Matt Marchinowski of Big School Records is moving out of Philadelphia. To celebrate his time here, Marchinowski has pieced together a snapshot of the local music scene with a 27-track mixtape called Philamixington II, available as a free download via his Tumblr. The second installment in the local music mixtape series, this collection samples various genres, circles and side projects with tracks from radio favorites like Cheers Elephant (pictured), basement staples Roof Doctor and The Hundred Acre Woods and new-projects-from-old-buddies like Avery Rosewater. From Marchinowski:
Although April will see my moving out of Philadelphia for the peaceful confines of the sticks I will still consider its scene ‘home’. It wasn’t easy narrowing this collection down to 27 jawns but I can assure you it won’t be the last notch in the Philamixington series.
Download the full mixtape for free on Beat the Indie Drum here and stream a sampling of the tracks below. The first Philamixington set can be downloaded here.
West Philly’s long-standing punk rock frat Pi Lam threw its annual Human BBQ celebration (35 years strong!) this weekend with a stacked lineup of Philadelphia favorites like Cold Fronts, Norwegian Arms and Ghost Light as well as out-of-town artists like Delicate Steve. Check out scenes from the day-long musical endurance test in the gallery above.
There are plenty of reasons for a band to head out on tour: the lure of the open road, the promise of new fans in new cities, the release that comes from jumping on stage and rocking out, after spending all day crammed into a van. And then of course, there are the pitfalls: constantly lugging around heavy gear and equipment, sleeping in the van or on strangers’ floors, getting lost or breaking down in strange cities with poor cell phone reception.
When it comes to both highlights and headaches, Philly’s Cold Fronts have experienced it all. The fun-loving foursome might still be up-and-comers on the local scene, but when it comes to hitting the road, they’re quickly becoming masters, having just completed their second, epic, month-long tour (with a stop at SXSW in mid-March), and already looking to book another. So how does an unsigned band with no manager, no PR firm, and no booking agent, manage to make it work? I caught up with front man Craig Almquist to divulge his secrets—and share some of his most (and least!) fun moments of tour. Continue reading →
New Jersey experimental / instrumental outfit Delicate Steve put on a hypnotic and absolutely transcendent performance at PhilaMOCA last time they were in Philly, and local live session crew Out Of Town Films were on hand to record the sound check. The Luaka Bop artists are continuing to tour in support of 2012′s phenomenal Positive ForceLP and will join Norwegian Arms, Cold Fronts, Total Slacker, Banned Books and more at Pi Lam’s Human BBQ XXXV on Saturday, April 6th. Tickets and information for the event can be found here. Watch Out Of Town Films’ recording of “Afria Talks to You” from Positive Force below and dig into Delicate Steve’s approach to both their music and their image with Nikki Volpicelli’s interview for The Key here.
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts gets underway this Thursday, March 28th and will run through April 27th. With homebase returning to The Kimmel Center and a new theme of time travel this year, the month-long event will use performances, lectures and exihibitions to explore past moments in history including the discovery of America, the lunar landing and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Below, check out a few musical highlights that you won’t want to miss, including a selection of free concerts happening in the Kimmel Center’s “Time Travel Plaza” (where you will also find a spiraling time machine).
Last Call at the Downbeat (4/5-4/13, Red Room at the Society Hill Playhouse): Learn about Philadelphia’s jazz scene in the forties with this staged retrospective of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Watch a short video about the play from show producers Jazz Bridge below.
Prima! Rufus! Judy! (4/21, Verizon Hall): Rufus Wainwright reprises Judy Garland’s return to the stage with selections from her 1961 Carnegie Hall performance. The evening will begin with excerpts from Wainwright’s own opera Prima Donna. Watch Wainwright perform “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” below.
The music portion of the Austin’s annual South by Southwest festival kicks off today, and many of our city’s finest up-and-coming bands have been spent the last week crammed in hatchbacks or vans with amps and instruments, making their trek to Texas. Several have, over the past couple years, recorded Key Sessions in our studio, and today we present you with a downloadable sampler of artists who are repping Philly in in Austin this week.
Beginning with a snappy performance of “Jackie” by Philly pop-rockers Cold Fronts, who won a JanSport competition to be a SXSW featured artist, all the way to the doom-y “Downward Years to Come” from Nothing, it showcases some of the rock (Cheers Elephant), hip-hop (Lushlife) and punk (Lantern) Philly bands on the various bills across Austin. Listen to the set below, download at Soundcloud. And check out some bonus video after the Jump – West Philly’s Waxahatchee performs a ton of shows this week, including an NPR Music showcase with Nick Cave tomorrow, while Bleeding Rainbow is making the rounds as well. See videos of the former playing “Dark Moon” in our studio and the latter tearing up “Get Lost” at Johnny Brenda’s.
Ahead of their Free at Noon appearance tomorrow, The James Hunter Six play an XPN Welcomes show at World Cafe Live tonight. The British R&B musician released his full-length Minute By Minute earlier this week, his first studio album in five years. Hunter got his start playing in the clubs of Central London and eventually caught the ear of Van Morrison, who took the soul singer on tour with him and sang on some of Hunter’s early records. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here. Stream “Minute By Minute” below and download the new single here.
It’s a big night for local music – Tri State Indie will hold their second annual awards show at World Cafe Live, hosted by Toy Soldiers‘ Ron Gallo. With performances by New Sweden (last year’s Delaware Indie Band of the Year), Cold Fronts and more, the event includes a red carpet walk with professional photographers and gift bag for all attendees. Check out a list of all the nominees here. Tickets and information can be found here. Below, watch Band of the Year hopefuls Toy Soldiers perform “Tell the Teller” / “Forget How it Used to Be” at World Cafe Live.
Virginia’s Eternal Summers play Kung Fu Necktie tonight with Carousel and Wrong World. The dream / power pop trio are touring behind their 2012 sophomore album Correct Behavior. With frontwoman Nicole Yun’s sweetly confident vocals spurred on by the aggressive guitar riffs and rhythms of drummer Daniel Cundiff and bassist Jonathan Woods, Eternal Summers blend twee and punk in an infectious and often surprising way. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here. Below, watch their video for “Millions” from Correct Behavior.