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Tonight’s Concert Picks: John the Conqueror at Milkboy, Art Garfunkel at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Black Horse Motel with Song Dogs and Spirit & Dust at Boot & Saddle and more

 

John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong
John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong

John the Conqueror celebrate the release of The Good Life at Milkboy tonight.  Formed in 2010 by Mississippi natives Pierre Moore and Mike Gardner with Philadelphian Ryan Lynn, the trio has spent its short career creating a sound that keeps the true blues of the south alive.  Working in affinities for punk and vivid narratives, John the Conqueror’s new record is a study in traditional music storytelling with an energy that is hard to match.  Tickets and information for the hometown record release show with Blayer Pointdujour & The Rockers Galore and Thee, Idea Men can be found here.  Stream and download “Waking Up to You” from The Good Life below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: July Talk at MilkBoy, Dark Blue at PhilaMOCA, Caroline Smith at Boot and Saddle

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Toronto-based rock four-piece July Talk makes it’s Philly debut tonight at MilkBoy. Channeling the gravel-voiced aggression of Tom Waits and the haunting tones of Denali, front-duo Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay lead a dynamic band that is equal parts raw and mystical. Watch a World Cafe performance of “Don’t Call Home” below. Get tickets and and info on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The A’s at Ardmore Music Hall, Winter Doldrums Music Festival at World Cafe Live, Jonathan Wilson at Underground Arts and more

The As_LP_inside_bandReunited Philly new wave-era rockers The A’s cross over county lines tonight to play a show tonight at Ardmore Music Hall. The five-piece force behind pop hits “A Woman’s Got The Power” and “After Last Night” staged a successful comeback last January at Underground Arts, where they reportedly played almost every single song in their catalog in a show they billed “Last Dance.” After a extremely positive fan response, The A’s decided to make the Last Dance a regular thing. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch a video from the Underground Arts show below.

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Halfro: The Next Generation of Live-Band Philly Hip-Hop

Halfro | Photo via www.facebook.com/HalfroMusic
Halfro | Photo via www.facebook.com/HalfroMusic

Comparing Halfro to its most obvious progenitor would be way too simple. A band with keys, bass, drums, and an emcee? Pulling out covers amidst originals with seamless transition? A groove-laden party at every show? And they’re from Philly?

As you might expect, the comparison is not lost on the young quartet, originally founded as Chocolate Milk (both names originating from their having two white and two black members). “The Roots have always been my favorite artist – I have the tattoo to prove it,” says Luke, the group’s bassist. “I heard them when I was a close-minded, pain-in-the-ass thirteen-year-old who only liked metal. Hearing how they could form hip-hop using live instruments blew my mind. That’s all I’ve wanted to do since,”

Fortunately for Luke and his bandmates, Halfro doesn’t need to do a lot of justifying. The raucous energy of their sets speaks for itself.

Humbly originating with high school jam sessions between keyboardist Andrew (aka Bach), drummer Justin, and singer/emcee Dave (aka Mutt), Halfro’s flight was more of a mile-relay than a sprint. “In high school, I had a little recording “studio” in my bedroom at my mom’s house in Harrisburg. My friends and I would sit up there ALL THE TIME and make funny raps and beats and all that,” says Andrew. “Dave and Justin were involved in all this stuff, and the three of us started taking it more seriously as time passed. When the three of us shipped off to Temple University, we met Luke and started forming the sound we have now.”

Those early days have translated into a constant grind to play shows, connect, and be seen. They have steadily worked towards bigger and bigger venues throughout the mid-Atlantic, and that momentum shows few signs of slowing down.

“When we first started, it was just the drunk people at house parties. Then, we were able to play better venues and we had some people come, but for the most part we played for the bartenders.” says Justin of the band’s early days.

“Since we’ve started playing shows, I believe that our audience has grown and we have developed genuine friendships from fans that consistently come out and show love. A lot of times people just go by the popularity or buzz of the artists they follow, and less about their actual craft or live show,” adds Dave.

Their sound is a fresh take on something familiar, but their influences run the gamut, making their way into this explosive foursome in idiosyncratic ways. Continue reading →

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Get a double dose of local genius this Sunday night at Doyletown’s Siren Records with Anthony Green and Commonwealth Choir

Anthony Green | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Anthony Green | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

With the overall positive response to his album Young Legs, Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green ended 2013 on a high note. The Doylestown native was praised for his growth in songwriting and musicianship. Although his distinct high-pitched voice may be an acquired taste for some, Green has always been a master of conveying emotion which becomes even more clear in a live setting. This Sunday night, he’ll play an intimate show in the cozy confines of Siren Records in his native Doylestown.

Also on Sunday night’s bill is indie rock five-piece Commonwealth Choir. Since releasing its Shirtless EP late last year, the band (also Doylestown natives) established its local presence by playing tons of live shows across the region. If one show leaves you wanting more, don’t fret. XPN welcomes Commonwealth Choir back to Philly on March 15th at Milkboy (tickets here). Listen to Anthony Green’s “Young Legs” and Commonwealth Choir’s “Pacers” below and get tickets to Sunday night’s show at Siren Records here.

Pacers by Commonwealth Choir from James Powers on Vimeo.

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Delaware three-piece Kind of Creatures brings their rock and roll fiasco to Milkboy tomorrow

Kind of Creatures | Photo via facebook.com/KindOfCreatures
Kind of Creatures | Photo via facebook.com/KindOfCreatures

Self-proclaimed “garage glam” outfit Kind of Creatures released their first EP Narrow Spaces at the latter half of last year. They alternate between quiet (and sometimes interestingly soulful) and loud moments that mesh to create a raw, energetic rock-n-roll fiasco. Milkboy welcomes the band to its stage on Thursday night for a 21+ show. Get tickets here and stream “Going Down” below.

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New song, new album from Philly blues-rock trio John The Conqueror

John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong
John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong

Local blues-rock trio John the Conqueror debuted their new single “Waking Up To You” this morning via Rolling Stone. An raw and aggressive number with a galloping beat, the song is about a moment of realization, songwriter Pierre Moore tells the magazine: “This song isn’t about one woman. It’s about every relationship I’ve ruined because I thought sleeping around would make me happy.”

The band is about to head out on a European tour, and will celebrate the release of their new album The Good Life when they return with a show at MilkBoy on March 7th.  It’s the second full-length from the outfit, which blends the southern blues of their Jackson, Mississippi upbringing with powerful rock riffs and character.  The Good Life follows 2012′s self-titled debut, which was featured in the band’s Key Studio Session. Tickets and information for the 21+ record release show can be found here.  Download “Waking Up to You” and watch John the Conqueror perform live at the 2013 Bayprt BBQ Deep Blues Festival below.