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Weekend Picks: The Low Anthem at First Unitarian Church + AMP! All-Ages Summit at The Rotunda, 2-Piece Fest at The Ox

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25
WXPN Welcomes Providence, RI’s The Low Anthem, which is touring behind its brand-new album, Smart Flesh. Former Low Anthem member Daniel Lefkowitz—who wrote the fan favorite “This God Damn House”—opens. The Low Anthem performs with Bobby and Daniel Lefkowitz at 8 p.m. at First Unitarian Church; tickets to the all-ages show are $15.

Also playing: Michael Showalter at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, SOLD OUT); KFN; Revolver + Jac, When I Was 12 at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10); Flogging Molly + Moneybrother, The Drowning Men at Electric Factory (7 p.m., SOLD OUT); Creepoid + Invisible Days, The Vandelles, Lux Perpetua at Tritone (9 p.m., 21+)

Two-Piece Fest 4

Photo by John Vettese

2-Piece Fest 4 begins at 2 p.m. Sat., 2/26, at The Ox

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26
Why put up with multiple rock-star-wannabe egos and haul around a ton of music equipment when you could keep things simple and start a duo? This year’s Two-Piece Fest features close to two dozen local-ish acts who, for whatever reason, decided two musicians was enough. The massive lineup—which features Slutever, The Joint Chiefs Of Math, Hulk Smash, Best Friends, and Peter And Craig—might feel overwhelming; when you’ve got that many bands on one fest’s bill, excessive delays seem like an inevitability. But that’s just another one of the many benefits of being in a two-piece: You’re able to set up, play your set, and break down with a minimum of time and effort. The performances begin at 2 p.m. at The Ox; tickets to the all-ages show are $8.

Anyone who’s been denied entrance to a live-music performance because they were underage doesn’t need to be reminded about the importance of all-ages shows. Whether you’re currently under 21+ and want to vent your frustrations (while discussing alternatives), or are over 21 and want to share your own experiences, tonight’s All-Ages Movement Project‘s East Coast Summit has plenty to offer. Dischord Records co-founder Ian MacKaye will be the keynote speaker at tonight’s event, which will also feature live performances by Philly’s own Slutever and SGNLS. Other confirmed speakers include R5 Productions‘ Andy Nelson, Sugar Town’s Sara Sherr, Fredericksburg All Ages‘ Adam Bray, and Girls Rock Philly!‘s Beth Warshaw-Duncan; Grace Ambrose, who organized last week’s panel discussion with Kathleen Hanna and Sara Marcus, will moderate the discussion. The event begins at 5 p.m. at The Rotunda; tickets to the all-ages event are $10-$15 (which includes a copy of AMP’s book, In Every Town: An All-Ages Music Manifesto).

Also playing: The John Byrne Band + Citizens Band Radio at World Cafe Live (9 p.m., $13-$18); Franz Nicolay + David Dondero at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, $8); Do You Need The Service +Univox, The Better Letters at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10)

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 27
WXPN Welcomes Steve Earle, who performs at Johnny Brenda’s tonight as part of a benefit for Witness To Innocence. (WTI is a national organization “founded by, led by, and composed of exonerated death row survivors” that seeks “to abolish the death penalty, to conduct self-advocacy campaigns to win just compensation for the exonerated, and to build a peer-support community of exonerated death row survivors and their loved ones; you can read more about the organization here.) Steve Earle performs at Johnny Brenda’s at 7 p.m.; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT.

Also playing: “Three-Piece Fest” at Danger Danger Gallery (7 p.m., $5-$10); Folkadelphia presents Meg Baird + Arborea at Johnny Brenda’s JB’s (1 p.m., 7 p.m.); Blood Features + The Cobbs, Dressed Like Stolen Cars at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $5)

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Ian MacKaye to speak at the All-Ages Movement Project’s East Coast Summit at The Rotunda

Ian MacKayeIan MacKaye—co-founder of Dischord Records, former member of Minor Threat and Embrace, current member of Fugazi (on indefinite hiatus) and The Evens, and all-around DIY icon—has just been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the All-Ages Movement Project‘s East Coast Summit. The event, which is being organized by Exotic Fever Records co-founder (and Trophy Wife drummer) Katy Otto, will be held at The Rotunda on Saturday, February 26th.

