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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ruby The Hatchet at Johnny Brenda’s, Brainfest at the Ukie Club, Rhett Miller at Tellus 360

Ruby the Hatchet | photo by Mike Petzinger | via facebook.com/rubythehatchet

It’s record release day for Jersey’s Ruby The Hatchet. The psych-rock outfit will be celebrating their latest LP Planetary Space Child with a headlining spot at Johnny Brenda’s, supported by Heavy Temple and Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells. The release is just what you’d expect from a name like that: expansive, psychedelic, and untamed. Stream Planetary Space Child below and snag your tickets for the 21+ show here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Girlpool at PhilaMOCA, Tigers + Thieves at Tellus 360, Teenage Bigfoot at Kung Fu Necktie and more…

Girlpool
Girlpool | photo by Simon Klein for WXPN

Local duo Girlpool play PhilaMOCA tonight while in the midst of a quick east coast tour. Cleo and Harmony released their breakthrough LP Before the World Was Big last year, which quickly got picked up by outlets like the New York Times and NPR (they even filmed a killer Tiny Desk Concert). Watch the video for “Magnifying Glass” below and pick up tickets for the all-ages concert here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kate Faust at Tellus 360, Simo at Sellersville Theater

Kate Faust
Kate Faust | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | koalafoto.com

After wowing us once again at Key Fest a couple of weeks ago, Kate Faust takes her talent to Tellus 360 in Lancaster tonight. The versatile musician has been mining the depths of soulful electro-pop lately, a perfect example of which is her recent cover of Radiohead’s “All I Need” in collaboration with Aphra” Check it out below and pick up tickets for tonight’s show here.

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Watch the quietly moving “Never For Nothing” video by The Stray Birds

The Stray Birds | Photo by Doug Seymour
The Stray Birds | Photo by Doug Seymour

Folk trio The Stray Birds traveled a long way to make this video. In fact, they spent fifteen hours on a train from South Carolina to New York City in order to bring song “Never For Nothing” to life. Their travels were worth it. The video features Canadian musician Taylor Ashton of the group Fish & Bird as he performs on subway platforms to audiences of children and in fields to the open air. It’s a beautiful song and an equally beautiful video.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Roots and more at Welcome America Fest, Satellite Hearts at Tellus 360

roots
The Roots | Photo via Facebook.com/theroots

It’s July 4th and that can mean only one thing here in Philadelphia: The Roots will be throwing down an epic celebration on the Parkway. As previously announced, this year’s Wawa Welcome America line-up features R&B singer Miguel, country music star Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland), Non-COMM alum Zella Day, pop duo MKTO and local acoustic soul singer Twin Ghost. There will also be activities on the Parkway throughout the day, along with special events around the city. Details can be found here. Watch The Roots perform with Common, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Queen Latifah at the 2012 concert below.

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Carsie Blanton plays an endearing, entrancing set at Tellus 360

Carsie Blanton / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Carsie Blanton | Photo by Elizabeth Mazenko

If you look at her Patrean page, she is a self-described “songwriter, performer, jazz geek, pop enthusiast, and thoughtful hedonist.” Read her bio to learn that she is “an unschooler, a sex blogger, and a Lindy Hopper.” Check out her blog to find her “thoughts on love, sex, music and ferocity.” She lives in a pink house just outside the French quarter of New Orleans with a studio out back called The Watermelon. Her genre on Facebook is “the good kind,” and has been praised by reputable sources like Washington Post, USA Today, OffBeat Magazine, and even John Oates…just to name a few.

There’s no denying that chic singer songwriter Carsie Blanton has a flare of all her own. And the amount of purity and musical depth she brings to a stage is nothing short of entrancing. Thursday evening, Blanton and her touring entourage brought some New Orleanian warmth to a bitter Lancaster winter at the wood trimmed Irish pub Tellus 360. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dan Kassel at World Cafe Live, Delicate Steve at Tellus 360, and Fishtank Ensemble at Musikfest Cafe

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Renowned local cellist Dan Kassel will bring his virtuosic musicianship to the World Cafe Live stage tonight. Kassel released his new album Tribes Forgotten in February which he says “is meant to take the listener to great heights and over vast expanse.” He certainly does capture atmospheric unity and tensions throughout the record all centered around his somber cello. Listen to “Ascension” below and get tickets here.

