Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcoming Spring: The Weekend Music Game

First off, I apologize for not updating the blog lately, but things have been very busy and will hopefully settle down over the next two weeks.

But...I can't neglect the weekend music game for too long! I didn't have time to really come up with a theme, so we'll stick to the basics. Music player on random/shuffle, and list the first ten songs you come up with. Perhaps comment on them. And, as always, no skipping! And see if anything comes up that reminds you of Spring, because today IS the first day of Spring.

Here's my list for the weekend:

1. John Vanderslice - Parade - this is from a live Daytrotter Session. I love this song. Just really got into Vanderslice within the past year after seeing him at the Chameleon. VERY small audience, but a great intimate show.

2. Lovedrug - Happy Apple Poison - another band I saw for the first time at the Chameleon a few years ago. Quirky voice, but I like it.

3. Copeland - May I Have This Dance - whoa...I'm sensing a theme. Saw these guys at the Chameleon for the first time...and I think it was on the same bill as Lovedrug! Really pretty vocals and music.

4. T-Bone Burnett - Stunned - OK, I've never seen T-Bone live...let alone at the Chameleon. But I've been a fan of his music since about 1980. Great producer, but I love his solo discs.

5. The Lassie Foundation - We Are Kings - nice Southern Cali indie-pop band featuring the talents of Wayne Everett and Eric Campuzano, among others. Now this is the kind of music that would be fun to listen to in the car on a warm Spring day.

6. U2 - I Will Follow - this is the live version from Under A Blood Red Sky. 'Nuff said.

7. Always Sunday - Let You Down - One of my favorite songs from this band that is no longer together, featuring one of my favorite singers, Trent Dabbs. I've loved all of his projects and his solo stuff is great.

8. The Gloria Record - Grace the Snow is Here - Well...I guess this is NOT the kind of thing you want to hear on the first day of Spring. I'm not interested in any more snow, thank you.

9. The Violet Burning - More - I'm partial to earlier Violet Burning stuff, but this is still good stuff from the album Drop Dead. Love Michael Pritzl's voice.

10. Led Zeppelin - Dazed and Confused - Going REALLY old school here. Gotta love me some Zep.

And ten more quick ones for the road:

11. Future of Forestry - All I Want
12. Michael Knott - Deaf and Dumb
13. Mute Math - Picture
14. Mark Heard - She Don't Have a Clue
15. Fly Eagles Fly - Philadelphia Eagle's fight song - hmm. Wish I had a Phillies song!
16. Serene - Autumn
17. U2 - Shadows and Tall Trees
18. Robert Deeble - Blue
19. Van Morrison - Steppin' Out Queen
20. Yes - Starship Trooper

OK, now it's your turn. Add a comment with your ten songs for the weekend. And have a happy first day of Spring. And don't forget, that means it's Free Rita's Day!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Weekend Music Game

Well, due to the fact that I'm really busy, I didn't put a lot of thought into this edition of the Weekend Music Game. So really quick...down and dirty old school version. Music player on random/shuffle and list the first 10 songs you hear...no skipping! See what surprises you come up with.

Here's my list:

1. Brandtson - As You Wish - one of their older songs. Still enjoy this stuff.
2. Woven Hand - The Good Hand - I think this is from the first Woven Hand album (post 16 Horsepower), and I really love this song.
3. Bob Dylan - Jokerman - nice song from Infidels.
4. Glorybox - Sonic Ocean
5. Mute Math - Control - can't wait to hear more from these guys
6. The Juliana Theory - Love - has a bit of a Joe Jackson feel to it...
7. Brown Feather Sparrow - Sleep Well Child - nice and quiet beautiful song.
8. The Bird and the Bee - Because
9. Always Sunday - Great - another great project involving Trent Dabbs. Love his music and his voice.
10. Elvis Costello - Clubland - seriously catchy tune.

Ok...your turn!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Your Weekend Musix Fix

Once again, Central PA is bustin' at the seams with all kinds of great music (and other entertainment) throughout the area, so don't come whining to me if you can't find anything to do.

Ken's Picks o' the Week:
Pick #1: 3/6 - It's First Friday in Lancaster, and while the focus is on art, there is still plenty of music to be found throughout the city. You can check out 8-Track Radio at Building Character, or hop across the street to the new Progressive Galleries featuring music from The Greatest Funeral Ever. There is sure to be other music at other venues throughout the city as well. And don't forget the First Friday After Party in the Lizard Lounge at 10 p.m.

Pick #2: 3/8 - Local favorites Slimfit and Perkasie rock the house at the Chameleon Sunday night, along with former local Madi Diaz. A great showcase of what Central PA is able to produce in terms of music. This is an XPN Welcomes event.

