The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Woods, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Jason Karaban and more

TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | Photo by Megan Kelly |
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | Photo by Megan Kelly |

TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb popped into the studio to record a new Key Studio Session, three and a half years after their first one.  This session includes a special track called “Blood in the Bathtub” that was recorded at the band’s EP release show at Johnny Brenda’s.  Stream and download the full set here.

This week, we also shared the Key Studio Sessions Vol. 10 compilation, recorded over the last few in the WXPN studios.  On it, you’ll find tracks from a wide-ranging spectrum of artists including The Hundred Acre Woods, Ginger Coyle, Trophy Wife and Elegant Animals.  Check it out below.

Eric Schuman invited Brooklyn psych-folk outfit Woods in for a live session to air on last night’s Indie Rock Hit Parade.  As a preview, The Key shared a recording of “Leaves Like Glass,” which was included on the band’s recent With Light and With Love LP.  Get a copy below.

Earlier this week, Helen Leicht talked with Philadelphia native Jason Karaban about his new song “Low Road.”  Karaban told Helen that this version was recorded with a number of his musician friends, including Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Garrison Starr.  You can get a free download of the song below, and be on the look out for its appearance on EP from Karaban soon.

This week’s Folkadelphia session featured a performance by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.  The married pair have a lot of history in their blood – Sarah Lee is the daughter of Arlo Guthrie / granddaughter of Woody, and Irion is a grandnephew of John Steinbeck.  On their latest record Wassaic Way, they were joined by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, who helped create bold power pop / Americana twang.  Stream and download the live session below.



Listen to “Low Road,” a new single from Philly-bred songwriter Jason Karaban

Jason Caraban | photo courtesy of the artist
Jason Caraban | photo courtesy of the artist

Jason Karaban is originally from Philadelphia.  For the past ten years he has been living and working as a songwriter in California. His parents and brother still live in Philly. I just received a new song, “Low Road,” from Jason and we traded emails about it.

Helen Leicht: Tell me about the new song.

Jason Karaban: I performed this on your show, Helen. It was pretty fresh back then. I recently recorded this version with Sara Watkins, Garrison Starr, Benmont Tench and Pete Thomas. .

HL: How did you get connected with those musicians?

JK: I’ve been doing a lot of writing with various artists such as Lucy Schwartz, Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket and others. Craig Elkins from Huffamoose actually helped with some of the lyrics on “Low Road,” along with Garrison Starr. I connected with sara watkins through Glen Phillips. I also work with Sara’s brother, Sean. I’ve been recording and playing with Pete Thomas for about eight years or so. I hooked up with him through David Immergluck and Charlie Gillingham from Counting Crows who I’ve also worked with on off for the same amount of time. He’s played on most of my solo records. I met benmont tench at a place out here in Los Angeles called Largo where I’ve played with Sara and Sean as part of a residency they’ve been doing for about 10 years called the Watkins Family Hour.

HL: When will the song be available and do you want to share this new music?

JK: “Low Road” will probably be available on an EP at some point in the future but I’d love to offer the song as a free download to WXPN listeners.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jason Karaban at Tin Angel, Blayer PointduJour at MilkBoy, Jello Biafra at the Trocadero, and Arctic Splash at Johnny Brenda’s

Philly-bred singer-songwriter Jason Karaban returns home from L.A. tonight to celebrate the release of his new album, Shift, which came out on September 4th. Karaban joined WXPN’s Helen Leicht on her show Leicht Lunch on Wednesday to play a few songs from his new album and his song “Misplaced” was Wednesday’s My Morning Download. Now, WXPN is welcoming Karaban to the Tin Angel tonight for a 21+ CD release party. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available here for $10. Below, watch the video for “Misplaced” from Jason Karaban’s new album.

Haitian kompa musician Blayer PointduJour just released his first full-length album this week with his band, the Rockers Galore. To celebrate, PointduJour is playing a record release show at MilkBoy Philly. The 21+ show also features I Yahn I Arkestra, The National Rifle, and Philadelphia Slick. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available here for $10. Blayer PointduJour was also this week’s Unlocked band on The Key. Check out The Key’s album review of his new record The Bull here and listen to his song “One Hit” in the player below.

Former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra is headed to Philly tonight for an all ages show at the Trocadero with his band, the Guantanamo School of Medicine. The show also features performances by The Ray Gradys, Honah Lee, and Thee Nosebleeds. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available here for $15.

Finally, Philly bands Arctic Splash, Weird Hot are playing St. James & the Apostles‘s record release show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. The doors for the 21+ show open at 8:00 p.m. and the show starts at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 here. Vinyl copies of St. James & the Apostles’ new album, Baphomet, will be available at the show.


Listen to Jason Karaban recorded live on the Leicht Lunch

Prodigal Philadelphia son Jason Karaban returns to town this week to celebrate the release of his new album, Shift, at The Tin Angel on Friday, September 7. Today, he appeared live on 88.5 with Helen Leicht for the Leicht Lunch to perform with Philly music vet Jim Boggia on guitar, as well as mandolinist Gerry McWilliams. Download their acoustic rendition of “You’re Already Home” and an unreleased new cut “Low Road” below, and hear an archive of their entire appearance.


Helen Leicht’s Open Mic (and today’s My Morning Download): Jason Karaban

Philly singer-songwriter Jason Karaban might have moved to Los Angeles, but he knows where his roots lie. Take a look at the music video for his perfectly-titled new single “Misplaced.” The song is from Jason’s new album Shift, which came out on iTunes September 4th. He’ll be on the air today with Jim Boggia on the Leicht Lunch at Noon. Tune in at 88.5 FM in Philadelphia or anywhere. Jason returns to town this Friday, September 7th as WXPN Welcomes him to the Tin Angel. Below, download “Misplaced” from his terrific new album, and watch the video.

Continue reading →