American Diamond Recordings celebrates their first show at Boot & Saddle

The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish |
The Lawsuits | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

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
Brian Cowden and Eric Wunsch | photo courtesy of

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
Photo by Abi Reimold

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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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jane’s Addiction w/ Die Antwoord at the Mann, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band w/ T.J. Kong & the Atomic Bomb at Rittenhouse Square and Dom Flemons at World Cafe Live

Legendary alt-rockers Jane’s Addiction are bringing their Theatre of the Escapists Tour to Philly tonight for a show at the Mann Center in support of their latest album, The Great Escape Artist. The show also features the up-and-coming weirdo South African rave-rap duo, Die Antwoord who will make for an interesting show. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert starts at 8:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $29.50 to $55 and can be purchased here.

If you’re looking for some free live entertainment, look no further than the Rittenhouse Square Concerts in the Park Series. Tonight’s show starts at 7 p.m. and features performance by Reverand Peyton’s Big Damn Band and TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb for a night of Americana and blues music. Below, listen to TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb’s track “Maximilian,” which is available for free download here. You can also check out the band’s Key Studio Session from Oct. of 2010.

Dom Flemons, multi-instrumentalist of the Grammy-winning old-time string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, along with acoutsic blues guitarist Boo Hanks, will be playing the upstairs stage at World Cafe Live tonight. The pair recently put out the collaborative country-and-blues-influenced album, Buffalo Junction, named for Hanks’ hometown. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available here for $12. Listen to the duo perform “Move to the Outskirts of Town” in the player below.

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Local acts head to Maine for the Caravan Festival, kick off show tonight at Kung Fu Necktie

Blessed to have a huge strip of land in Belgrade, Maine owned by his family, Matt Manser (guitarist of the Philly band Flamingo) chose to use it for something more than just a hang-out spot. He joined forces with the guys from Philly rock trio Penrose – Tom, Pat, and Dan Murphy and their manager, Lynne Krohn – to create a a 3-day music festival on his property, which sits right next to a beautiful lake. And he invited bands from the Philly area to make the trip to Maine to party and play music for 3 days. The Caravan Festival has been going on for four years and it occurs again July 27-29 featuring a lineup of mostly Philly musicians; participating bands include Penrose, The Lawsuits, Cheers Elephant, Levee Drivers, and more.

Tom from Penrose says “the bands coming this year are some of the best Philly has to offer.” They are expecting about 25 bands to play and a 350 person attendance. Brian Dale Allen Strouse from The Lawsuits tells us, “The real beauty of this is how everyone is out of their element. When it’s all over and we arrive back home, we’ll have met new people, created new relationships, and through the power of live performance, we’ll have established future opportunities to play in Philadelphia with the people and bands we met in Belgrade Lakes.”

Tonight at Kung Fu Necktie marks the launch party for the Caravan Fest with performances from TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb, Penrose, and Izzy & the Catastrophics.

“The big news out of the Penrose headquarters … is that we’re going to unleash a whole hellstorm of brand new songs that’ll be on our upcoming record,” says Tom of tonight’s show. “For most of them it’ll be the first time anyone’s heard them, so we’re looking forward to unloading that.”

Tickets to tonight’s 21+ show are $8, set begins at 7:30 PM. After the performance there will be a party upstairs with DJ Matt Manser, the guys from Penrose, and TJ Kong’s Kevin Connor spinning tunes from the ‘Carabands’.

Interested in making the 8-hour trek to hear some of your favorite local bands play in a new setting? Go here to buy your tickets and check out the line-up.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: WXPN welcomes Gillian Welch, TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb w/ Penrose, Black Horse Motel w/ Emily Arin

Happy Thursday everyone! Tonight there are some top notch choices for local shows:

Firstly, WXPN welcomes Tennessee singer/songwriter Gillian Welch to the Grand Opera House at Wilmington. Over the past fifteen years she has come out with five studio albums along with her musical partner, David Rawlings. She also recorded two songs for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2002. Tickets to the 8 PM show are $39, grab yours here.

At Kung Fu Necktie, TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb, the trio of brothers, Penrose, and Izzy and the Catastrophics perform. The 21+ show starts at 7:30 PM, tickets are $8.

Over at Milkboy Philly, Black Horse Motel and Emily Arin play a 9 PM show. Tickets to this 21+ show are $8-10.

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