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Watch Commonwealth Choir’s new “Along the Peak” performed at The TLA

Commonwealth Choir onstage at The TLA
Commonwealth Choir

On Friday night, Philly rockers Commonwealth Choir performed at The TLA on South Street on the seven-artist lineup of the Bands in the Backyard Summer Sounds showcase. The band’s well-received EP Shirtless is coming up on a year old, meaning they’ve been working more and more unreleased material into their setlist of late, including from their XPoNential Music Festival set last month to their performance on Friday night. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cheerleader and The Ataris at MilkBoy, Sturgill Simpson at the Ardmore Music Hall, BITBY Summer Sounds Showcase at The TLA and more…

Cheerleader
Cheerleader | photo courtesy of artist.
Local haze-pop group Cheerleader join Kristopher Roe of alt-rock stalwarts The Ataris at MilkBoy tonight for the venue’s 15th anniversary.  Cheerleader released a new video for its crystalline pop single “Perfect Vision” earlier this month, a track that will be on the full-length follow-up to this year’s self-titled debut EP.  The song moves away from the pure haziness of the EP and pulls production influences from radio pop songs, making it a perfect summer anthem alternative.  Meanwhile, Kristopher Roe of The Ataris has embarked on a solo acoustic tour of the States, performing fan favorites and requests in intimate settings.  Watch Cheerleader’s video for “Perfect Vision” below and get more information about the free show here.
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Citizen Cope brings tenth anniversary Clarence Greenwood Recordings tour to TLA in October

Photo by Danny Clinch
Photo by Danny Clinch

XPN favorite Citizen Cope just announced a fall tour celebrating the tenth anniversary of his second LP, The Clarence Greenwood Recordings, and he will headline The TLA on Tuesday, October 14th. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 27th at 10 a.m. via LiveNation. Below, watch Cope perform “Son’s Gonna Rise” from the album at the 2011 XPoNential Music Festival with Gary Clark Jr. backing him up.

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Manchester Orchestra, Balance and Composure and Kevin Devine leave The TLA speechless

Manchester Orchestra | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com
Manchester Orchestra | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com

Last month Atlanta-based indie rock band Manchester Orchestra released their fourth studio album, Cope, via Favorite Gentlemen, the band’s own independent label. To support their new record, the band has been on an extensive spring tour of the US and Canada with Doylestown’s Balance and Composure as well as Kevin Devine (who’s also in Bad Books, band with Manchester’s frontman Andy Hull).

The tour sold out two nights at the Theater of the Living Arts well in advance, and as soon as the doors opened on night two, the crowd rushed inside and two the front. Devine appeared on stage first, dancing and clapping his hands, getting the crowd pumped to songs such as “Cotton Crush” and “I Could Be With Anyone”. Throughout his set, Devine jumped up, down and across the stage, always rushing back to the microphone to make sure he didn’t miss a lyric. He closed his set with “Brother’s Blood,” performed full band, leaving the crowd in awe.

Next to take the stage was melodic indie-rock band Balance and Composure, on tour in support of their second LP The Things We Think We’re Missing, which was released last year via No Sleep Records. Opening their set with “Quake” off of their first LP, Separation, Balance made a perfect entrance. A majority of the set drew from their newest record including singles “Reflection” and “Tiny Raindrop.”  On stage, the band used fog machines which might have made it difficult to see the band members, but it did enhance their set aesthetically. Closing with two new songs, Balance and Composure played a powerful set championing their latest material.

Manchester Orchestra opening their headlining set with the acoustic track “Deer”, the first song off of their LP, Simple Math, and the crowd was instantly covered with goose bumps. Playing a different set than the night before, the band played an interesting array of songs, including a Bad Books song with Kevin Devine. Promoting their new record, Cope, Manchester Orchestra performed “Top Notch,” as well as album title track, which the crowd enjoyed (based off of the crowd surfing and the mosh pit). The set closed with slower songs “Virgin” and the title track from Simple Math (which they did not play the night before). After their set, the crowd cheering “one more song” for several minutes chanting for an encore that never came – the sound engineer announced after fifteen minutes that the show was over and asked the crowd to leave. Even so, Manchester Orchestra played a tremendous set that left me and the audience speechless.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Uh Huh Her at World Cafe Live, Twin Forks at The TLA

Uh Huh Her | photo via facebook.com/uhhuhher
Uh Huh Her | photo via facebook.com/uhhuhher

LA indie rock duo Uh Huh Her took its name from a record by PJ Harvey, and while the influence is undeniable, don’t expect a set of “Down By The Water” soundalikes at World Cafe Live tonight. The band has a cool and brooding synthpop underbelly, and released its third full length, Future Souls, this past March on Plaid Records.  Uh Huh Her is currently in the midst of a US / Canada tour; get tickets and info on tonight’s World Cafe Live show at the XPN Concert Calendar and watch a tour trailer below.

