Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Season Concert Series - Philly Style: July 29th

First Unitarian Church:
  Headliner:The Shackeltons
  Opening Act: The Cringe /Morning Teleportation / This Temper
  Doors: 8pm / Show: 9pm
  This band with some indie soul music from Chambersberg, Pa. are known for being dangerous with a great writer and musician. Think of them as a wild-eyed fusion of the Pixies and early White Stripes. The good news, their the whole sound is this freakish and thrilling ... a full out rock n' roll spectacle. One of the most manic and inspired performers. Their infectious fury, biting guitar, driving bass, taut drumming, vicious hooks, gasps, shrieks and impassioned cries leave the crowd shrieking and breathless. Their live show is a rollercoaster of urgency that combines the dynamics and intensity of the angular guitar riffs of Fugazi and Jawbox, rounded out with echoing guitars reminiscent of The Chameleons and Interpol.

North Star Bar:
  Headliner:E. Joseph & The Phantom Heart
  Opening Act: Dan Reed / Black Horse Motel
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm

   E.Joseph and the Phantom Heart is a sonic, hook-conscious indie rock outfit. Influenced by post-punk 80s and setting their musical sound on today’s more sonic persuasions. They are often compared to contemporaries like The Killers and The Gutter Twins to The Editors and The Sheila Divine with their mid-80s psychedelic alternative rock. They're a pop sound that plunders the past but sounds modern. Younger listeners will find the band fresh and definitely exciting.

First Unitarian Church:
  Headliner:Los Amigos Invisibles
  Opening Act: Natalia Clavier
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
  Tix:$24, $34
  For Los Amigos Invisibles, they've been to over 60 countries, put out 5 studio albums, produced 1 live DVD+2CD under one record label and spent 17 years in the music business. Still, the band has high hopes to continue to do what they love to do. They've taken the rhythmic sass in salsa, the bass-heavy fun in funk, and even the note-bending bile in acid-jazz, and mixed it all up to make some of the world's authentic sounding grooves. They certainly have put the joy back into dancing. This year marks the release of their recent album, "Commercial," in Australia followed by a world wide tour throughout the country that would take them to such prestigious venues as the Queensland Performing Arts Center in Brisbane and the World Of Music, Arts and Dance Festival in Adelaide. The spring of this year put "Commercial" in both Spain and Argentina where Los Amigos Invisibles continue their promotional tour to sellout shows. And now, the band participates in festivals such as The Couleur Cafe in Belgium; Pirineos Sur in Spain; and Bonnaroo, Central Park Summerstage and Lollapalooza in the USA. Not to mention a stop by in Philly.

  Headliner:La Roux
  Opening Act:
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 7:30pm
  Tix:POSTPONED TO 11/09/2010 ... 07/29 SHOW TIX WILL BE HONORED!!

Theater of the Living Arts:
  Headliner:Summer Slaughter Tour 2010 Presents - Decapitated
  Opening Act: The Faceless / All Shall Perish / The Red Chord / Veil of Maya / Cephalic Carnage / Decrepit / Brith / Carnifex /                                   Animals As Leaders / Vital Remains
  Doors: 3pm / Show: 4pm
The tour, kicked off in mid-June with some fairly up and coming headliners of the death metal acts.  Decapitated, marking their first US tour since the 2007 tragedy when their tour bus crashed near the Russian/Belarus border, killing Drummer Witold "Vitek" Kiełtyka and seriously injuring vocalist Adrian "Covan" Kowanek. Since then, guitarist Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka has decided to continue with the band, and put together an entirely new lineup. This gives loyal fans a chance to hear the band live since announcing their new members.  Other bands on the 31-date tour are a mix of pure death metal fogeys and younger hardcore/metal babyfaces. The bill also includes epic technical death metal band Vital Remains, pure deathheads Decrepit Birth, hazed-out tech grinders Cephalic Carnage, metalcore leaders the Red Chord, deathcore dudes All Shall Perish and younger metalcore bands like Veil of Maya, Carnifex and the Faceless. The token instru-metal band are Animals As Leaders. The Summer Slaughter tour has been going on annually since 2007. It hits up North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
Kung Fu Necktie::
  Headliner: Swimsuit
  Opening Act: Lonely American / Resister
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 7:30pm
  Traveling from Michigan, this unsigned, indie band is making waves in the small venue circuit with their rockn riffs and hot sounds...not to mention their popular band members. It's arguable fact that they may be more popular by looks alone than their music, but thats only until you hear what they sound like and how their lyrics are. Don't be left judging their CD by its cover. Rather get in to their shows and hear them for yourself. You never what Dina, Amber, Shelley and Fred may show you beyond their looks.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Season Concert Series - Philly Style: July 28th

First Unitarian Church:
  Headliner: Nekromantix
  Opening Act: Howlers /The Mutilators
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 7:30pm
  Founded in 1989 by lead vocalist, Kim Nekroman in Denmark, this band did not take long to skyrocket into popularity and small label deals. They took over a lot of European shows and made their mark where, at the time, British bands dominated. Their music is often described as "Elvis meets Wolfman" coupled with that punk attitude and monsters movies lyrics - hard, heavy, and palatable!! Despite having low budget albums with close to no promotion or support from their independent labels, these guys have been sold and accepted world wide. Their wild antics on stage and the well known coffin bass proves their hard core sound is also for the fun at heart.

