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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ray LaMontagne at Susquehanna Bank Center, The Philly Opry with Birdie Busch at Johnny Brenda’s, Boyz II Men at Tower Theatre and more

RayLamontagne1-PLM

Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne will bring his folk blues to Susquehanna Bank Center tonight. His lastest album, Supernova, that was released this past April, has the signature grainy, husky vocals and folk roots, but with a psychedelic touch to it. Watch the music video for the single, “Supernova,” below and check out the XPN Concert Calendar for more information.

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Revisit Ray LaMontagne’s best Philly moments before seeing him at Susquehanna Bank Center on Saturday

Ray LaMontagne | Photo via facebook.com/raylamontagne

Ray LaMontagne returns to the Philadelphia area this Saturday for a headlining performance at Camden’s Susquehanna Bank Center. The folk-influenced singer/songwriter from New Hampshire is currently on tour promoting his new album, Supernova. However, it’s far from his first stop in the Philly area. LaMontagne has been here several times playing venues from the Tower Theater in 2012, the Mann Center (with The Pariah Dogs) in 2011 and WXPN’s Free at Noon series at World Cafe Live in 2010.

Supernova has garnered great reviews from outlets such as Rolling Stone, The Guardian, and AllMusic. However, this album is a bit different.  Whereas LaMontagne’s previous four albums were pretty much straight up folk, this one – while still maintaining folk routes – is a little bit closer to psychedelic rock or even alt rock in cases such as the albums lead single, also titled “Supernova.”  But don’t worry, this is a good thing.  The A.V. Club’s Chris Mincher praises the genre shift by writing that the new album “is a surprisingly bold, enterprising follow-up from an artist who could have easily ridden out the rest of his career on adult-alternative autopilot.” It’s possible the influence to change things around came from his new producer, Dan Auerbach.  Prominently known as the singer/guitarist of garage-blues band The Black Keys, Auerbach been on a bit of a producing spree as of late, also working on the last albums from Lana Del Ray and singer Nikki Lane.

But going back to LaMontagne – his past shows in Philly have been phenomenal.  And if you don’t believe me, there is audio and video evidence to prove it. Below, listen to LaMontagne’s 2013 appearance on World Cafe with David Dye, and watch a roundup of videos from his past Philly appearances. And get tickets and more information for his Susquehanna Bank Center show on Saturday here.

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XPN Welcomes Ray LaMontagne with Jason Isbell to Susquehanna Bank Center on June 7th

Photo by Samantha Casolari
Photo by Samantha Casolari

Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is playing the Susquehanna Bank Center on June 7th, with singer-songwriter Jason Isbell opening. Tickets go on sale this coming Friday, March 14th at Noon. His new album, Supernova, produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys is out on May 6th. It’s been four years since Lamontagne’s last album, the Grammy award winning God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise, and fans are hungry with anticipation for the new album. The first single, and title track, “Supernova,” finds Lamontagne in an upbeat and poppy mood, influenced by his work with Auerbach. According to Rolling Stone magazine:

LaMontagne sent demos to the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who he’d been trying to work with for five years. “It takes years to get this shit together, but he had a slot open, so we just did it,” says LaMontagne. Last fall, they hit Auerbach’s tiny Nashville studio for three weeks with the producer’s favorite studio musicians. “For me, it’s hard to beat the kind of urgency that comes from that kind of recording,” says Auerbach. “Of course, Ray is such a tremendous singer, but he also never sings it the same way twice. Capturing that moment was key.”
Auerbach’s stamp is on plenty of the expansive, jam-ready arrangements. There are spooky backup choruses, organs and swampy riffs on “Drive in Movies,” which features a Sixties Brit-pop melody (the track is about LaMontagne’s teenage years in Nebraska). But Supernova’s highlight is “Pick Up a Gun,” a psychedelic acoustic heartbreak waltz with four key changes.

Below, listen to “Supernova,” by LaMontagne, and “Relatively Easy” by Jason Isbell.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Adam Arcuragi at Kennett Flash, Sunset Recorder at Kung Fu Necktie, Ray LaMontagne at The Tower, The Helio Sequence at Underground Arts, The Feverfew with Psalmships at Burlap and Bean

Adam Arcuragi will be performing tonight at Kennett Flash. The death gospel singer will be returning to Philadelphia on his tour supporting the January release of his third full-length album, Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It…, which you can stream here. Tickets and information for the all-ages show are available here; doors open at 7. Below, watch Arcuragi and the Lupine Chorale Society perform “You’d Think This Was Easy,” the first single from Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It….

