Monday, July 28, 2014

Philly region bands competing to be WMGK Houseband

Had a great experience judging four cover bands competing for the honor of becoming 102.9 WMGK's next official Houseband. The opening round was held at Malvern's Twenty9 Restaurant.
If you haven't yet heard Mystery Guest, The Paper Shakers, The Tommy Froelich Trio, or Work Release -- who were the victors of Round One -- I recommend going to see all of these talented musicians!

Mystery Guest is from Downingtown. Lead singer Matt Stauffer's natural rasp was great on versions of "Vehicle" (Ides of March, anybody?) and Bob Seger's "Main Street."   

The Paper Shakers, a group of young 'uns from Philadelphia, brought tremendous energy and hipster cool. It hurt to have to judge them on their song selection. "I Fought the Law," "Build Me Up Buttercup, "I Only Want to be With You" and "Johnny B. Goode," are all terrific songs, but you won't hear any of them in MGK's classic rock format.  


Hailing from Coatesville, Tommy Froelich and his trio brought some tasty southern rock and blues. Big, powerful sound for just three guys.

And  I wish I could have seen more of Collegeville's Work Release. The enthusiasm of their posse was noteworthy, but distracting at times. Can't deny that the music was very well done though.

  But wait, there's more!!  Round Two is set for July 31 at Havana, 105 S. Main St., New Hope, with Fuzzy Side Up, Reaction, The Outlits and PixieDix. Performing Aug. 7 at the Craft House, 2310 W. Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill, N.J., will be Strange brew, iCDC, The Whitewalls and The Pour Boys. Then on Aug. 14 at Big Heads, 1034 Second Street Pike, Richboro, it's Tangled, Some Assembly Required, Parmageddon and Cool With Me.  These are all Thursday nights, and the music happens with no cover charge from 8 to 11.  The finals will be Aug. 21 at Parx  Casino.
Good luck to all the semi-finalists, who will all be vying for $1,000 of new gear, two days of studio recording time and the opening slot of the Let Freedom Rock Festival.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weird Al's latest ROFL laugh riot

More than 30 years after first grabbing America's attention by spoofing Michael Jackson with "Eat It," Weird Al Yankovic is still living the dream of every nerdy seventh-grade boy -- making a career out of meticulously wicked song parody, enhanced by even more meticulously funny videos.

Still in the process of rolling out eight videos over the course of eight days from his new album (and maybe his last release in the album format, if the reports are accurate), "Mandatory Fun," Weird Al deftly used YouTube (thankfully, no longer having to count on MTV for support) and blew up Twitter (where bad grammar runs rampant) with "Word Crimes," a Schoolhouse Rock deconstruction of Robin Thicke.

"#somecunninglinguist" ... high-larious!  I know I just used quotation marks for emphasis (snicker, snicker), but hopefully he doesn't read my blog post and comment that  I "write like a spastic." One of  the sly things that make this video terrific is the slipping in of a photo of the young Weird Al into the flipping dictionary pages, presumably by the definition of  accordion, a nod to Weird Al's recurring polka medleys of very random songs, and his accordion-heavy first album. And when he scolds those of us who incorrectly describe something as ironic, look for the image of "rain on your wedding day," taking a dig at Alanis Morissette. 

He also knocks it out of the park with the less cerebral "Handy," where HGTV meets Iggy Azalea. 
"Now let me glue 'dat, glue 'dat/And screw 'dat, screw 'dat/Any random chore you got, well I can do 'dat, do 'dat ... I got 99 problems, but a switch ain't one."
I'm crying with laughter just typing that.