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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Neil Finn at Keswick Theater, Work Drugs at Boot & Saddle, Meet the Loopers at The M Room and more

Photo credit: Jen Carey
Photo credit: Jen Carey
New Zealand-based musical mainstay Neil Finn has gone more experimental than ever before. The singer/songwriter (and Crowded House co-founder) released his latest album, Dizzy Heights in February, and the album features just a little bit of everything. Sounds of airplanes flying overhead, whistling, synthesizers and groovy guitar lines are interwoven in a somehow cohesive 11-song LP. Though the musician’s known for his unique sound, his latest takes it to a new level. Finn plays tonight at Keswick Theater with openers Midlake who performed a Free at Noon today. Tonight’s show starts at 7 p.m. and the $35 tickets can be purchased here.
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Download the new Work Drugs single, “Half Love”

Work Drugs | Photo by Kate Bracaglia
Work Drugs | Photo by Kate Bracaglia

“Half Love” is the latest single from Philly’s Work Drugs, from their recent album Insurgents. It’s not a live recording, but “Half Love” starts out with audience cheering that fades quickly into an 80′s synth-pop driven near anthem, where Work Drugs channel their inner Steve Winwoood circa “While You See A Chance.” Download the song below and check out the video featuring footage of a young Michael J. Fox from the movie Teen Wolf. Work Drugs start a short six city tour and play Boot & Saddle tomorrow, Friday night, April 11th with Teen Men. Go here for more information.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Embrace the strange with Teen Men’s new video for “The Sea, The Sea”; see them play Boot and Saddle Friday 4/11

Teen Men | Photo by Kate Bracaglia
Teen Men | Photo by Kate Bracaglia

Electro-pop outfit and visual stimulators Teen Men released a new music video for the track “The Sea, The Sea” and, not surprisingly, it’s wonderfully bizarre and trippy as hell.

The video – directed by Sylvio Bernardi - dances between color and black and white, animate and inanimate, with a balding figurine riding the waves of the drudgery of life before escaping to his dreams, eventually being pulled away by a live person in a guerrilla costume (credited as Herbert Herpels). If this makes absolutely no sense, that’s probably the point. Visual art has a funny way of making sense of things that words simply cannot. This is one of those instances.

(Read More: Spinto side-project features video projections and a lust for life)

Teen Men – comprised of Nick Krill and Joe Hobson of The Spinto Band, and joined by visual artists Catharine Maloney and Albert Birney – play Boot & Saddle this Friday, Aprill 11 with Work Drugs. The show kicks off their spring tour. Get tickets and info for the 21+ show here. Watch the video below, and download the entire EP for free on the Teen Men Bandcamp page.

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My Ruined Life: Poking fun at everyday troubles with the help of some Philly musicians

Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch | photo courtesy of facebook.com/pages/My-Ruined-Life/
Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch | photo courtesy of facebook.com/pages/My-Ruined-Life

Lee Porter has a fascination for two things: film-making, and local folk scene mainstay David Falcone’s monstrous beard.

Sprinkled in with a bit of comedy, he’s combined the two together, somehow convincing Falcone, who frequently plays World Cafe Live, and his facial hair to make his acting debut in a three-minute webisode called “Sales” (about shaving, who would have guessed?) for Porter’s series, My Ruined Life.

In the episode, actor Nathan Holt tries to sell shaving cream for the company he works for by targeting random passer-bys in a park.

Holt remains unsuccessful, but the comedic aspect of the short begins when Falcone enters the shot.

Dressed casually, he walks up to Holt and stands with his massive beard and long, fluffed locks of hair, staring at Nate and camera. End scene, cue laughter.

And though this is Falcone’s first acting performance, it isn’t Porter’s first time behind the camera.

“This is my baby,” Porter said. “This is my project I started myself.”

He gathered a group of four actors along with animators, musicians and more together to form the series in 2011. Now, the group is in their third season, releasing a new three-minute short every Sunday at 5 p.m. The plot now stars two characters, Brian and Eric, played by actors Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch who meet up after work on a various park benches in the Philadelphia area to comedically discuss “their ruined lives.”

To keep things exciting, Porter started reaching out to Philly musicians during the second season. Continue reading →

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Work Drugs dig up old ’80s MTV footage for new “Heaven or Farewell”

Work Drugs | Photo by Matthew Davis
Work Drugs | Photo by Matthew Davis

Dream pop duo Work Drugs turned to mini-skirts and halter tops for the depiction of “Heaven or Farewell” from their new album Insurgents. Solely comprised of old Club MTV (MTV’s version of American Bandstand) footage, the new clip shows enthusiastic dancing and late ’80s fashion accompanied by the band’s dance anthem. In regard to the new video, the band jokes: “We have unearthed a rare treat from 1985 when Work Drugs originally started off as the house band for CLUB MTV (1985-1989)”. Watch below and get tickets to their show at Boot and Saddle on April 11th here.

