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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Shovels and Rope at Union Transfer, Slow Magic at Boot and Saddle, and OhBree at The Fire

Photo by Leslie McKellar
Photo by Leslie McKellar

There’s only one place you should be at tonight, and it’s not at home. You should be at Union Transfer, enjoying sweet music from South Carolina’s Shovels and Rope. The Americana folk duo consist of the happily married Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, who do a great job illustrating the soul of the south with their music. With songs like “Birmingham” and “The Devil Is All Around” on their new album Swimmin’ Time, this duo gives their audience a peaceful feeling of wanting to experience the simple life. Check out their song “Birmingham” below and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Lancaster’s Douglas Thomas goes elegantly inward on “Amphibious”

Douglas Thomas | Photo via facebook.com/douglasthomasmusic
Douglas Thomas | Photo via facebook.com/douglasthomasmusic

A sparse, gentle piano, and cautious voice are how we are introduced to Douglas Thomas on his new track, “Amphibious”.  Budding from the musical groundwork is a lush string section that transitions from playful to driving and back again. When Thomas sings, “It’s a little bit lonely to be everywhere,” you can hear the uncertainty in his gossamer tone. By the chorus the previously restrained instrumentals fully bloom, finding Thomas struggling with his own identity, pleading for understanding. The song lands softly, like a falling feather, waiting for the next gust of wind to take it away.

This is the first single from Douglas Thomas’ second album Gone To Seed, which is currently slated for a September 30th release date. Continue reading →

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The Hotelier / Foxing co headlining tour brings the heat to The Fire

Foxing | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Foxing | photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

A co-headlining tour featuring Saint Louis’ Foxing and Worcester, Massachusetts’ The Hotelier brought an incredible lineup of bands to The Fire Sunday night. Two popular regional acts played alongside the touring artists, both of whom boast well-received new releases, making for a night of punk so exciting that it was sold out well in advance.

First at bat was local favorites Little Big League. The band flawlessly mixed hooky riffs with a powerful vocal performance from frontwoman Michelle Zauner. Their set was impressive and it came as no surprise when they announced they were the newest member of the Run For Cover Records family the next morning. Continue reading →

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5 Shows to See in August: Langhorne Slim & The Law, Bleachers, The Hotelier, Temples, and Kishi Bashi

langhorne
Photo via https://www.facebook.com/langhorneslim

It feels like we just talking about beginning-of-the-summer shows, and somehow it is almost August.  It’s still summer though!  So make sure you take advantage of the outdoor weather as much as possible at these 5 awesome shows throughout August. Continue reading →

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Modern Baseball played a surprise set at The Fire with Weatherbox, Dikembe and Hightide Hotel

Modern Baseball arrives at The Fire | Photo by Allison Newbold |  allynewbold.com
Modern Baseball arrives at The Fire | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com

On Wednesday July 16th, The Fire hosted one of the best emo rock shows of the summer. Hailing from San Diego, California, Weatherbox headlined the sold-out show in support of their new record, Flies in All Directions, released this year via Triple Crown Records. On tour with Weatherbox is Dikembe, from Gainesville, on tour in support of their new record, Mediumship, released this month via Tiny Engines.

The surprise local support for this show was Philly favorites Modern Baseball, who was only announced a day before the show, and Hightide Hotel. This sold out show was easily one of the best line ups of the summer and was a truly incredible night full of stage dives, crowd surfing, sing alongs, and sweat.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sylvan Esso at Union Transfer, Placeholder at The Fire, Skinny Lister at North Star Bar

SE
Photo via http://blog.sylvanesso.com/

Durham, NC electro-folk duo Sylvan Esso join tUnE-yArDs tonight at Union Transfer for a fun, funky and alternative show.  Lead singer Amelia Meath has a smooth, haunting tone to her voice that manages to give more depth to the repetitive synths and beats.  She bends her vocals so they compliment the abstract rhythms and somehow it just works.  The single “Coffee” has a cool melody with lyrics that repeat “get up get down, get up get down.”  Very good music to listen to while walking down the street on a sunny day.  Doors open at 8 p.m., and make sure you arrive early to this sold out show!