Continue reading →

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Týr brings epic, mythical metal from the Faroe Islands to The TLA this weekend

Týr | photo courtesy of the artist
Týr | photo courtesy of the artist

I don’t believe that the TLA serves flagons of mead, but that would be the most appropriate way to herald the arrival of Faroese metal band Týr. The group has a penchant for pairing its classic New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound with epic tales of Viking lore and Norse mythology. Their songs are soaring, anthemic tales of Gods and battles and glory on blood-drenched snowscapes. The first song on their latest album, Valkyrja (Metal Blade), roars “Tonight we dine in hell,” and the surprise is not that they’d lyricize this warrior’s toast but that it took seven albums to finally do it.

Valkyrja is a concept album (c’mon, you knew that was coming) about a Viking warrior’s attempts to impress the Valkyrie with his battlefield prowess so that she’ll escort him to Valhalla. It’s full of swagger, swordplay and warrior queens, a Frazetta painting in musical form. If you planned to adapt it into a film, in other words, a significant part of the budget would have to be set aside for animal skins, armored breastplates, and beard grooming. Grab a mutton leg and sing along.  Tickets and information for Týr‘s March 22nd show at The TLA with Children of Bodom can be found here.  Listen to “Blood of Heroes” below.

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Photos: Lord Huron and Night Moves at The TLA

Lord Huron | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Lord Huron | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

On Saturday night a sold-out crowd at the Theater of Living Arts cheered on psychedelic Americana band Lord Huron. The Los Angeles-based five-piece is still touring in support of its 2012 release Lonesome Dreams, though some new songs, EP cuts and covers were in the mix. Like-minded Minneapolis band Night Moves opened the show; check out photos in the gallery below.

(Hear More – Lord Huron soars above the Marina Stage at XPoNential Fest)

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Just Announced: ZZ Ward returning to The TLA on 2/28

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

R&B artist ZZ Ward will return to Philadelphia for a show at The TLA on February 28th.  Continuing to tour in support of her debut Til the Casket Drops, the Abington, PA-born musician blends southern blues (inspired by her father’s music endeavors) with contemporary hip hop / pop hooks, which she began writing for local rappers in Eugene, OR.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show will be available here; tickets go on sale Friday, January 17th at noon.  Watch ZZ Ward’s video for “365 Days” below.

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Review: Man Overboard’s Lost Tape Collective Holiday Show brings DIY punk to the masses

Man Overboard | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com
Man Overboard | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

The holidays are a time each year where bands put on special shows in their hometowns, thanking the fans that over time brought them the success they currently have. Local punk heroes Man Overboard, in collaboration with their record label Lost Tape Collective, have taken their annual holiday show and turned it into one of the biggest pop-punk gatherings to hit Philadelphia each year. Bringing together newcomers and some of the biggest names in the scene it is no surprise that this show has been growing exponentially since it started in 2011.

The show kicked off with the totally not pop punk band Fight Amputation. This aggressive New Jersey hardcore band may have seemed like an unlikely pick for the opening spot of this lineup, but put on a solid performance that got even the poppiest of punk fans headbanging along. South Jersey boys Young Statues hit the stage next. In stark contrast to Fight Amps, Young Statues brought a melodic sound to the stage, getting fans swaying and singing.

Crowd surfers | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

The TLA had removed their normal barrier from in front of the stage, meaning fans could stage dive and crowd surf to their heart’s content. Hometown heroes and personal favorite of us over at The Key, Modern Baseball, was the third to play. Before the band even hit the stage, the crowd had already pushed forward in anticipation. As I listened to audience members gossip about how great their new single is and how cute __________ (insert band members’ name here) is, I could tell this wasn’t going to be any ordinary set for the boys. Continue reading →

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Photos: Escort grooved with J.C. Brooks and The Uptown Sound at The TLA

Escort | Photo by Darragh Dandurand Friedman | darraghdf.wordpress.com
Escort | Photo by Darragh Dandurand Friedman | darraghdf.wordpress.com

Brooklyn disco / electronic ensemble Escort co-headlined the TLA on South Street last Wednesday night alongside retro-soul outfit (and XPN Fest alums) J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound. The latter has a new and very dance-oriented LP called Howl, while the former recently released its self-titled LP. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.