The Khyber:
  Headliner: Prima Donna
  Opening Act: The Percs / Explosive Head / The Improbables
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
  This blues rock band from Hollywood currently on an international tour. From the sound of this band and the energy they give off, this show is destined to be a great one. The 5 member band is made up of Kevin Tyler Preston - Singer & Guitar Slinger, Aaron Minton - Sexy Sax & Killer Keys, David S. Field - Dirty Drums, Erik Arcane - Golden Guitar and Justin Christ - Bass Guitar. They have only been on the scene for three years, yet in that time have booked and played 360 shows, nearly a third of which were overseas. They've opened up for icons like Green Day and other notable headliners like the Skulls, the Sonics, the Zeros, the Undertones and more. Their primary influences stems from the punk sounds of. the Ramones, X-Ray Specs, the Sex Pistols and 70's icon David Bowie

World Cafe Live:
  Headliner:Nicky Egan
  Opening Act: Michael Greenberg
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
  This often described "soul songstress" who is originally from Philadelphia, comes through her hometown with a sound that blends elements of funk, R&B and rock. Her influences range from great vocalists like Etta James, Sarah Vaughn and Janis Joplin, to the legendary sounds of The Beatles, James Brown and Joe Cocker. Egan drives her performances with memorable songs, young energy and a positive message. Since forming her band in 2007, the soulful quintet has played throughout the east coast, including a trip to Penn State University where they played for a crowd of over 10,000 in an effort to help raise funds for pediatric cancer. In the summer of 2009 the band traveled West, where Egan and the boys played six shows throughout the Los Angeles area, including two electrifying performances at the Whisky-A-Go Go. They've opened for other soul acts such as London's Sam Bradley, and Angel Taylor. Currently stationed in Boston, Nicky recently graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor's Degree in Contemporary Writing and Production. Her band is entertaining crowds between Philadelphia and Boston in venues such as World Cafe Live, the Tin Angel, and the House of Blues Boston. Her shows are expected to embrace a collection of soul, pop and R&B.

  Headliner: Seu Jorge
  Opening Act: Almaz
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
   Born Jorge Mário da Silva, he was raised in a small town or even a village near a city in Rio de Janeiro. He is considered by his fans to have brought back the sound of Brazilian pop samba, with a twist, of course. His major influences have been the samba school he attended as a young child along with his love for Stevie Wonder's music. He's released a few critically acclaimed albums from 1998 to present time. Each renewing his sound from the previous albums and really gaining him loyal fans. His popularity also grew with his acting and his soundtrack composing. He played Pele Dos Santos in "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" and provided its music. On American soil for a limited time. As a fan of world music or just great sounds, you have got to get in the same room as this cool cat to experience the power of Brazilian soul music!!

Susquehanna Bank Center:
  Headliner:Sara McLachlan
  Opening Act: Zee Avi / Anjulie / Jill Hennessy / Sara Bareilles / Missy Higgins / Butterfly Boucher / Serena Ryder ? Courtyard    
  Doors: 1pm / Show: 2:30pm
  Tix:$28.05 to $125.05  
 For three summers in the late '90s, Lilith Fair brought together an unprecedented number of female stars and raised millions for charity. Now it's back (finally!) and as good as ever. With a line up mix of up and coming and veteran iconic female artists, the show across the river is sure to pull its weight in music, festivities, charities and more. The familiar markings of the festival will all be there: the all-female lineup, the largely female fan fanbase, the big group sing-along at evening's end.  Lilith Fair came along at a time when traveling festivals were the summer concert season's bread and butter. So the re-launching of Lilith in 2010 is an interesting proposition, a throwback to an earlier concertgoing era and proving it could still work,
Headliner and festival founder Sarah McLachlan still has the goods as her closing sets are as elegant and opulent. Her voice and radiance has only grown in the 11 years since Lilith last hit the road, and her closing set will still feel special, even as much of the setlist still mirrored those early Liliths. Powerful "Angel"  may set the tempo for her 50-minute performance, which will include several songs from her new album, "Laws of Illusion," but mostly stick to audience faves.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Music : July 20, 2010 - July 26, 2010

Sheryl Crow "100 Miles From Memphis"
Nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow joins that prestigious list of legendary artists who have made the musical pilgrimage to Memphis, Tenn., to inject their sound with smoldering Southern soul. Her seventh album is titled "100 Miles From Memphis" (the distance of her Missouri hometown from the River City), but she isn't wide of the mark; packed with horns and organ, these 12 selections nail the spirit of vintage Stax and Hi Records classics, even when the grooves lean toward other genres (as on the reggae-accented "Eye to Eye"). Justin Timberlake pitches in on a cover of Terence Trent D'Arby's 1988 hit "Sign Your Name," and Jack Johnson joins Crow for a duet on his composition "Sideways." Although the album's vibe is summery, its outlook isn't always sunny. Several of Crow's originals address themes of romance gone awry ("Our Love Is Fading," "Stop"), and she also fires off one stellar political ditty, the pointed "Say What You Want."

