Tonight, M.I.A. graces the Tower Theater stage and fans (old and new) should, as always, expect a little bit of everything from the singer-songwriter’s genre-bending music. On her latest album Matangi, it’s clear that her sound is still a hybrid of electronic, pop, hip-hop and world music. Best known for her 2007 platinum hit “Paper Planes”, M.I.A. isn’t a traditional singer or rapper; she’s crafted a style that’s somewhere in between and it’s infectious. Watch “Y.A.L.A.” below and get tickets here
Last Thursday evening, Philly’s finest honky-tonk rock ‘n’ rollers Low Cut Connie strutted into Lancaster and ruffled up the evocative atmosphere of one-of-a-kind bar and carpentry Tellus 360. Still celebrating their Harry Nilsson tribute This Is A Town, and sharing the stage with York/Philly’s psychedelic instrumentalists Sprinter Cat, the evening was truly a performance of phenomenal keyed-up rockers just having fun.
Sprinter Cat took to the makeshift stage first, complete with a Hammond organ adorn in Christmas lights. “This song is about taking mushrooms for the first time and listening to Brittany Spears in a car,” zesty organist and band frontman Al Smith (better known for his percussion skills in The Cold Fronts) stated before plunging into a radical instrumental journey of guitar riffs, bongo beats, and resonating organ melodies. Getting good vibes and head nods from the modest crowd, Sprinter Cat played a fantastic set of a sound reminiscent to the Jerry Garcia Band and Grateful Dead.
Next up came over the top, party lovers Low Cut Connie. Keeping the posh ambiance for a “classier crowd” than he expected, modern day “piano man” Adam Weiner started off the set with “Shit, Shower and Shave” from 2011 debut album Get Out The Lotion. Making up for the lack of dancing by a laidback Lancaster crowd, the eccentric five piece band jumped about the stage while playing all-around favorites like “Boozophilia.” Not holding anything back at a place where everyone might not know his name, Weiner pulled out some impressive moves atop his piano bench; showing off his flexibility and a little skin. “I’m going to tell you some strange things men do” proclaimed Weiner, as he launched into a song about a Tina Turner drag queen, “Shake It Little Tina.” Maybe it was the high energy, well-humored raunchiness, or just the alcohol kicking in, the newfound Low Cut Connie fans in the room finally loosened up to a knee bouncing, chair dancing groove, cheering for more as the band announced their return May 1st.
The rigorous rhythms and party atmosphere of Red Baraat stole the show at last summer’s XPoNential Music Festival, and they’ll return to town tonight for their Festival of Colors show at Underground Arts. Part of the band’s mission is celebrating bhangra music and introducing it to new audiences, and the motivation behind the Festival comes from a similar place. With featured openers Mandeep Sethi and Falu, Red Baraat wants to shine a spotlight on less-heard / less-seen South Asian artists in general. Read more in Shaun Brady’s writeup on the Festival, and get tickets and information at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Philly rockers Low Cut Connie show off their broad-ranging tastes on a new tribute to storied troubadour Harry Nilsson. Out this week via Royal Potato Family records, This is the Town: A Tribute to Nilsson (Volume 1) features 20 artists including Langhorne Slim, Tracy Bonham, Willy Mason and Low Cut Connie doing a rendition of “Jump Into The Fire” from Nilsson Schmilsson.
When what he likes about Nilsson, Adam Weiner told us “He wrote, sung, partied and lived with equal parts sweetness, paranoia and pure chutzpah. We wanted to capture that in order to remind people that the man could rock & roll pretty good.”
Weiner goes on to say that the song’s inclusion in a Martin Scorcese classic made it an easy choice when tribute producer Kenny Siegal asked the band to take part.
“Goodfellas is my favorite movie and the iconic helicopter coke deal scene with ‘Jump Into the Fire’ is an all-timer,” Weiner says. This scene gets a nod midway through the cover’s new Josh Weisgrau-directed music video, which we’re premiering below. “Hopefully, Ray Liotta doesn’t sue us.”
The video also features plenty of local live footage shot by Weisgrau and Douglas Herman at locales like Johnny Brenda’s, World Cafe Live at the Queen and what appears to be a block party in Fishtown. “We love putting our Philly fans in our videos,” Weiner says. “They are the saltiest, weirdest, most unhinged individuals and we love them all!”
Check out the “Jump in the Fire” video below and order the Nilsson tribute here. Low Cut Connie leaves for its South By Southwest tour later this month, but returns to the area on March 27th for a headlining show at Tellus 360 in Lancaster.
Old school rock ‘n’ roll outfit Low Cut Connie is playing at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. With a tone like an upbeat “Piano Man” it’s no wonder that the honky tonk group’s whimsical tribute to Philadelphia “Boozophilia,” off of Call Me Sylvia, reached number 31 on Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Songs of 2012″ list. Just last month the band premiered their cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into the Fire” from their forthcoming tribute album via Rolling Stone. Get ready for their Philly show by listening a live performance of the new track below. Find details and tickets here.
Tonight, Low Cut Connie will play Underground Arts. The rag-tag Philly crew plays honky tonk rock that immediately feels catchy and welcoming, as we saw in their Free at Noon show not long ago. The group’s latest release is Call Me Sylvia, which finds them just as energetic as ever. Aside from their studio work, Low Cut Connie is an incredible live band, and this is a show you won’t want to miss. Click here for ticket information and check out this Philadelphia-inspired video below, which will also give you a slight taste of their live energy.
Featuring members from The Weeds, Birdie Busch’s band and Buried Beds, Divers are about as local as a group of musicians can get. Their music falls somewhere in between folk, rock and a little country and can go from ambient tones to straight up rock in a heartbeat. They’re playing at Johnny Brenda’s tonight; for more information on the 21+ show, click here. Below, watch Divers perform “Take Me Back” for Kettle Pot Tracks’ studio’s On the Hill series.