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Eleanor Friedberger takes charge at Milkboy on Friday

Eleanor Friedberger Show @ Milkboy, 2/19/16 | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com
Eleanor Friedberger Show @ Milkboy, 2/19/16 | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

MilkBoy is the kind of venue where if you’re not careful, you might accidentally knock over an opening band’s gear. It’s the kind of place that does apparently soundchecks in real time for a live studio audience.

Eleanor Friedberger’s band grappled with that soundcheck early in their set, as she complained with good reason about the levels, and the random fog machine, while at the same time apologizing for boring the crowd with the details that in the end were never fully resolved. “It should all be show business, I know,” she said, “all just happen magically.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Reuben and the Dark at World Cafe Live, Drive-By Truckers at Chameleon Club, Geology at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo by Lucia Graca
Photo by Lucia Graca

Reuben and the Dark return to play at World Cafe Live tonight. The Calgary band consists of Reuben Bullock, Shea Alain, Dillon Whitfield and Kaelen Ohm. Their debut album, Funeral Sky came out last month. The music is slow, with spiritual undertones, and follows the likes of Mumford and Sons. Watch the video for “Black Water” below. Get more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calender.   

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Thievery Corporation at the Tower Theater, Shlohmo at Johnny Brenda’s, Art Star Craft Bazaar and more

Thievery Corporation | Photo via facebook.com/thieverycorporation
Thievery Corporation | iPhoto via facebook.com/thieverycorporation

DC-born downbeat electronic duo Thievery Corporation is closing in on two decades of activity, and the scope of their influence is massive. Without the collaboration of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, there would be no Air, no Four Tet and no Pretty Lights. Their ninth album, Saudade, was released in the fall, and the band headlines the Tower Theater tonight with guests Polica and Break Science. Get tickets and more info at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “Depth of My Soul” from their recent album, Saudade.

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Cub Sport, Heyward Howkins, Joey Sweeney, Bootstraps tapped for May Communion Night at Underground Arts

CubSport
Photo via facebook.com/cubsport

The lineup for May’s Communion Club Night show at Underground Arts was just announced, and it’s a sweet one. Making the trek from Australia for their Philadelphia debut (unless you count the sorta-debut when they played on the Indie Rock Hit Parade during CMJ last October) is Brisbane indie pop five-piece Cub Sport. They released a delightful EP called Paradise back in the fall that, like Vampire Weekend, blends electropop beats with world music arrangements and infectious hooks.

Also on the lineup is this month’s XPN-curated Communion artist Heyward Howkins. His second LP, Be Frank Furness, was released in December via BITBY Records, and it saw his lyrical wit and knack for melody in top form. We featured it in an Unlocked spotlight at the time – read the interview here.

The show also features a set of lush arrangements from Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra, alt-rock drama from LA rockers Bootstraps and much more. Get more information on the show at its Facebook event page, and check out music from some of the artists below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra at Johnny Brenda’s, Teen Men at Kennet Flash, The World is A Beautiful Place at Chameleon Club and more

Photo by David Kain | Bitby.tv
Photo by David Kain | Bitby.tv
Longtime local favorite Joey Sweeney will celebrate Long Hair, his new album which comes out October 29th, at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Sweeney has conquered the worlds of music and journalism having fronted many bands (including The Trouble with Sweeney) and written for Philadelphia Weekly and the Philadelphia Inquirer. His latest pop-rock effort is an album that surely compliments his track record in the industry. Check out Sweeney and his band’s first live show, which was recorded for our Key Studio Sessions, here and watch a trailer for the album below. Tickets are available here.

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Listen to Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra’s first gig, recorded live at PAFA; see them tomorrow at Johnny Brenda’s

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Photo by David Kain | Bitby.tv

Tomorrow night at Johnny Brenda’s, Philly’s Joey Sweeney celebrates the release of his new solo LP, Long Hair, which is out October 29th via the Delaware Water Gap label La Societe Expeditionaire and BITBY. It probably goes without saying that Sweeney is a longtime fixture in the Philly music scene, from his days as a staff writer for the Philly Weekly and bandleader for The Trouble With Sweeney in the 00s, continuing as an advocate for local culture on city blog Philebrity, to rocking the hell out with Arctic Splash, his other currently-active project.

Long Hair is the fruit of many musicians’ labor – from Lushlife’s Raj Haldar, who worked on string arrangements and played Arp synthesizer, to vocalist Lily Cope and ubiquitous trumpet player John Pettit. (XPN director of engineeri g Jared Styles plays bass in the band as well.) It’s an orchestrated and lush pop-rock record, and the ten-piece crew that performs it – the Long Hair Arkestra – is a solid crew.

