Posts Tagged ‘philadelphia’


The Top 10 in 2010

5 January 2010

Check out my picks for the Top 10 things to do in Philly in the New Year.


Halloween @ Eastern State Penitentiary

19 October 2009

Our office experience at Terror Behind the Walls.



28 September 2009

These guys were my first concert EVER. I will definitely be there.


Interview with Andrew Forsman, drummer of The Fall of Troy: September 12, 2009

24 September 2009

Cara Donaldson: In the Unlikely Event is your fourth full-length album. How have you guys evolved or what have you changed between your debut album back in 2003 and now?

Andrew Forsman: We’re six years older now, so what we thought was cool back then, like lots of shredding and tricks like that, isn’t on this album. I guess you can say we’ve refined our tastes. This time around, we tried to make sure only the essential was there. We didn’t throw in everything that we could think of.

CD: In the Unlikely Event was recorded in Seattle and I know you guys are actually from Washington state. How was it working in such a historically musical city? Were you guys influenced by any of the famous bands that came out of Seattle?

AF: We’re like 20 miles north of Seattle and Nirvana is probably [singer] Thomas’ [Erak] favorite band, so yeah,s definitely. Lesser known bands, like The Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves, those were the local bands we went to see when we were actually of age, so you’ll hear some of them in our music, too.

CD: Even though the album doesn’t come out until Oct. 6 I got to hear “Panic Attack!,” “A Classic Case of Transference” and “Single.” I really love all of them, but especially “Panic Attack!” Are those three songs an accurate representation of what the rest of the album will be like?

AF: Yeah, definitely. Obviously, there are other styles, but those three are a pretty good representation of the range we have because each is very different. That’s a perfect three song block.

CD: Are there any specific songs on the record that you think your fans or live audiences will really connect with?

AF: I think a great live track will be “Nature vs. Nurture.” The end is, I don’t want to say dragged out, but it is longer than usual that’s perfect for a sing-a-long.

CD: What’s your favorite song from your new album?

AF: “Dirty Pillow Talk.” I guess the best way to put it is that it’s really abrasive. There’s this strange guitar part at the beginning. That or “Nature vs. Nurture.”

CD: You guys got a new bassist. What’s it been like working with Frank Ene? What new styles has he brought to the band? Have there been any extreme professional or artistic differences between Frank and your former bassist, Tim Ward?

AF: Frank plays with his fingers, which Tim didn’t do. I think it gives the bass a little warmer tone. Frank is definitely a rhythmic bassist, which I can appreciate and makes it easier us to lock into being the rhythm section.

CD: Since I am an avid Guitar Hero player, I want to ask how you guys felt about having F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X. on Guitar Hero III?

AF: That was one of the coolest things ever. I jokingly set that as my goal for the year, but I never thought it would actually happen.

CD: What makes you happier: the exposure from being on a nationally known game or the fact that the music editor for the game recognized the skills of the band?

AF: I think a lot of people who wouldn’t have normally heard us, now know us, so just getting our music out there is always great.

CD: I’ve attempted to play it. I’m not that great.

AF: Yeah, Thomas can’t play it either. I think he prefers real guitar.

CD: I heard some talk lately that these music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band should be seen as great new ways to market music.

AF: Yeah, it’s definitely a great way to get exposed if you’re on the edge of getting people to know you. But I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re a band that everyone knows or not; if the song is good, it’s going to stand out in the game. Video games have become such a bigger avenue for music. We’ve even had our stuff in a baseball game.

CD: I know the Philadelphia show next week is the first stop on the Thursday tour. Is this your first time playing with the band?

AF: We played festivals in Australia with them, but we weren’t on the stage together or anything. We’re looking forward to playing with them, definitely.

CD: Were you guys fans before?

AF: We’re big fans. Once Full Collapse came out, that was it. I was in high school and I just remember that being a great year.

CD: I know you guys have played Philly before, but have you ever played at the First Unitarian Church?

AF: Yeah, lots of times. I’m looking forward to sweating and just rocking out and having a good time.

CD: What’s your favorite thing about Philly or what are you looking forward to doing this time around during your brief stay?

AF: Well, I’m definitely going get a cheesesteask. But one of my favorite things is the Wawas, because I love ordering sandwiches on the screen. It’s fun to play with the touch screen and their sandwiches are pretty good, too. It’s a treat because we don’t have those out here.

CD: Any parting words?

AF: It’s always cool when people support music, whether they download it illegally or whatever. But it’s the best when they come out to a show and sing along, maybe buy a shirt.


Interview with Geoff Rickly, singer of Thursday: September 17, 2009

24 September 2009

Cara Donaldson: Your fifth full-length album, Common Existence, came out earlier this year. Now, I own all your albums and you guys have consistently impressed me, but with Common Existence, this is the first time since “Jet Black New Year” that I listened to songs of yours and had my first reaction be wow, this is really dark. Is that just me? What were you going for with this album? I see a lot of finality, death imagery, despair in love.

