superfive cd release party

November 17, 2016 by · Comments Off on superfive cd release party
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Give a listen to a taste of the new superfive album, then head on out to World Cafe Live  in Philadelphia next Saturday, November 26 to catch all the action live. Lots of special guests and surprises in store so you don’t want to miss it.

superfive – pleaser advance EP

superfive CD Release Party Buy Advance tickets here

Best Shows I Saw In 2009

December 27, 2009 by · 2 Comments
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2009 was another great year for live music , slightly edging out last year for me with a grand total of 97 shows, in 26 different venues for 251 sets of music by 215 different bands, with 26 bands logging in 2 or more. Continuing to be one of the best live music venues anywhere, Johnny Brenda’s topped the list with 25 visits. The other places where you could have found me hanging out this past year being World Cafe Live(15),The M Room(11),Kung Fu Necktie(7) and The Khyber, The Fire and The Spectrum at 4 trips each. Enough with the numbers for now, here’s the best shows I saw this past year.

Want to throw in a very special thank you Joe @ Village Green Productions for letting me put Bag Of Songs Presents nights together and especially to all of the bands that played them this past year : Pow  Wow!, DeJesus, The Skyler King, Bridges And Powerlines, Curious Buddies, Bojibian, The Shots, Sugar Canyon, Canadian Invasion, Golden Bloom, Sudden Ensemble, In Grenada, Lima Research Society, Meyerman, Halloween, Alaska, Missing Palmer West, Scott McClatchy, Dinosaur Feathers, Joe Michelini of River City Extension, Creatures Of The Golden Dawn, North Lawrence Midnight Singers, High Hearts, Matt Kresge, Acres Of Diamonds, Tall Tall Trees, Eat Your Birthday Cake, Cailin Callahan

05.12.09 Leonard Cohen @ Academy Of Music
10.22.09 Leonard Cohen @ Tower Theater
Leonard Cohen came to Philadelphia twice this past year, after having not been here since 1993. While both shows were outstanding, the May show at the Academy Of Music was hands down the best show I saw this past year and also secures a place on the list of all time greatest shows I have ever witnessed. His stage presence and connection to the audience is amazing and at 74 years old he is still performing three hour plus shows. A friend at the same show called it “a gift from god”, it really was that good.

02.13.09 In Grenada @ Johnny Brendas
In Grenada plays a percussive, guitar driven brand of indie rock, that’s often compared to Arcade Fire or The National, this show complete with double drummers was as amazing as either of those bands. A Philly band you’ll want to keep to keep an eye on.

02.14.09 Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright @ The Kimmel Center
Rufus Wainwright never fails to put on a highly entertaining show and really knows how to interact with the audience. Solo inside the confines of the beautiful Kimmel Center was a perfect show for Valentines Day. Martha’s opening set was impressive as well.

03.13.09 The Feelies @ Johnny Brendas [Listen]
The Feelies hadn’t played in Philadelphia in just over 18 years but this show proved they hadn’t lost the magic in the interim. Easily as good or better than the shows I saw them play twenty years ago and still sounding relevant, a testament to the legacy of their influence.

06.08.09 Pink Mountaintops @ Johnny Brendas
Black Mountain made my best shows list two years in a row, I wasn’t lucky enough to see them again this past but leader Stephen McBean’s other project Pink Mountaintops is equally as brilliant trading in the heavy stoner rock of Black Mountain for more of a garage rock psychedelia.

07.19.09 Dinosaur Feathers, Joe Michelini of River City Extension @ M Room
09.07.09 River City Extension @ The Fire

Two of the bands that will be making serious waves in 2010 playing absoultely stellar sets on a Sunday night. If you witnessed this one you know how great it was. If you didn’t you’re you going to wish you had. Thanks to Emma at The World In A Paper Cup for turning me on to Brooklyn’s Dinosaur Feathers whose debut disc Fanstasy Memorial is going to make some serious waves when it drops in early 2010. New Jersey’s River City Extension’s live show is nothing short of amazing and this solo set by leader Joe Michelini was absolutely spellbinding. They also have a new disc coming in 2010 to be on the watch for.
River City Extension’s full band show is non stop energy and fun. Get out and see them as soon as you can.

09.09.09 Sleepy Sun @ Johnny Brendas
This San Francisco Band had the considerable luck to have long time Bag Of Songs favorite Rachel Williams( join the fold. Their live show is stunning blend of trippy psychedelia.

