7 Must-See Artists Playing Musikfest’s Metro Beauty Academy Main St. Stage

MBA Main St ActsBY RYLEE MARON, ARTSQUEST INTERN AND MUST-SEE LISTING CONNOISSEUR

That’s right: Another stage, another seven. This time we’re checking out the who’s who coming to the heart of the city of Bethlehem during the ‘fest…  Musikfest’s Metro Beautry Academy Main Street stage! Let’s take a look:

P.S. Click the band’s name to see their website!

1) Skunkmello – 8/1, 8:30-10:30pm

skunkmello

Looking for some good straight rock and blues? Skunkmello can help you out with that. These NYC natives just released a new single, “Stars & Stripes” in June 2014 that channels the roots and soul of the rock n’ roll music world. This particular track really highlights lead singer Matt Bartlett’s thick, raspy, American rock vocals and all the hard beats of drummer Jono Ori. If you’re a fan of bands like the Black Keys, you gotta check these guys out; Their 2nd EP “Lowlife Dreams” was mastered by Grammy Award Winner Brian Lucey – the same dude who worked with none other than the Black Keys themselves.

Revolutionary 360, an arts and entertainment webzine, couldn’t help but rant and rave about these guys. R360 blogger,Jamez Kirby, deems them to be amongst some of rock n’ roll’s greatest: If you are too young to recall the birth of prog-rock (Nazareth, Floyd, Zappa, Zeppelin) but are curious to see what the hype is all about, you can find nearly every reference to its development within Skunkmello.” Kirby also makes a point to note the strong Reggae vibes that Skunkmello flawlessly mixes into their hard rock guitar work. These funky Reggae undertones are particularly strong in the video below. Have a look!

2) Tall Tall Trees – 8/2, 8:30-10:30pm

tall-tall-trees

This is the story of one very talented man and his banjo. And every one should start flipping through the pages. That’s right, Tall Tall Trees is a solo artist act lead by the one and only Mike Savino. This is an impressive guy. He took the initiative to create his own start-up label and has already completed two awesome records. He is no ordinary indie-folk act for his loyal cult following has even developed nicknames for him that range from “space banjo” or “banjotron.” The reason I’m guessing is because his banjo work is out-of-this-world impressive. Any folk lover is bound to put his singles “Waiting on the Day” and “Highwire” on repeat.

3) Wild Adriatic – 8/3, 8:30-10pm

wild-adriatic

These SXSW-vets just came out with their debut album, “Big Suspicious”, this past January. But to be honest, it sounds like they’ve been doing this for a while. Wild Adriatic is straight from Saratoga Springs, NY, and they are an American-rock n’ soul group with funky undertones and bluesy grooves. And for just coming out with their first record, these guys are receiving some early recognition and praise. Rolling Stone featured their track “Woe” as one of their Daily Downloads and USA Today deemed their song “Mess Around” a “rock n’ soul stomper”. And rightfully so. Both songs rock.

4) Midnight Spin – 8/4, 8:30-10pm

Midnight-Spin

You know what I like most about these guys? They often say that in a world where electronic music is becoming more and more prominent and progressively becoming the majority their main goal is to keep guitar based music alive. To keep rock alive. Like okay, right on, Midnight Spin. Take a listen to their song “Cochis Bliss” and you’ll be reminded of bands like the Foo Fighters mixed with the early Killers mixed with Weezer mixed with The Strokes. It’s a solid mix of influences. And it’s awesome. Plus their album, “Don’t Let Me Sleep” has just recently been awarded an Independent Music Award for Rock Album of the Year. Nice! Check out a song for said album below!

5) Chronic Wolf – 8/7, 8:30-10pm

chronicwolfgroup

For our fifth band, here’s a group that fits right into this general rock n’ roll theme we have going. These guys got together in Perksaie, PA  and found their musical passion resides primarily in blues rock (and in my opinion, mixed with a hint of indie). Listen to any one of their songs -may I suggest “Those 11″ or “Affection” – and you’ll be able to catch some edginess mixed with a grooving flair. They’re super funky, channeling into the blues side of the genre. For a better idea of their sound, just think of some of the bands that Chronic Wolf deems some of their most powerful influences: Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and The Black Keys. Check out the video below and you’ll pick up on what I’m putting down, trust me.

6) Nick D’ & The Believers – 8/9, 8:30-10:30pm

nick d' & the believers

I know I said we had a general rock n’ roll theme going for this blog post. But here’s where it stops. And in the best of ways, don’t fret! I gotta say, when I took a listen to Nick D’ & The Believers, I was super pumped to have found them. They remind me entirely of some of my favorite bands including Passion Pit, MGMT and Churches. Driven by the sounds and beats of the synthesizer, this band is onto something. They’re like this cool, hipster, electro-pop/rock act that you hear more and more on radio stations like Radio 104.5. As in, I could completely picture these guys hitting the big time and playing at one of Radio 104.5’s summer block party concerts in Philly. They’d fit right into that whole vibe. Now I know I said they’re like electro-pop/rock but the band themselves deem their genre as “garage soul”. I mean that’s pretty cool (and not that I actually know what that means but I can take a guess their hinting at the gritty undertones and soulful rhythms found in some of their songs.) Speaking of their songs, be sure to check out “Find A Little Love” from their EP “Throwing Stones” and their newly released single “Bang Bang” (below!).

