While you’re hypnotized by that amazing animated GIF above, we’d like to invite you not to miss Breakwater, performing at the World Cafe Live tonight. When Daft Punk sampled their song “Release the Beast” in the 2005 hit “Robot Rock”, the 70s Philly funk band was put back on the map. See what our Bruce Warren has to say about the rediscovered band here. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s show here. Below, watch Breakwater’s performance of “Work It Out” at The Savory this past June.
American indie duo She & Him made a stop at Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts as a part of their tour supporting their 4th studio album, Volume 3, released this past May. The unlikely duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward was accompanied by a full live band, and performed not only songs from their 3 volumes of original music, but covers of a variety of artists including Frank Sinatra, Sonny West and Chuck Berry, as well as some of M. Ward’s own music. The fusion of Deschanel’s rich vocals and Ward’s airy guitar embellishments come together rather nicely onstage, possibly even more so than on their recordings.
Notably off their new record, fans enjoyed tracks such as “I’ve Got Your Number, Son”, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” (Mel Carter cover), “Never Wanted Your Love” and “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”. These more recognizable tunes (“This is Not a Test” included) certainly made for the show’s highlights, but the group struggled to sound quite as poised on their more obscure songs. This, in large part, explained the seeming trend of fans leaving not midway into their performance, diminishing an already small crowd.
Zooey Deschanel’s songwriting combines well with a voice that is, at times, truly excellent, and M. Ward’s knack for arranging and producing a song. It makes for an interesting pitch, but was ultimately a tough sell. The ability to captivate an audience was certainly there, yet fleeting, begging the question of whether or not She & Him can consistently deliver the results one would expect given their collective talent.
Joining She & Him was Scottish indie pop band, Camera Obscura who, in my book, stole the show. Not only was their mix better, but their sound was altogether tighter and more self-assured. Coincidentally, Camera Obscura has been produced by fellow Glaswegian Stuart Murdoch, a founding member of Belle & Sebastian, who you can catch performing at the Skyline Stage at The Mann this evening.
Vampire Weekend recently released Modern Vampires of the City and have been on an extensive tour ever since. After an exciting appearance at Firefly Music Festival last night, the group announced they’d be adding a stop in Philadelphia at The Mann Center September 19th with Sky Ferreira opening. With such an impressive new album and a great reputation for their live shows, this is one concert you’re not gonna want to pass up. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 28th, at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster, but in the meantime you can check out their performance of “Unbelievers” from earlier this year at the Public Radio Rocks showcase at SXSW, and new the lyric video for “Ya Hey.”
They may not have played together since 2003, but this year The Postal Service – the one-off project of Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Dntel’s Jimmy Tamborello – have reunited for a large tour, including a stop at The Mann Center. Tonight, you can hear the stunning electronic pop group play songs from their amazing (and only) album Give Up. With such a great headliner and Ra Ra Riot as the opening band, this is a show you really don’t want to miss. Click here for more information and tickets.
Pet Shop Boys shared the second single from their new ElectricLP this week, which will be released on July 16th on their own label. “Vocal” is a steadily-building dance floor jam with self-aware lyrics about the personal connection people make with music. The English duo have primed the song to be a summer hit inside and outside the clubs with lyrics like “everything about tonight feels right and so young” and “everyone I hoped would be around has come along.” It’s a euphoric six-and-a-half minute experience that counters lead single “Axis“‘s darker, more hypnotic tones. Pet Shop Boys will be in Philadelphia for a show at the Mann Center on September 22nd. Tickets and information can be found here. Listen to “Vocal” below.
English electronic duo Pet Shop Boys are making the rounds this summer and will stop in Philadelphia for a show at The Mann Center on September 22nd. On the heels of 2012’s Elysium and after signing a contract with a new label, Pet Shop Boys have announced that their 12th studio album Electric will be released this June. Though they got their start in the 80s with hits like “West End Girls” and “Suburbia,” Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have maintained their dance-floor relevance over the years with a steady stream of releases. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 3rd at Noon. Below, watch a couple classics from the Pet Shop Boys and a video for a new song, “Axis.”
The Monkees are coming! The Monkees are coming! They are playing The Mann Center on Saturday, July 20th. By now, the history of The Monkees is the stuff of musical legend. Beginning as a TV show band in the sixties and recording pop hits like “Daydream Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer,” the “British” four-piece (Davy Jones was the only actual British band member) experienced the ups and downs of stardom before ultimately folding in 1970. After a series of partial reunions and side-projects, the band got back together for a 45th anniversary tour in 2011 without Mike Nesmith. Following the death of Jones last year, Nesmith rejoined Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork for a string of dates in the U.S., which continues this summer. Tickets go on sale Saturday, May 4th at 10AM. More information is available here
Furthur have announced dates for their annual East Coast summer tour, which will bring the band to Philadelphia on July 13th for a show at the Mann Center. Furthur is the brainchild of former Grateful Dead guitarist / vocalist Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh. Joining Weir and Lesh on this tour are the usual cast of musicians including Jeff Chiamenti (RatDog), Joe Russo (Benevento/Russo Duo), John Kadlecik (Dark Star Orchestra), Jeff Pehrson and Sunshine Becker. Building their set lists out of Grateful Dead tracks, covers of classic favorites and several songs of original material, Furthur have simultaneously kept the spirit of The Grateful Dead alive and created a fresh outlet for jam band fans.
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 3rd at 10:00 a.m. More information will be available here. Below, watch fan footage of the band performing “Shakedown Street” in Brooklyn.
The Postal Service – Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) and prodcer Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel) – have reunited for a tour and the 10th anniversary release of Give Up, a collection of electro-pop songs that has a lasting influence on indie rock since its release in February, 2003. No one foresaw the influence the record would have. The album’s most popular song “Such Great Heights,” began to seep into the zietgeist of pop culture over a period of a couple of years. It was covered by Iron & Wine on the 2004 film and soundtrack, Garden State, and was prominently featured on Greys Anatomy in 2005. The band has not released a second album, however have taken the anniversary of Give Up’s release to tour, which bring them to The Mann Center on Monday, June 17.
The deluxe edition of Give Up features two new songs, “A Tattered Line of String” and “Turn Around.” Below, download “A Tattered Line Of String.”
The Postal Service play The Mann Center on Monday, June 17 with Ra Ra Riot. Go here for tickets.
Purchase Give Uphere.
Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
Fusion / rock band Steely Dan has announced a 2013 tour that will bring them to The Mann Center on September 21st. With hits including “Reelin’ In the Years,” “Do It Again,” “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and “Dirty Work,” Steely Dan blended jazz with rock, funk, pop and R&B and released nine studio albums throughout their career, most recently 2000’s Grammy Award-winning Two Against Nature and 2003’s Everything Must Go. Founding members Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have also recorded solo material, with Fagen releasing Sunken Condos last October and finding himself charting midway on Rolling Stone’s Top 50 Albums of 2012 list. Tickets for the September show go on sale Saturday, April 20th. More information will be available here. Below, watch Steely Dan perform “Reelin’ In the Years” on The Midnight Special in 1973, introduced by Bill Cosby.