On Stage: Danzig covers it all

Also: This Wild Life, Twiztid have area performances

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times

Glenn Danzig and his band Danzig, hit the road in support of their new album of covers, “Skeletons.”

A lot of bands will play covers (songs made popular by other artists) during their live sets and some will occasionally put a cover song on their albums. It’s rare to see a band or a singer do an entire album of covers — unless it’s a tribute album to one particular artist.

Danzig is a band that has been doing things its own way for more than a quarter-century so it’s not surprising that the group’s 10th album “Skeletons” is an album entirely of covers.

Even though the album will not be released until November 27 via Evilive Records/Nuclear Blast Entertainment, Danzig is already out on “The Blackest of the Black Tour 2015” — a tour that brings the band to the area on October 16 for a show at the Electric Factory (421 North Seventh Street, Philadelphia, 215-627-1332, www.electricfactory.info).

The track list for “Skeletons” includes “Devil’s Angels” (from “Devil’s Angels” soundtrack), “Satan” (from “Satan’s Sadists” soundtrack), “Let Yourself Go” (Elvis Presley), “N.I.B.”  (Black Sabbath), “Lord Of Your Thighs” (Aerosmith), “Action Woman” (The Litter), “Rough Boy” (ZZ Top), “With a Girl Like You” (The Troggs), “Find Somebody” (The Young Rascals) and “Crying In The Rain” (The Everly Brothers).

“I’ve wanted to do a cover s album for 20 years — maybe longer,” said guitarist/band namesake Glenn Danzig, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “There have been lots of songs I’ve wanted to do.

“What I had to ask myself was what can I do with the song? Can I give it new life?  If you’re not going to give it a new life, don’t do it. Make it your own or leave it alone because people have heard the original so many times.

“I definitely need to do something different with it. I don’t want to be a bar band playing exact covers. I want to turn people on to stuff they might not have heard on their own. ‘Skeletons’ was something cool to do. The Everly Brothers track is very haunting with piano, guitar and tympani.”

There is just one Elvis track on “Skeletons” but Danzig has many more Elvis covers already recorded. His plans call for an album entirely of songs by Elvis Presley.

“I’m a big Elvis fan,” said Danzig. “The Danzig sings Elvis album is already recorded. With ‘Skeletons,’ I made it heavy and Danzig-ized it. I used a different approach with the Elvis album — very minimal drums and mostly guitar, vocals and piano. It’s more about the songs.”

Danzig’s last studio album of original material was “Deth Red Sabaoth” in 2010.

“The new album is about 80 per cent done,” said Danzig. “I’ve been recording it in L.A. It’s still heavy but there are a couple different things I’m playing — little different flavors here and there.

“We won’t be playing any of the new songs on this tour. We’ll do three or four songs from ‘Skeletons.’ We’ll be playing a lot from the last record. We toured on that record a lot. And, sometimes we just throw the set list out the window and play the songs the audience is calling out for.”

Video link for Danzig — https://youtu.be/1V3t-cJ50Og

The show, which starts at 7:15 p.m., also features Superjoint with Phil Anselmo, Veil of Maya, Prong, and Witch Mountain. Tickets are $39.

Other shows this week at the Electric Factory are Mayday Parade, Real Friends, As It Is and This Wild Life on October 15; Timeflies, Kalin & Myles, and Lost Kings on October 17; Streetlight Manifesto, Dan Potthast and Sycamore Smith on October 18; and Twiztid, Ritz, Whitney Peyton, and Stitchy C on October 21.

this wild life

This Wild Life

This Wild Life is part of the Alternative Press Tour with Mayday Parade, Real Friends, and As It Is! The announcement was made onstage at the 2015 Alternative Press Awards. The 32-city tour started October 14 in Boston and will wrap up on November 25 in Orlando.

The line-up of This Wild Life is very basic — Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso from Long Beach, California.

The two musicians met while working at a musical instrument store and quickly bonded over their love for hardcore. Their debut album “Clouded,” which was released in May 2014, was met with positive reviews.

This summer, This Wild Life released a new version of their debut album — an upgraded edition titled “Clouded Atmosphere Edition.” It features three new original songs — “Stay Up Late,” “It’s Alright” and “Alone With Me.” The “Atmosphere Edition” also includes three live songs.

“Anthony and I met when he was my manager at a guitar center,” said Jordan, during a recent phone interview from his home in Southern California. “We found out that we had the same tastes in music. We started out as a pop-punk band and eventually de-evolved into a two-piece.

