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Tonight’s concert picks: Colin Blunstone at World Cafe Live; Howler at the North Star and Wilbur and Kwesi K at Art Star Craft Bazaar

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Tonight, Colin Blunstone of the Zombies plays World Cafe Live. In addition to his singing Zombies’ classics like “She’s Not There,” the singer-songwriter’s solo work has grown in importance over the years and influenced numerous musicians. Blunstone will perform a mix of his solo material as well as songs from the Zombies’ catalogue with a full band. Go here for tickets and more information. Listen to Blunstone’s “Goodbye Caroline” from his debut solo album, One Year.

The Art Star Craft Bazaar continues today from 11AM-6PM at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Six bands are playing and the music starts at 1PM with performances from Kwesi K (2PM) and Wilbur at 3PM. Go here for more information. Below, listen to “Rittenhouse Suite.”

Also tonight Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: Beth Ann Downey’s top five rock collaborations from Philly-area natives

For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing writer Beth Ann Downey ranks her top collaborations from regional artists.

We music lovers read, browse, skim, agree with, disagree with and soon forget so many of these lists this time of year. But if you’re a rock/punk/alternative lover from in or around Philadelphia, hopefully you’ll remember this one.

Collaborations amongst hard-working artists are undoubtedly how the best music is made. And in a time when folk, hip-hop and electronic music seem to top most of these other lists this year, I wanted to highlight the local singers, instrumentalists and producers who work together to do what they love despite what’s popular.

Collaborations are also where we see scene veterans training or complimenting emerging talent, and vice versa. Whether it’s bringing them out on tour or asking them to provide guest vocals on a new track, it’s great to see bands helping each other, or big-time producers working diligently on what they think should become the next big thing.

Here are five examples, in no particular order, of just how much love and talent the city of Brotherly Love has to go around. Continue reading →

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Fiction becomes reality for Terrible Things frontman Fred Mascherino (playing The Note in West Chester tomorrow)

As frontman for West Chester-based rock band Terrible Things, Fred Mascherino doesn’t always write from his own experience.

His band’s self-titled 2010 debut was a concept album about the string of arson events which had taken place in Coatesville. It was something Mascherino observed affecting his neighboring community, but didn’t directly impact his life.

In the case of Terrible Things’ latest EP, an abstract idea for a set of songs did become a reality for Mascherino.

He dreamed up a storyline following a husband whose wife was in the hospital battling a terminal illness. Mascherino thought about the differing viewpoints each song could address, from the doctors and the nurses to the physical struggle of the wife and the husband’s emotional one.

He had fully written “Hospital,” the final track on what became the band’s Pre-Trasmission EP when this musical concept Mascherino had created hit home. Continue reading →

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Morning Roundup 8/26/10: On the crucial importance of service charges

  • Paste Magazine takes a look at Ticketology, the brand-new blog brought to you by Ticketmaster (boo! hiss!) for the sole purpose of explaining why the online ticket service slams its customers with so many ridiculous fees and charges. As Paste’s Bonnie Stiernberg points out, “The first post kicks off with the following nugget: ‘We get it – you don’t like service fees. You don’t like them mostly because you don’t understand what the heck they are for.’” Sounds like Ticketmaster doesn’t get it after all: We don’t give a good god damn what all the extra charges are for—we just don’t want to shell out an additional $23 in convenience and delivery fees on top of the $195 ticket cost to see Aerosmith perform at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. (Then again, we don’t really want to see Aerosmith in the first place…)
  • The Deli talks to Terrible Things’ Fred Mascherino about the band’s self-titled debut—a concept album inspired by the fires that devastated the steel-mill town of Coatesville, where he grew up. (The record-release show is Friday, August 27, at First Unitarian Church.)
  • The Deli also makes mention of Dangerous Ponies’ performance tonight at World Cafe Live, which is the first in a series of shows presented by QueerChannel Philly (with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The Attic Youth Center).
  • Make Major Moves can’t believe that tomorrow’s “Free At Noon” performance by Scissor Sisters at World Cafe Live isn’t sold out. Neither can we! What the hell? RSVP here.