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Philly Music 101: The wild world of Philly’s modern rock scene

A few of the talented artists that make up Philadelphia's alternative rock scene
A few of the talented artists that make up Philadelphia’s alternative rock scene (Clockwise from top left: Hop Along, Cruisr, DRGN KING, Tutlie, and Vita and the Woolf)

Philly Music 101 is our regular series guiding you through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving participants, from artists to venues to studios and more.

The complex web of artist that make up Philadelphia’s amazing music scene can be difficult to categorize. Ask any musician, and they probably won’t want to be pigeonholed as purveyors of any single type of music, but sometimes genre communities are an easy step towards understanding and digging deeper into the well-rounded scene that we have today. With that in mind, Philly Music 101 is going to occasionally bring you genre spotlights – with the understanding that labels are of course limiting, and most of our fave musicians work outside the box.

The first segment of our genre spotlight will focus on Philly’s flourishing modern and alternative rock scene that has seen musicians advance their way from rock bar stages to major venues to the pages of Rolling Stone. Continue reading →

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Philly bands at Phillies games: See Vita and the Woolf and Good Old War this weekend

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Phobymo Photography
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Morgan Smith |  phobymo.com

This weekend, a couple Philly musicians will take the field at Citizens’ Bank Park to serenade baseball fans. Both Good Old War and Vita and the Woolf will be performing “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch of separate Phillies games; Good Old War will perform on Friday, June 26th in the Phils’ game versus the Nationals (the game starts at 7:05 p.m.), while Vita and the Woolf will play on Sunday, June 28th (the game starts at 1:35 p.m.). Continue reading →

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Vita and the Woolf will headline Johnny Brenda’s this September

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Chris Sikich | via https://www.facebook.com/vitaandthewoolf
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Chris Sikich | via https://www.facebook.com/vitaandthewoolf

Philly and The Key favorites Vita and the Woolf will return to Johnny Brenda’s on September 17, this time headlining the Fishtown venue.

Vita and the Woolf’s music comes from the mind of 24-year old Jennifer Pague, from Downingtown, PA. She’s been writing songs under this moniker since 2012.

Though Pague’s voice has continuously been compared to that of Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, it’s backed by pounding soulful piano and electronic instrumentation, as well as experimental endeavors with vocal layering and shifting. These elements distinguish the band from their contemporaries. Continue reading →

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WXPN to curate Dilworth Park Live at Lunch weekly concert series featuring Vita and The Woolf, Milton, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas and more

Nathan Williams of Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas | Photo courtesy of the artist.
Nathan Williams of Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas | Photo courtesy of the artist.

Starting next Wednesday, May 6, and continuing every Wednesday through June 24th, the Dilworth Park Live @ Lunch weekly music series, curated by WXPN, will present free shows featuring a mix of local and national bands. Continue reading →

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Listen to Vita and the Woolf and Milton perform a collaborative song on the WXPN Philly Local Show

VitaMilton
Jennifer Pague of Vita and the Woolf and Milton | Photo by John Vettese

Last week, soul singer Milton and art-popper Jen Pague of Vita and the Woolf hit me up last week about doing an on-air collaboration for the XPN Philly Local Show, and what happened was totally unexpected. I figured maybe they’d come in and do a cover, or play one song from each of their albums. So it took me aback when, as I was letting them in the studio, Pague told me “We wrote a song today.” Continue reading →

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In the van with Vita and the Woolf: A SXSW photo story

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by John Vettese
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by John Vettese

“I think we’re parked by that organic coffee shop up the street,” said Adam Shumski. We’re wandering alongside Interstate 35, the highway that divides east and west Austin, and the traffic is intense. During the annual SXSW music festival, the highway effectively becomes a parking lot that slowly trudges out of downtown Austin with vehicles and trailers jutting in at every angle.

Shumski’s band Vita and the Woolf didn’t take any chances. Rather than attempt to negotiate the fray of the downtown, their driver (and unofficial tour documentarian) Jay Miller left their van locked up on the east side of town, though the specific intersection eludes them at the moment.

Up ahead, Miller is jogging alongside Vita’s frontwoman Jennifer Pague; they’re hustling since it’s 1:45 and their gig at in.gredients – an independent grocery not unlike Weaver’s Way in Philly – is at 2:00. Time is of the essence, and it’s not till we get in the car, get the air conditioner cranked and get the GPS punched in with the proper coordinates that everybody breathes a sigh of relief. Continue reading →

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Season Two of CoverClub wraps up with Ali Wadsworth, Tutlie and Vita and the Woolf

Vita And The Woolf records at Cambridge Sound | Photo by Bob Sweeney
Vita And The Woolf records at Cambridge Sound | Photo by Bob Sweeney

Root Down in the Shadow‘s excellent CoverClub series now boasts its own fancy website, and today released a slew of videos to wrap up a productive second season.

The video blowout started around 10 this morning and continued hourly until the final video from Vita and the Woolf was released at 2. Along the way we heard Ali Wadsworth’s power-packed vocals covering The Districts’ “Stay Open,” with local rockers Satellite Hearts acting as her backing trio. Her own take is just as driven and distinct as The Districts’ singer, Rob Grote, and Sattelite Hearts accompanies with their own harmonies as well. Continue reading →

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Listen to Vita and the Woolf cover Jefferson Airplane on XPN’s Like A Version

Vita and the Woolf performing on WXPN | Photo by John Vettese
Vita and the Woolf performing on WXPN | Photo by John Vettese

On last night’s weekly Like A Version segment, Jennifer Pague and Bobby Cleveland of Philly soul-rock trio Vita and the Woolf to play a haunting rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” with keyboards, acoustic guitar and Pague’s powerful voice. While on the show, she chatted with XPN host Dan Reed about her band’s forthcoming trip to SXSW in Austin, a crowdfunding effort for her new EP and more. Listen to the cover and their conversation with Reed below. Continue reading →

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Listen to the Philly Local Home for the Holidays special ft. Vita and the Woolf, Cole Redding, Samantha Gongol of Marian Hill and more

The 6th Annual Philly Local Home for the Holidays show was recorded at Morning Star Studios in Montgomery County PA. It was a return visit to this studio and once again Glenn Barratt recorded the session. It’s always a wonderful day of music. A time for getting together with friends and making new friendships in the music community. I love hearing the artists warming up and working on arrangements. Continue reading →