10 Rock Bands From Philly You Should Totally Care About

When Philadelphia does something, we do it with a distinct kind of passion. The rest of the country may look at us as a bunch of Rocky-loving, cheesesteak-eating, sports-bar-fighting, animals, but one thing is for sure- you can’t deny our music scene is great. Philadelphia knows how to do rock ‘n’ roll.

“I would say if you look at the history of Philadelphia, the musical roots are there. It’s been one that’s been a long home for rock music” says Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM station manager Derek Jones. “I think the scene will keep evolving over the years. There will never be a time in Philadelphia where the music scene is dead. There’s too many people involved and tons of great venues.”

Chances are you’ll never forget your first concert experience in Philly, whether it was at Lincoln Financial Field or in some dingy basement on 32nd St. So many great bands have gotten their start right here in the city of brotherly love and it’s time we give our the scene some credit.

Here are 10 Philly bands that you should totally care about:

[View the interactive timeline here!]

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Five Questions With Local Musician Jake Gussman

Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM

Nighttime rock DJ Kelly Green recently sat down with local musician Jake Gussman.

Check out the video below for an inside look at his massive CD collection, personal music influences, and his odd connection with… Harry Styles???

You can join Kelly Green every Wednesday night from 11pm-1am for The Alternative Scene on Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.

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Eight Plant-Based Proteins to Power Up Your Vegan Diet

Damn vegans, am I right?

We’ve earned quite the reputation in modern society. Obnoxious, pretentious, and unable to refrain from announcing our lifestyle at the absolute worst times.

Hey, I get it. We’re annoying. I won’t go into why we’re so proud of our diets or what a difference it can make in our environment, but I will say that if we have to sport the “annoying vegan” tag, meat-eaters have to sport the “professional FBI investigator” tag.

No matter how politely I turn down meat, I am always bombarded with a variety of questions. “Why?” “How?” “Since when?” “Aren’t you starving?” “Are you sure you don’t secretly eat meat at night when nobody’s watching?” and of course the unavoidable “How do you get your protein?”

Contrary to popular belief, meat is not the only source of protein. Relying on plant-based products for all of my nutrients has forced me to become hyper aware of what I put into my body. As a result, I’m consuming more protein than I ever did before cutting meat out of my diet.

There are tons of plant-based proteins hiding in your grocery store. You just have to know what they are. Here are eight sources that are a simple addition to any diet:

  1. Beans

Protein per cup: about 15 grams

Beans are one of the most affordable protein sources. They are super cheap and come in a wide variety. Whether you prefer white, black, kidney or pinto, you’re guaranteed to get at least 10 grams of protein with each cup. Besides protein, they come with a number of other nutrients including copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc.

  1. Tofu

Protein per cup: 20 grams

Tofu is a soft white substance made from pressed soybeans. At first I was hesitant to give it a try, but over time learned that tofu has the potential to be really great. It’s all about the preparation. If you’re turned off by weird textures, I would recommend marinating the tofu, then shredding it into thin bits. This works as a great substitute for meat in any dish.  

  1. Quinoa

Protein per cup: 8 grams

I had never even heard of quinoa before switching to a vegan diet, but boy was I missing out. This is a grain-like seed that primarily comes from South Africa. “A great plant-based protein is  Quinoa,” says Dr. Gregory Biren, Associate Director of Exercise Science Research Laboratory. “It’s one of the only plant-based protein that is complete with all nine essential amino acids.”

This is one of my favorite protein sources because it is so simple. No cooking is required and you can throw it on top of any platter.

  1. Soy Milk

Protein per cup: 8 grams

Soy milk is made from soybeans. Needless to say, it works best as a substitute for your typical dairy milk. Soymilk is also said to help fight osteoporosis and heart disease. I personally like to drink it with my coffee or cereal in the morning.

  1. Oatmeal

Protein per cup: 6 grams

Even if you’re not vegan, everyone can benefit from a hearty bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Oats are high in protein, plus they keep you full for a long time. You even can add dried fruit such as apricots or raisins to your oatmeal for even more protein.

