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Levee Drivers, DRGN King among performers at Kensington Kinetic Sculpture and Arts Festival

Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby | photo via  facebook.com/TrentonAveArtsFest
Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby | photo via facebook.com/TrentonAveArtsFest

The annual Kensington Kinetic Sculpture and Arts Festival is right around the corner and with it comes an exciting array of music and art as well. Along with the festivities of the parade, the Kensington Community Development Corporation and East Kensington Neighbors Association have rounded up exciting performances from Philly musicians to be the backdrop of  the evening.   Continue reading →

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Song of Innocence: Watch Lovers League’s new video for “Hide and Seek”

lovers league
Lovers League | Photo By Lisa Chosed

With their second album due out on May 12th, the single “Hide and Seek” off Lovers League’s album 2 could be some of their most beautiful work yet.  Gentle and pure, with a child-like spirit at heart, the band puts together a mellow and melodically pleasing song and appropriate video cut from old Little Rascals footage that draws listeners in closer. Continue reading →

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Philadelphia is blowing up NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest and it’s amazing

Levee Drivers' Tiny Desk submission | photo by Bob Sweeney
Levee Drivers’ Tiny Desk submission | photo by Bob Sweeney

For those of you who don’t know about NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, you may want to head over to their site and root through their enormous and equally impressive archive. Their 15-minute videos feature live performances from artists of all genres held in the quaint offices of NPR at All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen’s desk.

Ranging from big names like Adele and Alt-J to up-and-coming artists such as Angel Olsen and Rubblebucket, viewers are able to watch the artists perform in the intimate setting, giving the performances a stripped-down, no B.S. vibe. While these videos are ultra fun to watch (perhaps continuously, one after another…), NPR kept things interesting this winter by kicking off a contest to feature a new artist in their series.

Based entirely off of video submissions from all over the United States, an artist will be chosen to perform a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. as well as snag a slot in the big Lagunitas Couchtrippin’ showcase in Austin, Texas. Philadelphia, brimming with the amazing musical talent that it is, seems to have jumped at this opportunity. Continue reading →

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WXPN welcomes Matt Pond and more to the RiverCity Festival

Matt Pond
Matt Pond | Photo by Michelle Montgomery

Local favorite singer-songwriter Matt Pond – a former Philadelphian based in New York – will headline the seventh annual RiverCity Festival taking place at Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown on Saturday, October 11th.  The free festival, situated along the river off of Delaware Avenue, is stocked with a stellar line-up of local bands, vendors and a 5k run.

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TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Diane Birch and more to play at September’s Communion Philly showcase

TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | photo via www.facebook.com/tjkongandtheatomicbomb
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | photo via www.facebook.com/tjkongandtheatomicbomb

A stellar lineup has been announced for September’s Communion Philly with bluesy folk punk band TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, singer-songwriter Diane BirchCrash (of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros), former Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo and local roots-rock band Levee Drivers. Continue reading →

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American Diamond Recordings celebrates their first show at Boot & Saddle

The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Togetherness and unity were certainly in the air pre-Independence Day when American Diamond Recordings hosted their first showcase at Boot & Saddle. The new Philly record label comprised of five local bands celebrated their out-coming with performances from each group, including The Levee Drivers, T.J. Kong & The Atomic Bomb, Ron Gallo, The Lawsuits, and a special set by a band who went by the moniker Eight Legged Prawn. The show was also a celebration of Marley McNamara’s birthday, and most figured out that Eight Legged Prawn was actually one of the bands she manages, The Districts.

It was easy to tell that these artists performing don’t just make music together, they are family.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Thievery Corporation at the Tower Theater, Shlohmo at Johnny Brenda’s, Art Star Craft Bazaar and more

Thievery Corporation | Photo via facebook.com/thieverycorporation
Thievery Corporation | iPhoto via facebook.com/thieverycorporation

DC-born downbeat electronic duo Thievery Corporation is closing in on two decades of activity, and the scope of their influence is massive. Without the collaboration of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, there would be no Air, no Four Tet and no Pretty Lights. Their ninth album, Saudade, was released in the fall, and the band headlines the Tower Theater tonight with guests Polica and Break Science. Get tickets and more info at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “Depth of My Soul” from their recent album, Saudade.

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Ron Gallo and friends start new label American Diamond Recordings

Photo by Ron Gallo | Instagram @rongallo
Photo by Ron Gallo | Instagram @rongallo

Ron Gallo, front man of local Americana blues band Toy Soldiers and city-wide collaborator, has announced the launch of a new local label called American Diamond Recordings.  Named for the intersection of American and Diamond Streets where the label is based (in a former studio of Dr. Dog, no less), the label brings Gallo together with a collective of friends and compatriots to put a focus on the wealth of roots and rock music being created right here in Philadelphia.  From the label:

Decades ago the industry folk fled Philly to seek prosperity in the three corners of the music business NYC, LA, and Nashville.  But American Diamond Recordings and For the Record Management are planning on changing that and making Philly a force to be reckoned with in the world of music.  We sure as hell have the goods to do so.

The initial line-up of acts on American Diamond Recordings include Gallo himself, Toy Soldiers, The Lawsuits, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb and Levee Drivers.  The label’s first official release will be Gallo’s debut solo outing Ronny, expected June 24th.  There will be a free release show on June 26th at Spruce Street Harbor with The Lawsuits and Up the Chain to celebrate; more information can be found here.

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Oldermost, Levee Drivers, Khari Mateen, Johnny Showcase and more head up the Art Star Craft Bazaar

Khari Mateen | Photo by Abi Reimold

The annual Art Star Craft Bazaar comes to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing on the weekend of May 10th and May 11th, and as usual, it’s chock-full of free performances from local musicians. Our friends at Philebrity curated the lineup, which features a set from editor Joey Sweeney and his band The Long Hair Arkestra; also on tap are atmosphericana rockers Oldermost, outlaw country rabble-rousers Levee Drivers, classical / jazz inspired troupe Liz and the Lost Boys, beat-driven one-man-dance-party Khari Mateen, and more. And that’s just the first day (we’re psyched to see Johnny Showcase on Sunday). Check out the full lineup and set times here, and check out music from the artists on the show below.

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Levee Drivers cover Chris Kasper’s “Walking on Water” in a new Cover Club session

Levee Drivers | photo courtesy of Root Down in the Shadow
Levee Drivers | photo courtesy of Root Down in the Shadow
Starting off the second season of Root Down in the Shadow’s Cover Club series are Levee Drivers with their version of Chris Kasper‘s “Walking on Water.”  The local roots rock band, led by August John Lutz III and featuring steel guitar by Kyle Perella and Ben Plotnick on bass, took the acoustic pop original and gave it a dreamy, Americana make-over, warmed by three-part harmonies and a soothing down-tempo shift.  On choosing this particular Philadelphia compatriot to cover, Lutz explained:

Chris Kasper is just a great singer/songwriter – period.  He’s been a personal favorite of mine for years now, whether it’s his solo work, his live shows with a full band, or his side project Foxhound.  He has a very honest voice and an amazingly polished yet rough sound, especially on his new album Bagabones.  I’m really excited to see what he comes out with next.

Watch the video below and then listen to the original.