7) Stone Cold Fox – 8/10, 5:30-6:30pm & 7:00-8:00pm

stonecoldfox

Calling all fans of Cold War Kids, Walk the Moon and New Politics because Stone Cold Foxes are right up your alley. They have a sound that channels rock, indie, punk and eletectro-pop among other genres. They mix the genres to a perfect combination or as they like to call it, “blending the old and the new”.  Which is true: they continue to hold a strong grip to their American roots while bringing in the newly popular electro beats of today’s music world. They just recently debut their LP “Memory Palace” in May 2014 and it is jam-packed with some upbeat tracks. One of my favorites, “Seventeen”, is posted in the video below which has already gotten close to 22,000 plays on SoundCloud. The song is catchy and fun and it is this one in particular that reminds of the indie-rock songs from bands like Cold War Kids and the early Killers and Grouplove. Be sure to check it out!

Another round of must-sees is a wrap! More to come on Musikfest bands and information. Check out the rest of the Metro Beauty Academy Main St. lineup (and the entire Musikfest lineup) at www.musikfest.org. And get caught up to date with our previous must-see platz picks:

 

MF Map Highlight Metro Beauty Main St

7 must-see artists playing Musikfest’s Red Stag Pub Liederplatz

liederplatz

By Bob Gallagher, ArtsQuest Intern

Red Stag Pub Liederplatz is tucked away in the beautiful Sun Inn Courtyard, right off the hustle and bustle of Main Street.  The musical lineup features everything from folk and Celtic to Americana and rock. Here’s just 7 of the amazing performers coming to play at the Red Stag Pub Liederplatz this Musikfest.

 

1) Anna Rose – 8/1, 8pm

Anna Rose

Music runs in this girl’s blood.  Her dad, Alan Menken, is an award-winning composer who wrote the scores for just about every Disney movie of the last 10 years including “Tangled,” “Enchanted,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”  That being said, Anna is not your typical Disney princess. Her latest album “Behold a Pale Horse” takes its name from the book of the Apocalypse and several of her songs deal with the inevitability of death. You know what; I take that back about Disney princesses. Anna would make a great Elsa.

 

2) Seamus Kennedy – 8/5, 5pm | 8/6, 1:30pm

Seamus Kennedy

This is one crazy Irishman. My parents bought a Seamus Kennedy CD when I was 6 years old, and it was an instant family favorite. Even though the CD broke 15 years ago I still remember all the songs. We would put the CD on repeat for road trips until my parents couldn’t take it anymore. Kennedy has some of the funniest original songs I’ve ever heard, and his stage routine and wit is incredible. He is a master of the more solemn Irish ballads as well, although his rendition of Danny Boy is less than reverent.

 

3) The Badlees – 8/4, 7pm

The Badlees

The Badlees are one of many bands with origins in local Pennsylvania that went on to the big time. What started out as three Mansfield University students meeting in music class developed into a band with several national top 40 hits and album sales in the hundreds of thousands. Their first big album “River Songs” was inspired by the daily commute along the Susquehanna River to their recording studio in Harrisburg. These guys definitely qualify as hometown heroes.

 

4) Solas  – 8/5, 9pm

Solas

Much of the Irish-American band Solas’ music dedicated to telling the story of immigrants who came to America seeking a better life.  Never afraid to use their music for social commentary, “Pastures of Plenty” and “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” are part of their core repertoire, and they’ve covered some of the more politically “controversial” songs by Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Josh Ritter.

 

5) Paleface – 8/9, 9pm

Paleface

Paleface is a legend. This folk hero has been claimed as an influence and inspiration by everyone from The Avett Brothers to Beck. He now tours with his drummer-turned-girlfriend “Mo” Samalot, and sees huge fan turnouts wherever he goes. Paleface took up painting several years ago, and unlike fellow painters Sylvester Stallone and George W. Bush, is actually considered not terrible at this second calling.

 

6) The Revival – 8/8, 7pm

The Revival

These guys don’t have too much in common with Creedence Clearwater. For one thing, the band’s originally from Winnipeg, Canad-eh. But despite their country of origin (which isn’t really their fault), The Revival has built a cult-following in the States with the same almost-overnight speed that rocketed CCR to fame. Growing out of the underground party scene, the band hits on the perfect mix of classic-rock riffs, reggae, and modern EDM.

 

 

 EDITORS NOTE:  I picked/wrote #7 because I haven’t written anything in a while and was feeling left out. – Jon Lunger, Marketing Manager, ArtsQuest

7) The Defibulators – 8/6, 9pm

The Defibulators

Their official band bio is pretty accurate with its assessment that The Defibulators can be “described alternately as ‘Hee-Haw on mescaline’ and ‘CBGB-meets-Grand Ole Opry.'”  Nothing I write here is going to do them more justice than that.  With that in mind, I am going to continue to write about them in what I’ve just established as a fool’s errand.

I love that Americana traditions are finding their way back into our collective pop culture consciousness.  Some purists might say it’s a fad, but to them I say hogwash!  Hogwash!  Even if that may be the case, self-absorbed music snob, just chill the heck out and enjoy the glory that is a Defibulators frenetic, rock-fueled hoedown.