Rick Ross "Teflon Don"
Miami might not enjoy the deep musical history of Memphis, but damned if hometown heavyweight Rick Ross doesn't look a lot like Isaac Hayes on the sleeve of his new "Teflon Don." (Coincidentally, the rapper and former corrections officer born William Leonard Roberts II is being sued for appropriating someone else's image and likeness: former L.A. drug lord "Freeway" Ricky Ross.) The follow-up to 2009's "Deeper Than Rap," which bowed on the Billboard charts at No. 1, reunites him with a couple of his previous blockbuster's key producers, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and the Inkredibles. The 11 selections also feature a staggering number of guest stars, including Kanye West, Jay-Z, Erykah Badu and a whole lot of other top billings from the hip-hop and R&B scene.

Sky Sailing "An Airplane Carried Me to Bed"
Geography isn't quite as important to Adam Young. He created most of his masterpieces in his parents' Minnesota basement, and found fame via MySpace, which launched his "band" Owl City" to the top of the charts last year, making "Fireflies" a No. 1 smash. Young recently tweeted that there's new Owl City material in the works, but in the interim, he's offering up this collection of songs created under a moniker. (The album is available via digital outlets this week; physical release is scheduled for July 27.) While there are some obvious sonic similarities between the two projects -- most notably Young's winsome, featherweight vocals -- these 12 tunes emphasize acoustic guitar and piano over electronics. And even though the Sky Sailing tunes predate Owl City, going back to 2007, they boast the same melodic sensibility and unthreatening, emo-lite appeal of his better-known venture.

Jonas Brothers " Jonas L.A."
Over on the other side of the country ... the Jonas Brothers recently relocated to Southern California, at least for the fictitious narrative of their sitcom "Jonas L.A." (Careful boys: Remember what happened when "Laverne & Shirley" went West.) The album of the same name collects 13 songs from the Disney Channel hit, including the peppy midtempo tune "Chillin' in the Summertime" and the syntactically confusing but infectious theme song "L.A. Baby (Where Dreams Are Made Of)." As much as we love Kevin, Nick and Joe and their infectious pop-rock, this disc feels like a bit of a throwaway; no amount of enthusiasm can hide how shallow the lyrics of "Feelin' Alive" are. But hey, it's the soundtrack to a sitcom about a boy band living in Los Angeles -- substance and depth probably weren't pressing concerns.

Kristen Hersh "Crooked"
You think the Jonas Brothers have rabid fans? Well Kristin Hersh's may give them a run for the money. The Throwing Muses bandleader may not command a legion of crazed teens like Kevin, Nick and Joe do, but her devotees are incredibly passionate and loyal. The singer-songwriter has been very prescient in how she interacts with them, being at the forefront of social networking, creative commons licenses and alternative economic models for artists. No surprise, then, that her latest solo album, "Crooked," was not only completely fan-financed, but tailored with their assistance. Hersh wrote and demo-ed 20 songs in public, then sought input from the faithful, going so far as to allow them to remix components. The experiment sounds like a huge success: The 10 tunes that made the cut for her ninth studio full-length rank among her finest.

  • Kristin Hersh: "Crooked" 
  • Ry Cuming: "Self Titled" 
  • School of Seven Bells: "Disconnect From Desire" 
  • Big Head Todd & The Monsters "Rocksteady" 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Season Concert Series - Philly Style: July 16th

The Khyber:
  Opening Act: Farewell Flight / Crooks
  Doors: 8pm / Show: 9pm
   This band is an original four piece group from Philly. They are Joey Noce (vocals / guitar), Phil Daniels (guitar / vocals), John McDevitt (bass/vocals) and Dave Seewagen (drums). They are quickly creating a style of music with the intention of stimulating you. They, we just keep are constantly spending hours and hours everyday playing, putting new music and lyrics together to constantly improve their indie rock sound. They come to town tonight to get you updated on their new music and keep you rocking.

  Headliner: RazorBlade Skin
  Opening Act: Juliet's Vice / The Electric Boa / Spin Dizzy
  Doors: 8:30pm / Show: 9:30pm
  This freakish foursome lives and breathes their music. They've built a reputation as one of the most outrageous musical acts not only in the Philly area, but across the US. Their over the top live show is one that not only stands out amongst the rest, but sets new standards when it comes to pure raw energy live acts. With songs like the underground anthem, "King Of The Drag Queens", it just goes to show that these guys have the tunes to back up their Rock N' Roll lifestyle. Their tunes are catchy, edgy, hard hitting, and at the same time, radio friendly. Dressed to kill with their signature makeup, and outlandish (often imitated) style, these heavy rockers continuously pack clubs in the Philadelphia area.

