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Matt Pond celebrates 10th anniversary of Emblems at Underground Arts

Matt Pond / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Matt Pond / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

“We’re going to play an album,” Matt Pond tells a Philly crowd in the colorful low lights of a basement room. “And it goes something like this.” The singer and songwriter then launched straight into Emblems’ opening track, “KC.”

It’s been 10 years, down to the month, since the release of the haunting Matt Pond PA album Emblems. And now 5 full-lengths, 7 EPs, 9 singles, and a name strip-down later, the band is briefly slipping back on the “PA” for a May-long, mini North American tour. Coming back to its early roots Friday night, Matt Pond and his band – who were based in Philly once upon a time – celebrated the album’s 10th anniversary with a three band bill at Underground Arts.

First to the stage was Philly’s rising folk rock group Rosu Lup. Backed by strings and light orchestrations, the core trio blends beautiful Americana-esque harmonies with the powerful elegance of cello, violins, and a bit of trumpet. Giving the audience all that they had, Rosu Lup played an ethereal set complete with tunes off of their recent Currents EP, a cover of Matt Pond’s “Brooklyn Fawn,” and a well-received cello solo. Although their inspirations seem to be somewhat eclectic, Rosu Lup’s dynamic orchestrations stitch together a variety of thoughts and sounds seamlessly. I’m not one to catch too many trends before they happen, but this is definitely a band you should keep your ears on.

The Lighthouse and the Whaler / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
The Lighthouse and the Whaler / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

Next, Ohio pop-folk quad The Lighthouse and the Whaler took over the stage with their jaunty tunes and knee-bouncing energy. Touring alongside Matt Pond for the 10th anniversary, the band brought along a violin / keyboard floater who added in a certain oomph to their already-invigorating blend of mandolins, glockenspiels, guitars, and drums. Getting the crowd on their toes while keeping on his own, lead singer Michael LoPresti lead the band through a series of tunes including the title track off of their 2012 album This is an Adventure. With a sound similar to The Last Bison and Lord Huron, this is one band you don’t want to miss next time they’re in town.

Finally Matt Pond took to the stage, humbled that so many fans came out to support the tour and their upcoming happenings. “It’s like ‘people know this stuff?’” Pond tells me bewildered while shaking hands after the show. But when it comes to knowing Matt Pond’s work, Philly knows it to a tee. “I’m going home, back to New Hampshire. I’m so determined. I’m so determined…” the crowd sang long in awe as Pond and his band flawlessly played though the “honest dose of melancholy” album, as Paste Magazine described Pond in 2004. To complete the nostalgic show, the band came back to the stage for a four song encore including “Love to Get Used” from their 2013 release The Lives Inside the Lives In Your Hands.

As a ‘thank you’ to all of his listeners, Pond recently released Skeletons and Friends via Noisetrade. “It’s an album of brightened corners and beautifully incomplete sentences. It’s the structure and skeleton of what’s to come,” Pond describes, which is the perfect way to describe the framework tracks in my opinion.

Check out and reminisce with the photo gallery and set list from Friday’s show below.

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Matt Pond PA returns to Philly for Emblems 10 Year Anniversary Tour

mattpond Matt Pond | photo via artist facebook page | https://www.facebook.com/mattpondpa

It’s hard to believe that an entire decade has gone by since indie alt/rock outfit and formerly-based-in-Philadelphian Matt Pond PA released the beloved LP Emblems; but alas, time flies.

In celebration of this occasion, Matt Pond will reattach the “PA” to his name and play Underground Arts Friday, May 2, joined by act The Lighthouse and the Whaler for the 10 year anniversary. Matt Pond has an armory of albums under his belt, but the acoustically driven, stripped down Emblems manages to strike a sentimental chord that has long withstood the test of time. With ten years of history attached to the record and a whole lot of talent, the show should be one for the books.

Released in 2004, Paste Magazine succinctly called Emblems, “a lush, haunting collection of superbly crafted chamber pop.” His folksie and mopey songs always seemed to touch the right late night chords, both emotionally and musically and to many fans, Emblems is his best work.

Tickets for the Underground Arts show go on sale this Friday, February 21st at Noon. You can purchase tickets here. Listen to the track “New Hampshire” from Emblems below. And in case you missed it, download Matt’s cover of Pink Floyd’s “Green Is The Colour” that he recorded with Andrew Kenny and Chris Hansen.

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Watch XPoNential Fest artist Matt Pond play “Hole In My Heart” along the Camden waterfront for Out of Town Films

MattPondThis weekend, Matt Pond and his band played a rousing set at the XPoNential Music Festival on Saturday afternoon (listen back to it here). When he got done, he caught up with our friends at Out of Town Films, who were camped out around the festival grounds capturing offstage performances by several of the bands on the lineup. Their session with Pond, released today, is the first of five videos they shot over the weekend. From OoTF’s Colin Kerrigan:

As you can imagine, electrical outlets are pretty scarce at music festivals so when Matt Pond asked to do a ‘plugged in’ session at WXPN’s XPoNential Festival presented by Subaru we were a little hesitant. So much so that we told them we’d bring an acoustic guitar for them to play. However, things were a little hectic leading up to the festival and we forgot to bring an acoustic.

