Drexel’s student run Mad Dragon Records is celebrating their 10th anniversary with a concert at the The Trocadero on Friday, May 17. Performers include Cheers Elephant, Hoots & Hellmouth, Kuf Knotz, Andrew Lipke and the Prospects, Matt Duke, and Wild Rompit. Tickets are available here. The label will also be releasing a 10th Anniversary compilation of previously released and unreleased material from bands that have recorded for the label. The CD will be distributed at the show and will be made available for sale following the concert. Below, listen to a few songs from Ten Years Of MAD Dragon Records.
Philadelphia’s Toy Soldiers will be bringing their roots rock-inspired music to Johnny Brenda’s tonight as a debut for the band’s documentary The Maybe Trails. The documentary, shot by Seth Klinger, follows the band as they travel across the U.S. The film’s soundtrack was done entirely by Toy Soldiers, and as the event page on Johnny Brenda’s says, will have glimpses of songs that will be on their upcoming album. Beginning their band as a two-piece, since then, Toy Soldiers has expanded and reduced in size to its current status as a five-piece, while at its most having ten members. They have six releases on their bandcamp as of now, more than enough to have a great time listening to their medley of blaring, heartfelt, and upbeat tunes. Tickets and information for the show with Holy Ghost Tent Revival and the showing of the documentary The Maybe Trails can be found here. Below, watch the trailer for Toy Soldiers’ documentary, as well as a HotBox Session for their song “Throw Me Down”.
It’s kind of fitting that my voice recorder was (accidentally) on for the full half hour between the time I stepped out of work and the moment I met with Ron Gallo (Toy Soldiers‘ front man) and Seth Klinger (Toy Soldiers’ “intern” and documentarian). The two worked together to film Maybe Trails, a reality film about real people in a real band on a real tour. And, while it was real annoying to have to listen through over 20 minutes of my own trails (which sounded like a horse galloping around town in a pocket), in the end it was fitting.
Maybe Trails is about a bunch of self-proclaimed “maybe” boys on a tour that may be successful playing shows that warrant the same unknown. It’s really all up and down, clippity-clop, going through the motions and taking the steps and seeing where that takes you.
“You know, this is my first interview” says Seth Klinger, the 25-year-old behind the documentary. He’s sipping a golden beer from a glass outside in the sun with his Ray Ban-ish glasses on looking like a pro, though. It’s Tuesday, three days away from what Klinger expects to be one of the most important nights of his life. This Friday, he’s premiering his first full-length documentary made to show what life is like on the road as a touring band. He followed Philly’s Toy Soldiers, a five-piece folk-soul outfit headed by Ron Gallo, on two almost identical tours (from Philly to Austin for the SXSW Festival) in two years.
But this film really isn’t about the band. “One of my major influences was something Ron showed me, it was a Jonny Corndawg video where it starts out with him stretching and he talks about how he likes to run on tour. It wasn’t really about the music, and that’s one thing I wanted to do was make it less about the music and more about being on the road.” Continue reading
If you’ve following Philly music at all for the past several years, chances are you’ve bumped into Ron Gallo once or twice. He’s the frontman behind roots-Americana troupe Toy Soldiers – who are playing a documentary release show (!) at Johnny Brenda’s on April 19th, and who are releasing their fine new LP The Maybe Boys…someday. He also runs the weekly Ron Gallo revue at Fergie’s Pub in Center City on Wednesday nights, and pretty much plays music for most of the time he’s awake on any given day.
Gallo just today released a live EP to tide folks over while the new Toy Soldiers EP wraps up. It’s a recording of a set he played at Ortlieb’s Lounge on March 28th, opening for Pegi Young. It features some old Soldiers songs, some songs that I’m not sure if they’re new Soldiers or Gallo solo songs, and one Harry Nilsson cover. Stream it in the player below, download it over at Bandcamp, and check out a companion Bands in the Backyard video from the show after the jump.
Philly roots-blues outfit Toy Soldiers are the latest local group to step in to Fishtown’s HotBox Studio and perform for their cameras. Below, watch the boys rip through a take of “Throw Me Down” from their 2009 album Whisper Down the Lane. They play Johnny Brenda’s on April 19th to preview The Maybe Trails, a documentary about their time on tour; more information on that show (and film) can be found here.
Ahead of their Free at Noon appearance tomorrow, The James Hunter Six play an XPN Welcomes show at World Cafe Live tonight. The British R&B musician released his full-length Minute By Minute earlier this week, his first studio album in five years. Hunter got his start playing in the clubs of Central London and eventually caught the ear of Van Morrison, who took the soul singer on tour with him and sang on some of Hunter’s early records. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here. Stream “Minute By Minute” below and download the new single here.
It’s a big night for local music – Tri State Indie will hold their second annual awards show at World Cafe Live, hosted by Toy Soldiers‘ Ron Gallo. With performances by New Sweden (last year’s Delaware Indie Band of the Year), Cold Fronts and more, the event includes a red carpet walk with professional photographers and gift bag for all attendees. Check out a list of all the nominees here. Tickets and information can be found here. Below, watch Band of the Year hopefuls Toy Soldiers perform “Tell the Teller” / “Forget How it Used to Be” at World Cafe Live.