Kingston, Pennsylvania crew Title Fight marked its ten-year anniversary this fall, and threw a big celebration in true punk rock style: with a sold-out five-band all-ages bill at an American Legion hall in nearby Glen Lyon. Joining them were fellow local noisemakers Balance and Composure and Daylight, along with Wilkes-Barre hardcore band Dead End Path and touring act Justice (a punk band from Belgium, not the dance band from France). In addition to their ten years and dozen or so releases together, Title Fight also had a forward-thinking cause to celebrate: the new Spring Songs EP 7″, available now via Revelation Records. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.
For the latest installment of Root Down in the Shadow‘s Covers Club series, it’s like Bucks County of the present takes on Bucks County of the past. Brian Dale Allen Strouse and Vanessa Winters of The Lawsuits delicately harmonize on “She’s Your Baby,” a gentle folk-tinged tune from Ween’s 2000 album White Pepper – which Strouse tells Root Down’s Dan McGurk was the album that served as a gateway to the weird and eclectic world of the Deaner and Gener. Watch the video below, and compare it against Ween’s original. The Lawsuits open for their Bucks County brethren Levee Drivers Friday December 6th at Kung Fu Necktie; get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Saturday night’s Philadelphia tribute to The Last Waltz was a great idea coupled with precise execution, and the cooperation between the performers and the organizers was extraordinary.
In front of a totally packed Trocadero this past Saturday night, the event looked and sounded fantastic. The core band of Jim Boggia, Pete Donnelly, Adam Flicker, Kevin Hanson, Andrew Lipke, Nate Graham and Matt Muir was just wonderful. Donnelly took center stage for many of The Band song vocals, beginning with a fantastic rendition of “Don’t Do It” to start the evening. This core band was positively ferocious throughout. Muir is such a great drummer, and nobody had more fun throughout the evening than Jim Boggia, who just couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.
Calling up the special guests as they went along, a few dozen different musicians (including a stellar horn section led by the very talented Jay Davidson), participated throughout the evening. There honestly wasn’t a bad rendition all night, and some of the highlights included Alec Ounsworth ( of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) on “Helpless”, Cowmuddy’s way spirited “Up On Cripple Creek”, Ben Arnold – perfectly cast – absolutely killed Dr. John’s “Such A Night”, and Joey Sweeney and The Long Hair Arkestra’s version of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”.
The most pleasant surprise of the night was a ridiculously soulful take of Van Morrison’s sublime “Caravan” by a guy named Casey Parker (please… somebody get me some more info on him!). And The Band’s Garth Hudson was the guest of honor! His appearance certainly added to the authenticity of the evening, and the audience was enthusiastic throughout.
This sold-out event, with over 1,000 people in attendance, raised thousands of dollars for four Philly organizations with a focus on education. One of the organizations, the student rock band H.O.M.E. at South Philly’s Andrew Jackson School, performed in The Balcony Bar during the night.
After the show, Wesley Stace, who played the part of Bob Dylan and The Canterbury poets said “It was a great and magical night that showed us both The Last Waltz and Philadelphia in all their musical glory: so pleased they ask me to be Bob (and the poets)!”
I hate to gush this much, but it was just so much of a fun, successful evening. I can’t wait for the next idea organizers Lipke, Hanson, Fergus Carey, and Bryan Dilworth come up with. Count me in to help, whatever it is…
Below, check out a gallery of photos from the show, and watch a video of “The Weight.”
Nothing depicts a community’s holiday spirit like a massive sing-along to a local favorite. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Philadelphians from all over town will gather to sing along to Alan Mann’s 1983 holiday song “Christmas On The Block” which was the first independent music video to air on MTV.
Organized by longtime local rocker Kenn Kweder, as well as George Manney, and Mann’s former pianist Larry Saklad, the event will take place at The Legendary Dobbs on South Street. In addition, a camera crew from Attention Films will be at the show to film the performance and interviews for a documentary, and the band will performed backed by projections of archival Alan Mann footage.
Get more details here, and look for a download of the song next week when Helen Leicht’s 12 Days of Philly Local Christmas begins.
Singer-songwriter Birdie Busch sings of rebellion and defying expectations on the whimsical “Far From The Tree,” a song from her 2013 album Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night. These themes turn visual in a new video where we see people showcasing their ancestry through photographs and other memorabilia. It illustrates the fact that they know where they came from, but are paving their own path. Busch will perform at Phase One: A Fundraiser for The Rail Park (hosted by our Michaela Majoun) this Wednesday night at Union Transfer. More details below and tickets here.
Philly folk artist Up The Chain (aka Reed Kendall) recently visited Illinois to play a set at Daytrotter Studio. Kendall released his sophomore album Seeds and Thorns in October and celebrated its release at Ardmore Music Hall. Citing Ryan Adams, Neil Young, and Amos Lee as influences, he maintains simplicity in his live performances to honor the original form of his songs. Listen to the set here and watch his video for “The Horse’s Course” below.
Local rapper/producer Zilla Rocca released a new video for “17 Days in VA”, a track from his new Neo Noir mixtape. We’ve followed Zilla for a while here on The Key, but to bring you up to speed, he’s the self-proclaimed originator of “noir hop”, a subgenre of hip-hop that focuses on storytelling and crime. In a way, Zilla Rocca is using a unique literary style to depict stories of what happens in the streets. Check out the clip below, and get a download of Neo Noirhere.