The Philadelphia Film and Music Festival livens up the city this coming weekend. For those of you not familiar with it I’ll let the press release do the talking:
THE PHILADELPHIA FILM AND MUSIC FESTIVAL or “PHILLY F/M” for short) is a four-day festival taking place at over 30 music and film venues, with free outdoor stages, day parties and a record fair. Philly F/M will take place on Thursday, Sept 23 – Sunday, Sept 26th, 2010 and will feature a wide variety of regional, national and international musicians and films. The festival strives to be an annual event that effectively merges independent film and music in new and exciting ways. Instead of segregating them to different venues, the festival will combine the aural and the visual in dynamic settings to engage and foster new audiences for both mediums. Philly F/M will combine screenings with live performances, present a live, improvised film scoring series, screen music shorts and documentaries, curate a local music video expo to tie in the city’s rich musical landscape and screen outdoor films in unique settings. Philly F/M is headquartered at 2424 Studios (2424 E. York Street) in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. In addition to serving as the Philly F/M headquarters, the “Skybox” will host a record fair and exhibitor area during the festival. This two-day (Saturday/Sunday) event is free and features record vendors and a variety of exhibitors showcasing their music and film related products.
To help you weed through the music choices for the next few days, I’ve scoured through the extensive schedule and made a list of some of the must see bands. Hope to see you around at a few of the shows, I’ll be out and about to as many as I can.
A Sunny Day in Glasgow 11pm-11:30pm @ Johnny Brenda’s
Agent Moosehead 7pm-10pm @ World Cafe Live (Downstairs) Live scoring of: The Attack of the Giant Leeches
Da Rezarekt 11:50pm-12:20am @ The Fire
F.O.D. 11pm-11:45pm @ The Media Bureau – classic 80′s hardcore punk rockers are still at it.
Hair Rocket 8pm-8:45pm @ Kung Fu Necktie
Honeychurch 9pm-9:45pm @ Johnny Brenda’s
Misstallica 10:30pm-11:45pm @ The Trocadero
North Lawrence Midnight Singers 10:30pm-11:15pm @ Tritone
Adam and Dave’s Bloodline 9:30pm-10pm @ North Star
Black Landlord 9:30pm-10:15pm @ World Cafe Live (Downstairs)
Bloodfeathers 10:30pm-11:15pm @ Johnny Brenda’s
Busses 7pm-7:45pm @ Silk City
Cheers Elephant 11:30pm-12:10am @ The Fire
Creeping Weeds 9:30pm-10:15pm @ Johnny Brenda’s – My personal #1 pick of the weekend is this show, which also has Bloodfeathers and Field Music on the bill.
Faux Slang 12am-12:45am @ Media Bureau
Field Music 11:30pm-12:15pm @ Johnny Brenda’s
Frog Holler 10:30pm-11:15pm @ North Star
Gildon Works 8pm-8:45pm @ Silk City
The Dead Milkmen 10:30pm-11:30pm @ World Cafe Live (Downstairs)
Adam and Dave’s Bloodline 12:30am-1:15am @ The Blockley
Audible 12pm-12:45 @ Crane Arts Outdoor Stage
Baby Flamehead 11:30pm-12am @ Tritone
Bloodfeathers 3pm-3:45pm @ Crane Arts Outdoor Stage
Busses 11:30pm-12:15am @ The Blockley
Cheers Elephant 6pm-7pm @ Girard Ave Outdoor Stage
Kitten Disaster 1pm-1:45pm @ Lehigh Ave Outdoor Stage
Like a Fox 1pm-1:45pm @ Crane Arts Outdoor Stage
Like a Fox 9:30pm-10:15pm @ Johnny Brenda’s
McRad 12:20am-1:20am @ Media Bureau
Nancy Micciulla 11am – 11:45am @ Manayunk Outdoor Stage
Roomtone 4pm-4:45pm @ Girard Ave Outdoor Stage
The New Motels 10:30pm-11:15pm @ The Blockley
The Sky Drops 1pm-1:45pm @ Girard Ave Outdoor Stage
The Swimmers 4pm-4:45pm @ Crane Arts Outdoor Stage
The Swimmers 10:30pm-11:15pm @ Johnny Brenda’s
Baby Flamehead 4pm-4:45pm @ Crane Arts Outdoor Stage
Golden Bloom 7:30pm-8pm @ World Cafe Live (Upstairs)
Grant Hart 11:15pm-12am @ World Cafe Live (Upstairs)
Hezekiah Jones 5pm-5:45pm @ Crane Arts Outdoor Stage
Kenn Kweder 12pm-12:45pm @ Lehigh Ave Outdoor Stage
Pearl and The Beard 9pm-9:30pm @ World Cafe Live (Upstairs)
Wrapping up the BOS top 25 albums of 2008 with the top ten. It’s the end of the countdown but stay tuned for some addtional thoughts on 2008 coming in another post real soon, plus lots of great music on deck for 2009.
