Saturday night, World Café Live Upstairs saw a trio of bands warm up a brisk night. First up was Brooklyn-based Ponyhof. Usually a fourpiece, on this night it was just lead-singer and keyboardist Carrie Erving and cellist Chris Loxley. The duo lit the night with their shimmering indie rock currents.
There is an inherent all-sensory mood in the music of Lera Lynn. Old alcohol and smoke reside in the nostrils while the eyes can only faintly see the figures on the stage through the dimly lit room of sound. And there is the voice: a rich, sultry concoction that veers to country and folk, sometimes simultaneously. The guitar rumbles, sometimes gutturally, sometimes slight, layered with percussion that is never an afterthought. This sound certainly made her the perfect partner to the art of the second season of True Detective (for which she created the soundtrack).
The School of Rock AllStar Concert this week at World Café Live brought me back to a time of pop quizzes and social ladder-climbing. Yet, I doubt any members of the School of Rock band have to worry about winning popularity contests. Their all-star talents automatically make them the coolest kids in town.
An army of teen rock prodigies took center stage on Tuesday night to deliver a psychedelic show that would have made Jack Black proud. Two Allstar teams and two local school house bands took turns working the stage in half-hour increments throughout the night. At any given time there were about a dozen teens rocking the platform at once, accompanied by an instrument of their choosing. Instrumentalists included electric guitarists, keyboard players, and those on bass and drums. And let’s not forget about the show-stopping vocalists whose pipes were so powerful, it was hard to believe they’re barely post-pubescent.
Will Anderson strapped on an acoustic guitar at World Café Live on Friday night and opened the show with the powerful yet simple “Hurricane.” After the first song Kit French joined Anderson on stage, multitasking on the keys and saxophone while singing backup. The two performed a couple seamless sets, and then I began to wonder when the third Parachute member, Johnny Stubblefield, would join them.
“Johnny is sick,” explained Anderson. Well, that answered that. They expressed some disappointment in their band member’s absence, but then Anderson turned to French and casually admitted, “More sex for us. Hahaha.” The sold-out crowd of mostly women broke into a fit of laughter. I too let out a few giggles and then I realized they probably weren’t joking.
Jason Vieaux‘s mother was a school librarian who bought him his first classical guitar for $50 when he was a young boy. Fast forward several decades later and Mr. Vieaux is now a Grammy-winning musician who tours internationally, performing to eager audiences at almost every major classical guitar festival in the world. Vieaux is also no stranger to Philly: He’s Curtis faculty, and he’s performed numerous concerts here. He’ll be returning to World Cafe Live on May 7th to perform with the Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble, part of the LiveConnections concert series which aims to pair unlikely artists for interesting music making. We caught up with Vieaux to discuss his upcoming show and why Philly is such a hotbed for classical music. Read more »
Some of life’s questions are simply too great to ever be answered. Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? But this week, two different groups are tackling the age old question: does beer or wine pair better with food?
World Cafe Live has just announced an event that fits in perfectly with this week’s Meat Week theme. Back in 2013, World Cafe Live hosted Where’s The Beef? A Vegan Beer Dinner. On Monday, March 30th, they’re hosting the counterpart, Here’s the Beef, an 8-course tasting menu of braised meats, dry rubs and slow roasted cuts of beer. All of that meat will be paired with 8 beers, all of which are at least 8% alcohol by volume.
Tickets are $50 per person and include all the meat and beer.
These aren’t your typical collaborations: Flutes meet electronica-trombone. Jazz piano meets classical saxophone quartet. Western classical music meets traditional Arab stylings. Yet, that’s exactly what concert goers can expect at the innovative LiveConnections series at World Cafe Live throughout the spring, which creates synergy between Philadelphia-area musicians and other talent that would normally be unlikely bedfellows. Read more »
One listen to Mary Elizabeth Bowden‘s music and it’s pretty clear that this isn’t the type of trumpet you muddled with in middle school band. The Curtis Institute of Music graduate and world-renowned artist is releasing her first album, Radiance, this April, which features the works of two local Philadelphia composers: Joseph Hallman and David Ludwig. She also will be playing two Philly concerts in early March with an all-female brass ensemble, Seraph Brass.