 

That’s it for now!   Check out the rest of the Red Stag Pub Liederplatz lineup (and the entire Musikfest lineup) at www.musikfest.org.  And get caught up to date with our previous must-see platz picks:

 

MF Map Highlight Liederplatz

 

7 Must-See Artists Playing Musikfest’s Pennsylvania Lottery Volkplatz Stage

Pa lottery volkplatz

By Rylee Maron, ArtsQuest Intern

In this installment of  Musikfest 2014 must-sees,  I’ll be covering an eclectic bunch of crazy (talent-wise and stylistically) acts playing at Musikfest’s PENNYSYLVANIA LOTTERY VOLKSPLATZ stage.  Pennsylvania Lottery Volksplatz is located in Bethlehem’s Johnston Park, in the city’s Colonial Industrial Quarter.

OK, let’s break it down:

1) Mucca Pazza – 8/2, 7:30-8:30pm | 8/3, 7:30-8:30pm

mucca-pazza-hero@2xFor fans of: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, March Fourth Marching Band, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk

Alright, so this may be a marching band, but it is a far cry from a high-school football game halftime show. These guys are quirky-walking around with speakers on their heads and sporting goofy outfits. These guys are super talented -landing appearances on shows like the Late Show with Conan O’Brien and gigs at Lollapalooza, for example.

 

2) Barleyjuice – 8/4, 9-11pm

barleyjuice-hero@2x

For fans of: The Elders, Seamus Kennedy, Enter the Haggis

With already six albums to date, it is safe to say that the five members of Barleyjuice came, saw, and conquered the world of Celtic music. Firmly believing that kilts should be worn only if you’re ready to dance them off, this rock band likes to call their way of life something of a “musical misbehavior”. Featured on iTunes’ “Essential Celtic Collection” and an episode of “The Office,” Barleyjuice has acquired a large following of “juicers” (what they call their fans) over the years.  I presume they’ll acquire a few more at this year’s Musikfest.

 

 3) Debauche – 8/2, 5:30-7pm  |  8/3, 1:30-3pm

debauche-hero@2x

For fans of: Gogol Bordello, Red Elvises, Balkan Beat Box, Flogging Molly

This “Russian Mafia Band” will make you want to bop up and down, dance until you get a little sweaty and clap your hands incessantly!  With strong violin and accordion sounds, Debauche’s performances will make you want to a) dance b) drink c) more of a) & b).  These guys are rambunctious, high-energy, and they even have a belly dancer who plays the drums (Kerry Lynn) to make them all the more unique.

 

4) Trouble City All-Stars – 8/6, 7-8:30pm

trouble-city-all-stars

For fans of: Bob Marley, John Brown’s Body, Peter Tosh

These five dues from the Lehigh Valley are making moves. They’ve played with the likes of Stephen Marley, Matt and Kim and Flux Capacitor.  They opened for Dr Dog at the Musikfest Cafe presented byYuenglnig too. Deeply rooted in reggae vibes but supported with firm rock beats, Trouble City All-Stars is something new to take a listen to.

 

5) Turkuaz – 8/7, 7:30-8:30pm

turkuaz-hero@2x

For fans of: Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Cabinet, Mingo Fishtrap

They’ve got a bunch of people, a bunch of instruments, and a bunch of energy. They’re quirky, funky, and hip. Turkuaz is a rare form of “pop-power groove” that will surprise you and get you in the mood for some fun. Originating in Brooklyn, NY, this group of talented hooligans are deeply influenced by performers like Sly and the Family Stone, Rick James and Parliament.  And ya can’t miss them… if there’s a ton of people on stage and they’re all wearing colorful jumpsuits, that’s them.

 

6) Gangstagrass – 8/8, 9-11pm*

(*also at Red Stag Pub Liederplatz on 8/9, 9-11pm)

gangstagrass-hero@2x

 For fans of: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Yonder Mountain String Band, Jamey Johnson

I’m sure you’ve guessed what these guys are about just by the group’s name… Gangstagrass is a group of dudes lead by the innovator himself, Rench, who blends hip-hop beats with bluegrass rhythms. I didn’t think it could work either people -but these guys are onto something!  Not only are they Emmy-nominated but they’re songs have been featured on various shows, namely on the FX show “Justified.”

 

7) Bastard Bearded Irishmen – 8/9, 7-8:30pm

bastard-bearded-irishmen-hero@2x

For fans of: Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Tossers, 

From rock, to punk to acoustic and celtic, this group of men with nicely groomed facial-hair perform songs with a lot of versatility. Dedicated to providing upbeat tunes (perfect with a mug of any brew) the six Irishmen above come to this year’s Musikfest with Celtic sounds that will make you want to sing along (or is that just a little bit of liquid courage making you do that..?)

 

There you have it, just a mere 7 of the amazing artists taking the Pennsylvania Lottery Volksplatz stage!  Check out the entire Musikfest lineup, featuring 347 different artist this years, at http://www.musikfest.org/lineup and get caught up on our past must-see artist blog posts for:

 

MF Map Highlight Volksplatz

7 must-see artists playing Musikfest’s Aetna Americaplatz

Aetna Americaplatz at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks
By Bob Gallagher, ArtsQuest Intern

With 300+ artists, there’s no denying that the Musikfest lineup can be overwhelming at first glance.   So, as a service to you, faithful ‘fester, we’re highlighting some of the ‘fest’s must-see artists, stage by stage.

