Category Archives: TVD Philadelphia

Special Record Store Day events around Philadelphia

Main Street Music, Siren Records, and AKA Music are all hosting special in-store performances to help celebrate vinyl collectors’ holy day.

This Saturday marks the annual gathering of record collectors across the globe to celebrate all things vinyl. It will mark the holiday’s 6th anniversary since its creation in 2007. Record stores in countries around the world will be hosting special in-store parties, events, and performances to coincide with the holiday. Record companies and artists have come to embrace it as well by pressing limited variations, repressings, or special releases specifically for the day.

While shops in and around Philadelphia are all having their own unique events, three have decided to up the ante. Main Street Music, Siren Records and AKA Music are all giving attendees free, exclusive in-store performances with artists like Billy Bragg, Restorations, Plow United, and Generationals. We’ve put together a short list of who’s playing where tomorrow and at what times.

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Baltimore’s Soft Cat team up with non-profit label for new album

The Charm City folk group and Philadelphia-based non-profit label Human Kindness Overflowing have come together to help raise money and awareness for communities in need.

In a city whose music scene is about as diverse as diverse gets, Baltimore’s Soft Cat carefully craft a beautiful blend of delicate, woodsy folk music that shines on their sophomore effort Lost No Labor, which was released just last week. An album three years in the making, it was released via Human Kindness Overflowing, a unique label based in Philadelphia that partners with artists to help raise money and food for those in need. All of the proceeds from the album will be going towards Whitelock Community Farms in Baltimore, MD.

Soft Cat was once the experimental bedroom project of Neil Sanzgiri. In 2010, Sanzgiri released his debut album Wildspace on local label Friends Records. It focused on the abandoned, forgotten areas in cities that are often overlooked, yet where communities continue to grow. Sanzgiri, then a recent transplant to Baltimore, wrote and recorded almost the entirety of the release, enlisting the talents of other musical friends to help perform it.

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The Trocadero Theatre to screen the US debut of Last Shop Standing

On April 17, the historic Trocadero Theatre in Chinatown will play host to the first showing in the country of the documentary showcasing the roller-coaster ride facing independent record stores. 

Year after year, the headlines seem to repeat themselves: despite an overall decline in music sales, vinyl record sales are on the rise. For well over a decade now, the music industry has struggled to keep up with the changing times, and thus, its growth has suffered greatly, yet somehow the sale of physical records increases.

The documentary Last Shop Standing delves into just this: how local, independent stores far and wide have managed to keep a steady course despite contemporary hardships and economic decline.

Just days before local shops around the world partake in the yearly celebration of vinyl records and independent record stores known as Record Store Day, the Trocadero Theatre will host a special showing of Last Shop Standing. It will mark the debut for the film in the United States. The movie has already made its way around Europe, garnering rave reviews from critics. Mark Searby of MTV UK called it “an essential watch,” and Stevie Chick of MOJO described it as “punchy and engaging.”

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Initial lineup for the 8th annual This Is Hardcore Festival announced

The hardcore and punk festival This is Hardcore returns for 2013 with the likes of Kid Dynamite, Modern Life Is War, and GWAR.

Amidst all of the fun and trickery that is April Fool’s Day, local hardcore promoter Joe Hardcore released the first wave of information surrounding this year’s This Is Hardcore festival. The four-day celebration will take place August 8-11 at The Electric Factory. Now in its eighth year, the festival found a new home last year in the Electric Factory. So far, only four- and three-day passes are available, for $125 and $100 respectively. There is no word yet on when individual day tickets will be available to the public.

Headlining This Is Hardcore 2013 will be a reunited Modern Life Is War and Kid Dynamite, as well as GWAR. While there were many rumors swirling around Modern Life Is War getting back together for the first time since 1998, nothing was concrete until last week. To coincide with the festival announcement, the band included a separate one (that can be seen at the end of the article) proclaiming their return, in addition to a new album due out in September. This Is Hardcore 2013 will mark their first reunion show of the year.

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The second annual
XPN Music Film Festival returns, 4/11–4/14

Public radio station WXPN and the Philadelphia Film Society have teamed up again to bring the second installment of the annual festival celebrating all things musical in movies. 

In what started as a part of the Philadelphia Film Festival hosted every year in October, local mainstays WXPN and the Philadelphia Film Society have joined forces to bring a special selection of great music-related movies to the city next weekend. Dubbed the XPN Music Film Festival, it made its debut this time last year. The festival and collection of movies presented received great praise from both the local press and public, making its return this year a no-brainer.

