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West Philadelphia Orchestra

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Weekend Warrior, December 30 - January 1

A new year represents aesthetically a clean slate, the chance to turn the page and let the past whether, recent or not, behind. Of course, the past may also hold cherished memories that one wishes to carry into the future. Either way, Saturday night serves as an opportunity to celebrate, for some, the year that was and for others the year that one hopes 2017 will be.
 
Now, my first instinct when I enter any environment is to look and listen; if there’s music, that’s typically a solid forecaster of good fortune. With that criteria, here are a few places one should consider spending the last hours of a trying 2016. 
 
The high-octane ragged barrelhouse blues of TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb will be headlining Boot & Saddle, paired with the earnest Americana of Levee Drivers, and the playfully bizarre, eclectic Mercury Radio Theater. If funky R&B and soul are your aspirations, Underground Arts is the destination. The brass beacon of Balkan beats, known as West Philadelphia Orchestra, and the retrograde soul-funk engine of Johnny Showcase once again come together for sweaty, good time. And channeling the silky authoritative dance-inducing vibes of Byrne & Bowie, MINKA enters the fray, which also starts with the funky instrumental slices of Muscle Tough.
 
The spellbinding folk-psych of Kurt Vile brings his mellow/mercury-spiking spectrum to The Fillmore, where he’ll be joined by psych-folk outfit Woods and Nathan Bowles. Ortlieb’s will host the mobile-layered, grooving, melodic sojourn of Mo Lowda & The Humble, as well as the atmosphere-altering, future-traversing experimentation of Air is Human, and a DJ set from Suburban Living, who will be pulling double duty that evening performing at Franklin Hall with Vacationer and CRUISR. BTW: Speaking of DJ sets, Lushlife will also be occupying the decks at Johnny Brenda’s.
 
Wherever you’re headed, embrace the joy and stay safe. - Michael Colavita
 
Other places to spend this last weekend of 2016…
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI Grubby Little Hands, Tutlie, SAT Kevin Manning/Lushlife (DJ Set)
 
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Oh, Are They? (Record Release), Belgrade, Honeytiger, SAT TJ Kong And The Atomic Bomb, Mercury Radio Theater, Levee Drivers
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Riverside Odds/Momma Hankton, Rexedog, Erik Kramer, SAT Eaten Alive/Fame Lust
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT West Philadelphia Orchestra, Johnny Showcase, Minka, Muscle Tough
 
Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St,) SAT Making Time
 
TLA (334 South St.) SAT Cabinet
 
The Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal St.) FRI Louis Futon, SAT Kurt Vile
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) Philadelphia Jug Band, The Theologicals, SAT (Upstairs) Phil Nicolo’s Eve of Destruction, Darla / (Downstairs) Marc Silver
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI The Loud Company, Commonwealth Choir, The Last Brontosaurus
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Kingsound, GhettoSongBird
 
Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Ave.) SAT Vacationer, CRUISR, Suburban Living
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) SAT Mo Lowda and the Humble, Air is Human, Suburban Living (DJ Set)
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Rich Medina, SAT DJ Deejay
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Brown Sugar
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Laura Cheadle Family Blues Band
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Solar Circuit, Naps Past Noon, Max Seidman Band, Los Festingos, SAT Matt Duke, Andrea Nardello, Quixote Project
 
Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI Chalk & the Beige Americans, Shy Boyz, Dirty Soap Blues Band
 
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.)  FRI Nik Greeley & The Operators, SAT Start Making Sense, Band From Mars
 
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Where the Locals Are Going in Philly This NYE

Nice job, Philly! What looked a little scarce with local representation for New Year’s Eve has filled out into a variety of sweet shows that will have folks spread out all over Philly. Kat Kat Phest, in its fourth and final year, will be auld lang syning away at Everybody Hits with Creepoid and The Spirit of the Beehive, two bands that definitely deserve more of that national/international love and attention in 2016. A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Captured Track’s EZTV, and Mercury Girls have the indie-pop goodness on lockdown over at Johnny Brenda’s. The dancin’ fools can be found with the Making Time crew at Union Transfer, West Philadelphia Orchestra, Johnny Showcase & The Mystics, and Ill Doots at Underground Arts, and LOUDS and Cheerleader, at Ortlieb’s this year. Unfortunately, Nothing at Boot & Saddle is sold out, as you should’ve known that it would, but I’m a firm believer that you can get into any show that you really want to. You just need to get crafty. Maybe unlawful sometimes, but it’s all in the name of the rock gods. Hope to see you out and about this NYE! - Q.D. Tran 
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Hezekiah Jones Record Release Show at Ardmore Music Hall Nov. 14