Located at the Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks, Aetna Americaplatz is home to everything from rock, country and blues to world class tribute acts.   Here’s just 7 of the awesome artists playing there this year.

1. Sam Hunt: 08/03 9:30 pm – 11:00 pm

This guy is as American as it gets. Born in Georgia, raised in Nashville, Hunt played Quarterback for the University of Alabama and later signed with the KC Chiefs. Wanting to try his hand at songwriting, he ended up co-writing Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over” and Keith Urban’s “Cop Car.” For a guy who just had a career change, writing #1 hit singles right off the bat ain’t too shabby. Sam Hunt’s releasing his first album this year, and it looks like it’s going to be big.

 

2. Igor and the Red Elvises 08/08 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Front man Igor Yuzov was born in the Soviet Union, where Rock n’ Roll was outlawed and contraband records were traded in dark alleys at night. After moving to the U.S., Igor dreamed that The King himself, Elvis Presley, spoke and ordered him to start a Rock n’ Roll Band. Igor obeyed.

The Red Elvises mix traditional Russian folk influences with classic rock into what Igor likes to call “Siberian Surf Rokenrol” (didn’t know they had beaches there). Always off-color, always entertaining, Igor and the Red Elvises prove that Russians know how to have a good time.   These guys are a ‘fest favorite, and for good reason!  If you’ve never seen ‘em, check them out.   If you have seen them, you already know what I’m talking about!

 

3. The Blues Brotherhood 08/10 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Speaking of visions and starting bands, here’s one group that is on a “mission from God”…  to honor the spirit of the notorious Blues Brothers.

Featuring members from the original Blues Brother’s band, Paul “Joliet Jake” Miller and Ricky “Elwood” Bell have put together the best tribute band I’ve ever seen. Capturing the sound is one thing, but these guys also have the look and the moves that would make Dan and John proud. You don’t even need to have seen the movie to enjoy this classic blues band (although if you haven’t seen The Blues Brothers…what are you waiting for?).

 

4. Jesse Dee 08/02 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

What Bruce Springsteen was to Asbury Park 40 years ago, Jesse Dee is to Boston today.

Just like the Boss, Dee started playing in local clubs and would pack the house night after night. His recent tours have been every bit as successful. Dee’s music is classic R&B Soul. Watching him play, it’s amazing how he manages to throw himself completely into each song. “All the best soul music is based on shared experience” he says. “Songs have the ability to affect people, shine a light, lift them up, and push them forward. There’s hope in these songs,” he continues, “and people need that now more than ever.”

 

5. Robin McKelle & the Flytones 08/04 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

One of the best bands to come out Memphis in recent times, Robin McKelle & the Flytones capture everything that made American popular music so great.

They say they’re influenced by the likes of legends Al Green, Otis Redding and James Brown, but the Flytones aren’t anything like a “tribute” or revivalist band. All their songs are fresh and totally original, while still having that spirit that made “Let’s Stay Together” and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” big hits.

 

6. Dan Ellsworth and the Great Lakes 08/02 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Driven by a “fiercely independent collective spirit and whiskey shots,” this Rock n Roll band out of Nashville was named one of Esquire Magazine’s Top 15 Bands to Watch in 2014! They deserve it too. The rock genre sometimes seems dominated by old geezers and has-beens, and it’s real refreshing to have some young bloods starting something new. I don’t usually listen to inde rock, but when I do, I listen to these guys.

 

7. Atlas Road Crew 08/03 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

I don’t even know if these kids are old enough to drink, but man can they play. They take their name from when they used to practice in a storage unit on the side of the road; pretty hard-core. Their music is just as intense. Mainly 70’s style rock, there’s also some Black Eyed Peas and Kings of Leon in there too. Check it out:

And that’s just the tip of the musical iceberg!  To find out about the other 330+ performers coming to Musikfest this August, visit http://www.musikfest.org/lineup/

 

MF Map Highlight Americaplatz

7 Must-see artists playing Musikfest’s FLYLVIA Plaza Tropical stage

FLYLVIA Plaza Tropical at Musikfest
By Rylee Maron, ArtsQuest Intern

Welcome to the very first edition of our “X must-see artists playing Y-stage at Musikfest” blog post series.    It’s an exciting series of posts that, well… it’s a working title.  You’ll figure it out.

First up?  FLYLVIA Plaza Tropical.   It’s located in the heart of the festival (at Spring & Main Streets) in between Spark Orthodontics Kinderplatz and Wells Fargo Festplatz.  The sun will be radiating warmth, the drinks will be cool and the bands’ rhythms will pass through you like a brisk ocean breeze. It’ll be Bethlehem’s own little paradise, minus the risk of falling coconuts and mosquito bites.

Here are just a few of the bands playing FLYLVIA Plaza Tropical this year:

1) Black Violin

black violin

Black Violin works hard, but makes it look like play…” -N.Y. Times

This dynamic duo straight from South Florida first met in high school when they both decided to join the school’s band.  Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester will hit this Musikfest with some serious talent that will make your jaw drop -especially when you see just how fast their fingers move about the strings.  These dudes break it downnnnnnn. Beyond impressed. My fourth grade violinin’ self  is blown out of the water. (By anyone really, but especially them.)