“Our first release was an EP in 2011 called ‘Pop Shove It.’ Then, we had a couple singles and an EP titled ‘Heart Flip.’ In 2012, we started working on our first full-length ‘Clouded,’ which came out May 2014.

“We recorded it in Lakeland, Florida with Aaron Marsh, who was Copeland’s producer. I was a huge fan of Copeland. We went to him because we didn’t have much experience in recording softer music.”

The updated version of the album was done with a very specific goal.

“We were offered a spot on the Warped Tour,” said Jordan. “We had some new songs written and we wanted to put something new out to sell at the merch table at Warped. So, we did this instead of doing an EP.

“We’re hard core fans — punk and hard core. We still listen to heavy music. We’re more in line with the Warped Tour than we are with coffeehouses. If we toured with acoustic bands all year, we’d be playing much smaller venues. We decided from Day One to tour with bands that make no sense.

“We like to stand out. We tour with bands that are totally different than us. Audiences at these shows are used to hardcore and metal. With us, we’re a crossover band.  Anthony grew up listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and he learned finger picking back then

“”We actually started as a four-piece. Now, it’s just the two of us on acoustic guitars — and Anthony does play some electric guitar. Going from four to two was a slow process. We had done an acoustic version of an early song that did well. So, we did a few more acoustic songs. It was growing organically. Now, we’re having more fun writing softer songs.”

Video link for This Wild Life — https://youtu.be/sk-BcSIzkn4.

The all-ages concert featuring This Wild Life will start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $30.

twiztid freek showWhen Twiztid toured the eastern states earlier this year, Philadelphia wasn’t on the itinerary.  Philly fans who wanted to hear the songs from Twiztid’s latest album “The Darkness” had to travel to Reading to see the duo perform at the Reverb.

Now, the duo’s local fans have big reason to celebrate. Twiztid is crossing the country on the “Welcome to the Underworld Tour” but the show at the Electric Factory will be something entirely different.

As part of the tour, Twiztid has saved the Philly date for its “15th Annual Freek Show Show” performance.

Formed in 1997, Twiztid is a duo featuring Jamie Madrox and Monoxide Child (a.k.a. Jamie Spaniolo and Paul Methric). The two former members of the group House of Krazees departed that group and formed Twiztid in 1997.

Now, almost 20 years later, Twiztid is still going strong with more than 20 albums in their catalogue. The two rappers’ most recent album is “The Darkness,” which was released on their own label Majik Ninja in January.

“This tour is absolutely ridiculous,” said Monoxide, during a recent phone interview as the entourage headed to a tour stop in Salt Lake City. “We have four different versions of live shows on this tour.

“We’re doing about four or five shows with a live band. We have the ‘Frightfest Show.’ We have the ‘Freek Show’ performance and we have our everyday set. We had to rehearse so much with the live band. We’ve never had to rehearse before but for this we had to get used to working with bass, guitar and a live drummer.”

 “The Darkness” debuted at Number 29 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, making this album their 11th album to land on the Top 200 charts since the inception of the group in 1997. It hit Number 2 on Top Rap Album Chart, Number 4 on Top Independent Album Chart and Number 17 on Top Albums Chart.

“It debuted in the Top 30,” said Monoxide. “That was insane. We’ve already done some live shows for ‘The Darkness.’ We can do the whole album start to finish and it will go over well live. We’ve never played it safe. Safe isn’t forever and we want to be here forever. It’s no fun to be safe.

“This is our passion. Every record has its time and some are ahead of their time. We’ll never been content. We saw a lane open up and we took it. We finally have our own studio so we can work when we want. We recorded ‘The Darkness’ in three weeks. We’re extremely efficient in the studio because we were used to doing albums quickly because to the high cost of renting a studio.

“We knew the beats but nothing was written and we had no concept. We just went in and designed it. Once you get the concept, it’s pretty much just putting it all together. We finished the songs and then went to the chalk board and picked the order for the songs to be on the album.”

“The Darkness” was Twiztid’s first album on its own label Majik Ninja. Prior to that, the duo released its albums on Psychopathic Records, a label run by Insane Clown Posse. “Freek Show,” which was the duo’s second record for Psychopathic, was released October 31, 2000.

The album, which peaked at #51 on the Billboard 200, featured 18 intense tracks such as “Mutant X,” “We Don’t Die,” “Leace Me Alone,” “Wut tha Ded Like,” “Where itz Goin’ Down,” “Empty,” “Maniac Killa,” “Different” and “I’m Allright.”

