Featured, Misc

Song For Thought: AJR – “Sober Up”

AJR “Sober Up” (feat. Rivers Cuomo) is a Radio 104.5 discovery. Whenever the song is not playing on the radio I hear it playing in my head. “Sober Up” is catchy and infectious in a way that makes it exciting to listen to every time I hear it. Plus I love to sing or whistle the lines “my favorite color is you/you’re vibrating out my frequency”. Currently this is the only song I know from AJR, the three brother DIY indie-pop group of Adam, Jack, and Ryan from New York City.

AJR will be a part of Radio 104.5’s Winter Jawn 2018. Also on that bill are: Dashboard Confessional, The Struts, and J. Roddy Walston & the Business. Winter Jawn is an all ages outdoor (rain or shine) concert hosted by Radio 104.5 held at XFINITY Live on Saturday, January 27, 2018.

Featured, Misc

Song For Thought – Val Emmich “Catalyst”

It’s January 1st and a new year is here. I decided to change the intended weekly feature Five For Thought to a daily feature called Song For Thought. Yes, it’s our take on the standard Song Of The Day. So, visit this blog daily for a new song post.

The new year often makes me think of the song “New Year’s Resolution” by Val Emmich. And that would have been a fitting song to post, but I wanted to go with something a bit more positive and possibly inspiring. For those reasons Val Emmich’s “Catalyst” is today’s Song For Thought.

I see ahead a chance to breathe
I’ll start again, it’s what I need
I’ll start again, new and clean

These lyrics remind me of how I like to approach a new year—with a clean slate. This song and those lyrics are inspiring and provided a much needed catalyst to move forward and be open to the opportunities that 2018 might provide.

“Time to change things and mix it up.”

Shows Concerts Gigs

Shows I Attended – 2017

The following is a complete list of shows that I attended in 2017. Sure, it’s a short list but it’s filled with some special music memories. Thank you to all the artists who take the time to perform live and continue to fuel my love of live music. Here’s to 2018 being an even better year. Happy New Year! See you at a show—I mean it.


01/06/17 – Nicky P / Archawah / Former Belle @ Underground Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
01/14/17 – Pawnshop Roses / Travel Lanes @ MilkBoy Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
01/18/17 – Val Emmich @ Rockwood Music Hall (New York, NY)
01/31/17 – Farewell to Tin Angel: John Francis / Ross Bellenoit / Stargazer Lily @ Tin Angel (Philadelphia, PA)

02/01/17 – Mondo Cozmo / Hemming @ Boot & Saddle (Philadelphia, PA)
02/04/17 – Mondo Cozmo / Illinois @ Connollys Pub (Hatboro, PA)
02/17/17 – Freddie B’s Birthday Bash @ Dawson Street Pub (Philadelphia, PA)
02/18/17 – Hezekiah Jones / Black Horse Motel / Adrien Reju & Andy Stack @ Underground Arts (Phila, PA)

03/11/17 – Ben Arnold / Andy Stack & Adrien Reju Duo @ Burlap and Bean (Newtown Square, PA)
03/19/17 – Amos Lee / Chris Kasper @ Wellmont Theater (Montclair, NJ)

04/05/17 – Val Emmich @ Facebook Live (Interweb)
04/08/17 – IKE / Jealousy Curve / Pawnshop Roses @ Theater of Living Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
04/15/17 – Former Belle / Archawah @ Maxwell’s On Main (Doylestown, PA)
04/20/17 – Canvas People / Sixteen Jackies @ World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA)
04/21/17 – Methyl Ethel / Blonder / Archawah @ Boot & Saddle (Philadelphia, PA)

05/06/17 – Hinton Bower Jones / Tin Bird Choir @ Burlap and Bean (Newtown Square, PA)
05/25/17 – Chris Kasper “O, The Fool” Record Release / Sean Hoots @ World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA)

06/03/17 – Val Emmich ‘The Reminders’ Book Release Concert @ Maxwell’s Tavern (Hoboken, NJ)

07/01/17 – Val Emmich & The Veeries @ The Saint (Asbury Park, NJ)
07/11/17 – Tank and The Bangas / Sweet Crude @ World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA)

08/10/17 – Ben Arnold Band @ Gorgas Park (Philadelphia, PA)
08/18/17 – Sonofdov / Emily Barnes @ Dragonfly Cafe (Somerville, NJ)
08/30/17 – Silveeo / Psalmships / Andy McLeod @ Bourbon & Branch (Philadelphia, PA)

09/13/17 – Mondo Cozmo / Illinois / Flagship @ Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA)


11/06/17 – BANNERS / Dean Lewis @ Mercury Lounge (New York, NY)
11/11/17 – Ben Arnold Band @ Burlap and Bean (Newtown Square, PA)

12/09/17 – Illinois @ Archie/s Big Heads (Hatboro, PA)

Another great year of live music.


