The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Secret Mountains, Grizzly Bear and Tamarin

Baltimore band Secret Mountains were the subject of Weathervane Music’s latest Shaking Through episode.  Tasked with writing a complete song in two days, the dreamy folk six-piece came up with the beautifully meaningful “High Horses”.  You can download it for free below, and watch the episode here.

Local emcee Ethel Cee was featured in this week’s Key Studio Session. The deftly talented rapper has a background in slam poetry performance but latched onto hip-hop after experimenting with adding music to her spoken word pieces.  Head here to watch the video of Ethel Cee’s performance and download “End It On This” below.

Witty hip-hop group Ground Up dropped their new mixtape on Tuesday over at  The Philly trio will be playing a record release party at The TLA on September 29th but before then, get yourself a download of the album below.


Brooklyn indie band Grizzly Bear had a smash with 2009’s Veckatimest.  Now they’re back with a new collection of songs featured on the just-released album Shields.  “Yet Again” is one of those tracks that hooks right into your brain, in a good way.  You can get a free download of the track below in exchange for your email.

Tamarin is a local folky band with some real country twang.  They are releasing a new album on October 9th called Shake the Ghost and to get you ready, they’ve posted the song “Seems a Laugh” as a free download on their Soundcloud.  Take a listen below.


Watch the new Shaking Through episode featuring Secret Mountains

Weathervane Music is back with a new Shaking Through Episode.  This month’s collaboration was curated by The Deli Magazine’s Q.D. Tran and features psych/folk six piece Secret Mountains.  The Baltimore band, founded by Jeff Silverstein and Kelly Laughlin, hit Miner Street Recordings for two days in May with the task of writing, arranging and recording a brand new track.  The result is the gauzy, reverb-heavy “High Horses”, a song that explores how we deal with loss by coming together.  Watch the episode below, and then download the track from Weathervane Music’s Bandcamp here.

Shaking Through: Secret Mountains from Weathervane Music on Vimeo.


Additions to 2nd Street Festival include Lushlife, Purples and a pie eating contest

The folks at the fourth annual 2nd Street Festival are ramping up for a big Sunday in Northern Liberties this weekend. On Saturday, they announced their full lineup for Sunday Aug. 5 in a handy-dandy schedule spreadsheet. Additions include new bands, new DJs and even a pie-eating contest. We’re pretty psyched about that last one, so let’s hit it first – 3:00 p.m. at the festival’s Germantown stage, presumably during a set by Variable Elements, a funk cover band also added to the lineup. That stage opens with singer-songwriter Orion Freeman and wraps with a flamenco band.

A big addition to the festival’s main stage in the Piazza is Philly hip-hop impressionist Lushlife (listen to his Key Studio Session here). The Poplar stage now opens with a set from soulful songwriter John Francis (hear his Key Studio Session here), feisty Philly rockers Purples (their Key Session can be downloaded here) and ubiquitous MC Kuf Knotz (he did a Key Session too, and it’s here). Also on Poplar are mind-blowing Baltimore psych heads Secret Mountains, as well as DJ DNA of Johnny Brenda’s popular gospel brunch and twangy rockers Brooke Shive and the 45s.

Last, there’s the Fairmount Stage, which is pretty much entirely new additions. Two Philly dance troupes will perform – Philareyto, which specializes in Puerto Rican dance, as well as Fuego Nuevo, a group preserving Aztec dance and culture. Opening that stage will be The Webbs and a jam session with John Fuhr, as well as a set in the middle of the afternoon from the Philly School of Rock.

The 2nd Street Festival runs from noon to 10 p.m. along 2nd street in Northern Liberties; the day also includes craft and food vendors, is free and open to the public. More information at 2nd Street Fest’s Facebook page.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Echo Orbiter w/ Break it Up and Trouble Everyday, El-P w/ Killer Mike and Asher Roth, Roger Waters, Hop Along, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Saturdays are for raging, and there are some rockin’ shows happening this evening that you would be wise to attend. But there are so many to choose from! Here’s our list of some awesome ragers:

Echo Orbiter play with Break it Up and Trouble Everyday (reunited!) at Kung Fu Necktie. Bands in the Backyard recently did a short backyard session with Echo Orbiter, which you can view below, and Trouble Everyday was featured in this week’s Key Studio Session. Tickets to this 21+ show are $8, doors at 8 PM.