See them Saturday, August 2nd, 6:30 pm -8 pm

2) Large Flowerheads

largeflowerheadstropical

I recommend that everyone take a trip back to the 6o’s with The Large Flowerheads.” -M. David Snyder, Lehigh Valley Source

Filling their songs with love, happiness and sunshine these guys find huge inspiration from top 60’s acts like the Beatles, Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin, Cream, The Hollies and Bob Dylan. The list goes on. And trust me, I bet their performance will make you question whether you’re at Musikfest or Woodstock. Maureen “Moe”, Greg, Billy, and John have got the hippy genre on lock and key. AND they’re a local band that took the 2012 Lehigh Valley Music Awards by storm -winning 5 awards including “Best Overall Entertaining Band”.

See them Sunday, August 3rd 6pm -8pm

3) Satellite Hearts

satellitehearts

 Satellite Hearts are gonna help bring back rock n’ roll in this town. Keep an eye out in both interest and safety and don’t do anything else besides go see them. -Ron Gallo, Folk You Philly

Satellite Hearts is a Philly-based trio (now foursome) that has taken the city in their own fearless and unrestrained grip. Be not fooled by their precious sounding band name -this 80’s brat punk act with a mix of hard rock and a bit of grunge (in my opinion) is not one to be taken lightly. Their thick, raw, and psychedelic sound is like a punch in the face -coming at you in full force.

See them Wednesday, August 6, 9:30pm -11pm

4) Ronnie Tsunami and The Wave Riders

ronnie tsunami

The Tsunami Wave Riders may be one of Trop Rock’s most underrated bands… a natural Gulf Coast trop rock fit, perfect for helping us all escape to the islands.” -Stars Fell On Alabama (Orange Beach, AL)

Now if you’re looking for a band to really transport you to an island destination, these guys are your ticket.  They even have hula dancers, people… what’s more tropical than that? Close to nothing. Ronnie Tsunami and his gang are straight from Charllotte, NC so you’ll be sure to hear a bit of a country vibe mixed into their predominantly reggae and rock performance. With a ukulele and the Caribbean drums to provide the beats, all you’ll need to do is dance (or hula!). So grab a smoothie or a cold beer and act like you’re on vaca.

See them Thursday, August 7th, 6:30pm -8pm

5) Grupo Arcano

grupoarcano

Carrying the torch forward… I remain highly impressed with Grupo Arcano, whose members are representative of the younger generation committed to the perpetuation of  ‘salsa dura’.” -Latin Beat Magazine

Oye! No te pierdas la oportunidad para oír el sonido inolvidable del Grupo Arcano -muchas personas no entienden que increible este grupo es! Need me to translate? My various years of Spanish has paid off and now I have a leg up on all (some) of you!  It says, “Hey! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear the unforgettable sound of Grupo Arcano -a lot of people don’t understand how incredible this band really is!” And side note: I put a little pun in there because “arcano” in English is arcane – understood by few, a secret. I’m so clever huh? But in all seriousness… this is the salsa band to see at this year’s Musikfest!  Each song is so undeniably upbeat and fun that it’ll be hard to keep your foot from tapping and your hips from shaking. “Oh no no, I am not a hip-shaker, miss.”  I’LL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT! Grupo Arcano will make you a mambo lover whether you can help it or not!

See them Friday, August 8th, 7:30pm -9pm

6) Sarah Borrello

sarah borrello

Borrello sings everything with an urgency that cannot be denied” -Billy Copeland Music News

So I’m beginning this paragraph as I listen to one of Sarah’s videos, and I chose it because I figured I would be able to hear her voice a lot better in a studio video – guys… my eyes just widened as soon as she started to sing. Like really SING. Her voice is insane -it’s like she doesn’t even need a microphone it’s so strong, ferocious and powerful. Her sound has deeply rooted piano tones but it isn’t too pop or too classical (actually not classical at all). It’s rock. Intense piano playing -like slamming down on each key.  Hands down I would give her an award ASAP.   Here’s how she describes her sound: “1/4 cup Grace Slick, 1/2 cup Fiona Apple and 1/4 cup Janice Joplin melted together until you get a smooth, strong consistency.”

See her Saturday, August 9th, 6:30pm -8pm

7) Hector Rosado y Su Orchestra Arche

hector-rosadoWhen it comes to Latin Percussion, Hector Rosado is the first name uttered from the lips of professional Latin musicians on the east coast of America.” -Steelavesalsa.com

Hector Rosado, a renowned musician who’s written tracks for BET Network and has recorded for Warner Bros., and his 10-piece band are going to bring all the heat just in time to wrap up Musikfest with a bang. They play salsa, they play meringue, they play almost any type of Latin style under the sun and they do it with swagger and pride (they’re even extremely well-dressed). Just as you think the beat will be dying down on the final day of Musikfest, Rosado and his orchestra will bring the tempo right back up. No resting or sitting during this performance, you’ll be dancing. With such a big orchestra, each song is jam-packed with intensity and energy. If you’re hoping for one last fiery performance during your trip to Musikfest, see these guys and they’ll definitely bring it on. And by the way, Rosado is a Bethlehem local! REPRESENT.

See them Sunday, August 10th, 8:30pm -11pm

 

For the complete Musikfest lineup, visit www.musikfest.org/lineup

MF Map Highlight Plaza Trop

Boom. Pumped.

