Published in The Deli Philadelphia – Saturday, September 25, 2010
With a slew of Philadelphia Film and Music Festival shows going down today, you have no excuse to keep your ears idle. But where should your Philly F/M Fest journey begin? At the Crane Arts Outdoor Stage of course! Starting at noon, the free, all ages Crane Arts showcase will feature a full afternoon of local slaptastic, high-fivin’ music, including indie up-and-comers and set closers Toy Soldiers.The folk-blues collective, who just released their MAD Dragon debut, Whisper Down the Line, this past May, put a urban spin on classic Americana pop, hammering out Southern barnyard rock ‘n’ roll sermons (“Hard Times”), dirt roads and backwoods roots rock (“When I Tripped Into You”), and climatic ragtag-meets-bluegrass gospel choir anthems (“Which Way Waltz”). They’re zealous revival music (even if only in spirit) is worth seeing the whole show through. And while you do, check out label mates The Swimmers,who took a turn in the right direction with their breakout 2009 sophomore effort, People Are Soft, takes hopeless romantic to a whole new, sweeter level with their chugging guitars, handclap-esque percussion, infectious twinkles, thumping build ups and starry-eyed persistence. They’ll also play tonight Johnny Brenda’s with Brooklyn’s willowy art-pop sweethearts Asobi Seksuand Philly’s Like A Fox,who will bring their brand of ‘60s AM radio-loving psych-pop to the Crane Arts gig early in the set. Also on the lineup are dance-rock fashionistas East Hundred, vintage rock troupe Blood Feathers, folk-country fanciers Frog Holler and indie pop show openers Audible.
Not satisfied? Then if you’re packing $40, are 21+ and really want to get loaded, head over to Yard’s Brewery after the Crane Arts daytime taster where you’ll be treated to off-the-cuff film screenings (The Cow Who Wanted to be a Cheeseburger, Dig Comics, I Am Comic, and Woodshop Film Showcase) and eccentric pastoral tunes from locals The Spinning Leaves.If you just wanted the music at Yard’s and can’t stand movies (what kind of person are you??), skip out at 9pm and stumble your way to University City’s The Blockley Pourhouse (again shuttle buses would be huge) for WXPN’s “The Key” Blog Launch party. You’ll get to see show headliners (and Philly’s best-kept secret)Adam & Dave’s Bloodline drop their fuzzy epoch of blithe but incisive garage-pop (Jenkintown’s alt-power pop quartet New Motels,local sludgy classic rock powerhouse Bussesand Delaware’s post-shoegazers the Sky Drops also share the bill). If you are looking for a change of pace, soak in the hip hop/rock/pop triptych fix of Philly’s lap-steel guitarist Mike “Slo-Mo”Brennerfeaturing emcee Mic Wreckaat North Star Bar for the Authentic Records showcase (the bill also includes Des Moines-based bittersweet rock outfit The Nadas, crooning acoustic artist Benjamin Wagner, and Jersey’s folk-punk janglers River City Extension, whose lush arrangements and gang vocal lauds are better experienced live). And definitely swing by Tritone where The Deli’s favorite noise-poppers Party Photographers will ignite the stage for the SUGARTOWN showcase (hometown acoustic folk-rock haunters Baby Flamehead,UK’s gutsy and fervid rock singer Anita Maj and Princeton’s DJ Maria Tof WPRB 103.3 FM will also work it out at the South St. venue). I know. Trying to hit all these events is physically impossible, but more is still better than less (that’s what she said). – Annamarya Scaccia