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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.

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My Ruined Life: Poking fun at everyday troubles with the help of some Philly musicians

Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch | photo courtesy of facebook.com/pages/My-Ruined-Life/
Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch | photo courtesy of facebook.com/pages/My-Ruined-Life

Lee Porter has a fascination for two things: film-making, and local folk scene mainstay David Falcone’s monstrous beard.

Sprinkled in with a bit of comedy, he’s combined the two together, somehow convincing Falcone, who frequently plays World Cafe Live, and his facial hair to make his acting debut in a three-minute webisode called “Sales” (about shaving, who would have guessed?) for Porter’s series, My Ruined Life.

In the episode, actor Nathan Holt tries to sell shaving cream for the company he works for by targeting random passer-bys in a park.

Holt remains unsuccessful, but the comedic aspect of the short begins when Falcone enters the shot.

Dressed casually, he walks up to Holt and stands with his massive beard and long, fluffed locks of hair, staring at Nate and camera. End scene, cue laughter.

And though this is Falcone’s first acting performance, it isn’t Porter’s first time behind the camera.

“This is my baby,” Porter said. “This is my project I started myself.”

He gathered a group of four actors along with animators, musicians and more together to form the series in 2011. Now, the group is in their third season, releasing a new three-minute short every Sunday at 5 p.m. The plot now stars two characters, Brian and Eric, played by actors Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch who meet up after work on a various park benches in the Philadelphia area to comedically discuss “their ruined lives.”

To keep things exciting, Porter started reaching out to Philly musicians during the second season. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Communion Philadelphia with Vacationer and Pearl and the Beard at Underground Arts, The Wonder Years at Chameleon Club, TJ Kong at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo by Abi Reimold AbiReimoldPhoto.com
Photo by Abi Reimold AbiReimoldPhoto.com

Before getting back to work on a new album and kicking off a co-headlining tour with Hellogoodbye next month, Vacationer will headline this month’s Communion Club Night tonight at Underground Arts. The Philly-based pop band, who are working on their follow up to 2012′s Gone make relaxing music that echoes the sounds of summer and relaxation. Also on tonight’s bill is NYC folk-pop trio Pearl and the Beard who plan to release their third full-length this year. Check out Vacationer’s “Trip” and Pearl and the Beard’s “You” below and grab tickets here.

Continue reading →

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TJ Kong doing rare solo show at Ortlieb’s this Saturday 7/6

TJKongPhilly’s Dan Bruscewicz, often known by his onstage persona TJ Kong (of TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb), will be kicking it solo (a rare occurrence!) this weekend for a show at Ortlieb’s on Saturday, July 6th. He will be supported by a slew of fellow local groups, including Morning River Band, Psalmships, and Ton-Taun. There’s a 5 dollar cover charge at the door, and the show gets started around 7. Find more info here, and listen to the TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb track “Rock and Roll Club Bathroom Cocaine Blues” below.

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The Swollen Fox is celebrating its 3-year anniversary at PhilaMOCA on 7/11

swift technique

The Swollen Fox has announced a special 3-year anniversary concert at PhilaMOCA on July 11th with TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb, Swift Technique and Shark Tape.  Since its beginnings, the local music blog has diligently and thoroughly covered Philadelphia music scene happenings and now runs the comprehensive XPN Concert Calendar in addition to hosting shows (like July 19th’s collaboration with XPN).  Tickets and information for the birthday show can be found here.  Check out  the bands below and learn more here.

Continue reading →

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TJ Kong Presents: An Evening with Tom Waits (tonight at Jose Pistola’s)

TJ Kong (of The Atomic Bomb) wants to share his love of the silver-tonqued and gravelly-voiced Tom Waits with Philadelphia.  Performing two hours of material for this first installment, Kong will be joined by Joshua Machiz on bass, Rosie Langabeer on accordian / banjo / keys and Chris Aschman on trumpet and percussion as he rolls through the influential musician’s extensive catalog.  The event at Jose Pistola’s is free and the band promises it will be “a lounge lizard, broken sentence, dream in the straw kind of evening” so put on your best Waitsian hat and check out the Facebook event page here.  Watch a clip of TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb performing Waits’ “Way Down In The Hole” below.

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Experience the end of the world with Cirque Skeletique (happening at RUBA on 12/21)

Antique Matter
When the world is about to end, why not live dangerously?  With fire breathers, sword swallowers, contortionists and aerial acrobats, Cirque Skeletique is welcoming the apocalypse with a spectacle of dark desires and fanciful fears:

Cirque Skeletique vacillates between conscious and subconscious experiences, portraying the final canto of a dream in security culture infested metropolis, manifesting amidst a city on the periphery of apocalypse; alienated people oppressed by fascism face their dreams, fears, and darker inclinations.

Presenting their ode to mankind with Cirque Skeletique is Antique Matter, featuring members of TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb, Pig Iron Theater Company’s Twelfth Night and the West Philadelphia Orchestra.  The gathering will take place at Ruba Club-Studios this Friday, December 21st at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $10 in advance (available here) and $12 at the door.  Below, watch Antique Matter perform at the Highwire Gallery in Philadelphia.

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