  1. Green Peas

Protein per cup: 8 grams

Too often we mistake “green” for “boring.” Green peas may not be the most glamourous source of protein, but they contain so many nutrients that are essential to good health. They’re rich in antioxidants which have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Why not dump some peas into your salad if it means less wrinkles and lower risk of Alzheimer’s?

  1. Seeds

Protein per cup: Depends on the seed

There are so many different seeds and they are all high in protein. Flaxseed and dried sunflower seeds are at the head of the pack, containing about 30 grams in one single cup. But you’d be surprised at how much protein you can get from snacking on any type of seed, from pumpkin to pepita.

  1. Peanut Butter

Protein per cup: 65 grams

Peanut butter is one of my favorite foods because of the delicious taste alone. I could not believe my eyes when I looked at the nutrition label to find out this stuff contains 4 grams of protein per tablespoon. Plus, if you spread it on a slice of whole wheat bread, you’re creating a complete protein with all nine amino acids.

According to Dr. Biren, the average person needs at least .45 grams of protein per pound of their body weight each day. However, people who exercise regularly should be getting twice this amount of protein in order to support healthy muscle growth, a strong immune system, red blood cell functions and a balance of body fluid.  
Protein plays a key role in our health and is an essential part of any diet. It’s perfectly possible maintain a balanced diet without the consumption of animal products. Including these totally plant-based protein sources will keep you feeling good and pushing forward.

South Jersey Bands Celebrate “D.I.Y.” Culture

Amongst the streets and suburbia of any U.S. city, you can find a certain breed of of young adults partaking in a “D.I.Y.” style culture. “D.I.Y.” or “Do It Yourself” refers to a lifestyle in which members provide their own set of services or talents to the community. For many it’s a rejection of capitalism, but for some it’s just an easy way to meet friends and save money.

This lifestyle is popular among the arts, and our local music scene is certainly no exception. As fees on tickets for shows at popular venues increase, the popularity of D.I.Y. basement shows seems to be spreading. The typical basement show admission fee is $5, while concerts at places like the Electric Factory or Theater of Living Arts cost roughly $30-$60.

There are many show houses located in Philadelphia, as well as the surrounding towns in N.J. On Saturday local fans gathered at a popular house in Magnolia to enjoy music from eight of South Jersey’s most popular acts.

B.Y.O.B.
Chill/ Hilarious
Yeah & Stuff
Inhail
Old City Revival
Heavenward
Crash Landing
Jake Gussman/Dylan Coverdale

Here’s a peak inside the show:

 

**Student note to professor on analytics:

This blog post has received 10 views so far. However, the YouTube video itself has 85 views. The Snapchat updates posted during the show on my personal account received 87 views each. The video is being shared on Facebook by members of the local music community.

 

Yellowcard: The Final World Tour

One strike of the violin and I am instantly eight years old again. I’m sitting in the backseat of a 1998 Dodge Caravan. My parents’ chatter is muffled by Ryan Key’s voice blaring out of the headphones connected to my brand new CD player- a rare and unique treasure I found in Dollar Tree.

Back then I didn’t think of Yellowcard as real-life humans, just rockstars I watched on MTV. I never imagined I’d see them in concert. That was only something cool teenagers like my sister could do, so I’d like to think 8-year-old me is proud now that I’ve seen them play live on three different occasions. What I know for sure is that both 8-year-old me and 21-year-old me are each a messy mixture of grateful and heartbroken as Yellowcard plays for the final time in Philadelphia.

Looking at their faces as they take the stage, I can’t help but think they are feeling the same way.

I watch Key’s eyes scan the crowd, focusing intently on each face as though he’s trying to take a mental picture or something. He opens his mouth to sing the emotion-packed lyrics to “Believe.” Every single fan sings right along with him. It’s going to be a good night.

Yellowcard has been playing shows in the city of Philadelphia for the past sixteen years. “It feels good to be back,” says Key after the final note of the opener. “I see some familiar faces out there. Some that we’ve seen recently and some we haven’t seen in years.” He goes onto joke, “If you’re just here to stand in the back and yell for us to play Ocean Avenue, don’t bother wasting your time.”