Geoff Rickly: Yeah, I guess it is pretty dark, which is surprising because we thought A City by the Light Divided was kind of dark so we wanted to just bring lots of energy on this album I guess we made it an intense dark. We just wanted to have a few faster songs and I wanted to make sure it was something I could feel really passionate about. A lot of what we were thinking when writing the music came out in the lyrics. Each song had a theme; we wanted to tell a story with each song.

CD: It’s been a long time since your first album, Waiting. How has the band evolved and grown, either personally or musically?

GR: There have been marriages and kids and people have not liked each other and become friends again. It’s been like any group of friends would be after 12 years, except I think we’re closer than most groups of friends. And you can definitely see that relationship in the music. On City, I could say that you can hear a lonely, kind of sad thing that was going on between us, but now I think we have much more fun.

CD: You guys have had some major label drama in the past; all that mess with Victory to Island and now you’re on Epitaph. What effect has the business side of the industry had on you guys just simply making your music?

GR: We always really loved Epitaph. Island was really cordial and let us go and Epitaph was so cool and supportive about everything. It has been no mistake.

CD: You guys were kind of at the forefront of that explosion of bands and that emo-punk genre out of Jersey in the late 90s early 2000s. That was definitely a turning in popular music, but I don’t really see so much of that anymore. Why do you think that is? Is that era in time simply done, or do you think there will be a revival at some point?

GR: Oh, no. I don’t think they’ll be a revival. It just became such a commercialized thing, it really tarnished the whole genre image so badly. Maybe a couple bands will make it through, like us, hopefully, but I don’t think they’ll be a resurgence. Probably.

CD: You chose to kick off your new headlining tour in Philly tomorrow and we’re extremely flattered. Why us?

GR: We love Philly. I mean it’s the closest major city to where we’re from, New Brunswick, New Jersey, so it’s become a default hometown over the years.

CD: What’s your favorite thing about Philly? What must you do every time you’re here?

GR: Chinese food. There’s a whole bunch of vegetarian places that I love. I can’t remember the names of any, but I meet up with good friends who know where to take me so I don’t have to, haha.

CD: The last time you guys were in Philly you were on the Taste of Chaos tour. What can your fans who went to that show expect to see different at tomorrow’s show at the Church?

GR: It’s going to be a much better show. It just will. We hand picked every act on this tour and they’re awesome. Young Widows are awesome. The Fall of Troy are strange, sort of crazy. And it’s always a treat to play smaller places and get longer sets.

CD: What new songs from Common Existence do you think this live audience tomorrow will respond to the most?

GR: I know I have a favorite: Love has Led Us Astray. But I don’t know. I’m kind of excited. This is the first time we’ll be playing lots of them.

CD: I’m sure you know you guys have a huge following here in Philly and the majority of those fans have been with you since the beginning. That being said you know they’re going to want to hear the classics, maybe some stuff from Waiting, War All the Time, and definitely Full Collapse. Are you planning on giving the masses what they want?

GR: We’re going to do a little of both. Wel’l play songs that people love the most. I love playing old songs. We’ll play the song that will make people say, ‘Oh, I remember that,’ and then the new stuff that hopefully people will say, ‘Oh, that’s new, I like that.’

CD: Last week I was talking to Andrew from The Fall of Troy. He’s real excited to be on this tour and I’m really excited to see you all together. You mentioned them a little earlier, but what stood out about The Fall of Troy, Moving Mountains and Young Widows for you to bring them along as support?

GR: The Fall of Troy are really strange. They’re so cool and weird and they’re a three piece. I just could not believe that three dudes on stage could play what they were playing. They blew my mind. How [singer] Thomas [Erak] sings and how he writes songs is so crazy and weird; there’s nothing like that. They’re something that other people copy. They’re doing what they want to do. And Young Widows put out my favorite album of last year, Old Wounds. I love it. Moving Mountains is great. Their singing, and that violin—amazing.


this is hysterical.

7 September 2009

Pettit closed his piece with a ghoulish provocation. He suggested that Philadelphians “appropriate a body from a certain Baltimore cemetery” and “re-inter it under the floorboards at Seventh and Spring Garden,” the location of the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site or even “brick it into the wall,” a reference to one of the most celebrated deaths in world literature.

The Great Poe Debate

I can’t wait to get cracking on this celebration come October 1.


what we’re all thinking…unfortunately.

25 August 2009

John Smallwood on Donovan McNabb

And I COMPLETELY agree with him. As soon as I heard Vick was signed, I did an about face and wondered if some shady business would be going down about mid-season. I really, really hope Reid doesn’t pull something like that, but with the “benching heard ’round the world” last year, I wouldn’t put it past him.

I feel so terribly for Donovan. He plays his heart out and practically kills himself every year (Westbrook, too!) and yet, he gets no help and no love from that team. Jackson stepped up tremendously in his rookie year but one person isn’t enough. Where is this kick-ass D-line we’re supposed to have? Where are our WRs?

For more reasons than one, I hope we get to the Bowl this year (and win). It’d be a nice way to retire for McNabb, and Lord knows he deserves it. But I fear he will be shipped out if this year is unproductive. I personally think last year was damn productive; we got farther than we should have…and yet we blew it in the end LIKE WE ALWAYS DO! Unfortunately, “productive” to the higher ups only mean rings all around.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.