“When we get to Philly, we’re playing every song off the ‘Freek Show’ record,” said Monoxide. “We made it 15 years ago. We were touring and Philly was the point on the tour where we wanted to change something. Now, we’re going back to the Electric Factory. We’re doing the whole ‘Freek Show’ album in order. We had to re-learn a lot of the songs. Even on our regular tour, we’re doing songs that we haven’t done in 10 years.”

This tour might be fans’ last chance to hear “The Darkness” performed on stage.

“The timeline on ‘The Darkness’ will end after this tour,” said Monoxide. “Then, we’ll disappear. We have our own label and I think we’re releasing five records this year. We’re going to take a back seat and await the next 25 years.

“It’s two different worlds — to be a rap artist and to run a record label. We’ve actually been doing it for 15 years. We were on a label but we did everything ourselves. We knew every facet of it. With every label, you’re only as important as you make yourselves — out of sight, out of mind. We just sort of grabbed the reins. Nobody loves our group like we do.

“There were a lot of things that had to be done. Record labels just opened the door and then we’ve done everything for ourselves. With our label, we want to crate our won world. There’s not one thing we’re not involved in. We’ll be presenting the acts on our label but they’ll be their own entity.”

The all-ages concert featuring Twiztid will get underway at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $30. 

The week’s music schedule begins on October 15 with a pair of shows featuring music that is considerably quieter and more peaceful with acts such as Kinky Friedman and The Dear Hunter.

Many acts are quite prolific when it comes to releasing recorded material and some even release a new album each year on a regular basis.


Kinky Friedman and Ringo Starr

Friedman, who will play October 15 at the Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com), could probably go an entire year without even having thoughts of making a new album.

Prior to this year’s “The Loneliest Man I Ever Met,” which was released on October 2 on Avenue A Records/Thirty Tigers, Friedman had released just 10 studio albums — starting with “Sold American” in 1973. The new album is Friedman’s first studio album since 2005’s “They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore.”

“The album was done here at my studio at Echo Hill Ranch, the family ranch in the heart of Texas,” said Friedman, during a phone interview last week from his home in the Lone Star State.

“They’ve been badgering me to do some recording. I didn’t want to do it at first. We recorded the album quickly. I just wanted to get each song right the first time or the second time or else just scrap it. I think the record is going to surprise people. It’s written between the lines. It gives you time to think.”

Friedman is a singer-songwriter who has been recording music since the mid-1960s. But, that only tells part of his story. He was making music that was a blend of country, folk and rock long before the term “Americana” was coined.

His music and his outlook have always had humorous sides. His first real group was Kinky Friedman and The Texas Jewboys, a name which parodied the famous country/western swing band Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.

By the mid-1970s, Friedman’s music was poplar enough to land him a spot as the opening act for one of Bob Dylan’s tours. One of his signature songs from that era was “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore.” a song in which Kinky puts down a drunken white racist who has been spewing hate for blacks, Jews and frat boys.

Friedman’s bio almost reads like fiction – but it’s all true. He served two years in the United States Peace Corps as a teacher in Borneo. Just over 20 years ago, he started writing detective novels with a fictionalized version of himself as a New York City detective.

In 2004, Friedman began a serious but unsuccessful campaign to get elected as the Governor of Texas with campaign slogans such as “My Governor is a Jewish Cowboy” and “He ain’t Kinky, he’s my Governor.”

“I don’t regret running for Governor,” said Friedman, who also ran for a short while in the 2010 Texas gubernatorial election. “I lost in 2006 but I still got 600,000 votes. That’s not bad at all. The governor’s race was the one I won everywhere but Texas. I’ve been ahead of my time.”

Friedman has also become a well-respected cigar maker. His line of Kinky Friedman Cigars includes stogies called Kinkycristo, Texas Jewboy, The Wille (inspired by his friend Wille Nelson), Lone Star #4, The Governor, Utopian and Kinky Lady. He will have his cigars on sale at his show in Philly.

He also sells Kinky Friedman Cigars Coffee which is grown by Fara Coffee, a company that produces Rainforest Alliance-certified 100 percent shade-grown Arabica coffee on its own farms in the mountainous rainforests of Nicaragua. And, he founded Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch to care for stray, abused and aging animals.

But, music is on the main burner right now with a new album and a major U.S. tour.

“This tour is looking daunting — 30 back-to-back shows,” said Friedman. “It’s at the hank Williams level. We work every night. It’s something I learned from Willie (Nelson) — paly very night and you run on pure adrenaline.

“The song on the album with Willie took as long time. Willie’s a jazz cowboy on that one. It’s got a lot of spirit. It sounds like it was done in a West Texas barroom. It’s a leg-opener for the record.”

