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Six locals to catch at the 2014 Philadelphia Folk Festival

Kicking Down Doors
Kicking Down Doors live at the Mermaid Inn | Photo by Valentine Gorski | via facebook.com/KickingDownDoors

Every year you’re bound to catch a smattering of local music at the Philadelphia Folk Festival – from the Helen Leicht-curated WXPN Philly Local Stage (which we’ll preview tomorrow) to the Folksong Society’s Philadelphia Music Co-Op (which has given rise to Cheers Elephant and Toy Soldiers). The 2014 festival, however, is particularly strong in highlighting the music of the Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania region. Here are six local artists to make sure you catch as you’re making your way around the Folk Fest grounds this weekend. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Elegant Animals at MilkBoy, Zilla Rocca and Curly Castro at The Fire, Onelinedrawing at First Unitarian Church and more

Elegant Animals | Photo by John Vettese
Elegant Animals | Photo by John Vettese

They’re the kind of band you can’t quite categorize. Philly’s own Elegant Animals has a bit of every genre rolled into a singular style. Just a few weeks ago, they showcased that unconventional sound during their Key Studio Session. Check them out tonight with Kate Faust and Minka at MilkBoy. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and the $8 tickets can be purchased here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: John the Conqueror at Milkboy, Art Garfunkel at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Black Horse Motel with Song Dogs and Spirit & Dust at Boot & Saddle and more

 

John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong
John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong

John the Conqueror celebrate the release of The Good Life at Milkboy tonight.  Formed in 2010 by Mississippi natives Pierre Moore and Mike Gardner with Philadelphian Ryan Lynn, the trio has spent its short career creating a sound that keeps the true blues of the south alive.  Working in affinities for punk and vivid narratives, John the Conqueror’s new record is a study in traditional music storytelling with an energy that is hard to match.  Tickets and information for the hometown record release show with Blayer Pointdujour & The Rockers Galore and Thee, Idea Men can be found here.  Stream and download “Waking Up to You” from The Good Life below.

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Rag-tag ragtime crew A Fistful of Sugar leads a stacked roots-scene lineup at World Cafe Live on 1/10

Photo by Lisa Schaffer | skylerbug.com
Photo by Lisa Schaffer | skylerbug.com

The opening trumpet burst on A Fistful of Sugar’s “Brother Brother,” is a pretty good indicator of where this track is headed. It’s a loose, banjo-in-hand folk number that tells the story of getting befriended by and traveling with a crew of hippies. Even though it’s pretty typical in style, lead singer and guitarist Mike Sha makes their hemp-necklace-making and patchwork-pants-wearing lifestyle sound pretty righteous over top a ragtime brass band. “Brother Brother” is the first single off of the band’s first full-length, Perspicacity, which they’ll be celebrating the release of on January 10 at World Cafe Live; check out a video for it below, cut to clips from the Prelinger Archives.

The soulful Aaron and the Spell will be joining that celebration as well. Back in December they played Stevie Wonders’ Innervisions in its entirety at World Cafe Live as a fundraiser for Pathways to Housing PA, a non-profit organization that helps chronically homeless individuals that suffer from mental illness find and maintain housing. Black Horse Motel’s grassy Americana folk, filled-out with lush harmonies, mandolin and fiddle will complete the folk end of the lineup. While Balkan klezmer jazz powerhouse, West Philly Orchestra, will bring the grooves, sure to get everyone on their feet. This lineup is stacked far too tall to be taken lightly. In fact, there’s a little bit of something for everyone that keeps an eye on the local folk scene. Just don’t forget comfortable shoes or a partner to dance with, because chances are you’ll be on your feet at this one.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Uncluded at World Cafe Live, Black Horse Motel at Underground Arts, Alo Brasil at City Hall

uncluded

Touring behind their debut album Hokey Fright, The Uncluded stop by World Cafe Live tonight.  Quirky folk musician Kimya Dawson (The Moldy Peaches) and indie rapper Aesop Rock teamed up a few years ago to form The Uncluded, recording Fright over the course of a year and releasing it earlier this month on Rhymesayers Entertainment.  Tickets and information for the show with Hamell On Trial can be found here.  Watch their video for “Delicate Cycle” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Grandchildren at Underground Arts, Black Horse Motel at Kung Fu Necktie, Up The Chain at Milkboy and more

GrandchildrenTonight at Underground Arts, local experimental pop band Grandchildren will kick off their spring tour and give fans a taste of their new album Golden Age, which is slated for a May release. Yesterday, The Key’s Adam Gould talked to Grandchildren about five things that have changed about the band since their 2010 debut Everlasting; read the interview here. Opening the 21+ show are Buried Beds and Son Step, more information is available at the WXPN Concert Calendar. Below, watch Grandchildren performing “Sunrise” for The Deli and Hot Box Studios’ Choice/Cuts session series.

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Preview Black Horse Motel’s New Album with “Miles For Days” (playing Kung Fu Necktie on 3/1)

BHMBlack Horse Motel is a Philadelphia-based five-piece doing their best to make catchy and heartfelt Americana-Folk tunes in the spirit of popular acts like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers. This new track, apparently written on banjo, boasts a lovely arrangement of strings and super-pretty vocal harmonies. The track is intended as a preview for fans until the release of Red Summer Spirit, their debut full-length, on March 1st – which is also the date of their release show at Kung Fu Necktie with Hezekiah Jones and The Bailey Hounds (they also play Tin Angel on April 14th). If this track is any indication, this is sure to be a lovely record with pop potential.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang at Kung Fu Necktie, Tony Trischka at the Psalm Salon, Norwegian Arms at Johnny Brenda’s, Low Cut Connie at North Star Bar, and Black Horse Motel with New Sweden at Milkboy Philly

Celebrate the-maybe-last-night on Earth with Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang tonight at Kung Fu Necktie! In case all of this apocalyptic nonsense turns out not to be true, though, get pumped for Stens and his crew’s upcoming Key Session in 2013. The NJ nostalgia-rock group, fronted by Juston “Turbo” Stens formerly of Dr. Dog, released their album, Trash or Treasure, last March (pick it up on their Bandcamp page here). Tonight’s 21+ show starts at 7:30; go here for tickets and information. Below, watch Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang’s cover of Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It.”

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Listen to Black Horse Motel’s new EP

Congrats to Philly / South Jersey folk-rock five-piece Black Horse Motel on the release of their brand new EP, which has been in the works for the better part of this past year. The four-song set contains hooky harmonies and uber-catchy refrains in the Mumford and Sons poppy folk tradition; “Follow Me Down” and “The Devil That You Know” both killed it when they appeared live on the air for a Folkadelphia session earlier this year. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: WXPN welcomes Gillian Welch, TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb w/ Penrose, Black Horse Motel w/ Emily Arin

Happy Thursday everyone! Tonight there are some top notch choices for local shows:

Firstly, WXPN welcomes Tennessee singer/songwriter Gillian Welch to the Grand Opera House at Wilmington. Over the past fifteen years she has come out with five studio albums along with her musical partner, David Rawlings. She also recorded two songs for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2002. Tickets to the 8 PM show are $39, grab yours here.

At Kung Fu Necktie, TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb, the trio of brothers, Penrose, and Izzy and the Catastrophics perform. The 21+ show starts at 7:30 PM, tickets are $8.

Over at Milkboy Philly, Black Horse Motel and Emily Arin play a 9 PM show. Tickets to this 21+ show are $8-10.