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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cheers Elephant at Johnny Brenda’s, The 9 Songwriters Series at Milkboy, and Sonni Shine & the Underwater Sounds at The Blockley

Philly indie favorites Cheers Elephant with be rocking out at Johnny Brenda’s tonight with local surf rock quartet The Great White Caps and Virginia indie band The Trillions. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9:15 p.m. Tickets for the 21+ event are available for $10 here. Check out the sweet music video for Cheers Elephant’s song “Doin’ It, Right” below.

Started in 2008 by singer/songwriter Justin Trawick, “The 9 Songwriter Series” is a touring show that features a rotation of nine singer/songwriters from various cities and musical backgrounds brought together on one bill. Tonight the Series is coming to MilkBoy Coffee in Ardmore and the line-up features the Series founder Justin Trawick, as well as local artists Dani Mari, Reverend TJ McGlinchey, Jason Ager, and Alexandra Day, as well as
Chris Scanlon, Max Seidman, Sarah Napolitan (of Turnips), and Jon Paul. The show begins at 8 p.m. and admission is $8.

Local reggae act Sonni Shine & the Underwater Sounds are playing tonight at The Blockley, along with Brooklyn-based funk band The Pimps of Joytime. The 21+ show begins at 9 p.m., tickets are $12. Sonni released a new full-length album since she recorded her Key Studio Session. You can listen to it below.

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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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Download the new Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume 2 for free

The Key Studio Sessions Compilation Volume 2—which you can download for free here —features one exclusive track recorded at the WXPN studios by 17 local acts, including Arc In Round, Dutch, The National Rifle, Denison Witmer, Hop Along, Matt Duke, Catnaps, Penrose, Arches, Lantern, Nicos Gun, Restorations, Ages, Sisters 3, The War On Drugs, Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds, and Work Drugs.

Want to hear more? Click here to listen to the full sessions by all 17 local acts. You can also download the previous edition The Key Studio Sessions Compilation, Volume 1, in its entirety as a .zip file here.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Four new songs from Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds

When singer-guitarist Sonni Shine and bassist Kenny Shumski sat down for an interview following their Key Studio Session this summer, they wondered why more reggae bands weren’t open to experimenting with sounds and styles. Perhaps they can lead by example. Their eclectic roots foursome Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds made a splash on the Philly scene this past year, blending reggae with snappy funk, exploratory prog, and bright, bold pop on their self-titled debut (which Key Readers voted the number-one debut album of 2010). We see that cross-section reflected in the band’s Key Studio Session: “What You Waiting For” has a vibrant bounce from drummer Sean Youngman, “Warrior” wanders across time-signatures with Billy Campion’s fierce Santana-esque lead guitar, and the radiant “Black And Blue” could be a crossover hit. All these songs will appear on the new album the Underwater Sounds plan to release toward the end of this year. Download them below to tide you over in the meantime; listen to Shine and Shumski’s interview tomorrow night on XPN2 during the Key Studio Sessions Hour at 7 p.m.; and check out the band’s website to keep up on its slate of live appearances (including a show this Friday, Aug. 26, at West Chester club The Note).

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Tonight’s Picks: Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds at North Star Bar + Buffy Sainte-Marie, Lykke Li

Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds perform with Abstract Verses and Ill Dootsat at 8 p.m. at North Star Bar; tickets to the 21+ show are $8. Tonight’s show is a benefit for The Shakedown Project, which “was founded to create innovative, thought provoking experimental theater which blurs the disciplinary lines of entertainment, combining different art forms into unique coherent narratives.”

Also playing: Buffy Sainte-Marie performs at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $27-$50); XPN Welcomes Lykke Li + Grimes at Theater Of Living Arts (8 p.m., $40)

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Watch Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds’ new video for “Airplane”

From the band’s self-titled 2010 release. You can catch Sonni Shine And The Underwater Sounds tonight at Silk City (performing with Kings And Comrades and Tha Itis at 9 p.m.); a full list of PA/NJ area shows is below. Thanks to the band’s management for sending this video our way.

4/14 – Langosta Lounge – Asbury Park, NJ
4/19 – The Saint – Asbury Park, NJ
4/21 – Eleanor Rigby’s – Jermyn, PA
4/27 – Silk City – Philly, PA
4/28 – Langosta Lounge – Asbury Park, NJ
4/29 – Some Kind of Jam 6 – Schuylkill Haven, PA