Video link for Kinky Friedman — https://youtu.be/LgA3leVQ1AY.

The show at Sellersville will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $35.

Other shows this week at the Sellersville Theater will be the Subdudes on October 16, Crystal Bowersox on October 17, Muscle Shoals Revue ft. Amy Black & Sarah Borges on October 18, and The Nighthawks with Bob Margolin (Tribute To Muddy Waters) on October 20.

The Dear Hunter is the main project of multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter Casey Crescenzo, will perform on October 15 at Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, 215-232-2100, www.utphilly.com).

The Dear Hunter’s new album “Act IV: Rebirth In Reprise,” came out last month on Cave & Canary Goods / Equal Vision Records. It marks the long-awaited continuation of the band’s six album concept series chronicling the story of a boy at the turn of the century, only referred to as “The Dear Hunter.”

From the beginning, it was a high-concept project: Crescenzo mapped out multi-page treatments for a six-album story arc about the birth, life, and abrupt death of the boy. “Act IV” highlights the band’s cohesive growth as a group that also includes Nick Crescenzo (drums, percussion), Robert Parr (guitar, keyboards), Nick Sollecito (bass), Maxwell Tousseau (guitar, keyboards) and Andrew Brown (keyboards).

The band’s three previous albums in the series were “Act I: The Lake South, The River North” (2006), “Act II: The Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading” (2007) and “Act III: Life and Death” (2009).

After “Act III,” the band released “The Color Spectrum” in 2011 and “Migrant” in 2013. Neither was part of the series.

“In my mind, the reason I did ‘Color Spectrum’ was to get away from doing a concept record,” said Crescenzo, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.”Farther down the tangent of my mind, ‘Migrant’ kept me from getting stagnant.

“It was something I needed to do. It was important to do an album without any concept. It was an album more for myself in hope that I could grow as a songwriter. It was all organic.

“When I finished up with ‘Migrant,’ I toured a little bit. I thought about writing a pop record to cash in. After a few weeks of self-loathing, I scrapped that idea. I thought I would have tried to sell out and failed miserably. I caught myself from the death rattle.”

Instead, Crescenzo turned his attention to the making the new album.

“I decided it was time to move on with ‘Act IV.’ From there, it was all engines firing. I’ve had a clear intent from the beginning where all six will go. It started when I was 20 and I’m 31 now. The story has been there for a long time but the details have been left out.

“The way that ‘Act III’ ended up, it was very theatrical…very grandiose. It was a dramatic record about this man in a war. ‘Act IV’ picks up a few years later and looks at how somebody might be changed from the experience of being in a war.

“The album was made with my longest-running band and tightest complement of musicians. It was an opportunity to get them all involved from the ground up. It all really grew naturally out of returning to a place. We wrote the bulk of it in about six weeks.”

Video link for the Dear Hunter — https://youtu.be/BVjcsgrDErE.

The show at Union Transfer, which also features Gates and CHON, will start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Other upcoming shows at Union Transfer are Tobias Jesso Jr. and Wet on October 16, Leon Bridges and Kali Uchis on October 17, Battles and Xenia Rubinos on October 18, Halsey and FLOR on October 19, Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque on October 20 and  BØRNS on October 21. 

Video link for Petal — https://youtu.be/4dXSGapwL3Y.

On October 16, there will be a quadruple bill at PhilaMOCA (531 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, 267-519-9651, www.philamoca.org) featuring Petal, Wildhoney, Pity Sex  and Spencer Radcliffe.



Petal is actually Kiley Lotz, a talented singer-songwriter from Scranton. She is touring in support of her album “Shane,” which was just released on Run for Cover Records. She also released an EP titled “Scout” in 2013.

“This is my first full-length,” said Lotz, during a phone interview Monday evening. “I recorded it this past December to February sporadically at Studio Four in Conshohocken with producer Will Yip.

“Will has recorded a bunch of people I’m friends with and with people who are on Run for Cover Records. I especially wanted to work with him because I wanted the full-length to have a bigger sound than the EP.

“It’s darker in sonic tone and darker in lyrical content. I wanted it to be dark. I kept the gvuitar tones warm — like Death Cab for Cutie — and kepr the vocals mixed up high.”

According to Lotz,” this record is kind of the apology, the confession and the acceptance of the ways I’ve felt shame in my life and trying to share it with others.

Lotz took three years to write the songs on this record and wrote them all with the underlying theme of dealing with her mental illness and seeing how it affected those around her. Discovering through her writing that everyone has shame and guilt, she started to wonder if the world might be different if everyone were more open and willing to accept help.