BY RYLEE MARON, ARTSQUEST INTERN

Here’s a handful of awesome for you, straight from Musikfest’s free stage lineup.   Check out the complete schedule at http://www.musikfest.org/lineup/

1. PUDDLES PITY PARTY – 8/8, 8pm at PNC Series at the Musikfest Cafe presented by Yuengling

It is safe to say that I’ve never really heard about Puddles Pity Party before but once you see that he’s a clown… yeah, you immediately want to know what this guy is all about. As in, oh hey, does he sing circus songs? Or does he like make balloon animals and honk his red nose? Nope. HE SINGS LIKE AN ANGEL ACTUALLY.  Puddles is one sad looking clown with the most golden of voices. His rendition of Royals is one of the most creative covers I’ve ever encountered. Puddles has some pipes and they’re legit.

Check out his website here: http://puddlespityparty.com/

2. POSTMODERN JUKEBOX – 8/9, 7pm at Aetna Americaplatz

Seriously, why haven’t I heard of these guys before? I must not be spending enough time on YouTube because Postmodern Jukebox is quite the hit. They have an impressive knack for taking pop songs and twisting them into what they call “Doo Wop” versions. A 1950’s version of a Miley Cyrus song just sounds like it wouldn’t flow -but with Postmodern Jukebox, they make it WORK. Perusing through their website I found a quote by the mastermind behind the band, Scott Bradlee:

My goal with Postmodern Jukebox is to get my audience to think of songs not as rigid, ephemeral objects, but like malleable globs of silly putty. Songs can be twisted, shaped, and altered without losing their identities–just as we grow, age, and expire without losing ours…

Scott, you’re awesome. This is a really cool take to music. PS Fun fact, they’re in the video above accompanying Puddles! Small world.

Check out their website here: http://www.postmodernjukebox.com/

3. SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY – 8/7, 9pm at Aetna Americaplatz

These guys just “embody the soul and spirit of Dixie” -a phrase stolen from their website that I had to use because it perfectly describes the band. As I was checking out a few videos by these guys, I realized most of their vids last 7+ minutes each. You know why? Cause they start every song by just playing an intro. Taking the time to experience the song and lead into it with an awesome guitar solo. They feel out each song like it’s an experience and not some fleeting performance. They are soulful, funky and smooth. Southern Hospitality will go perfectly in tandem with a  cold beer and some swaying.

Check out their website here: http://www.southernhospitalityband.com/

4. SCYTHIAN – 8/5, 9pm at Aetna Americaplatz AND 8/6, 9pm at Pennsylvania Lottery Volksplatz

Now here’s the band that you fill up your mug and go dance, jump, clap, the whole bit. This “gypsy-infused american celtic” band produces sounds that make you want to dance around, cheers your beers and just have a good time as if you were in a old, rustic pub in Ireland. The press has raved about Scythian with the Washington post stating, “In concert, Scythian proves to be one of Washington’s most energetic and eclectic bands.” If you listen to the song above and just imagine it live, you’ll be able to nod your head and completely agree with the Washington Post. These guys have the passion and the energy to produce a hell of a good time show.

Check out their website here: http://www.scythianmusic.com/

5. Kuenta i Tambu (K i T) – 8/8, 9:30pm at FLYLVIA Plaza Tropical

Woah. This is a cool combo of sounds. Based off the tambu drums and literally translating to “Stories and Drums”, Kuenta i Tambu is a colorfully energetic group with a sound way different from anything you’ve ever heard before. On their Facebook page they define their genre as “tropical bass/tambutronic” -have you ever heard of that genre?  Me neither. But “tropically tronic”? I dig. This is the type of show that the energy will start out high and just keep rising and rising.

Check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/aboutkit

So… you’ll all get a chance to check out each of the bands above at this year’s Musikfest! Dates and performance info coming soon!

Boom. Pumped.

Delta Rae: Vocals That Could Kill

By Rylee Maron, ArtsQuest Intern

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You tell me if it looks like these girls can sing.

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You tell me if it looks like they can rock out.

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Alright,  I’ll tell you: THEY CAN.  Everybody, meet Delta Rae.

This six member band composed of three siblings (the blondes) and three friends (the other three…) can only be described as folk-rock with a punch. I am telling you guys, their sound is killer. And while the two girls are usually the ones that drive the momentum of the tracks with their insanely talented pipes, that is not to say that the guys don’t show off their voices on a few as well. This band is aaaall about harmony. And man, can they harmonize. It’s like each voice fills in the gaps of the others’ -instinctively coalescing with each other to form a sound so powerful and moving that you can feel the fire.

A word of advice: if you’re driving somewhere and you’re hoping to kick some major ass that day, listen to these guys in your car. And blast it. You will belt out each song and just feel like you can take on anyone. The tracks fuel you with fire. They’ll also make you really wish you could hit the notes that they can and also hope that no one can hear you singing so incredibly off key (a.k.a. you’re literally screaming).

Delta Rae has had two albums so far -Carry the Fire (2012) and Chasing Twisters (2013)- and each is compiled of tracks for a variety of situations…

For when you dated a guy because you fell in love with the idea of him but soon found out that he was actually more emotional and clingy than you are… so you broke it off. But man, you really wish it would’ve just worked out cause now it’s you and your cat. again. :

“If you loved him… life would be easy.” But ya just don’t. He had so much potential too. UGH. Sing it out.

