Philadelphia natives Creepoid have released three acclaimed albums–CEMETERY HIGHRISE SLUM (2015), CREEPOID (2014) and HORSE HEAVEN (2010)–two EPs (YELLOW LIVE GIVER (2010) and WET (2014).
Creepoid has shared the stage with Dinosaur Jr., Against Me!, Kurt Vile, Refused, Failure, Quicksand, Dead Meadow, Protomartyr, Best Coast, Swervedriver, …Trail of Dead, A Place To Bury Strangers, Twin Shadow, Warpaint, Converge, Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Night Beats and Psychic Ills.
REMINISCENT OF 90’S FEMALE, POST-GRUNGE BANDS, AMANDA X COMES THROUGH WITH HEAVY HITS AND DREAMY GUITAR CHORDS. FORMED ON A WHIM IN LATE SPRING OF 2012, AMANDA X’S MEMBERS GOT TO WORK AND SELF-RELEASED THEIR FIRST EP ON TAPE A FEW MONTHS LATER. IN 2014 AMANDA X RELEASED THEIR DEBUT LP “AMNESIA” ON PHILADELPHIA’S OWN SILTBREEZE. CHARLOTTE’S SELF AWARE RECORDS RECENTLY RELEASED THEIR 7″ –HUNDREDS & THOUSANDS–. A SOPHMORE ALBUM IS CURRENTLY IN THE WORKS. AMANDA X IS COMPRISED OF CAT PARK ON GUITAR, KAT BEAN ON BASS, AND MELISSA BRAIN ON DRUMS. <3
TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb are a band of so and so’s who sound like Bob Seger high on cocaine and lost in the apocalypse. They are a throwback to the swinging, drunken dancing memories of jump blues and roadhouse rock and big band leaders and The Rolling Stones and Bo Diddley and Tom Waits and Elvis. Big, sweaty, drunken 1970’s Elvis. WXPN calls their new EP – KONG “Eclectic and evocative, stirring together dusty cinematic arrangements with lyrical tales of depravity and hard-luck humanity that sound like something out of a Cormac McCarthy novel.”
Do you know who “your favorite band’s favorite band” is? It’s probably the most glamtastic band to come out since BOWIE wiped the lighting bolt off his face. They are from Philadelphia, PA and Creem Circus is what they call themselves (after their two favorite 70’s rock magazines, of course…but you knew that)!
Hear them and you will hear original tunes with riffs and choruses that rocket you back to 1974. See them and you will be blinded by the sequins glued to the sides of their homemade platform shoes and glitter bug-eyed glasses. Meet them and you will feel the inexplicable urge to run away with the Circus! The Creem Circus!!
But there’s more!
Guitarist Jim Cara and Chris DiPinto have their own guitar companies and have made guitars for many rock legends such as Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Cheap Trick, The Cars, The White Stripes and even the late, great king of glam rock himself David Bowie! If you missed the glam rock train on its first trip round, don’t worry, it’s making another stop in your town…and it’s call the Creem Circus!
Sometimes ya just gotta look into the past to move forward.
Ben Arnold has done just that with his new record Lost Keys. Inspired by the music he was surrounded brought up on, he confidently compiles the sounds of Philly Soul, Motown, Stax, and a little street corner doo-wop into an energetic and live-sounding song cycle of love lost, used, abused and rekindled.
After years of his attention focused on guitar-based folk-rock, it was little old spinet piano re-introduced into his world that changed his direction, helped him find new inspiration, and re-boot his longtime love for the instrument. Shortly after tuning up the new baby, a 70’s era, Brill-building-inspired song popped out. “Don’t Wanna Lose Ya” was the first of many to come over a few short summer months. He played it first for Dan Reed at WXPN radio in Philadelphia, who encouraged him to continue to write more songs in the same vein.
With the memory of a Midwest band tour 10 years ago, which took them to Hitsville, USA lingering in his mind and the music listened to along the way, writing a love letter of sorts, to the city which built Motown, became a natural subject and perfect groove that led to “Detroit People.” “Stupid Love,” inspired by the girl groups of the era but reframed in a more muscular tone, seemed a perfect single for Lost Keys, distilling the whole story of the record into an epic run-on sentence, complete with the requisite horn and string arrangements which Ben wrote as well. “Cannonball,” a nod to Ray Charles, the warning of “Forbidden Drive,” and the Hall and Oates-style “When Love Fades Away” are all steeped in history – yet they come alive in contemporary authenticity.