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Just Announced: Ray LaMontagne playing a solo acoustic show at the Tower 11/17

Ray LaMontagne just announced an upcoming fall solo acoustic tour, which includes at stop at the Tower Theatre on November 17th. Tickets for the show go on sale this Friday, September 7th at 10 a.m. via the Tower’s website here. There will also be a limited number of VIP front row center tickets and a section of 5th row tickets available for purchase. The proceeds will go to the National Children’s Cancer Society. For more information visit Tickets for Charity here.

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This Weekend’s Picks: They Might Be Giants at TLA, Far-Out Fangtooth at Kung Fu Necktie, Ray LaMontagne at Mann Center

They Might Be Giants

FRIDAY, SEPT 30
They Might Be Giants finally released its new album, Join Us, after a four-year hiatus from the adult alternative scene. During that time off, the band released two children’s music albums; the genre is fitting for the New York City-based band, whose musical style tends to be unadulterated, feel-good rock. They Might Be Giants’ songs have unambiguous words that get straight to the point with consistently bright instrumentals. The lyrics often have heavy sentiments masked in major keys, causing them to stay sunny even when they’re, at their core, exceptionally cloudy. The band’s most recent album is a good example, with the accusatory song “When Will You Die,” which is an upbeat tune about a sociopath. They Might Be Giants performs at 8 p.m. Friday, September 30th, at Theater Of The Living Arts; tickets for the all-ages show are $27. —Caitlyn Grabenstein

Also Playing: XPN Welcomes Ray LaMontagne + Brandi Carlile, Dawn Landes at The Mann Center (7:30 p.m., all ages, $27.50–$47.50); Blood Feathers + Like A Fox, Matthew O’Neill at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10); The Quelle Source (EP-release Show) + Wendy, Shorty Boy Boy at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, $8); Toy Soldiers, Levee Drivers, The Lawsuits, Toddler Kat, Sherman at The Fire (9 p.m., 21+, $8)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1
Philly-based quartet Far-Out Fangtooth celebrates the release of its debut album, Pure And Disinterested this Saturday night at Kung Fu Necktie. Though the album has been available via Siltbreeze Records (and Far-Out Fangtooth’s Bandcamp) for less than a week, the band has already established itself as one to watch in the area, thanks to its esoteric take on goth-chic and emphasis of better-than-you garage fuzz noise. After the release of its first 7-inch—which featured the droney tracks “Pathways” and “Why Don’t You Cry”—last year, the band has kept busy performing and recording its full-length debut. The result is a slightly more polished 11-track disc, emphasizing clearer percussion and guitar over the vague, foggy delirium that characterized the band’s earlier sound. Far-Out Fangtooth performs with Creepoid, Swimmers Ear, and The Trowels at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, October 1st, at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $8.—Marielle Mondon

Also Playing: East Hundred + Jenny Owen Youngs, She Keeps Bees at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10); House Bat + Univox, Faux Slang at Milkboy Philly (9 p.m., 21+, $5–$8); Primus at Tower Theatre (8 p.m., $47–$69.50); Psychedelic Furs + Tom Tom Club at Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., $29.50–$35); The Bangles + Antigone Rising at TLA (8 p.m., $32)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2
The Horrors + The Stepkids at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $24–$34)

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Dave Matthews Band Caravan daily lineup announced; single-day tickets go on sale this Friday, May 13th

This Friday, May 13, at 10 a.m., single-day tickets go on sale for the Dave Matthews Band Caravan at Atlantic City’s Bader Field on June 24-26. Tickets can be purchased here or by phone at 1-800-594-TIXX. The daily lineup is as follows:

Friday, June 24
Dave Matthews Band, Ray LaMontagne, The Flaming Lips, G. Love And Special Sauce, Lotus, Rebelution, The Head And The Heart, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Delta Spirit, Mariachi El Bronx, TR3, Jeff Coffin Mu’tet, David Ryan Harris

Saturday, June 25
Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R., Damian Marley, Thievery Corporation, Warren Haynes Band, Guster, Lisa Hannigan, Punch Brothers, From Good Homes, The Budos Band, Vusi Mahlasela, Bobby Long, Tangiers Blues Band, plus a special performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

Sunday, June 26
Dave Matthews Band, David Gray, Bassnectar, Amos Lee, Dr. Dog, Michael Franti And Spearhead, Grace Potter And The Nocturnals, Fitz And The Tantrums, Big Gigantic, Dawes, Alberta Cross, Sarah White, Ilo Ferreira, plus a special performance by Carter Beauford

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