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Betty Who brings a glorious dance party to The TLA

Betty Who | Photo by Chris Zakorchemny
Betty Who | Photo by Chris Zakorchemny

If you think back to when you were first really getting into music; back to when you had a chance to go to a concert you needed to be at so you could just see your pop idol with your own human eyes – that is the emotional temperature of a Betty Who concert.

One look at 23-year-old Aussie Jess Newham, aka Betty Who, and you see a front-woman who is dancing just as much as the fans beyond the stage barrier. Most of those fans were into their twenties at the TLA last Saturday, transplanted back to their carefree teens, begging for Newham to take their hand-written letters and mix CDs. Without that barrier for the “Who Crew” to press up on and extend their hands over, the glorious dance party on the floor would have probably looked a little less glorious — you had to see the persistence of some of them, zealously waving letters for four or five songs at a time. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: JoyCut at Johnny Brenda’s, Flying Lotus at The Tower Theater, Citizen Cope at The TLA

JoyCut
JoyCut | photo by Eleonora Birardi

Italy’s JoyCut are bringing a world tour to Johnny Brenda’s tonight in support of its latest LP PiecesOfUsWereLeftOnTheGround.  The Bologna-based electronic trio was introduced to wider audiences through tours with Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse, winning over crowds with their optimistically upbeat dark-wave compositions.  Pieces was released on Italian label IRMA Records in 2013.  Watch JoyCut perform “Wireless” and “Domino” live below.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show with Bells and The Silence Kit can be found here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Matt Pond at Fishtown RiverCity Festival, Betty Who at the TLA, Chill Moody, Swift Technique, and others at Bloktoberfest and more…

Matt Pond | Photo by Michelle Montgomery
Matt Pond | Photo by Michelle Montgomery

This weekend is the 7th annual Fishtown RiverCity Festival, held at Penn Treaty Park from noon to 6:00 p.m., offering fun family activities, food, and live entertainment. As part of the entertainment, singer-songwriter and XPNFest alum Matt Pond headlines. Best known for his calming, smooth indie rock sound that he played for 15 years in his band Matt Pond PA, the New York artist released a solo album proper in 2013 called The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hands. Other acts include The Lawsuits, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Ginger Coyle, and more. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Balance and Composure and Creepoid make a joint homecoming at the TLA

Balance and Composure | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Balance and Composure | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Doylestown’s Balance and Composure wrapped up their headlining tour Saturday night at Theater of Living Arts. They released their second album The Things We Think We’re Missing in fall of 2013 and have been on the road ever since. Saturday night they played all the jams from this album, along with some older stuff including songs off Separation. Ending a great set, B&C closed with “Notice Me,” a collective favorite among fans. Keeping with the heavy emo genre, California’s Seahaven was the opener during the whole tour. Vocalist Kyle Soto opened with an acoustic “Honey Bee” before getting down and heavy with the rest of the band for “Black and White.” Starting out the night were Philadelphia-bred noisemakers Creepoid (now based in Savannah) who joined the tour halfway through after a long run with Against Me!. Plenty of family and friends came out for the celebration of the two hometown bands. Check out the photos from the show in the gallery below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Goodnight Texas at World Cafe Live, Quilly at the TLA, Gladys Knight at Sands Bethlehem

Goodnight Texas | Photo by Matthew Washburn
Goodnight Texas | Photo by Matthew Washburn

World Cafe Live is getting a treat tonight Americana folk-rock band, Goodnight Texas. No, bandmates Avi Vinocur, Patrick Dyer Wolf, Alex Nash, and Bobby Kendall are not from Texas. The name actually came from the geographical midpoint between the songwriters Avi Vincour (of San Francisco) Patrick Dyer (of North Carolina). What a clever way to create a unique name. Their music give you a nice, feel-good, chill vibe; it’s as if you want to sit on the porch with your significant other and watch the sun set. That makes World Cafe Live the perfect place tonight to go on a date. Checkout their song “Maggie’s Farm” below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Obscura at A-Space, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist tribute to Afrika Bambatta at The TLA, and Cassavetes at the First Unitarian Church

Obscura
Photo via Kieko Photography

After a successful debut showcase in June, the Obscura series is returning to A-Space. The brain child of journalist and promoter Melissa “Lissa Alicia” Simpson, Obscura‘s goal was to gain recognition for hip-hop artists in the West Philadelphia area that had unfortunately slid under the radar. Local rappers Verbatum Jones and The Bul Bey are featured on the bill, as well as Luci Rising, an eclectic songwriter and poet. Click here for tickets and more information. Below, watch The Bul Bey’s music video for “Where I’m From.” Continue reading →

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Interview: Cut Chemist talks record-shopping, Philly, and his collaborative Afrika Bambaataa tribute with DJ Shadow

Cut Chemist (Photo via Facebook)
Cut Chemist (Photo via Facebook)

Cut Chemist, né Lucas MacFadden, doesn’t just make beats. He makes vibes. The DJ, producer, and mix-Master (with a capital M) has been soundtracking moments for 20 years now. He got his start with boisterous underground rap crew Jurassic 5 (remember them?)—then also took turns in Latin-funk band Ozomatli and Less Than Jake (yes, really)—in addition to creating his own, mind-blowing jams.

Throughout the years MacFadden has worked closely with fellow DJ and like-minded artist Josh Davis—a.k.a., DJ Shadow. The pair has released four live records together, and share an affinity for creative yet effortless beats. This Saturday, they’ll team up at the TLA for their “Renegades of Rhythm” tour, featuring the music of hip-hop progenitor Afrika Bambaataa. Continue reading →

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Trombone Shorty brings down the house in a late TLA show

Trombone Shorty | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Trombone Shorty | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

New Orleans prodigy Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews has honed his brand of Jazz Funk to an art form. He’s been strong on the festival circuit, ubiquitous on HBO’s series Treme, and seems to consider Philly his second home. He opened a late Saturday night show (technically Sunday morning, considering the midnight stage time) at the TLA with a jumping version of suite “Slippery Lips / Craziest Things/ Backjump” which showcases both his trombone playing and vocals, which have become more prevalent of late. Continue reading →

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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.