“Here’s what I want you to do,” he says. “I want you to dig way deep deep down tonight and figure out what it is that you want to sing to us about. If at any point you don’t know the lyrics to our newer songs, just sing about anything. But DO NOT stop singing. I want everyone to leave this show without a f*cking voice!”

The band is aware they’re most popular for their older music, but as their glory days wind down, they maintain a level head. In their official breakup letter, they state “ The decision was an incredibly difficult one for us to make. We considered so many things – our families, our health, our future endeavors. In the end we realized that this was the right time to step away and preserve the legacy and integrity of the band.”

The pop punk pioneers have crafted a legendary career, releasing ten studio albums and touring six out of seven continents.

Despite a mixed response to their most recent albums, Yellowcard fans made sure they came out to support the band’s final world tour. The sold out show had the Electric Factory booming with positive energy. Even before the bands took the stage, the whole venue came together to sing the best pop punk hits from the early 2000’s. I made friends with every person around me as we jumped up and down shouting the words to “The Best of Me” by The Starting Line.

New Jersey’s own indie rockers, DryJacket opened the show, followed by Like Torches, a pop punk group from Sweden. Throughout each set you could hear shouts of encouragement surface from the crowd. “I like your beard!” “You rock!” “Nice flannels!” “We love you!” The bands played along. “Hey thanks!” “You guys are great!” “We’re having too much fun up here!” “We love you more!”  The dynamic felt more like a casual reunion with close friends rather than a famous rock band playing to a mass of fans.

This attitude carried into Yellowcard’s set, especially within the audience. Everybody had each other’s back. Anytime things got crazy in the pit, my neighbor would give me a thumbs up checking to see if I was okay. At one point I saw a bunch of people come together to clear space and help a kid find his glasses. After my friend got kicked in the head by a fallen crowd surfer, they both rushed to make sure the other was okay, unworried about their own self. A total stranger even helped me take off on my own crowd surfing endeavor, and afterward I was ambushed with hi-5s from every direction, even from the security guards who were shamelessly jamming in front of the stage.

Yellowcard trucked through twenty six songs, making for a special two hour long set, nothing short of energetic. Their setlist was a strategic balance of classic hits and brand new songs that have just been released. Inevitably they closed the show with the song that started it all. Pure bliss took over the venue as everyone went back in time with “Ocean Avenue.”

For one night, we got to forget about the madness taking place outside the four walls of the Electric Factory. No politics, no divisions- just music.

On Rape Culture

Today I found out that a distant family friend was raped last month in Atlantic City. I found this out in the form of my father warning me not to celebrate my 21st birthday there.

If I shouldn’t celebrate my 21st birthday in Atlantic City, maybe I shouldn’t sit on benches either. Afterall, that’s what Jessica was doing when some man decided he was entitled to invade her body.

She was sitting on a bench. Waiting for her mother. At 8:00 in the morning- broad daylight. No scandalous clothes. No drugs or alcohol. No interest in this man. And certainly no interest in a lifetime of picking up broken pieces left with her after this nightmare of a morning in September.

Though I’ve never met Jessica personally, this news hit me hard. My heart broke for her and every single person in the world who has ever been through something similar. It forced me to wake up to the sickening reality that something like that can happen to me too. None of us are safe. We live in a society that allows rape to happen. Being a 20-year-old female college student, I am surrounded by stories like Jessica’s everyday. The harsh reality is that sexual assault is an ever present plague.

Here are some disturbing statistics from RAINN, the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the United States:

Every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted.

1 out of every 6 American women has been a victim of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.

1 out of every 10 rape victims are male.

21% of transgender/queer college students have been sexually assaulted.

Out of 1,000 rapes, 994 perpetrators walk free.

I am overwhelmed by these statistics. Sexual assault in our country is happening at an alarming rate. So what do we do about it? I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure this out and so far this is what I’ve come up with:

VOTE.

We’ve all heard the story of Brock Turner at this point- a monster who walked away from a horrific rape and molestation with only six months of jail time. An open letter from his victim blew up the internet and people all over the world announced their disgust toward him. Turner received consequence from the public since his story went viral, but sadly most other rapists walk away free of  aftermath.

