philadelphia

FYI on DIYs in PHL: Best Fest

We went to Best Fest last year and had an absolutely fabulous time! It’s just a really special event with such a beautiful community vibe, and it’s FREE so we suggest that you swing by Clark Park this Saturday afternoon. What can you say about a festival that has always been so supportive of our music community and has brought you such notable local acts as Kurt Vile, Tickley Feather, Pony Pants (debut performance), The Extraordinaires and many, many more. We had a chance to grab some beers with the “Best Fest Girls”. Sorry, should we say “Best Fest Ladies” (Erin Engelstad, Vicki Zwicker, Molly Landergan, Kassie, Richardson and Tess Sorensen - absent Eileen Horgan)? We had an enjoyable time chatting about the festival and the thing that brought us together - music. Kassie Richardson was kind enough to answer a few of our questions after we had a chance to get some of the alcohol out of our systems.
 
The Deli: How did Best Fest start?
 
Kassie Richardson: In 2005, a group of ladies living together in West Philly heard the park calling...it asked us to make a festival, we agreed to make the Best Fest. 
 
TD: What is Best Fest about?
 
KR: Best Fest is about friendship, love, engagement, pleasure, having a sense of humor, figurative youth, art, open air, green, calmness, excitement, trees, respect, and gratitude, among others. Altogether the festival is about creating a day where everyone in the community can come together outside in the park to have fun and listen to some good music and see some interesting performances.
 
TD: Why did you choose the name Best Fest?
 
KR: We were all sitting in a room together at the old house trying to think of names and calling them out. I think we all wanted something that didn’t sound too serious. There were a lot of longer ones. “Best Fest” was short, easy to remember, fairly broad, and it rhymed, which we liked. It’s jokingly superlative. We’re proud of what we do, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously.
 
TD: What are your favorite moments from Best Fest?
 
KR: One year Make a Rising performed a fantastical play in which they inflated a huge plastic bubble over the whole crowd. Rebirth!
 
TD: Who are you looking forward to hearing this year?
 
KR: All of them, of course! If I had to choose just one though, I’d say Unidos Da Filadelfia! because I’ve never seen them perform, and I love the idea of a large group of people performing together outdoors, especially drummers playing Brazilian beats!  They’re going to make the heat cool. 
 
TD: What do you love about West Philly?
 
KR: There are a lot of people trying to make ends meet, and it gives you the sense that you should be a part of fulfilling something greater than you are. I love the potential of this neighborhood and the DIY culture that is prevalent here. It gives you the sense that you’re not locked into something that’s out of your control.
 
TD: What do you hate about West Philly?
 
KR: Not enough brunch! Not enough Mexican restaurants! Don’t get me started on that!
 
TD: What local artists are you currently into?
 
KR: U.S. Girls and Buffalo Stance to name a couple - the former will luckily be performing at Best Fest! Buffalo Stance, or Jamey Robinson, is an amazing musician…it’s always exciting to hear what he’s going to do next!
 
TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
 
KR: My sister took me to see Dwight Yoakam when his album This Time came out - “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere” still gives me chills. I think the first album I bought was Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation. Actually scratch that, my mom bought it - I bought it with my heart though. “5-4-3-2-1…” 4eva. 
 
TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?
 
KR: A Reuben, when I’m feeling up to the task!
 
(Poster by Christine Jones)
 
- The Deli Staff

 

   

The Deli’s Featured Artist(s) of the Month: Voletta

Once again, this most recent poll was a nail biter. Kudos to the efforts of Blood Feathers who absolutely rock with their sweet, sweet vintage sound, but today we are here to celebrate the victory by shoegazey indie rock outfit Voletta. We caught up with guitarist/vocalist Joe Sheairs before their upcoming show tomorrow night at the M Room with Hellican and The Deli NYC’s May Artist(s) of the Month The Aviation Orange.
 
The Deli: How did Voletta start?
 