Over at the Troc, El-P plays with special guests, Killer Mike and college boy, Asher Roth. This show is all ages and starts at 9 PM, tickets are 20 smackeroos.

Roger Waters “The Wall” tour makes a stop at Citizens Bank Park tonight. You can purchase tickets to the show here, show starts at 8:45 PM.

Hop Along recently had their CD release show for Get Disowned at First Unitarian Church; they play tonight at Johnny Brenda’s with Secret Mountains and DRGN KING. Tickets to this 21+ show are $10.

The Saturday free concert series at Morgan’s Pier continues this evening with a performance from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. This 21+ show is free and starts at 5 PM.


Hop Along playing Johnny Brenda’s in July with DRGN KNG and Baltimore’s Secret Mountains

Hop Along

DRGN KNG and Baltimore’s Secret Mountains are performing with Hop Along at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday, July 14th. Hop Along recently released the excellent Get Disowned. Go here to download a new song from the album. Below, watch the video that Secret Mountains recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks for the song “Weepy Little Fingers.” Kelly Laughlin, lead singer of Secret Mountains, fronts the band like a modern day Grace Slick while the band plays out their shoegazy tendencies like The Verve. With DRGN KNG in the mix, this is going to be a show you won’t want to miss. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.


Tonight’s Concerts (aka “How to get your money’s worth out of that laminated $100 all-access Philly F/M pass, Part II”): 9/24/10

Last night, we learned that—if you’re ambitious, dedicated, and lucky enough—you can catch a bunch of performances by local bands in one night, thus getting a ton of value out of the $100 you spent on your all-access Philly F/M Fest pass. The next lesson we learned is that, if you do manage to pull off such a minor miracle, you’re likely to sleep in the following morning and get to work late (not to mention hungover). Thankfully, if you’re like most 9-to-5 office drones, you don’t have to worry about going in to work tomorrow—which means you’re free to take in as much live music and alcohol as your system can handle tonight.

Secret Mountains
Secret Mountains

With so many shows to choose from, we’re giving you not one, but two different options for the evening. For those who dug the Northern Liberties route we put together yesterday, we’ve got another one tonight. The good news is that that you don’t have to worry about squeezing in the performances by Adam & Dave’s Bloodline or Busses, because you can see them both on Saturday night at The Key’s Launch Party at The Blockley. The bad news is that all of Friday night’s shows start at pretty much the same time—so you’re going to have to run around the neighborhood between sets in order to see five different bands at four different venues. Are you up for it? If so, your first destination is Silk City, where you’ll catch the early 8 p.m. performance by indie-pop sextet Gildon Works. Thankfully, you should have plenty of time to cut northeast through the neighborhood to El Bar to see the Dirty Hands Showcase featuring When I Was 12 and Baltimore’s Secret Mountains (which we wrote about earlier this week). The moment those bands are done, though, you’ll have to run out (which, unfortunately, means missing New Madrid Faults and Goodnight Lights) and head a quarter-mile south to Johnny Brenda’s, where British rock quartet Field Music should just be getting started with its headlining performance. WXPN favorites Toy Soldiers then have a late show only half a mile away at The Fire.

Gildon Works @ Silk City: $6
When I Was 12 and Secret Mountains @ El Bar: $10
Field Music @ Johnny Brenda’s: $10
Toy Soldiers @ The Fire: $10

All told, that means you could add another $36 to the weekend’s tally. Or, you could skip all of that running around and just see The Dead Milkmen (whom we showcased in last week’s Key Studio Sessions), Black Landlord, and Felix Lighter at World Cafe Live. It would only count for $10 against your goal of $100—but, you know, it’s just a suggestion.


Philadelphia discovers Baltimore’s Secret Mountains

The Baltimore band Secret Mountains recently released its new EP, Rejoice, which was recorded earlier this year in Philly at Mad Dragon Studios by Chris Baglivio and Dangerous Ponies guitarist Evan Bernard. Available on a limited cassette run (and digitally), the three-song EP is the band’s second release, and its first on Baltimore’s Friends Records. The title track is moody, psychedelic, and filled with dynamic shifts in electrified sound; the band’s greatest strength, however, is in the vocals from Kelly Laughlin. The band brings its stormy atmospherics to the El Bar in Fishtown on Friday, Sept. 24th, as part
of the Philly F/M Festival.