This is the (really old) YouTube video that started it all:
This cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “A Case of You,” by singer Joshua Thomas, caught the attention of Mitchell’s neighbor, who showed Mitchell an entire series of covers that Thomas uploaded to YouTube. Several months later, when Thomas met Mitchell at a concert, she immediately recognized him from the videos. Read more »
Philadelphia singer-songwriter Joshua Thomas's latest EP, The Harboring, dropped Tuesday afternoon. The work, which was funded via a PledgeMusic campaign, is a solid collection of wistful tunes that makes for an ideal soundtrack as we segue into fall.
The six tracks find the crooner in tip-top voice. He slides in and out of falsetto seamlessly—and quite beautifully—on gorgeous lead track "Thread.” The fact that he was heavily influenced by the music of Joni Mitchell is unmistakable on the playful, acoustic "Paper Heart," which he told us in May, is "the most direct and honest song on the record." My favorite track,"Beast," is 4-plus minutes of Thomas flexing all kinds of musical chops. It seemingly reveals a time in his life when he went through a breakup and emerged stronger at the other end. It starts sweet and mellow—almost sad—before journeying to an almost anthemic ending where he prolaims, “Cut me out, cut me out / Cause I need to be lonely / I need to be lonely." It's heart-wrenching and inspirational at the same time.
I highly recommend the entire album. You can download it here, or if you prefer the idea of holding an actual album in your hands, Thomas will sell them at a special album release concert this Saturday night, October 4th, at the First Unitarian Church. More details on that here.
Party producer Josh Schonewolf teams with his boyfriend Daniel Palmieri (did you see what he said about him in yesterday's MCM?!) to present his latest recurring event, and this one's for the lovers—well, at least the soon to be. Icebreaker is a gay-speed-dating soiree that seeks to pair single men with other single men "they never met before." Here's the drill. Show up and register (and grab a drink) from 6:15pm to 6:45pm. Dating begins at 7pm sharp, when fellows move about the room to have a timed chat with other participants. Schonewolf says he will blow a whistle when it's time to move to the next man, and in the end—if there are matches—couples will be given vouchers for free drinks and a discounted dinner at Tavern on Camac. Awwww. Tuesday, September 30th, 6 p.m., $10-$12, L'Etage, 624 South 6th Street.
In response to violence on the streets of Philly—and especially the Gayborhood—instructors from street defense team Israeli Krav Maga will host a self-defense class at Icandy. Bring a few extra coins: Donations will be collected for the family of Robert Wilson III, the officer killed in a North Philly shooting in March. Tuesday, April 28th, 5:30 pm, free, Icandy, 254 South 12th Street.
Philly singer-songwriter Joshua Thomas recently launched a crowd-sourcing campaign on PledgeMusic to fund his next EP, The Harboring. The music will be his first new material since 2012, and the first time he’s approached an album as an out and proud gay man. I’ve written about Josh in the past, and it’s no secret I’m a fan of his music. His last EP, Halfway, has been a mainstay on my Spotify favorites list, so I’d love to see him get some Steve Grand-type love for his campaign to put out something new. (Trust me, he’s much better than that honky-tonker.)
Here, he answers some questions about The Harboring.
There’s something about seeing shows at Tin Angel that leaves me, as Whitney would say, so emotional, baby. The cozy, narrow room. Romantic, candle-lit tables. The music. The last time I saw a show there, a Girls Rock Philly affair, I was literally moved to tears during one singer’s rendition of Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You.” On the stage she stood, hitting all those high notes, while I sat below sobbing like a baby, enamored by the gorgeous sound that was coming out of her mouth. I had a similar experience last night when seeing Joshua Thomas.
Philadelphia plays home to a handful of gay singer-songwriters, but few possess the soul and raw talent of Brewerytown’s Joshua Thomas (formerly billed as Josh Schurr). His first and latest album, Halfway, has become a mainstay on my Spotify queue. It’s a beautifully haunting set of songs that finds the 25-year-old crooning softly over acoustic piano and guitar. The title track also serves as his official coming out. I asked him about that and a host of other things this week when I shot him a few questions in anticipation of his live show on Nov. 14 at Tin Angel.