For when you just feel like no one truly gets you lately. Your boss has shut down all your innovative and fresh ideas (they were extraordinary and he just doesn’t know what he’s missing out on so…). All your friends are getting married and having babies and you’re over here like “My relationship with Chipotle has been prettttty steady.” “Is there ANYONE out there?” who understands what is going on in my life. Anyone?:

God, I am feeling like a lost wanderer lately and this song is making me feel found. THEY GET ME.

For when you wish you had this song when Big Billy always bullied you in middle school. You’d just turn this on and put on a stink-eye stare and not say a word.  You wouldn’t have to do anything else. With lyrics like “The wolves will chase you by the pale moonlight”… yeah, Billy won’t bother you again. You technically don’t even know what the lyrics mean.. but he’d know that you suddenly got some fire in you. That’s right Billy, walk away:

Ooh, so eerie. You can definitely use this just to nonchalantly be like, “don’t test me dude… or else.” TAKE THAT all you Billys out there!

For when life is good, God is great, and the sun is shining. Is it me or are you KILLIN it lately? Turn this song on and just love life and be not afraid of anyone raining on your parade. This song makes you picture just happy friends and family, arm in arm, singing along. It’s definitely a song for when you’re just feeling GOOD and wanna clap to a feel-good song.

You know what, I’d be down for “Dancing In The Graveyards” right about now. Sounds slightly creepy, but I’m down for anything! Everybody now!

Those are just a few situations that you can find comfort in Delta Rae’s tracks. But there are many, many more! Almost all of their songs are jam-packed with fire, hope, and strength for any situation that may come your way. And with their incredible vocal talent driving each track, you can’t resist belting it out and letting your emotions go. Sing it out, let it out. UHH (punch grunt).

So belt it our in your car on the way to work. Belt it on in the shower after a long day. Belt it out at one of their concerts live – that’d be ideal! Right? Well, here’s your chance:

  • XPN welcomes Delta Rae
  • June 23, 2014
  • ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Cafe
  • BUY TICKETS HERE

Who could possibly forget the girl who played piano on the back of a moving truck in her first music video back in 2002?

 

BY RYLEE MARON, ARTSQUEST INTERN

C’mon EVERYONE knows how it goes…

 And to this day it’s the only song I know on the piano. Only the right hand though… it’s whatever. I still flaunt it:

Vanessa Carlton’s 2002 album Be Not Nobody, that featured the well-known track “A Thousand Miles”, quickly became platinum selling and Grammy nominated. But Carlton has come a long way since then. In fact, her whole vibe has changed (while still maintaining the strong piano sounds, of course) and it all started with a very ballsy move. Carlton recently went off on her own -leaving her record label and producer behind. She completely stripped her career from its existing position in order for a fresh start. At this point in her life, Carlton started to look at her music and writing differently.

In writing, I didn’t want to waste words anymore. It was a total arts-and-crafts vibe that I was doing all by myself.” – Vanessa Carlton

This whole new outlook lead to her brand new album, Rabbits On The Run. Inspired by Richard Adam’s novel “Watership Down”, Carlton’s new sound is a breath of fresh air. It’s totally different from what most people think of when they think of Vanessa Carlton. It’s not quite as pop anymore; starting to lean towards a misty, echo-y alternative sound. I liked Carlton before, with her tracks “White Houses” and “Ordinary Day”. But now I love how she took the initiative to be like, “Wait. Hold up. I want to rediscover my sound.” And she went out of her own and added a new dimension to her music. It’s pretty cool. You go, girl.

Below is a short preview of her latest album. Take a listen and pay close attention to these songs:

  1. “Carousel” — Still has that strong piano sound that we know and love but with an echo-y vocal harmony that makes it a little more alternative
  2. “London” — Perfect for a rainy day and the lyrics remind me a lot of the old Vanessa
  3. “I Don’t Want to Be a Bride” — This one’s catchy and incorporates her new sound with echo-y claps

So now that you’ve had a listen, maybe you could check her out live? Oh look! Here’s when:

VC - White Jacket in Grass - Photo Credit Matthew Wilson

  • Vanessa Carlton
  • Friday, June 20
  • Musikfest Cafe presented by Yuengling
  • BUY TICKETS HERE

A New Day, A New Sound

By Rylee Maron, ArtsQuest intern

Somehow find, you and i… collide. Doo Doo Doo Doo.

Hey little  kittens, you know what? It’s alright, “even the best fall down sometimes”! Right, Howie? Right.

Howie Day is the singer/songwriter behind one of the most well-known pop rock ballads out there. His song Collide has been on every single Now That’s What I Call Music! albums since it’s release in 2003. Alright, that’s a lie. But that song is so classic that it should be -don’t act like you don’t agree! And don’t act you don’t desperately wish someone would toss a pebble at your window in the middle of the night and sing it to you under the stars. Guys, don’t act like you haven’t put it on a romantic mix CD  back in the day for your girlfriend or soon-to-be-girlfriend-once-she-realizes-how-sensitive-I-am. No shame in any of that.

Howie Day has a way with his emotionally resonant words. When it comes to him “even the wrong words seem to rhyme”! Haha get it? Alright that was the last time I’ll place his lyrics into this post. Promise. But all jokes aside, it is completely true that Howie Day is quite the lyricist. And he holds a unique pop rock sound that is overwhelmingly calming. That’s right -so calming that the light, breezy,  head-bopping songs filtrate through every aspect of your being. And I know it’s super surprising but he’s actually come out with other songs other than Collide… c’mon people that was in 2003! And an artist with that much success the first time around doesn’t just let up. And he definitely hasn’t.

