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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Communion Philadelphia with Vacationer and Pearl and the Beard at Underground Arts, The Wonder Years at Chameleon Club, TJ Kong at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo by Abi Reimold AbiReimoldPhoto.com
Photo by Abi Reimold AbiReimoldPhoto.com

Before getting back to work on a new album and kicking off a co-headlining tour with Hellogoodbye next month, Vacationer will headline this month’s Communion Club Night tonight at Underground Arts. The Philly-based pop band, who are working on their follow up to 2012′s Gone make relaxing music that echoes the sounds of summer and relaxation. Also on tonight’s bill is NYC folk-pop trio Pearl and the Beard who plan to release their third full-length this year. Check out Vacationer’s “Trip” and Pearl and the Beard’s “You” below and grab tickets here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Matt Nathanson at Musicians On Call Benefit at World Cafe Live, Teen Men at Boot and Saddle, Mo Lowda and The Humble at the TLA and more

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

With 20 years in the industry under his belt, singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson released his eighth album Last of the Great Pretenders last summer via Vanguard Records. After scoring a platinum hit with 2007′s succulent pop ballad “Come On Get Higher” (and playing the XPoNential Music Festival in 2008), Nathanson’s fanbase expanded greatly. Tonight, the Massachusetts native takes to the World Cafe Live stage for a show benefiting WXPN’s Musicians On Call initiative that brings musicians to the bedsides of hospital patients. Watch “Kinks Shirt” below and get tickets here.

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Whitney Who? Local emcee Whitney Peyton wins “Emerging Indie Hip-Hop Artist of the Year” award at 2014 Tri-State Indie Music Awards

Photo via facebook.com/whitneypeytonmusic
Photo via facebook.com/whitneypeytonmusic

Up against well-known local hip-hop acts Ground Up and Moosh & Twist, Whitney Peyton‘s victory at last night’s Tri-State Indie Music Awards was unexpected. This isn’t the first local triumph for the rapper who has been rounding up countless local awards for her work since 2010. Peyton has even performed alongside Jadakiss, Kid Ink, Jim Jones, and more solidifying her status as more than just your average rap newcomer.

With her raw energy and fast flow, Peyton comes across as the female Machine Gun Kelly mixed with melodic influences of Missy Elliott (check out the hooks on “Made You Look” and “Boom Ba Yay”). The best thing about her, which comes across immediately when you listen to her rhymes, is that she’s not trying to be anyone else but Whitney Peyton. Clearly, hip-hop fans recognized this and awarded her for it. Fresh off the release of her new album, On the Brink, Peyton will blaze the TLA stage this Friday. Get tickets here and watch her video for “Woopty Woo Woo” below.

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Worlds collide with Brandon Boyd and Sons of the Sea at the TLA

Brandon Boyd | Photo By Katrina Murray
Brandon Boyd | Photo By Katrina Murray

Painting, drawing, writing, singing—you name it, Brandon Boyd does it. Add “making shimmery psychedelic pop” to the bowl of talent, which by now you’d think would overflow but it doesn’t: it just fits. But Boyd isn’t really a pop artist. He’s a rock musician, best known as the frontman of Incubus, who experiments without losing himself. However, we can still lose ourselves in Boyd’s new grooves, like many fans did Wednesday night at the TLA.

Boyd kicked off the night with the title track from The Wild Trapeze, his 2010 solo effort , then the quirky power ballad album opener “Jet Black Crow” from his 2013 collaborative project with rock producer Brendan O’Brien, Sons of the Sea. Drawing from both records, the night found Boyd juxtaposing the raw desert cuts from The Wild Trapeze (i.e., “Dance While the Devil Sleeps” and album standout “Runaway Train”) with the grand and melodic, Beatles-inspired pop of Sons of the Sea (i.e., “Untethered” and single “Come Together”). The transition from acoustic self-esteem booster “Courage and Control” into vocal-driven “Avalanche” was seamless with the latter propelling Boyd’s voice to new heights.

These quieter moments give him more space to show off the incredible set of pipes that can be overlooked amidst intricate guitar riffs that often become the centerpieces of Incubus songs (with the exception of their last studio offering, the dark and brooding “If Not Now, When?”). Boyd and his band finished up with “Lady Black”, a ballad which called for a softer vocal delivery as he pines over unrequited love.

Returning to the most familiar, comfortable place for the rocker, things get loud for the encore. The chorus of “Great Escape” grips you by the collar and begs you to listen as Boyd sings: “say what you want of me/unkind and amplified/ cry or bat those eyes, you’ll never change my mind” over a loud guitar. Clearly, he’s resolute about one thing: he’ll do what he wants whether it’s making alt-rock with Incubus, crafting pop music with Brendan O’Brien, or wearing his burnt orange grandpa cardigan.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at TLA, Caroline Rose at Union Transfer, Dan Kassel at Melodies Cafe and more

Photo via freddyo.com
Photo via freddyo.com

Veteran hip-hop four-piece Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will play at the TLA tonight. Bone Thugs have been relatively quiet lately aside from September’s catchy “Everything 100″ single release that has kept fans eagerly anticipating a new LP. They’ve always been melodic enough for the radio and gritty enough for the streets; a recipe that shot them to stardom in the mid-’90s. Watch “Everything 100″ below and get tickets here.

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Watch The Lawrence Arms celebrate youthful debauchery in new “Seventeener (17th and 37th)” video (playing The TLA 3/6)

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

The Lawrence Arms have released a new song and video ahead of their upcoming album Metropole which will be released on January 28th via Epitaph Records. The new clip for “Seventeener (17th and 37th)” finds the Chicago natives sifting through identities ranging from 80s punk stars to clowns. It’s a fun, upbeat celebration of being young and free no matter your birth date. Pre-order the new album here and get tickets to their show at the TLA on March 6th here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mac Miller at House of Blues Atlantic City, Kingsfoil at Chameleon Club and Dopapod at the TLA

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Pittsburgh native Mac Miller will celebrate the release of his new album Live From Space tonight (and tomorrow night) at Atlantic City’s House of Blues. The new disc features tracks from his latest album Watching Movies with the Sound Off through which Mac showed a more mature, pensive side of himself in contrast to the playboy party anthems featured on his 2011 debut Blue Slide Park and earlier mixtapes. Get tickets here and watch his video for “The Star Room” below.

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