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Watch Light Heat perform “Dance the Cosmos Light” at Race Street Pier (playing Ortlieb’s on 11/15)

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Bands In the Backyard was on hand to capture Light Heat in action at their Race Street Pier appearance last month.  The local psychedelic band performed songs off of their debut self-titled record, including lead-off track “Dance the Cosmos Light,” which you can watch a BITBY video of below.  Light Heat have a couple of shows scheduled in the area: Haverford College students will be able to catch them with Coke Weed and The Walkmen’s Peter Bauer on September 21st, while the rest of us can go to Ortlieb’s on November 15th for a show with Yellow Birds and Myrrias.  Tickets and information can be found here.

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Watch The National Rifle Perform for Bands in the Backyard (Playing a Benefit Show at North Star Bar 6/27)

TNRIndie Rock outfit The National Rifle recently played a Bands in the Backyard session in South Philly. Both synth-y and a bit power pop-y, they played their track “Glass Line,” and chatted afterwards about their band, their sound, changes over time, and the Philly music scene. The National Rifle has been around for about five years, and they just released their first full-length album, Almost Endless, earlier this year. The band will be playing the North Star Bar on June 27th, alongside Shorty Boy-Boy and Cruiser. It’s a benefit show to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings – great music, great cause!

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Watch: Bands in the Backyard sits in on a Light Heat rehearsal with with guest players Peter Bauer of The Walkmen and Skye Skjelset of Fleet Foxes

This is sweet – the Bands in the Backyard crew got to sit in on a Light Heat rehearsal in preparation for some dates the band has coming up in New York (January 12 at The Cake Shop) Philly (February 23rd at Johnny Brenda’s). Joining them are guest players Peter Bauer of The Walkmen on keys and Skye Skjelset of Fleet Foxes on guitar, and they’re rocking out to an as-yet unreleased jam from the pen of Light Heat mastermind Quentin Stoltzfus. Check it out below, find out more about the Johnny Brenda’s date at WXPN’s Concert Calendar.

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Watch Heyward Howkins’ Bands in the Backyard session (playing MilkBoy on 2/21)

The BITBY.tv crew filmed and concieved this month’s Backyard session as their Christmas feature. But since they shot in early December, when weather was still somewhat balmy, it looks like it could be a late summer evening / early autumn afternoon hangout in cardigans and t-shirts. The only definitive “Christmas” sign is various shots of a cheery plastic Santa Claus. Blame global warming, but not Heyward Howkins, who plays a pair of great new tunes in the video – one’s called “Pundit,” the other untitled – and chats with BITBY’s Kyle Costill about the in-production new LP, which he hopes to release by summer. Howkins’ next Philadelphia appearance is February 21 at MilkBoy, opening for Broken Anchor.

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Guest VJs Kyle Costill and Dave Kain preview Bands In The Backyard’s Tuesday Tune-out Lineup (kicks off at PhilaMOCA tonight)

It’s the last month of 2012, meaning one final round of Tuesday Tune-Out showcases at PhilaMOCA. This month’s curators are the venerable Bands In The Backyard crew, who bring some adventurous pairings of music and film for the next three Tuesdays.

I knew that I dug what these guys were up to as soon as I saw their video of Ages playing in the back of Johnny Brenda’s. In the year and a half since then, they’ve faithfully documented the Philly scene in videos that range from lo-fi immediacy to multi-camera productions, showcasing the town’s up-and-coming acts as well as buzzing national bands that make their way through. I’m happy to welcome them to this space to talk about what they have in store for the December Tune-Out. All events are at PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th Street), start at 7:30 p.m. Continue reading →

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Step out into The Naked Sun (new BITBY video out today, playing The Balcony on 11/30)

To those familiar with this city, South Philadelphia has forever been the central hub for all things loud, fast and sonically destructive. But sometimes, from under the wreckage of broken cymbals and detuned guitars emerges something considerably more tame and distinct. The Naked Sun, a self-proclaimed “honest rock” quartet from the bottom end of the city, offer tender love songs that effectively transcend the idea of “honesty.” Their sound is nothing short of vulnerable.

The group, which opens for Man in a Crowd at The Balcony Bar at The Trocadero on November 30, was recently featured in a Bands in the Backyard BKSTG spotlight which shows them performing at Fleisher Art Memorial. Singer/songwriter Drew Harris sways and croons beneath the venue’s giant wooden crucifix, eyes closed, moving to the group’s stripped down performance.

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The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Nothing, Denison Witmer and The Roots

Space-rocking Philly shoegazers Nothing stopped by for a Key Studio Session recently.  Recorded in front of a live audience and several glowing candles, the resulting four tracks will have an effect on you similar to that of a planetarium; the songs are dreamy, hypnotic and transcendental.  The Bands in the Backyard crew were also on site and captured an atmospheric video of “The Rites of Love and Death”; watch the video below and head over here to download the full session.  Check out Nothing’s upcoming tour dates on their Bandcamp.

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St. James and the Apostles kicks off tour tonight at Silk City

Philly acid-rock three-piece St. James and the Apostles is heading out on a short fall tour, and is kicking things off tonight at the Bands in the Backyard No Alternative party at Silk City. They go on at 11 p.m., with opening sets by This Frontier Needs Heroes and Dani Mari; more information on the 21+ show can be found here. Below, check out the Apostles’ recently released BITBY Backstage session, filmed in their basement practice / recording space.

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Listen to a new single from Nightlands, “So Far So Long”

NightlandsNow that Philly rock heroes The War on Drugs are wrapped up with the victory lap tour in support of their majestic 2011 full-length Slave Ambient, bassist Dave Hartley is free to return to his Nightlands side project. A new track called “So Far So Long” premiered on Pitchfork today, and it’s much more poppy and accessible than Nightlands’ very experimental 2010 debut Forget the Mantra, betraying his love for snappy 70s pop rock. Listen to the song in the player below, and look for Nightlands’ second LP Oak Island to get a release in January from Secretly Canadian. In the meantime, we hear Nightlands is returning to the stage in December for Bands In the Backyard‘s Tuesday Tune-Out series at PhilaMOCA. UPDATE: Nightlands will actually be at PhilaMOCA a lot sooner, playing on Thursday October 25.

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