09.23.09 Missing Palmer West @ Bruce Springsteen Birthday Tribute at World Cafe Live
In a night that was filled with top notch performances by Philadelphia musicians playing the music of Bruce Springsteen, including the Born To Run album in it’s entirety, Missing Palmer West’s breathtaking stellar performance of the epic Jungleland was the crown jewel of the evening for me.

10.14.09 Bruce Springsteen @ The Spectrum
After seeing Bruce play a phoned in sloppy mess of a show back in April, where he even botched the lyrics to Promised Land while reading from the teleprompter, I almost didn’t bother to go again on the fall dates. The lure of seeing Darkness On The Edge Of Town played all the way through was too great to resist however. It was totally worth it. While the portions of the show before and after were good, the album in it’s entirety was outstanding,with Bruce turning off his work the crowd schtick for 45 minutes or so and just playing the music with the intensity it deserves. It was like being time warped back to 1978 when he still felt like he had something to prove.

10.17.09 Acres Of Diamonds,Tall Tall Trees,Eat Your Birthday Cake,Cailin Callahan @ JDMcGillicuddys
Sometimes when you put a show together it all just falls into place like magic, this was one of those times. This was the Bag Of Songs Third Anniversary Party and I can’t thank the bands enough for delivering a night of incredible music and fun all around.

10.23.09 Andrew Bird @ World Cafe Live Upstairs XPN Free At Noon
To see Andrew Bird recreate the sounds on his album in a live setting all by himself using loops and samples and multiple instruments was a truly memorable experience, and left me with a much higher regard for him as a super talented musician.

10.31.09 Pearl Jam @ The Spectrum
For the final show at the Philadelphia Spectrum Pearl Jam delivered a forty one song,three and a half hour juggernaut of that included plenty of hits,many rarities and even a special Halloween encore with the band dressed as vintage DEVO in yellow jumpsuits and red flowerpot hats
performing the song Whip It. A fitting send off to a great music venue.

11.06.09 The Swimmers @ Kung Fu Necktie CD Release Party
The Swimmers holed up for the last year or so and reinvented their sound and themselves as a band while working on their latest record People Are Soft. Their set at the CD Release Party for the disc showcased their new sound, playing one of the best and tightest sets I think I have seen them play, including a smoking cover of New Order’s Age Of Consent.

07.25.09 The Hold Steady @ XPoNential Music Festival @ Wiggins Park
In a weekend filled with some great performances form the likes of Yeasayer,Steve Wynn,Illinois,Low Anthem,They Might Be Giants,Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby and John Wesley Harding,The Hold Steady delivered a brilliant but slightly shortened set as a late evening rainstorm blazed through. The site of Craig Finn arms outstretched, singing in the pouring rain is forever etched in my mind.

I usually don’t list my worst shows of the year but this one was so exceptionally bad I thought it warranted a special mention:

10.23.09 Todd Rundgren @ The Spectrum
In what was billed as Philly sendoff for the final days of the Spectrum, Todd Rundgren shared a bill with The Hooters and Hall And Oates. After an amazing sounding and extremely tight set by The Hooters, Todd Rundgren took the stage and played an obnoxiously loud,self indulgent set of mostly obscurities that sounded like Spinal Tap gone wrong. More like a F— off than a send off tribute, maybe he intended it as a joke, I don’t know, but it cleared out most of the arena while he played,leaving everyone wondering just what the hell he was doing.

