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Today’s Concert Picks: Strapping Fieldhands and Spinning Leaves at Rittenhouse Square; West Philly Orchestra @ Penn Museum

It’s a good day for good music in the City of Brotherly Love, and we’ve got the run-down on two little shows especially worth checking out. First up is the last installment in Philadelphia Weekly’s annual Concerts in the Park series. Local indie rock staples Strapping Fieldhands will take the stage at Rittenhouse Square, joined by Philly folk rockers The Spinning Leaves. The show is free and starts at 7p.m.; more information is available here. Below, stream “The Promontory Wind” from The Spinning Leaves’ album Love.

And the righteous and riotous Balkan-meets-tango-meets-the-world dance tune dudes and ladies in the West Philadelphia Orchestra will be taking to the garden at the Penn Museum for a night of boisterous, jubilant back-in-the-old-country jams. Don’t miss it, and don’t forget your dancing shoes. Admission to the all-ages performance is $5, which includes museum admission. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8; more information is available here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: 2nd Street Festival, Steve Kimock w/ Bernie Worrell at WCL, and New Edition w/ Salt-n-Pepa and El Debarge at The Mann

The Fourth Annual Second Street Festival kicks off today in Northern Liberties. The section between Germantown and Green Street will be closed off from noon to 10 p.m. for a free concert, festivities and fun. There will be musical acts on four different stages, sponsor tables, vendors selling food, drinks, jewelry, clothes, and other goodies. At 3 p.m. there will also be a pie eating contest at the Germantown stage. I might very well be entering, so that will be quite a sight to see.

Some of the featured performers for this year include headliner Man Man, as well as Blayer Point Dujour and the Rockers Galore, The Spinning Leaves, The Great Unknown, Lushlife, and many more.

If you’re planning on not staying too late in Northern Liberties, head over to World Cafe Live to see Steve Kimock‘s Summer Tour. Kimock is known for his improvisational stylings ranging from jazz to world fusion to funk and anything that inspires him at the time. He will be performing tonight along with Bernie Worrell. The show starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $20-30. Below watch a short video preview of the tour.

Blast to the past! Look back to 1995 when wearing plaid outfits was hip and boy bands were popular. Some of the all stars of decade will be featured in Party in Fairmount Park, including New Edition, Salt-n-Pepa, and El Debarge. Tickets to the show at The Mann Center range from $39.75-125; doors open at 6 p.m.

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2nd Street Festival announces its 2012 lineup (includes Man Man, The Great Unknown, Blayer Pointdujour )


The annual 2nd Street Festival returns to Northern Liberties on August 5th, bringing with it a hefty and eclectic lineup ranging from Man Man‘s freaky art-rock to Blayer PointduJour and the Rockers Galore‘s body-moving kompa, and The Great Unknown‘s classic Americana.

The music portion of the day-long festival – which will also showcase local arts, crafts, and food vendors – takes place on the stage of the Piazza at Schmidt‘s, and is presented in conjunction with the Philadelphia Folksong Society. The initial lineup announced today includes:

Man Man
The Great Unknown
The Spinning Leaves
Blayer Pointdujour & The Rockers Galore
Auctioneer
Chris Kasper
The Kalob Griffin Band
The Doublewides
KC Jones
Norman Taylor
Mikey Jr.
DJ Matt Beck

Watch our Key Studio Video session with Blayer PointduJour and the Rockers Galore below.

Key Studio Sessions #2 – Blayer PointduJour & Rockers Galore from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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Listen to The Spinning Leaves’ new 7-inch, “Head Aglow,” via streaming audio on the band’s website

The Spinning Leaves’ new 7-inch, “Head Aglow,” is now available via streaming audio on the band’s website. The band will celebrate the release of the single with a show at Underground Arts on April 27th; the show will also feature performances by Juliet Hope Wayne, Lightninging, and Divers. From the band:

“Head Aglow” was recorded at Waterfront Studios in Hudson, NY inside a large 19th century church with the renowned producer and engineer Henry Hirsch(Lenny Kravitz, Mick Jagger, Madonna). The Spinning Leaves collaborated on the production of three songs with Hirsch, their long-time friend and sonic trustee Rachel Alina, guitar galaxy genius Ross Bellenoit, and saucy beatist Spencer Cohen. The result is a record with incredible depth, both audibly and emotionally. With access to mics from the 30′s to the present and recording straight to 2 inch tape, the vinyl sounds velvety warm and their voices fly. The songs themselves are a ripping and putting back together. “Knife Arms” is a spell of a song about the beauty and snares of love, the simultaneous gut slices and clear comfort of a partner. “Shades of Red” is like catching fire, an elemental musing on the vigor and mystery of life. “Dulcimer Grove” is a big dream gift, a wonder scene of time and space given from one to another, whole again.

