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Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.





Indie Rockers Palehound win at Boston Music Awards, release new song

Indie rock outfit Palehound beat several popular acts, including Bent Knee and Weakened Friends, for Alternative/Indie Artist of the Year at this year’s Boston Music awards, held on December 7th at the House of Blues. Palehound, fronted by songwriter Ellen Kempner, released their third studio album A Place I’ll Always Go earlier this year, drawing comparisons to prolific legacy artists like Angel Olsen, Kim Deal, and Elliott Smith. Check out the band’s newest song “Sea Of Blood” (engineered by Bully’s Alicia Bognanno) from their upcoming LP, YMCA Pool, set to release on January 26, 2018. -Charley Ruddell





Folk-pop trio The Happy Fits lands Pianos residency in December

Charming NYC trio The Happy Fits plays an intriguing blend of folk, vintage pop and funk/soul. Their sound is sparse but - as you can hear in single "While You Fade Away" (streaming below) - it can be pretty punchy. If the bass in that track sounds a little bright to you, it's because it's not actually a bass, but a plucked cello, which impersonates the other four string instruments in all their songs. The young group has a fun live show and simple but sophisticated melodies everybody can relate to, and these are certainly two of the reasons why Pianos decided to give them a residency during the month of December. The next live performance will be on December 12, if you dig it, do not miss it!





Weekend Warrior, December 8 - 10

Tonight, Strand of Oaks begins a weekend-long stay at Boot & Saddle, billed as Winter Classic 2017. Each evening’s billing includes a different ascending opening act, doubling down on the local lines. Unfortunately, Friday and Saturday’s shows with Slaughter Beach, Dog and John Dyer Baizley are already sold out. However, that leaves Sunday night’s twin billing with Hemming. An earnest ease materializes within; heart-worn stories tap into a time-tested folk-Americana grit and resilience. Whether pared-down to its soulful singer/songwriter essence, or pushed to volatile instrumental ends, Candice Martello can shake one down to the core. – Michael Colavita

More places to be warm in this weekend…

Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Strand Of Oaks, Shannen Moser, SAT Strand Of Oaks, John Dyer Baizley, SUN Strand Of Oaks, Hemming

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Young Statues, Steady Hands, SAT Orion Sun

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Drones for Queens, Atomic Cretins/Lamplighters/DJ Deejay, SAT All This Huxley, Kid Felix/Darko The Super, Mahatma X, Sudo Williams/Fame Lust/Night Sweats, SUN Caracara

PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) SAT The Morelings, The Silence Kit, Hidden Lights, SUN Joy Again, Ursula, Sitcom

Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SUN Desoto Jones: 10th Anniversary of Aurora - A Benefit for Adam & Tracey Francois, Cassettes

Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St,) FRI The York Street Hustle

The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SUN Stealing From Thieves

The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) FRI Civil Youth

Electric Factory (421 N. 7th St.) FRI Get The Led Out, SAT Running Of The Santas: Split Decision, LeCompt, Shot of Southern, Lovekilledkurt, Flannel, TrainWreck, Romeo Delight

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) SAT (Upstairs) Philadelphia School Of Rock, SUN (Downstairs) Cartoon Christmas Trio

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Elissa Janelle Velveteen, Lauren Scott, Vessna Scheff, Rachel Andie, SAT John Morrison, DJ Skipmode, DJ Caliph Now, Bo Bliz +Emynd, SUN Snake Charmer

Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Harvey Cash, Stevie Rogers, Reseyolo, Lil Pill, Morskamo, SUN Christine Irizarry, Erin Fox, Lisa Chosed, Vessna Scheff

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Line Leader, Local Honey, Tiny Hueman, The Cold Spring, SAT Ryan Tennis (Album Release Show), The West Powelton Drumline

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St) FRI Mo Lowda and the Humble, Commonwealth Choir, SAT Mercury Retrograde, Solar Circuit

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) SAT Kingfisher, Will Brown and the Jamboree Band, Evan Scheerer

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT John Byrne and Mass Folk Commons, SUN Rusty Cadillac

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) SAT The Twilights, Urban Resist, Fucksake

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Bree and the Reeds, Peace & the City Grease, Gobble Ghoul, SAT Kate Says,Megan Ann Saville, Paige Sawin,Julie Miller,Justin DePaola,Whackbat, SUN Sonni Shine, Katie Burke

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Everyone Orchestra (Including Aron Magner, Claude Coleman Jr)., Hezekiah Jones, SAT Everyone Orchestra  (including Claude Coleman Jr, Marc Brownstein, Nik Greeley), Nik Greeley& Friends, SUN Tapes & Tubes

First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut St.) FRI Radiator Hospital

Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Aphra, Tygerstrype, Heatmap, SAT S.T.O.P., Lightninging, SUN Carcara

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI Iamlive (Release Show), Career Crooks, Shane Great, SUN Canine10

Sound Hole (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Jason Killinger

Planet Phitness (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Control Top, Corey Flood

JJ’s Diner (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Henri Tyler (EP Release), James Barrett, Tessellations, Alyssa Joseph, Blueroom

LAVA Space (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Camp Candle





Record of the Month: Sandcatchers - See them at Berlin on Mondays in December

If, when faced with the prospect of listening to world music, you can't help but going "meh" (it's a shared prejudice!) you owe it to yourself to check out Brooklyn's Sandcatchers, both live (they are currently holding a Monday residency at Berlin) and on record. In sophomore LP "What We Found Along the Way" this quartet manage to effortlessly assemble tracks that blend middle eastern influences with Americana, post rock and noise rock as well. Based on an impossible time signature (what's that, a 9/4 tempo?), streamiing single Flees Fast Singing is groovy, tense and unpredictable. A lot of their repertoire is softer, like opening track Sky Stirs (which betrays folky pasts) or favorite Drop Stars Like Memories, but the band seems to catch fire whenever the BPM revs up, like in Washed and Wild, where a twangy distorted lap steel and an oud compete for attention on top of a breakneck fast paced rhythm section. The group is composed of veteran musicians, and you can hear it in the top notch execution, which - as so rarely happens - is matched by a sound that is as original as it's entertaining. Don't miss the next performance at Berlin on Monday 12.11. - PDG

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