South Jersey-bred rocker, producer and XPN host Ben Vaughn takes to the stage of The Tin Angel tonight. The venue is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, and XPN Welcomes Ben and his quintet to rattle the walls a bit with some timeless garage rock tunes. The 21+ show begins at 8 p.m., tickets and more information can be found here. Below, watch a video of the Ben Vaughn Quintet playing “My First Band” at Maxwell’s in Hoboken last year.
“One thing that I love about Philly is that people aren’t very careerist here,” says Philly songwriter Meg Baird, Saturday afternoon over coffee at South Street’s OFC. “In cities like New York or L.A., I feel like there’s a greater pressure to present highly complete work. But here people are happy to hang out with your cocktail napkin work. They enjoy your sketch-y stuff, and I think they like being in on the process a little, where they see you play something that maybe you don’t really have worked out quite yet. It’s something people say is true in San Francisco too, so I’m kinda hoping that will be a nice segue, to help me feel comfortable.”
She pauses to sip her coffee. Almost two decades after moving to Philly from South Jersey, Philly’s honey-tongued songstress will be leaving the City of Brotherly Love for San Francisco, where her boyfriend lives. It’s an exciting but bittersweet time—while she’s eager to delve into the city’s long folk history (“there’s this band from San Francisco called Icky Boyfriends that really played a big role in my formative musical years,” she says. “I actually got to play with them last week in New York City which was incredible”), she knows for sure she’ll miss her family and friends, not to mention the community of musicians and music-lovers. Continue reading →
XPN2’s Folkadelphia just announced its latest showcase on November 13th featuring Chicago’s Angel Olsen; Philly artists Meg Baird and Brendan Codey to be held at Studio 34. Olsen, formerly of Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s Cairo Gang band, just released her first full-length LP, Half Way Home in September to critical acclaim. Baird also collaborated with Billy’s Cairo Gang, and her 2011 record Seasons on Earth, was well received by critics, with NPR putting her in a league among Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Codey, whose EPs and singles are available digitally and as limited-edition cassettes, has had his music described as “a meditative hailstorm, placing the listener right in the eye of the storm looking out” by the Deli Magazine-Philly. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $8.00 in advance; more information can be found here. Watch Olsen’s new video for “Acrobat” below.
Summer time is for being outdoors, eating ice cream, and enjoying time with friends. You can experience that all today at the Kensington Picnic on Frankford Ave. between Susquehanna and Dauphin Street. It’s a folk-y phenomenon with performances from Meg Baird, Steve Gunn, Birds of Maya, Blues Control, and more. This free show kicks off at 1 p.m. and will go till’ it’s over. Bring your picnic baskets, blankets, and lawn chairs for a perfect summer day. You can find more info on the picnic’s event page.
American descendant of Panamanian parents, Aloe Blacc grew up in Los Angeles and became invested in the California hip hop scene. He worked in troupes such as Emanon and Jazz Liberatorz, and began his solo career in 2006. He has released two LP’s that evoke his R&B style underneath his eclectic singing and rapping skills. He plays tonight at the TLA at 7 p.m. Tickets to this all ages show are $20. Below watch Aloe Blacc’s video for “I Need A Dollar”.
Philadelphians Oldermost produce beautifully-crafted melodies drizzled with soft-spoken vocals, delicate piano strokes and steady rhythmic drumming. You can listen to their EP Lose Your Mind on their bandcamp page. Their warm energy will be flowing tonight at Johnny Brenda’s, along with Capewrath and Daniel Ryan Belski. Tickets to this 21+ show are $10, grab yours here. Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Candlight Concert for Epilepsy Awareness is a concert series taking place in Pennington, NJ. It is a chance to raise funds and awareness about the effects of epilepsy. Tonight’s feature is righteous soulful singer Sharon Little. She recently released her sophomore album, Paper Doll.Catch her tonight at the concert while donating to a worthy cause at the same time. Doors are at 7 p.m., show at 8; tickets are $15. And if you can’t make it out to the show, you can stream it live on StageIt.com.
WXPN welcomes The Spring Standards CD Release Show to World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, DE. They released their double EP Yellow // Gold, and it reflects their memories of growing up as folksinger children and provides a snapshot living life today in the big city. Also playing tonight is Wilmington’s own, The Spinto Band. The show starts at 8 p.m, tickets are $18-20. Below watch The Spring Standard’s official video for “Heavy Home” off the EP.
The new Kensington Picnic block party announced its lineup yesterday, and for fans of the city’s burgeoning art-folk / proto-blues scene, it’s a doozy. On Saturday, Aug. 11 on Frankford Ave. between Susquehanna and Dauphin, folk luminary Meg Baird (who recently played a breathtaking set opening for Sharon Van Etten at Union Transfer) will perform solo, as well with Watery Love, the garage punk band she drums in alongside TestosterTunes Records founder Richie Charles and members of New Jersey’s Home Blitz. Also on the bill are Blues Control and Birds of Maya, who reportedly ruled at PhilaMOCA this past Friday, guitar experimentalists Chris Forsyth and Steve Gunn, and the Virginia transplant Dan Bachman, whose nimble acoustic playing recalls Jack Rose and John Fahey. Watch video of the artists below, and follow the festival’s Tumblr page for more details.
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.
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
Tonight at the The Philadelphia Ethical Society the Silver Ages perform with Meg Baird, John Wesley Harding, and Mary Lattimore for “The 5th Annual Silver Ages Holiday Spectacular” at 8 p.m; tickets to the show are $13. Under the guidance of Charlie Hall, expect some sonic seasonings of choral group harmonies, classic popular tunes and other musical surprises. For more information about the show go here
Also tonight: Pissed Jeans performs with Blues Control and Veiled at 9:15 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $10–$12; Negative Department + The Only Ghost in Town, Pray For Polanski, Sure Juror at The Level Room (8 p.m., 21+, $8); New Sweden + KeN, Lettuce Prey at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., 21+, $8–$10);
Break It Up’s self-released single “Excavate,” which the band posted on Bandcamp earlier this year and is easily my favorite local song of 2011. Had it received an official release this year (either as a 7-inch or on a full-length), it definitely would been included on my list. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll have to wait until next year for the band to release its debut. Listen to Break It Up’s Key Studio Session
Lantern and Dirty Beaches’ self-released live album, Live At Glasslands—because live albums don’t count. Listen to Lantern’s Key Studio Session
This week, we’ll be taking a look at several WXPN/XPN2 staff members’ Best Of 2011 lists. Today, XPN2’s John Vettese—who records and produces our Key Studio Sessions—tells us his five favorite local albums of the year.