Lancaster garage punks Placeholder will be at The Fire tonight to put on a high-energy show.  The band released a digital 12″ back in February called I Don’t Need Forgiveness which you can stream here. Unlike some punk groups who can sometimes be all over the place with their sound, the foursome maintains a steady control throughout the 12-track long LP.  Their live show will definitely guarantee gritty guitar solos along with commanding vocals.

Skinny Lister hail from the UK and if you listen closely, you can detect a slight bluegrass twang in their music.  Dual lead vocalists Dan Heptinstall and Lorna Thomas don’t outshine each other, but use each others voices to enhance the quality of the music.  I could picture these guys playing on a street corner in Dublin or London, captivating passersby.  You can find tickets and info for their 21+ show tonight at North Star Bar here.

Also playing…

Tweens at Underground Arts ($10, 21+, 8 p.m.)

Uncle/Father Oscar at Kung Fu Necktie ($5, 21+, 3 p.m.)

Indigenous at Sellersville Theater ($22, all ages, 7:30 p.m.)

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Modern Baseball at The Barbary, Ginger Coyle at Boot & Saddle, and Worshyper at The Fire

Modern Baseball | Photo by Allison Newbold | http://www.allynewbold.com/
Modern Baseball | Photo by Allison Newbold | http://www.allynewbold.com/

Pop-punk Philly band Modern Baseball will kick off their summer tour this afternoon at The Barbary.  Earlier this spring, the guys participated a Key Studio Session where they successfully lit up the room with their charismatic energy.  You can listen to a full album stream of their 2012 LP Sports here and watch the video for “Your Graduation” from this year’s awesome You’re Gonna Miss It All below. Get tickets for this afternoon’s show here (while they are still available!)

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Dreamy psych-rockers Weekender are playing a wad of summer shows

weekender
Weekender | photo courtesy of the artist

Philly psych-pop band Weekender prove there ain’t no rest for the wicked. After headlining Kung Fu Necktie last night, the fuzzy dreampop  outfit is playing a slew of shows in Philly this summer, including local stops at Bourbon and Branch May 31, KFN June 11, the Firefly Festival in Delaware June 22, and then closing out at The Fire June 27.  With pop beats, cutting riffs and droning guitars, Weekender is an ideal summer soundtrack.The band has promised a follow-up album to 2013′s EP Spanish Peaks this summer, but no word yet on a date. In the mean time, check out their very psychedelic Off the Avenue live session in Savannah, Georgia below.

 

 

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Katie Frank & The Pheromones cover Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock n’ Roll” for Cover Club

Photo by Will Hoover
Photo by Will Hoover

Today Root Down in the Shadow released its latest Cover Club session with Philadelphia’s Katie Frank. The local singer played a cover of Joan Jett’s classic “I Love Rock n’ Roll,” accompanied by her bandmates Josh Werblun on acoustic guitar and Joe Bissiri on electric. The cover is a stripped-down version of the hit that really lets Frank’s voice shine, but sticks close enough to the Joan Jett original to show that Katie Frank & The Pheromones can battle any rock band. Watch the video below, and catch Frank this weekend at the Sundrop Music Festival at The Fire (check out the full lineup here).

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The Fire announces line-up for fourth annual Sundrop Music + Arts Festival

Photo by Caitlin McCann | caitlinmccann.4ormat.com
Katie Frank | Photo by Caitlin McCann | caitlinmccann.4ormat.com

Sun Drop Music and Arts Festival has announced the line-up for the all-local event, taking place Memorial Day Weekend at The Fire.  Three days of multi-genre music will be provided by Philadelphia Cee Knowledge & Cosmic Funk Orchestra, The Get Real Gang, Shilpa Ray, Kwesi K, Katie Frank and a dozen more.  Now in its fourth year, the festival boasts ticketed 21+ shows in addition to free, all-ages outdoor sets, food vendors and craft stands.  Tickets and information can be found on the Facebook page here.  Check out some performers below.

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