The record was produced by Ben and recorded over the last couple years in and around Philadelphia with the help of some of the city’s top players including longtime drummer Matt Muir, Zach Djanikian (Amos Lee), Eric Bazilian (The Hooters, Joan Osborne), Jay Davidson, Tony Reyes, and the sizzling voice of Philly jazz secret Jeannie Brooks. These were not players for hire, they are people who have surrounded Ben and his music for the larger part of his career.
Lost Keys is more than just another songwriter’s collection of muses. It’s a compellingly soulful, warm and inviting look into the heart of an artist at full bore. Truthful and soul bearing, yet engaging, communal and commercial.
Ben Arnold is reintroducing himself. A songwriter, musician, performer, and producer, he remains a longtime fixture on the Philadelphia musical landscape. He has toured regularly throughout the United States, as well as in Europe for the better part of the last 25 years. Originally signed to Columbia Records in the 90’s, Ben has since released countless label-supported and independent records over the decades. Always down for the challenge of re-invention and experimentation, you will see him constantly visiting far-flung points on the musical map. He has for many years been involved in collaborative projects such as 4 Way Street (Sanctuary/BMG), US Rails (Blue Rose/Europe), the Los Angeles-based indie rock band Pistol For Ringo, as well as David Uosikinnen’s In The Pocket: Essential Songs Of Philadelphia featuring Ben along with members of Philadelphia giants The Hooters, Tommy Conwell, and The Soul Survivors. His constant output of new material is a testament to the continual growth of his creative muscles as well as a product of the many worlds in which Ben Arnold operates.
His most recent tour, during this past winter, took him to Germany and The Netherlands. The tour’s first show was in Paris, France on the night of the November 13th terrorist attacks. Not to be deterred, the tour went on as planned and, in a small way, became a non-stop labor of love to bring music, compassion and sympathy to so many people, in a time of so much stress and doubt in humanity.
With a crusty, curmudgeonly, but loving take on the world around him, Ben Arnold continues to reveal more of himself with every record and live performance. Always a different day, another mood, and another view on the human condition. This is not an artist who has simply paid his dues. Ben Arnold is compelled to doing what he does, and does so with one of the most unique, if little known, voices in music today.
Philadelphia’s Deb Callahan writes creative blues, soul and roots influenced original music and uses her powerful, soulful voice to deliver an exciting live show. Her 2002 debut CD “If the Blues Had Wings” was featured as the hot debut in the October/November 2004 issue of Blues Revue Magazine. Blues Revue referred to her as the next Bonnie Raitt and raved “Philly’s Deb Callahan has the pipes, the songs and the raw talent to graduate to the next level”. Deb released her fifth CD entitled “Sweet Soul” in the fall of 2015 on her own independent label, Blue Pearl Records. Deb and guitar player Allen James travelled to Los Angeles in February 2015 to record with renowned drummer and producer Tony Braunagel (Bonnie Raiit, Robert Cray, Etta James) at Ultratone Studios. The all star studio line-up includes Johnny Lee Schell, engineering and slide guitar, Mike Finnigan on keyboards, Reggie McBride on bass, Braunagel on drums and James on guitar. Many of these players have recorded and toured with performers such as Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, and Etta James, so it was a truly wonderful experience to play with and learn from these musicians.
Shortly after her 2010 Cd “Tell It Like It Is”, Deb became a mom to her now 5 year old son Elijah. The experience of being a new mom has had a direct impact on her writing and focus in her life. The songs from “Sweet Soul” were written during an overall sweet phase of life. The mood of the CD is overall upbeat and fun and explores the theme of love and family with a real view into both its joys and challenges. This includes the experience of loving a child or partner, the connection and sweetness you feel when you slow down and just be present with ones you love, the pain and difficulty of letting go of a family member, the ups and downs of living with someone, the inner tension about balancing family and career, the energy it takes to keep things running to do a lot of different things in life. Doing social work in the heart of Philadelphia would be a good place to learn about life’s hard knocks and this urban school ground taught singer/songwriter Deb Callahan well. Her rich, honest and soulful tunes resonate with listeners and run the gamut from soulful ballads, to upbeat, dance oriented grooves. Her talented and road tested band includes Allen James, Garry Lee and Tom Walling.