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Two to Tango: Rodrigo y Gabriela’s Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero

Rodrigo Y Gabriela | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

By this point in their long career as Mexico City’s primary musical export — nearly 20 years of a guitar-based fusion of flamenco, folk, doom metal and jazz — Rodrigo y Gabriela’s lives and sounds are thoroughly intertwined. Especially when you consider that Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero have been friends since their teens, long before forming their duo (though certainly practicing together, collaborating and admiring each other’s skillsets).

Their just-released album, Mettavolution, is as dramatic as any in their catalogue and their upcoming shows in Philly – at World Café Live’s NonComm and Franklin Music Hall, both May 17 – will show just how far their friendship has taken them. Our Two to Tango helped take them back to their youth, as well as peer into their future – all with a lot of laughter. Continue reading →

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Two To Tango: Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale and Meow Meow

Meow Meow and Thomas Lauderdale | photo via World Cafe Live

Before collaborating on an inter-twisting new album, Hotel Amour, and intertwining set lists the likes of which bring them to World Café Live on March 26, Pink Martini leader and pianist Thomas Lauderdale played accompanist and bestest bud to the toast of the Australian cabaret scene, Melissa Madden Gray, otherwise known as Meow Meow.

For the last 15 years, when Lauderdale wasn’t busy touring the land or hitting recording studios for Pink Martini’s space-age bachelor pad lounge orchestrations, he was tinkling the ivories for the kittenish chanteuse. Now fully united and integrated, the pair discussed their origin story from two parts of the globe during one conversation, with Lauderdale in his home of Portland and Meow calling from London.

Continue reading →

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Two to Tango: Steve Gunn and Meg Baird

Steve Gunn (l) and Meg Baird (r) | photos courtesy of the artists

Steve Gunn may live in New York. Meg Baird may live in San Francisco. Mary Lattimore may live in Marin County.  No one, however considers the guitarist, vocalist and harpist — respectively — as anything but dyed-in-the-wool forever Philadelphians. Therefore, their shared bill Union Transfer showcase on Saturday February 2 isn’t a homecoming. It’s a block party. Gunn and Baird phoned in from their respective homes to discuss their new albums (Gunn’s The Unseen In between, Baird and Lattimore’s Ghost Forests) and their friendly harp slinging pal. Continue reading →

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Two to Tango: Grandchildren and Balún

Grandchildren and Balún
Grandchildren (l) and Balún (r) | photos courtesy of the artists

When Grandchildren and Balún appear together, on August 23 at PhilaMOCA, the skronky, harmonious Philadelphia ensemble and the rhythmic Puerto Rico dream pop team bring with them arts, smarts and indigenous sounds on its newest albums: Grandchildren with OK, I’m Waiting, and Balún, with Prisma Tropical. We caught up with them right before they hit Philly. Continue reading →

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Two to Tango: Kate Stables of This Is The Kit and Adam Schatz of Landlady

This Is The Kit | photo by Lucy Sudgen | courtesy of the artist // Landlady | photo courtesy of the artist

Bristol, England’s Kate Stables — the woman behind the alias and floating band membership of This Is The Kit — and Brooklyn’s Adam Schatz  — of the groovy art rocking Landlady — wouldn’t seem likely bedfellows or touring mates from the former’s Moonshine Freeze of 2017 (complex folk signature touches by subtle jazz washes) and the latter’s Upright Behavior of 2014. That’s what will probably make their shared June 26 showcase at Johnny Brenda’s riveting. Continue reading →