This Place Is Real Fest Makes a statement for the suburban DIY music scene

The Sixties at Fennario | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
The Sixties at Fennario | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo |

This Place Is Real Fest brought three days worth of DIY bands to the intimate second floor space of Fennario Coffee Shop in West Chester over this past weekend, and displayed some of the great talent from our area’s young musicians. Starting on Thursday, hometown pop punk heroes, Spraynard, played a surprise set alongside other local bands, while Friday saw sets from a great selection of mostly touring bands. Saturday rounded out the festival with performances by younger bands from the area, all of which impressed the crowd with their unique styles of rock. Continue reading →


The Key Studio Sessions: No Stranger

I first caught Jonathan Cooney onstage in the basement of the First Unitarian Church in the spring, performing a set as No Stranger at one of music / education nonprofit The Quarterly’s fundraising showcases. It seemed, in a peculiar way, like I’d been transported to a Church show some ten or fifteen years earlier. Cooney’s style – intricate, acrobatic guitar playing with soaring and emotive vocals – is firmly rooted in the emo / acoustic era of the early thousands, stuff like Jonah Matranga, The Weakerthans, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes and so on. It’s bittersweet, sensitive, contemplative and totally engaging. Continue reading →