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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Owls and Hop Along at Union Transfer, The GTVs at Ardmore Music Hall

owls
Owls | photo via facebook.com/owlsbandchicago

Indie four-piece Owls are hitting Union Transfer tonight in support of their long-awaited second album, Two. The band, who gained popularity in the early aughts with the release of their eponymous debut album, overcame two different break-ups, but the group’s reunion in 2012 brought forth a full-scale rework of the band’s best qualities. With no disregard to the musicianship that won fans over from the band’s first album, Two brings out an easier listening component but asks for a more dedicated listener lyrically. The band’s growth is sure to bring delight to old fans and new listeners alike, and with a dynamite opener like Philly’s Hop Along this’ll be a show you’ll hear friends raving about the rest of the week. Find ticket information here and check out “I’m Surprised…” from Two.

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Sun Ra, The GTVs and more

The GTVs | Photo by Eric Schuman
The GTVs | Photo by Eric Schuman

Mount Airy based outfit The GTVs stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session.  Armed with a vintage Hammond organ and a few tracks, the band performed songs that showcased their wide-ranging sound.  Check out the instrumental Ventures-inspired number “Sleeper Agent” below and get the full session here.

Sing-along-friendly “Strangers” from The Rebel Light was Tuesday’s My Morning Download.  The upbeat power-pop song was released as a single from the L.A. band last month and is a great summer kick-start track for this Memorial Day weekend.

Local musician That Dream Was Our Life continues his monthly EP project with a collection of six new songs that cover everything from Center City traffic to friends getting married.  Check out “Early Spark” below and get the full EP here.

Folkadelphia brought Brooklyn’s Sondra Sun-Odeon in for a session to showcase her boundary-bending songs, joined by tour-mates Orion Rigel Dommisse.  Take a listen to “Paradise” below and download the full session here.

NPR celebrated what would have been jazz legend Sun Ra’s 100th birthday with an in-depth profile on Thursday.  In 1976, Sun Ra appeared on WXPN during a program called Blue Genesis, performing music and reading poetry.  You can download the two segments below.

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The Key Studio Sessions: The GTVs

As legend has it – or week-old legend at any rate – when Sam Steinig of The GTVs was struggling to load his vintage, 210-pound Hammond organ and corresponding Leslie amplifier into the WXPN studio, he passed by World Cafe host David Dye in the hallway. As Steinig tells it, Dye “took one look at the beast, shook his head and said ‘That’s what you get for being authentic.'” The band’s sound is as retro as their gear and their sartorial choices (which you can see on display in the photos above and video below) – a GTVs song will begin with punchy garage rock instrumental base and mix in delightful mod hooks with nods to surf and soul. Their album Sh’Bang was released today on Teen Sound Records, and two of the songs in this week’s session come from it – “Sleeper Agent” and “Cry If You Want To” – while the others are brand new and getting their first release here. Look for “Organ Donor” to become their next anthem, and make your plans to catch The GTVs live at their album release party July 12th at Ardmore Music Hall with St. James and the Apostles and Weird Hot. Tickets and information at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Don’t Call Them Revival: The GTVs bring Sh’Bang! to Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday

Photo by Brian Hunt | ethimofoto.com
Photo by Brian Hunt | ethimofoto.com

Sam Steinig, lead singer and organist for Mount Airy garage soul band the GTVs, was riding the train to the city, casually talking to Scott Galper, someone he’d known from his neighborhood’s babysitting co-op. He’d mentioned his band at the time, Mondo Topless, was on Get Hip Records. And much to their surprise Galper, drummer of The Heretics, was on Get Hip as well.

“What are the odds,” Steinig says with wide eyes, “That the guy that lives two blocks away from me, is in the same babysitting co-op – I mean, I babysat his daughter! – played in a band on the same label just before my last band got on it.”

After Mondo Topless parted ways in 2011, Steinig told Galper he wanted to form a new band. Fast forward two years, and The GTV’s about to release their first LP, Sh’Bang!, on Italy’s Teen Sound Records. But how they got connected to the label, which specializes in garage, psych, mod and powerpop bands, is even more surprising.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes The Spinto Band with Buried Beds to the Arden Gild Hall, Joshua James at The Tin Angel, Acres of Diamonds at Ortlieb’s, St. James & The Apostles at Johnny Brenda’s

SpintoXPN welcomes The Spinto Band and Buried Beds to the Arden Gild Hall tonight.  Taking album-release celebrations back to their home state of Delaware, The Spinto Band will perform new favorites from this year’s Cool Cocoon LP.  The peppy-but-deep five-piece will be joined by Philadelphia favorites Buried Beds, a local five-piece indie pop outfit whose most recent release was a film/EP called Small Stories.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show in Arden, DE can be found here.  Watch The Spinto Band’s video for “What I Love” below.

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