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El Caribefunk, Black Landlord, Needle Points are on the lineup to this Year’s 2nd Street Festival, which is going to be really really fun

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The weird red devil-looking dude who’s the mascot of the 2nd Street Festival | photo courtesy of facebook.com/2ndStreetFestival

One of Philly’s best free festivals / block parties is back for it’s sixth year, and this is looking to be the one best yet.

The 2nd Street Festival, which takes place on 2nd street between Germantown Avenue and Green Street in Northern Liberties, will be jam packed with craft vendors, tasty food and tastier beer. But most importantly, great music. The lineup has some pretty great acts including TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Needle Points, Joey Sweeney & the Long Hair Arkestra, Black Landlord, DRGN King, Weird Hot, El Caribefunk, Milton, The Hello Strangers, Mock Suns, and more. You’re excited already, aren’t you? Well then make sure you head over to NoLibs on August 3rd to join in on the fun! And remember, it’s free, so bring your friends and family and any other random people you may know.

The complete lineup can be found after the jump, along with music from some of the artists on the bill.

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Mock Suns bring highly conceptual Santander/All that I Knew to life with ambitious recording and video production

A piece of art starts with an idea. That idea turns into a concept as the artist begins using his or her craft to create a message. And that’s exactly what the four like-minded guys in Mock Suns have done on their new album, Santander / All that I Knew. They’re self-releasing the record tomorrow, and celebrating next month with a show at Kung Fu Necktie on May 24th.

The album is an ambitious, twelve song effort divided into two movements and is done justice best by listening to the whole album from start to finish. Which seems to be Mock Suns style – approaching everything as if with the mindset of all-or-nothing – whether musically or visually through their videos.

According to singer, guitarist and songwriter, Greg Puglese, Santander / All that I Knew was written in the succession that its songs are sequenced. It proves his intention behind it being a complete album with a single concept.

“The underlying idea is sort of about chasing this dream but you never get a hold of it,” Puglese says. “As if it’s your life goal and it’s always there and you can never fully get a hold of it. As your life goes on it’s always there taunting you.”

Even though Puglese is the primary songwriter and concept laid out cleanly, the rest of the band has their own idea behind the message of the album. Bassist Steve DiRomualdo says it’s about feeling a “lack of fulfillment in your day-to-day. Or it’s like you don’t know what you’re looking for, whether it’s the love of your life, a person, or maybe you just want to be somewhere else.”

Guitarist Tom Magliaro sees it in a similar way, saying the album is about romanticizing a place so much in one’s mind and that finding out upon arrival, that it’s not quite what was expected. Continue reading →

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Mock Suns, Gillian Grassie, Lake Street Dive

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

The Hundred Acre Woods brought their thoughtful and upbeat folk punk in for a Key Studio Session this week.  The West Philly five-piece recorded six songs, some off of their recent Cold in the Morning 7″ along with a selection of singles from various splits.  Check out “Base of My Heart” below and download the full set here.

Lake Street Dive celebrated the release of their new record Bad Self Portraits with a free download of the title track.  The soulful pop outfit will be performing in Philadelphia when XPN welcomes them to Union Transfer on April 2nd.  Pick up tickets here and download “Bad Self Portraits” below.

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Premiere: Mock Suns blaze new paths with “As It Is; As It Was”

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Mock Suns | Photo courtesy of the artist

This spring Mock Suns will bring their prog-eyeing psych pop back with their upcoming album, Santander/All that I Knew, coming out on April 29. Today we’re premiering the first single from the album, “As It Is; As It Was.”

The song seems to piece together right in front of you; it kicks off with a bouncy guitar line at the head before the drums gather their energy from the phasing synths. Just as the title suggests, there are clearly two parts here, going to one place and back to where it started.

Santander/All That I Knew was mixed by Philly’s Bill Moriarty and mastered by Joe Lambert, who has worked with the likes of Cass McCombs, DeerHunter and Washed Out, just to name a few. We’re seeing Mock Suns continuing to blaze their own path with thought-out structures; keeping their voice just as bright as ever.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hurry at Boot and Saddle, Anjuli Josephine at Tin Angel, A Fistful of Sugar at World Cafe Live and more

Hurry by Maddie
Photo by Madeleine Lesperance

Boot and Saddle welcomes local bands Hurry, Dreambook, and Mock Suns to its stage tonight. Hurry just released a new single “Oh Whitney”, which you can stream below, from their upcoming LP Everything/Nothing. The band is the solo product of Matt Scottoline of emo four-piece Everyone Everywhere. Dreambook released Only Shadows last year which features their signature distorted guitar sounds and layered drum beats. Psych-pop headliners Mock Suns released their debut album Here Nor There back in 2012. All three acts are lo-fi dream pop-oriented with a splash of something unique. Get tickets here and check out tracks from the bands below.

