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Music Tea w/Jukebox the Ghost

With their bombastic mix of polished vocals, swingin’ piano hooks, killer guitar riffs and shiny, happy melodies, Jukebox the Ghost knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to pleasing their many, many legions of fans. 

Since linking up at George Washington University in 2003, Ben Thornewill (piano/vocals), Tommy Siegel (vocals/guitar) and Jesse Kristin (vocals/drums) have been working dubiously to make sure they stand out not just in the studio, but on the road as well, having performing over 1,000 shows since their formation. 

Throw in stops along the way on Conan O’Brien and David Letterman and what it all comes down to is……these guys have truly only just begun making their shimmering, one-of-a-kind waves. 

Thanks to their feisty, fiery hot-to-headphones new set, Off to the Races (go here…right now), the fine-tuned Jukebox gentlemen will kick off their biggest headlining tour yet, which will see them taking over stages in Phoenix, Orlando, San Diego and Philly, where it all begins tonight at Union Transfer. Yes. 

So, if you’re looking to truly get down with those grooves as we (finally!!) glide into spring, stream their new set and then go see them reel you in tonight…..you won’t be disappointed. But as you’re looking to to grab those tickets, one-third of this dynamic trio, Mr. Tommy Siegel, stopped by for a spot of piping hot music tea, where he broke mugs about studio time, life on the road and infinite words of wisdom for all of us tryin’ to make in this crazy entertainment world. 

Spill on below and Jukebox the Ghost will see you on the road this spring!

Hey, Tommy! Thanks for taking the time out of your crazy schedule to chat with Philly Mixtape! Kicking things off, how’s the tour prep going so far leading up to tonight’s big opener?  Going great! This record was a fairly elaborate recording process, so we are still figuring out how to execute the tunes live. For one tune, “Colorful” we only realized we needed a mandolin a week ago. So: we’re ironing out the kinks! But so far the new tunes are sounding great and going over great in a live setting.

How have you guys been feeling now that ‘Off to the Races’ is out for the world to get down to? SO excited to get on the road. We haven’t done a full national tour in a couple of years and we are just over the moon to get to do it again.

Spill for everyone a little bit about the recording process of the new set…. Since we’re independent these days, it was a longer recording process than prior records. Most of it was recorded with some friends in NYC, but some of it was also pieced together from home recordings and some sessions in LA.

What can your Philly fans expect from tonight’s big show at Union Transfer?  It’s the first stop of tour, so it’s gonna be fresh as hell for us! Some song debuts, some oldies…Maybe a surprise cover????

What’s on Jukebox the Ghost’s agenda for the rest of the year? More touring!

Sum up the band’s sound in one word……   Hm… fun? We’re generally fun, except when we aren’t! 

One last sip of tea…..what infinite words of wisdom would you give any aspiring musician right now? Ooh… hm… learn to produce your own music! With less and less money coming from music sales, I think artists are at a huge advantage if they can make music cheaply. Recording your own music is empowering as a songwriter and financially sustainable!

And there you have it, kids. For much more with Jukebox the Ghost, get on down right here. 

Cover photo courtesy of Jukebox the Ghost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Reasons Why There’s Something Very Special About ‘Something Rotten!’

If there’s one thing that you should absolutely do in Philly this week, it’s go see the Broadway smash–and Tony Award winning!!–Something Rotten!, which kicks off its week-long run at the Academy of Music tonight through this Sunday, March 4th. 

Set in 1595, the story trails along with Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who hilariously struggle to find success in the theatrical world, competing with the likes of their contemporary frenemy, William Shakespeare. A roaring romp from start to finish, Something Rotten! has acquired praise from across the globe with the Gazette spilling, “You couldn’t ask for a sillier more satisfying show for theater nerds and anyone who loves shows packed with elaborate dance numbers, double entendres and energy to spare.”

And there’s even some that are saying (perhaps the actors themselves?) that Something Rotten! “….is the funniest show in over 400 years.” While it’s easy to go on and on about Broadway’s daring Tony darling of a show, you must see it for yourself at the Academy of Music this week. 

But first, here’s 5 reasons why–along with some truly fabulous clips!!–as to why there’s just something very, very special about Broadway’s Something Rotten! 

Now, get those tickets. 

1. It was destined to be a hit right from the very beginning…. Originally conceived as an idea conjured up by brothers Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick in the 1990s, the Broadway bound siblings eventually teamed up with composer John O’Farrell to write a few songs and a produce a stage treatment, which soon made their way to acclaimed producer Kevin McCollum in 2010. Although Something Rotten! was expected to have a pre-Broadway trial in Seattle in spring 2015, McCollum felt confident enough that he had a bona fide smash on his creative hands that he opted to open the show without the Seattle tryout when a Broadway theatre became available.  And well, the rest is certainly stage history as the show officially opened in NYC on April 22nd, 2015 to rave reviews and of course eventually…..all of those Tony nominations (10to be exact) with the national tour soon following two years later. And the continuing of the Rotten journey is the reason why you should absolutely catch this wonderful show while it’s in the city until this Sunday. 