Johnny Brendas:
  Headliner: Kid Sister
  Opening Act: None Listed
  Doors: 8pm / Show: 9pm
  Kid Sister is a tongue-in-cheek throwback to the first golden age of hip-hop, when it seemed like anyone, even your kid sister, could have a hit. She was born Melissa Young in 1980 and raised in the Chicago suburb of Markham, IL. Kid Sister grew up interested in musical theater, but did not pursue a career in music until after she graduated from college. Encouraged by the burgeoning career of her younger brother Josh Young, also known as J2K of the Chicago DJ duo Flosstradamus, Young adopted the name and persona of Kid Sister in early 2006; with J2K as her DJ and producer, Kid Sister debuted with the giddy single "Pro Nails," which became popular enough as a digital download that Kanye West included a remix with his own guest verse on his summer 2007 mixtape Can't Tell Me Nothing. That connection happened when Young began dating West's DJ, A-Trak (Alain Macklovitch), who also signed Kid Sister to his label, Fools Gold Records. She'll make you travel back through time during her show.

North Star Bar:
  Headliner: Heartless Bastards
  Opening Act: The Builders and The Butchers / Peter Wolf Crier
  Doors: 8:30pm / Show: 9pm
  Rolling Stone reviewed their debut album, "Stairs and Elevators" and stated that “the Heartless Bastards are a small-town band who are ready to show the big city no mercy”. The Village Voice proclaimed: “deadeye accurate in pitch and message… what we’ve got is a hard, gnarled voice singing simple-seeming melodies that feel archetypal rather than ordinary, which is no easier to explain than it is to do”. Erika Wennerstrom and her two band mates have created more rocking songs and fat hooks than most bands can dream of. It’s not just that they rock, it’s that you believe what you hear, that they love the sound they make. Wennerstrom lays her soul bare in her lyrics without sounding like Sarah McLachlan. GET IN!!

Mann Music Center:
  Headliner: Cheap Trick and Squeeze
  Opening Act: None Listed
  Doors: 6:30pm / Show: 7:30pm
  Tix:$29.50, $53.50
  Squeeze is an English band that came to prominence in the United Kingdom during the New Wave period of the late 1970s, and continued recording successfully in the 1980s and 1990s. Cheap Trick is an American rock band from Rockford, Illinois, formed in 1974. They give fans a night to enjoy U.S. Hit-Makers & U.K. Chart Toppers together for a Night of Classic Rock & Pop Favorites. Cheap Trick may be one of the most covered bands of all time with timeless classics such as "I Want You to Want Me," "Surrender," and the late 80s lighter-waving favorite, "The Flame," Cheap Trick is a musical institution.  
In 1973, teenage friends Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook formed the band that earned them the nickname'The New Lennon and McCartney.' Over 35 years later, with their legacy intact, Chris Difford's lyrics and Glenn Tilbrook's music have survived everything from the ever-changing musical landscape to their own internal reshuffles and acrimonious breakups. As befits one of the UK's much-loved acts, there is no end of Squeeze fans currently wearing their influences firmly on their sleeve. With their fingerprints keenly felt throughout the fabric of popular music, it is only right that these songs, with their evergreen and popular sound, continue to be played and enjoyed live.

Theatre of the Living Arts:
  Headliner: Dive & Automatic Fire
  Opening Act: The Better Half / Zelazowa
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
Sharing the billing together are two bands that are no strangers to the music scene of South New Jersey and Philadelphia. First off,  DIVE is a straightforward band of aggressive and melodic rock that compares to the sounds of Three Days Grace, Hoobastank and Fuel. They are signed with Phase One Communications/Mad Rock Music. DIVE consistently delivers a tight and energetic live show, going all out and leaving the audience screaming for more. Automatic Fire are a 4 piece American Rock band hailing from Philly. The band was founded in 2009 by Walt Lafty (vocals) and Brian Weaver (bass) alongside Robbie Bennett (guitars) and Brian Kilian (drums).

Susquehanna Bank Center:
  Headliner: Vans Warped Tour
  Doors: 12pm / Show: 11pm
  Its finally here, one of the biggest concert lineup that's been long awaited. The headbanging institution will kick up a racket with this year's noisemakers that  include the All-American Rejects, Motion City Soundtrack, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Reel Big Fish, and tons more. For years, Vans Warped Tour has been rocking out Philly at the Susquehanna Bank Center and the tour just won't let up. Its lineups are bigger and stronger than ever and the hype around it is ever so huge. This is one of the most anticipated tours in the hot summer days and with the recent weather, its will be an even hotter tour this year. The heat will surely make all the bands crazy... hope there's a full moon for the night as well!!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Season Concert Series - Philly Style: July 15th

Johnny Brendas:
  Headliner:We Are Scientists
  Opening Act: Lightspeed Champion / Rewards
  Doors: 8pm / Show: 9pm
  This Brooklyn-based indie rock trio formed in 2000 around the talents of guitarist/lead vocalist Keith Murray, bass player Chris Cain, and drummer Michael Tapper. After building a small but devoted following through their epic live shows and a series of three self-released EPs, the group signed with Virgin Records. Their major-label debut, "With Love and Squalor", was released in early 2006. Love And Squalor did particularly well in the UK on the strength of dancefloor standbys Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt; It’s A Hit; and The Great Escape. In 2008, the group put out the awesome second full-length, also on Virgin, entitled Brain Thrust Mastery. They unleashed a new epic masterpiece named "Barbara" in June and are in town to promote it.

