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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hailing 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.
Plow United will be playing at Atlantic City venue The Boneyard tonight. After looking like they might never come back to the stage, the thrashcore pop-punk band made an unexpected return and proudly released their new album, Marching Band, last April. Can’t make it tonight? Catch Plow United tomorrow at the Mojo Main in Delaware. For more information and tickets for tonight’s show, click here. Watch a video of the band performing a cover of Siouxie and the Banshees’ “Burn-Up” from this week’s Key Studio Session below.
The excitement is in the air for local harmony-pop group Market East‘s latest album Children of Summer, which drops May 27th. Last week we debuted the new single “To Walk With You.” Today it’s another selection from the new album called “Evergreen”; download the song below, and watch a video of the band performing it in the studio.
We’ve also got the details of the aforementioned special guests of the June 8 release show at MilkBoy, and it’s quite the lineup. Joining Market East will be Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra, Night Panther, Mohican and Former Belle. Tickets and information can be found here, and you can check out the rather pretty show flyer after the jump.
On hand we’ve got Wilmington folk-rock powerhouse New Sweden (pictured), alums of the Key Studio Sessions (download their appearance here) and two-time winners of Tri-State Indie’s Delaware Indie Band of the Year award. I caught their recently revamped lineup at South by Southwest last month, and their live set is smokin’ as ever. Expect some new material, a modest amount of fiddle and ample hooting and hollering from these folks.
Also on the bill is vocal force of nature Ali Wadsworth. You’ve seen her collaborate with many players in the roots scene – her old band Unlikely Cowboy, Toy Soldiers, Good Old War, Fantasy Square Garden, Aaron & the Spell and the list goes on – but her forthcoming solo debut is something just about all of those folks are anticipating. It is being recorded with prominent Philly producer Bill Moriarty, features Wadsworth singing music written by many of her friends in the scene, and is sure to be great.
Last but certainly not least is Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra. Aside from his day gig running the city news and culture blog Philebrity, Sweeney has made a formidable return to the stage this year – he first performed as a teenager in the 90s, and went on to front The Trouble With Sweeney and others until about 2006. After a hiatus of about a half-dozen years, he began to make moves with his rock outfit Arctic Splash (including a Christmas Key Session), threw a 40th birthday celebration that reunited all of his old bands, and now is gearing up to release Long Hair, a long-in-the-works solo album exploring the more introspective side of his songwriting. For this show, Sweeney will perform with The Long Hair Arkestra, a band about whom we don’t know a ton, but we’re psyched to hear them play all the same.
The concert takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lenfest Plaza at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118 North Broad Street. Admission is free, but space is limited, so RSVP now at the XPN website.
Below, watch an acoustic performance of New Sweden’s “Mama,” watch Ali Wadsworth covering Beck’s “Eyes that Say I Love You” at the Song Reader show, and watch a trailer for Sweeney’s “Long Hair”