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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Communion Night with Johnny Stimson, Gretchen Lohse at Underground Arts, Pattern is Movement at Boot and Saddle, Real Estate at Union Transfer and more

Photo via facebook.com/johnnystimson
Photo via facebook.com/johnnystimson

This month’s edition of Communion Club night at Underground Arts gets a seductive R&B makeover tonight with a set from newcomer Johnny Stimson. Flaunting an effortless falsetto range, Stimson’s voice is soulful even as it accompanies more upbeat, dance tracks. Also on tonight’s lineup is folksy singer-songwriter Gretchen Lohse who recently released a dreamy video for “Spider At the Gate”. Dig into tracks from both artists below and get tickets here.

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Review: Chris Cornell plays Soundgarden, solo songs, Beatles covers and rides a bike onstage at Scottish Rite

Chris Cornell | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Chris Cornell | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

For nearly three hours Sunday night, Chris Cornell replaced thoughts of the outdoor chills and the impending turkey madness with his blend of hard rock, grunge and songwriting prowess for all to see at the sold-out Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, N.J. Ripping through his vast catalog of work with Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, as well as his own solo pieces, most notably from 2011’s acoustic Songbook. With his deep, agile vocals still in peak form and his acoustic guitar (actually one of seven guitars, as there were that many to choose from for most of the night) providing sublime accompaniment, the concert was nothing short of fantastic.

Despite his self-deprecating cracks about song content, such as organizing the set into categories of “I’m Sorry” and “I’m Sorry Again,” Cornell was in charge, a showman who knows how to get his audience to sing along when he wants them to. The visual presentation of a semi-performance space complete with a chair, a table with a phone, and a turntable that he used to play the late Natasha Schneider’s piano to back his vocals on songs like “When I’m Done” “When I’m Down” was certainly icing on the cake (with a bonus odd and touching moment as he rode out for the encore on a bicycle that a young fan gave him). Highlights among the 30-odd songs included “Cleaning My Gun,” a Cornell composition that Johnny Cash opted not to record; a fascinating cover of Metallica’s “One” using the guitar riff from U2’s “One”; Temple of the Dog’s “Wooden Jesus” bathed in red lights; an impromptu, partial rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” “Over The Hills and Far Away” with opener Bhi Bhiman joining Cornell; a slow-burn version of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”; and the main set closer, Soundgarden’s “Blow up the Outside World,” complete with looping that shook Scottish Rite to its core.

The encore trio of Zeppelin’s “Thank You,” a glorious “Black Hole Sun” and a riveting cover of The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life,” complete with an introductory story about a teenage Cornell breaking into Seattle’s Moore Theatre, capped off a crowning night of rock. As Cornell waved goodbye, he slipped a record on the turntable to play his exit music to usher in a week already full of thanks for the night’s ear candy.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Up Up Down Down with Hop Along at Union Transfer, XPN Welcomes The City of Love Festival to Underground Arts, River City Extension at Fed Live, XPN Welcomes Bruce Hornsby to the Scottish Rite Auditorium, XPN Welcomes Morrissey to the House of Blues Atlantic City

South Jersey’s Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start reunite for a show at Union Transfer tonight.  Ten years ago the math rock / shoegazing-punk outfit released And Nothing is #1 – tonight, they will be playing the record from start to finish, appeasing fans who have patiently waited for the band to resurface after 2007′s Worst Band Name Ever.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show with A Great Big Pile of Leaves and Hop Along can be found here. Read yesterday’s interview with Steve Poponi of Up Up Down Down here.  Below, stream “By Surprise” from And Nothing is #1.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes Indigo Girls to Scottish Rite Auditorium, Father John Misty at Union Transfer, Kimbra at TLA, Sea Wolf at North Star Bar


XPN Welcomes the Indigo Girls to the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood tonight. The folk rock duo, whose career spans over two decades, are on tour playing old favorites like “Closer to Fine” and “Power of Two” in addition to tracks from their 2011 record Beauty Queen Sister. Tickets for the 7:30 show are available here. Below, check out the video for their “Making Promises” from Beauty Queen Sister.  Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Indigo Girls playing The Scottish Rite Auditorium on Oct. 21

Longtime XPN favorites The Indigo Girls just announced an appearance this fall at Collingswood, NJ’s Scottish Rite Auditorium. The October 21 show goes on sale next Tuesday, July 24 through Ticketmaster. The duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers is on tour in support of their 2011 album, Beauty Queen Sister; they played Live at the World Cafe’s 20th Anniversary concert when the record was released, and you can listen to their performance in its entirety here.

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