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Worlds Collide: Ron Gallo covers Pissed Jeans

Ron Gallo | Photo via soundcloud.com/rongallo
Ron Gallo | Photo via soundcloud.com/rongallo

Philly’s Ron Gallo has taken his career on some bizarre twists and turns since his roots-rock outfit Toy Soldiers disbanded last year. He’s landed residencies in New York hotel lobbies in the style of the jazz greats he admires. He’s made nervy and somewhat trippy music videos. He slapped a slice of pizza on his face for an album cover.

But here’s one we didn’t see coming at all. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Ron Gallo unveils new tunes downstairs at World Cafe Live

Ron Gallo | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Ron Gallo | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Today’s Free At Noon featured local bluesy alt rocker Ron Gallo, who opened for rock and roll quintet Diamond Rugs. After strolling on stage, he remarked that the event was a bit unexpected, explaining that he woke up to a phonecall telling him “You got a gig.” Now rocking it solo, the former Toy Soldiers frontman unveiled some of his most recent work, solely playing songs off his album currently in the works. Continue reading →

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Philadelphia is blowing up NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest and it’s amazing

Levee Drivers' Tiny Desk submission | photo by Bob Sweeney
Levee Drivers’ Tiny Desk submission | photo by Bob Sweeney

For those of you who don’t know about NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, you may want to head over to their site and root through their enormous and equally impressive archive. Their 15-minute videos feature live performances from artists of all genres held in the quaint offices of NPR at All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen’s desk.

Ranging from big names like Adele and Alt-J to up-and-coming artists such as Angel Olsen and Rubblebucket, viewers are able to watch the artists perform in the intimate setting, giving the performances a stripped-down, no B.S. vibe. While these videos are ultra fun to watch (perhaps continuously, one after another…), NPR kept things interesting this winter by kicking off a contest to feature a new artist in their series.

Based entirely off of video submissions from all over the United States, an artist will be chosen to perform a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. as well as snag a slot in the big Lagunitas Couchtrippin’ showcase in Austin, Texas. Philadelphia, brimming with the amazing musical talent that it is, seems to have jumped at this opportunity. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bernhardt Family Band at Boot & Saddle, Joe Montone of Heat Thunder with Brian D.A. Strouse of The Lawsuits at Ortlieb’s, Communion Philly at MilkBoy

Bernhardt Family Band
Jerry Bernhardt and Kate Bernhardt | Photo by Bob Sweeney

Bernhardt Family Band performs at Boot & Saddle tonight with local friend Ross Bellenoit and South Dakota / Brooklyn’s Rachel Ries. Brother and sister duo Jerry and Kate have spent time on stage with Levee Drivers, The Get Real Gang and Toy Soldiers over the years, but they’ve recently been cultivating their own harmony-rich material. We first got a taste of their perfectly-balanced collaborations with a Cover Club session of “Tomorrow Today,” originially by Ron Gallo. Check out that video below and pick up tickets for tonight’s show here.

Continue reading →

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Watch Ron Gallo’s new music video for “I Started A War”

Ron Gallo
Ron Gallo

Framing up romantic detachment like an impasse in a hostage interrogation, Ron Gallo sits at an empty table in an empty room, wearing a military jacket and sitting across from his adversary in the new video for “I Started A War.” The song, a bruised bluesy downbeat moment, comes from his 2014 solo debut, Ronny. In the somewhat surreal video directed by Caitlin McCann – who’s been making a bit of a name for herself this year working with the various artists in Philly’s greater Americana scene, from Pine Barons to Dirty Dollhouse – Gallo faces off with his partner, portrayed in a few different costumes by Paige Fletcher, and goes through a few rounds of face-offs but progress barely follows. “I started a war,” Gallo croons, “and all I said was nothing.” Check out the video below.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Field Report at Underground Arts, Esperanza Spalding at The Keswick Theatre, and Ron Gallo at Bourbon and Branch

Field Report
Field Report | Photo courtesy of the artist

As part of Communion Philly, a monthly series of shows created by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett, critically-acclaimed Wisconsin folk band Field Report will be playing Underground Arts tonight. Fronted by Chris Porterfield (who played in DeYarmon Edison with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), as well as multiple members of psych-folk group Megafaun, the band will be bringing their poetic lyricism and beautiful signature melodic-yet-ambient acoustic sound to Philadelphia to headline a night of diverse music with a lineup ranging from alternative rock to swing-hop to, of course, folk. Other groups playing include Portland, Oregon’s Quiet Life, and Philadelphia groups Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night, Weekender, and Marian Hill. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Diane Birch and more to play at September’s Communion Philly showcase

TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | photo via www.facebook.com/tjkongandtheatomicbomb
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb | photo via www.facebook.com/tjkongandtheatomicbomb

A stellar lineup has been announced for September’s Communion Philly with bluesy folk punk band TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, singer-songwriter Diane BirchCrash (of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros), former Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo and local roots-rock band Levee Drivers. Continue reading →

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Ron Gallo’s whimsical “Fine Diners and Finer Whiners” gets a surreal visual counterpart

Ron Gallo | still from "Fine Diners and Finer Whiners" by Caitlin McCann
Ron Gallo | still from “Fine Diners and Finer Whiners” by Caitlin McCann

Ron Gallo teamed up with Dog Days Films’ Caitlin McCann to make the music video for “Fine Diners and Finer Whiners,” a track taken from Gallo’s debut solo effort Ronny.  Loosely following the song’s narrative of feeling out of place and wanting to get back to something familiar, the subtly dark clip shows Gallo waking up in a coffin behind a Philadelphia rowhome and his subsequent journey of getting back to his house with the help of a postman. Dialogue intertitles and technicolor kaleidoscope scenes cast a disorientating dream-sequence aura over the video, though the lyrics are still as sharply true and dryly humorous as you would expect from Gallo tune.

The song itself is a standout from Ronny (released last month via Gallo’s own American Diamond Recordings) and as Sameer Rao wrote in his review, “a look below this whimsical song’s surface reveal some more universal preoccupations… of feeling “awfully tired and alone” and wishing for a past love or some feeling of safety to return to him. This song, mid-tempo and subdued, weaves a tapestry of aural influences and lyrical preoccupations that subvert its easy classification (Americana, folk-rock, etc.) and get under listeners’ skin.”  Check it out below and learn more about American Diamond Recordings here.

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American Diamond Recordings celebrates their first show at Boot & Saddle

The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Togetherness and unity were certainly in the air pre-Independence Day when American Diamond Recordings hosted their first showcase at Boot & Saddle. The new Philly record label comprised of five local bands celebrated their out-coming with performances from each group, including The Levee Drivers, T.J. Kong & The Atomic Bomb, Ron Gallo, The Lawsuits, and a special set by a band who went by the moniker Eight Legged Prawn. The show was also a celebration of Marley McNamara’s birthday, and most figured out that Eight Legged Prawn was actually one of the bands she manages, The Districts.

It was easy to tell that these artists performing don’t just make music together, they are family.