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The Usual Suspects Takeover for a Good Night at The Fire Dec. 23

Looks like one of those heavily packed local bills will be taking over The Fire tonight with some of the usual suspects. We have Mad Dragon breakouts (and partially broken-up) Toy Soldiers coming together to infuse their trademark whiskey-and-tight-jeans blues-soaked roots rock. There’s also the eccentric folk of Michael McShane, a.k.a Cowmuddy, who, under the moniker, twists weird alt-Americana harvest tales that’s more grounded earth than bemoaning spectacles. And we can’t forget North Lawrence Midnight Singers,who just released their latest effort, Last Great Saturday Night, last month. Their polished urban country allegories blend willowy pastoral melodies with wistful indie sanguinity. But the most electrifying set - and slightly unusual for this bill - may come early from Girls Rock Philly alum Attia Taylor. With her feathery vocal echoes gliding over infectious cosmic digital lip smacks, Taylor’s minimalist twee-pop is delightfully explosive, despite its unadorned tresses. Tack on the dark, brooding folk rock of Kingston's The Ends of the Earth. It’s bound to be a good night, y’all. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave, 9pm, $5, 21+ - Annamarya Scaccia


Penrose Record Release Show at KFN Dec. 23

The Murphy boys of Penrose are gearing up to play their Devil’s Grip Album Release (or the “Best Christmas Eve Eve Party You’ve Ever God Damn Well Been To”). Penrose have been keeping it tight playing pretty regularly between here and NY while doing the final knob twisting on Devil’s Grip. Tonight they will officially unleash their raucous batch of tunes that harkens back to blues like Sonny Boy Williamson mixed with Led Zeppelin. The similarity to modern blues brawlers like The Black Keys isn’t a bad thing either. These fun-loving dudes are doing everything they can to deliver on their shows promise by filling the bill with headline worthy openers like TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb and NYC’s Hollis Brown. Additionally, The Great Vibrations, who I think I saw in some basement that is now a bedroom over the summer, is going to croon and swoon their way into audiences’ hearts. There is also an after party at Murph’s bar with sets by Flamingo and El Fuego and possibly…Cliff Lee? Be there. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 7pm, $10 adv/$12 door, 21+ - Adam G.

Rock to the Future Benefit at WCL Dec. 23

Get into the holiday spirit of donating to a good cause while checking out some local talent in the process! Rock to the Future is a brand new and very needed free afterschool music education program that opened to Philadelphia School District students this fall. This program strives to improve cognitive & creative thinking, socialization skills, and more by giving kids the chance to attend musical seminars and workshops. Tonight World Café Live hosts a very special benefit that donates its proceeds to this cause that will feature an assortment of exciting musicians. Troubadours The Josh & Pete Band will not only be playing in the headlining slot, but some of their members will also be taking part in a set from collaborative The Best Westerns (which also features members of Eat Your Birthday Cake and Conversations with Enemies). New Motels will be bringing the good time tunes from their album Tilbury Sweat, which was recorded with gifted producer Bill Moriarty (Man Man, Dr. Dog, Drink Up Buttercup), that you shouldn’t miss if you plan to make it this evening. You can check out the music video for their very radio-friendly track “My Radio” below. Rounding out the lineup will be stone cold alt-rockers Big Terrible. World Café Live (Upstairs), 3025 Walnut St., 8pm, $12, 21+ - Bill McThrill


Unwrap an Early Gift of Cuddle Magic and Oh! Pears at JB’s Dec. 22

Celebrate the magic of the holidays a little early this year thanks to avant garde ensemble Cuddle Magic. With a membership that can hit double digits providing strings, percussion, a vibraphone, clarinet, and then some to their musical arsenal, they’re set to play to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas. And they even have a Festivus of lamps and a 3-foot tall plastic penguin for their stage arrangement! Both their self-titled debut and masterful album Picture are available on West Philly’s FYO Records. With expertly crafted instrumentation and chamber pop sensibilities, the band wraps up an exciting year of shows tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. But since their currently working on overdubs in the studio with producer Bryce Goggin who has worked with the Ramones, Phish, Pavement and many more, it’s sure to set the tone for bigger things to come. Joining them this evening will be Oh! Pears, otherwise known as Corey Duncan and his elaborately crafted orchestral ensemble. After a year’s worth of work, the former Pattern Is Movement guitarist has had plenty of practice refining the live performance of his symphonic debut Fill Yr Lungs. And its beautiful tunes are sure to bring some enchantment and wonderment to your ears. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Bill McThrill


New Video for Purling Hiss’ “Passenger Queen”!

Below is a video that we definitely recommend taking a hit of anything before viewing. It’s for the beastly tune “Passenger Queen” by Purling Hiss from the album Hissteria (Richie Records), and was produced by Jake Fennell. The footage was filmed in LA and San Diego (November 2010). Special thanks to Richie Records/Testostertunes for posting it. Enjoy! - The Deli Staff


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