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I found the heart of rock ‘n’ roll: The Humble, Commonwealth Choir and Pine Barons at The Foundry

Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Wendy McCardle | wendymccardle.com
Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Wendy McCardle | wendymccardle.com

The current state of rock ‘n roll is questionable. With so many sub-genres to choose from, how do you define rock music in 2016? I know I found the heart of it on Sunday night as three of Philadelphia’s most promising rock bands, Pine Barons, Commonwealth Choir and The Humble gathered at The Foundry in celebration of the latter’s upcoming EP, Act Accordingly, due March 11th. Continue reading →

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Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds: Commonwealth Choir

The author, with Commonwealth Choir (via @BookishKate's Instagram)
The author, with Commonwealth Choir (via @BookishKate’s Instagram)

Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds is our occasional, seasonal foray into summer vibes with our fave local “summertime” bands, in which we meet up, share a drink, and revel in the sunny weather (check out past editions here). Today, as summer gives way to fall, we catch up with Fishtown band Commonwealth Choir.

I wasn’t very cool in high school, and for the most part I used to hate waking up for class in the mornings. But I remember feeling oddly liberated come summertime, when there were no cliques stalking the hallways and I could lounge around the backyard or go on drives with my friends—usually to the diner (it was Jersey) or down the highway to see Saves the Day or Ben Folds at the Starland Ballroom.

Commonwealth Choir (mostly) hail from Doylestown, PA, where members Davis Jameson Howley, Nick Cislak, and Wil Chamuris went to high school together (Maurizio Mazza hails from Brick Township, NJ and Andrew Torre—who’s not present for our interview—is from Philly). They too spent summers driving around the suburbs, looking for trouble—or at least a spot to grab pizza, and maybe bowl a few games. Years later, it’s clear they still value these same experiences—spontaneous, joyful nights with friends. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Commonwealth Choir at Everybody Hits, Arc Divers at Johnny Brenda’s, Crypt Sermon at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Hope Helmuth
Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Hope Helmuth

Philly via Doylestown golden age indie rockers Commonwealth Choir hit up the batting cages at Everybody Hits tonight for their final Philly show of 2015. Word is the guys will preview a bunch of songs from the new record they’re about to start recording and will have some other surprises in the mix. Local dudes Roof Doctor and Night Windows open; more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The Swollen Fox will celebrate its anninversary with The Lawsuits, Commonwealth Choir and Lou

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

If you were lucky enough to catch The Lawsuits and Commonwealth Choir at last week’s inaugural Key Fest, you’re likely yearning for more. And if you didn’t, even more reason to catch ’em live – this time for another Philly music blog, The Swollen Fox, at their fifth anniversary show at Johnny Brenda’s on July 11. Continue reading →

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Key Fest At-A-Glance, Part One: A high-energy indie / punk opening with Cayetana, Commonwealth Choir, Hurry and Slingshot Dakota

Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly
Slingshot Dakota | photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

The first-ever Key Fest is nearly upon us, and anticipation around these parts is high. Three nights of music by Philadelphia artists, a spectrum of sounds and styles, and a lot to look forward to. It’s essentially the first time a local venue has turned over three nights of their calendar to us and said “here, have fun” – and we tried to do right by them in curating three unique bills of artists that we felt worked alongside one another and, more importantly, that we’d want to go see.

All this week, leading up to opening night, we’ll bring you night-by-night Key Fest At-A-Glance rundowns, telling you who these artists are we booked and why we’re pumped to have them on the show. To begin at the beginning, let’s look at opening night. Continue reading →

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Download Commonwealth Choir’s new single “Palace” see them at Key Fest on Thursday

Commonwealth Choir | Photo by
Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com | design by January Waters

Philly power pop four-piece Commonwealth Choir hits the stage this Thursday night for opening night of MilkBoy’s Key Fest, and the boys are using the occasion to release their latest single. “Palace” was first heard in a raw live take during the Choir’s Key Studio Session last year; in its new studio rendition, recorded at the band’s Fishtown spot The Gun Shop and mixed by Dan Pawlovich at Treble Hook Music, the song’s inner Rentals sensibilities come alive. There’s a bright and poppy synthesizer lead, an infectious beat and vivid lyrics about a part of town that’s prone to floods that, for whatever reason, these kids can’t stay away from. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Is that Amos Lee up there on the XPN Vinyl At Heart billboard?

Amos
Photo by Kelsey Stanger

Perhaps you’ve seen some of WXPN’s new Vinyl At Heart campaign signs around the city on billboards and on the sides of buses and trains throughout the city. There are three distinct images being used that include photos of musicians, and we’ve heard from XPN listeners asking “Who’s on that billboard?” and “Who’s on the side of that train?” Continue reading →

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Watch Commonwealth Choir’s new “Along the Peak” performed at The TLA

Commonwealth Choir onstage at The TLA
Commonwealth Choir

On Friday night, Philly rockers Commonwealth Choir performed at The TLA on South Street on the seven-artist lineup of the Bands in the Backyard Summer Sounds showcase. The band’s well-received EP Shirtless is coming up on a year old, meaning they’ve been working more and more unreleased material into their setlist of late, including from their XPoNential Music Festival set last month to their performance on Friday night. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Commonwealth Choir made an energetic River Stage debut

Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com
Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Doylestown indie rock five-piece Commonwealth Choir brought a tremendous amount of energy to the river stage on day two of the XPoNential Music Festival. Their debut EP Shirtless was released in the fall, and the band has plowed forth with tremendous momentum since then, barnstorming the Philly rock club scene and starting a creatively-curated cassette label, Philly Tapes Philly (read more in Julie Miller’s interview with the band here).

For their XPoNential set, the band decided to roll out a healthy mix of new songs alongside its single “Rest.” Continue reading →

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XPoNential Artist Spotlight: Meet Commonwealth Choir, Fishtown’s new kids on the block

Commonwealth Choir | photo by Mike Bucher
Commonwealth Choir | photo by Mike Bucher

We’ve got a lot of great new local talent to look forward to this weekend, and Saturday will start off with one of the newer bands on the block.  Commonwealth Choir is closing out a year of “XPoNential” growth – even before the release of its debut Shirtless EP last fall, the band’s single “Rest” was placed in XPN’s rotation.  Since then, they’ve sold out shows at MilkBoy multiple times (including New Year’s Eve), opened for New Sweden’s record release show and recorded an incredibly popular Key Studio Session.  I spoke with Commonwealth Choir’s lead vocalist / guitarist Davis Jameson Howley to find out how the band got its start, what this past year has been like and what it means to them to be playing the XPoNential Music Festival. Continue reading →