Tape Swap Radio Launches New ‘Rooftop Sessions’ Series with Lehigh Valley Indie Band, This Way to the Egress

Tape Swap Radio is celebrating its fourth anniversary recording bands and hosting concerts in the Lehigh Valley with the launch of a new live series dubbed, ‘Rooftop Sessions.’ Tape Swap Radio, started by Lehigh Valley residents Matt Molchany and Shamus McGroggan in 2013, has partnered with The Alternative Gallery in Allentown to record live sets from bands on the roof of the four-story Cigar Factory Artist Studios building in South Allentown.

The resulting ‘Rooftop Sessions’ will feature HD video including aerial drone footage by Bethlehem’s George Wacker making it the first of its kind for a regular live music series in the Lehigh Valley. The video will be shared online and the audio will be broadcasted on the radio stations which carry Tape Swap Radio: Lehigh Valley NPR station, WDIY 88.1 FM, and WLVU: The Sound of the Underground.

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Left to right: Sarah Egress and Taylor Galassi from This Way to the Egress recording the band’s Rooftop Session

The first ‘Rooftop Session’ will feature Lehigh Valley vaudeville/punk-inspired indie band, This Way to the Egress. The band’s four-song performance and interview is set to premiere on WDIY 88.1 FM on Friday, July 14 at 11 p.m. Video from the session will then be available on Tape Swap Radio’s website on Sunday, July 16.

The next ‘Rooftop Session’ will feature up-and coming Wilkes-Barre indie rock band Doghouse Charlie & The Buck Knife, set to premiere in August.

Alternative Gallery director and Cigar Factory building superintendent Brandon Wunder has worked with Tape Swap Radio in the past but is especially excited for the ‘Rooftop Sessions.’

“This project is the culmination of several years of collaborative foundation building efforts by Tape Swap Radio, the Alternative Gallery, and an assortment of unique creators in the area,” Wunder said. “Setting the performances against Allentown’s changing skyline serves as the perfect metaphor for the strengthening of the arts in our area. These sessions are a special way to exhibit the vibrant art and music community in the Lehigh Valley and literally raise them to a new platform.”

“We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to showcase the music of the Lehigh Valley’s thriving D.I.Y. and independent music scene.” said Tape Swap Radio co-founder Shamus McGroggan. “We’re hoping that our Rooftop Sessions will expose these bands to a wider audience.”

The ‘Rooftop Sessions’ will add to the already storied history of the Cigar Factory building, notes Tape Swap Radio co-founder Matt Molchany.

“This is a building with deep roots in the Lehigh Valley’s music scene. From touring bands to local bands, the walls of this building have seen a lot of live music throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s,” Molchany said. “I think it’s interesting that a project like this would find a home on the roof of this particular building.”

Other fourth anniversary initiatives launched by Tape Swap Radio include a redesigned website which will now serve as an archive for all 40+ sessions that Tape Swap Radio has recorded over the past four years, a quarterly zine documenting the Lehigh Valley music scene which will debut at Lehigh Valley Zine Fest on August 19 at 2nd Base Vintage in Easton, and a new season of bands recorded at the Shards recording studio in Bethlehem. Guests for Tape Swap Radio’s upcoming ‘Shards Sessions’ include Lehigh Valley bands Bad American, Poor Luther’s Bones, Daytime Cleaners, Small Mess, Goodnight Stars Goodnight Air, and more.

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