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Download a new Work Drugs song, “Time”

Work Drugs Insurgents Work Drugs have announced their new album, Insurgents, and have shared the first song, “Time,” from the album. The song has all the qualities we’ve come to love about the Work Drugs sound: heavy melodies, yacht rock inspired, bouncy swirls of keyboards, the guitar lines that sneak up into the mix to pull you in even further, all ballasted by smooth, head nodding mid-tempo pulse. Download it below. About the new project, Work Drugs’ Ben Louisiana and Thomas Crystal say “Time is a song about finding new love. Insurgents is an album about finding your place.” Pre-order the album here.

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Review: A Very Work Drugs Christmas at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday

Work Drugs | Photo by Matthew Davis
Work Drugs | Photo by Matthew Davis

When you think of Christmas music, Philly smooth-wave band Work Drugs might not immediately come to mind—with their glistening, seductive beats and lyrics inspired by boating. Yet consider it from a different angle—that Christmas is about relaxing, and spending time with loved ones—and it’s actually a perfect fit. No one inspires laidback grooving, or indulgent prancing, quite like Work Drugs, and swaying along to their sparkling beats with a whiskey in hand and good friends at your side feels like the perfect celebration indeed.

And so it went Saturday night at Johnny Brenda’s, when the band hosted their second annual Christmas spectacle and an evening of feel-good vibes. Outside, a storm raged on, but inside the air felt warm and inviting, as the band sang, danced, and shook their way through an hour of lustrous chillwave, drawn from their massive discography.

A duo at its core, the band’s live line-up included five, and sometimes six musicians, whose sultry back-up vocals floated through the air like snowflakes. Tunes like “West Coast Slide” and “Boogie Lights” inspired the dance moves for which they were named…and by the time the band reached its new holiday tune “Never Gonna Be Alone on Christmas,” the venue was filled with dancing couples, drunk on positive energy (and maybe a few beers.)

The band closed its set with a cover of Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” that proved as powerful as it was danceable—before ending finally with “License to Drive.” Leaving the venue that night the air was still frigid…but filled with the holiday spirit, I confess I barely noticed.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Anthony Green at Union Transfer, Yah Mos Def at Boot & Saddle, Work Drugs at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Anthony Green | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com
Anthony Green | Photo by Allison Newbold | allynewbold.com

Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green plays a solo hometown show tonight at Union Transfer.  Green released his third solo record Young Legs last month, which was recorded with Will Yip at his Conshohocken studio.  The Key profiled Young Legs in an Unlocked segment during the release week, talking with Green about his creative process, how Sinatra influenced the record and how he’s matured over his decade-plus career.  Tickets and information for tonight’s all-ages show can be found here.  Watch the video for “Young Legs” below.

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Merry Christmas from Work Drugs: download “Never Gonna Be Alone On Christmas” (playing Johnny Brenda’s 12/14)

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 6.36.53 AM Merry Christmas from Work DrugsWork Drugs. To celebrate the holiday season, the band has released their first ever Christmas song, “Never Gonna Be Alone On Christmas.” Tom and Ben from the band weigh in:

To celebrate our upcoming Christmas Spectacle at Johnny Brenda’s and the Michael McDonald holiday show at the Keswick, we decided to write our own little sedative pop single to generate some holiday spirit. We hope you enjoy it… and just remember… you’ll never be alone on Christmas as long as you have your drug of choice. Stay warm and stay smooth.

Below, download the song and watch the video. Mark you calendars for Saturday, December 14th, as WXPN Welcomes A Work Drugs Christmas Spectacle at Johnny Brenda’s featuring The City And Horses, Teen Men, and DJ Young Mariah Carey.

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Check out Teen Men’s trippy debut video for “Hiding Records” (playing Johnny Brenda’s 12/14)

TeenMen2Members of the Spinto Band are taking a new spin on their psychedelic pop sound in a new project called Teen Men. Consisting of Nick Krill and Joe Hobson, the Teen Men duo collaborated with visual artists Catharine Maloney (photographer) and Albert Birney (filmmaker) to create a trippy video for their debut single “Hiding Records” which is a teaser to their forthcoming EP. Although the video is supposed to resemble a midnight dance party at Peewee’s Playhouse, the flashing images give off more of an Across The Universe vibe with a happier demeanor. Check out the video below to see how you feel after. Mark your calendars for Dec. 14th to see Teen Men perform at Johnny Brenda’s with Work Drugs. All show details can be found here.