Battle Of The Blogs Round 2 This Thursday June 18th @ North Star Bar

June 14, 2009 by · 4 Comments
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LATE BREAKING UPDATE !!! Just added and playing immediately following The Battle Of The Blogs this Thursday, a special set by the band 100 Monkeys which features Jackson Rathbone of the movie Twilight and friends.
Their recent shows in Philadelphia all sold out quickly, get your tickets NOW ! North Star is 21+Up only, sorry.

[100 Monkeys MYSPACE]

This Thursday June 18th it’s time for round two of the 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.

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.

Round 1 was May 21st with Girl About Town vs The Broken Bell vs Bag Of Songs with The Robes/Girl About Town coming up the night’s winners.
Round 2June 18th is Bag of Songs vs Popwreckoning vs Teenage Kicks
Round 3July 16th is a four band/blog night with Popwreckoning vs Teenage Kicks vs The Broken Bell vs Girl About Town

The final round will be held on a Saturday night in August with the three winning bands/blogs from each of the nights.

For this Thursday’s show Lima Research Society will will be the Bag Of Songs representative, Splash1 will be playing for Teenage Kicks, and Popwreckoning will be bringing The Victor Victor Band. It’s going to be an amazing night of music with the most important attendee being YOU, as the winner each night is decided by audience vote.

Lima Research Society @  M Room 04.26.09

Lima Research Society @ M Room 04.26.09

I’ve previously described  Lima Research Society’s sound as a potpourri of influences from soft folk, to prog rock musical acrobatics, to trippy psychedelica, to new wave dance and all points in between. Their live show is an equally engaging and entertaining blend of musicianship and audience participation that is truly a lot of fun to witness, and has often earned them comparisons to bands like the Flaming Lips.

Lima Research Society – Giant Moth – The Beauty of Things
Lima Research Society – NewtLife
Buy Don’t Give Up Don’t Get Down

Round 1 was blast so come on out for Round 2, meet your local bloggers, hear some excellent music, have a really great time, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite band of the night.

Heyday Entertainment Presents:
Battle Of The Blogs Round 2
Bag Of Songs vs Teenage Kicks vs Popwreckoning

(BOS) Lima Research Society [MYSPACE]
(TK) Splash1 [MYSPACE]
(POPW) The Victor Victor Band [MYSPACE]

Thursday June 18th
$8 | 8PM | 21+UP
North Star Bar
27th & Poplar Streets
Philadelphia PA

It’s Cool, Get Your Robes On

May 29, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Robes @ North Star Bar 05.21.09

Robes @ North Star Bar 05.21.

River City Extension @ North Star Bar 05.21.09

River City Extension @ North Star Bar 05.21.

The Shots @ North Star Bar 05.21.09

The Shots @ North Star Bar 05.21.09

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.

Robes :
Gregory- Vocals
Ryan- Guitar/Vocals
Kevin- Drums
JJ- Bass
Dan- Guitar

Robes – Another Drink
Robes – Fishtales

Download The Breaks EP

Upcoming Shows
June 5 2009 The First Unitarian Church with Denali Philadelphia, PA


HOT !:TONIGHT ! As In RIGHT NOW ! Adam & Dave’s Bloodline CD Release Party @ Johnny Brenda’s

May 1, 2009 by · 3 Comments
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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.

Adam & Daves Bloodline – Nothing To It
Buy Boycott Classics

Friday May 1st
Adam & Daves Bloodline Cd Release Prty
with Jotto and Faux Slang
9PM $10 21+UP
Johnny Brenda’s
Corner of Frankford & Girard Avenues
Philadelphia PA


Canadian Vampire Invasion Weekend !

April 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Here’s a cool little cover song for you today from one of our Philly favorites. It’s Canadian Invasion putting their own spin on  Vampire Weekend‘s Mansard Roof  recorded live at WXPN studios in Philadelphia.  Check it out.

Canadian Invasion – Mansard Roof (Vampire Weekend Cover)


Some Photos From This Past Friday’s show with Lambchop and In Grenada

February 15, 2009 by · 1 Comment
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A few photos from this past Friday night’s show at Johnny Brenda’s In Philadelphia. Opening the night was Philadelphia’s In Grenada, proving that they are indeed deserving of our artist to watch status for 2009, their powerful double drumming fueled songs only increase in intensity in a live setting. Be on the lookout for their new record coming soon. Lambchop then turned an excellent, albeit somewhat mellow set that recalled the smooth rootsy sound of Bob Dylan‘s recent records.

In Grenada

Jesse Leyh Of In Grenada

Kurt Wagner of Lambchop

Kurt Wagner of Lambchop



Artist To Watch : In Grenada

February 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Here’s one to keep your ears peeled for as winter gradually winds it’s way into spring. Philadelphia’s In Grenada are currently hard at work crafting an album that, if the demo tracks they sent me to are any indication, will be solidly sitting amongst 2009’s best records when all is said and done. Although painting from a sonic pallet that invokes easy comparisons to  Arcade Fire or The National, their music is infused with a countryish warmth and pop sensibility that is distinctly their own. Beating Heart with it’s shuffling rhythm and reverb laden textural flourishes of glockenspiel and percussion is one of those addictive songs you can listen to ten times in a row and not tire of at all. Or, check out It Doesn’t Matter, where the melodies and vocals intertwine and skitter about on top of a driving, hypnotic, drum dance.  Amazing stuff and I for one can’t wait to hear the whole album when it’s completed.

