Monthly Archives: June 2016

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week: June 20-26

The Originals Music Series… is taking the week off.

On that note, you might think that we’d be lost without our bread and butter. However, there’s plenty more going on in and around the Valley to keep us occupied this week. Explore your region or take a field trip with this week’s..

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!

Mon., June 20 | 7:30 p.m.
Sleep at Union Transfer
Venue: Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia
Admission: $25
Description: Start your week with a field trip to Philly to see Sleep, with special guests Windhand.

Tues., June 21 | 5 p.m.
3 Pill Morning
Venue: Gin Mill & Grille, 1750 Main St., Northampton
Admission: $10
Description: Minneapolis-based melodic hard rockers come to the Lehigh Valley to perform tracks off of their upcoming release, “Never Look Back.”

Sat., June 25 | 12 p.m.
The Stoop’s Summer Starter Pack
Venue: The Stoop, 1953 West Township Line Road, Blue Bell
Admission: $10
Description: A day of great music and fun awaits with Mage Hand, Kingfisher, Stay at Home Dad, Forest Ranger, Wetbrain, Chalmers, Bandit, Yung Boi Movement, and Haz Lo Correcto

Sat. June 25 | 7 p.m.
Roi & the Secret People and Acoustic Kitty Project
Venue: Rivals Sports Bar & Restaurant, 5 Lehns Ct., Easton
Admission: FREE
Description: The mongrels from Dog St. are meeting up with the cats from the Project in Easton’s hottest alley.

PHOTOS: The Second Annual Lehigh Valley Musicians Social

In addition to good vibes and a healthy exchange of ideas, Thursday night at The Originals Music Series’ Lehigh Valley Musicians Social featured a stellar lineup of musicians.

The night kicked off with Scott Marshall & Marshall’s Highway, who delivered yet another signature performance of rock, country, blues and everything in between. They were followed by Valdez, a talented foursome from Philly, and Pinnacle, who capped off the evening with their first performance since 2014. Each band shared a distinctive sound all its own with those in attendance, making this a showcase to remember.

We have some great photos compiled by LVU contributor Lisa Robinson, who did a fantastic job filling in behind the camera while I manned our table. Take a look!

A Note from the Founder for Our 200th Post

As I write this, it’s after midnight. I have to work in the morning, but I don’t feel like going to bed quite yet.

That’s because I’m pumped right now. Nights like tonight are why Lehigh Valley Underground exists, and I’m compelled to jump on here and tell you about it.

Tonight was the Second Annual Lehigh Valley Musicians’ Social, presented at The Originals Music Series by the Fyre & Ice Show. The night served as a good snapshot of the current state of our music scene – that is to say, folks from all walks of life, and from varying levels of influence, coming together to exchange ideas and support local, original music. There are so many people on our music scene who are beginning to join forces and tap even more into the Lehigh Valley’s boundless potential as an arts destination. With every night like tonight, we get closer to making that a reality.

For me, being able to chat with some of the musicians, supporters, and advocates who make our scene go gives me great hope toward the future of both Lehigh Valley Underground and our region’s culture at large. Before my eyes, I’m watching the scene evolve from smaller pockets to a bigger, more cooperative brother-and-sisterhood. Our scene has plenty of unifiers; people who truly want to make a difference and change the landscape of this area for the better. To go with that, we also have a bevy of ideas in our arsenal to make that happen.

Let’s not stop now, guys. Let’s continue to dedicate our time and talents toward the benefit of not only our music community, but the greater Lehigh Valley community at large.

We have great power within what we create. Let’s keep the party going.

PHOTOS: Colm Keegan and Laura Durrant at the PPL Public Media Center at PBS39

Working at PBS39 is certainly an enjoyable gig, and nights like this highlight the experience.

Colm Keegan and Laura Durrant, perhaps best known for their work touring with international sensation Celtic Thunder, came to the PPL Public Media Center at PBS39 on Wednesday night for an intimate benefit performance for the public media station. The duo, engaged to be married next month, played folky originals and Celtic traditionals to the delight of the audience for two hours.

Colm and Laura are no strangers to the Lehigh Valley. Not only did they make a similar tour stop at PBS39 last year, but Colm’s grandparents lived in Bethlehem for a short while. The singer-songwriter noted to those in attendance that Christmas City is an important stop for him on every East Coast tour.

It was a pleasure seeing Colm and Laura again — and meeting Colm’s brother Mark, who handled merch duties and joined the pair onstage for their finale. I hope that we’ll cross paths again soon!

Photos are property of PBS39; thus, the absence of the LVU watermark. By nature of what I do, I just thought I’d share them with you all here, as well.

Review: Wet Dentist – The Coup de Grace

Artist: Wet Dentist
Album: The Coup de Grace (LISTEN)
Released: 2016
Genre: Electro/Experimental

Bethlehem’s Wet Dentist makes music that is about the soundscape. It is about experimentation, and the mood it creates. On his latest release, “The Coup de Grace,” James Kristoff is willing to push boundaries and leave electronica’s often comfortable confines to create something unique.

A salient feature of Wet Dentist’s music is to challenge convention, and that notion is alive and well on “The Coup de Grace.” Even a track that is a bit more formulaic in structure, like “Soak Cobalt *bloat*dye*croak,*” gets off and running with vivid instrumentation and effects to support Violet Payne’s pointed, primarily spoken-word vocals.

Of course, Kristoff isn’t afraid to keep the listener guessing all on his own. A track like album closer, “A Rare Earth Element,” moves from idea to idea, mixing frantic percussion with spacy, atmospheric sounds, challenging the listener to keep an open mind and ear toward experimentation.

