Twang and Rock in Rittenhouse: Katie Frank, Divers, DJ Lisa Love play Philly Weekly’s Concerts in the Park

Photo by Chris Sikich |
Photo by Chris Sikich |

On Wednesday night Rittenhouse Square played host to the first of two Concerts in the Park sponsored by Philadelphia Weekly. The 24th year of this concert series kicked off with three woman-fronted acts: DJ Lisa Love, Folk Fest-bound band Katie Frank & The Pheremones and Divers. It was a diverse mix of musical interests on display, from the Americana and roots of Frank to the indie rock of Divers, with some classic hip-hop thrown in from Love. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kishi Bashi at TLA, Divers at Boot and Saddle, Jack Johnson and Amos Lee at The Mann and more


Multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Kishi Bashi just released his latest album Lightght (pronounced “Light”) this month. The latest album, named after a controversial one word poem by Aram Saroyan, features uplifting indie pop with chaotic yet beautiful mix of violin and technology. K. Ishibashi also is an utility player in of Montreal as well as a founding member of Jupiter One. Watch him perform live at the TLA; get more information at the XPN Concert Calender.

Kishi Bashi – Philosophize in It! Chemicalize with It! from Geoff Hoskinson on Vimeo.

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From Mirah’s eclectic brew to Divers’ phenomenal rock, the Zeitlyn sisters livened up Boot and Saddle

Mirah | Photo by Chris Sikich |
Mirah | Photo by Chris Sikich |

Lush harmonies. Equal parts folk and rock. Nature, justice, and the fire and ice of relationships. Mirah melded these qualities into a glorious brew in a return to her hometown on Saturday at Boot & Saddle. The sold-out crowd was treated to a 16-song trip through her career. Mirah showcased many highs from her recorded and live existence, from the opening selection of the chilling “Bones & Skin” and the lovely cover of Old Time Relijun’s “Lion Tamer” to the South American sounds flowing through “The Dogs of B.A.”

(See More – Mirah and Mount Moriah at Johnny Brenda’s)

Backed by the strings and keys of L. Alex Guy (aka Led to Sea) and percussionist Andrew Maguire, Mirah also unveiled some songs from her forthcoming record. With a few understandable hiccups that come with performing new work, the new pieces stand tall next to the rest of her oeuvre. The high point of the new is a song Mirah said was inspired by seeing Leonard Cohen in New Zealand. Co-written with her sister, Emily Ana Zeitlyn, the track, titled “L.C.” on the handwritten setlist, features dual harmonies and thematic elements similar to some of Cohen’s most well-known work.

The main set closed with the powerful “Mt. St. Helens” and Mirah and company followed it with the joyous encore of “Words Cannot Describe.” Dancing around the stage with Guy on drums and Maguire on vibraphone, Mirah left the stage after giving the crowd what they wanted: her in every desired musical form. Smiles and applause were bountiful, indicating another homecoming cannot come soon enough.

(Hear More – The Key Studio Sessions: Divers)

The show was billed as a “Too Many Zeitlyns Are Never Enough” showcase, since Divers – the raw Philly trio fronted by the aforementioned Emily – performed a phenomenal opening set of rock and roll. Check out photos from the night in the gallery below, and read Mirah’s setlist after the jump.

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Family Fun: Mirah and Divers will play a “Too Many Zeitlyns are Never Enough” show at Boot and Saddle

Divers | Photo by Emily “Birdie” Busch

The vocal sweetness that is Portland indie rock icon Mirah (aka Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn) will be paired with the rocked-up trio Divers, the local rock band led by her sister Emily Ana. They’re calling it the “Too Many Zeitlyns are Never Enough” show, and it happens at Boot and Saddle February 1st.

The raw power and sultry vocals of Divers should contrast beautifully with Mirah’s more melodic and tempered sound; although Mirah’s work spans across a wide range of genres and really can’t be compartmentalized into any one particular style. Having collaborated with the likes of everyone from Thao Nguyen (of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down) to tUnE-yArDs to Tender Forever, Mirah has tapped into every facet of the indie music scene.

Meanwhile, Divers – featuring Zeitlyn, Ross Bellenoit, Tom Bendel (of Buried Beds) and Todd Erk – have become locale faves in their own right, combining jazz vocals, bluesy garage rock and folk to create a sound uniquely their own.

Get tickets and more info on the event here. Check out the event’s facebook page here. Watch Mirah’s video for “The Forest” and Divers’ On the Hill session performance of “Eggshells” below.

MIRAH – THE FOREST (Official Music Video) from Lauryn Siegel on Vimeo.


Divers, The Districts, DRGN King and more featured on Tri-State Indie’s Lou Reed tribute (12/7 at World Cafe Live)

Photos by Abi Reimold |
Photo by Abi Reimold |

This Saturday, a tribute to late rock and roll icon Lou Reed at World Cafe Live will raise money for hunger charities MANNA and Philabundance. Today, the event’s organizers – the Philly-based music blog Tri-State Indie – announced the lineup for the show, and it features a solid cross section of Philly musicians, including:

Levee Drivers
Pete Donnelly
Black Stars
Dominic Angelella (of DRGN KING)
Nero Catalano
The Districts
John Train
Pine Barons
Our Griffins

The all-ages show begins at 8 p.m., tickets are $8 and available here. Attendees are asked to bring canned non-perishable food items to donate to Philabundance. Below, watch The Districts paying tribute to Reed at a recent festival with a cover of “I’m Waiting For The Man” by The Velvet Underground.