Everyone out and playing music deserves a mention so here’s the full list:
100 Monkeys,A Distant Second,Absolute Zeroes ,AC Newman,Acres Of Diamonds,Adam & Daves Bloodline,Adam Arcuragi,Aimee Mann ,Amy ,An American Chinese ,Andrew Bird,As Tall As Lions,Asteroid #4,Audible,Autolux,Bad Flirt,Bad Religion ,BC Camplight,Ben Arnold   Band,Beretta76,Bishop Allen,Black Landlord,Bojibian,Bottle Rockets,Bridges And Powerlines,Brother JT,Brown Recluse Sings ,Bruce Springsteen,By Surprise ,Cailin Callahan ,Cale Parks ,Canadian Invasion,Chairlift,Cheers Elephant,Chris Huff,Chris Kasper,Coltrane Motion,Cordero,Creatures Of The Golden Dawn,Curious Buddies ,Custom D 3,Cynthia Mason,Dan May,Danielson,Darwin Deez ,Dead Meadow,Deadstring Brothers ,DeJesus ,Dex Robweber,Dinosaur Feathers,Donna the Buffalo,Doomed To Obscurity,Drummer,Early Day Miners ,East Hundred,Eat Your Birthday Cake,Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes ,Fanfarlo,Fang Fang,Faux Slang ,Felice Brothers,Folklore,Frankie V & Kitchen Sync,Free Energy,Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus Of Dreams,Golden Bloom ,Goldspot,Grammar Debate,Grant Hart,Ha Ha Tonka,Hall & Oates,Halloween Alaska,Heirloom,Hesta Prynn,High Hearts ,Hoots And Hellmouth,Hop Along Queen Ancelais ,Horses Mouth,Ice Palace,Illinois,In Grenada ,Instamatic,James Maddock,Jeff Kessler ,Jeff The
Brotherhood,Joe Michelini of River City Extension ,John Gorka,John Train featuring Mike Brenner,John Wesley Harding ,John Wesley Harding and the English UK,Jotto ,JP05,Justin Townes Earle,Katie Herzig,Kitten Disaster ,Lambchop,Leonard Cohen,Lima Research Society,Longwave ,Lopez,Low Anthem,Lucero,Lucky Day ,M Ward,Marianne Faithfull ,Martha Wainwright ,Matt Gauss,Matt Krefting ,Matt Kresge ,Matt Santry,Matt Spitko,Meyerman ,Mini Mansions ,Minus 5,Missing Palmer West,Monsters Of Folk,Mount St Helens Vietnam Band,Nervous Rex,New Model Army,New Motels,Nicole Atkins,North Lawrence Midnight Singers ,Nothingberry Plasma,Oasis,OK Go,One Eskimo,Papertrigger,Pearl Jam,Persona ,Pete Yorn,Phil Roy,Phill-E Street Band ,Pink Mountaintops,Post Post ,Pow Wow!,Qatsi ,Quest For Fire ,Ray Morin,River City Extension,Robbie Fulks,Robes,Robes ,Rosewood Thieves,Royal Bangs,Rufus WainWright,Ryan Adams ,Scott McClatchy,Scott McMicken of Dr Dog,Serena Ryder,Sharon Little,Shonen Knife ,Shrinking Islands,ShyDog,Sisters 3,Sleepy Sun ,Spinto Band,Static Jacks ,Steve Forbert and the Windfall Prophets,Steve Wynn,Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra,Sudden Ensemble ,Sunset ,Superdrag,Tall Tall Trees,Team B,Ted Leo,The Armchairs,The Bacon Brothers,The Baseball Project,The Big Jangle,The Black Fortys ,The Broken West ,The Bye Byes ,The Bynars,The Capitol Years,The Depreciation Guild,The Doughboys,The Feelies,The Friggs,The Great Unknown,The Hold Steady ,The Hooters ,The Lampshades ,The Lemon Treasures,The New Time,The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart,The Popo,The Rigbees,The Shots,The Skyler King,The Subjects,The Swimmers,The Tough Shits,Them Vultures,Theotis Joe,They Might Be Giants,Those Darlins,Throw Me The Statue,Todash,Todd Rundgren,Tom Hamilton’s American Babies,Tommy Keene,Tommy Womack,Trained Attack Dogs ,Univox ,Upsincefriday,Victor Victor Band,Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby,Yeasayer,Youth Group

2009 Christmas Song Of The Day 22

December 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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A special holiday song for you today with some Philadelphia flavor to it. It’s from the Blood Feathers, who are the first band on the brand new Philebrity record label, with their excellent record Goodness, Gracious which is currently available on iTunes, and is coming soon on CD and vinyl in the new year.
Watch for it.

Blood Feathers – Christmas Will Make You Feel OK


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New Music : In Grenada – Break

November 16, 2009 by · 1 Comment
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Jesse Leyh Of In Grenada 02.13.09 @ Johnny Brenda's Philadelphia

Jesse Leyh Of In Grenada 02.13.09 @ Johnny Brenda

Way back around February, Philadelphia’s In Grenada sent me a few early demo songs from a new album they were working on. Since then it has been one of my most anxiously awaited releases this year. That album, now titled Break recently made it’s way to my inbox and it has been well worth the wait. Ten songs that fully deliver on the promise of those early demos.  Music filled with powerful percussive rhythms, melodic reverb laden vocals and plenty of textural flourishes like acoustic guitar and xylophone.  Much like the Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible or Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness On the Edge of Town,  there’s an underlying sense of spirituality woven throughout the feel of the songs and the imagery of the lyrics that really ties the record together nicely. It’s one of my favorite releases so far this year.  Here’s a couple songs to give you a taste, one of my personal highlights, the hypnotic rhythms of It Doesn’t Matter and the majestic sounding There’s a Change.  Watch for an upcoming release date and be sure to head out and catch their equally amazing live show when they take the stage Wednesday, December 9th at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia.