The summit will feature “[a]n evening of panels, speakers, training, networking and live music designed for staff, volunteers, allies, and fans of all-ages music venues and youth music organizations.” AMP says the goal is for participants to “[h]ear what your peers around the region are doing, learn how we can take collective action to advance the field, and strengthen young people’s access to the tools of participatory cultural production.” Other confirmed speakers include R5 Productions‘ Andy Nelson, Sugar Town’s Sara Sherr, Fredericksburg All Ages‘ Adam Bray, and Girls Rock Philly!‘s Beth Warshaw-Duncan; Grace Ambrose, who organized last week’s panel discussion with Kathleen Hanna and Sara Marcus, will moderate the discussion. As if that list of local names isn’t impressive enough, the summit will also feature performances by Philadelphia’s own Slutever and SGNLS. The sliding-scale admission of $10-$15 will also get you a copy of AMP’s book, In Every Town: An All-Ages Music Manifesto.

If you’re currently under 21, you probably don’t need us to tell you why all-ages shows are of critical importance to the local music community; the frustration and disappointment that comes with not being able to see one of your favorite bands perform live (because you’re not legally old enough to buy a beer from the venue) is likely a regular occurrence. And, if you’re 21+, it shouldn’t take much more than a quick reminder of that experience to stir up the old frustration. Needless to say, it’s an important cause, so you can expect plenty of reminders and other related coverage from us in the next week and a half.

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: Girls Rock Philly! benefit show w/Trophy Wife, Cat Vet, Whore Paint, and Slutever at The Rotunda

GRP Benefit ShowAs we mentioned this morning, tonight’s must-see “Revolution Girl Style Again” panel discussion (simulcast via streaming video at The Rotunda) is immediately followed by a Girls Rock Philly! benefit show. The lineup features three local acts—Trophy Wife, Cat Vet, and Slutever—as well as Providence, RI’s Whore Paint. I won’t even bother trying to tone down my unbridled enthusiasm for tonight’s discussion + concert one-two combo; February 8th has been circled on my calendar since the moment I first found out about the two events. Between the speakers, the musical acts, the venues, and the organizations involved, it promises to be an invigorating evening on multiple levels. So, basically, if you didn’t have any plans for tonight, you do now—and, if you had plans for that didn’t include The Rotunda, you should change them. Trophy Wife, Cat Vet, Slutever, and Whore Paint perform at 8 p.m. at The Rotunda; tickets to the all-ages show are $5 (all proceeds benefit Girls Rock Philly!).

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Watch tonight’s “Revolution Girl Style Again” panel discussion live (via streaming video feed) at The Rotunda

The list for tonight’s “Revolution Girl Style Again” panel discussion at The Kelly Writer’s House was already close to filled by the time we posted about it a month ago; since then, event organizers have been searching for a way to accommodate the many other people who want to attend the talk but can’t fit into the small-capacity venue. Well, here’s some great news for anyone who wasn’t able to secure a seat in advance: The discussion—which features Bikini Kill/Le Tigre frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, Girls To The Front: The True Story Of The Riot Grrrl Revolution author Sara Marcus, Exotic Fever Records co-founder Katy Otto, and Girls Rock Philly! founder Beth Warshaw-Duncan—will be screened live via a streaming video feed at 6 p.m. at The Rotunda. (You can also watch the discussion at home.)

Following the discussion, The Rotunda will host a Girls Rock Philly! benefit concert featuring local acts Trophy Wife, Cat Vet, and Slutever, as well as Providence, RI’s Whore Paint. So, even if you couldn’t get a seat to the pre-concert discussion at The Kelly Writer’s House, you’ll likely have the best seat in the house for the show at The Rotunda.