The 2016 presidential election is monumental for many reasons, one of the most overlooked being the fact that the next president will appoint four new Supreme Court justices. As citizens of  the United States, this decision will affect each and every one of us. If we want to eradicate the issue of sexual assault, we need to start by voting.

STOP BEING A BYSTANDER.

The most appalling detail about Jessica’s story is that out of everyone on the Atlantic City boardwalk that dreaded morning, not a single person stopped to help her. The bystander effect is a dangerous phenomenon. It promotes an unsafe environment. Step in and help your neighbor. Wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for you?

This concept trickles into how we treat sexual assault on a more personal scale. If your friends are joking about rape, intervene. If a friend of yours has been raped, help them. Be there. Encourage them to report it. When you turn a blind eye to sexual assault, you become one one of the biggest parts of the problem.

Lastly,

DON’T RAPE PEOPLE.

Here’s a simple concept: Be a good person. Treat others with respect. This is nothing more than a matter of human decency. Think about how your own words and actions leave an impact on the people around you.  Under no circumstance are you entitled to another person’s body without consent. Understand this concept and spread it like wildfire.

Next weekend I’ll celebrate my 21st birthday in a place that is not Atlantic City and hope that’s enough to save me from a fate like Jessica’s. I’ll hope I leave the weekend with a heart full of memories and not debilitating trauma. But most of all I’ll hope that when the time comes for my child to turn 21, we’ll live in a better world.

Review of The Spot

Seven months ago I ditched the whole “meat-eating” thing and dove into the wonderful world of vegetarianism. Though my body is thanking me, my wallet is not. Forget craving chicken nuggets and cheesesteaks – the hardest part of this whole adventure has been finding food that I can actually afford.

Dining out can be pricey, period. Throw some diet restrictions in there and you can kiss that dream goodbye. I’ve found it almost impossible to pay a reasonable bill at any of those “specialty” vegan or gluten-free restaurants, so I was pretty stoked when a co-worker told me about The Spot in Northfield.

Located inside The Shop on Tilton just outside of Atlantic City, The Spot is a local staple for both vegetarians and meat eaters. In 2012, it was launched by Jonathon Sands and Erin McGee with the intent of bringing creative dishes to a casual atmosphere. The Spot guarantees the use of fresh food, so no need to worry about paying $10 for a pizza you could have just bought from the freezer section of your local ShopRite.  However, if you’re a regular food consumer like me, you have probably developed some trust issues over the years. I mean Wendy’s slogan is “fresh never frozen,” but we all know that’s not the truth. I wanted to put The Spot’s “fresh food” guarantee to the test, so I stopped in for some lunch.

I walked in and sat myself. The restaurant was pretty empty, as most shore places are after Labor Day. It was empty, but not vacant. It still felt cozy. “Fix You” by Coldplay softly filled the room providing a coffee shop feel. I was really digging the atmosphere.

My young waitress was very friendly. I could tell she had a genuine knowledge of the food as I asked different questions about the menu. I decided to start my lunch off with a cup of dairy free cashew broccoli soup, per her recommendation. (Okay, I know what you’re thinking- Cashews and broccoli?) It’s a weird combination, I know. I was nervous too. But I had to find out if cashews were really these magic little tree nuts capable of producing a dairy-like substance- and they were. The soup was great. It resembled a thinner version of the typical cream of broccoli. But without the dairy, I still had room for my main dish.  

Choosing a main dish was hard, because the menu was overwhelming. Aside from the standard menu book, The Spot also has a specialty page of options that changes every single day. The first thing that stuck out me on this specialty page were the drinks.They had over 10 variations of fruity refreshments including cranberry acai lemonade, pineapple lemonade, thai tea, thai coffee, and even a nonalcoholic cucumber mojito, all at a standard $6. I was turned off by the price, until I saw the size of these things. All beverages are served in an enormous mason jar, big enough to last through a meal and the drive home. Sidenote: They do provide to-go cups. Plus, we all love to post artsy mason jar photos on Instagram.