Track listing:
1) Community Piano
2) Soak Cobalt *bloat*dye*croak* (ft. Violet Payne)
3) Life/Afterlife
4) Haus of Whoa
5) Lead Ashtray (ft. Violet Payne)
6) In Order to Ascend
7) A Rare Earth Element

Review: 3 Pill Morning – Electric Chair

Catch 3 Pill Morning at Northampton’s Gin Mill & Grille on Tuesday, June 21. Tickets and more information here.

Artist: 3 Pill Morning
Release: Electric Chair (LISTEN)
Upcoming Album: Never Look Back
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock

3 Pill Morning is preparing to release its new album, the completely crowdfunded “Never Look Back,” in July. If its lead single “Electric Chair” is any indication, the money donated to the band by its fans is turning out to be well-spent.

The Minneapolis-based rockers – who have toured with the likes of Shinedown, Buckcherry, Hollywood Undead, and many more – hit us right away on “Electric Chair” with an urgent guitar riff that leads perfectly into a loud, high-energy track that is sure to keep heads banging.

Vocalist Jeff Stebbins delivers a memorable performance, highlighted by lyrical content about reaching the point of no return. The catchy melody is accompanied by a big sound brought forth by Jon Stephenson on guitar and Ryan “Riplee” Lee on bass.

Rightfully so, we’re excited to hear what the rest of “Never Look Back” has to offer. 3 Pill Morning has created the hype by releasing its opening track, a song as supercharged as its title suggests.

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week: June 13-19

It’s time to get social!

On Thursday night, you have the opportunity to mix and mingle with your musical brethren from the Lehigh Valley and beyond. You’ll also get to meet us – Lehigh Valley Underground will have a table, which may feature a couple of surprises…

Learn more about that, and some other cool events, as you dive right into the…

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!

Thurs., June 16 | 7 p.m.
The Second Annual Lehigh Valley Musicians Social at The Originals Music Series
Venue: Chicago Restaurant, 1179 Airport Road, Allentown
Admission: FREE
Description: Join Scott Marshall, Pinnacle, and Valdez for this special night of music and networking, presented by The Fyre & Ice Show.

Fri., June 17 | 7 p.m.
JingerKroa Opens for Jackyl at the Sherman Theater
Venue: 524 Main St., Stroudsburg
Admission: $18 advance; $22 day of show
Description: The Lehigh Valley natives keep their hot streak going, opening for another nationally-touring act at the Sherman Theater.

Sat., June 18 | 10 p.m.
Hector Rosado y Orq HACHE at ¡Sabor! Latin Festival
Venue: ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem
Admission: FREE
Description: Join Hector Rosado and the many other great acts who comprise the ¡Sabor! Latin Festival lineup at SteelStacks this weekend.

Ladies of Rock: Slingshot Dakota Record Release Show with Voirvoir and Summer Scouts

It was a packed house Friday night in the Fowler Blast Furnace Room at SteelStacks in Bethlehem for the hometown heroes Slingshot Dakota‘s record release show with fellow Lehigh Valley comrades Voirvoir and Summer Scouts.

With everyone excited for the start of the summer, spirits seemed high as we anticipated hearing songs of the brand new record, “Break,” the release of which was officially being celebrated by Slingshot Dakota that night.

The always excellent Voirvoir started off the show with their distinctive sound of heavy, synth-infused indie punk. The generally soft vocals and hard synth leads of singer/keyboardist April Smith, combined with the fuzzy guitar riffs and strident, pleading vocals of guitarist/singer Matt Molchany, are some of the defining characteristics that make this band great.

Summer Scouts were next on the bill, and they were noticeably excited to be on the stage playing for us. This punk rock/indie band hyped the crowd as much as possible in between their fast-paced repertoire of punk rock and indie songs. Lead singer Katherine’s impressive vocal range was met with gang vocals by the rest of her band to provide an even heavier appeal.

And finally, it was time for Slingshot Dakota to do what they came to do – play an incredible set to a room full of their closest fans, friends, and family. For those who may not know, they are a 2-piece band from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Husband-wife duo Carly Comando and Tom Patterson have been touring and performing around the country for the past 10 years. This band seems to radiate happiness and positive energy, and it is certainly expressed in their music. Even between songs, both members frequently thanked their friends and family — many of whom were in the audience — and showed nothing but gratitude and respect for the local scene and everyone involved.

With Carly expertly navigating the keyboard while singing raw, introspective lyrics — and drummer Tom Patterson holding it all together with his unrelenting style of heavy, deliberate drumming — there wasn’t a person in the room who wasn’t grinning ear to ear.

PHOTOS: The Moondogs Howl at SteelStacks

While I was at SteelStacks for Slingshot Dakota’s album release show (photos coming soon!), I was asked on Facebook to pop outside and spend some time with The Moondogs. I’m glad that I did!

The five-piece band played on the ArtsQuest Center’s outdoor TD Community Stage on a beautiful Friday night, peppering in originals with jukebox hits from some of the greatest eras in popular music history.

The folks in attendance had their dancing shoes on well into the night for The Moondogs. We look forward to hanging with them again soon!

PHOTOS: A Night of Improvisation with The Now

Improvisational musicianship always impresses me, whether it is found in jazz or showcased through a number of other genres. On Thursday, The Now brought its one-of-a-kind improvisational act to the stage at Rivals Easton, ensuring an impressive night to remember for all.

The way The Now moved so seamlessly from idea to idea speaks to each member’s individual ability, as well as the cohesion of the band as a unit. The foursome, comprised of Dan DeChellis, John SanFillipo, Shawn Cav, and Carter Lansing, utilized their music to put the arts on full display, inviting interpretive dancers to accompany them. In addition, a video loop played on screens throughout the venue to add a visual component to the performance.

Now, we add our “visual component.” Enjoy our photos from this intriguing night.

 

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