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Philly Local Phile PREMIERE: Acres of Diamonds’ “Penultimate”

“Our recording process has been somewhat glacial,” jokes Sarah Davis, the singer and keyboardist / glockenspielist for earthy, expressive Philly rock combo Acres of Diamonds. The band’s excellent self-titled EP dropped in summer of 2010, and it has been working on the followup at an extremely measured pace in the time since. But that’s completely fine; if the end result is a collection of songs as rich and inspired as today’s Philly Local Phile, AOD’s brand-new number “Penultimate,” it will be absolutely worth the wait. Stream or download the song below, and catch Acres of Diamonds in concert next weekend when it plays Milkboy Philly on Sat. Feb. 4 with Brown Recluse and recent PHL Bandcamp Hunter stars Instamatic.

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Philly Local Philes: The Menzingers “Gates”

In just under a month, the Scranton-bred, Philly-based working class punks The Menzingers will release their Epitaph Records debut, On The Impossible Past. Last week, the band gave fans a taste of what’s to come: the slow-burner anthem “Gates,” which we’ve spotlighted in today’s Philly Local Phile. Listen below, pre-order the album at Epitaph’s web store, and catch the band on Fri. Feb. 4 when it plays the Susquehanna Bank Center with Rise Against. Stay tuned for a Key Studio Session from The Menzingers later this winter!

The Menzingers – Gates by Epitaph Records

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Philly Local Philes: Purling Hiss’ “Run From the City”

Don’t adjust your speakers, as the saying goes: Purling Hiss is supposed to sound like that. Across the better part of its recorded output, the Philly shred-core trio offsets hooky, timeless rock and roll songs with caustic, abrasive noise and production values. Which is one hell of a gauntlet to throw down – “we’re going to write this music you’ll immediately love,” they’re essentially saying, “and then we’ll make you work hard to love it.” Fortunately, the payoff is totally there in the end, and if you see the Hiss live before you grab its albums, you’ll find it all the easier to get what they’re doing. This month, the band hits the road with Dr. Dog – getting to play before some well-earned mass audiences – and its last gig before departing is tomorrow night, Jan. 20, at Pi Lam in West Philly. To wish it a good sendoff show and happy / thrashy trails ahead, today’s Philly Local Phile digs into an early favorite from the Purling Hiss catalogue: “Run From the City,” the lead off track on 2009′s Public Service Announcement LP on Woodsist Records. For some compare / contrast fun, see how that number sounds alongside the version Purling Hiss recorded at its Key Studio Session almost a year ago.

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Philly Local Philes: City Rain’s “Watch Out” (remix contest happening now)

It’s a busy month for Philly electro-pop guys City Rain. Last week, we released their Key Studio Session; this Saturday, Jan. 21, they play a show at the North Star Bar. And just before the weekend, the band announced a remix contest for their song “Watch Out.” Click below to download the stem files posted to the band’s Soundcloud page, tweak them to your heart’s content, and e-mail the results to cityrainmusic [at] gmail [dot] com by Feb. 3. In today’s Philly Local Phile, we’ll give you a starting point by revisiting the Key Studio Sessions version of “Watch Out.”

Watch Out (Stems) – REMIX CONTEST – submit by feb 3rd to cityrainmusic@gmail.com by City Rain

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Philly Local Philes: Swift Technique’s “Newsies”

Photo by John Vettese

Earlier this week, Philadelphia funk-jam sextetSwift Technique took their punchy horns and racing rhythms to the XPN2 airwaves for a live broadcast with Tuesday night host Adam G. The occasion? Swift’s first Philadelphia show of 2012, which happens tonight at Kungfu Necktie. Opening the show are Key faves Lady, and out-of-towners Dr. Ruckus. Look for the entire performance to be released as a Key Studio Session later this year – probably around the time Swift gets ready to drop their full-length debut album – but in the meantime, today’s Philly Local Phile provides a taste to whet your appetite: an ode to South Philadelphia (and a certain Christian Bale musical) called “Newsies.”

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Philly Local Philes: She Came Crashing’s “Doppelganger”

There’s no denying that brother-sister synthpop duo She Came Crashing studied at the school of Siouxie, but their nervy, textured sound stretches beyond the conventional boundaries of goth high drama to incorporate Jonny Greenwood style minimalist electronic music ambiances and hooky, danceable structures. All of those elements can be heard in today’s Philly Local Phile, “Doppelganger,” which you can stream below. She Came Crashing performs tomorrow night Jan, 10 at the North Star Bar’s New Music Series. Tickets to the 21+ show are $5.

doppelganger by she came crashing

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Philly Local Philes: Coup Couroux’s “Sneaking Suspicion”

 On the one hand, irresistibly funky foursome Coup Couroux recalls the big-beat era of late-90s electro-pop; Lo-Fidelity Allstars, Chemical Brothers, and the like. But while today’s Philly Local Phile, “Sneaking Suspicion,” might sound like something Norman Cook would have brewed up in his lab circa 1997, this music is clearly the product of songwriters as much as bodyrockers. Give a listen to the track below, hear their entire self-titled EP over at Bandcamp, and catch them this weekend when they headline Milkboy Philly.

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Philly Local Philes: Work Drugs’ “Daddy Bear”

It’s the first day back to work after a long holiday, so we’re gonna need some Work Drugs. Today’s Philly Local Phile digs into “Daddy Bear,” a deep cut from their debut long-player Aurora Lies; give it a listen below. The band is making some headway outside of the city this winter, playing Glasslands in Brooklyn later this month and House of Blues in Boston in February. Its next Philadelphia show is at the Electric Factory, opening for Umphrey’s McGee on Feb. 11

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This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds at Milkboy Philly, Serpent Throne at Johnny Brenda’s

Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds

With the holiday weekend coming up, there’s not a whole lot going on show-wise. However, there are a pair of shows tonight that feature local acts we wrote about over the summer: the reggae-infused funk act Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds (opening for En Fuego at Milkboy Philly) and the instrumental prog-metal quartet Serpent Throne (at Johnny Brenda’s). Sonni Shine came into the XPN studios to record a Key Studio Session, which ran back in August; XPN2′s John Vettese highlighted Serpent Throne in one of his Philly Local Philes. You can listen to a track from Sonni Shine’s session and Serpent Throne’s latest album below.

En Fuego (record-release show) + Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds, Penrose at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., 21+, $8–$10); Serpent Throne + Gondola, The Pilgrim at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $8)

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Philly Local Philes: The Love Club’s “Blow”

One of several musical pursuits of David Mitchell Esparza – aka (((taco))) – The Love Club deals in steamy, noisy electric blues, raw and right to the point. Today’s Philly Local Phile spotlights “Blow,” an unapologetic cautionary tale from their 2011 EP, Of Love and Other Demons. Stream it below, or take in the racket in person when The Love Club plays a free show at Kungfu Necktie this Thursday, Dec. 22, opening for Arrah and the Ferns and Chandelier Ballroom.

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