Philadelphia’s The Random Tea Sessions released their twenty-first video, which is an acoustic piece “Varvyat Li Dvama” by West Philadelphia Orchestra‘s Petia Z. WPO consists of a diverse lineup that plays a multitude of Easter European music styles, and this is Random Tea’s first recording in a language other than English. WPO played a New Year’s Eve bash featuring a Balkan feast at Underground Arts with musicians Johnny Showcase and Mercury Radio Theater; they will also be playing this year’s Zlatne Uste Golden Festival on January 17, which is two nights of Balkan music and dance at the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn. Check out the session below. Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.
Indie 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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 →