I flipped through the menu about a dozen times, amazed at all of the unique dishes I had never before heard of. However, I kept going back to one dish in particular- the quinoa quesadillas. This is because a.) I love mexican food and b.) I cannot find quinoa at any other restaurant. As a committed vegetarian, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

The quesadillas totally lived up to my expectations. They encompassed the perfect cheese to quinoa ratio, mixed with juicy peppers and onions. Perhaps the best part of it all was the crispy black bean tortilla. The dish also came with side of sour cream and quinoa, all for $11.

If you’re not into the whole vegetarian-mexican thing, The Spot still has a lot of great options. Their menu includes burgers, wraps, salads, starters and an extensive list of entrees. Some of the more distinctive dishes include sweet potato wontons, thai chili wings, four cheese grilled cheese, and blueberry cream cheese wontons. They also serve breakfast until 11 a.m. and all day on Sundays.  I’m excited to go back and try their “banana fat boy french toast.”  Plus maybe this time I’ll have room to fit dessert, because their homemade cookies sound incredible.

The Spot is a perfect place to stop for a casual meal. You get the luxury of gourmet food, without having make reservations, dress up, or pay a ridiculous price. Their menu offers something for everyone. Plus you’re guaranteed to leave with enough leftovers for an entire meal. So if you’re looking for simple and cozy, you’ll have to stop by The Shop on Tilton.

 

Philadelphia – GRAMMY U Joins Kaleo for Soundcheck

On Sat. Oct. 1, Philadelphia members of GRAMMY U headed over to Kaleo’s soundcheck at the Theater of Living Arts. The Icelandic rock band is currently touring North America in honor of their second studio album, A/B.

After members got the chance to observe this event just inches away from the stage, they were able to catch up with the band during an exclusive Q&A session. Kaleo discussed tour life, songwriting, and how far they have come since the release of their very first album in 2013.

The group admitted their writing process has undergone many changes over the past few years. They’ve traded in the luxury of a studio for the experience of the real world. Kaleo says much of A/B was recorded on the road. Though this process is exhausting, drummer, Davíð Antonsson notes that it has allowed them to pick up many special influences that they wouldn’t have gotten to meet at home.

When it comes to musical influences, frontman Jökull Júlíusson says they have an extensive list of artists, Led Zeppelin being one of the keys. He even revealed that three out of four members of Kaleo have Zeppelin tattoos.

A/B represents a band with two faces. Side A serving that classic rock ‘n’ roll edge, while Side B showcases a delicate and more intimate sound.

So far Kaleo is facing extreme success with the album from award nominations to an outstanding performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!  They won’t be stopping anytime soon as in 2017, they are set to join The Lumineers for another North American tour.

Local Scene Says Goodbye to Brad’s Shows

7/24/16

Hundreds of the area’s most devoted music fans swarmed to Skater’s Choice Saturday for one final night of punk rock hosted by longtime staple, Brad’s Shows.

It doesn’t take much for an entire decade to slip by since the very first time teens rushed to  Choice Inline Arena to watch their best friend’s band kick ass on the rink.  Despite the lack of side bangs and excessive black eyeliner, not a lot has changed within our own native tri-state scene over the years.

The same exact vibes flew through the set; some mixture of adrenaline and early 2000’s pop-punk fueled angst… Except this time intertwined with raging nostalgia, forcing each individual to acknowledge the fact that this whole local scene thing has turned out to be a pretty big deal.

“It felt great for me and the guys to play where it all started with Brad” says One Foot Forward and Carry Along the Coastline bassist Vince Ciafardoni, “For me it was my first place that I’ve ever played and it really was a special moment I’ll never forget.”

The final Brad’s Show event lasted roughly 6 hours, featuring the area’s most respected acts from Skank Week to Far Beyond the Sunrise and a special surprise set from Vacate.

bradboozle

Brad’s Show is set to be taken over by Harry Oelenschlager, who will continue to book shows at Red Dwarf Studios in Sewell, NJ.

Many Bradboozle attendees took to social media after the show, expressing their gratitude for Brad and all that he has done for the scene.

bradddy

 

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bradybunch

So thank you Brad Kelsey for providing a platform; on which friends are made, opportunities are presented, and memories are made that will last a lifetime.