philadelphia

Kevin James Devine Changes His Name to James Quinn

“Local singer/songwriter Kevin James Devine has changed his name to James Quinn. This is to avoid future mix ups involving him and Kevin Devine (Brother's Blood). Go to his new myspace here. Also, if you email him at jamesquinnbooking@gmail.com with your name, email address, mailing address, and number of samplers you'd like, he will mail you as many 2 song samplers as you'd like. Your information will remain private. Thank you!” - From The Open Blog

 

 

   

Kurt Vile New EP Drops and Available for FREE Download Today May 25

Kurt Vile’s latest release the Square Shell EP drops today digitally and on 12” from Matador Records. You can download it for FREE at the Matablog. It’ll be available only for the next 24 hours, and you’ll have to give up your e-mail address. But haven’t you accumulated enough junk e-mail accounts already? Or are you like my sister who still uses her original AOL account? - Q.D. Tran

 
   

Hezekiah Jones Hosts The Philly Folk Parade at The Fire May 25

Tonight is the final night of the May Tuesday residency at The Fire for The Philly Folk Parade, which was brought to you by Excited Light Productions (Michael Baker and Barbara Gettes of The Spinning Leaves - check out the review of their latest album LOVE below) and friends. One of our favorite songwriters Hezekiah Jones will be hosting the evening. Expect it to be a loose, fun night with a lot of friends joining each other on stage. Come join the warm glow of good vibes that will certainly be filling the room! The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave., 9pm, $6, 21+ (Photo by Lisa Schaffer) - H.M. Kauffman

 

 

   

Marshall Allen Celebrates His 86th Birthday at JB’s May 25

It’s bad enough that ever since I turned 21, each birthday seems to loom around the corner. Now, I have to be reminded when someone else’s birthday comes that another year has passed me by. But when it’s a local living legend like Marshall Allen, I gladly cheers to another day of life, and thank that at 86 years young he is ready to take us on another cosmic adventure with Sun Ra Arkestra. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $12, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman
 

 

   

Album Review: LOVE - The Spinning Leaves

Right in the opening of The Spinning Leaves' debut LOVE, we hear a bit of chatter and some joyful exclamations, both of which are good indicators of the kind of group we're dealing with here. Rarely is that sense of camaraderie and honest-to-goodness fun felt even at a show, much less on record, and that's probably what makes the album so endearing.

Certainly there are a lot of folk acts in Philly, and a lot of them draw heavily from Dylan, and The Spinning Leaves are no different in that regard. A few of the tracks rely (rather beautifully, of course) on a slightly raspy drawl and harmonica. But this isn't to say that the album holds no surprises; far from it. "Try, Try, Try, Try, Try, Try" takes advantage of some horns to whip up a sort of New Orleans jazz ditty. The sitar in "Marigolds" is rather unexpected, as are the gypsy guitar stylings in "A Tale of the Northern Lights". These variations never get spread too thin, thankfully, as the album runs about 45 minutes (the perfect length, in my opinion).
 
My favorite parts of the record though are still the little inserts at the beginnings of certain songs. The chatter on the first track, again, is a highlight, but a variety of other noises can be heard on LOVE, from the crackling of a bonfire to the oddly dark spoken-word piece "Together". Little touches like this give the album a sense of something beyond itself. You're not just listening to a CD, you're having an experience, however quaint and modest that experience may be.

But hopefully with all this talk of "little touches", I'm not making anything about the record seem gimmicky. Because gimmicky it is not. At the heart of LOVE is charming boy/girl vocals, solid songwriting, and beautifully crisp production. And you get the sense that, if you asked The Spinning Leaves themselves, they'd probably say that's all they need.
 
- Joe Poteracki