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Photos: Joseph Arthur brings live painting and musical guests to Sellersville

Joseph Arthur | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Joseph Arthur | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com

XPN favorite Joseph Arthur delivered a musically and visually rich set at The Sellersville Theater last Thursday night. Joined on bass and backup harmonies by R.E.M. vet Mike Mills, Arthur played largely from this year’s LP The Ballad of Boogie Christ, and painted an abstract portrait on a canvas propped up on the side of the stage. Local sound loop songwriter Angela Sheik opened the show; see pictures of her set and Arthur’s in the gallery below, and check out video of Arthur after the jump.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cults at The TLA, Communion Club Night featuring Rosco Bandana at Underground Arts, Myrrias at Ortliebs and more

Olivia Malone/Courtesy of the artist
Olivia Malone/Courtesy of the artist

Indie-pop duo Cults will take to the TLA stage tonight. The New York natives released their sophomore album Static in October on Columbia Records and it has impressed fans and critics. Bullet Magazine recently included “So Far” from the new record on their “Indisputable, Definitive Best 53 Songs of 2013″ list. Get tickets to the show here and watch them perform “Always Forever” from their WFUV Session below.

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Listen to Sweet Relief III: Pennies From Heaven (featuring Jackson Browne, Ben Harper, Josepth Arthur, She & Him and others)

sweetrelief On the heels of the 20th anniversary of the first release, Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams comes Sweet Relief III: Pennies From Heaven on Vanguard Records. The last edition in the series since was Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation, a collection dedicated to Vic Chestnutt, in 1996. SWIII: Pennies from Heaven features 13 new recordings of songs by an all-star cast that includes Ben Harper, Jackson Browne, Shelby Lynne, Victoria Williams, She & Him, Eleni Mandell, Ron Sexsmith, k.d. lang, Rickie Lee Jones, Joseph Arthur and more. The cover art is by pop art legend Peter Max.

Sweet Relief is a non-profit charity that maintains a fund that professional musicians can draw from when in need of medical care or financial needs. It started after musician and singer Victoria Williams was diagnosed with MS in 1993 and had no way to pay for her medical expenses. Sweet Relief III: Pennies From Heaven is an excellent collection of covers. Some of the highlights include Ron Sexsmith’s gorgeous take on the title song, Joseph Arthur’s reading of “If I Needed You,” Ben Harper’s cover of Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love,” and “Don’t Let Us Be Sick” by Jackson Browne. Working on the project, Brown said:

“Musicians are always among the first to give their energy and talent to help other people in times of emergency, though they are very often without health insurance themselves, and need our support when they fall prey to illness and hardship. Sweet Relief has been helping musicians for years, and has helped some whom I am very much indebted to for enriching my life. I am very happy to take part in this CD project, and for the chance to support Sweet Relief’s very soulful work.”

Stream Sweet Relief III in its entirety and watch a couple videos from the recording sessions below.

Purchase Sweet Relief III: Pennies From Heaven here.

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Joseph Arthur played to a packed house for Free at Noon (photos, audio, setlist)

Joseph Arthur | Photo by Abi Reimold | AbiReimoldPhoto.com
Joseph Arthur | Photo by Abi Reimold | AbiReimoldPhoto.com
All Photos by Abi Reimold | AbiReimoldPhoto.com

Singer, songwriter and XPN favorite Joseph Arthur played Free at Noon to a packed house today. On the road in support of his latest release, The Ballad of Boogie Christ, his eight-song set drew entirely from the new album, which was released on Real World Records last month. Check out a gallery of photos from the concert below, see the setlist after the jump, and listen back to the performance in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Joseph Arthur at World Cafe Live, The Neighbourhood at Union Transfer, NONA at PhilaMOCA (for Tuesday Tune Out), Light Heat at AKA Music

Joseph ArthurJoseph Arthur is a musician unlike most. In addition to his songwriting, Arthur is also a well-established visual artist, designing the cover-art for almost his entire discography. Perhaps it’s this kind of multi-media tendency that gives Arthur’s songwriting such complexity, and gives Arthur himself a unique range of sound and style. His latest, The Ballad of Boogie Christ, is out now via Lonely Astronaut Records. The singer/songwriter will be stopping in Philly tonight for a show at World Cafe Live. Check out the video for his song “Saint of Impossible Causes” from The Ballad of Boogie Christ, below. Find tickets and information here.

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The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. The Postal Service, Grandchildren, Joseph Arthur, Mount Moriah, and more

photos by Myriam Santos
Photo by Myriam Santos
XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week featured Joseph Arthur and his new song “Saint of Impossible Causes.” The track comes from Arthur’s upcoming album The Ballad of Boogie Christ. Stream and download the song below, and learn more about Ballad here.

Wednesday’s My Morning Download featured a quartet from Nashville called The Features and their song “The Disorder.”  The band is a musical chameleon, drawing their quirky sound from classic rock, indie rock, southern soul and more with ease.  They’ll be at MilkBoy Philly on Wednesday, May 8th; go here for info.

Mount Moriah delivered a stirring performance for this week’s Folkadelphia session.  The North Carolina band performed songs from their recent Miracle Temple LP – download the full set on Folkadelphia’s Bandcamp here, and listen to “White Sands” below.

We got a double dose of Key Studio Sessions this week.  Liz & the Lost Boys turned in a preview of their upcoming LP on Wednesday, with jazzy harp-playing and theatrical vocals.  Thursday saw the release of the Key Studio Sessions Vol. 7, featuring tracks from Waxahatchee, Pissed Jeans and more.  Download the compilation here, grab the full Liz & the Lost Boys appearance here and stream their song “I’ll Stay” below.

In advance of its release on May 7th, Grandchildren‘s Golden Age was the topic of this week’s Unlocked series.  The in-depth look at the local band’s new album kicked-off with a download of “End Times.”  Revisit the full feature here and download “End Times” here.

Finally, The Postal Service are celebrating the 10th anniversary release of its album, Give Up. From it, download one of the two new songs from re-release, “A Tattered Line Of String.”