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Grandchildren, West Philadelphia Orchestra and Gliss to perform at End-of-Beer-Week free music fest

Grandchildren_4331web (2)
Grandchildren | photo courtesy of the artist

Beer Week is coming to an end, but its not over yet. The week will close out with the Dock Street 6th Annual End-of-Beer-Week Free Music Fest and Scavenger Run. This year, the fest lineup includes Philly artists Grandchildren, West Philadelphia Orchestra and Gliss. The three performers bring an array of musical genres to the festival stage. Orchestral pop band Grandchildren will craft soundscapes with tons of synth, while West Philadelphia Orchestra is rooted in Eastern European folk and brings the traditions to life. Rapper Gliss rounds out the bill, bringing the heart and soul of hip-hop in his music. Catch the three performers this Sunday, June 8 outside Dock Street Brewery. The music fest is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Philly Beer Week website. Listen to all three of the artists’ music below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: OhBree at Kung Fu Necktie, The Stray Birds at World Café Live, Daley at Union Transfer and more

OhBree | Photo by Jake Beadenkopf
OhBree | Photo by Jake Beadenkopf

Yesterday, we premiered their new single “Sweater” and tonight Philly’s OhBree brings their brand of oddball pop to the Kung Fu Necktie stage. There’s much to celebrate as the band’s new LP Death by Broomstick comes out in just a few weeks on April 15th via Lillian Records. Tickets are available at the door before showtime at 8:00pm.

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Rag-tag ragtime crew A Fistful of Sugar leads a stacked roots-scene lineup at World Cafe Live on 1/10

Photo by Lisa Schaffer | skylerbug.com
Photo by Lisa Schaffer | skylerbug.com

The opening trumpet burst on A Fistful of Sugar’s “Brother Brother,” is a pretty good indicator of where this track is headed. It’s a loose, banjo-in-hand folk number that tells the story of getting befriended by and traveling with a crew of hippies. Even though it’s pretty typical in style, lead singer and guitarist Mike Sha makes their hemp-necklace-making and patchwork-pants-wearing lifestyle sound pretty righteous over top a ragtime brass band. “Brother Brother” is the first single off of the band’s first full-length, Perspicacity, which they’ll be celebrating the release of on January 10 at World Cafe Live; check out a video for it below, cut to clips from the Prelinger Archives.

The soulful Aaron and the Spell will be joining that celebration as well. Back in December they played Stevie Wonders’ Innervisions in its entirety at World Cafe Live as a fundraiser for Pathways to Housing PA, a non-profit organization that helps chronically homeless individuals that suffer from mental illness find and maintain housing. Black Horse Motel’s grassy Americana folk, filled-out with lush harmonies, mandolin and fiddle will complete the folk end of the lineup. While Balkan klezmer jazz powerhouse, West Philly Orchestra, will bring the grooves, sure to get everyone on their feet. This lineup is stacked far too tall to be taken lightly. In fact, there’s a little bit of something for everyone that keeps an eye on the local folk scene. Just don’t forget comfortable shoes or a partner to dance with, because chances are you’ll be on your feet at this one.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound at Morgan’s Pier (Free!), West Philly Orchestra at Penn Museum, Black Kids/Kids at Johnny Brenda’s, Rickie Lee Jones at WCL Wilmington

JC Brooks and the Uptown SoundIndie soul-funk outfit JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound are playing a free show at Morgan’s Pier tonight. The band is touring in support of their new record, Howl, which was released this May on Bloodshot Records. JC Brooks has a strong, classic soul voice that his band backs with a part funk, part indie rock, part post-punk sound. Check out their recent single, “Rouse Yourself;” the silly music video features Aubrey Plaza and Jake Johnson. Find more information on the 21 plus show here.

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Photos: The 5th annual 2nd Street Fest takes over Northern Liberties (ft. The Low Anthem, Denison Witmer, On The Water and more)

West Philadelphia Orchestra's set continues offstage and in the middle of the Piazza crowd | Photo by John Vettese
West Philadelphia Orchestra wraps up their set in the middle of the Piazza crowd | Photo by John Vettese

The fifth annual 2nd Street Fest brought a bustling crowd and wide assortment of food vendors, community organizations and local musicians to Northern Liberties on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Among those performing at the Fairmount and Germantown stages at either end of the mega-block party were Chambersburg indie-punk outfit The Shackletons, Americana ghouls The Bailey Hounds, singer-songwriter Denison Witmer and aggro-folk crew On the Water.