10 Birds Fled From Me – Deeper Lurking [BUY]
It was just about a year ago when I named Birds Fled From Me the BOS Artist Of The Day and predicted this to be among the year’s best releases. It stood the test of time. Santa Cruz, California’s Rachel Williams is one extremely talented girl who independently recorded and released this record herself. With a voice most closely reminiscient of Fiona Apple or Bjork, this is a stunningly beautiful record that deserves so much more recognition than it received. You
can buy it directly from Rachel via her Myspace page.
9 My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges [BUY]
Take MMJ’s catalog and throw it into a blender with a big batch of those K-Tel hits of the 70′s records and I imagine this is pretty close to where you’ll end up. Not as thematically consistent as some of their earlier records but the success level in the adventurousness pays off more often than not in what ends up sounding like and indie rock version of AM radio gold. Some of the highlights on the buffet include the weird funk experiment Highly Suspicious,the pure sugary rush of Two Halves, and what is one of the best songs of the year in the beautiful, acoustic, Librarian.
8 Blitzen Trapper – Furr [BUY]
More refined and focused than their breakthrough Wild Mountain Nation,Blitzen Trapper have taken the Grateful Dead meets Pavement mix to the next level on this one, solidifying their influences into thier distinct sound. The title track with it’s storytelling of a boy raised by wolves grappling with his human emotions is an instant classic.
7 She & Him – Volume One [BUY]
Who’d have thought this would work so well, actress decides to be singer is generally the making of a one off disaster(see Scarlett Jo) but this is an addicting listen steeped in a mix of California harmonies and sixties girl group sounds. Zooey Deschanel and M Ward cooked up a winner here for sure here’s hoping there’s a volume 2.
6 Black Mountain – In the Future [BUY]
Expecting more of the immediacy of songs like Modern Music or No Satisfaction I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the first couple listens to this, thinking it was more Black Sabbath than Black Mountain,not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s so much more. Picking up where songs like Druganaut left off and taking them to the next level, capped off by the epic 16 minutes plus, Bright Lights. The show I saw them do back in February with Bon Iver opening was probably the best show I saw in 2008.
5 Ting Tings – We Started Nothing [BUY]
Sure this is probably more style than substance, but it is hands down the party record of the year, when was the last time you heard a record where every song had enough hooks to be a single. As they used to say on American Bandstand, “It’s got a great beat, and you can dance to it”. Catchy, fun, danceable, and just try not to sing along.
4 Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping [BUY]
If you’re like me and only really had a passing interest in Of Montreal, now’s the time to change that. This album is a mix of sexual confusion,funk and dance music, and Sergeant Pepper like psychedelia all blended together in a dizzying mashup that makes Girl Talk‘s Greg Gillis seem like an amateur, yet it somehow all holds together as a whole. As a musician it leaves me amazed just wondering how someone can get that far out there for inspiration and then be able to realize it as a finished work.
3 Cheers Elephant – Here We Are(Demo) [BUY]
One Of Philadelphia’s best bands right now, this record best described is psychedelic folk music with and indie prog rock twist. Shimmers of sixties and seventies folk and psychedelia are as prevalent as eighties and nineties indie rock. Like all great artists these are just touchstones in a clearly unique and individual sound. This was an early 2008 demo, Cheers Elephant releases their first official CD in a couple weeks watch for it to be turning heads early in 2009.