The types of films a festival-goer can expect to see include biopics about musicians, rockumentaries as well as films with notable soundtracks. In tandem with the screenings are a number of other events such as an opening and closing party and live performances. The festival is a great way for movie and music fans alike to come together and take in films that might not make it to silver screens in the city.

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Cold Cave prep new singles and Spring tour dates

Wes Eisold’s dark synthpop group Cold Cave have announced plans that include new singles through Heartworm Press, as well as a tour that will bring him through much of Asia before coming home to the states. 

It’s been a busy year for Wes Eisold and his band Cold Cave so far. And it looks like he plans on keeping things that way. In late January news came of a new single that would be released on Deathwish Records, a label run by  Jacob Bannon (of Converge) and Tre McCarthy and known for their hardcore acts.

The release features two tracks, “Oceans With No End” b/w “People Are Poison.” For the songs, Eisold wrote and performed each alone without any other band members. The single is currently available for pre-order through Deathwish Records.

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TVD Live: Thao and the Get Down Stay Down at Underground Arts, 3/23

Known for their spirited high-energy live performances, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down brought their best to the intimately sized Underground Arts in Philadelphia.

With a capacity of around 500, which is around a third or more smaller than the other rooms Thao has played in on this tour, the Philly audience received a welcome treat in seeing the band in such tight confines.

Before Thao came on Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside (above) were tasked with getting the evening started. The band played through their new album Untamed Heart almost in its entirety with a bit more kick than you’ll find on the record. Their style of old meets new rock is a great complement to Thao’s sensibilities, and Sallie Ford’s voice sounds even better in person. Something of a revelation though was guitarist Jeff Munger who was allowed to let loose and prove that the guitar solo is alive and well on the indie rock scene.

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Reggie and the Full Effect return with plans for a new album in 2013

Five years since embarking on their farewell tour, Reggie and the Full Effect  are going back into the studio… but only with a little help from you.

Last Stop: Crappy Town, the last Reggie and the Full Effect album, was released back in 2008. Since then, James Dewees (the man behind the project) has been keeping himself busy musically, just with the focus spread to other areas. New Years Eve 2010 here in Philadelphia witnessed the band’s return at the TLA for a single reunion show, but that all changed last week when Dewees took to Kickstarter to announce plans to bring Reggie and the Full Effect back for a new album and to tour “the living hell out of it.”

The new record, entitled No Country For Old Musicians, began as Dewees’ reflection upon living in an apartment with actors, models, and dancers who were all in their early twenties and his feelings of disconnection and aging. As these feelings grew, Dewees took to songwriting as an outlet, and as the songs piled up, he realized it was the perfect time for a new Reggie and the Full Effect album.

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Laura Stevenson and Field Mouse announce Spring tour

With a new album due out on April 23rd via Don Giovanni Records, Laura Stevenson and The Cans and fellow New York natives Field Mouse plot course for a nationwide trip through April and May. 

Back in January Laura Stevenson and The Cans announced the release of their third full length album, Wheel. It’s the second album since signing with local New Jersey independent label Don Giovanni Records. The band, led by Stevenson, has been crafting a special blend of indie pop, folk, and punk since 2007. The first single off the new album, “Runner” sets the tone for Stevenson’s most intimate and personal release to date. The song demonstrates the Long Island resident’s strength in her lyricism and her powerful, unmistakable voice.

Growing up, Stevenson was introduced to music at a young age. Both of her mother’s parents were seasoned musicians. Her grandfather, Harry Simeone, was the composer and choral arranger responsible for songs such as “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Do You Hear What I Hear.” Margaret McCravy, her grandmother, was a singer from South Carolina who worked with her folk duo siblings, The McCravy Brothers and later with American jazz and swing musician  Benny Goodman.

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Weekend Shots!

When’s the last time you could see an almost 50-year-old ska band, one of the leaders of the neo-soul sound, and a band that bangs on trash cans all in the same weekend? Answer: this weekend. 

While there have already been some weekends packed with great shows, there hasn’t been one featuring a more diverse group of shows in a 48-hour span. There truly is a little bit of something for everyone.

Friday, March 1st | The weekend starts off with two fantastic shows. The first comes courtesy of The Blockley. The West Philly venue plays host to The Skatalites. The Jamaican ska legends have been around since 1964 and are currently celebrating the release of their latest album, Walk With Me. The record features original drummer Lloyd Knibb prior to his passing, and is a tribute to him and every other member who has passed on over the decades. Opening the show are The Bullbuckers and The Snails.

