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Tumblr of the Moment: Emily Simpson’s #worklife aka StagePatchLady

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Helping Django Django set up at the stage Union Transfer | Photo by Emily Simpson | stagepatchlady.tumblr.com

For concertgoers and music fans the world around, backstage has a total allure. Whether you’re giddily imagining hedonistic David Lee Roth style parties in the green room, or just an audio nerdio who relishes the tech perspective of live productions, there’s a sense of innate curiosity associated with just about everything that happens in the wings and beyond them.

For Philly’s Emily Simpson, backstage is her job; she’s a stage manager and patch tech at Union Transfer. This means she leads the bands on and offstage, works with artists and front-of-house engineers to set up their gear in the most efficient way, makes sure microphones and cables are plugged in properly and don’t clutter the performance area, cleans up spilled beer during the show, et cetera. “I’m kind of a jack of all trades,” she laughs. And her phone is always at her side, meaning she gets to shoot pictures from an angle that the general public doesn’t usually get to see.

Simpson recently collected these photos into a new Tumblr called #worklife – named for the hashtag she uses to organize the photos on her Instagram account – and it’s a lively behind-the-scenes view of one of the busiest mid-size venues in the region. She writes that the site “is designed as a way for me to curate those pictures as well as the memories attached to them.” For each photo she posts, she shares thoughts on what it depicts – whether its a short and general memory of the concert or a indepth and specific description of what we’re seeing. “I never really realized just how many stories I had associated with each show until I did this,” Simpson tells us.

As she writes on its about page, the blog is essentially “part self-serving reflection, part archiving exercise, all a little bit ridiculous.” Take a look at some of Simpson’s photos below, and follow the entire collection at stagepatchlady.tumblr.com. Continue reading →

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Frightened Rabbit play Electric Factory this October (tickets on sale 6/22)

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Frightened Rabbit performs Free at Noon | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Frightened Rabbit truly live up to their name, constantly touring and releasing new material.  In the last year alone, they’ve released three EPs and an album, their most recent being Late March, Death March.  Today, the group announced a show at Philly’s Electric Factory October 27th.  This is one band you don’t want to miss live; their shows are always energetic, passionate and full of Scottish accents.  Tickets go on sale June 22nd.  Below, watch their new video for “Late March, Death March” and hear the airy and somber tune, “Architect,” played with The Manchester Orchestra from their latest EP.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Postal Service at The Mann Center, Ian Mclagan at The Tin Angel, Black Flag at Union Transfer

Photo Credit: Brian Tamborello
Photo Credit: Brian Tamborello

They may not have played together since 2003, but this year The Postal Service – the one-off project of Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Dntel’s Jimmy Tamborello – have reunited for a large tour, including a stop at The Mann Center.  Tonight, you can hear the stunning electronic pop group play songs from their amazing (and only) album Give Up.  With such a great headliner and Ra Ra Riot as the opening band, this is a show you really don’t want to miss.  Click here for more information and tickets.


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Washed Out is back with a new album and tour dates (playing Union Transfer on 9/19)

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The summer of 2011 brought about one of the shortest lived events in music history: The Summer of Chillwave.  Groups like Small Black, Toro y Moi and Washed Out released albums of relaxed, droning, electronic music perfect for laying down on a beach in the summer heat and just losing yourself.  But it seems as though many musicians weren’t content to simply be labeled “chillwave” and, as these groups begin to release their sophomore albums, their sound seems to have changed over the past few years.  Earnest Greene of Washed Out is no exception.  After releasing his gorgeous debut album Within and Without in 2011, Greene is finally ready to release his follow-up titled, Paracosm and it seems like his sound has evolved in the past few years.  In order to ditch the chillwave label, this new album is filled with many new instruments and sounds, though thankfully it still features the smooth voice of Greene.  Yesterday, Greene released the first single, “It All Feels Right” from the album, along with a lyric video.  The sunny new song features layers and layers of sound unlike any of Washed Out’s previous work. Sounding closer to a remix of The Beatles circa Revolver than previous Washed Out music, the new single is just as beautiful and warm as any of his previous work.  Check out the video below and be sure to catch Washed Out when he stops by Philly September 19th at Union Transfer.

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Chance the Rapper on tour with Mac Miller and Meek Mill (playing Festival Pier on 7/13)

While Chance the Rapper has yet to release an official album, he has put out two stunning mix-tapes, including Acid Rap which was released online a few months ago.  As young as he is, this Chicago kid knows how to rhyme, proving it as he rapidly spits out lines to the beat of funky rhythms and occasional yelps among a star-studded crew of featured artists.  Now he’s going on tour with Mac Miller, adding other rap stars along the way including Philly’s own Meek Mill.  He’ll be playing Festival Pier July 13th.  Tickets and info can be found here, and you can check out the whole mixtape below, or download it here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Devendra Banhart at Union Transfer and Peace at Johnny Brenda’s

File:Devendra Banart Mala cover.jpgDevendra Banhart has been around for a while now, but it doesn’t look like he plans on slowing down any time soon.  In March, he released his eighth studio album Mala.  Called his most coherent album to date, Mala is a unique blend of strong lyrics, trippy psych-folk and indie rock.  In support of the album, Devendra is heading on tour and one stop includes Union Transfer tonight.  For tickets and info, go here.  For a taste of the new album, check out “Never Seen Such Good Things” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mobb Deep at the Blockley, Free Time and Johnny Brenda’s, Arborea at The Fire Museum, Ariel Pink at Union Transfer

Legendary rap duo Mobb Deep head to Philly tonight for a show at The Blockley.  Known for their dark lyrics, Mobb Deep became rap icons in the 90s and, minus a brief breakup, have been making great music for the past twenty years. They are geared up to release a new album very soon.  Playing along with up-and-coming Philly rapper Mic Stewart, this is one Sunday show you can’t afford to miss.

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TJ Kong Presents: Beer Week events!

Philly Beer Week Garden at The Headhouse Shambles

Philly Beer Week runs through June the 9th, and it’s an event where you can find great local beer, food and free music at Headhouse on Second Street.  Every day from 5 – 8 p.m., artists like Cold Fronts, Swift Technique, Ali Wadsworth, New Sweden and The Lawsuits will perform.  It’s all curated by Phillies’ own eclectic rock band TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb (who have their own show Thursday at 10).  It all culminates with a giant party Saturday at the City Tap House featuring a few other bands like The Fleeting Ends, Thee Idea Men and Ang and the Damn Band.  It’s a week of fantastic music, fun and free admission.  Go here for more information, stop by this week to see some great local music, and watch TJ Kong’s “Aincent Road Blues” video below.

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