Finally bringing you the answer today to the question, “Who in the hell won last week’s Battle Of The Blogs ?” Up against a smoking, but abbreviated set(if you were there you know what I mean, I’ll say no more) from BOS representatives The Shots, and an absolutely amazing performance from The Broken Bell‘s pick,River City Extension, Girl About Town‘s band of the night, Robes racked up the vote count to take home the winning title in the first round of Battle Of The Blogs, last Thursday Night at Philly’s North Star Bar.
Riding an amazing buzz right now in the Philly scene, Robes sound is steeped heavily in the influence of early eighties bands like Joy Division, Depeche Mode and Bauhaus but without the cold harshness of other current bands mining the same genre, like Interpol or Bloc Party. Their current release, The Breaks EP, is available for free download from their myspace page and they’re heading into Miner Street studios with Philly’s resident production genius Brian McTear to record the followup. If Brian’s recent work on the likes of East Hundred’s Passenger & Canadian Invasion’s Three Cheers For The Invisible Hand are any indication, it will be one of this year’s stellar records.
June 5 2009 The First Unitarian Church with Denali Philadelphia, PA
RIP Jay Bennett – 1963-2009
Ok folks nothing like some good friendly competition to bring you some really great music and a guaranteed fun time. This Thursday May 21 kicks off the first round of Battle Of The Blogs sponsored by Heyday Entertainment and five of Philly’s favorite music bloggers, Girl About Town, The Broken Bell, Popwreckoning, Teenage Kicks, and yours truly, Bag Of Songs.
It’s sort of a battle of the bands and blogs all rolled into one. One Thursday each month in May, June, and July each blog will showcase their selection of bands with the winning bands/blogs competing in a finals on a Saturday night in August, all at the North Star Bar.
May is Girl About Town vs The Broken Bell vs Bag Of Songs
June is Bag of Songs vs Popwreckoning vs Teenage Kicks
July is a four band/blog night with Popwreckoning vs Teenage Kicks vs The Broken Bell vs Girl About Town
August will be the three winning bands/blogs from each of the nights as voted by the attendees each night.
For this week’s show I will be bringing you The Shots, while The Broken Bell will have River City Extension and Girl About Town will present Robes.
I’ve talked up The Shots before but I’ll do it again. Anchored by the guitar virtuosity of Alex Blyksun and the rock solid solid bass playing of Colt Morris, they dig deep into the bluesy soul of rock and roll for a live sound that’s can best be described as part ’69 era Led Zeppelin, part Oasis, and part Live At Leeds era The Who. If you’ve seen them recently you know how good they are, if you haven’t, be sure to get on down the North Star this Thursday and witness it first hand.
Here’s a few songs to give a taste of what they’re all about, but trust me when I say these don’t really do justice to the raw power of their live show.
Thursday May 21st
$8 | 8PM | 21+UP
North Star Bar
27th & Poplar Streets
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah (from the Live IN London DVD)
Finally catching up a bit on my week this morning. This past Tuesday night at the Academy Of Music in Phildelphia a 74 year Leonard Cohen delivered what not only likely be the best show I will see this year but also one of the best shows I have ever seen. He skipped on and off stage with the excitement of someone on their first tour ever while delivering a 3 hour,26 song set that held the audience’s rapt attention the entire time. Backed by a stellar band he let each member shine, removing his hat in respect as each took solos during the evening. Although he is a seasoned veteran, he felt no need to play it safe and reinvented his songs old and new, including a stellar version of Tower Of Song in which he was acompanied mostly by just a casio keyboard, and a spoken word take on 1000 Kisses Deep. He graciously thanked the audience after each round of applause and the night ended with multiple standing ovations. A brilliant night from a true legend, if you have a chance to catch him on this tour I highly advise it, who knows if you’ll get another chance.
See Ryan Cormier’s glowing review and some excellent photos of the night via Delaware Online here
05.12.09 Academy Of Music Philadelphia PA
Dance Me To The End of Love
Ain’t No Cure For Love
Bird on a Wire
In My Secret Life
Who By Fire
Waiting For the Miracle
Tower of Song
Sisters of Mercy
Take This Waltz
I’m Your Man
1000 Kisses Deep
So Long Marianne
First We Take Manhattan
Famous Blue Raincoat
If It Be Your Will
I Tried To Leave You
Wither Thou Goest
[closing thank you video via philebrity here]
A couple of songs/videos in celebration of Mother’s Day today. Jane Birkin covering Kate Bush’s Mother Stands For Comfort and some Philadelphia motherly love for you with Tori Amos doing Mother live at the Tower Theatre from October 2001. Happy Mother’s Day !