Rejoice this evening as the Raph Cutrufello-led musical troupe known as Hezekiah Jones celebrates their new record. In Loving Memory of oosi Lockjaw (available via Woodfarm Records) captures inborn, folk-pop warmth that hits your core, with sun-kissed familial harmonies and taut strings, strolling in time percussion. These ear-grabbing narratives offer a timeless approach - comfortably loose yet masterfully constructed, traditional yet not time worn. Joining in on the joy tonight at Ardmore Music Hall with a late night dance party is the boisterous Balkan blast, otherwise known as the West Philadelphia Orchestra, and the sweeping enchantments of Lauryn Peacock. Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., 8pm, $18, 21+ (Photo by Lisa Schaffer) - Michael Colavita

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Johnny Showcase & The Mystic Ticket Record Release Show at Underground Arts Oct. 16

The week can really hold you down. When Friday finally rolls around, you’re ready to break out and embrace that groove train. If that’s the case, punch your ticket at Underground Arts this evening. Celebrating the release of their new record, The Octopus!, Johnny Showcase & The Mystic Ticket invite you on their psychedelic spaceship of funk. Horn–charged blasts ignite the soulful get down. The cool, calm and collected dance-rock of Minka, whose sound is bathed in the waters of Bowie & Byrne, turns up the heat. Dishing out their customary dose of Balkan brass, The West Philadelphia Orchestra lifts a traditional sound with an exuberant modern feel, and to top this off, none other than Miss Martha Graham Cracker. Underground Arts, 1100 Callowhill St., 8pm, $13, 21+ - Michael Colavita

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Weekend Warrior, July 3 - 5

Tonight, Underground Arts presents a lineup that touches on traditional sensibilities with an eccentric twist and undeniable energy. West Philadelphia Orchestra ushers in that contagious Balkan blast of horns, threading together songs that draw individuals out of their shell with their dance-inspiring productions that methodically win one’s body over. The soulful funk of Johnny Showcase & The Mystic bring their tongue-in-cheek style that injects a humorous twist. Be prepared to move it, and shake it as those classic tones get a modern reawakening! Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Michael Colavita
 
 
Have a rad 4th of July - cheers!
 
The Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI YDI, Pure Hell, Anti-Suburbans, SAT Legion 76
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI QQQ, Svvje
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) Starwood, Pushin’ It 2 the Limit
 
Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) FRI West Philadelphia Orchestra, Johnny Showcase & The Mystic Ticket
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI (4pm) Bosom Band, Fastride, 9th Element, Michael Kordish./(8pm) Buddy Roc 1212, Only On Weekends, SAT Highest Basement Collective
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Revolution, I Love You, The One2s, Passion Crimes
 
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI The Unknown (Record Release), Stealing Fame, Ryan Downs, SAT Kid Cousin, Science The Rat
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI DJ Dav, Reed Streets, SAT DJ Deejay
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) FRI Hired Guns Blues Band, SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St) FRI Next To None, 1 Echo 1/Ryn Pascale, Thinking Out Loud, Rosa Diaz, Johua Dronyi, SUN (2:30pm) Teenage Chainsaw, The Dead Suits, Posers, Live Not On Evil, Severed, (7pm) The Charley Few, Fight, F#ck or Dance, Anti-Suburbans, GASH
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St) FRI Sonny Knockout, Continuum, Just The Architects, The GoAround
 
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) SUN Reef The Lost Cauze, Adlib
 
Morgan’s Pier (221 N. Columbus Boulevard) FRI DJ Beatstreet, SAT Mr. Sonny James, SUN (2pm) DJ Jugo w/percussionist Josh Robinson/(9:30pm) DJ Royale
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Andalusia, The Absolute Sky, Cultour
 
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI Splintered Sunlight + live stream of Grateful Dead 50, SAT Splintered Sunlight + live stream of Grateful Dead 50, SUN Splintered Sunlight + live stream of Grateful Dead 50
 
Creep Records (1050 N. Hancock St., Suite 76) FRI Broadened Horizons, Kingfisher, Mercury Retrograde Tasty Face
 
The Pharmacy (1300/02 S. 18th St.) FRI Boroughs, Black Salt
 
A House Named Virtue (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SUN Laser Background (Tape Release)
 
The Slacka Barrel (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Asrtoseer, Prosper or Perish, Witch Fist, Uncle/Father Oscar
 
Hong Kong Garden (Please Contact one of the acts or venue for more info) FRI Ladder Devils, Grim Sleepers, Legendary Divorce
 
Party on the Parkway (Ben Franklin Pkwy.) Philly 4th of July Jam w/The Roots
 
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