“The content is very dear to me,” said Lotz. “It definitely had a theme going through it — me coming to terms with me having anxiety and paranoia — dealing with my various disorders. I still feel guilty about how those things have affected people around me.

“Being open with it, I hope I can influence people in a positive way. It was definitely cathartic. I’m finally hearing everything out loud.”

Lotz studied classical piano and music business at Lebanon Valley College and then was a theater major at the University of Scranton. She moved to New York City after graduating from Scranton to pursue a life on stage. She made her Off-Broadway debut last spring in a play called “The Underland” and even wrote a song from the perspective of a character she once played.

“I’m actually writing a musical right now,” said Lotz. “It’s about Margie Profet. It’s part of the Bechdel Project.”

Profet is an American evolutionary biologist who created a decade-long controversy when she published her findings on the role of Darwinian evolution in menstruation, allergies and morning sickness.

“While touring and promoting the new record, I’ll be writing the musical,” said Lotz.

Video link for Petal — https://youtu.be/4dXSGapwL3Y.



On its 2015 debut LP “Sleep Through It” (Deranged/Forward! Records), Wildhoney proved to be masters of creating a cohesive, yet diverse, full-length set of songs.

The album was preceded by two EPs — a self-titled release (Nostalgium Directive) that showed off the band’s heavy punk influences and first forays into pop, and “Seventeen Forever” (Photobooth Records) on which the group refined its sound and highlighted its catchy vocal melodies. 

Wildhoney — Alan Everhart (bass), Joe Trainor (guitar), Lauren Shusterich (vocals), Marybeth Mareski (Guitar) and Zach Inscho (drums) — formed a few years ago in Baltimore. The band just released “Your Face Sideways,” a new 12-inch EP out on Topshelf Records on October 16.

“We played our first gig in April 2012 at a D.I.Y. punk house show in Baltimore,” said Trainor, during a phone interview last week. “We made our first seven-inch EP later that year.”

Everhart said, “After the first few practices, we knew we had something good — something that was going to work.”

Trainor said, “When we started, it was just about playing loud, noisy pop which developed into what it is now.

“The songwriting usually begins with Lauren and me writing songs together on guitar. Then, we flesh it out with the band. Although lately, we’ve been starting more with the vocals.”

Wildhoney has already developed a recognizable sound of its own.

“The songs are still in the same basic vein — melodramatic with an overstatement of darkness and depression,” said Shusterich. “Most of the lyrical content is on the dark side. Our live set is a culmination of all our releases.”

The show at Philamoca will get underway at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

On October 19, the TLA (Theatre of the Living Arts, 334 South Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1011, http://www.lnphilly.com) will present a twin bill featuring The White Buffalo and The Saint Johns.

white buffalo

White Buffalo

The White Buffalo is the stage name of American musician and singer/songwriter Jake Smith. It is also the name of his current band which features Matt Lynott on drums, Christopher Hoffee on bass and Smith on guitar and vocals. They are touring in support of the new album “Love & The Death of Damnation” (Unison Music Group). The most recent album prior to this was ‘Shadows, Greys, and Evil Ways” in 2013.

“A couple songs on the new album I actually started writing during the last album,” said Smith, during a recent phone interview. “The majority of them were done in between. Every day, I’d write and work on making everything as right as possible.

“Lyrically, I’m a perfectionist. I want every word to count and to mean something. Each song is a story.  My songs are more narrative –which is a lost art. They’re like mini-movies that take the listener on a journey.

“I wanted this album to be really song-based with each song able to stand on its own. I got the album title after I made the album. I recorded it in April, May and June at a studio at Valley Village in North Hollywood.”

Smith takes his songwriting very seriously.

“All of it comes in a stream of consciousness,” said Smith. “I’ll say something interesting and then build off of that. Some songs come fast. Other times, I’ll have a single line that will take a while to develop.

“The album came out on August 21 and I’m going to tour it for awhile. We’re playing a bunch of tracks from the new album in our shows — anywhere from eight to 11 new ones.

“I’ve always had a set band. I’ve had the same drummer for 13 years. For the most part, it’s a trio with Matt on drums and Chris on bass.. That will be the set line-up — until something catastrophic happens.”

Video link for White Buffalo — https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=egpWRloyz44.


The Saint Johns are in the middle of  a series of tour dates this fall, including shows at New York’s Gramercy Theatre, Boston’s Paradise Rock Club and Philadelphia’s Theatre of Living Arts.

