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Closing In On Perfection: Jason Isbell plays a sold-out Keswick Theatre

Jason Isbell | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Jason Isbell | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

It’s been interesting following Jason Isbell on his journey through his breakthrough album Southeastern. Just before the release, I caught him late one night in a sparsely-filled upstairs at the World Cafe for the NON-COMMvention. He played solo, and when he started his set the chatter at the bar was louder than the song itself. He got a certain hard look in his eyes, and belted out the chorus to the then unreleased “Cover Me Up.” Lights flickered. It got everyone’s attention. And the songs on Southeastern and subsequent performances with his exceptional band the 400 Unit have been doing so ever since. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Natalie Prass at Boot & Saddle, Branford Marsalis at Zellerbach Theater, Jason Isbell at the Keswick

Natalie Prass
Natalie Prass | photo via www.facebook.com/natalieprass

Natalie Prass brings her debut LP to Boot & Saddle tonight. You might recognize her as the keyboard player on Jenny Lewis’s tour last year, but this first offering from the Cleveborn singer-songwriter shows her talents reach much further than piano. Her “Bird of Prey” single was XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week back in January, its playful yet self-assured arrangements of horns and strings buoying Prass’s up close and personal vocals. Listen to the song below and pick up tickets for tonight’s show with Lady Lady here.
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Jessica Lea Mayfield and Seth Avett will bring their tribute to Elliott Smith to the Keswick

Jessica Lea Mayfield
Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield | photo via youtube.com

Jessica Lea Mayfield and Seth Avett (of The Avett Brothers) are ready to take their tribute to Elliot Smith out on the road. The record, called Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliot Smith, comes out March 17th following a country-wide tour, which hits Philadelphia on March 14th when the duo performs at the Keswick Theatre.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Field Report at Underground Arts, Esperanza Spalding at The Keswick Theatre, and Ron Gallo at Bourbon and Branch

Field Report
Field Report | Photo courtesy of the artist

As part of Communion Philly, a monthly series of shows created by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, critically-acclaimed Wisconsin folk band Field Report will be playing Underground Arts tonight. Fronted by Chris Porterfield (who played in DeYarmon Edison with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), as well as multiple members of psych-folk group Megafaun, the band will be bringing their poetic lyricism and beautiful signature melodic-yet-ambient acoustic sound to Philadelphia to headline a night of diverse music with a lineup ranging from alternative rock to swing-hop to, of course, folk. Other groups playing include Portland, Oregon’s Quiet Life, and Philadelphia groups Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night, Weekender, and Marian Hill. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: OhBree at Kung Fu Necktie, The Stray Birds at World Café Live, Daley at Union Transfer and more

OhBree | Photo by Jake Beadenkopf
OhBree | Photo by Jake Beadenkopf

Yesterday, we premiered their new single “Sweater” and tonight Philly’s OhBree brings their brand of oddball pop to the Kung Fu Necktie stage. There’s much to celebrate as the band’s new LP Death by Broomstick comes out in just a few weeks on April 15th via Lillian Records. Tickets are available at the door before showtime at 8:00pm.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Colin Meloy at the Keswick Theatre, XPN Welcomes Matt Nathanson to the Electric Factory, Far Out Fangtooth at Boot & Saddle and more

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Colin Meloy, lead singer of The Decemberists, brings his solo tour to the Keswick Theatre tonight.    The Portland, OR musician will be sharing new songs alongside tracks from his extensive catalog during the tour.  He’s also supporting a new cover EP called Colin Meloy Sings The Kinks, which he discussed in an interview with The Key earlier this week.  Tickets and information for the all-ages solo show can be found here.  Below, listen to Meloy covering “Sister I’m a Poet” from his previous Morrissey cover EP.

XPN welcomes Matt Nathanson to the Electric Factory tonight.  The poppy singer-songwriter is touring in support of a new album called Last of the Great Pretenders, released in July on Vanguard Records.  Tonight, Nathanson will be joined by Joshua Radin.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Below, watch the video for Last of the Great Pretenders‘ first single “Mission Bells.”

Local psychedelic rockers Far-Out Fangtooth celebrate the release of Borrowed Time tonight at Boot & Saddle.  It’s the second full-length LP for the two year old band, put out via legendary cult label Siltbreeze.  In an interview with The Key earlier this week, the band explained the root of their dark and gothy sound, in addition to detailing how Far-Out Fangtooth came together.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here.  Watch their new video for “Beyond Your Bones” below.

Also Playing:

Built to Spill at Union Transfer (8:00 p.m., all ages, $22)

Pink Slip Daddy at Kung Fu Necktie (8:00 p.m., 21+, $10)

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Janelle Monae at the Electric Factory, Colin Hay at Keswick Theatre, Deltron 3030 at the TLA and more

monae
Retro starlet Janelle Monae will grace the Electric Factory stage tonight. Monae released her critically acclaimed third album, The Electric Lady, last month. Despite her old-school flare, there’s nothing dated about Monae’s music. She’ll make you want to dance (“Q.U.E.E.N.”, “Dance Apocalyptica”) and be seduced (“Primetime” featuring R&B crooner Miguel). Check out her new “emotion picture” for the latter below. Get tickets here.

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