2.The cast is all about the Broadway and Philly love…and marriage!  Perhaps one of the best parts about the national tour of Something Rotten! (besides, well, all of it) is that three of its leads are all critically acclaimed theater connoisseurs along with being featured on the show’s original Broadway run. Yes, Rob McClure (Nick Bottom), Josh Grisetti (Nigel Bottom) and Adam Pascal (Shakespeare) have taken the Great White Way by storm and are guaranteed more than ready to serve Philly with their tremendous talents all week-long.

And as lucky love would have it, Mr. McClure gets to be married to lead Rotten actress Maggie Lakis (Nick’s equally hilarious wife, Bea) both on and off the stage! And you’re going to love this…..both Rob and Maggie are from Philly and got engaged right on stage at the Forrest Theatre back in 2008! And while we may not know just how they make it all work since marriage is also a high-profile job in itself, but we’re guessing the hijinks that ensue in this Mr. McClure’s hilariously helmed backstage video might just have something to do with it. Check it out and then get those tickets…now. 

3.It’s got all of the delightful Broadway tunes you need in your life right now….    From the jazzed up opening number, “Welcome to the Renaissance” to “God, I Hate Shakespeare” to fan favorite, “A Musical,” not only does this spectacular stage spectacle have all of the eardrum grabbin,’ toe tappin’ music you could ever want from a Broadway show, but it all adds up to what’s sure to be a fabulous night out in Philly for you and yours this week.  No further statements. 

4.Or how about…..  that time “Hard to Be the Bard” took over the White House?? Priceless. 

5.Do you really need another reason after that? Absolutely not! So, get those tickets (right here!) before you feel absolutely rotten about missing the critically acclaimed Something Rotten! at the Academy of Music this week. 

Okay, here’s one more. See you there! 

Cover photo courtesy of The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

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Music Tea w/X Ambassadors

Whether throwing down a hard-hitting electronic pop groove or blessing us with their incredible stage presence, New York based X Ambassadors--Sam Harris(vocals),Casey Harris(keyboards)and Adam Levin(drums)–certainly know how to keep it musically moving in all directions.

Just ask their many legions of fans who’ve followed these fine music gentlemen since their plugged in debut almost a decade ago. Tonight, their Philly fans are certainly in for in a treat when they put it all on display at The Fillmore for a show that’s guaranteed to be a truly rockin’ good time. However, this evening’s X Ambassadors affair is someone of a special night for the guys the as it marks the first official U.S. stop for their latest road venture, The Joyful Tour (it officially kicked off in Montreal last night), in support of their soon-to-be released set, Joyful, which will be dominating headphones across the globe later this spring. 

But what it really comes down to when it concerns X Ambassadors is that they’re simply ready to straight up give it to all of their fans with their upcoming tour and what better place to light it all up other than in Philly, right? Absolutely.

Before they own The Fillmore tonight, they were gracious enough to stop by Philly Mixtape for a spot of music tea, breaking mugs about what fans can expect from their latest stage spectacles, their words of wisdom for all aspiring musicians and whether or not they’ll be able to check out Philly while they’re here. 

Hint–they will…..so, read on and get to know X Ambassadors below.

Oh, and go see them on The Joyful Tour this spring in your city! 

Hey guys, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with Philly Mixtape. First up, how have you been feeling leading up to the big tour kick off? A lot of the dates are already sold out, so it must feel pretty awesome. Feeling good! We had like a month off for the holidays, so we’re all itching to get back in front of our fans. To know that a lot have already sold out is pretty amazing too.

What can fans expect from your upcoming shows? We’re so excited to be playing a bunch of NEW material for our fans… songs from our upcoming album that haven’t been released yet, in addition to the couple that have already come out.

Which musical artists inspire you guys the most? Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Mavis Staples and Drake.

Any pre-show rituals you do before hitting the stage? SH-I always warm up my voice for about 45 minutes, then I use a steam inhaler for about him 20 minutes, then pick out an outfit, then hit stage. I’m pretty regimented when I’m on tour.

Are you guys going to be able to check out Philly while you’re in town? We love Philly so much. We always stop by Tony Luke’s– we’d always stop there on our way back to Brooklyn when we were touring in our van & trailer– and I personally love to run up the Rocky stairs. I don’t know how much time we’ll have to explore while we’re in town, but hopefully we will.

Lastly, what words of advice would you guys to any aspiring musician in this crazy world right now? Whatever you do– don’t stop. Perseverance is key. And never forget that, as the artist, you have all the power. This is a very tricky industry to navigate and there will be a lot of people who will pretend like they know what’s best for you… but no one is going to be as passionate, or know what’s best for you and your career, than YOU.

For much, much more with X Ambassadors, get down with their official website right here. 

Cover photo courtesy of AXS.com