Joseph 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.
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.”
This week’s Gotta Hear Song of The Week is a new song, “Saint Of Impossible Causes,” by the prolific singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur. Arthur’s new album, The Ballad of Boogie Christ is out on June 11th and he’s asking his fans to help support and fund the project through a Pledge Music campaign. The album includes guest appearances Ben Harper, Garth Hudson, Joan Wasser (Joan As Policewoman), and Jim Keltner, Arthur calls the release a psychedelic soul record, a “concept album with a story arc about a man falling apart and coming back together in insanity and enlightenment.” Download “Saint Of Impossible Causes” below. We think you’ll agree with us that it’s some of Arthur’s finest, richest work to date. Below the song, watch a video from Arthur explaining about the album.
Atmospheric and dreamy, this previously-unreleased instrumental from local singer-songwriter Birdie Busch is a great little add-on to what is already one of the year’s best albums. Birdie suggests adding it to a favorite “drive in the desert” playlist, but for those of us on the east coast it could do just as well on any early morning driving-back-from-the-greatest-night mix. Stream and download “This Must Be (reprise)” below and listen to Birdie Busch and the Greatest Nighthere. Tickets and information for the Musicians On Call Benefit Concert with Shemekia Copeland and Joseph Arthur at World Cafe Live on March 14th can be found here.
Hop Along and Kite Party will be performing tonight at The Fire. Hop Along released their debut full-length album Get Disowned earlier this year in May, while fellow local band Kite Party have the entirety of their first album Hand Claps Music available as a free download here. The all ages show tonight starts at 6:30; tickets are available here. Below, watch Kite Party performing “Buried in Dogs.”
Next Wednesday, May 16th through Saturday, May 17th WXPN’s annual music conference, the Non-Commvention, rolls in to World Cafe Live and WXPN. This is the 12th year for the industry conference started by WXPN’s Dan Reed when he worked at WFPK in Louisville, Kentucky. Hundreds of music industry personnel will be in town from various radio stations across the country alongside industry publicists, labels representatives, digital media folks, managers, and listeners and members of WXPN. The lineup for this year’s Non-Comm includes dozens of bands who will be performing at World Cafe Live Wednesday through Friday night, and a listener appreciation Free At Noon on Saturday at Penn Park. WXPN will be broadcasting and webcasting the following sets live:
Wednesday, May 16
8:00 PM – The Key Studio Sessions Live with Graham Alexander, Find Vienna
10:00 – Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Thursday, May 17 Free At Noon
Noon – Joseph Arthur
12:30 – Citizen Cope
The NPR Music Stage
8:30-9 – Father John Misty
9:35-10:05 – Beth Orton
10:45-11:25 – The War On Drugs
12:05-12:45 – Polica
Friday, May 18 Free At Noon with Brandi Carlile, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson
The NPR Music Stage
8:30-9 – Diego Garcia
9:35-10 – Nada Surf
10:40-11:10 – Good Old War
11:50-12:30 – J.C. Brooks & the Uptown Sound
Saturday, May 19 – Listener Appreciation Free At Noon from Penn Park:
12-12:20 – Dex Romweber Duo
12:25-1:05 – Rufus Wainwright
1:15-1:45 – Sons of Fathers
1:55-2:25 – Elle King
2:30-3 – Nick Waterhouse
Singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur has released a new double album for free called Redemption City. Download the albums here. Below, download the song “Travel As Equals.” Here’s what he has to say about the albums:
Is complete as a record and for those who are generally against the idea of an artist making a double record (of which there are many) you can stop there and you have it.
Is the deep cuts, which would have otherwise remained on the cutting room floor or else been leaked out over time in various ways, fragmented beings with no brothers or sisters or home. I think both parts serve to strengthen the whole. They are relating to each other and breathing back and forth. They are each other’s shadow and hold hands when no one is watching. It’s true that often less is more but sometimes more is more and that is something that, in this case, will be down to taste.
With the Internet and new ways of releasing music it seems that the doors are open to broader perspectives on what’s too much. Here you have both a double and a single record, depending on how you want it or your level of interest. Also it’s not important (or possible!) to listen to all of it in one sitting. Take in Part 1 and then move slowly into part 2.
It’s a city. There are lots of avenues and side streets, Abandoned buildings and bodegas,
Cars parked on the side of oblivion with cats in them. Come in and walk around.
Yesterday, WXPN’s Mike Vasilikos interviewed 2011 XPoNential Music Festival headliners Citizen Cope as well as Gary Clark Jr. and Joseph Arthur. You can listen to the full interviews by clicking the links below.