In the Piazza at Schmidt’s, West Philadelphia Orchestra stole the show playing a long set of eastern-European infused brass band dance jams; when they were notified that their time onstage was over, they marched off, still playing, and wrapped up their performance in the midst of a frenzied crowd. Electro-poppers Vacationer turned in an impressive performance as well, and the big stage show wrapped up with The Low Anthem‘s first post-hiatus Philadelphia performance, though the festival continued out on the street till 10, and into the wee hours at the North Bowl afterparty. Check out photos in the gallery below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Stornoway with Field Report at Kung Fu Necktie, A Benefit Concert for Lentil with Tommy Conwell and more at The Blockley, West Philadelphia Orchestra at Underground Arts

Stornoway

Oxfordian Oxonian folk / pop group Stornoway headline Kung Fu Necktie tonight.  Following up their 2010 debut Beachcomber’s Windowsill, the academically-minded quartet (led by an ornithologist) released Tales from Terra Firma earlier this month.  Field Report continue to tour in support of last year’s self-titled debut.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here.  Watch Stornoway’s video for “Knock Me On the Head” below.

Several local musicians come together at The Blockley tonight for a concert benefiting Lentil Fest.  Tommy Conwell, Pete Donnelly, Ben Arnold and Travel Lanes will perform sets in support of Lentil the French bulldog, who was born with a cleft palate.  All proceeds will be donated to a variety of charities including the French Bulldog Rescue Network and the Children’s Craniofacial Association.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Below, watch Pete Donnelly’s video for “Can’t Talk At All.”

West Philadelphia Orchestra brings their monthly Balkan dance party back to Underground Arts tonight.  As a collective of Philadelphia musicians, WPO blends traditional Eastern European influences withe modern jazz and classical sensibilities.  Tickets and more information for tonight’s 21+ show with Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret can be found here or on the Facebook event page here.  Watch West Philadelphia Orchestra perform “Burkan Cocek” below.

 

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Johnny Showcase at Connie’s Ric Rac, The Districts at Fergies, Frog Holler at Union Jack’s and like a billion other things

Wait, what’s that? You thought you were off the hook that easily? Like it’s been so many days of holiday cheer that the plan was just a quiet night at home with board games and DVDs? No no no, my friend – there is fun to be had and live music to be seen. Let’s start with a couple accidental omissions from our New Year’s Eve roundup post from the other week. Johnny Showcase and The Lefty Lucy Cabaret – the funky campy ultra-catchy ensemble of Philly dudes and ladies rallying around one central crooner’s aspirations of Tom Jones (or Midnite Vultures-era Beck) – joins forces with West Philadelphia Orchestra at Connie’s Ric Rac for a New Year’s dancing extravaganza. More information can be found here; below, check out Showcase’s video for the ultra-addictive “Sensual, Parts 1 & 2.”

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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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Today’s Concert Picks: Strapping Fieldhands and Spinning Leaves at Rittenhouse Square; West Philly Orchestra @ Penn Museum

It’s a good day for good music in the City of Brotherly Love, and we’ve got the run-down on two little shows especially worth checking out. First up is the last installment in Philadelphia Weekly’s annual Concerts in the Park series. Local indie rock staples Strapping Fieldhands will take the stage at Rittenhouse Square, joined by Philly folk rockers The Spinning Leaves. The show is free and starts at 7p.m.; more information is available here. Below, stream “The Promontory Wind” from The Spinning Leaves’ album Love.

And the righteous and riotous Balkan-meets-tango-meets-the-world dance tune dudes and ladies in the West Philadelphia Orchestra will be taking to the garden at the Penn Museum for a night of boisterous, jubilant back-in-the-old-country jams. Don’t miss it, and don’t forget your dancing shoes. Admission to the all-ages performance is $5, which includes museum admission. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8; more information is available here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Scissor Sisters, Coldplay, and the West Philadelphia Orchestra

Scissor Sisters play the Electric Factory tonight along with support by rapper Rye Rye and DJ Robert Drake. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are available here for $27.

Coldplay is headlining the first of two nights at Wells Fargo Center tonight in support of their latest album, Mylo Xyloto, along with openers Robyn and Wolf Gang. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $46.50 to $96.50 and can be purchased here. Check out the video for Coldplay’s “Princess of China” featuring Rihanna off of their recent album.

The West Philadelphia Orchestra is hosting a reprise of their infamous Balkan Dance Parties in honor of the release of their CD, The West Philadelphia Orchestra: Live at Tritone. The 21+ event at Underground Arts starts at 9 p.m. with a $5 cover at the door. Listen to a track off the new album below.