The year is 1841, and Abraham Lincoln, bearded political titan and arguably the greatest leader in American history, is having girl problems. He's just broken off his engagement with his fiancée, Mary Todd, and the split is not going well for him.
Maybe that's an understatement. Chronically depressed, Lincoln is no stranger to melancholy, yet this one's a real ass-kicker.
Storytellers: Christie Lenée
Even a casual listen to Christie Lenée's instrumental, "Evolution," reveals that she's not your run-of-the-mill folkie.
Martin Atkins has said that a band's performance under the worst conditions should carry far more weight than that under the best conditions. I would like to think that the same rings true for music journalism.
Kill You In The Face
Kill You in the Face-it's an ironically off-putting name for a band whose upbeat, poppy sound seems to jive more with their MySpace claim of being "all around nice guys" than the morbid mental image the name conjures.
Matt & Kim
We saw them last summer at the Piazza at Schmidt's climbing up the stage scaffolding. We saw them at Lollapalooza performing in front of thousands of eager fans who were calling out their names. We even saw them on our television screens winning awards from MTV for their music videos. But most importantly, we heard them - and never stopped listening.
Q&A: Guided by Voices
Robert Pollard's Guided by Voices (GBV) is one of those definitive indie-rock bands. When contemporary indie bands start to find their way from novel to missing-the-point, one play of Alien Lanes is a reminder of what rock should sound like. And unlike so many bands that thrive in that absurdly broad genre today, their focus on music, not image, comes off as authentic.
Behind the Mic: Jen Levins
Today I present you with a day in the life of Jen Levins. This isn't really a typical day, but it happens often enough to cause trouble...
West Philadelphia Orchestra
The West Philadelphia Orchestra has a constantly changing roster, no concrete style, and a healthy disdain for pop's performer/audience divisions and power dynamics. This all-over-Philly institution plays a blend of genre musics that were until recently confined to jazz clubs, ethnomusicology programs, and CD bins labeled "World" - plus a dose of weird punk and funk to keep sounds fresh and local.
Kayti Didriksen's work covers several different forms of visual media painting, mosaics and murals. She splits her time between the studio and doing community work. Having recently relocated her studio from New Jersey to South Philadelphia, she is volunteering on the installation of a mosaic at the Hicks Street Community Garden.
It was an early Saturday evening when I met up with Philadelphia artist Jillian Kesselman. With an auditory backdrop of Misfits (both the band and patrons), The Streets and a myriad of other ruckus bands playing on the jukebox, we sat at Tattooed Mom on South Street in a back corner and chatted over a couple of beers. Jillian is an illustrator whose work has appeared in various exhibits about the city, band flyers, event posters, and your very own Origivation Magazine.