In Grenada – It Doesn’t Matter
From Break
In Grenada – There’s A Change
From Break


PHOTOS : Weathervane Music Fundraiser Concert 11.12.09

November 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Breaking the long lull in posting with a few photos today from this past Thursday night’s first annual fundraiser show for the Weathervane Music Organization. If you havn’t heard of Weathervane it’s a non profit organization cofounded by Philadelphia’s own Brian McTear to work with and support independent artists in this challenging new era for working musicians. You can learn more and get involved by lending your support here Thursday night started off in the amazing space at 2424 Studios with a special solo show by Scott McMicken of Dr Dog at a special VIP pre-show party. It then moved over to Johnny Brendas for a show by all of the artist’s Weathervane had worked with on their 2009 Project Series, {{{Sunset}}}, East Hundred, Danielson and BC Camplight. A perfect way to cap off 2009 and set the anticpation high for Weathervane’s 2010 projects.

Scott McMicken Of Dr Dog

Scott McMicken Of Dr Dog





East Hundred

East Hundred





Daniel Smith Of Danielson

Daniel Smith Of Danielson


BC Camplight

BC Camplight

HOT : New Music From The Swimmers

October 5, 2009 by · 1 Comment
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It’s been a little over two years since I first heard The Swimmers- Fighting Trees album.  An addictive set of well written, hook laden shimmery pop, it’s one of my favorites of the past couple years. Their new record People Are Soft really showcases how much they’ve grown as a band in the ensuing time, it’s a darker, more textural sound, powerful but no less addictive. Check out one of my personal favorites from the new disc, A Hundred Hearts, and be sure to pick up the album when it’s released on November 3rd. Clear your schedule now to be at Philly’s super cool Kung Fu Necktie for the offical CD release Party on November 6th. I’ll be there, it’s sure to be a blast.

The Swimmers – A Hundred Hearts
Buy People Are Soft

Upcoming Shows
Oct 15 Union Hall NYC
Nov 6 CD Release Party at Kung Fu Necktie w/ Capitol Years Philadelphia, PA
Nov 7 Pianos NYC
Nov 13 Progressive Galleries Lancaster, PA
Nov 14 he Bog Scranton, PA


BOS Presents High Hearts + Matt Kresge Saturday October 3rd

October 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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This Saturday October 3rd Bag Of Songs presents a night of roots flavored music with Lambertville New Jersey’s High Hearts along with Glenside PA’s own Matt Kresge at Jd McGillicuddys, Philadelphia.

Matt Pillischer & Shaun Ellis of High Hearts

Matt Pillischer & Shaun Ellis of High Hearts

I first caught High Hearts at their recent Beta Hifi Festival appearance at World Cafe Live and was duly impressed. Led by Shaun Ellis on Mandolin and Matt Pillischer on guitar plus the recent additions of Justin Pope on bass and John Coursey on fiddle, their music is a potent blend of solid songwriting, soaring high harmonies, and warm rootsy instrumentation steeped deep in the tradition of artists like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Woodie Guthrie while still forging a path all their own.

Also on the bill is Matt Kresge an outstanding guitarist and multi instrumentalist who often uses a loop station to as his own accompaniement as well using band members Jay Rose -percussion, Bernie Gillespie -guitar and bass and Katie Rhodes – vocals.  Matt won the ‘Best Guitarist’ award at the National Emergenza Festival in 2005, has written music for commercials and various television networks and also sometimes plays in area bands B Side Prophets and Shady Grove.

High Hearts – No Moon
High Hearts – Together

High Hearts – Crickets

Matt Kresge – Goodbye Baby (Live @ Soupcon Salon 9.21.09)

Shaun Of High Hearts will also be celebarting his birthday at midnight, so come on out to be a part of what’s sure to be a good time party and wish him a Happy Birthday.

Bag Of Songs Presents:
High Hearts + Matt Kresge
Saturday October 3rd
JD McGillicuddys
421 N. 7th Street
Philadelphia PA
9PM | No Cover | 21+Up

Matt Kresge [WEBSITE]

HOT: Free Energy

August 30, 2009 by · Comments Off on HOT: Free Energy
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My favorite song of the moment, an addictive, guitar fueled, power pop gem, Free Energy, from Philadelphia band Free Energy who are generating quite the buzz with this first single.

