If you’ve following Philly music at all for the past several years, chances are you’ve bumped into Ron Gallo once or twice. He’s the frontman behind roots-Americana troupe Toy Soldiers – who are playing a documentary release show (!) at Johnny Brenda’s on April 19th, and who are releasing their fine new LP The Maybe Boys…someday. He also runs the weekly Ron Gallo revue at Fergie’s Pub in Center City on Wednesday nights, and pretty much plays music for most of the time he’s awake on any given day.
Gallo just today released a live EP to tide folks over while the new Toy Soldiers EP wraps up. It’s a recording of a set he played at Ortlieb’s Lounge on March 28th, opening for Pegi Young. It features some old Soldiers songs, some songs that I’m not sure if they’re new Soldiers or Gallo solo songs, and one Harry Nilsson cover. Stream it in the player below, download it over at Bandcamp, and check out a companion Bands in the Backyard video from the show after the jump.
This month’s Tuesday Tune-Out series at PhilaMOCA is curated by The Swollen Fox’s Kevin Kennedy, so you know each night will feature some stellar local acts (read an interview with Kennedy previewing the series here). Tonight’s event is a doubleheader with Thom McCarthy and Toy Soldiers’ Ron Gallo each playing a set, followed by a screening of a film that “may not be directed by (and starring) a legendary silent-film era comedic star.” The event is open to all ages; doors are at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8:00 p.m. with the movie screening beginning at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. Below, watch Thom McCarthy perform his song “Tiempo” at PhilaMOCA from May 2011.
As we ease our way into autumn, another month of Tuesday Tune-Outs at PhilaMOCA begins tonight. October’s curator is our man Kevin Kennedy, the founder and main blogger over at The Swollen Fox.
When it comes to covering Philly’s live music scene, Kevin is a machine – he runs what’s arguably the most comprehensive concert calendar in the city, and when he’s not listing or announcing shows, he’s attending them, keeping meticulous setlists, and generally being a consummate concert-watcher. (He’s also a fun dude to hang with at shows, trade his Bonnaroo stories for my South By Southwest stories, and nerd out over craft brews.) I’m happy to invite Kevin to our corner of the internet to give an overview of what he’s got in store for the five Tuesdays of October. All events are at PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th Street), start at 7:30pm and are $5.
When I first heard about PhilaMOCA’s Tuesday Tune-Out series back in June, I was very excited about the idea. Music and film are a great combination, and I thought it was especially cool that the musicians would be selecting the films. When Eric Besler asked me to curate a month, I was both honored and excited. It was a new and fun experience to put together October’s lineup, and I’m very excited for what’s in store this month. I’m also grateful to John Vettese for asking me to Guest VJ and let The Key’s readers know more about this month’s lineup. So without further ado, here are some videos and thoughts. Continue reading →
Fans of snappy piano pop would do well to head to Fergie’s Wednesday night, when Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo hosts a tribute to 70s songwriters Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. Admission to the show is free, and music gets underway starting at 9 p.m. It’s the first installment of the new weekly “Ron Gallo Revue”, and features an impressive list of local collaborators: Ali and Claire Wadsworth, Tim Arnold of Good Old War, Thom McCarthy, Ross Bellenoit, Gretchen Lohse of Yellow Humphrey, Jerry Bernhardt of The Get Real Gang, Aaron Brown, Modern Inventors and Gallo himself. With so much talent in the room, we couldn’t help offering a few suggestions / challenges from the Nilsson / Newman repertoire that we’d love to see these folks perform. For instance, Nilsson’s iconic 1971 hit “Without You” – re-popularized by Mariah Carey in the 90s – would rock so hard coming out of one or both of the powerhouse vocalist Wadsworth sisters. And Aaron Brown’s voice already has the husky smoothness of Newman’s – he’d tear up “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today.” Check out our picks below, and get more information on the tribute at its Facebook event page. Continue reading →
XPN Welcomes this year’s Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival, February 14th through the 19th at The Fire in Northern Liberties. The festival begins with an evening of duets from locals including the musical pairings of Adirien Reju with Chris Kasper, Denison Witmer with Lauryn Peacock, and three other musical couplings. Additional bands playing throughout the festival include Arrah And The Ferns, Band Name, Conversations With Enemies, Ron Gallo, The Great Unknown, and more. A complete lineup schedule and ticket information is here. Below, sample some tunes from a few of the performing acts.
When it came to curating a Thanksgiving night playlist for XPN2, I couldn’t think of anybody more fit for the job than Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo. The dude has an innate appreciation of the past, of the long-gone eras that introduced him to music and gave him a sonic palette to riff off of; but he also knows the present, his contemporaries, the gents and ladies who lend their backing vocals and instrumentation to his recordings and share the stage with him from time to time. Tomorrow, Gallo will give XPN2 listeners a tour of the musical streets of Philadelphia, from the jazz era of the 1930s to the folk era of today. Tune in at 8 p.m. on 88.5 HD-2 in Philadelphia, or online at XPN2.org.
Gallo & Hull are Ron Gallo and Jordan Hull, two young and ambitious musicians brought together by their love for each others’ old-timey rock and roll projects. Gallo is the frontman for Philly’s ever-evolving Toy Soldiers, who recently won an Independent Music Award; Hull is a singer-songwriter from Nashville who has toured with Gallo several times in the past few years. The two started recording a split album entitled Midweek Mountain Getaway last year, which will feature tracks by both artists. Tonight’s show will feature the duo on stage together, playing each others’ songs as well as a few blasts from the past. Gallo & Hull perform with Boy Without God and The Fleeting Ends at Johnny Brenda’s at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.); tickets to the 21+ show are $10.