced the release party for its physical edition on October 18th at the new Big Bunny Art Space in East Kensington. The show will also double as a video shoot with director Spencer Sheridan, and Hendrix said in a press release:

We want to do something more casual and festive, rather than follow the club formula where you’d pay a cover, buy drinks at a bar, and go home when the band is finished.

More information can be found at the show’s Facebook event page. Below, watch the band in action in their Shaking Through session for more, read Nikki Volpicelli’s interview with Hendrix from October of 2012.

Shaking Through: Auctioneer from Weathervane Music on Vimeo.

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Surprises and horses as mewithoutYou, Rocky Votolato and Auctioneer wrap up tour at The Depot (photos, review)

mewithoutYou | Photo by John Vettese
mewithoutYou | Photo by John Vettese

It was the last night of tour, so surprises naturally came out of the woodwork when mewithoutYou headlined The Depot in York on Saturday – everything from unexpected collaborations to a singer rocking out in a horse’s mask. But we’ll get to that.

Opening the show was Philly art-rock four piece Auctioneer, who recently starred in an episode of the Shaking Through series and has been along for the ride since tour kicked off in June. The last time we caught them (at Nikki Volpicelli’s Tuesday Tune-Out this spring), the set was heavy on the visuals – a black and white 70s experimental film, a live mix of psychedelic footage shot in present day Philly – so the notion of Auctioneer unadorned was a little uncertain. Thankfully they more than delivered, showing how songwriter Craig Hendrix’s avant pop compositions don’t need to rely on trippy visuals to grip your attention. Their producer Todd Scheid was only a car-ride away, so he joined the band on gon bops caxixi, a bell-shaped percussion instrument of woven wicker, during “Our Future Faces” (the title track to Auctioneer’s new LP). As the set wrapped to a close, mewithoutYou’s Greg Jehenian and Brandon Beaver also rushed the stage to play tambourines and sing backing vocals.

Seattle songwriter Rocky Votolato followed, delivering a hushed set of acoustic folk in the vein of Elliott Smith and Red House Painters – forlorn, but undeniably poppy, and downright singalongable at moments, particularly the fan-requested “Om Ma” from a split 7″ Votolato released with Matt Pond in 2011.

On the second leg of a tour in support of their 2012 record Ten Stories, mewithoutYou were tight and hard-hitting. They took the stage shortly after 10, kicking off their set with the roaring scene-setter “February 1878.” Continue reading →

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