The Spinning Leaves perform with Juliet Hope Wayne, Lightninging, and Divers at 9 p.m. at Underground Arts; tickets to the show are $10. 

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The Spinning Leaves to release a new 7-inch, “Head Aglow,” on April 27th at Underground Arts

The Spinning Leaves will celebrate the release of their new 7-inch, “Head Aglow” (via Mad Dragon Records), with a show at Underground Arts on April 27th; the show will also feature performances by Juliet Hope Wayne, Lightninging, and Divers. The band will stream the new EP on its website beginning Tuesday, April 24th. From the band:

“Head Aglow” was recorded at Waterfront Studios in Hudson, NY inside a large 19th century church with the renowned producer and engineer Henry Hirsch(Lenny Kravitz, Mick Jagger, Madonna). The Spinning Leaves collaborated on the production of three songs with Hirsch, their long-time friend and sonic trustee Rachel Alina, guitar galaxy genius Ross Bellenoit, and saucy beatist Spencer Cohen. The result is a record with incredible depth, both audibly and emotionally. With access to mics from the 30′s to the present and recording straight to 2 inch tape, the vinyl sounds velvety warm and their voices fly. The songs themselves are a ripping and putting back together. “Knife Arms” is a spell of a song about the beauty and snares of love, the simultaneous gut slices and clear comfort of a partner. “Shades of Red” is like catching fire, an elemental musing on the vigor and mystery of life. “Dulcimer Grove” is a big dream gift, a wonder scene of time and space given from one to another, whole again.

The Spinning Leaves perform with Juliet Hope Wayne, Lightninging, and Divers at 9 p.m. at Underground Arts; tickets to the show are $10. 

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Recap: Philly Folk Parade at World Cafe Live (+ full audio of the performances)

The Spinning Leaves

The Philly Folk Parade took over the World Cafe Live stage earlier this afternoon for a special edition of XPN’s Free At Noon concert series. The lineup featured four groups from the local folk music collective, including The Great Unknown, Chris Kasper, Hezekiah Jones, and The Spinning Leaves. Though the artists were technically slated to perform just two songs apiece, members from each group joined one another throughout the entire show, keeping the stage alive and packed with up to 15 performers at once.

Alt-folk quartet The Great Unknown opened the show, backed by at least eight other members of the Philly Folk Parade. A prevailing first impression was simply how young and happy the assemblage was, and their energy was instantly felt throughout the room. They featured resonant electric violin and guitar on their second song, “We’ve Got Secrets,” which also included harmonies from all 12 musicians on stage.

Next up was Chris Kasper and his band. After an endearing opening song in which Kasper and fiddler Kiley Ryan harmonized “ooohs” and “aaahs,” the group fell into a serious folk groove for “Baltimore Street.” Members of the band remained on stage as they were joined by the next act, recent Shaking Through artist Hezekiah Jones. The stage was again filled, with even more members now playing harmonica, upright bass, and electric lap steel guitar. Their song “Cannonball” was a slower tune, held together tightly by incredible harmonica and electric guitar and fiddle solos.

Philly Folk Parade co-founders The Spinning Leaves were the last to perform, and by this time the stage was completely full of people singing and dancing. They began their set by leading the eager crowd in claps and stomps, and their positive energy was again infectious. The combination of their modern folk harmonies with traditional harmonica and electric guitar was unexpected and rich. All four groups from The Philly Folk Parade were a joy to watch. As long as these artists are around, there should be no doubt that folk music is alive and well in Philadelphia. —Claire Fishkow

You can listen to the full performance here (via NPR Music).

Set List:

The Great Unknown
1. Water Again
2. We’ve Got Secrets

Chris Kasper
1.  Miss Augustine
2. Baltimore Street

Hezekiah Jones
1. Iowa Alligator
2. Cannonball (I’ve Got A Little Room)

The Spinning Leaves
1. Two Eggs
2. Bridges For Free

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Just Announced: Next week’s Free At Noon is the Philly Folk Parade

Coming up Friday, May 27th: The 2011 “Philly Folk Parade,” which features local singer-songwriters taking the stage for individual and collaborative performances. This year’s lineup will include members of The Spinning Leaves, Hezekiah Jones, Chris Kasper, and The Great Unknown. As soon as registration for the event opens up, we’ll let you know.