2 The Dutchess and the Duke – She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke [BUY]
Stripped down and folky this album is all about the songs in their purest form. I’m going to quote my own review from July here:
The Dutchess And The Duke’s, debut full length She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke careens along in it’s lo-fi immediate glory like a combination of Bob Dylan, The Mamas & The Papas and early Rolling Stones swagger. With the familiar warmth of a lost 60’s classic and the jagged edge of a modern recording, everything old is new again and sounding better than ever. Kimberly Morrison(aka The Dutchess) and Jesse Lortz(aka The Duke) holed up last fall at Magical Basement Studios in West Seattle with Bryan Standridge behind the board of an 8- track and recorded a modern folk classic. It’s chock full of strummy acoustic guitars and percussion with more than enough pure pop melodies and sing along vocal harmonies to have you hooked after just one listen.
1 Mono In VCF – Mono In VCF [BUY]
The album I listenedd to more than any other this year, I was hooked on this from the first play back in June of this year and it’s still in the heavy rotation six months later. The name Mono In VCF is a combination of Phil Spector’s Wall Of Sound(Mono) and Moog Synthesizer tones(VCF) and their music has been described as “Drifting in space between psychedelic Beatles and Massive Attack” by Tom Scanlon of The Seattle Times. It is music that is sweeping,cinematic and serenely lush sounding, all woven together by the silky smooth, soaring vocals of Kim Miller. What I previously described as “fearlessly futuristic and reminiscient of the great film soundtrack music of the sixties all at once”. It’s music with the power to take your mind to another place away from all the distrations around you, similar to the the sensation of flying in a dream but converted into sound.
If Philadelphia is one of the hottest music cities on the east coast right now, with the abundance of amazing bands emanating from Portland, Oregon it surely must be one of the hottest scenes on the west coast. This past Thursday night it was east meets west at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia with The Chimeras and Cheers Elephant representing the east and Portland’s The Shaky Hands on deck for the west. My apologies to The Chimeras as I arrived too late to see their set which by all accounts was excellent. Cheers Elephant mixed a bunch of new songs into their set that show they have no intention of relinquishing their place anytime soon as one of Philadelphia’s best up and coming bands. The Shaky Hands closed out the night with a solid set of their melodic rock, a band I had never seen or heard before but will be sure to catch again. Here’s a few photos.
The Chimeras – Good Friday
Buy Party Of God
Cheers Elephant – Here We Are
Buy Here We Are
The Shaky Hands – We Are Young
The Chimeras Upcoming Shows
Jan 17 2009 The Khyber Philadelphia PA w/Zelazlowa
Cheers Elephant Upcoming Shows
Nov 15 2008 8:00P University of the Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dec 5 2008 9:00P The Note West Chester, Pennsylvania
The Shaky Hands Upcoming Shows
Nov 8 2008 8:00P Mercury Lounge New York, New York
Nov 9 2008 8:00P DC9 Washington DC, Washington DC
Nov 10 2008 8:00P Local 506 Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Nov 11 2008 8:00P The Basement Nashville, Tennessee
Nov 13 2008 8:00P Club Deville Austin, Texas
BOS Presents : NY vs PHL at The M Room With Cheers Elephant,Butane Variations,Creeping Weeds, and I Am The Heat
Forget about the Phillies and The Mets, all the Philly vs New York action you need will be at The M Room in Philadelphia this coming Sunday, September 28th. Come on out and cap off the first official weekend of fall with a grand slam of amazing music featuring New York’s I Am The Heat, Philadelphia’s Creeping Weeds, New York’s Butane Variations and wrapping the night up with Philly’s Cheers Elephant.
[PHOTO BY Tina Lovely]
I Am The Heat are the fire that burns in the place where fuzz guitar fueled sixties garage rock meets frenetic modern indie rock. Their just released The Future Doesn’t Need Us EP is five smoking songs that live up to their name.
Hot off a summer east coast/midwest tour with Seattlites BOAT, Creeping Weeds bring their amazing swirling indie-psychedelic sound to the stage. Their latest CD ,We Are All Part of A Dream You’re Having was among the Bag Of Songs Top 25 for 2007. Currently in the midst of recording their follow-up record, recent shows have showcased some new songs that are even better yet.
I think this quote from their myspace page sums up Butane Variations perfectly : “Butane Variations are 4 people from New York, New York. They play garage-punk-country that may weave avant-intricate compositions with hooky pop tunes. Sometimes the beat sounds like a tennis match and sometimes the songs wear argyle socks. There’s 4 people in the band so they can all fit in the same car.” Great stuff, and hey, they’ve been on Daytrotter, way coolness.