The duo features Louis Johnson and Jordan Meredith. Their performances will feature material from the their highly anticipated full-length debut which will be released early 2016 on Kemosabe Records.

“We signed with Kemosabe and then went to New York to record the album,” said Meredith, during a phone interview Wednesday evening. “We recorded it in February and March at Avatar Studio with David Kahne.”

Johnson said, “We have a five-song EP that’s been out for two years. We started working on songs for the album right after that. We’ve spent the last two years writing and getting our team together.

“We’re really excited about the album which is titled ‘Dead of Night.’ It’s our first full-length and our first record on as label.  David Kahne was on our short list of producers. We went in and did one song for him and we each thought it was a great fit.”

Johnson and Meredith now live in Nashville but their roots are in northern Florida.

“We met in St. Augustine,” said Meredith. “We were both in college and we met through mutual friends at a ‘Taco Tuesday Party’ in 2008.”

Johnson said, “I was going to Flagler College and Jordan was at another school. Once we started playing songs with each other, we thought we worked together pretty well. At first, we were doing a lot of covers. Then, we started writing together. It was cool.

“Since then, we revised our sound a good bit. When we moved to Nashville, we were still trying to find our sound. We’ll do as pop song and then an acoustic song. Then, we started focusing on our harmonies and playing a combination of indie rock and Americana.”

Meredith said, “We moved to Nashville because there was nothing there for us musically in Saint Augustine. Actually, we moved to New York first, stayed there for a year and ended up being broke.

“We got invited to a songwriter party in Nashville and, within a month, we were living there. We played a lot of clubs around Nashville. We were trying to get heard. We made our first EP in Nashville two years ago.

“We have a group of guys who play with us in our live shows in Nashville. On the road, we tour as a three-piece — the two of us on acoustic guitar and we add an electric guitar player.”

Video link for The Saint Johns — https://youtu.be/4oVnWYT3MCE.

The show at the TLA will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced at $15.



Another show on October 19 will feature music that is the opposite of the sound of The White Buffalo. Project/Object, who will play the World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1400, philly.worldcafelive.com), perform the music of Frank Zappa.

Project/Object is the longest continually touring alumni-based Zappa tribute in the world. The band features former Zappa members Ike Willis and Denny Walley along with founding member Andre Cholmendely. The band has been around for quite awhile.

“The seed for Project/Object was planted when I was 16 and got deeply into Zappa,” said Cholmendely, during an interview. “In 1989, I started hosting a ‘Zappa Party’ at my house and invited friends to listen to a ton of his music. Around 1990, we started performing a few Zappa songs and people dug it.

“We realized that there was a need there — an audience who had never heard of Zappa. A few years ago, I sent Ike a tape of what we’d been doing and he loved it. In August 1996, he came and said he was going to whip us into shape — and he did. We’d bring him east from Portland now and then to do a few gigs.”

Officially billed as “Project/Object: The Music of Frank Zappa,” the band goes through a cycle of touring followed by hibernation. But, when it’s time to hit the road, all the players line up ready to go.

“Andre started planning this tour a few months ago,” said Walley, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “We got together on October 4 and had a few rehearsals. Our first gig was October 9 and the last one will be October 25.

“It’s been a few years since our last tour. It’s hard for Andre to get everybody together because they have other commitments. It was just a matter of co-coordinating people’s availability. Andre has been busy and Ike and I have been touring. Now, we have the time. That’s why it’s finally back on the road.

“When making the set list, Andre more or less makes the decisions but he asks band members for suggestions. We wanted to do some things that the band hasn’t done in awhile.

“We play stuff from a lot of different Zappa albums including ‘Joe’s Garage.’ ‘You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore,’ ‘We’re Only In It for the Money,’ ‘Freak Out,’ ‘Tinsel Town Rebellion’ and ‘Hot Rats.’

“We want to get a cross-section — from ‘Freak out’ in the early 60s all the way to the end of Frank’s touring career. We try to avoid many of the songs that every Zappa cover band plays. It’s difficult playing some of Frank’s songs. Sometimes, you have to get the tweezers out to get the right note.

“On this tour, we switch sets around. We have about 30 songs ready right now. We’re a seven-piece band but sometimes it’s up to 10 if we have the horns. Andre and I play guitar and Ike sings and plays guitar. We also have two keyboards, bass and drums. It’s a pretty full sound.”

Walley also spent time playing in the Magicband — a band that played the music of Captain Beefheart (aka Don van Vliet).  The Captain recorded some albums on his Friend Frank Zappa’s label. Zappa and Captain Beefheart, who shared a love for avant-garde rock, are both deceased now.