Philly Sings Philly: Sean Hoots covers mewithoutYou; Divers cover Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones”

phillysingsphilly Two new Philly Sings Philly cover songs have been released, recorded at Turtle Studios. The latest releases of Philly artists covering and recording songs by other Philly musicians includes Sean Hoots, covering “Aubergine” by mewithoutYou and Divers covering the classic “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul. Stream them both below.

Starting tomorrow evening, Tuesday, November 5th and every Tuesday night throughout November, The Fire presents the Philly Sings Philly, a series of residencies featuring a who’s who of the Philly local singer-songwriter scene including Brad Hinton, Hezekiah Jones, Ali Wadsworth, Kevin Killen, Marc Silver, Andrew Lipke, Phillip D’Agostino, Mason Porter, Sean Hoots, Divers and many more. Check out the exact lineups for each show here.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Divers at Johnny Brenda’s, The Tressels and Low Cut Connie at The Note, Douglas Thomas at World Cafe Live, Patty Griffin at The Kimmel Center

Photos by Abi Reimold |
Photo by Abi Reimold |

Featuring members from The Weeds, Birdie Busch’s band and Buried Beds, Divers are about as local as a group of musicians can get. Their music falls somewhere in between folk, rock and a little country and can go from ambient tones to straight up rock in a heartbeat. They’re playing at Johnny Brenda’s tonight; for more information on the 21+ show, click here. Below, watch Divers perform “Take Me Back” for Kettle Pot Tracks’ studio’s On the Hill series.

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My Morning Download: “Eggshells” by Divers from their Key Studio Session (playing Johnny Brenda’s on 6/6)

Photos by Abi Reimold |
Photos by Abi Reimold |
This week’s Key Studio Session is the “new” band Divers. They’re “new” as in recently formed, however they band includes seasoned musicians whose great work has been a part of the local Philly scene for a while. Divers is Emily Ana Zeitlyn (The Weeds), Tom Bendel (Buried Beds) and Todd Erk (Hoots and Hellmouth), and Ross Bellenoit, a solo artist and producer who has worked with Birdie Busch, Amos Lee, Aaron & The Spell, Denison Witmer and many others. Divers play at Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday, June 6. Tickets and information for the show can be found here. Below, download “Eggshells.” You can download songs from Divers’ entire Key Studio Session here.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company

The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. The Districts, Mavis Staples, Birdie Busch and more)


Miles Davis would have celebrated his 87th birthday on Sunday.  Check out some live footage of the legendary trumpet player’s 1970 show at the old Electric Factory [link]

Diplo curated a summer playlist featuring James Blake, Daft Punk, Laura Mvula and more for Vulture [link]

XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week is Mavis Staples‘ cover of the Funkadelic track “Can You Get to That” [link]

Singer-songwriter / fiddler Sara Watkins recorded a session for Folkadelphia [link]

Birdie Busch will be releasing her recent PledgeMusic-funded album on vinyl and donating proceeds to the IHM Literacy Center in West Philadelphia [link]

Dock Street Beer Run announces the line-up for their June 9th 5k / music festival event, including On the Water, Norwegian Arms and Post Sun Times [link]

Sonja Sofia is profiled in the latest installment of Kettle Pot Tracks’ On the Hill series [link]

Local power rockers Lantern unveiled a new song called “Evil Eye” and the cover art for their upcoming LP Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach [link]

Watch a video of The Districts performing at The Porch at 30th Street Station yesterday for XPN’s Philly Local Busker series [link]

Folk duo Arborea shared a new video for their song “Pale Horse Phantasm”; they’ll be at the Highwire Gallery on June 9th for a Folkadelphia Presents show [link]

The Photon Band is back with a new album and a show at Johnny Brenda’s on July 6th [link]

Newish Philly outfit Divers were the subject of this week’s Key Studio Session [link]


The Key Studio Sessions: Divers

They’re a band made up of seasoned Philly scene vets, but thankfully for Divers, “seasoned” doesn’t rule out cranking their amps and having fun. First, let’s take stock of who’s who. On bass is Todd Erk – he plays in Hoots and Hellmouth, Auctioneer and many others. On drums, there’s Thomas Bendel of Buried Beds, and occasionally of Lauryn Peacock’s band. Ross Bellenoit does the lead guitar and backing vocal thing, and you’ve probably heard him a billion places – even if you don’t realize it. He’s backed Birdie Busch, Aaron and the Spell and Ali Wadsworth, he produces records, and has a solo discography as well. Fronting the group is the lively and charismatic Emily Ana Zeitlyn. If you’ve been paying attention to Philly music for a few years like we have, you’ll recognize her haunting, emotive voice from The Weeds – who, sadly, released their final album in January after a long hiatus (and the tragic loss of a key bandmate). Her vocal style is a warm and expressive alto, sometimes reminiscent of Nico, sometimes of Amanda Palmer, sometimes Nina Simone – and dang if its phrasing doesn’t make “Eggshels” one of the catchiest tracks I’ve recorded this year. The power trio configuration works wonders with their selections: Bellenoit’s lively space guitar interlocking with Erk’s bass on “When We Met,” Bendel’s wild drumming on “Wild Things.” And on the playful “Will You Still Love Me?,” I can’t help but notice melodic traces of Busch, Zeitlyn’s friend and occasional collaborator. Check out this batch of songs below – most of them are as-yet unreleased – and see Divers live when they play Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday the 6th of June. Tickets and information for the show can be found here.