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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Gathering at The Rotunda, Hardwork Movement at Kung Fu Necktie, Lithuania at Boot & Saddle and more…

The Gathering | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | koalafoto.com
The Gathering | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller | koalafoto.com

The year’s first Gathering of All-Styles competition happens at The Rotunda tonight. Round one will feature a one-on-one battle for all styles of dancers, while round two will be one-on-one emcee challenge. More information can be found on the Facebook event page here. Check out judge Dinita “Princess Di” Clark freestyling in Rittenhouse Square below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Liz de Lise at Kung Fu Necktie, Archer Spade at The Rotunda

Liz De Lise | Photo by Adam Krevchuck | courtesy of the artist
Liz De Lise | Photo by Adam Krevchuck | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia’s Liz de Lise recalls the jazz-tinged singer-songwriter era of the 1970s – Laura Nyro, Carole King, and of course Joni Mitchell – filtered through production and perspectives into something wholly contemporary. Last year she released the short A songs collection and embarked on a video-a-month project; tonight she headlines Kung Fu Necktie in Fishtown. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Spectrum Ensemble: Philly duo Archer Spade on experimenting around town this month

Archer Spade | Photo courtesy of the artist
Archer Spade | Photo by Katie Rey | katiereyphotography.com | courtesy of the artist

Archer Spade is the name of an acclaimed experimental music concert series set in and around West Philly and organized by guitarist Nick Millevoi and trombonist Dan Blacksberg. But it’s also the two Philadelphia musicians’ collaborative duo. This month, Millevoi and Blacksberg are launching into 2016 with their Spectrum Ensemble, staging weekly collaborative concerts all around the city with anywhere from a half dozen to 24 other musicians.

Some of the performances are more structured, rehearsed events, while others are strongly improvisatory, and after a preview performance on WKDU late last month (which you can stream below), Archer Spade kicks off the series tomorrow at The Rotunda before traversing the city through South Philly, Germantown and Fishtown. To get a sense what’s in store, I swapped emails with Millevoi and Blacksberg; read our conversation below. Continue reading →

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Find the beauty in distraction with The Chairman Dances’ new video

chairman dances
The Chairman Dances | Photo by J. Randolph Brown

To gear up for The Chairman Dances‘ EP release this Friday at The Rotunda, check out their new video for “Consolation,” a track from the forthcoming Samantha Says. The video follows a girl with her nose buried in a book as the city of Philadelphia bustles around her. She seems pretty unphased by her surroundings, which include the band itself as the members surround her on a park bench. Continue reading →

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Mikronesia will play a free show at The Rotunda this weekend

Mikronesia
Mikronesia | photo by MIke Ferrare

The Rotunda‘s acoustics will be used in full effect this coming Saturday when Event Horizon presents a free concert with Mikronesia. The piano-based, beautifully ambient recordings of Mikronesia are the brainchild of Philadelphian Michael McDermott, formerly of Gemini Wolf and currently a composer, sound designer and general musical artist who has worked on projects across the artistic spectrum.

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Sonic Liberation 8 will re-imagine loft jazz and chamber music at The Rotunda

Sonic Liberation Front | Photo courtesy of the artist
Sonic Liberation Front | Photo courtesy of the artist

Living in New York City between 1976 and 1985, Kevin Diehl found himself in the midst of the fertile loft jazz scene. During that now-legendary period, some of the most influential and forward-thinking musicians of the last half-century gathered together in Soho, forging a new sound building on the 1960s avant-garde and asserting their independence from major record labels and nightclubs. They were a group fueled by the communitarian spirit of organizations like Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and St. Louis’ Black Artists Group (BAG).

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Travis Laplante brings Battle Trance quartet to The Rotunda tomorrow

Travis Laplante
Travis Laplante | photo by Adi Nachman

There’s something about the saxophone that seems to push its practitioners, more than any other single group of instrumentalists, to test sonic limits. Travis Laplante is undoubtedly part of that tradition. His solo work utilizes an arsenal of extended techniques to make his one horn sound like a battery of instruments, while he and altoist Darius Jones explore extremes of volume and breath in the quartet Little Women.

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Ars Nova and Archer Spade join up for experimental jazz at The Rotunda on Wednesday

archer-spade
via archerspademusic.com

You couldn’t exactly call Miles Archer and Sam Spade one of fiction’s great teams; after all, Archer’s death helps to set the events of The Maltese Falcon in motion. Dan Blacksberg and Nick Millevoi’s partnership as Archer Spade has fortunately been more productive. Under that name alone, they’re a new music trombone/guitar duo; a commissioning entity that has generated works by the likes of Gene Coleman, Roscoe Mitchell, and Dave Soldier; and a concert series now entering into a new partnership with Ars Nova Workshop. Continue reading →

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Philly Summer Sonic Rock Showcase brings a sweet end to the season with Mock Suns and more

Kandy Kane Productions Presents: Philly Summer Sonic Rock Showcase
Kandy Kane Productions Presents: Philly Summer Sonic Rock Showcase

As the end of the season approaches (insert appropriate cries as you reach for socks to keep wearing your Birkenstocks through the fall), quite a few Philly music groups are putting together their own ode to summertime vibes. One we’re particularly excited about is Kandy Kane Productions Philly Summer Sonic Rock Showcase, which will take place next Friday, August 29th, at The Rotunda on Walnut Street. The line-up includes a pretty boss round-up of local mainstays: Old Scratch, Dead Tenors, Senium, Mock Suns, Kind of Creatures, Village and Snoozer. Doors for the showcase open at 6:30 and festivities will rave on til 1 AM. $5 tickets for the event are available at the door. Below, you can check out some tunes from a few of the artists featured on the bill. Continue reading →

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New Philly indie rockers Spelling Reform release their debut single “Together Apart”

spellingref
Photo | https://www.facebook.com/spellingreform

Although new indie rock/pop quartet Spelling Reform only formed less than a month ago, the members of the group are no rookies to the Philly music scene.  It was not until this June that lead singer and songwriter, Dan Wisniewski (formerly of The Quelle Source) decided to gather the group together and immediately start making music. The indie rock group is comprised of members from The Quelle Source, The Chairman Dances, Bird Watcher and Monday Appreciation Society.

This week the band released its debut single, “Together Apart.”  Reminiscent of The Mountain Goats quirky sound, “Together Apart” is a naturally happy tune and shows the quartet’s versatility as a unit.  Stay tuned for an upcoming music video to accompany the single.

“Together Apart” is only a preview for their upcoming debut show tomorrow night, June 27th, at The Rotunda where they will open for Chairman Dances and Vita and Woolf.  Find tickets and info for the show here.

Listen to “Together Apart” below.