This week’s Key Studio Session comes courtesy of Johnny Showcase. The band has a great backstory (which you can read here) and plays great music (which you can hear below). For this session, they gave us a sneak peek of their new LP The Octopus!, out October 6th. Check out “Night of the Electric Love Phoenix” below and download the full set here.
Like many Philadelphia things absurd, wacky and theatrical, Johnny Showcase (the man / the band) got its start during Fringe Festival season. Conceived in 2009 by performance artist David Sweeny, the show was billed as “a Prince-themed odyssey” featuring Sweeny / Johnny performing alongside backing singers Rumi Kitchen (aka Michael Baker of The Spinning Leaves) and The Truth (actually two people, Adrienne Mackey and Liz Filios), as well as a band of Philly all-stars flexing their disco / funk muscle with a healthy dose of absurdist lunacy. Thing it, as jokey as it seems, the ensemble takes it completely seriously; the show went over hugely and Johnny Showcase continued forth with a regular gig at World Cafe Live upstairs, decked out in recycled 70s garb, aviator shades, gold chains, mousse, chest hair, and sick, sick musicianship. Continue reading →
Discofied lounge act Johnny Showcase and his band The Mystic Ticket open for West Philadelphia Orchestra tonight at Underground Arts. Having established themselves in Philly as both musicians and performance artists, Showcase and The Mystic Ticket have a full-length LP called Love is the Message and a few EPs under their belt. When it comes to the stage, frontman Johnny keeps things energized during his sets, which feature a combination of funk and folk, and tonight will be no exception. Watch the music video for song “Sensual, Parts 1 & 2″ below, and get tickets for this evening’s 21+ show here. Continue reading →
Johnny Showcase and his “absurdist soul” band The Mystic Ticket take over Boot & Saddle tonight. The band is prepping for the release of their new record The Octopus, which will put the steamy, colorful vibes of their live show on vinyl. Check out the title track below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.
Johnny Showcase brings his Lefty Lucy Cabaret to World Cafe Live upstairs tonight. The absurdist funk-pop-disco eight-piece will release its new record The Octopus this spring after hosting a successful Kickstarter campaign. The LP comes three years after the groups debut Love Is the Message, which they revisited last summer for the video “Hit It From the Back.” Tickets and information for tonight’s show with Timur and the Dime Museum can be found here. Watch the band perform “The Octopus” live at Johnny Brenda’s below.
Johnny Showcase is back with a new video for “Hit it From the Back,” taken from the local group’s Love is the Message album. The “funk, absurdist psychedelic soul” outfit sticks to the smooth soul line in this track as Showcase croons cheesy, faux-romantic lyrics. Think Ron Burgundy meets Flight of the Conchords meet Marvin Gaye and you’ve got the mood.
Filmed in South Philly in the Italian Market and outside of local food joints, the video captures Johnny Showcase and his Lefty Lucy Cabaret’s colorful personality perfectly. Check it out below and catch the band’s final pre-album-recording show at Underground Arts tomorrow night with West Philadelphia Orchestra. More information can be found here.
This summer, Yes!…And Collaborative Arts launches its summer camp season, bringing elementary and high school students together to learn theater skills, expand their imaginations and develop their creativity. But tonight, you can see some of the counselors (and campers) in a bit of a different setting.
“I know a lot of the kids,” said David Sweeny, the brainchild behind Johnny Showcase. “I think it’s a really special thing that kids are being allowed into a club in South Philly.”
Sweeny moved to Philly in 2000 and became involved with Yes!…And Collaborative Arts immediately. Years later, he developed an idea for a band that doubled as a sort of theatrical experience, and with the help of thespians and non-thespians alike, he started Johnny Showcase.
“What we do is definitely an extension of the stuff that [Yes!…And the Collaborative Arts] is teaching in the programs,” Sweeny said. “My thing is that I fool people who are just trying to see a rock ‘n’ roll show to see theater. I also fool people who are there to see a theatrical performance.”
Michael Brix, executive director of Yes!…And the Collaborative Arts, is also one of the founders of the organization and has known Sweeny since he joined. When Brix and other members of the nonprofit decided to organize a benefit concert, he said it was only obvious to ask Sweeny and his band to perform.
From there, he and other members chose the rest of the lineup. However, Johnny Showcase is known best for its racy and colorful performances – something not so suitable for a younger audience. But Sweeny said he “knows his audience” and is prepared to change his usual performance to something a little more family-friendly, though he’s not going “to dumb it down.”
“I guess it’s my mission to bring silliness back to the landscape to modern music,” Sweeny said.
Tonight’s show will start at 8 p.m. and the $15 tickets can be purchased here. All proceeds will go toward what Brix calls “camperships” – scholarships for kids to go to the summer camps.
The annual Art Star Craft Bazaar comes to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing on the weekend of May 10th and May 11th, and as usual, it’s chock-full of free performances from local musicians. Our friends at Philebrity curated the lineup, which features a set from editor Joey Sweeney and his band The Long Hair Arkestra; also on tap are atmosphericana rockers Oldermost, outlaw country rabble-rousers Levee Drivers, classical / jazz inspired troupe Liz and the Lost Boys, beat-driven one-man-dance-party Khari Mateen, and more. And that’s just the first day (we’re psyched to see Johnny Showcase on Sunday). Check out the full lineup and set times here, and check out music from the artists on the show below.
Funky frontman Johnny Showcase has shared a new video for “Rubber Glove” off of his Mystic Ticket I: The Pump Fake EP. Using animated footage from a 1926 German film called Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed, the video pairs Showcase’s sensual, trippy electro-soul song with colored silhouettes of the prince as he embarks on a journey filled with mystical creatures and devious beings.