Two up-and-coming acts shimmered their way through diverse sets of music at Union Transfer last night. Each recent Firefly performers, both groups are distinctly positioned for bigger things, and the sold out crowd on a Monday night was a testament to that. Continue reading →
“I guess we didn’t really think it through, does that kinda make us like dinosaurs?” Aaron Weiss—just as charmingly awkward as ever—asked the audience late on Saturday night. Earlier in the evening, he and his longtime friends who make up mewithoutYou had taken the stage of the Trocadero to the swelling orchestral theme from Jurrasic Park, to celebrate their breakout album Catch for Us the Foxes turning 10 years old. Whether you see Catch as a fossil from mewithoutYou’s early days or the cornerstone of their career-writ-large, Saturday’s sold-out, hometown show was undeniably one for the history books. Continue reading →
New York based electronica duo Phantogram rocked Union Transfer this weekend with an electrifying performance. On Sunday, the band played the second of two back-to-back sold-out shows in support of their second full-length album, Voices, which was released in February. Josh Carter (vocals, guitar, and electronic beats) and Sarah Barthel (vocals, keyboard, and guitar) were backed by a three-piece band, which allowed them to give a spectacular, full-sounding performance. Continue reading →
It’s a damn good day to be a white dude – this white dude in particular. David Burd, AKA Lil Dicky, performed for a packed venue and a warm homecoming at the TLA Thursday night. Laughter, thigh sweat and body hair flowed freely to “Lemme Freak” as the Cheltenham native stripped down to well-worn boxer briefs and gave a bewildered fan something that might be categorized as a type of lap dance, the sticky intensity of which she most definitely hadn’t anticipated.
It’s no secret that the Kopecky Family Band is not really a family, but with or without shared bloodlines, these Nashville rockers managed to make us all feel at home Friday night at Union Transfer. Their records are solid, of course, but there’s something about seeing them live that brings out something that’s just plain likable. Frontman Gabe Simon humbly introduced himself to the front row as he set up his own pedalboards. He even remembered seeing me at their killer TLA show from about a year back. But a nice guy does not a great musician make; we care about the sounds, and there’s a reason the Kopecky Family Band continues to have me coming back for more. Continue reading →
The thought, 20 years ago, of Boyz II Men and Nirvana having anything to do with one another might have paralyzed the pop world with fear and anger. But in front of a small audience at Philadelphia’s High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (where the RnB legends famously formed while students), members Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris felt no hesitation or weight of historical genre divides when they ripped into an impromptu, largely comical version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Continue reading →
“Ladies and gentleman, I regret to inform you that you’re already dead.”
These were the opening words of Steven Ellison—aka Flying Lotus—to the crowd at Upper Darby’s Tower Theater, as he stood shrouded behind a prism-like projector screen that could almost pass for a bullhorn. He followed that statement with a swift salvo of beats that sounded anything but dead, certainly never dull. Continue reading →
This past Sunday World Café Live played host to an international call-to-the-soul in the form of Marketa Irglova and her music of the spirit, body and mind. With members ranging from the Czech Republic (Irglova herself), Iran, Israel and the U.S. and a sound driven by keyboard and harmonies, it was a calm, ruminative way to spend a fall night.
It was a bad weekend for weather, but quite a good one for neighborhood parties. The Fishtown RiverCity Festival was a grand collection of local merchants, food, beer, and entertainment. Levee Drivers, Katie Barbato, Pine Barons, Ginger Coyle, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, The Lawsuits, and Matt Pond all braved the dreary (and often chilly) weather to bring the funk, folk, rock, and blues. There was also a delicious assortment of beverages from Neshaminy Creek, 2nd Story Brewing Co., Saint Benjamin, Homebrew Outlet, and Philadelphia Brewing Co. So, a block (park?) party the way it should be. Check out photos below.
On Saturday, Oct. 4, a sold-out World Café Live audience was walking like Egyptians and basking in a hazy shade of winter with none other than the fab females of The Bangles. Rapturous joy was abound for a 23-song set that featured hit after hit.
Beginning with their glorious cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “A Hazy Shade of Winter,” there were memory-stirring songs throughout the night. The dynamic trio of guitarist Susanna Hoffs, guitarist Vicki Peterson and drummer Debbi Peterson kept the 1980s alive and reminded the crowd that they can still craft great pop. Continue reading →