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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Alvvays, Caroline Rose, The Fleeting Ends and more

Alvvays

Alvvays | Photo by Eric Schuman

Alvvays recorded a special live session for this week’s Indie Rock Hit Parade.  The Toronto outfit was in town a couple of weeks ago to support its self-titled debut and performed two cuts from the LP along with an unreleased new one called “New Haircut.”  Stream and download the session below.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Dark Blue

While setting up for his Key Studio Session, John Sharkey III of Dark Blue remarked that he’d just revisited some of his old Echo and the Bunnymen records. “People keep comparing my voice to Ian McCulloch, so I figured I should listen,” he said. “Man. They wrote some fantastic songs.” While it might be a stretch to call Dark Blue a direct descendent of the Bunnymen – or any post punk band specific, despite what your Joy Division meter might be telling you – one commonality they share is placing mood and ambiance at an equal level of importance as tight songwriting. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RJD2 / Sugar Tongue Slim at Underground Arts, Banks at Union Transfer, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle and (much) more

RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com
RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com

DJ and electronic dance artist RJD2 headlines the Jump Philly-curated Sound Select show tonight at Underground Arts with Sugar Tongue Slim and Marian Hill. After gaining popularity for his song “Ghostwriter” from 2002′s Deadringer, RJD2 has continued to catch people’s attention with his jazzy, throwback mixes. Many might know his song “A Beautiful Mine,” which was featured as the theme song for AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Infused with samples from big band music and jazz standards, his songs takes from the old and mixes it in a fresh, current style. The artist has most recently been working with rappers on his latest album, More Is than Isn’t, including Philly’s Sugar Tongue Slim, who will be sharing the stage tonight. STS has become one of the top hip hop artists in Philadelphia and continues to maintain his presence in the music scene here. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar and watch RJD2′s music video for “1976″ below. Continue reading →

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Listen to a new Dark Blue song, “Here On My Street”

Dark Blue | Photo courtesy of the artist
Dark Blue | Photo courtesy of the artist

Philly’s Dark Blue are Clockcleaner’s John Sharkey III, Paint It Black/Ceremony’s Andy Nelson and Strand of Oaks’ drummer Mike Sneeringer. In May, the band released their debut 7-inch single for Jade Tree, “Just Another Night With The Boys.” This week they announced their debut full length, Pure Reality. Continue reading →

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Play air guitar to “Just Another Night With the Boys,” the latest single from Philly’s Dark Blue

Dark Blue | photo courtesy of the artist
Dark Blue | photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia-based post-punk group Dark Blue are on a roll.  The band – made up of members of Clockcleaner, Purling Hiss and Paint it Black – self-released a digital single this spring, were recently signed to Jade Tree Records and this week debuted their 7″ single “Just Another Night With The Boys.”  The single is a solid effort from the group and leaves you wanting more.  Right off the bat, the mesmerizing guitar riffs will have you bobbing your head and playing air guitar.  The energy only intensifies as lead singer John Sharkey III takes us through the almost 5-minute long track with booming vocals that are similar to The National’s Matt Berninger. Dark Blue straddles the line between hardcore punk rock and despondent indie rock, yet the trio manages to achieve their own personal style that you will want to witness live.  Listen to “Just Another Night With The Boys” below, and see them for Free at Doc Martens Shop in Philly on June 20th and at Space 1026 on June 27th.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dark Blue at Johnny Brenda’s, Blondie at Tropicana, Leana Song at The Fire and more

Dark Blue | photo courtesy of the artist
Dark Blue | photo courtesy of the artist

Three Philly punk scene vets will take over Johnny Brenda’s tonight bringing a mix of 80s oi! and Britpop. Made up of John Sharkey III, Andrew Mackie Nelson and Mike Sneeringer, Dark Blue is a relatively new to Philly, but it has quickly been making a name for itself. Tickets and info on tonight’s show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; listen to its single “Subterranean Man” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: July Talk at MilkBoy, Dark Blue at PhilaMOCA, Caroline Smith at Boot and Saddle

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Toronto-based rock four-piece July Talk makes it’s Philly debut tonight at MilkBoy. Channeling the gravel-voiced aggression of Tom Waits and the haunting tones of Denali, front-duo Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay lead a dynamic band that is equal parts raw and mystical. Watch a World Cafe performance of “Don’t Call Home” below. Get tickets and and info on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Members of Clockcleaner, Paint It Black and Purling Hiss join forces in the rumbling new Dark Blue

Dark Blue | Photo by Ben Stas
Dark Blue | Photo by Ben Stas

A trio of Philly punk scene vets has joined forces in a new band called Dark Blue, blending elements of their various projects into a rumbling whole. Made up of singer-guitarist John Sharkey III (of Clockcleaner), bassist Andy Nelson (of Paint it Black and Ceremony), and drummer Mike Sneeringer (formerly of Purling Hiss and The Loved Ones), the band released it’s debut single for “Subterranean Man” today via Bandcamp, with a 7″ pressing via Katorga Works soon to follow.

As Nelson pointed out via email, the lineup is the same as Puerto Rico Flowers, Sharkey’s post-Clockcleaner recording project that was fleshed out into a live band in 2009. This group, he says, is meant to be more of a band-band.

Musically, Dark Blue dishes melodic rockers that sound a bit sinister – credit Sharkey’s pensive baritone to that – but it also hints at the nihilistic aggression and acerbic wit of Clockcleaner (consider the b-side, “Skinhead Wedding In Canberra”) as well as the nervy tension heard in Nelson’s Paint It Black. Maybe I’m stretching just a touch here, but it even seems that structural sensibilities Sneeringer honed in his past bands keeps his present bandmates reined in, making this a lively meeting ground between their oi! and proto-punk influences and timeless rock and roll. Recommended if you like The Cramps, The Buzzcocks, Flipper or The Replacements.

The band will make its Philly headlining debut on Tuesday, March 4th at PhilaMOCA; tickets to the all ages show are $5 and available here. Listen to the “Subterranean Man” 7″ below and get a name-your-own-price download at Bandcamp.