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Johnny Flynn plays in Philly for the first time in 3 years

Photo by Elizabeth Mazenko
Photo by Elizabeth Mazenko

“The water sustains me without even trying,” a loving yet subdued crowd sings back to the British new-folk icon Johnny Flynn on Saturday night. “The water can’t drown me, I’m done with my dying.”

For the first time in three years, Flynn passed through Philly playing a sold out crowd packed into North Star Bar. Following a bouncy set by The Melodic, and stripped of his band The Sussex Wit, Flynn got though his first two songs “Lost and Found” and “The Ghost of O’Donahue” before pulling out a small wrinkled piece of paper from his pocket. “I try playing this game with myself,” Flynn explains how he tries to remember the songs on his setlist without looking. “This time I didn’t do so well,” he said as the audience chuckled.

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Photo by Elizabeth Mazenko

The rest of the night was the perfect balance between celebrating his 2013 release Country Mile with newer tunes like “Murmuration” and “The Lady Is Risen,” and boot stomping crowd favorites from A Larum and Been Listening.

Playing “The Water,” Flynn got the crowd’s help on the originally dueted song. Getting to the end of his wrinkled list, the crowd groaned at the announcement of his last song. Glad the packed room didn’t want his set to end, Flynn jumped right into “Tickle Me Pink,” which he allowed the audience to finish by repeating the refrain in an almost chant. “Pray for the people inside your head / for they wont be there when you’re dead.”

Check out the setlist from Saturday’s concert at the North Star after the jump. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Broncho at Johnny Brenda’s, You Do You at North Star Bar, Up The Chain at Tin Angel and more

Broncho | via Facebook

Tulsa, Oklahoma garage rockers Broncho head to Johnny Brenda’s tonight, with support from Brass Bed and Haggard. Broncho recently released a jamming new EP It’s On, with two new songs that have an aggressive sound mixed with the feeling of apathy that results in a carefree energetic style. Check out “Can’t Bet Past The Lips” below, and get tickets to the 21+ show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: GZA at Electric Factory, Lockets at Boot and Saddle, Dads at The Barbary and more

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA will bring his raw lyricism to the Electric Factory stage tonight. After a six-year break, the emcee will release his new space-themed album Dark Matter this year. Watch the rapper preview his new album at the University of Toronto below and get tickets here.

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The accidental success of Kat Kat Phest, and how founder Daniel Anderson is building on it this year

The Hundred Acre Woods | photo by Ally Newbold Photography
The Hundred Acre Woods will play opening night of Kat Kat Fest on Saturday | photo by Ally Newbold Photography

Think of last year’s first Kat Kat Phest as an accident that went almost as smoothly as the organizers could have asked for.

“There were seven or eight different bands that hit one of us up saying, ‘Hey, I need a show,’ in a four-day period, “ says the Philly-based indie label founder Daniel Anderson about what happened around this time last year. “By the end of it, all four days had a show, and we were just like, ‘Whatever, let’s just make it a four-day thing with some after shows.’”

Anderson started Kat Kat Records in order to help out friends’ bands and put out their records, so requests for help booking shows in the area were not uncommon. That’s why his friend Ruben Polo (also his band-mate in the local four-piece Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe) started helping out with promoting events, which he also does for a living.

For a last-minute festival with mostly touring bands on the bill, the two organizers couldn’t have imagined it would go so well, even selling out the show on the final day.

“[Our band] left for an eight-week tour after that, and off and on, we were just talking about, ‘Who should we get next year? We should do this for real,’” Anderson says. “Last year’s was kind of an accident. This year is a test to see if we can make it go as well when we’ve actually meant to do it.”

So this weekend, DIY musicians and local music supporters will once again gather for Phest 2, which will span five days, feature eight all-ages shows and boast about 50 bands. The all-festival passes, a bargain at $22, were sold out by December 20. Saturday night’s show with local heroes Smoother and Marietta, as well as New York-based Lemuria headlining, was moved to the North Star Bar after selling out at The Fire. But tickets are still available for all eight shows, a la carte style, at the show’s Facebook event page, and they range from $3 to $10…so it’s still a lot of bang for your buck.

Several bands associated with Kat Kat Records will also play this year’s Phest, including By Surprise, Hightide Hotel and Tyler Daniel Bean. But Anderson and Polo don’t make it a priority to put their own bands on the bill.