North Star Bar:
  Headliner:Adam Monaco Band
  Opening Act: Shortwave Society / Bellflur
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
  Based out of Philly, this band fuses many different styles and influences to expand the horizons of traditional singer/songwriter music. Their in town to sport their their upbeat and lyrical blend of folk rock that has engaged audiences regionally and allowed them the opportunity to share the stage with national touring acts. Adam and his band of musicians have been involved in many activities throughout their years in Philadelphia. Adam has a natural knack for promoting and organizing and has helped lead many benefits through his shows and this one is not short of that same promise.

Theatre of the Living Arts:
  Headliner: Kidz in the Hall
  Opening Act: Dephonic / Stalley / Writtenhouse / Akilles
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
  Here to support their newest release, Land of Make Believe, this duo is in town to bring in their usual sound of “alternative hip hop.” They met at a talent show  at the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 and formed Kidz in the Hall. Chicago-bred MC Naledge (born Jabari Evans) and DJ/Producer Double O will take a different approach with their newest songs which will catch fans off guard.

The Mann Music Center:
  Headliner: Julio Iglesias
  Opening Act: None Listed 
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
  Tix:$49, $75(limited)

What better place to see and hear Julio Iglesias on his Starry Night Tour??  The ageless Spanish crooner is traveling the world, with an exclusive stop in the City of Brotherly Love. The tour will focus heavily  on the emblematic songs of Julio Iglesias’s 42-year career and is dedicated to his fans. He'll have plenty of songs to give concert goers a ride through time and emotions so be ready for an up and down, bumpy ride of heartfelt songs. GET IN!!

Summer Season Concert Series - Philly Style: July 14th

The Barbary:
  Headliner: Mammoth Grinder
  Opening Act: Magrudergrind / Coke Bust / Lewd Acts / Deathbeds
  Doors: 5:30pm / Show: 6pm
  These death metal heads from Cyclopean Records come to town to unleash tracks of 90's death metal and promote their 2009 album, Extinction of Humanity. The band are akin to the classic early eras of Entombed, Dismember, or Autopsy, combined with the bolting hardcore speed of Discharge. Armed with a recording reminiscent of the widely-hailed Nihilist or Carnage demos and a number of US tours alongside fellow Austin, Texas natives Hatred Surge and Iron Age, they carve out a sound equally appealing to fans of metal and hardcore punk alike.
Johnny Brendas:
  Headliner: El-P w/ TMQ, Chin Chin and Nick Hook)
  Opening Act: Despot / Blockhead
  Doors: 8pm / Show: 9pm
  Quite possibly a favorite in modern era weirdo hiphop. El-P eschews traditional hip hop beats and comfortable funk for a patchwork of stumbling clutter, hiccupping beats, and a thick wash of soulful background vocals and buzzing guitars, murky turntable grit and primitive scratching. And over the whole thing is El-P's shouted, almost sung staccato flow, but the sound is (and has always been) El-P's bread and butter, and he doesn't disappoint, beat heavy soundscapes, cluttered and mayhemic, but in a good way, super dynamic, with big bursts of beat/guitar and big wide open spaces with mad flow skittering wildly through the wasteland. GET IN!!

The Khyber:
  Headliner: Machine Gun Joe
  Opening Act:Uncle Luscious / the Levee Drivers / Locksmiths
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
  With influences ranging from Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, this band from Philadelphia plays for their hometown with claims of being a slightly different band and sound then the usual. Andy plays guitar and sings, Skinner plays guitar and sings, Brian plays bass and sings, Alex plays piano, Julia plays violin and Zach plays drums. Their songwriting has grown to become a fan favorite and has given a few of their tunes some sing along opportunities.