Friday, March 6:
Adam and the Weight (Adam Kowalczyk of Live) at the Chameleon, Lancaster
The Thrives, Flatbed Ford, and Girls Like Cigarettes at the Abbey Bar, Harrisburg
Irishfest featuring Wyndfall in the Brewpub at ABC, Harrisburg
The Irish Rovers at the Hershey Theatre
Carl Peterson at the Ten Thousand Villages Cafe, Ephrata


Saturday, March 7:
XPN Welcomes Penn's Mask & Wig Club to Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster
Irishfest featuring Fire in the Glen in the Brewpub at ABC, Harrisburg
Dakini w/ FDR & the New Deal at the Abbey Bar, Harrisburg
Josh Blue (Last Comic Standing season 4 winner) at Whitaker Center, Harrisburg
Capitol Bandstand - A showcase for undiscovered local bands at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, York
Spring Doo Wop Cavalcade at the American Music Theatre, Lancaster
The Reese Project and Indian Summer Jars at Bube's Brewery, Mount Joy
Stinging Nettles & 8-Track Radio at Quip's Pub, Lancaster

Sunday, March 8:
The Peking Acrobats at Whitaker Center, Harrisburg

And that's what's going on. Feel free to comment with other events of interest.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Harrisburg Venue: The Midtown Arts Center


In my last post I blogged about Jonas Hair and his new Progressive Galleries space in Lancaster. So I thought I would keep the blog love coming for Jonas because of another project with which he is involved: The Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center.

The Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center is the newest venue in Harrisburg, and has the potential to be the coolest venue in the city. HMAC has a little bit of something for everyone. The space boasts two performance areas. The Stage on Herr space has an intimate club feel with a capacity of about 300, and the ability to feature smaller bands and performances. The 10,000 square foot Playhouse features a stage and seating for upwards of 600 people. This space can accommodate larger bands and other performances as well as lectures.

Additionally, several thousand square feet of gallery space will allow HMAC to showcase the work of local and regional artists. The space also boasts Cafe Sip, a small eatery being operated by Mangia Qui, as well as a private spa club featuring a pool in the basement of the building.

HMAC will have a sneak peak opening this weekend (March 7th and 8th) with the opening of a portion of Stage on Herr. According to their press release:

Both evening events, held at the HMAC building located at 1110 North Third Street in Midtown Harrisburg, include food by Mangia Qui, a full cash bar, table and bar seating. Attendees will be directed to the separate entrance to the cozy and intimate Stage on Herr, located on the Herr Streetside of the center. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 headlining the Tim Warfield Band; NYC comedian Joe DeRosa, DJ Geoffro and Projectionist Justin Ayala. Tickets to the March 7 event are $35 per person.

Then, on Sunday, March 8th the doors open at 6:00 p.m. to present a different mix of entertainment with Washington D.C. flamenco guitarist Richard Barry with Polish violinist Katarzyna Bryla performing as a duo from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. OBA OBA, the area’s favorite Brasilian band takes the stage at 9:00 p.m. and is sure to get everyone on their feet. Tickets to the March 8 event are $15 per person.

The opening of HMAC has the potential to really bring some new energy to Harrisburg, as they seek to attract a wide variety of musical performers and visual artists. HMAC is also at the center of a new push to bring a First Friday program to Harrisburg, and will also be seeking to promote Harrisburg as a destination for film companies.

I'm pretty excited about the facility and look forward to seeing how things progress as they continue to open more of the space over the next few months. HMAC is located at 111o North Third Street in the heart of Midtown Harrisburg. Check it out!

Monday, March 02, 2009

This is Not Your Mother's Art Gallery: The Progressive Galleries


There's a new gallery on the scene in downtown Lancaster. While it has been open a bit for the past few weeks, the Progressive Galleries will have it's grand opening "Art Explosion" this Friday night, March 6th, as part of Lancaster's First Friday events.

The Progressive Galleries isn't your mom's art gallery. This isn't just a space for art to hang on walls. For the past two years the Gallery has had a presence in Harrisburg and is more event driven. Art installations combined with music and projections have been happening up there on about a monthly basis. The Gallery also has a presence in York with the White Rose Gallery Project. But they have never really had a home to call their own. Now all that is about to change. Partners Jonas Hair and Walter Diehl are opening over 2000 square feet of space at 323 North Queen Street (in the Keppel Building, or Candy Factory) which will serve as the flagship space for their tri-county operation.


This Friday's "Art Explosion" will feature artwork from local Central PA artists, as well as music from New Cumberland-based band, The Greatest Funeral Ever. There will also be projections by Justin Ayala and live painting throughout the evening by Sean Poole

Normal hours for the new gallery are: Tues - Thurs, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., though they will be open later on First Fridays.

Hope to see you all there this Friday night for the grand opening, as a bunch of us will be converging on the Keppel Building. And don't forget to join the Progressive Galleries Facebook group.