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The Stray Birds flew home after touring in Ireland and the UK

The Stray Birds / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
The Stray Birds / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

The lights went low, leaving only the glow of handcrafted wooden chandeliers hanging above the back bar. The audience packed into seats starting about two feet away from the stage and ending in the back of the large hall. Spot lights went up on a few mics and strewn string instruments as Maya de Vitry took center stage first, leading the hauntingly aggressive folk ballad “Adelaide.”

Friday evening, Central PA folk phenomenon The Stray Birds came home to Lancaster’s Tellus 360 after ending their UK and Ireland tour. Playing at home for friends and family, the trio shared the stage with Boston-based singer songwriter Deitrich Strause.

Dietrich Strause / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Dietrich Strause / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

With the room buzzing with chatter and a stage to himself, Strause started the evening with a beautiful acoustic set reminiscent of Swedish folk singer Kristian Matsson. One at a time, he invited each of the trio to the stage to sing a duet. Telling the audience that playing with The Stray Birds is like having a little bit of Lancaster with him, Stause invited the three bandmates to the stage to help him sing an homage to Lancaster. This enchanting set is definitely one that you wouldn’t want to miss again. So plan for Strause’s return Lancaster on the 16th alongside David Wax Museum.

After a fifteen minute intermission to climb over people and refresh drinks, The Stray Birds came on with a humble confidence as they dedicated each song to someone or something special in their lives. “I want to send this song out to my dad. He can’t be here because he’s got a gig,” de Vitry states before starting “Harlem.” “That’s the kind of people I come from. My dad’s got a gig and my mom is at home watching basketball,” she chuckles while reassuring the audience that they will see her in Philly.

For a full two hours de Vitry, Oliver Craven, and Charlie Muench took turns sharing center stage and running through a flawless set of organic harmonies and carefully crafted strings. So not to taint the pure beauty, barely anyone wanted to sing along to favorites like “San Antonio Rose,” “Dream In Blue,” and their version of Nanci Griffith’s “I Wish It Would Rain.” Narrating how she seeks out the buildings that were in her textbook and wrote this song after visiting the Lorraine Motel, de Vitry precedes “The Bells” by saying “This song is for Martin Luther King Jr. and the vision that didn’t die when he did.” Finally returning the favor to Strause, the three invited him back on the stage to finish out the exquisitely crafted set.

They Stray Birds released their new EP Echo Sessions this past February and will continue with their American tour through May. Check out the photo gallery below to relive the Lancaster performance.

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Low Cut Connie strut their stuff at Tellus 360

Low Cut Connie / Photos By Elizabeth Mazenko
Low Cut Connie / Photos By Elizabeth Mazenko

Last Thursday evening, Philly’s finest honky-tonk rock ‘n’ rollers Low Cut Connie strutted into Lancaster and ruffled up the evocative atmosphere of one-of-a-kind bar and carpentry Tellus 360. Still celebrating their Harry Nilsson tribute This Is A Town, and sharing the stage with York/Philly’s psychedelic instrumentalists Sprinter Cat, the evening was truly a performance of phenomenal keyed-up rockers just having fun.

Sprinter Cat / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Sprinter Cat / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

Sprinter Cat took to the makeshift stage first, complete with a Hammond organ adorn in Christmas lights. “This song is about taking mushrooms for the first time and listening to Brittany Spears in a car,” zesty organist and band frontman Al Smith (better known for his percussion skills in The Cold Fronts) stated before plunging into a radical instrumental journey of guitar riffs, bongo beats, and resonating organ melodies. Getting good vibes and head nods from the modest crowd, Sprinter Cat played a fantastic set of a sound reminiscent to the Jerry Garcia Band and Grateful Dead.

Next up came over the top, party lovers Low Cut Connie. Keeping the posh ambiance for a “classier crowd” than he expected, modern day “piano man” Adam Weiner started off the set with “Shit, Shower and Shave” from 2011 debut album Get Out The Lotion. Making up for the lack of dancing by a laidback Lancaster crowd, the eccentric five piece band jumped about the stage while playing all-around favorites like “Boozophilia.” Not holding anything back at a place where everyone might not know his name, Weiner pulled out some impressive moves atop his piano bench; showing off his flexibility and a little skin. “I’m going to tell you some strange things men do” proclaimed Weiner, as he launched into a song about a Tina Turner drag queen, “Shake It Little Tina.” Maybe it was the high energy, well-humored raunchiness, or just the alcohol kicking in, the newfound Low Cut Connie fans in the room finally loosened up to a knee bouncing, chair dancing groove, cheering for more as the band announced their return May 1st.