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RSVP to the “Revolution Girl Style Again” panel conference feat. Kathleen Hanna, Sara Marcus, + more

If you’re a product of, inspired by, or simply interested in the Riot Grrrl feminist punk movement of the early ’90s and haven’t already picked up a copy of Sara Marcus’ Girls To The Front: The True Story Of The Riot Grrrl Revolution (released last September by Harper Perennial) you probably owe it to yourself to do so. And make sure to read it by February 8th, when Marcus—along with Bikini Kill/Le Tigre frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, Philly (by way of D.C.) musician and Exotic Fever Records co-founder Katy Otto, and Girls Rock Philly founder Beth Warshaw-Duncan—drops by the Kelly Writers House‘s Arts Cafe (3805 Locust Walk) on The University Of Pennsylvania campus for a panel discussion.

From the event organizers:

On Tuesday, February 8, beginning at 6:00 p.m., we’ll be celebrating and investigating all things Riot Grrrl. REVOLUTION GIRL STYLE AGAIN brings together a panel of national and local experts on this two-decade-old musical-feminist movement, a cross-section of musicians, writers, and activists featuring KATHLEEN HANNA, SARA MARCUS, KATY OTTO, and BETH WARSHAW-DUNCAN…Organized by this year’s Kerry Prize winner Grace Ambrose (C ’11), the event will culminate in a concert at the Rotunda, open to all. This event is part of Penn Women’s Week.

Author Sara Marcus will read from her critically acclaimed Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution and moderate a discussion among legendary Riot Grrrl musician Kathleen Hanna, activist and founder of Exotic Fever Records Katy Otto and the founder of Girls Rock! Philly, Beth Warshaw-Duncan. Topics will range from discussion of the panelists own participation in the movement to what women in music can and should be doing today. A concert at the Rotunda (4014 Walnut) will follow, featuring Philadelphia bands Trophy Wife and Cat Vet, as well as Providence’s Whore Paint, with all proceeds benefiting the Girls Rock! Philly organization, which encourages teenage girls to pick up instruments and start bands.

Full details (including speaker bios) can be found here. Seats are extremely limited at this point, so you should RSVP by emailing wh@writing.upenn.edu or calling (215) 746-POEM.

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Philly Local Philes: Attia Taylor’s “Wonder The Wonderful”

Attia TaylorMusically speaking, there’s no one else quite like Attia Taylor in the Philly scene right now. The electro-pop artist (and Girls Rock Philly! graduate) deals in catchy, deconstructed audio collages—but what makes Attia unique is the joy she injects into a typically clinical and detached genre. Her songs bubble over with bliss, exhibiting a singular sense of discovery and wide-eyed wonderment that practically shouts, “Wow, look what I can do with all these sounds!” Hence, we’re spotlighting “Wonder The Wonderful,” a track from her most recent EP, Short Stories And Small Glories. (Both Short Stories and last year’s Dear Universe are available as free downloads from Attia’s Bandcamp page.) Attia Taylor performs with Vintage Kicks, Hemming And Hawing, and Velvet Crayon, Tuesday, December 14th at North Star Bar; tickets to the 21+ show are $7.


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Sign up for Ladies Rock Camp, help raise funds for next summer’s Girls Rock Philly Day Camp

Ladies Rock CampThis just in from Girls Rock Philly! (which, earlier this month, wrapped up its 2010 camp with a record-release show at Johnny Brenda’s): The music and mentoring nonprofit organization is now accepting applications for its second annual Ladies Rock Camp, which will take place at Freire Charter School next February, culminating in a showcase performance at Tritone on Monday, Feb. 21st. The tuition fee of $400 will pay for one girl to attend next summer’s Girls Rock Philly! camp—which we probably don’t have to tell you is one of the most awesome initiatives in the city.

Ladies Rock Camp is open to women ages 19 and up who are ready to rock out to get the full rock camp experience. Lady rock stars will have the opportunity to learn a new instrument, improve existing skills, collaborate, write songs, attend music workshops and network with other women musicians. Campers will start a band and perform in the end of camp performance to showcase their rock ‘n’ roll skills.  Throughout the weekend, the camp will also feature workshops with topics related to being a lady rocker in addition to providing an opportunity for participants to network with other women musicians in their area.

You can find more—including online registration info—at the GRP website.