Shows Concerts Gigs

Shows Concerts Gigs: Jan 1 – Jan 7, 2018

Shows Concerts Gigs: Jan 1 – Jan 7, 2018

Sat 01/06/18 – Alright Junior @ Grape Room (Philadelphia, PA)
Sat 01/06/18 – Light Of Day Philly & Ben Arnold Record Release @ World Cafe (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix
Sat 01/06/18 – Frog Holler / Hezekiah Jones / Dem Hills @ Johnny Brenda’s (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix

Just a few show suggestions to get 2018 started on a good note.
Happy New Year!

Featured, Misc

Five For Thought – 12.15.17

Ben Arnold – “Sinister Direction”
“Sinister Direction” will appear on Ben Arnold’s forthcoming album ‘Sunday Morning Meltdown’ which is scheduled for a January 2018 release. This song, as does most of Arnold’s music, has a rich soulfulness that is pleasing to the ears and lyrical sustenance for the mind, plus the delightfully distinctive tone of Arnold’s voice. So, if you get a chance to see a Ben Arnold show you should go. And be on the lookout for ‘Sunday Morning Meltdown’. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hear the new album.

Sonofdov – “Fight Or Flight”
Sonofdov is the musical work of singer-songwriter Dennis King. Sonofdov’s music was brought to my attention years ago when I used to blog for another blog. It was a great musical discovery and I’ve been a fan ever since. Anyways “Fight Or Fight” has all the elements of a great Sonofdov song: acoustic stripped-down feel, honest lyrics, and King’s voice has a humbly alluring timbre. Give this track a listen if you don’t believe me.

Square Peg Round Hole – “Hush”
“Hush” is off Square Peg Round Hole’s 2017 release ‘Five Years’. I am simply fascinated by Square Peg Round Hole’s ability to constantly create emotion filled sonically saturated soundscapes. This band is clearly gifted with amazing musical talents. Wow! Glad to see the band went for an ambient sound on this ep because they wholeheartedly make it work. Unfortunately, I don’t see any shows listed for Square Peg Round Hole now, but I hope that changes soon.

Black Horse Motel – “Bones”
I think I saw Black Horse Motel only once this year and that is unacceptable. I do remember hearing “Bones” performed live and it’s a great song. “Bones” is from Black Horse Motel’s 2017 release ‘Parable’. Sometimes you just need some good Americana/folk music in your life and Black Horse Motel dispense it in spades. YES!!!

Maitland – “Glimpse”
“Glimpse” is the title track from Maitland’s June 2017 album ‘Glimpse’. I’m so glad that I found this song while Bandcamping the other day. I know that I’ve seen Maitland perform at least once in the past and I think I liked that performance. Well, “Glimpse” is a resounding reminder that I should have been paying attention to Maitland all along. Maitland, please accept my apology—I’ll be listening.

Live Spotlight

Photo/Video Recap: Illinois at Archie’s Big Heads (12/09)

I have seen A LOT of Illinois‘ shows over the years and last night’s show might have been the best to date. Illinois took the stage at Archie’s Big Heads (Hatboro, PA) at about 11:15PM and played nearly two hours of all Illinois with only two Tom Petty covers thrown in by request. A true “is this heaven” moment for any Illinois fan and anyone in attendance. If you missed this awesome show, the following photos and videos might help you to imagine what it was like to be there firsthand.

Illinois 12-09-17


Illinois – “Naked In Camouflage” 12/09/17
Illinois – “Nosebleed” 12/09/17

All in all, a fantastic night of live music.

Featured, Misc

Five For Thought – 12.08.17

Val Emmich – “Lately (The Crazy)”
Singer-songwriter extraordinaire (excellent actor and writer to boot) Val Emmich released his newest single last week called “Lately (The Crazy)” “It’s about this feeling of being in a constant state of alarm, not being able to turn it off, even at night, in the comfort of your own home.” An optimistic sounding song in a time of madness. Thanks for the comfort, Val, I think we can all use some.

Mike Herz – “The Acrobat”
This song, “The Acrobat” is the title track from Mike Herz’s January 2017 release. On the album this track appears last and I wonder if it was always intended to be that way or was that beautiful robotically harmonic sounding “goodbye” the deciding factor? Anyways, a great song, that voice is confident yet warm, and I know a banjo when I hear one. Catch Mike Herz at Burlap and Bean – Saturday, December 9, 2017.