Back in April, Sweeney and his band played their first-ever gig on a stage beneath the illuminated fighter plane that just out of Lenfest Plaza at PAFA. It was for our Key Studio Sessions Live series, it was recorded for posterity, and today we bring you the set in its entirety. Listen to it below, and get tickets and information on tomorrow night’s 21+ show at Johnny Brenda’s here.

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Just Announced: Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra will celebrate the release of their debut LP at Johnny Brenda’s on 10/26

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Long-time Philadelphia bandleader, songwriter and collaborator Joey Sweeney will release his latest project on October 29th through Pennsylvania indie label La Société Expéditionnaire.  Sweeney and his Long Hair Arkestra have been making moves all summer, starting with an introductory performance at The Key Studio Sessions Live event at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in April and currently curating a month-long residency at the Khyber Pass.  The record release will be in collaboration Bands in the Backyard, who captured the local rock band’s performance of “When You Say My Name” in front of the airplane sculpture in PAFA’s courtyard and will release the Arkestra’s new video shortly.  Take a look at the live video below (followed by their track “Kate Moss Hologram”) and check back for ticket information for the record release show, happening at Johnny Brenda’s on October 26th.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes Mayer Hawthorne to Union Transfer, The Rosebuds at Johnny Brenda’s, Majical Cloudz at Kung Fu Necktie, Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra residency at Khyber Pass

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XPN welcomes Mayer Hawthorne to Union Transfer tonight with Superhumanoids.  The neo-soul / R&B singer released Where Does This Door Go earlier this year, showing an ability to put on a more pop-angled hat while still maintaining the retro flair that won over early fans.  Tickets and information for the show can be found here; watch Hawthorne’s video for “Her Favorite Song” below.

The Rosebuds will make a special appearance at Johnny Brenda’s, performing Sade’s Love Deluxe in its entirety.  After the marital split of band members Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard during the release of 2008’s Life Like, Howard retreated to coastal North Carolina where he recorded the entire 1992 album that had meant so much to him throughout his life.  The pair have managed to redefine their relationship as friends in recent years and bring their intimate tour to Philly tonight with Dark Rooms.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Stream “No Ordinary Love” below and download the full tribute album for free here.

Majical Cloudz performs at Kung Fu Necktie tonight with Moon King.  The simultaneously lush and sparse project belongs to Devon Welsh, a Canadian musician / producer who writes emotionally heavy electronic music.  Impersonator, Welsh’s first LP under the moniker, was released in May and instantly perked up ears with its piano / synth base and downtempo vocals that aim for your core.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here.  Watch Welsh perform “Bugs Don’t Buzz” for La Blogotheque below.

Joey Sweeney and his Long Hair Arkestra present their second of four residency nights at the Khyber Pass Pub tonight.  This week will feature performances by The Lift Up and Heyward Howkins in addition to Sweeney’s latest rock project.  The Long Hair Arkestra will release its debut record this fall on La Société Expéditionnaire / BITBY.  Listen to “Kate Moss Hologram” from the band below, followed by an iPhone demo of “Our Brothers” from Heyward Howkins.  More information can be found here.

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Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra share new song, announce September residency at the Khyber Pass

sweeneyresidency Joey Sweeney remembers when rock was young. In fact, he declares it boldy at the start of a new song, “Kate Moss Hologram,” off the forthcoming Long Hair album, coming out in the Fall on La Société Expéditionnaire/BITBY records. Produced by Aaron Luis Levinson, the song features Sweeney on lead vocals and piano, Jared Styles on bass, Charlie Hall on drums, Lushlife on synthesizer, and Lily Cope and Laura Frangiosa on backing vocals. Sweeney and The Long Hair Arkestra are pulling out all the stops in September with a residency at the Khyber Pass every Tuesday night throughout September. Throughout the month he’ll be joined by special guests including the Alex Radus Trio, Heyward Howkins, The Manchester Family, The Ruin of Friendship Orchestra and more TBA. Below, listen to “Kate Moss Hologram.” In case you missed it, take a look at a live performance of “Say My Name” by Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra recorded at the Key Studio Session Live from PAFA, produced by our pals over at BITBY.

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Watch Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra Perform “When You Say My Name” (playing MilkBoy tomorrow night)

LongHairOnce the frontman of The Barnabys and The Trouble with Sweeney, Joey Sweeney disappeared from the music scene to found Philebrity.com — a guide dedicated to gossip and city events. He has since returned to his place as singer-songwriter, and this time, he’s backed by the Long Hair Arkestra. Here’s a video of “When You Say My Name,” performed as part of The Key’s Studio Sessions Live event at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in April, and filmed by Bands in the Backyard. They mix 60s rock with a tinge of country — and some great maraca work.

Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra will play tomorrow night at Milkboy; they join a stellar line up — including Night Panther, Former Belle, and Mohican — for Market East’s release of its new album, Children of Summer. Tickets and information can be found here.