Buy the Ltd Edition 7″ Single from DFA
Buy Free Energy on iTunes

By all reports they tore it up at After The Jump Fest yesterday, catch them on tour now in your city.

08/26: Washington, DC @ Black Cat
08/29: Brooklyn, NY @ After the Jump Festival at Littlefield
08/31: Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
09/01: Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox
09/02: Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
09/03: Iowa City, IA @ The Music Mill
09/04: Madison, WI @ UW Madison Memorial Terrace
09/05: Minneapolis, MN @ Clapperclaw Festival – Intermedia Arts
09/08: Milwaukee, WI @ Mad Planet
09/09: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
09/10: Buffalo, NY @ Sound Lab
09/11: Philadelphia, PA @ Making Time @ Pure
09/12: New London, CT @ I Am Festival – Waterfront Park


Do You Know The Holy Open Secret ?

July 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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If you’re in need of a good, foot stomping, hand clapping, singing alonging hootenanny to free your mind from the cares of the world, Philadelphia’s Hoots and Hellmouth have the just the cure for you. Teaming up with Dr Dog‘s Bill Moriarity to handle the engineering, they have a recorded a new set of tunes that truly captures the non stop manic energy of their live shows. The Holy Open Secret is a whirlwind blend of upright bass, acoustic guitars, mandolin, toe tapping percussion and harmony vocals that’ll have you up and dancing your troubles away in no time. Catch ’em, on tour near you soon !

Hoots And Hellmouth – Known For Posession
Buy The Holy Open Secret

Upcoming Shows
07/09/09 Club Passim Boston , MA
07/10/09 Empire Dine & Dance 575 Congress St. Portland , ME
07/11/09 StageOne 70 Sanford Street Fairfield , CT
07/16/09 The Basement Nashville , TN
07/17/09 JJ’s Bohemia Chattanooga , TN
07/18/09 The Beacon Pub 210 Whitson Avenue Swannanoa , NC
07/19/09 Unplugged in the Park @ Park Tavern 500 10th Street NEAtlanta , GA
07/21/09 The Melting Point Athens , GA
07/22/09 The Evening Muse 3227 N. Davidson Street. Charlotte , NC
07/23/09 The Camel Richmond , VA
07/24/09 Iota Cafe 2832 Wilson BlvdArlington , VA
07/25/09 XPN XPoNential Fest Wiggins ParK , NJ
07/28/09 The Boiler Room @ Congress Hall 251 Beach Avenue Cape May , NJ
08/05/09 Musikfest – Liederplatz Stage Walnut & Guetter StreetsBethlehem , PA
08/06/09 Iron Horse 20 Center St. Northampton , MA
08/07/09 Infinity Hall 20 W. Greenwoods Road (Route 44) Norfolk , CT
08/14/09 Summer Folk – The Georgian Bay Folk Society Owen Sound , ON
08/21/09 Kennett Flash 102 Sycamore Alley Kennett Square , PA
09/11/09 The Ark 316 S Main St Ann Arbor , MI
09/18/09 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol , VA


HOT: Weathervane Music Launch Party Thursday June 25

June 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
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Weathervane Music Organization collaborates with emerging and established independent musicians, record producers, film-makers and video-makers to produce and promote a wide range of innovative contemporary music and music related video productions.

At the end of March earlier this year Brian McTear announced the creation of The Weathervane Music Organization [more], a non profit collaborative effort to help artists in the rapidly changing career landscape they find themselves in today. Since it’s inception it has started a project series with releases from Austin band Sunset and Philadelphia’s East Hundred. Thursday night it celebrates its offical kickoff with a Launch Party at Philadelphia’s Kung Fu Necktie, where the songs and videos from the Project Series will be screened followed by live performances from Papertrigger and The Armchairs. There will also be commemorative event posters by artist  Mark Pernice available as well.  It’s going to be an amazing night, I have my tix, see you there !

Be sure to stop on by Weathervane’s site where you can find out much more detail about this great new endeavor and how you can help. While you’re there be sure to sign up and download free copies of the Sunset and East Hundred Project Series releases.

Weathervane Music –

Weathervane Music Launch Party
A viewing and listening party followed by
performances from Papertrigger and The Armchairs
Thursday, June 25
Kung Fu Necktie
1250 North Front Street Philadelphia PA

Papertrigger – We Are Nations Now !
Buy Riot Lovers EP
The Armchairs – Sammy Ghetz
Buy Stuff

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