North Star Bar:
  Headliner: The Powder Kegs
  Opening Act:Bad Doctors / Roadside Graves / Strawberry Hands
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
 The Powder Kegs, living in Philadelphia, consist of Dan Maroti, Ryan Dieringer, and Sam McDougle. They were raised in NYC, where they started the band together in 2005. They were an acclaimed old-time string band for several years - they busked endlessly, toured, won a band competition on NPR in front of 5 million listeners, then started writing pop songs. TPK released their debut LP, "You and Your Right Now," in 2008. It was recorded with Jeremy Backofen, producer of albums by The Felice Brothers, The Walkmen, Frightened Rabbit, & Mice Parade. They just released their new E.P. "Empty Side," which was produced by Philly's own Brian McTear (Mazarin, The A-sides, Espers) of Miner St. Recordings. They are in town tonight to promote their latest songs and slightly new sound.
World Live Cafe:
  Headliner: Barrington Levy w/ Homegrown
  Opening Act: Spokey Speaky
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
  Tix:$27, $37
  Jamaica's #1 singer of all time, Barrington Levy is a driving force in reggae music and remains the perennial favorite of audiences, not only in Jamaica, but throughout the world. Always a solid voice and a uniquely expressive song style, Barrington is consistently at the forefront of the music scene, and has become the most requested vocalist in reggae music history. He brings his reggae style to Philly playing with the band Homegrown. The addition of the band gives his live performance the usual "umph" and flare that he is known to bring to his live shows.
  Headliner: Soilwork
  Opening Act: Death Angel / Augury / Mutiny Within / Swashbuckle
  Doors: 6:30pm / Show: 7pm
  There are few artists that need no introduction and this Swedish band is definitely one of them. Hailing from the town of Helsingborg, their reputation as one of the country's finest exports is well-deserved. Few bands have melded the aggressiveness of metal with genuinely catchy choruses to such impressive results. One listen to the band's latest, The Panic Broadcast, makes it obvious that they're still miles ahead of the competition. Their name is a reference to working their way up from the ground – having established a solid reputation alongside fellow countrymen prodigies like In Flames, Meshuggah, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity and The Haunted. Exploring more dynamic structures, they showcase evident musical growth and provide the necessary elements to commence sculpting the Soilwork sound.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Music : July 6, 2010 - July 12, 2010

As a provocateur and culture jammer, Sri Lankan performer M.I.A. merits high marks. The music on her third full-length, "/\/\ /\ Y /\" ("MAYA") is as revolutionary - or at least entertaining - as her politics. Aside from its killer singles, Blaqstarr-produced banger "XXXO" and Suicide-sampling battle cry "Born Free," the record feels well mixed with eclectic sounds. Consider this - late '70s/early '80s pioneers like Cabaret Voltaire does a similar job cobbling together the type of jarring collages M.I.A. uses as backing tracks with old-fashioned tape recorders and analog synths, not laptops and ProTools. Several songs here a hint at unrealized potential, particularly the lilting reggae of "It Takes a Muscle" and "Tell Me Why" (which has all the makings of a great Rihanna song ... except for the echoing and charismatic vocal).

Sting "Symphonicities"
This favorite rocker turned soloist classical musician gives his relationship with the Deutsche Grammophon label a predictable turn with his latest. While the 58-year-old singer's previous outings for the prestigious classical imprint include a surprisingly bleak "Christmas" album and a set of tunes by 16th-century English bard John Dowland, this time he's opted to have career highlights -- both with the Police ("Roxanne," "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic ") and without -- orchestrated by several notable arrangers, including David Hartley, Vince Mendoza, and three-time Oscar winner Michel Legrand. The perfect complement for Sting's ongoing North American tour, which finds him accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra under the direction of Steven Mercurio.

Paul Wall "Heart of a Champion"
Mr. Wall puts his money where his mouth is. His diamond-encrusted dental work helped propel Nelly's "Grillz" into the charts in 2005 -- but he also relies on his rhymes to drum up greenbacks in the first place. The latest and fifth studio album from the Houston rapper showcases cameos by Bun B, Kid Sister, Jim Jones, Devin the Dude, Slim Thug, Raekwon and Jay Electronica to say the least. In addition, Chamillionaire, with whom Wall recently reconciled, also makes an appearance. Featuring 14 tracks, the follow-up to last year's "Fast Life" was produced primarily by Travis Barker of Blink-182 and Beanz N Kornbread.

Korn "Korn III: Remember Who You Are"

Nü-metal icons Korn are back after a pretty long hiatus and semi-break up. With their ninth album, they reunite the band with Ross Robinson, who produced their first two albums and helped define the rap-rock sound. In a twisted bit of serendipity, the album's artwork evokes Korn's roots in the oil community around Bakersfield, Calif., as does their single "Oildale (Leave Me Alone)." Having grown up in the shadow of this industry, Korn have been surprisingly vocal about BP and the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. While they are co-headlining the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour this summer, they won't be fueling up their vehicles at BP or any of its affiliates. They've persuaded myriad other tours to boycott BP, too, including such unlikely bedfellows as New Kids in the Block and Lady Gaga.

Carissa's Wierd "They'll Only Miss You When You Leave"

This Seattle ensemble began confounding spell-checking in the mid-'90s, and bravely soldiered on until 2003, issuing three full-lengths and a couple EPs of arty, somber songs that were defiantly quiet in the waning years of alt-rock. The band turned out to be something of a finishing school for Emerald City musicians -- critical faves band of Horses, Grand Archives, S and Sera Cahoone all emerged from its ashes. But even in their heyday CW was always one of those acts more folks had heard about than actually heard. The superb new anthology, featuring 16 gems culled from all their records, should rectify that oversight.

