Rock On Philly’s Fringe Festival Playlist 2013

It’s that time of year again: fall is here (sort of), there’s a whiff of change in the air, and artists from Philly and beyond are ready to show the world exactly what they’re bringing to their medium. Philly’s Fringe Festival presented by FringeArts (formerly Philly Fringe and Live Arts Festival) has expanded this year to include even more top-notch performers and a larger selection of shows to attend. The festival runs over 18 days from September 5 through September 22, with more than 150 official performances in venues all over Philadelphia.

While the festival focuses mainly on theatre and other live performance arts, musical acts are featured in many shows. To get you in the mood  to hop from venue to venue, I’ve selected a few of these musical acts and compiled the first official Rock On Philly playlist for the 2013 Philly Fringe Festival!


To kick off the playlist, Brooklyn group and repeat Fringe Fest performers So Percussion bring their renown percussion skills to this composition by Daniel Wohl, called “Neighborhood”. Fans of electronic music and orchestral storytelling will enjoy this one:

So Percussion will be presenting their piece Where (we) Live at the Painted Bride Art Center, on September 12,13,14 at 9PM. Tickets are available through FringeArts.


Following the otherworldly orchestral theme, next on the playlist is Philadelphia group Divine Hand Ensemble in their “Opera” music video, a short and sweet number:

Divine Hand Ensemble is a diverse group that includes players on theremin, harp, classical guitar, vibraphone, and strings. The group plays everything from arias and sacred music to popular favorites; you can catch them for free at Underground Arts on September 19th as part of the Late Nite Cabaret, where they’ll be joining burlesque dancers for the “Souled-Out Revue”.


Moving from harp to harp, next on the list is Philly contemporary harpist Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis. Game of Thrones fans will appreciate her attempts to expand the harp’s repertoire by covering the show’s theme song, everyone else (like me) can just appreciate the beautiful harp-playing:

Elizabeth will be performing her solo show, A Change of Harp, at the Maas Building in Northern Liberties on September 12, 13, 14 starting at 8PM. Get tickets from FringeArts for only $20.


The next three songs on the playlist are all from artists who will be taking part in the folk madness that is the XFS Philly Song Shuffle–1 stage, 55 artists, and each performing 4 minutes of music with a quick 4 second set change in between. Tickets are $25 for the event, which starts at 7PM at World Cafe Live in Philly on September 12. Buy your tickets here.


First up, Philly folk artist Sonja Sofya showcases her unique voice and piano-playing skills in the song “Pretty Face” at World Cafe Live:

Next is contemporary old-time string band Stolen Thyme, who recently performed at the Lansdowne Folk Club. Here, the group performs their song “Warfare”, perfect for anyone who enjoys a little banjo in their life:

Continuing the string theme, Philly folk artist Ryan Tennis takes to his guitar with his Clubhouse Band to play the catchy original “Sunlight and Shade”, a song that I would equally love to hear over radio airwaves or on a live stage: 


After all the beautiful classical influences and sunny folk songs, the next two songs in the playlist will satisfy any listener’s urge for a little dirty rock ‘n roll. Next on the list is Philadelphia’s most gravelly band and one of my personal absolute favorites, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, with their potent weekend tale, “Friday Night Guy” (a song that never fails to get me moving):

You can catch TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb for free at Underground Arts on September 18, where they’ll exclusively be performing Tom Waits songs to help kick off Burlesque-n-Beyond, the free burlesque spinoff  festival held during Fringe. Doors at 9PM.


Rounding out the playlist and ending on a high-energy note is this rockin’ trailer for Eternal Glamnation: A GlamRock Cabaret, put on by Brat Productions. It’s not quite a playlist track all on its own, but it does have all the sequins, drama, and rock ‘n roll you could need. And really, what do you need other than sequins?

Eternal Glamnation dates are September 8 and September 15 at Underground Arts. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door, and the campy show starts at 8:30PM.


Now that you’ve warmed up and got a taste for the out-of-the-ordinary music  you can expect from this year’s Philadelphia Fringe Festival, you’re ready to go get tickets and check out some shows! Don’t miss out on your yearly chance to explore what art the city has to offer.

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