Closing out the night will Cheers Elephant who have gone from a month long residency at The Khyber back in January to playing high profile summer shows like Philly’s Popped! Festival and XPoNential Music Festival. They blend influences like The Kinks, Beatles and sixties psychedelia into a thoroughly modern sound and back it all up with a super high energy live show. I’ve seen them about seven or eight times now over the past year and they just keep getting better and better each time. A must see.
Some photos from the early afternoon portion of this weekend’s WXPN XPoNential Music festival at Wiggins Park on The Camden NJ waterfront. Cheers Elephant kicked the day off on the Marina stage in fine style with an outstanding set, followed by new wavey sounds of Zolof The Rock And Roll Destroyer and then the rhythmic indie rock of Delaware’s Spinto Band on the main stage.
Some photos from Sunday, June 22, Day 3 of Philadelphia’s Popped! Festival at World Cafe Live. The home team made up the bulk of the lineup today with some of Philly’s best bands playing. I arrived in plenty of time time to grab a Grimbergen Dubbel Abbey Ale from the bar and stake out a prime spot to catch Cheers Elephant kick off the days proceedings with a dazzling set in the upstairs bar, showing why they are one of Philly’s hottest bands right now. Spent some time chatting with Jessica from Popwreck(oning) in between sets. Next up were The Vandelles, a band I had not only not seen before, but had never heard of. Well, I won’t be forgetting them anytime soon because their reverb laden psychedelic laced sound was amazing, with a sound falling somehwere between Jesus And Mary Chain and The Black Angels. They also delivered the “girls can rock too” moment of the festival in the powerhouse rhythm section of Suzanne Pagliorola and Lisha Nadkarni on drums and bass respectively. Then it was downstairs for Gildon Works who delivered one of the best sets of the weekend, their shoegazey psychedelic blend was absolutely massive sounding. Then it was back upstairs for one of my favorite Philly bands The Swimmers, who despite having to use a fill in bass player for the afternoon, sounded as fantastic as always. At this point the downstairs stage took a weird turn toward the performance art side with one man avant garde poet guitarist PWRFL Power up next. Three songs and it was back upstairs for me where I spent some time hanging out with Carly and Royce from Girl About Town for a bit while Takka Takka prepared to play. Caught most of Takka Takka’s interesting set before heading back downstairs to see the much buzzed about Tickley Feather. More avant garde performance art tinged music that continued the theme started earlier. Although much more great music still remained, it was at this point I had to jump ship and make my way across town to the M room for my Bag Of Songs night, more on that coming soon…
Big Star – Watch The Sunrise
Buy #1 Record / Radio City
Yeasayer – Sunrise
Buy All Hour Cymbals
Cheers Elephant – Sunshine Spaceships
Buy Here We Are
Bloc Party – Sunday
Buy A Weekend In The City
Bishop Allen – Corazon
Buy The Broken String
Chris Nickey – 90 Miles An Hour(Down A Dead End Street)
Morgan Ryan – Hallelu
Matchtown – Valley
Band Of Horses – The Funeral
Buy Everything All The Time
The Jayhawks – Will I See You In Heaven
Buy Rainy Day Music
Some photos from last night’s incredible show at a packed Khyber in Philadelphia. The Major Leagues cancelled, so first up was The New Motels with an excellent set of what I can best describe as alt country power pop. Cheers Elephant was next with a phenomenal show that I’d probably have to call the best set of live music I’ve seen so far this year. Like the last forty years of rock and roll all spun together and spit out again as something brand new, it was amazing. Do not pass on your chance to see these guys soon, as they aren’t going to be playing small clubs for long. Closing out the night was a raucous set of eclectic, noisy, pop from Drink Up Buttercup, another of Philadelphia’s finest live bands at the moment. Three fantastic Philadelphia bands to keep an eye out for in 2008 and beyond.
TONIGHT in Philly : Drink Up Buttercup, Cheers Elephant, The New Motels and The Major Leagues at The Khyber
Looking for something to do in the Philadelphia area tonight ? Head on down to The Khyber for the final night of the Cheers Elephant / Drink Up Buttercup January residency. Four great bands to keep your winter night warm.
I’ll be there, stop by and say hi.
Tuesday January 29th
Drink Up Buttercup,Cheeer Elephant,The New Motels, and The Major Leagues
8 PM at The Khyber 56 S. 2nd Street Philadephia, PA 19106