Danger Mouse "Dark Night of the Soul"

This producer and recording artist has made a career out of unpredictable collaborations and this newest creation is among his oddest to date, pairing him with director David Lynch and haunting songwriter Mark Linkous, better known as Sparklehorse. The team completed the project, an all-star album accompanied by a book of photos, in 2009, but the music got held up by label politics (the book was published with a blank CD-R in its stead) and is only now being released, four months after Linkous' suicide. The album is a lovely capper to his career, bristling with Sparklehorse's unsettling, psychedelic hybrid of folk, rock and dream-pop, and featuring performances by Iggy Pop, Suzanne Vega, Frank Black and members of the Shins, Flaming Lips, Interpol, Grandaddy, the Cardigans and more.
  • Mystery Jets "Serotonin"
  • Chatham County Line "Wildwood" 
  • The Innocence Mission "My Room in the Trees" 
  • Hellyeah "Stampede"

New Music : June 29, 2010 - July 05, 2010

The Dream "Love King"
Terius Youngdell Nash isn't a household name, but he's almost as influential as Jay-Z or Kanye West, having written huge hits for Rihanna ("Umbrella"), Mariah ("Touch My Body"), and the other Justin ("Baby"), among others. His career as a recording artist is none too shabby either: His albums "Love/Hate" and "Love vs. Money" were both R&B smashes, and the latter entered the pop charts at No.2. The Atlanta-based singer-songwriter completes this trilogy with "Love King," written and produced with his cohorts Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and Carlos "Los Da Mystro" McKinney. The finger-snapping "Make-Up Bag," featuring T.I., is a rare instance where conspicuous consumption almost passes for a genuine display of affection, while the effervescent, midtempo title tune is swaggering yet not thuggish.

3OH!3 "Touchin On My"
This Colorado duo took their comical name from the Denver area code, not the Roland TB-303 Bass Line synthesizer, but these electro-brats still know an awful lot about getting butts out on the dance floor. Sure, the sentiments they express on "Streets of Gold" are ridiculously immature -- we're talking about dudes whose aspirations include going viral "like a STD you got back in high school" ("I Can Do Anything") -- but damned if their cheesy pop songs don't make you want to dance, shout and pump your fist in the air. Top duos and ear candy include the drill team stomp of "My First Kiss" featuring the oh-so-classy Ke$ha and "Double Vision" with recent tour mates Cobra Starship.

Scissor Sisters "Night Work"
June is Gay Pride month, and what better way to celebrate than with a new album from the New York ensemble. They have deep roots in the underground queer clubs of the Big Apple, returns with "Night Work," produced by Stuart Price. The lead single "Fire With Fire" doesn't immediately ignite, but repeated spins reinforce the band's ability to write pop songs that rival their early patron Elton John; hopefully this is the radio hit that makes them as big in the U.S. as they are overseas (their 2004 self-titled debut was the best-selling album in the U.K. that year). Those who prefer the group's more histrionic side are directed to the 80's Hits sound-alike "Invisible Light," complete with a dramatic monologue from Sir Ian McKellan, and the disco-funk of "Any Which Way You Can," in which Jake Shears' falsetto offsets lascivious come-ons from his husky-voiced foil Ana Matronic.

Alejandro Escovedo "Street Songs of Love"
This long lasting musician has a backstory any artist would kill for: His band the Nuns supported the Sex Pistols at their infamous 1978 Winterland gig, his '80s ensemble Rank and File was alt-country back when they still called the genre "cowpunk," and he survived a nasty bout with hepatitis C in 2003. "Street Songs of Love" once again underscores that this Texas troubadour should be as big as Tom Petty, John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen. In fact, the Boss even shows up to sing on the full-throated "Faith." Produced by Tony Visconti (T. Rex, David Bowie), this superlative 13-song set includes "Tender Heart," a rip-roaring, piano-driven tune reminiscent of the Stooges circa "Raw Power," and the sultry, sinister "Street Songs."
  • Peter Case "Wig"
  • Judy Collins "Paradise"
  • Pegi Young "Foul Deeds" 
  • Semi-Precious Weapons "We Love You"
  • Wolf Parade "Expo 86"
  • Various Artists: "Frank Fairfield's Pawn Records Presents: Unheard Ofs & Forgotten Abouts"

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Season Concert Series - Philly Style: July 9th

Kung Fu Necktie:
  Headliner: Tigersapien
  Opening Act: Machinedrum
  Doors: 6:30pm / Show: 7pm
  Tigersapien are New York and Philly natives who have created what sounds like a kick-ass DJ in band form. They have efficiently meshed electro and rock together in a way MSTRKRFT fails to do. They really are a rock band with a sweet tooth for electro, and they do a good job of satisfying our sweet tooth no nonsense, sweaty music. They'll get you moving to their groove or rockin to their chords, but they may even get you singing along to some catchy lyrics. With enough sound popping in the air with their shows, you'll get your picks, your licks and your kicks... MOVE ON!!
Johnny Brendas:
  Headliner: Katzenjammer
  Opening Act: None Listed
  Doors: 8pm / Show: 9pm
  Tix:$10 - $12
  This Norwegian all-girl group can’t seem to stick to just one musical genre and thats a good thing for fans and show goers. The eclectic, multi-instrumentalists fuse everything from folk/country to gypsy rock-pop on their debut album, Le Pop, which was released out in the U.S. on June 29. The four women — Solveig Heilo, Anne Marit Bergheim, Turid Jørgensen and Marianne Sveen — first received a bunch of attention when they were hand-picked by David Byrne for his own artist-curated stage at the Bonnaroo music festival in 2009. Now they are on their own doing some damage and taking no prisoners.
The Khyber:
  Headliner: The New Connection
  Opening Act: Jill Jacobs & The Know How / Neon Dynamite / Venice Sunlight
  Doors: 8pm / Show: 9pm
  Their music will brings you back to your high-school days with an era of punk rock shows that shook the foundations of the smoky, crowded basements in which they took place. They are something that might not sound like bliss, but for dozens of loyal fans who embraced the local underground scene, it truly is. They may not be as loud as some other bands, and they're certainly not as abrasive, but they still have the refreshing flavor of a band that knows its roots. Not to mention that they would be totally willing to play those shady basements shows, and - above all - makes music just for the sake of music itself. Lead singer Gerry B's voice is clear, expressive, and empathetic, and the band's lyrics aren't too bad. As a homegrown project, their production is beautifully mastered with calm perfectionism with compositions that are solid and architectural.  

