Album release parties, showcases and tributes by and in honor of Tigers Jaw, Ron Gallo and Gene Shay – All in twenty four hours of virtual music Philly.
New York City’s Governor Cuomo, in a diversionary tactic to ward press and public from crimes of sexual harassment, told everyone on March 3 that sizable indoor live music venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens could open to 100 attendees. With 200 people being admitted to outdoor shows. Of course, certain titillation trickled down the East Coast, and into Philly before a handful of NYC venues went, “Hey! We can’t re-open. There’s no money in 100 attendees.” So, we’re mostly still stuck to live music being attended to in a virtual setting in Philly. The twenty-four hours of virtual Philly music actually begins in (take a deep breath, the altitude is higher) Wilkes-Barre, PA.
As this area’s glimmering emo punk-pop ensemble, Tigers Jaw, drops its fresh, frank new album, “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me”, with a virtual live showcase, Friday, March 5, free on YouTube, at 8 p.m. EST. No money to view their concert or their chat room interactive live question and answer session. But, Tigers Jaw will be selling raffle tickets for the opportunity to win autographed test pressings of the new album. A raffle? How fun is that? Everyone should hold an old-school raffle with every new release. Authors, actors, rockers. Let’s make this a thing!
One music showcase that is sort-of half live, but half virtual is Philly soul-pop-folk songwriter Ron Gallo’s release party for his new lo-fi album, “Peacemeal”. Gallo’s new record is a quirky, all-over-the-place affair filled with a distinct brand of loneliness and despair that only a pandemic’s quarantine could hold up to ridicule. According to Peacemeal’s press release, Gallo had to return to America from Italy where he was supposed to stay with his wife and collaborator, Chiara, until she got her visa, in a time of lockdown. That ain’t right. But. One way in which Gallo has made his new album’s jazzy despair and personal plight into a communal affair is by making March 6, at noon, into a party, smorgasbord, and record release jam at Repo Records on South Street for a “Free Food Day.” No, I won’t guess at what they’re serving. But, if it’s as mixed a bag as Gallo’s “Peacemeal”, expect a buffet of riches.
This is good, because you can run home, or jump on your phone, after the food runs out at Gallo’s Repo Records’ bash and check into the Facebook live-streamed event dedicated to the life, times and music of Philadelphia folk overlord, Gene Shay. Gene Shay, the Philly Folk Fest co-creator and curator and longtime radio DJ. In commemoration of his death last April, and birth, Jefferson Berry will present “That Guy Was Fun, The Gene Shay Birthday Bash” Saturday, March 6 at 3 p.m. EST. With old and new school folk friends such as Ben Arnold, Tom Rush, Susan Werner, Kim and Reggie Harris, and many more.
Shay deserves as many tributes as we can lob at him, to keep his work and memory alive. So I’m all for it.