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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Laser Background and more at PhilaMOCA, Cheerbleeders at Kung Fu Necktie

Laser Background

Blistering Ephemera Fest continues today at PhilaMOCA with Laser Background and many other acts. Curated by local promoter Nick Duval to celebrate his five years of living in Philadelphia, the festival is a day-long affair with ten bands performing. Headliner Laser Background had a busy 2014, playing shows with Mac DeMarco, Jamaican Queens, White Fence just to name a few. More information on the show can be found here. Watch Laser Background perform “Fizzy Lifting Drinks” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: No Stranger at Kung Fu Necktie, Sam Smith at Liacouras Center

No Stranger | Photo by John Vettese
No Stranger | Photo by John Vettese

Jonathan Cooney’s solo songwriting project No Stranger headlines Kung Fu Necktie tonight. A mix of contemplative acoustic guitar, ethereal electric guitar and introspective lyrics, No Stranger recalls Jonah Matranga’s Onelinedrawing and The Weakerthans in its emotive reflections on life, faith and humanity. Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Northern Arms at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Young Statues at Johnny Brenda’s, Carl Madison at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Northern Arms | photo via facebook.com/thenorthernarms
Northern Arms | photo via facebook.com/thenorthernarms

Expressionistic noir rock army Northern Arms performs in the grand staircase of the Philadelphia Museum of Art tonight as part of the museum’s Art After 5 Friday night series. The band released its self-titled debut LP last year to much acclaim, and has been taking is booming and brooding show – which project the blues, gospel, and Americana through a cinematic lens – to unconventional spaces like the Fleisher Art Memorial in the fall. The sonorous acoustics of the Grand Staircase should make for a thrilling setting for the band’s slow-burn story songs tonight. Information on the show can be found hereContinue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Johnny Showcase at World Cafe Live, Lee Mazin at The TLA, Sister City at Kung Fu Necktie and more…

Johnny Showcase
Johnny Showcase | photo via Facebook

Johnny Showcase brings his Lefty Lucy Cabaret to World Cafe Live upstairs tonight. The absurdist funk-pop-disco eight-piece will release its new record The Octopus this spring after hosting a successful Kickstarter campaign. The LP comes three years after the groups debut Love Is the Message, which they revisited last summer for the video “Hit It From the Back.” Tickets and information for tonight’s show with Timur and the Dime Museum can be found here. Watch the band perform “The Octopus” live at Johnny Brenda’s below.

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Thief Steal Me a Peach at Kung Fu Necktie

Photo by Kirra Kimbrell | via facebook.com/tsmap

Speaking of the appropriateness of titles, Thief, Steal Me a Peach took its name from a 1993 7″ by emo icons Sunny Day Real Estate, and you can totally hear it. The Philadelphia band released its Anxious Math EP just about two years ago, so we’re due for some new material. Tonight they play Kung Fu Necktie; tickets and more information can be found here. Continue reading →

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Yikes The Zero, E. Grizzly join forces in Radio Ghost

Yikes the Zero: a Philly hip hop artist to watch
Yikes the Zero | Photo courtesy of the artist

The majority of the music you’ll hear from Radio Ghost – a new collective made up of Philly MCs Yikes The Zero, Tommy Tucker, O-Severe and E. Grizzly – sounds like a cypher. It’s four artists with distinctive sounds coming together on each track to not only annihilate the beat but to also show who’s the better rapper. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Common at The TLA, Pompo & The Community College Rejects at Kung Fu Necktie

Common | via twitter.com/common
The cover of Common’s Nobody’s Smiling | via twitter.com/common

After a brief hiatus, Chicago rapper Common re-emerged this year with his tenth studio album, Nobody’s Smiling. Released on Def Jam Records in July, it was a timely artistic statement, as the album deals with the high crime rate in his hometown that hit a peak this summer, with guest collaborations from Jhené Aiko, Big Sean, Vince Staples and more. Tonight Common headlines the TLA in Philly; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “Kingdon” featuring Vince Staples. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: HR at Kung Fu Necktie, Nalani & Sarina at World Cafe Live, I IM EYE MY at Bourbon and Branch

HR of Bad Brains | via kungfunecktie.com
HR of Bad Brains | via kungfunecktie.com

“You have to experience HR,” says rapper Mos Def. “You don’t talk about him, you experience him.” The pioneering punk rocker and lead singer of Bad Brains, HR (short for Human Rights, birth name Paul D. Hudson) performs tonight at Kung Fu Necktie. By fusing dub, reggae and hardcore thrash in the late 70s, HR and Bad Brains charted new territories; he in particular built a rep as a dynamic, compelling frontman. Over the years, his sound has steered more towards the reggae end of his musical palette, which is the show he and his band bring to Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Tickets are $8 at the door, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tinmouth at Kung Fu Necktie, Tribute to Ode to Billie Joe at Underground Arts, Dirty Dollhouse at Bourbon & Branch and more…

Tinmouth
Tinmouth | photo via Facebook

Tinmouth close out their 2014 concert schedule with a show at Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  The local indie rockers were the subject of this week’s Key Studio Session, previewing tracks from their forthcoming debut LP Says.  Check out “Same Noise” below and get the full session here.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show here

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The Key Studio Sessions: Tinmouth

Fittingly, I first had a conversation with Tinmouth‘s Timothy Tebordo at a house show. It was the first night of OK Fest at Golden Tea House this summer, and Tebordo wound up standing near my wife and I; he recognized us from having been at a couple of his own concerts, and we killed time between sets talking about music.

His band has a very distinct, vintage DIY sound; it draws from influential artists that would have been playing the Golden Tea Houses of the early 80s. In their Key Studio Session, you’ll hear a sharp Mission of Burma and Gang of Four edge (“Same Noise”), a catchy Yo La Tengo-style sense of pop (“Prevent Defense”), and a bit of R.E.M. contemplation (“What More Can I Say?,” which nods lyrically to “Pretty Persuasion” and on which Tebordo’s voice sounds positively Michael Stipe-ian). Continue reading →