“Frank, Don and I went to high school together,” said Walley. “We went to Antelope Valley Union High School in Lancaster, California.  “My best friend in school was Frank’s brother Bobby.”

Project/Object re-creates Zappa’s music better than any other band around — and it has more authenticity.

“Andre never goes out without Zappa alumni in the bad,” said Walley. “It gives the band more street cred.”

Video link for Project/Object — https://youtu.be/Wgpwxh63xKw

The show at the World Café Live will get underway at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.


On October 20, Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N Front St, Philadelphia, 215-291-4919, www.kungfunecktie.com) will host a quadruple bill featuring Landshapes, The Kickback, Ringo Deathstar and Harsh Vibes.


Landshapes is a British rock band that calls London home. The band members are Dan Blackett (drums), Heloise Tunstall-Behrens (violine), Luisa Gerstein (ukulele) and Jemma Freeman (electric guitar).

“This will be our fist American tour — three weeks — it’s going to be exciting,” said Freeman, during a recent trans-Atlantic phone interview from her home in North London. “The band first got together quite a few years ago. Luisa and Heloise were students at Bristol University and we approached them. We played anywhere that would have us.  We’d show up with our instruments on trailers for our bicycles.

“After awhile, we moved into a proper rehearsal space and our sound got bigger. We added amps and effects. It just sort of grew from there. We improved our songwriting. We jammed a lot and wrote together a lot. We write all our songs together. We go to practice and the songs start mostly from jams. We just come up with songs on the spot.”

In 2013, Landshapes released one single — “Insomnacs Club” and one album — “Rambutan.” This year, the band released its sophomore album “Heyoon.” All three are on Bella Union Records

“Our sound has progressed over the years,” said Freeman. “It’s more electrified. Our first album was more acoustic. Now, we’ve moved into experimenting with sound. I’m a tech freak.

“What we have now is a much bigger, more powerful sound. And, we have more confidence. It’s more of a cohesive sound. When we recorded it, we knew how we wanted it to sound.

“We recorded the album last summer at a lovely little studio called Soup. It was self-produced.  We recorded to tape and most of it was done live. Originally, we wanted to do it all live. Then, we realized we wanted to add layers.”

Video link for Landshapes — https://youtu.be/97xYlGqJkyk.


The Kickback is a Midwest indie rock band. Currently based in Chicago, the band has its roots in South Dakota .The present line-up features led vocalist/guitarist  Billy Yost, guitarist Jonny Ifergan, bassist Eamonn Donnelly, and drummer Ryan Farnham. Their debut LP “Sorry All Over The Place” was released on September 18, 2015 via Jullian Records.

 “Technically, it started at the University of South Dakota,” said Yost, during a recent phone interview. “I had songs so I put out flyers and got a band together.

“But, it really didn’t start until I got to Chicago in 2009 and out a band together there. Before that, there were various rambling incarnations. The four of us in the present line-up have been together for a little over two years.”

The album was recorded by Jim Eno, a producer who is also the drummer of the band Spoon. It was made at Eno’s studio Public Hi-Fi in Austin, Texas.

“It took a long time to get the album out,” said Yost. “We recorded it and then were in a weird transitional era — just touring and working to save up to tour some more. The songs had been ready for s long time. It took two years for it to play out the way I wanted it to.

“We chose to work with Jim (Eno) because of his work with Spoon and in the studio. The sound Spoon gets on their records stacks up against any band. The sounds are great. It’s not in vogue to care about all the little parts but I take them seriously.

“The first wave U.K. stuff is all I heard from ages 2-14 — that desperate love for melody. All those songs are all about the hook. When I’m writing songs, I’m your typical English major. I like words but I’m a fan of economy of words.”

Video link for The Kickback — https://youtu.be/dfhpop9sAEE.

The show at Kung Fu Necktie will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.


On October 21, Maia Sharp will return to Philly for a show at the Tin Angel (20 South Second Street, Philadelphia, 215-928-0770, http://www.tinangel.com). Sharp is a highly-respected singer-songwriter — and much more.

She has had her songs recorded by The Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Keb’ Mo’, Cher, Edwin McCain, David Wilcox, Art Garfunkel, Lizz Wright, Paul Carrack, Lisa Loeb and many more. She produced Edwin McCain’s last album “Mercy Bound” and two songs for Art Garfunkel’s retrospective double album “The Singer.”

And, all along, she has continued to record her own albums. She has six solo releases and one collaborative project with Art Garfunkel and Buddy Mondlock that have all been critically acclaimed.