They’ll be taking a break from the studio to play a couple shows this coming week that you don’t want to miss. On Thursday February 12th they be doing an interview and playing live in the studio on Philly’s WKDU 91.7FM between 4 and 6 PM. On Friday the 13th they’ll take the stage at my favorite venue, the always excellent Johnny Brenda’s, opening for Lambchop (the band, not the puppet show).

In Grenada :
Jesse – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Evan – Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
Kevin – Keyboards, Melodica, Harmonica, Vocals
Chris – Bass, Vocals
Monika – Glockenspiel, Percussion
Steve – Drums
Devin – Drums, Percussion

In Grenada – Beating Heart (DEMO)
In Grenada – It Doesn’t Matter (DEMO)


Some More 2008 Odds And Ends

January 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Putting the best of 2008 to bed with a few more odds and ends. Here’s a couple great albums That I excluded from the Top 25 list.

The Swimmers – Fighting Trees [BUY]
This technically was offically released in 2008, but I had it number one in my best of 2007 so I excluded it from this year’s countdown. Read my take on it from last year’s top 25 here.

The Swimmers – It’s Time They Knew

Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals [BUY]
This actually came out late in 2007 but I didn’t get to hear it until early this year. Had I included it would have been in the top 3 for sure. A hypnotic blend of heavily textured sounds and rhythms with layers of very spiritual sounding vocal harmonies woven throughout. Highly recommended if you like discs like Talking Heads Remain In Light or Paul Simon’s Graceland.

Yeasayer – 2080

Philadelphia area bands put out so many excellent records in 2008, Here’s a bunch all worthy of best of 2008 status:

Adam & Daves Bloodline – New Age Boredom EP
Aderbat – We Belong To The Sea
The Chimeras – Party Of God
Gildon Works – Artful Rifle
Dr. Dog – Fate
Man Man – Rabbit Habits
The Spinto Band – Moonwink

Roomtone – Hits & Mrs
Scary Monster – Makeout At Werewolf Club

Live This Past Thursday 11.06.08 : Shaky Hands, Cheers Elephant, The Chimeras @ Johnny Brenda’s

November 8, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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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.

Shaky Hands

Cheers Elephant

The Chimeras – Good Friday
Buy Party Of God
Cheers Elephant – Here We Are
Buy Here We Are
The Shaky Hands – We Are Young
Buy Lunglight

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

Going Donuts On Election Day !

October 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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Philadelphia’s going to be a buzzing on election day next week, in addition to being one of the hottest contested states this time around, there’s going to be plenty of music action. I told you about the new Illinois music yesterday, today I have a brand new video from Phildelphia’s Donuts. It’s for their song Guantanamo from their record Jet Ear. It was directed by Mark Schreiber (of Slo-Mo, John Train, The Low Road, etc) and Suzanne Penn (of the Philadelphia Art Museum) and shot at the shore in Ocean City,New Jersey while throngs of adoring teenage fan girls looked on. Check it out, it’s a great song, and there’s some cool special effects in the video.

Here’s their game plan for next Tuesday:
“on election day, we will promote the video by donning our prison jumpsuits
and busking the song in front of as many polling places in philly that we
can get to … the idea is to change history …”

Watch for’em, have a good time while you vote, and as they say “change history”


LIVE : Roomtone CD Release Party @ Johnny Brendas

August 30, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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A few photos from this past Thursday night’s Roomtone Cd Release Party @ Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia with Jukebox The Ghost, Roomtone, and The Future Tips. Jukebox The Ghost kicked it off to an excellent running start with their Ben Folds-esque blend of piano based pop. Roomtone was up next celebrating the release of their fine new cd Hits & Mrs. Alex Yaker took the stage with what is essentially an all star six piece backup band which included Catherine Cavella on Cello, Fabrizio Siciliano on Guitar,Ben Yoblick on Drums, Joe Lekkas on Bass, Caroline McNeel on background vocals and percussion, and Dawn Webster on an assortment of horns. They played an amazing set of music comprised mainly of songs from the new CD, with a sound that falls somewhere between the chamber pop of Lloyd Cole and the Brazilian rhythms of Sergio Mendez. Future Tips closed out the night with a blistering set of guitar driven power pop think Twin Cinema ear New Pornographers crossed with The Undertones. A fantastic night of Philadelphia music all around.

Jukebox The Ghost [MYSPACE] [WEBSITE]
Roomtone [MYSPACE] BUY Hits & Mrs
The Future Tips [MYSPACE] [WEBSITE]

Jukebox The Ghost


Future Tips

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