Jane Birkin – Mother Stands For Comfort(Kate Bush)
Tori Amos – Mother – Live At The Tower Theatre 10.13.01
Here’s a feature we haven’t done in quite a while, it’s 5 On A Friday in honor of the new Simpsons postage stamps released yesterday. Stop by the USPS site to vote for your favorite Simpson and register to win an autographed Matt Groening limited edition Poster. And remember to get those Mother’s Day cards in the mail by tomorrow because on Monday May 11th you’ll pay the penalty in more ways the one as the cost of a first class stamp goes up from 42 cents to 44 cents, not to mention what your mother will say if she gets a card with postage due.
1:The Marvelettes – Please Mr Postman
Buy Hitsville USA
2:Murder Mystery – Baby, You Can Write Me A Letter
Buy Are You Ready For The Heartache, Cause Here It Comes
3:The Sinceros – My Little Letter
Buy The Sound Of Sunbathing
4:Wilco – Box Full Of Letters
5:Miranda Lambert – Love Letters
Buy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jsut got word today, that Lumberville PA’s Hair Rocket will be releasing their debut full length, Novelty, June 5th on Mountebank records which is also home to BOS faves Aderbat. Hair Rocket is the artistic endeavor of P. Crane and Chris Blasucci. It began as a documentary music video contrasting Carl Jung’s anima concept and Blasucci’s tragic love life. And it looks like they have a show lined up for release day at John & Peter’s in New Hope PA as well. Good stuff, check it out.
While you’re waiting for June 5th check out one of their older videos for the song Come Here Be Near.
Jun 5 2009 9:30P John and Peters New Hope PA
This Sunday marks the start of the second year of our monthly Sunday Night Bag Of Songs Presents series at The M Room in Philadelphia. Huge thanks to Joe Lekkas and Village Green, and M Room for letting me put it together,to all of the bands that played over the past year, and to everyone that came out and showed their support. Adam & Dave’s Bloodline,Beaten By Them, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Bojibian, Bridges And Powerlines, Canadian Invasion, Cedarwell, Cheers Elephant, Creeping Weeds, Curious Buddies, Dear Althea, DeJesus, Golden Bloom, Hymns, I Am The Heat, In Grenada, JP05, Lima Research Society, Meyerman, Murder Mystery, New Motels, Pico Vs Island Trees, Pow Wow!, Rogue Thief, Run Runner, Secret Life Of Sofia, Shawn Fogel, Sudden Ensemble, Sugar Canyon, Swift Technique, The Figgs, The Shots, The Skyler King, The Swimmers, The Thirteen, Thinking Machines,& Upsincefriday are all of the bands that helped make it happen the last twelve
This week three more excellent acts will grace The M Room Stage for your listening pleasure. Scott McClatchy starts the night off his highly entertaining rock,folk,alt country solo act to the M Room. Scott’s bands have toured nationally with the likes of Steve Earle, the BoDeans and more and people like Willie Nile, Scott Kempner of the Del Lords, and Dion have have appeared on his solo records.
Missing Palmer West’s new record Shoveling Smoke, is one of my favorite releases of 2009 so far, well written ,achingly beautiful, finely orchestrated pop songs that I can best describe as sounding similar to what I imagine a Paul MCartney – Ryan Adams collaboration might deliver. Their live show is equally amazing.
Minneapolis own Halloween, Alaska is touring in support of their excellent new third disc Champagne Downtown. Following four years after their last, the acclaimed Too Tall to it’s a mix of warm winding synth lines and epic sounding guitars swirled into melodic hook laden pop songs that’ll get trapped in your head for sure.
Village Green Productions and Bag Of Songs Present:
I’m a little behind in getting this info up but it’s not too late to save yourself from melting into the couch for the night on this somewhat gloomy evening and getting on down to Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia for the CD release party for Adam & Dave’s Bloodline‘s kicking new disc Boycott Classics. I’ve had the privilege of listening to it the past few weeks, and Adam & Dave and the band have made a record that truly combines the depth of their diverse influences, from punk rock to motown to new wave and all points in between, with the raw power of their live shows. If you’re digging things like Gaslight Anthem or The Hold Steady you’ll want to check out this one. I’ll unabashedly proclaim it one of 2009’s great rock and roll records.
So, check out Nothing To It, one of my favorites off the record and then get yourself down to Johnny Brenda’s for one hot rock show.