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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Caroline Rose at World Cafe Live, Creepoid at Johnny Brenda’s, Josh Ritter at The Keswick Theatre and more

Photo by Laura Jane Brubaker
Photo by Laura Jane Brubaker

Burlington-based singer-songwriter Caroline Rose headlines World Cafe Live tonight. The Burlington, VT singer-songwriter debuted last year with a lovely album called America Religious that Folkadelphia’s Fred Knittel compared in equal parts to Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Carole King. “It’s Americana and it’s not,” Knittel wrote, introducing Rose’s Folkadelphia session. “It’s rock-and-roll and it’s not, it’s rootsy and it’s not. Her music exists somewhere at the confluence of these styles, but also carries the ambiguities of living without of these genres.” Tickets and information on Rose’s show tonight can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, stream her Folkadelphia session, and download it at Bandcamp.

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Blondie and X bring their classic punk fire to The Keswick Theatre

X | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com All photos by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

Punk rockers Blondie and X arrived at The Keswick this past Thursday as part of the “No Principals” tour, and despite a name evoking a youth revolt against authority, the rockers present are nearing the other end of the age spectrum at nearly 60 (X frontman John Doe) and 70 (Blondie’s Debbie Harry). No matter the age and the dunce cap prop (which looked closer to a witch’s hat, October appropriate for sure) that Doe and Harry wore at the beginning of their respective sets, they both rocked. The tour that has taken them to many other seated venues, like Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, and while it’s a strange fit, Blondie succeeded in raising the nearly sold-out crowd to its feet for most of the show.

X’s opening set, using gigantic overhead screens filled with television color bars and other retro static images, was filled with their mostly 2-3 minute fast-paced songs. The original lineup of lead guitarist and singer John Doe, singer Exene Cervenka, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake blasted through a set drawn from their first four albums. Entering the stage to some of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western strings, they launched into the first track from their first album, Los Angeles, “Your Phone’s off the Hook, But You’re Not.” The crowd was mostly seated for the entire set, save when Debbie Harry joined them for “Breathless.” Nonetheless, X still has fire in their veins.

Standing became a requirement when Blondie entered to the tune of “One Way or Another.” Harry and fellow founding members guitarist Chris Stein and drummer Clem Burke, along with three newer bandmates, took the crowd on a hit parade journey that had the crowd singing along and dancing. Using the video screens to put a visual exclamation point on songs like “The Tide Is High” with the ebb and flow of water for all to see, Blondie certainly knew how to showcase all angles of their craft. Harry owned the stage, walking back and forth to the edges of the crowd, absorbing the love of fans that has been going strong for 30-plus years. And they were not afraid to showcase new works, with the encore beginning with the brand-new “Mile High,” a catchy song, but certainly not as memorable as their show-closer “Dreaming.” Blondie already was assuring another tour in greater support of their older material, so fans should not fret that this New York band’s staying power for years to come.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN welcomes Charles Bradley to Union Transfer, Morning River Band at MilkBoy, XPN welcomes Mary Chapin Carpenter to the Keswick Theatre, MAD Dragon Anniversary Concert at The Trocadero

charles bradley

XPN welcomes Charles Bradley to Union Transfer tonight.  The “Screaming Eagle of Soul” entertained the crowd during a recent Free at Noon performance with his exuberant showmanship and knock-out funk / R&B songs.  Following up his 2011 full-length debut, the 64-year-old crooner released Victim of Love earlier this year.  Tickets and information for tonight’s show with Paul & the Tall Trees can be found here.  Watch the former James Brown impersonator perform “Why Is It So Hard?” live on the Public Radio Rocks stage at SXSW below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Billy Bragg at the Keswick, Bleached at The Fire, Ladyfest Benefit at Little Berlin

Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg

Garage-punk Los Angeles natives Bleached headline The Fire tonight. Signed to Dead Oceans, Bleached released their debut album Ride Your Heartearlier this month. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with Hunters, Omar and Catnaps can be found here. Watch the video for Bleached’s “Next Stop” below.

The Ladyfest Philly benefit concert presented by Girls Rock Philly is happening tonight at Little Berlin.  With sets by Bad Braids, Cayetana, and Girls Rock Philly bands Wrong Castle and Barracuda Club House Band, the event was organized by participants in the after school program who are learning the ins and outs of putting on a DIY show.  Ladyfest, a summer festival celebrating women in arts, culture and activism, will take place at The Rotunda on June 7-9.  Tickets and information for tonight’s benefit show can be found here.  Stream “Clover” off of Bad Braids’ forthcoming LP Supreme Parallel below.

British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg performa at The Keswick Theatre tonight. A political activist and influential folk musician, Bragg released his first studio album of original material in five years last month with Tooth & Nail. Tickets and information for tonight’s show can be found here.  At noon today, Bragg will be performing at Main Street Music in Manayunk for Record Store Day. Below, watch Bragg’s video for “No One Knows Nothing Anymore.”

Also:
WXPN Welcomes Graham Parker and The Rumour at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware.
Work Drugs at Buzz Ware Village Center in Arden, Delaware.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Eternal Summers at Union Transfer, XPN Welcomes Toots and the Maytals to The Trocadero, XPN Welcomes The Mavericks to The Keswick Theatre, XPN Welcomes Alejandro Escovedo to World Cafe Live

ESEternal Summers start off the show tonight at Union Transfer.  The Virginia trio continues to tour in support of its 2012 LP Correct Behaviour, although a new album may be in the works judging by the fact that the shoegazey punk band played several unreleased songs last time they were in Philly.  Despite their carefree name, Eternal Summers ventured into some darker waters on Behaviour with vocalist / guitarist Nicole Yun’s scratchy guitar riffs and drummer Daniel Cundiff’s manic beat-keeping, though Yun’s airy vocals keep things untethered on most tracks.  Tickets and information for their set tonight with The Presidents of The United States of America and You Scream I Scream can be found here.  Below, watch Eternal Summers perform “You Kill” live at MACRoCk 2012.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds with Sharon Van Etten to The Keswick Theatre, Shout Out Out Out Out at Kung Fu Necktie

NickCaveXPN welcomes Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds to The Keswick Theatre tonight with Sharon Van Etten.  The Australian band released their fifteenth studio album called Push the Sky Away in February following a five-year hiatus.  Tonight’s show is a rare appearance for the band, as The Seeds have only played Philadelphia a handful of times during their 30+ year career.  Opening up the evening is Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten, touring in support of her stand-out 2012 LP TrampTickets and information for tonight’s all-ages show can be found here.  Below, watch the video for Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ “We No Who U R” and listen back to Sharon Van Etten’s Free at Noon performance from 2012 here.

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Just Announced: Billy Bragg returning to The Keswick Theatre in April

Boy oh boy do wish the news this afternoon was that urban folksinger and activist Billy Bragg was performing at The Keswick Theatre amplified only by a pair of speakers and microphone strapped to his shoulders as he used to in the olden days. Alas it’s just a regular concert tour. Which is fine – Bragg’s populist sensibilities lend him an engaging onstage persona, whether he’s backed by a full band or simply by his own dang self. Tickets for the April 20th show go on sale this Friday, January 18th, at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Below, watch Bragg perform the classic “To Have and To Have Not” (from 1983′s Life’s a Riot With Spy vs. Spy) in Bochum, Germany on May 30, 1985.

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