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Review: Best Coast bring sunny California to the TLA

Best Coast arrived in Philly on Wednesday night bringing their brand of sunny California guitar pop to an enthusiastic crowd at the Theatre Of Living Arts. Early arrivers were rewarded with a strong performance by LA’s The Lovely Bad Things. They complimented a fan wearing a Sub Pop t-shirt and then proceeded to deliver a high-energy performance that would make that label proud, swapping instruments, bouncing around the stage and all taking turns singing. Next came New York’s Guards, on tour in support of their excellent In Guards We Trust album. Leader Richie Follin held his guitar over his head frequently and waved it out over the crowd during a powerful and crowd moving performance of the band’s psychedelic rock. (Check out their session with World Cafe’s David Dye here.)

Best Coast then took the stage to a roar from the crowd. The band is still on tour for last year’s successful The Only Place, playing a twenty-song mix of songs from their two albums and a couple of new songs. Highlights from early in the set included a moving, droning performance of “Last Year” followed by a sun kissed version of their ode to California, “The Only Place.” The prize of the night came in the form of two new songs. The first was a danceable rocker called “Fear Of My Identity” which the crowd reacted to with approval. The second was a shimmering new number called “Who Have I Become” which featured some stinging guitar work from Bobb Bruno. Late in the set came a slow starting “When I’m With You” with singer Bethany Cosentino playing the first verse slow by herself and then the band kicking in loud and fast. They played the song at a much faster pace than the recorded version, turning the floor of the club into a smiling sweating dancing mass.

The band returned for their encore with “Do You Love Me Like You Used Too.” When the band headlined Philly last year when The Only Place came out, Cosentino admitted that she added the song to the set list reluctantly, but did so because the fan response to it was so powerful. In their second performance here, the band played the song with an energy and intensity that shows the fans asked for the right thing, and they demonstrated their approval in the form of a loud response to the number. The band closed with the beautiful, yearning wall-of-sound “Boyfriend,” and sent the crowd out into the hot outdoors wishing for more summer nights like this.

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Watch a new video by Guards for “Ready To Go” (opening for Best Coast at TLA on June 5th)

Photo by Olivia Malone
Photo by Olivia Malone

One of our very favorite albums of 2013 so far is the debut album from the New York City band, Guards. The band released In Guards We Trust in early February. Filled with instantly memorable ready-for-the-radio and blissful pop rock nuggets, the band were featured on World Cafe the week of the album’s release. You can listen to their performance and interview here. The band returns to Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 5th opening for Best Coast at the TLA. Go here for tickets. Below, watch the new video for “Ready To Go,” that had its premiere on mtvU.

Get More:
www.mtvu.com

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Just announced: Best Coast and Guards playing TLA on June 5th

Guards photo by Olivia Malone
Guards photo by Olivia Malone
Best Coast and Guards are performing at the TLA on Wednesday, June 5th. Guards’ debut album, In Guards We Trust was recently released and they were on World Cafe with David Dye. Listen to the show here. Tickets go on sale this Friday. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Below, listen to a few covers by Guards of songs by Motorhead, Vampire Weekend, and M.I.A.

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My Morning Download: “Coming True” by Guards (from a limited time only collection of World Cafe downloads)

Photo by Olivia Malone
Photo by Olivia Malone
The Brooklyn indie-rock band Guards visited World Cafe with David Dye earlier this month to perform songs from their debut album, In Guards We Trust. Below, download “Coming True” from the session.

This month (and this month only) World Cafe is offering free downloads of performances from bands including Calexico, Lord Huron, the Afghan Whigs, Alt-J, John Fullbright, Freelance Whales, Stars, Nick Waterhouse, Allen Stone, The Kopecky Family Band, Sea Wolf, Trey Anastasio, Minus The Bear, Father John Misty and others. Download the entire collection, while they last until March 1st, here.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Guards open for Ra Ra Riot at Union Transfer, Katie Frank at Tin Angel, Joe D’Amico at Kung Fu Necktie, Femi Kuti at World Cafe Live

Photo by Olivia Malone

As if Ra Ra Riot isn’t already a solid reason to head to Union Transfer tonight, Richie Follin gives you another in a word: Guards. The younger brother of Cults’ Madeline Follin, Richie is equally talented and just as interested in the retro-pop sound that made his sister’s band so critically successful. Listening to Richie’s Guards EP from 2009 and the singles from his upcoming debut album, In Guards We Trust, it’s not surprising that Richie has played guitar for Cults when the duo toured. His music is distinct from his sister’s band, though, especially on the new album, even if his hair cut is …exactly like hers. Catch his polished, dark-tinged pop project when he opens for Ra Ra Riot. Tickets and information for the all ages show are available here. Below, watch Follin’s band in their new music video for the track “Silver Lining,” via IFC.com.

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Listen to Guards’ single “Ready To Go” (playing Union Transfer on 1/24 with Ra Ra Riot)

One of our favorite new bands, Guards, premiered its ultra-catchy single “Ready To Go” yesterday on Pitchfork. It’s the second single from the band’s forthcoming album, In Guards We Trust, out February 5th on Black Bell Records. Listen to it in the player below – you’ll love having this one stuck in your head. Guards opens for Ra Ra Riot at Union Transfer on January 24th. Find tickets and information here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Guards at Kung Fu Necktie, Elephant Stone at The Fire, Simian Mobile Disco at Making Time, The Coup and Lushlife at Underground Arts

XPN Welcomes emerging indie three-piece Guards to Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The New York project is spearheaded by Richie James Follin, frontman for Willowz and a former live guitarist for Cults (which his sister Madeline sings for). The group’s doom-meets-power pop vibe makes their seven-track EP an unexpected dance party staple, which you can pick for free below. Tickets to tonight’s 21+ show are available on our concert calendar here; the performance starts at 7:30.

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Guards debut new song, “Coming True” (playing Kung Fu Necktie on 12/7 and the Chameleon Club on 12/8)

Photo by Olivia Malone

Guards debuted a new song today on Stereogum called “Coming True.” It’s from the band’s forthcoming album, In Guards We Trust, out February 5th on Black Bell Records. Guards are Richie James Follin, Loren Humphrey & Kaylie Church and it’s almost impossible to not break out in gleeful pop joy when listening to the band’s reverbed jangly power pop-rock anthems (think Teenage Fanclub, Ride, Big Star, Foreigner). Go here to download “Coming True.” Below, listen to “Silver Lining,” another song from the band’s forthcoming album. You have two chances to see the band in our area. On Friday, December 7th they’ll be at Kung Fu Necktie in Philly; the following night, Saturday, December 8th they play the Chameleon Club in Lancaster. Go to our new concert calendar here (powered by The Swollen Fox) for more information.