Bethlehem, PA was once a towering empire, thanks to Bethlehem Steel, America’s second largest steel producer during much of the 20th century. Now, as the buildings and machinery of a bygone era rust away, a new empire is taking the reins in Bethlehem: the music scene.
With the help of annual events like Musikfest, as well as the addition of the SteelStacks and Sands Bethlehem Casino venues, Bethlehem’s music scene is growing at an astounding rate. Behind the scenes, local and underground venues are popping up all over the city. This is good news for bands that are working their way through the music world. One of these bands is indie rock outfit VoirVoir.
I had a chance to talk with one of the band’s masterminds, Matt Molchany. We chatted about the recording of VoirVoir’s debut album, their upcoming shows, and what’s happening in the Bethlehem music scene. Continue reading →
“Well my good Lord was with me tonight. Just ridin’ beside me tonight. And now were’ just talkin’, we’re hitch hiking walkin’. We’ll see you in Bethlehem tonight. And now we’re just talkin’, just hitchhiker walkin’. We’ll see you in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania tonight.”
Last night, Seth Avett enchanted the MusikFest crowd with his solo performance of “In The Curve” from The Avett Brothers‘ from 2007’s Emotionalism. It wasn’t quite what he implied while leaving The Mann Center stage in September, but Bethlehem isn’t too far off the map, and the band had the steel stacks as their backdrop as they headlined Musikfest last night. Continue reading →
Folk favorites The Avett Brothers are the headlining performers at Musikfest tonight. Last year, the band released Magpie and the Dandelion and played a phenomenal set at the Mann. Recently, Joe Kwon, the band’s cellist, explored the fusion of Korean and Southern food with Garden and Gun. In an interview with Atlanta Constitution, banjo player, and singer, Scott Avett talked about the various creative avenues he’s pursued from acting to painting, saying “Whether it’s poetry or books or something else, one thing informs the next thing.” Listen to “The Ballad of Love and Hate” from Emotionalism below. Get more info at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Steely Dan have been added to the lineup for this summer’s Musikfest, and are playing the Sands Steel Stage on Wednesday, August 6th. Tickets for the public go on sale Monday, April 18th at 10AM. Steely Dan are the latest headliners to be added to the 31st edition of Musikfest, happening August 1-10th in Bethlehem. The ten day festival will feature more than 500 musical performances on 14 stages throughout the city. Other headliners announced so far include:
August 1: ZZ Top
August 4: Sheryl Crow
August 5: The Moody Blues
August 7: The Avett Brothers
Below, watch a cigar smoking Bill Cosby introduce Steely Dan who perform “Reelin In The Years” from a 1973 performance on The Midnight Special.
Bummed because you missed the Avetts in September? Well take out your calendar and flip to August, because here’s your next chance to see them.
The Avett Brothers are bringing their raw rootsy Americana tunes to Bethlehem on August 7th as the headlining act of MusikFest 2014. Touring almost non-stop since their 2012 grammy-nominated release The Carpenter, the Avetts have recently been traveling the U.S. celebrating their newest album Magpie and the Dandelion, which came out in October. Tickets for the Bethlehem show will go on sale via the MusikFest website 10 a.m. December 3rd for ArtsQuest members and 10 a.m. December 6th to the public – $40-50 a piece. Reminisce about their phenomenal September performance at the Mann Center here. Prep for the show by watching their backstage performance of “Morning Song” at the Newport Folk Festival below.
Below, listen to the first official single, “Her Favorite Song,” from Mayer Hawthorne’s forthcoming album, Where Does This Door Go, out July 16. He’s playing Musikfest on Saturday, August 3rd. Go here for the complete lineup to Musikfest and to purchase tickets.
Childish Gambino, the stage name of multi-talented rapper/actor/writer/comedian Donald Glover, will be making a stop in Philly on his Camp Tour tonight. The show, which takes place at 7:30PM at Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, features a performance by Philly hip-hop artist Chill Moody. Tickets are available for $47.35 here. Watch Childish Gambino’s VMA-nominated music video “Bonfire” in the player below.
Sebadoh, one of the early pioneers of lo-fi indie rock who formed back in 1986, are coming to Union Transfer tonight. After going on hiatus, the band reunited in 2007 and have since been touring and released Secret EP on their Bandcamp page. The EP is available for digital download and physical copies are only available at shows on current tour. Opening up the show will be Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr.‘s Lou Barlow performing a solo set and two-piece bass and drums duo from members of Sebadoh and the Fiery Furnaces, Circle of Buzzards. Doors open at 8PM and the show starts at 9PM. Tickets are available here for $16. Listen to Sebadoh’s Secret EP in the player below and, if you like what you hear, make sure to snatch up a limited edition physical copy at the show tonight.
The Internet is an electro hip-hop duo consisting of DJ/singer/producer Syd tha Kyd and producer Matt Martians of OFWGKTA. The show tonight with Kilo Kish was originally scheduled to take place at Johnny Brenda’s, but was recently relocated to The Barbary. The show is now all ages and tickets purchased through Johnny Brenda’s will be honored. Doors open at 7PM and the show starts at 7:30PM. Tickets can be purchased for $13 here.
Finally, indie rock band Carbon Leaf is playing a free show at Musikfest’s The Morning Call Plaza Tropical at Main and Spring Streets in Bethlehem, PA tonight at 6:30PM. For more info on the show, visit the Musikfest event page here. Watch the band’s music video for “Life Less Ordinary” in the player below.
British experimental pop star Charli XCX sinks into the sky wrapping herself up in fuzzy overtures and synthetic instrumentals. She sprung to stardom around 2010 after writing and playing songs for years. Her dad used to be a show promoter, booking the likes of Bob Marley and Siouxsie and the Banshees, which fed her desire to go out and perform. But over this past year she has perfected her craft by making electronic pop tunes while simultaneously speaking in a danceable language that everyone can understand. Just a reminder that our giveaway is still going on to win a pair of tickets to tonight’s show. All you have to do is make sure you follow @TheKeyXPN on twitter and tweet at us before noon to win. Simple, no? If you don’t win, you can still check her out tonight at North Star Bar for $12-14, the event is all ages. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Before you get too excited for ten days of free music at Musikfest in Bethlehem next weekend, check out a pre-event hosted by Musikfest Cafe; The Happy Together Tour 2012 at ArtsQuest Center at Steel Stacks. The tour has been traveling around the country playing old school classic jams from the 60’s and 70’s. Some of the greatest songs of all time came from these bands including songs such as “Happy Together”, “I’m a Believer”, “Young Girl”, and “Kind of a Drag”. Featured bands in the tour are: The Turtles ft. Flo & Eddie, The Grass Roots, Micky Dolenz (of The Monkees), The Buckinghams, and Gary Pucket & The Union Gap. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7. You can grab theater or balcony tickets here.
The fun and quirky five-piece band from Wilmington, Delaware, The Spinto Band, have released a brand new music video for their song “Keep Them Alive” off their recent release, Shy Pursuit. The Spinto Band played a four week residency at Kung Fu Necktie in May and are set to perform a few more shows nearby in the coming months including The Discover Lansdale Festival on August 3rd (FREE!), Musikfest in Bethlehem on August 10th and a special performance at World Cafe Live at the Queen on August 11th. Check out the new music video below, and download the band’s Key Studio Session here.
UPDATE 07/12: The Spinto Band was recently added as a support act for Here We Go Magic’s appearance at Johnny Brenda’s next Wednesday July 18. Tickets and information on that show can be found here.