Tonight’s Concert Picks: WXPN Welcomes Sharon Van Etten to Union Transfer, Aaron Freeman at World Cafe Live, and the PhilaMOCA Summer Solstice

Sharon Van Etten first hit our radar as the inaugural artist in Shaking Through, the video and audio collaboration between Philly’s Weathervane Music and WXPN. In many ways, the seeds of her recent acclaim were born in that session for Shaking Through at Brian McTear’s Miner Street Studios in Fishtown in December, 2010. The song she recorded, “Love More,” was included on her gorgeous and intimate October, 2010 release Epic. Since then, Sharon’s career has grown significantly, solidified by an extensive touring schedule and her February 2012 release, Tramp on Jagjaguwar Records. Over the past couple of years Sharon has released hushed, indie folk tunes that reveal intimate truths; easily making audiences swoon. Tonight WXPN welcomes her along with Meg Baird to Union Transfer at 9 PM; purchase tickets here.

Also tonight:

PhilaMOCA Summer Solstice Ice Cream Social with performances from Arctic Splash, The Really Cooks, Attia Taylor, Shorty Boy Boy, and MC Juliet Hope Wayne. Tickets to the all ages show will be sold at the door and are $8. Doors open at 6 PM.

And over at World Cafe Live, previous singer of the late, great Ween, Aaron Freeman performs songs from his new Ben Vaughn produced album, The Marvelous Clouds. The 8 PM show tickets are $20


The Key Studio Sessions: Heyward Howkins

The rare combination of a warm southern storyteller and a cool northern soul, Heyward Howkins is a longtime player in Philadelphia’s music scene who is coming into his own on the debut LP he’ll release later this month. The Hale and The Hearty is an album that rewards multiple listens – particularly the selections that Howkins recorded spaciously arranged versions of for his Key Studio Session with guitarist Severin Tucker and drummer Erik Schmidt. “Spanish Moss,” one of the best songs I’ve heard this year, is simultaneously a nod to the songwriter’s family roots in Georgia, as well as a vignette of working class life in Philadelphia. It’s so lyrically subtle, you almost have to be from the 215 to pick up on all the clever turns of phrase it contains (the line “My city’s way hungover / still sore from red October” is a good one), but the song is also melodic and sublime in a way that transcends its regional references. Likewise, “The Live Oak” makes a solid case for naming Howkins poet laureate of Oaklyn, N.J. The album is in stores and online on June 26, but you can get a copy early with the price of admission at this weekend’s album pre-release show at the Maas Building in Fishtown. Heyward Howkins performs with Oh! Pears, Le Fits and Juliet Hope Wayne at The Maas Building, 1320 N. 5th St., on Sat. June 9 at 8 p.m. Admission to the show is $10.