Illinois – “Summer”
Listening to a song titled “Summer” does not seem seasonally appropriate when winter is near. Or, maybe it’s the perfect song to remind us of those warm, sunny days. Either way, this song embodies the fundamental underlying essence of the band Illinois—FUN. But it’s no secret that Illinois’ strength lies in their ability to effortlessly conquer any music style with confidence. You’re in luck, Illinois plays Archie’s Big Heads – Saturday, December 9, 2017.

Hemming – “Counting Stones
Hemming is a Philadelphia, PA based artist but it took me seeing Mondo Cozmo last February for me to hear her music for the first time. Well, I never claimed to be the sole discoverer of all great music. I always welcome your music suggestions. Anyways, this song sounds SO GOOD. And if I don’t get my chance to see Hemming live this Sunday at Boot & Saddle then I’ll be very upset with myself.

Strand Of Oaks – “Passing Out”
“Passing Out” is from the forthcoming album ‘Harder Love’ original recordings (January 19, 2018 digital release) by Strand Of Oaks. “Harder Love feels like Hard Love in an alternate dimension. A whole lot stranger and even more raw, it’s like the tripped out, spiritual brother to its predecessor.” Based on this song alone I can kind of see where that description comes from. It’s no “Goshen 97” and that’s where my appreciation of Strand of Oaks comes from. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing—just something different and different can be good. Strand Of Oaks’ Winter Classic 2017 starts tonight (Saturday and Sunday) at Boot & Saddle.

Shows Concerts Gigs

Shows Concerts Gigs: Dec 4 – Dec 10, 2017

Shows Concerts Gigs

Shows Concerts Gigs: Dec 4 – Dec 10, 2017

Mon 12/04/17 – The National @ Verizon Hall (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix

Fri 12/08/17 – Strand Of Oaks / Shannen Moser @ Boot & Saddle (Philadelphia, PA) | SOLD OUT
Fri 12/08/17 – Everyone Orchestra / Hezekiah Jones @ Ardmore Music Hall (Ardmore, PA) | Tix
Fri 12/08/17 – Ross Bellenoit / Sonja Sofya @ Stoney’s British Pub (Wilmington, DE) | Info

Sat 12/09/17 – Jackson Pines / Mike Herz @ Burlap and Bean (Newtown Square, PA) | Tix
Sat 12/09/17 – Mogwai / Xander Harris @ Theater OF Living Arts (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix
Sat 12/09/17 – Illinois @ Archie’s Big Heads (Hatboro, PA) | Info
Sat 12/09/17 – Strand Of Oaks / John Dyer Baizley @ Boot & Saddle (Philadelphia, PA) | SOLD OUT

Sun 12/10/17 – Strand Of Oaks / Hemming @ Boot & Saddle (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix

See you at a show!

Shows Concerts Gigs

Shows Concerts Gigs: Nov 27 – Dec 3, 2017

Shos Concerts Gigs

Shows Concerts Gigs: Nov 27 – Dec 3, 2017

Wed 11/29/17 – Intersect: The Chamber Orchestra w/ Andrew Lipke @ World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix

Thu 11/30/17 – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah / Outer Spaces @ Johnny Brenda’s (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix
Thu 11/30/17 – Liam Gallagher / Warbly Jets @ Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA) | SOLD OUT

Fri 12/01/17 – Fromer Belle @ The Pharmacy (Philadelphia, PA)| Info
Fri 12/01/17 – Andorra / Alright Junior / Knightlife @ Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix
Fri 12/01/17 – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah / Dominic @ Johnny Brenda’s (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix

Sun 12/03/17 – The Bluegrass Gospel Brunch: Manatawny Creek Ramblers @ World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix

See you at a show!

Shows Concerts Gigs

Shows Concerts Gigs: Nov 20 – Nov 26, 2017

Shows Concerts Gigs: Nov 20 – Nov 26, 2017

Thu 11/23/2017 – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Thu 11/23/2017 – Blinkin Lincoln’s 13th Annual Allstar Thanksgiving Night Jam @ Dawson Street Pub (Philadelphia, PA) | Info

Fri 11/24/2017 – Hezekiah Jones / And You, Brutus? @ Mike’s Tavern (Reading, PA) | Info
Fri 11/24/2017 – Cabinet / Mason Porter / Gatos Blanco @ Ardmore Music Hall (Ardmore, PA) | Tix

Sat 11/25/2017 – Nicole Atkins / Low Cut Connie @ Wonder Bar (Asbury Park, NJ) | Tix
Sat 11/25/2017 – Cliff Hillis Band / Corin Ashley @ Steel City (Phoenixville, PA) | Tix

Sun 11/26/2017 – The Bluegrass Gospel Brunch: Manatawny Creek Ramblers @ World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA) | Tix

See you at a show!