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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Commonwealth Choir at North Star Bar, Ben Folds Five at Mann Center, Pete Donnelly at Ortlieb’s, Philadelphia Maneto release party at Race Street Pier

commonwealth choirTonight at North Star Bar, you can catch Doylestown rock band Commonwealth Choir.  Though the group only has one official song to it’s name, Commonwealth Choir is not a band to mess with.  The single “Rest” is incredibly catchy, featuring a sleek chorus that’ll have you listening to the song over and over again.  The group has already played several shows in Philly this summer, but this is the last for a while.  Check out their single below and click here for concert information.

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Can you scream-sing and carry a tune? Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe can. (playing Siren Records on 7/16)

0001440353_20Until Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe, I thought it was impossible to scream-sing and still have a coherent and melodic voice.  “I Only Miss You When I Want To” is a hardcore emo song about lost love and loneliness, someone trying to escape the past only to run right into it.  Check out the slow-burner from this Philly band below.  The group plays a show at Siren Records in Doylestown July 16th.

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Premiere: Aspiga’s “Direction” from new split with Among Giants

AspigaJersey punk rockers Aspiga are set to release a split 7” on Say-10 with the group Among Giants this July.  Today, we bring you a taste of the record with Aspiga’s hard-hitting punk-rock anthem, “Direction.”  Drums pound away, paired with a low marching bass and heavy guitar as frontman Kevin Day sings of love on the road.  Keeping it loud and powerful non-stop during this fast paced song, Aspiga really create a feeling of anxious restlessness for this single.  Check it out below and catch the group at Wah Manor in Philly on June 15th.  You can also Preorder the 7” here.

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Recommended Listening: Pocket’s Pocket EP doesn’t twinkle around

PocketLocal Philly four-piece Pocket just put up their debut EP on Friday and it is four songs’ worth of emo that reminds me of bands I grew up listening to, but also has that “new emo” sound. Reminiscent of Knapsack and Outsmarting Simon, with a little bit of Benton Falls thrown in there, it also sounds refreshingly current – fans of Joie De Vivre are probably gonna be into this pretty hard.

What I really enjoyed about this band is their use of driving distortion. The “twinkle” style of emo has taken over the genre lately, and although it is a great new angle, it becomes samey after a while. It’s become difficult to separate the bands that are doing something new from the bands who are just following the trend. I don’t have that much room to complain because there are a lot of twinkle bands I love, not to mention I play the style myself, but it’s awesome to see bands like Pocket who don’t twinkle around, and tap into the more classic emo sound.

And although the EP is short, within its four songs are an array of emotionality, as well as super pretty (and distorted) melodies. They have a real Outsmarting Simon thing going for them which is a huge plus, and to any who love the other bands I mentioned, you will most likely be into this EP. Not to mention the songs are well recorded. Which is another plus.

For those who are looking to listen to a band that makes them feel a little nostalgic because it reminds you of what got you into the type of music you’re into now, you should listen to Pocket. For those who are looking for something new to jam to, you should listen to Pocket. Below is the song “Pool Party” off their new self-titled EP Pocket.

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Everyone Everywhere at Kung Fu Necktie

Everyone Everywhere
Emo dudes wearing sweaters and holding cats is the new emo dudes wearing cardigans and clutching composition notebooks

Anyone who grew up listening to emo back in the mid ’90s to early ’00s knows the many pains of being a fan of the oft-maligned genre: constantly being told by indier-than-thou rock snobs that your 7-inch collection consisted of third-wave emo trash that owed everything to old-timer bands you had never heard of (usually Rites Of Spring or Embrace); feeling your peers’ disgust of the genre grow stronger and stronger with each new edition of Deep Elm Record’s “The Emo Diaries” compilation series; and, of course, being denied the opportunity to cry your little heart out from the front row while watching your favorite band perform live because the show was at a 21+ venue. Well, the good news is that emo-revival bands—if you can call them that (did the genre ever really go away?)—such as local quartet Everyone Everywhere haven’t forgotten the things that actually made the music good to begin with: namely, ringing power chords, nasally vocals, and over-earnest lyrics (and song titles, and album titles, etc.). Unfortunately, some things haven’t changed with time: despite the band’s all-inclusive name, tonight’s show is 21+. Everyone Everywhere performs with Young Leaves and Luther at 8 p.m.; tickets to the 21+ show are $5.