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In light of Golden Tea House closing, First Unitarian Church shows are (sort of) making a comeback

FIDLAR at First Unitarian Church
FIDLAR at First Unitarian Church

In its nearly three-year existence, the West Philly DIY venue Golden Tea House was able to transform the scene by packing in names, small and big, each week. As someone who just moved to Philly this year for school, the GTH was one of my first house show experiences and allowed me in to their all-ages space with open arms.

The announcement of the GTH closing was something to be expected, yet at the same time caught off-guard due to the number of shows they already had booked. And as a close-knit music scene, we’ve seen in the past week many of Philly’s DIY venues jump into action to pick up the former GTH shows. One of the more unexpected venues to come out of the woodwork is the First Unitarian Church, which is mostly booked by R5 Productions. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bardo Pond at Underground Arts, His Name is Alive at Johnny Brenda’s, Into It. Over It. at The First Unitarian Sanctuary and more

Bardo Pond | Photo by Katie Tapman
Bardo Pond | Photo by Katie Tapman
Philly psych rock favorites Bardo Pond will play their first show of 2015 tonight at Underground Arts. The band’s ninth album, Peace on Venus, was released in 2015 to critical acclaim, and the band performed songs from it on the Key Studio Sessions this week – along with two brand new songs. Listen to the set here and get more info on the show at the XPN concert calendar.
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Meet Girlpool: LA transplants creating girl-punk duets

Girlpool | Photo by Alice Baxley | via facebook.com/GIRLPOOOL
Girlpool | Photo by Alice Baxley | via facebook.com/GIRLPOOOL

The reason Cleo Tucker started playing guitar was because she and British multi-genre performer, Joan Armatrading, have the same birthday. She was seven and saw the musician play a concert after she finished school one day.

When Harmony Tividad was a kid, she would sing a lot, so her parents put her into choir and piano lessons.

“My dad is a bass player and played a lot of music when I was a kid,” she said. She was 13 when she started playing bass; she’s 19 now.

Tividad and Tucker were both born and raised in Los Angeles. They are the two halves of the girl-punk duo Girlpool, and started attending shows in the downtown scene when they were sixteen. Continue reading →

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Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster is giving away a dream bundle of guitar gear

Screaming Females | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Screaming Females | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

With a ten-year anniversary and a new album called Rose Mountain on the calendar this year, punk rock three-piece Screaming Females are giving away a guitarist’s dream bundle that matches Marissa Paternoster’s tour set-up. The giveaway includes equipment from G&L Musical Instruments, TSVG pedals, Earthbound Audio pedals, GHS strings, Don Giovanni Records, Slinger straps, and Guitar World. The contest is for one lucky winner and you can enter here through Feb. 17. Continue reading →

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They Do Not Exist, We Faithfully Insist: mewithoutYou & The Districts go incognito at the Church

mewithoutYou | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
mewithoutYou | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

So that’s the end of my 2014 year in shows. Slammed into a bank of monitors, screaming at the top of my lungs, sweat-soaked, sobbing and experiencing more than a little bit of real pain from the crushing. But some band called mewithoutYou once told me that “the cure for pain is the pain itself,” and even a few bruises couldn’t keep me from having an absolute blast at the Church on Tuesday night. I didn’t even really know who was playing, just saw a couple of random bands called “Eight Legged Prawn,” with “Thy Foes Profanely Rage” on a cheap Church bill promised a decent night of entertainment. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Beano at Bourbon and Branch, Koji at the First Unitarian Church

Beano| Photo by John Vettese
Beano| Photo by John Vettese

Suave Philly R&B crooner Beano headlines Bourbon and Branch tonight. Known initially as a side-man on Chill Moody’s albums and live shows, Beano has come into his own this year, dropping the ultra-catchy single “Let It Go” and playing sets that mix up party rockin’ jams and expressive, sensitive soul. Get tickets and information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Restorations throw a wild hometown party for the release of LP3

Restorations | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Restorations | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

On Saturday night, hard-hitting Philadelphia rock band Restorations throw an enormous party at the First Unitarian Church to celebrate the release of their third full-length album, appropriately titled LP3.  Friends, family and local fans poured into the Church to share in the celebration. Restorations also brought with them some fellow Philadelphia bands to share the stage with them. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Fleeting Ends at MilkBoy, July Talk at the First Unitarian Church, Parker Millsap at Ardmore Music Hall and more

The Fleeting Ends
The Fleeting Ends | photo by Emily Morgan | www.emilymorganphotography.com

Philly alt-pop power trio The Fleeting Ends are gearing up to release their first new music since 2013′s Our Eyes are Peeled. Their new Can’t Say No EP is due out November 25th, and its very catchy title track is already in rotation on XPN; you can check out the cover art and read the lyrics over at the band’s Facebook page, and keep your eyes peeled (ba-dum-bum) for a new music video really soon. The band is in residence all month at MilkBoy, and will have physical copies of Can’t Say No available on the final day, November 26th. But you don’t need to wait to hear the new songs; go to tonight’s installment of their residency and you’ll hear a mix of old and new in their setlist. Below, check out “I’m Like That” from their last album and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Angus and Julia Stone at Union Transfer, David Bazan at the First Unitarian Church, Todd Rundgren at the Keswick Theater

Angus and Julia Stone
Angus and Julia Stone | photo courtesy of the artists

Australian brother-sister act Angus and Julia Stone make an appearance at Union Transfer tonight.  The duo teamed up again for this year’s self-titled LP, following a handful of solo efforts that were released after 2010′s critically acclaimed Down the Way.  While primarily an acoustic folk project, the Stones approach their songs from a blues angle.  Watch their video for “A Heartbreak” below and pick up tickets here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Son Little at Dilworth Park, War on Women at First Unitarian Church, Sugar Tongue Slim at PhilaMOCA and more

Son Little | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
Son Little | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

Philly newcomers Son Little have a fantastic debut EP called Things I Forgot coming out on Anti- Records next month, and they headline a free outdoor show this evening at Dilworth Park at City Hall. Founded by Aaron Livingston, a local singer-songwriter-guitarist who has worked with The Roots and collaborated with RJD2 on the Icebird project, Son Little pushes his creative boundaries even further, dabbling in soul, hard rock, and Radiohead-esque minimal electronica. The band recorded a knockout Key Studio Session this week; download the song “Joy” below and get more information on the show here. Continue reading →