“If bands deserve to play cool shows and work really hard and are good people, then they play what they should play,” Anderson says. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: New Year’s Eve with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at North Star Bar

 

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have announced a special New Year’s Eve show at the North Star Bar.  The local rock outfit released a new EP this year called Little Moments, following up 2011′s Hysterical LP.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show with special guests can be found here.  Watch the band play “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth” below.

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Watch Vikesh Kapoor’s new video for “Bottom of the Ladder” (playing North Star Bar on 12/5, World Cafe Live on 1/31)

 

Vikesh Kapoor | photo by Parker Fitzgerald
Vikesh Kapoor | photo by Parker Fitzgerald

Folk singer Vikesh Kapoor has released a video for “Bottom of the Ladder” in support of his recent debut LP The Ballad of Willy Robbins.  As a sort of overture to the record, “Bottom of the Ladder” introduces us to a narrator who is weary of the obstacles of life but, at the same time, determined to overcome them.  The shadowy black and white video shows Kapoor climbing an endless ladder, edited in a surreal, fever dream style that contrasts the song’s realist narrative.  Tickets and information for Vikesh Kapoor’s December 5th show at North Star Bar and January 31st show at World Cafe Live can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Paws at The Barbary, Alkaline Trio at The Electric Factory, Hayden / Doug Paisley at Boot and Saddle and more

PAWS | Photo via www.facebook.com/wehavepaws
PAWS | Photo by Kasper Volgelzang

Glasgow-based pop-rock trio Paws will play The Barbary tonight on their third US tour this year. The trek comes amidst the band’s recording of their follow-up to last year’s Cokefloat!; its lo-fi sound is enhanced by their catchy melodies and introspective lyrics. Watch “Sore Tummy” below and get tickets here.

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Just Announced: Johnny Flynn will play North Star Bar on 1/18

 

Johnny Flynn | photo via Luke Montgomery
Johnny Flynn | photo by Luke Montgomery

U.K. singer-songwriter Johnny Flynn has announced a North American solo tour scheduled for January of next year, bringing him to the North Star Bar on the 18th.  Flynn released his third LP Country Mile in late September.  The record followed up the critically acclaimed 2010 full-length Been Listening, which World Cafe’s David Dye discussed with the musician and actor during a session that year.  Tickets will go on sale this Friday, November 8th and will be available here.  Below, watch Flynn perform “The Lady is Risen” off of the new record at Rough Trade in London during Record Store Day last year.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes The Dismemberment Plan at Union Transfer, XPN Welcomes Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside at North Star Bar and more

Photo by Shervin Lainez
Photo by Shervin Lainez

XPN welcomes The Dismemberment Plan to Union Transfer tonight.  The D.C. indie rock band’s latest record Uncanney Valley dropped in October, ending a twelve year recording break that allowed band members to explore other interests.  The broadened horizons are audible on the record, which stretches it’s influences from Jackson Browne to R&B.  Tickets and information for tonight’s show with Yellow Ostrich can be found here.  Below, watch The Dismemberment Plan perform “The City” live in D.C.

XPN welcomes Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside to the North Star Bar.  Ford and her band of retro rockers have been in town a few times lately, performing a late night set at May’s Non-COMMvention and making a stop at Milkboy in July.  During her last stay in Philly, Ford recorded a video of “Roll Around” with Out of Town Films on Quince Street.  Watch the video below. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with Mount Moriah and Pine Barons can be found here.

Also Playing:

Big Freedia at Underground Arts (8:00 p.m., 21+, $14)

Tom Rush at World Cafe Live (6:00 p.m., all ages, $30)

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Stream The Company We Keep’s new album Sound/No Sound (playing North Star Bar on 11/20)

The Company We Keep | Photo via www.wearethecompanywekeep.com
The Company We Keep | Photo via www.wearethecompanywekeep.com

Alt-rock super-group The Company We Keep is streaming their new album Sound/No Sound exclusively here on Property of Zack. The band includes songwriter Justin Pierre (Motion City Soundtrack), Brian Southall (The Receiving End of Sirens) on strings, drummer Branden Morgan (Misery Signals), and vocalist Haden Brightwell. A hybrid of Evanescence and early Paramore, their sound is carried by Brightwell’s dominant vocals. The band’s tour kicks off in Michigan in a few weeks before landing in Philly on November 20th at North Star Bar. Get tickets here and watch them perform an acoustic version of “Right/Wrong” below.