The first Friday of 2017 marked a celebration two years in the making.
Let’s start a new tradition around here on the first Monday of the year: In addition to providing you with the Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week, as we do every Monday, let’s take a longer look at our calendar to, perhaps, some Can’t-Miss Shows of the Year.
We’ve made it to a new year full of fresh possibilities. No matter your opinion of 2016, one thing is for certain: 2017 promises to hold just as many, if not more, musical treasures for us between now and December 31.
This week, we start it off with some selections that certainly deserve to be called…
Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!
Tues., Jan. 3 | 8 p.m.
The Slicked Up 9s Open for The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Venue: Sellersville Theatre, 136 N. Main St., Sellersville
Description: Swing all night with jump blues and more as the eastern PA natives start the night for the platinum-selling “Zoot Suit Riot” legends.
Thurs., Jan. 5 | 8 p.m.
The Band of Rivals, Ben O’Neill, Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart
Venue: Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia
Admission: $10 (21+)
Description: Take a field trip to Philly to watch LVU’s Doug Keller do his thing, slappin’ the bass for The Band of Rivals.
Fri., Jan. 6 | 7 p.m.
The Originals Music Series’ Two-Year Anniversary Bash
Venue: Chicago Restaurant, 1179 Airport Road, Allentown
Description: Dead:Stop, REVEL 9, and Autoerotica rock The Originals into Year 3. LVU Founder Gerard Longo is the guest emcee.
Fri., Jan. 6 | 8 p.m.
The Balcony Showcase Presents: The Bastard Sons of Burt Sugarman
Venue: Broadway Pub, 62 Broadway, Bangor
Description: Mike Roi, Carter Lansing, and Werner Sommer trade songs and stories to kick off the inaugural Balcony showcase.
Happy New Year! As we approach 2017 with a sense of vigor and excitement, we want to take our support of the music scene and surrounding community to the next level. Of course, we still plan to do the things you’ve come to expect from Lehigh Valley Underground, but there are new and exciting opportunities to do it bigger and better than ever before.
As we’ve reflected on what we’ve done to this point, we’ve come up with some ways to stay true to the whole “New Year, New Me” thing. Without further ado, here are our New Year’s Resolutions:
- Put out even more of the good stuff: In 2016, Lehigh Valley Underground was good for about 450 posts, which certainly accounts for a lot of words, photos, and videos. The crazy thing? There’s still so much more we can cover. We’ll be combing the scene early and often to give you even more fresh, daily content in the coming year. We’re shooting for at least two posts per day in 2017, which means you can expect to hear and see something new about 730 times throughout the year.
- Add voices to the conversation: To help us complete the previous goal, we want to hear from more of the people on our music scene. It’s our mission to welcome new contributors into the fold in 2017, and we want to invite writers, photographers, and local music enthusiasts to share their passions with the LVU audience. Contact us here if you want to join the team!
- Let’s put on a show: In 2016, we sponsored a couple of great nights of live music. We want to do more of that this year, and that includes putting on a showcase (or several) ourselves. The great part about this goal is that we’re already working on the first one, and there stands an excellent chance that you’ll be hearing more about it very, very soon…
- Work with our community: Lehigh Valley Underground wants to be a better community partner this year. This includes partnering with local organizations to support their causes, as well as helping more local businesses spread the word about what they’re up to. Again, some of these projects are already in the works, and we hope to share them with you all soon. Meanwhile, if you want to work with us in any capacity, be sure to reach out.
That seems like a good starting point to us, and it gives us something to strive for throughout the year (and look back upon, when it comes time for year-end reflection). Hold us to these resolutions, and please, let us know some of yours in the comments!
To close our Best of 2016 video series (a joint LVU-Dustin Schoof production), Dustin and I each shared our favorite overall moment from our individual travels through the music scene in 2016, as well as what we’re looking forward to the most in the New Year. My responses are below. Of course, you can catch Dustin’s over at DustinSchoof.com. Mine is below.
I say something to this effect in the video below, but it bears repeating: Thank you all for being the motivating force behind all of this. When LVU launched in January, I could not have imagined it taking off to the heights it has reached. Now, I am optimistic that we will soar even higher together in the New Year.
Please be safe tonight, and have a happy and successful 2017.
Still in need of plans to ring in 2017? Allentown’s Hamilton District wants you to join its New Year’s Eve festivities – a proposition made even more tempting by the musical options available that night.
First, the City of Allentown will be hosting its official New Year’s Eve celebration at the corner of 7th and Hamilton Streets. Beginning at 10 p.m., the evening’s festivities include a fireworks display and an always-entertaining performance by Charlie Brown’s Notorious Groove.
Speaking of Groove, plenty of downtown restaurants will also be hosting New Year’s Eve festivities, such The Hamilton Kitchen, which will play host to The Groove Merchants beginning at 9 p.m. The five-piece from Kutztown will be playing tunes from its new album, “Take It” (which was included in LVU Founder Gerard Longo’s Best of 2016 picks), in addition to covers and other originals. It’s a Can’t-Miss Show of the Week for a reason!
The fun doesn’t stop there. Another LVU favorite, Copper Fields, will be right down the street at Bell Hall at the same time to deliver their unique brand of Americana. The trio has played all over the Valley in 2016, and has gained a reputation for their great musicianship and enjoyable tunes.
If jazz is more your speed, Allentown has something for you on New Year’s Eve, as well. Our friends at Sugar Hill Jazz House will welcome Nancy Coletti, who will provide smooth sounds to add to the evening’s ambiance beginning at 9 p.m.
There, now you have plans for New Year’s Eve! For information on these events and many more, visit The Hamilton District Main Street Program online.
With what figures to be a big 2017 for the Lehigh Valley music scene, excuse us if we’re looking a bit past Santa’s arrival, and to the world of possibilities that lies just eight days in the future.