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This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Amos Lee, Girls Rock Philly, Clinic, East Hundred

Amos Lee
Amos Lee performs 11/5 at Patriots Theater

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5
Amos Lee‘s new album, Mission Bell, is set to drop on January 25, 2011. What’s the best way to describe our feelings on the upcoming release? We tremble with delight? Wait with bated breath? Quiver with anticipation? Either way, the next two and a half months promise to be long ones. Thankfully, we can pass the time by continuing to post about Amos every time he sneezes. Amos Lee performs at 8 p.m. at Patriots Theater; tickets to the show are $30.

Also playing: Arlo Guthrie at The Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., $29.50-$46.50); Land Of Talk + Suuns, Little Scream at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $12); The Summer Set + Stereo Skyline, Mod Sun, The Downtown Fiction, Austin Gibbs at First Unitarian Church (6:30 p.m., all ages, $12)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6
The local music scene of tomorrow will be on proud display tonight when a handful of young, all-girl acts from this summer’s Girls Rock Philly band camp perform at the program’s record-release show. 10 years from now, you’ll probably be watching 3-D music videos and listening to song clips (via an MP3 player embedded in your ear) by half of these bands on whatever has replaced Pitchfork. So you might as well get on board now—that way, you can up your ahead-of-the-curve cred by claiming you were a fan of these kids before they even hit their teens (much less put out their first 7-inch). The Girls Rock Philly Second Annual Record-Release Show begins at noon; tickets to the all-ages show are $5.

Also playing: Clinic + The Fresh And Onlys, Nothing at Johnny Brenda’s (9:30 p.m., 21+, $13-$14); Priestess + Na’am, Warshack at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $10)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7
Local pop quintet (and WXPN favorite) East Hundred—which is reportedly hard at work writing material for its upcoming fourth release—stops by Kung Fu Necktie. It’s been almost two years since the band released Passenger back in January of 2009; though we could keep listening to “Slow Burning Chimes” on a daily basis (as we have for, uh, almost two years now), we’re looking forward to hearing the new batch of songs. East Hundred performs with Break Mission, Turning Violet Violet at 8 p.m.; tickets to the 21+ show are $5.

Also playing: Caithlin De Marrais + Everyone Everywhere, Jet Set Sail, Bearings at The Trocadero (7:30 p.m., all ages, $8); Man Or Astroman? + Dexter Romweber Trio, Nightmare Waterfall at First Unitarian Church (7:30 p.m., all ages, $15)

“Slow Burning Crimes” from East Hundred on Vimeo.

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Sneak Preview: Girls Rock Philly releases new track from upcoming compilation CD

Girls Rock Philly‘s CD-release show at Johnny Brenda’s isn’t until Saturday, November 6th. But, if you’re as excited about the showcase as we are, you’ll be stoked to hear that the folks at GRP were kind enough to send us one of the tracks from the upcoming album. You can listen to it below.

If you’re not already familiar with the program, the organizers lay things out pretty clearly on their website: “Girls Rock Philly (GRP) is an initiative to bring Philadelphia a girls-only, week-long summer day camp serving junior rockers ages 9-17. Led by a team of all female instructors & band coaches, girls in the program learn how to play musical instruments, write songs, make their own band merchandise, discover other women in rock & finesse their on-stage jump kicks.” So, basically, it’s one of the more awesome things currently going on in Philly’s local music scene.

There are so many different things to like about the program that we have a hard time figuring out what our favorite aspect of it is. However, it might just be the end result. The finished songs are consistently good—not in an “Awww, cute!,” way but in a genuine, “This music is better than a lot of the stuff we find in our mailbox on any given morning.” For example, take The Darlycs—a band composed of “five girls, combined age of 50, none of whom had played their instruments before that week and all loved Dr. Who,” according to GRP Director Beth Warshaw-Duncan*. After listening to their song “Tardis,” we don’t see any reason why they couldn’t open for the next low-fi-indie-rock-band-of-the-moment to come through town. The Girls Rock Philly’s 2nd annual CD release party begins at noon on Saturday, November 6, at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the all-ages show are $5 (free for kids).

(*Full Disclosure: Girls Rock Philly Director Beth Warshaw-Duncan is WXPN’s Line Producer.)