Her latest album “The Dash Between the Dates” was released by eOne on October 16. Her prior album was 2012’s “Change the Ending.”

Sharp co-produced the new album with multi-instrumentalist and longtime collaborator Linda Taylor.  In addition to Sharp’s vocals, guitar, keyboards and saxophone, and Taylor’s guitars, bass, keys and programming, ‘The Dash Between the Dates’ features contributions from Eurythmics’ co-founder Dave Stewart, who co-wrote and plays guitar on ‘Maybe Tonight’, and  acclaimed solo artist Lizz Wright,  who contributed vocals to “You Know Where I’ll Be” and “I Don’t Want Anything to Change.”

“My album ‘Change the Ending’ was my first self-produced record,” said Sharp, during a recent phone interview from her home in Los Angeles. ‘On this one, I co-produced it with Linda Taylor.  We recorded it at a few different spots. We did tracking at The Lair and at Linda’s studio. I recorded all the vocals in my studio and then we did the overdubbing at Stampede Origin Studio.

“A few songs were older than ‘Change the Ending.’ ‘I Don’t Want Anything to Change’ was quite a bit older. Bonnie Raitt recorded it in 2005. I always wanted to do that song myself but I wanted time between her version and mine.”

Songs come to Sharp in a variety of ways.

“Seeds of ideas happen at random times — especially in the car,” said Sharp, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley. “I’ll get an idea and, if it’s exciting enough, I’ll spend a couple days working on it.

“That’s the way I’ve been writing in general. I write on guitar and keyboards but mostly guitar. On my last record, I had pockets of being uninspired so I had to work my way out of it. I had to dig in a little deeper.

“Working with Linda in the studio is great. She is very skilled at working with inorganic sounds. Together, we find a good balance of organic and inorganic sounds. It revealed itself as threads that ran through the entire new album. There is a little of both in each song.”

Video link for Maia Sharp — https://youtu.be/1ucCgxfR1rQ

The show at the Tin Angel will begin at with as the opening act. Tickets are $12.



The Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) will have Satellite Go, The Silence Kit, Dear Althea, New Shields on October 16, Stand Up Comedy Night at The Kennett Flash on October 17, “Open Mic with Sam Kwietniak” on October 18 and John Brothers Piano Company and The Rose Project on October 20.


Doc Watson’s Public House (150 North Pottstown Pike, Exton, 610-524-2424, docwatsonspublichouse.com) will present the Chatterband on October 16 and Wildflower on October 17.


The Steel City Coffee House (203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-933-4043, www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com) will host Pousette-Dart on October 16 and the Deb Callahan Band CD Release show on October 17.


Chaplin’s (66 North Main Street, Spring City, 610-792-4110, http://chaplinslive.com) will present David Rogers and 2LipsDuet and the Eric Clapton Tribute Band on October 17.


The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will have Pissed Jeans, M Ax Noi Mach, and Nap on October 16, Dynagroove, Transistor Rodeo and Crosstown Traffic Trio on October 17 and Dukes of Destiny on October 18.


Burlap and Bean Coffeehouse (204 South Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, 484-427-4547, www.burlapandbean.com) will host The Kennedys along with Caroline Doctorow on October 16 and Matt Duke with Cariad Harmon on October 17.


The Grand Opera House (818 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-652-5577, www.thegrandwilmington.org) will present comedian and talk show host Craig Ferguson on October 18.


The Keswick Theater (291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com) presents The Word on October 15, Kansas on October 16, Joe Jackson on October 17, Wanda Sykes on October 18 and Craig Ferguson on October 20.


The Candlelight Theater (2208 Millers Road, Arden, Delaware, 302- 475-2313, www.candlelighttheatredelaware.org) will be presenting the dark musical “Sweeney Todd — the Demon Barber of Fleet Street” now through November 1.

Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings (doors 6 p.m./show, 8 p.m.) and Sunday afternoons (doors, 1 p.m./show, 3 p.m.). Tickets, which include dinner and show, are $59 for adults and $33 for children (ages 4-12).


The Rainbow ComedyTheatre (3065 Lincoln Highway East, Paradise, 800-292-4301, http://rainbowcomedy.com) is presenting “Over the River & Through the Woods” now through October 24. Ticket prices range from $30-$55.

Matinee performances are every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and selected Saturdays with an 11:30 a.m. lunch and a 1 p.m. curtain. Evening performances are every Friday, Saturday and selected Thursdays with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the show following at 8 p.m. There will also be “Twilight Performances” on selected Sundays with dinner at 2:30 p.m. and the show at 4 p.m.

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