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Mock Suns to headline Boot & Saddle on 1/10 with support from Hurry and Dreambook

Mock Suns

Philly’s sixties-esque psych rock band Mock Suns will be headlining Boot & Saddle on January 10th with supporting bands Hurry and Dreambook. Two extremely fuzzy bands opening for even incredibly spaced out one; this show is sure to be entertaining. Mock Suns’ 2012 release Here Nor There puts strange mechanical effects alongside edgy and loud riffs. Listen to the album below via Bandcamp. The band also recently announced that their second full length album has been mixed, so keep an eye out for a release date. Get your $10 tickets to the 9 p.m. show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Buried Beds at Johnny Brenda’s, Dan Kassel at World Cafe Live, Bakery Boys at The Blockley, Mac DeMarco at MilkBoy

buriedbeds_1Chamber-pop outfit Buried Beds plays at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Check out the sly orchestral group’s recently released, lightly embellished single, “Stars,” below. It comes from their latest album, In Spirit, which will be released next month. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s 21+ show here.

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Check out Mock Suns covering Nancy Sinatra (Playing Milkboy w/ Mac DeMarco 8/29)

Mock Suns

Philly’s Mock Suns get psychedelic on a Central PA farm and put a wild twist on Nancy Sinatra’s classic “You Only Live Twice.” They make the song their own by adding distortion, noise, a trippy surf-rock vibe, and some awesome guitar work. The psych-pop outfit also released the Here Nor There Remixed EP in March. They will be playing with Mac DeMarco and Ape School at Milkboy on August 29 – you can find more information here.

Mock Suns – You Only Live Twice (Nancy Sinatra Cover) from Mock Suns on Vimeo.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Plow United at The Boneyard, Mock Suns at Johnny Brenda’s, Cheap Girls at North Star Bar and more

Plow United will be playing at Atlantic City venue The Boneyard tonight. After looking like they might never come back to the stage, the thrashcore pop-punk band made an unexpected return and proudly released their new album, Marching Band, last April. Can’t make it tonight? Catch Plow United tomorrow at the Mojo Main in Delaware. For more information and tickets for tonight’s show, click here. Watch a video of the band performing a cover of Siouxie and the Banshees’ “Burn-Up” from this week’s Key Studio Session below.

Plow United “Burn-Up” – WXPN Key Studio Session from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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The Week So Far: 13 must-read stories on The Key (incl. PIFA, Kurt Vile and Kate Nash)

freeenergyFree Energy will play the North Star Bar on May 4th with Deap Vally [link]

Local rapper Mic Stewart releasing PEACEWORLD on April 23rd, shares his new video for “I’m Not From Brooklyn” [link]

Moon Palace takes part in this week’s Folkadelphia Session, recording a selection of songs with a full band [link]

Dar Williams, Steve Forbert, Stephen Kellogg and more have been scheduled for this summer’s Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert series [link]

Wilkes Barre, PA’s Cherokee Red and their song “Vaya Con Dios” were Monday’s My Morning Download [link]

Sensual soul duo Rhye and their beautiful track “Open” were featured on this week’s XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week [link]

Download a free remix EP from Mock Suns, a local alt-psych trio that opened for Hey Marseilles at Johnny Brenda’s Wednesday night [link]

Weathervane Music shared this month’s Shaking Through episode with Night Panther; get a free download of “Fire” and watch the session video [link]

Anjuli Jospehine stopped by for a Key Studio Session and plays The Tin Angel this Saturday [link]

A student-produced documentary takes a look at the basement and DIY show scene in Philadelphia [link]

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts kicks-off tonight and will run through April 27th with performances, lectures and exhibitions looking back at historic events in time [link]

Kurt Vile is throwing a parade this Saturday and wants you to be there [link]

Check out photos and a review of Kate Nash‘s appearance at Johnny Brenda’s [link]

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