  Headliner: Red Letter Life
  Opening Act: Zach Caruso Band / ZipperBeam / M808 / Mapril
  Doors: 6:30pm / Show: 7pm
  This in your face four-piece rock band hailing from Philly notes their influences as The Beatles, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, & Pink Floyd to name a few. The music they play has the same passion and ferocity as the city they come from and they bring over two decades of experience to the table with Dave Goodman having played in numerous cover and jam bands in the Philadelphia area and has also toured along the east coast.  They've recently recorded a six song demo CD with Grammy award winning Producer Phil Nicolo at Studio 4 in Conshohocken and has the goal to expand their already impressive hometown fan base to markets in different regions all over the U.S. and overseas. The bands singles “Abbey” & “Ashes of the Sun” are quickly gaining a lot of attention among the increasing fan base. 
North Star Bar:
  Headliner: Garage A Trois
  Opening Act: The Dead Kenny G's
  Doors: 8pm / Show: 9pm
  Garage A Trois is a collaboration between four of the most visionary improvisers of the time: Skerik on saxophones, Mike Dillon on vibes, Marco Benevento on keys and Stanton Moore on drums. And while improvisation is at the heart of what the quartet has staked its reputation upon at their legendary New Orleans Jazzfest sets and rare, but in demand, club tours, it's the intricate sonic tapestries, tightly orchestrated arrangements, refined melodies and positively modern approach to instrumental songwriting that's at the heart of their upcoming long-player, Power Patriot.
World Cafe Live:
  Headliner: Mike Pinto and Ballyhoo!
  Opening Act: Life in the Way / Tsunami Rising
  Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm
  Tix:$13, $18
  Maryland's reggae-rock powerhouse Ballyhoo! has been doing 200+ shows a year since 2006, generating a national buzz on a grassroots level and selling more than 100,000 downloads at digital stores. In 2009, Ballyhoo! released their 3rd album "Cheers!" on Surfdog Records. Now with San Diego resident Mike Pinto, they add a vintage style of seamless storytelling and a reggae-rock that has recently caught fire and garnered loyal fans within the scene. Pinto sold out 2 tours in Guam and his single "Backburner" reached Top 20 on Guamanian and Hawaiian charts while promoted by island personality, Dj Shaggy.

The Electric Factory:
  Headliner: OneRepublic
  Opening Act: Suprise guests
  Doors: 6:30pm / Show: 7:30pm
  Tix: SOLD OUT!!
  While frontman Ryan Tedder has written and produced songs with Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Lopez, Leona Lewis (he shared a 2008 Best Record Grammy nod for her "Bleeding Love"), and other massive stars, it's all lead him back to his own Denver, Colorado-based band, where he pours out his most heartfelt music. OneRepublic was nominated for a Grammy in 2008 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. And Tedder, plus guitarists Zach Filkins and Drew Brown, bassist/cellist Brent Kutzle and drummer Eddie Fisher have sold almost 2 million albums and 8 million singles. The band is promoting "Waking Up," their second album on Mosley/Interscope Records with the latest single "All the Right Moves" which comes with a huge heap of anticipation from millions of fans of OneRepublic and Tedder.
Susquehanna Bank Center:
  Headliner: Tim McGraw
  Opening Act: Lady Antebellum / Love & Theft
  Doors: 6pm / Show: 7pm
  Tix: $25 - $75.25 
   Dedication to honesty and integrity has helped make Tim McGraw not just a country music superstar, but one of the biggest names in all of music today. In his record-shattering career, McGraw has sold over 40 million albums, and dominated the charts with 30 Number One singles. Since the release of his debut album in 1993, he has won three Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, and 10 American Music Awards, while simultaneously maintaining a parallel career as a successful actor. Now, with the release of SOUTHERN VOICE-his tenth studio album, and his first in over two years-Tim McGraw is extending his achievements even further. Recorded with his longtime producer, Byron Gallimore (Faith Hill, Sugarland), McGraw says that the album's strong sense of maturity wasn't entirely intentional. Among the territory explored by McGraw on SOUTHERN VOICE is aging and mortality (on songs like "If I Died Today" and "Forever")