Joe Sheairs: In 2002, I started Voletta with my friend Chris. We left the standard rock band we were in and decided to start a new project with synths and drum machines. Over five years, we completed a full-length record and an EP. We split in 2006.

We reformed in 2008, which is when we met Greg, and started playing as a three-piece. That didn't last long: Chris left for good to start a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school. So Greg and I continued on, and have been working together ever since. For years, I thought Voletta was always doomed to be a two-piece, but luckily we've found two more members.
 
TD: Where did the band name come from?
 
JS: Voletta means "the veil" in French. I got the name from this ancient looking baby name book. The binding was disintegrating.
 
TD: What are your biggest musical influences?
 
JS: When I was little, I listened to my parent's collection of '80s new wave records over and over. Then I came of age right when the '90s alt rock thing was happening, so the combination of those two elements has always been my musical starting point. Sad news: I recently found out that my Mom threw away all the records without telling me.
 
TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
 
JS: We listen to a lot of Beach House and the Radio Dept.
 
TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
 
JS: Smashing Pumpkins, 1993. I believe the first CD I ever bought was The Cars' self-titled album.
 
TD: What do you love about Philly?
 
JS: There are a bunch of nice venues to play.
 
TD: What do you hate about Philly?
 
JS: SEPTA. The strike last year had Bryan skateboarding 5 miles each way to work.  Not awesome.
 
TD: What are your plans for 2010?
 
JS: We're going to go back into the studio to record some new songs, and play out as much as possible. We're also going to continue our endless (and seemingly futile) search for a female bassist.
 
TD: What was your most memorable live show?
 
JS: Our first show. What a mess. Greg and I wanted to get the butterflies out before playing a "real" show, so we played at an open mic night at this horrific bar in Jersey. Apparently, this open mic always turned into a jam session, so after we got done playing, this hippie guy came up to Greg and asked him if he could use his synth rig to jam on. Greg's face was priceless. We didn't stay long...
 
TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?
 
JS: The deli? You mean Wawa?
 
- The Deli Staff
 

 

   

Power Animal Makes Me Happy at DDG June 2

There is something about Power Animal that takes me to my happy place. Not really sure if it’s Keith Hampson’s calming vocal delivery, his beautifully orchestrated arrangements or his casually poetic, thought-provoking prose, but I just feel the need to share it with everyone. Grab Power Animal’s People Songs from Waaga Records, and your world might become a happier place too! Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave., 9pm, $5 - $ 10 donation, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman
 

 

   

The Ghost in You Latest Video “Losing Light” Made w/Nintendo DSi



The Ghost in You is Billy Polard. He writes and records all his music on a 4 track cassette recorder. He has made two music videos so far. One featuring animated characters he drew mixed with live action and large cardboard cut out creatures, and his newest video for “Losing Light”, was made entirely by himself on a Nintendo DSi. ‘I think its probably the first full length music video made with a gameboy.’” - From The Open Blog

   

The Deli’s June CD of the Month: Yellow Life Giver - Creepoid

Creepoid is another one of those buzz-worthy local bands crawling out from basements of homes/makeshift practice spaces/recording studios lately in Philly. On their debut EP Yellow Life Giver, they use a reel-to-reel tape machine circa ’56 to help document their evolution. Yes, they are another lo-fi act flooding the indie music landscape, but Creepoid’s raw, gritty production perfectly compliments these four eerily engaging tracks. They open the album with “Rotten Tooth” which is filled with the spirit of Kurt Cobain and that 90’s Grunge angst all heroined out. In “Pink Tag Sale”, you’ll experience a dreamy Left Coast vibe that feels like it was written around a campfire in the lonely desert night. It’s in that Mazzy Star vein that haunts our subconscious. You’ll also find Creepoid putting on their dreary Brit-pop/post punk masks in “See-Through” before closing with their experiment in minimalism “Magic Drum”. The four-song EP is a tease. You can’t help but wonder what these guys and gal have in store for us next. - Q.D. Tran