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El Caribefunk, Black Landlord, Needle Points are on the lineup to this Year’s 2nd Street Festival, which is going to be really really fun

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The weird red devil-looking dude who’s the mascot of the 2nd Street Festival | photo courtesy of facebook.com/2ndStreetFestival

One of Philly’s best free festivals / block parties is back for it’s sixth year, and this is looking to be the one best yet.

The 2nd Street Festival, which takes place on 2nd street between Germantown Avenue and Green Street in Northern Liberties, will be jam packed with craft vendors, tasty food and tastier beer. But most importantly, great music. The lineup has some pretty great acts including TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Needle Points, Joey Sweeney & the Long Hair Arkestra, Black Landlord, DRGN King, Weird Hot, El Caribefunk, Milton, The Hello Strangers, Mock Suns, and more. You’re excited already, aren’t you? Well then make sure you head over to NoLibs on August 3rd to join in on the fun! And remember, it’s free, so bring your friends and family and any other random people you may know.

The complete lineup can be found after the jump, along with music from some of the artists on the bill.

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Joey Sweeney covered Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me” at Communion

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At the Communion Showcase on May 8th, Joey Sweeney performed a cover of “Bring It On Home to Me” by Sam Cooke.  Sweeney wandered around the crowd as he crooned while his band The Long Hair Arkestra held things down on the stage.  The clip was filmed by Bob Sweeney at Underground Arts, and you can check it out below.  Next month’s Communion Showcase will feature the UK’s Catfish and the Bottlemen, Katie Frank & The Pheromones, Tutlie and more.  Tickets and information can be found here.

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Oldermost, Levee Drivers, Khari Mateen, Johnny Showcase and more head up the Art Star Craft Bazaar

Khari Mateen | Photo by Abi Reimold

The annual Art Star Craft Bazaar comes to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing on the weekend of May 10th and May 11th, and as usual, it’s chock-full of free performances from local musicians. Our friends at Philebrity curated the lineup, which features a set from editor Joey Sweeney and his band The Long Hair Arkestra; also on tap are atmosphericana rockers Oldermost, outlaw country rabble-rousers Levee Drivers, classical / jazz inspired troupe Liz and the Lost Boys, beat-driven one-man-dance-party Khari Mateen, and more. And that’s just the first day (we’re psyched to see Johnny Showcase on Sunday). Check out the full lineup and set times here, and check out music from the artists on the show below.

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Go shopping with Joey Sweeney in a pre-Record Store Day video for “Records and Coffee”

jsrcscreengrab1“I’ve been scrutinized, been sad and blithe,” sings Joey Sweeney. “And so many other often times, the only thing that made me feel civilized was records and coffee.” It’s a lyric that rings true for any of us who have spent an inordinate amount of time thumbing our way through boxes of vinyl, sitting in a corner of cafe with a dark roast and a hangover, making sense of our ever-changing world through one constant we can rely on: music. Through the ups and downs of life, it’s always there.

With Record Store Day fast approaching (check out our rundown of local events here), Sweeney and BITBY (who released the vinyl edition of his 2013 album Long Hair) debuted a new video for the toe-tapping “Records and Coffee.” It follows our narrator as he wakes up on his couch – where an excitable pup greets him as an LP spins – to the aisles of A.K.A. Music, down the nearby streets and back home where he reviews and revels in his purchases. If the music nerdery wasn’t enough of a winning point, the beautifully shot Old City streetscapes will get you.

Check it out below, celebrate Record Store Day this Saturday, April 19th, and be sure to catch Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra at the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts on May 8th. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Download Joey Sweeney’s cover of “Head On (Hold On to Your Heart)” by Man Man

Photo by Michael Bixler
Photo by Michael Bixler
Taking a short break from recording his own material, local musician Joey Sweeney has covered the #5 top song of 2013 (as voted by XPN listeners).  His take of Man Man’s “Head On (Hold On to Your Heart),” which originally appeared on last year’s On Oni Pond, takes the song back to how it might have sounded while Honus Honus was writing it.  Sweeney sings “Head On” earnestly and introspectively against the backdrop of just an acoustic guitar, transforming the track from cinematic and quirky to intimate and perceptive.  Download the cover and listen to the original below.  Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra play the Ardmore Music Hall on Saturday with Heyward Howkins and Slo-Mo & Hoagy.  Tickets and information can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Brazilian Girls at Underground Arts, Eleni Mandell at Union Transfer, Arctic Splash at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo by Michael Weintrob, Courtesy of facebook.com/braziliangirls
Photo by Michael Weintrob, Courtesy of facebook.com/braziliangirls
New York-based electric dance band Brazilian Girls play tonight at Underground Arts. The band’s fans are anxiously awaiting the release of its newest album – it’s acclaimed New York City came out six years ago. After taking a brief hiatus, Brazilian Girls are currently touring the East Coast and making a stop in Montreal. The 21+ show will start at 8 p.m. Purchase tickets here and check out the band’s video for “Don’t Stop” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hurry at Boot and Saddle, Anjuli Josephine at Tin Angel, A Fistful of Sugar at World Cafe Live and more

Hurry by Maddie
Photo by Madeleine Lesperance

Boot and Saddle welcomes local bands Hurry, Dreambook, and Mock Suns to its stage tonight. Hurry just released a new single “Oh Whitney”, which you can stream below, from their upcoming LP Everything/Nothing. The band is the solo product of Matt Scottoline of emo four-piece Everyone Everywhere. Dreambook released Only Shadows last year which features their signature distorted guitar sounds and layered drum beats. Psych-pop headliners Mock Suns released their debut album Here Nor There back in 2012. All three acts are lo-fi dream pop-oriented with a splash of something unique. Get tickets here and check out tracks from the bands below.

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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

JoeyLily
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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Mark your calendars for the 215 Festival, October 17th through the 20th

215fest The 215 Festival returns this October 17-20th, and as in previous years promises to offer a festive celebration of the literary arts under the direction of creative director Joey Sweeney of Philebrity. Throughout the four-day event there will be dozens of literary events. Some of the confirmed writers are Neal Pollack, Nicholson Baker, Bruce Smith, Liz Moore, Wesley Stace, Tom Moon, Jason Fagone, and Lord Whimsy. The 215 Festival Benefit & Preview will be held on Friday, September 13th 2013 at the legendary Port Richmond Books, featuring appearances by Tom Moon’s Ensemble Novo, comedian/author Doogie Horner, poet Elizabeth Scanlon and author Sarah Rose Etter. Go here for more information about the event. For more info on The 215 Festival, here and follow them on twitter @215festival. Below, check out the smooth jazz stylings of Ensemble Novo.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Rodrigo Y Gabriela at The Electric Factory, Illinois at Hard Rock Cafe, Joey Sweeney, Judson Claiborne, and Lewis & Clarke at Ortlieb’s, The Mighty Paradocs at Kung Fu Necktie

04.12-Rodrigo-y-Gabriela-@-Chicago-TheaterHailing from Mexico, Rodrigo Y Gabriela makes for an incredible acoustic duo, playing an acoustic fusion of flamenco, metal, folk, rock and so much more. Gaining popularity in Ireland, the duo has since received wide critical acclaim for their prodigious musical skills.  Last winter, they released their fourth studio album, Area 52, which included a Cuban orchestra.  Tonight, the group plays The Electric Factory.  Click here for ticket info and get a taste of the two musicians’ guitar skills below.

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