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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Donn T at Johnny Brenda’s, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle

Donn T | via Donn T's Facebook
Donn T | via Donn T’s Facebook

Dynamic Philly soul singer Donn T is celebrating the release of her second album, Flight of The Donn T, tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. A collaborator of Marsha Ambrosius, Zap Mama and John Legend – and, yes, sister to a drummer named Ahmir Thompson, but let’s not make too big a deal out of that – she made a splash in 2010 with her album Kaleidoscopic, and last year founded her own D Tone Victorious label to release Flight. The album is vibrant and engaging, at turns recalling Erykah Badu and Sade, and tonight she celebrates it at the latest Re-Set party, curated by local fave Res and also featuring Kate Faust. Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Download Commonwealth Choir’s new single “Palace” see them at Key Fest on Thursday

Commonwealth Choir | Photo by
Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Hope Helmuth | hopehelmuth.com | design by January Waters

Philly power pop four-piece Commonwealth Choir hits the stage this Thursday night for opening night of MilkBoy’s Key Fest, and the boys are using the occasion to release their latest single. “Palace” was first heard in a raw live take during the Choir’s Key Studio Session last year; in its new studio rendition, recorded at the band’s Fishtown spot The Gun Shop and mixed by Dan Pawlovich at Treble Hook Music, the song’s inner Rentals sensibilities come alive. There’s a bright and poppy synthesizer lead, an infectious beat and vivid lyrics about a part of town that’s prone to floods that, for whatever reason, these kids can’t stay away from. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Album Leaf at World Cafe Live at The Queen, Marah at MilkBoy, QQQ at The Fire and more…

Album Leaf
The Album Leaf | photo via Facebook

The Album Leaf brings a short tour to World Cafe Live at The Queen tonight. Jimmy LaValle began the electronic project in California in the late nineties, collaborating with Conor Oberst and touring Japan before signing with Sub Pop in 2004. His last record was 2010′s A Chorus of Storytellers, though he’s performing new tracks on this current run of dates. Pick up tickets for the show here and watch the video for “Always For You” below.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Kiska

When Owen Staszewski isn’t pounding the drums in Ruby The Hatchet, he’s at the mic for another band of heavy rocking Philadelphians – Kiska. The new four-piece is actually relatively seasoned; it formed from the ashes, as the expression goes, of Philly modern rock outfit Desoto Jones. That long-running band had been experiencing shifts in lineup as well as sonic directions, and last year came to the conclusion that it had become a different band altogether. Rounded out by Owen’s brother Adam Staszewski on guitar, alongside bassist Ean Kyler and drummer Adam Francois, Kiska was born, and set to work recording its debut LP. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Retinas at MilkBoy, Trans Am at Boot and Saddle, Suzanne Vega at Levoy Theater

The Retinas | photo courtesy of the artist
The Retinas | photo courtesy of the artist

A rock four-piece made up of childhood friends, The Retinas busted onto the Philly scene last year with their debut LP Hello…My Name Is The Retinas. Like a slew of similar-minded Philly up-and-comers, the band has a fuzzy lo-fi garage rock sound a la Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes, and this winter released the new single “Take Me By the Hand,” which you can check out below. They play MilkBoy tonight opening for Lee Baines III and The Glory Fires; tickets and more information on the show can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lauryn Hill at The Keswick Theatre, DRGN King at Everybody Hits, Big Terrible at MilkBoy

Lauryn Hill onstage at the Bowery Ballroom | photo by Wei Shi via consequenceofsound.net
Lauryn Hill onstage at the Bowery Ballroom | photo by Wei Shi via consequenceofsound.net

On the heels of her iconic 1998 album The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill being inducted into Library of Congress this week, the singer / songwriter takes the stage at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside tonight. Unlike last fall’s show at the Electric Factory, which was full band and freewheeling, tonight finds Lauryn in acoustic mode, reminiscent of her Unplugged 2.0 album. Get tickets and information about the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and watch a performance of “Turn Your Lights Down Low” from last fall below. Continue reading →

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Watch South Jersey’s Ju-Taun cover London Grammar’s “Strong”

Ju-Taun | Photo by Stan Golden | Via Facebook.com/jutaun
Ju-Taun | Photo by Stan Golden | Via Facebook.com/jutaun

South Jersey “band of brothers” Ju-Taun rocked SXSW in Austin last week, and their latest offering is a cover of London Grammar’s “Strong.”

British electro-pop trio London Grammar wowed Philly back in January at the Electric Factory, which marked their third time joining us in the past two years, so you may be well-acquainted with their sound.

Ju-Taun’s take on “Strong” is as ethereal as London Grammar’s, with just enough members to harmonize and bring a bluesy/folksy ambiance to the track. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Church Girls at Boot and Saddle, Son Little at MilkBoy, Gang of Four at The TLA and more

Church Girls/ via facebook.com/churchgirlsmusic
Church Girls/ via facebook.com/churchgirlsmusic

A folk-rooted duo with a punk edge, Philly’s Church Girls headlines a show tonight at Boot and Saddle. Primarily the work of singers and songwriters Mariel Beaumont and Evan Anders, the five-piece band celebrated the release of its self-titled debut EP last month at MilkBoy. Tonight they’ll be joined by Sonnder, who are in the midst of their single-a-month project that will culminate in a new LP by December. Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →