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Five Years of Philly DIY: A musician’s perspective

Party Photographers at The Ox in 2010 | Photo by John Vettese
Party Photographers at The Ox in 2010 | Photo by John Vettese

In the wake of West Philly’s celebrated Golden Tea House closing its doors this winter, I’m torn between nostalgia and the hope that it’s not some trend of unconventional, all-ages venues throwing in the towel. In my heart of hearts I know that every time a DIY venue shuts down a demon gets it’s bat-wings or something, and there will be five more to take its place in a year or so. I hope so, anyway.

An intense show at the dearly departed Terrordome | photo via myspace.com/terrordomepa

This article will reminisce about the show houses that, in my opinion as a lowly musician, have dominated the Philly DIY “scene” the past four or five years. May this also be a rallying call to any person out there thinking about doing something similar: do it!

Get a PA, book a few bands to play in your kitchen or basement, make a rad flyer, invite everyone you know. You’ll be so happy you did, and if you just keep at it, this city will support you and you can eventually become as awesome (or more so) than the places in this article. GO! Continue reading →

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In light of Golden Tea House closing, First Unitarian Church shows are (sort of) making a comeback

FIDLAR at First Unitarian Church
FIDLAR at First Unitarian Church

In its nearly three-year existence, the West Philly DIY venue Golden Tea House was able to transform the scene by packing in names, small and big, each week. As someone who just moved to Philly this year for school, the GTH was one of my first house show experiences and allowed me in to their all-ages space with open arms.

The announcement of the GTH closing was something to be expected, yet at the same time caught off-guard due to the number of shows they already had booked. And as a close-knit music scene, we’ve seen in the past week many of Philly’s DIY venues jump into action to pick up the former GTH shows. One of the more unexpected venues to come out of the woodwork is the First Unitarian Church, which is mostly booked by R5 Productions. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Sidekicks at Golden Tea House, Suburban Living at Bourbon & Branch, Hamilton Leithauser at Johnny Brenda’s and more…

The Sidekicks
The Sidekicks | photo via Facebook

Ohio band The Sidekicks headline a stacked bill at Golden Tea House. They’re on tour in support of Runners In the Nerved World, their new LP that was just released through Epitaph Records. The Sidekicks have nearly become honorary Philadelphians through a friendship with Hop Along, who they invited on the road for a handful of tours over the last couple of years. Listen to “Deer” from the new record below and get more info on tonight’s show with Cayetana and All Dogs here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jacqueline Constance at The Fire, Readership at Bourbon and Branch, Goat Mumbles at Golden Tea House

Jacqueline Constance | photo via twitter.com/JacqConMusic
Jacqueline Constance | photo via twitter.com/JacqConMusic

Emerging Philly soul queen Jacqueline Constance headlines The Fire tonight with the arty and adventurous Brielle. Last year, the South Philly singer and songwriter released The Jacqueline Show, an imaginative album that blended positive melodies, slice-of-life storytelling and Constance’s voice (which reminds us of a young Jill Scott). Check out the video for “Good Life” (featuring Antwan Davis) below, and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Go through Cave People’s home movies on the new “Brace” video

Cave People by Gabrielle Elizabeth Photography
Cave People by Gabrielle Elizabeth Photography

We see flickery VHS footage of cats, puzzles, brick walls and David Tomaine strumming his guitar in the new video from Scranton transplants Cave People. The band released its debut EP on Tuesday via Stereophonodon Records and dropped a video for the single “Brace,” directed by Matt Schimelfenig of Three Man Cannon. It has a look like Tomaine and Schimelfenig went through a box of old home movies to compile source material, feeling at once nostalgic, surreal and DIY, a sweet compliment to Tomaine’s languid and jangling emo / punk.

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Cayetana puts on a brilliant show for a brilliant album

photo by Rachel Del Sordo
photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordophotography.com

The Golden Tea House was packed from wall to wall Sunday night as local favorites Cayetana celebrated the release of their debut full length album Nervous like Me on Tiny Engines Records. The band decked the halls with tons of personal touches, hanging balloons and streamers along with and supplying the show with a keg of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. It was truly a celebration of the scene that brought their record into fruition, and the band even presented trophies to people who help make the Philly punk scene happen. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cayetana at Golden Tea House, Papercuts at Johnny Brenda’s, Rocco DeLuca at Tin Angel

Photo by Mary Ferrigno | via facebook.com/cayetana
Photo by Mary Ferrigno | via facebook.com/cayetana

Philly-based punk trio Cayetana will celebrate the release of their latest album, Nervous Like Me, tonight at Golden tea House The show will kick off at 7:30 PM with a suggested donation of $7.00.  The ladies have been making big waves in the Philadelphia music scene as of late and have been busy this past year playing shows, producing a music video for “Hot Dad Calendar” (check it out below) and getting picked up by Tiny Engines Records. For tickets and more information, head on over to the XPN Concert Calendar or check out their Facebook event page. Continue reading →