His most recent album release was in 2011 and  it has a slightly different sound that his other albums. Ceasefire, compiled of six new tracks, carries a lot more rock undertones than his well-known acoustic ballads -meaning it’s not as  much “bopppin’ my head back and forth” and more of “harder head nodding and some hair flying” . In fact, it reminds me of a mix between One Republic, Kings of Leon and Jack’s Mannequin. Combine all that with his soft, dreamy pipes and you have a really awesome  sound.

What’s even more cool is that he actually produces this sound with very little assistance. Day is known for his use of samplers (an electronic musical instrument that plays back previously recorded sounds) and effects pedals (another electronic musical instrument that alters an audio source) to allow him to harmonize with himself. Plus, you’ll often find him on-stage with him on acoustic guitar, a cellist (so cool right?), a keyboardist and a bit of percussion (see image below). It seems so stripped down but what comes out of this cool combo of instruments is a solid light-rock feel.

Howie

So, what sort of awesome songs make up this brand new Howie Day sound you ask? Below I breakdown my top 3 from the album. Take a listen and don’t be surprised if your head starts nodding or your foot starts tapping.  Or both. It’s bound to happen.

1.) Ceasefire

Tell me your foot isn’t tapping along to this song! Isn’t it a lot more rock than what you’re used to with Howie Day? It’s a cool change! I think this is the strongest song on the album and I guess that’s not surprising being that it scored the title. The rock undertones accompanied by the strong piano melody is awesome. Its well-written chorus makes it a solid track to sing along to. This song has got some fire behind it.

2.) Damaged 

If you guys have ever heard some of Jack Mannequin’s stuff – this is where that comparison comes in. This one’s got a bit more of a pop melody to it and it’s incredibly catchy. The percussion brings it all back to the rock feel that I’ve been talking about. The actual words he uses are super relatable and remind me of the classic lyrics from Collide.

3.) Oxygen

What’s this? You clapped along to this song? SAME. Honestly, I’m ready to drive around with all my windows down, sunroof open, and just jam to this song. The acoustic guitar really comes out in this one and it makes the track perfect for a sunny car ride. Plus, it’s just as catchy -if not catchier- than Damaged. I’m feelin’ this one.

So there ya have it. Howie always knows how to brighten your Day (was that forced?…)  But seriously, he has a great new sound that is worth checking out. And it’s safe to say that this sound is even better live. If only he was coming to SteelStacks sometime soon… WAIT!:

  • Howie Day
  • Wednesday, June 11
  • Musikfest Cafe presented by Yuengling
  • Doors: 6:00 p.m. ; Show: 7:30 p.m.
  • BUY TICKETS HERE

How We All Took a Second to Stop Worrying and Tried Making Some Glass

By Elizabeth Wiggins, ArtsQuest

Monday afternoon, several members of the ArtsQuest staff took a few minutes out of their busy days to take a sneak peak at the make-your-own glass seashell class the ArtsQuest Glass Studio is offering this June.

A quick side note: If you didn’t already know, the ArtsQuest Glass Studio is the area’s only hot glass studio AND it’s located at the Banana Factory.

AND if you also didn’t already know, you can visit every second Sunday of every month and make that month’s special make-your-own item (in June, that’s seashells on Saturday, June 8). You can also make-your-own glass at First Fridays now, which is a great way to increase your fun at First Friday by at least 85% (This June, you can have 85% more fun Friday, June 6, from 6-9pm).

Anyway, a whole bunch of staff members from the Front Desk, Finance, and Visual Arts Departments – most with no glass experience at all – tried their hands at making glass seashells. I brought a camera, because I’m that person in the group.

This isn’t just an insider’s look at the make-your-own process. There are also fun facts.

First, you gotta pick some colors.

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Fun Fact #1: Those bowls are full of frit, which is composed of small bits of colored glass. The furnace at the ArtsQuest Glass Studio at the Banana Factory holds clear glass, so to give pieces color we melt frit into the clear glass.

Then, it’s time to get some glass from the furnace. Students in all of our glass classes learn how to do this step themselves, but during make-your-owns the Glass Studio Staff gets things started.

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Fun Fact #2: The molten glass in our furnace is over 2,200 degrees. But you’re totally safe.

Next, it’s time to apply the frit to give the pieces color. Once the color’s been applied, it’s time to shape the glass and really get into the entire sea-shell making process.

This is where I let the pictures start to do the talking.

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Fun Fact #3: Our wood blocks are made from fruit woods and stay in water all the time. When hot glass is placed in one of the blocks, it rides on a bed of steam while it’s shaped.

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Once the details are in the piece, it’s time to start finishing. So, how does the glass get off the punty rod (that big pipe it’s been on this whole time)?

First, we use a tool called jacks to create a line where we can break the glass off the rod.

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Then, it’s time to wait until just the right moment to give the glass a little tap off to break it along that line.

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It’s important to be both gentle and decisive.

Finally, the glass heads off to the annealer, since it can’t be taken home right away.

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Fun Fact #4: In about two or three days, the seashells are ready for at-home use. Our annealer has slowly brought the pieces down from 950 degrees to room temperature.

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Even if there wasn’t something to take home, it would still have been tons of fun!

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