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Generationals to release Polyvinyl Records debut in April

The New Orleans duo will also embark on a month-long tour with Splashh and Brass Bed celebrating their new label and album

Back in early January, Polyvinyl Records announced the signing of Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, aka Generationals. If the new home was not enough, they also revealed the details behind their third full length album, Heza. After nearly three years, two full length albums, and one EP on Park The Van Records (Dr. Dog, The Spinto Band), Heza will be the band’s first release on Polyvinyl.

High school pals and New Orleans natives, Joyner and Widmer have been making music while attending Louisiana State. They, along with a few other classmates, formed The Emaes Era. After a four-year stint the band broke up. Joyner and Widmer moved back to their hometown and began making music under the name Generationals.

On their debut album Con Law, it was clear that the pair had a knack for crafting lush pop melodies. A handful of the songs from the album scored major commercial placement. Their strongest single, “When They Fight, They Fight” was the track behind Bloomingdale’s holiday campaign. The record featured a sunny and bright ’70s California vibe and Phil Spector-esque production.

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Weekend Shots!

Time to keep this Presidential birthday party week going strong into the weekend! Do our fore fathers a favor and head out there to catch some great shows. 

For most it was a short, four-day week thanks in part to the celebration of President’s Day on Monday. It only fitting then that the weekend is full of shows from artists and acts who are native to our nation’s capital. The music scene—and really the entire entertainment environment—in Washington, DC is one that has a lengthy history, but in the past decade or so, has been relatively quiet. However, within the past few years it has been making a low-key comeback. If you’re not aware of this by now, take this weekend to familiarize yourself with some names that range from newcomers to seasoned vets from the DMV area.

Friday, February 22 | Tonight, two of the bigger DC acts pay a visit. On the one hand is a comedian who needs no real introduction, Lewis Black. Known for his angry, rant filled style, Black was born and raised in a town located right outside the DC-Maryland border called Silver Spring. Black will make his way to The Academy of Music on Borad Street for one night of laughs and funnys.

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TVD Live: Texas Is The Reason with Title Fight at Union Transfer, 2/16

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Legendary post-hardcore/emo vets Texas Is The Reason brought their reunion tour to Union Transfer Saturday night for one last show here in Philadelphia. 

For just the second time in 15 years, New York City four-piece Texas Is The Reason picked up the pieces again and set out on the road across the United States. Since their final show in Germany in 1997, the only other time the band has come back together was for two shows for the 10-year anniversary of their only full length album, Do You Know Who You Are? After recently playing as part of the 25th year anniversary shows for Revelation Records, it was announced that Texas Is The Reason would be hitting the road again for one final tour. Last Saturday saw their journey make a stop at Union Transfer in Philadelphia.

After headlining their own show a few months ago, local-ish pop punk sensation Title Fight opened the show. While throughout the night it was clear who the majority of the crowd was there to see, the Kingston, PA band brought out a sizable amount of fans early on in the night. In between sharing short stories about several songs and giving thanks to all those who came out to see them, Title Fight also acknowledged the importance and influence Texas Is The Reason had on them.

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Weekend Shots!

Valentine’s Day or no Valentine’s Day, the weekend is here and there is more than enough going on to make it worth getting out of your house

I know I have said it before and I am going to say it again now, Philly somehow has these weekends that are just packed with so many great concerts that you wish you had a clone to make it to all of them. This weekend is one of those. From a local band’s record release show for a highly anticipated album to a newly crowned Grammy award winner’s victory lap, there’s a little something for everyone this weekend!

Friday, February 15th | There is really only thing that should be on your radar tonight. Local noise punks Pissed Jeans have been creating quite a stir with the release of their new album, Honeys, earlier this week. It’s been gathering great reviews from local weekly papers all the way up to major publications. Tonight at one of Philadelphia’s newer venues, the Underground Arts, they celebrate the release of their album as they prep for a US tour in April. Other locals Leather and Lantern round out the bill. For as good as Pissed Jeans sound recorded, witnessing them perform live is one act you do not want to miss!

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Los Angeles duo inc. ready their debut full-length album

On February 19th inc., brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged will share their ’90s R&B infused record, no world

A few years back in a small basement in New York during CMJ, I found myself at a late night showcase. After a busy day full of bands coming and going, I was more excited to relax and grab a couple of drinks than to see even more music. For a while each song began to sound more like the last, and then a shy group of younger guys came to the stage. After their first song was over, my undivided attention was on them—as was every other person’s in the room.

That band was called, Teen, Inc. Years later, they’ve dropped the “teen” and are now simply, inc. Daniel and Andrew Aged are the masterminds behind the project, both former studio musicians (for a very impressive list of artists) who are coming forth and writing their own music. With a three song EP under their belt, the duo have been hard work since the winter of 2011 on their debut full length album.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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