Luckily, the guys were cool about our forgetfulness and were actually pretty glad we forgot the acoustic since they wanted to do a ‘plugged in’ session in the first place. We found a little space behind their trailer that had an outlet and set up with an enormous battleship in the background. There, they played us two songs. The first being this song, “Hole In My Heart”. Hope you enjoy.

Watch Pond and guitarist Chris Hansen play “Hole in my Heart” below.

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XPoNential Fest: Matt Pond has a sort of homecoming at the Marina Stage

Photo by Michelle Montgomery
Photo by Michelle Montgomery

Although he took the “PA” out of his name, Philadelphians still crowded the Marina Stage for Matt Pond’s show at the XPoNential Music Festival.  And Pond was equally enthusiastic, softly thanking XPN and claiming, “when I’m excited about things I speak quietly, when I’m lying I yell.”  Other than this, the quartet stuck mostly to playing songs back to back, Matt in his dark sunglasses and white shirt leading the group.  His most recent album, The Lives Inside the Lines In Your Hands, was released last February and his show featured several songs from the album including the pop-rock single, “Hole in My Heart” and the hard-hitting “Love to Get Used.”  Other highlights from the show included “Bring Back the Orchestra” and “Giving it All Away.” See photos of the performance in the gallery below, read the setlist after the jump, and listen to the set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Khari Mateen, Plow United, Diplo

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Local musician / producer Khari Mateen tossed in a cover of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” to celebrate the season.  Mateen gives the Porgy & Bess aria a funky make-over with staccato string parts and chunky beats.  Fun fact – the lyrics to “Summertime” were written by DuBose Heyward, a relative of local singer-songwriter Heyward Howkins.  Stream and download the cover below.

Two Folkadelphia Sessions this week – first up, an endearing acoustic performance by Laura Stevenson, followed by a rocking & rolling set from Brooklyn’s Plates of Cake.  The spectrum of music represented by these two sessions is Folkadelphia’s mission in action, i.e. presenting a braod definition of what it means to be “folk music.”  Stream and download two tracks below and dig in to the rest here.

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My Morning Download: Matt Pond, playing XPoNential Music Fest, covers Stevie Nicks’ “Wild Heart”

mattpond Matt Pond, who is playing this year’s XPoNential Music Festival on Saturday, July 27, recently released the four song Hole In My Heart EP. On it, he covers the Stevie Nicks song, “Wild Heart,” the title song to Nicks’ second solo album that came out in 1983. The EP also includes an acoustic version of “Hole In My Heart” and the studio version of it from Matt’s most recent album, The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand. Download “Wild Heart” by Matt below. We’ve included the original of the song by Stevie Nicks below to compare the two – if you are so moved to.

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Listen to Matt Pond cover Stevie Nicks on the Hole In My Heart EP (Playing XPoNential Next Week)

matt pondToday we’ve got a special treat from Matt Pond.  Thanks to O.G. indie music bloggers My Old Kentucky Blog, you can stream and download a brand new EP featuring the album version of “Hole in My Heart” as well as a breathtaking acoustic version and a cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Wild Heart.”  Hot on the heels of his new album, The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hands, the Hole in My Heart EP serves as a great sampler for the album, featuring three rock-tinged folk songs that are sure to get stuck in your head.  Stream the album below and catch him at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival.

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Watch Matt Pond’s infectious new music video for “Hole in my Heart” (playing XPoNential Music Festival 7/27)

MattPondSinger/songwriter Matt Pond has just released his newest video for the track “Hole In My Heart”, an infectious song from his latest full-length record, The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand. Interview Magazine says “this song will be stuck in your head from now until the end of time”, and they aren’t kidding. Find out for yourself by watching the video below. Matt Pond returns to the Philadelphia area next month, when he’ll be playing the XPoNential Music Festival on July 27th. Tickets and information can be found here.

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XPoNential Additions: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Red Baraat and Matt Pond join 2013 lineup

This just in from the XPoNential Music Festival programming depot – three artists have been added to the 2013 lineup. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, who entertained a jam-packed Wiggins Park with a lively set in 2010, will make their second XPoFest appearance. Also added are Bhangra fusionists Red Baraat and poppy indie singer-songwriter Matt Pond. Tickets are available here. Below, watch Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros play “Home” at XPoFest 2010, and after the jump, check out music from Matt Pond and Red Baraat.

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Photo Recap: Jukebox the Ghost, Matt Pond and The Spring Standards at Union Transfer

Photos by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

In their biggest headlining show to date, Jukebox the Ghost played Union Transfer last Friday night. Fellow formal local Matt Pond played an opening set with his new band, and Delaware buzz-makers The Spring Standards opened the show. Check out scenes from the evening in the photo gallery above.

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