(A Plain Parade Third Anniversary Compilation)

Philadelphia is nationally known for its hip-hop and R&B acts, but until recently, the rock scene would garner nothing more than Hooters and cheesesteak jokes from tastemakers outside the Delaware Valley. The Hooters (the band, not the restaurant chain) and cheesesteaks ("wit" please) are just fine, but take a closer look. The tides are turning.

Matt Pond PA and Audible have been prominently featured on The O.C. Dr. Dog have received accolades from the New York Times and Rolling Stone, toured with My Morning Jacket and have recently signed to indie powerhouse Rough Trade. The Capitol Years were given the rare distinction of being the opening band on the Pixies' inaugural reunion gig. Hail Social wowed audiences across the country opening for Interpol and signed to Polyvinyl Records. Espers stunned crowds across the US and UK opening up for acts such as Devendra Banhart, were recently rated #33 in Uncut Magazine's "Best of 2005" (beating out indie heavyweights Bright Eyes and M.I.A.) and appeared on Believer Magazine's newest compilation alongside the wonderfully local Cynthia G Mason. The Spinto Band were adopted by former SPIN editor/current Stolen Transmission label owner Sarah "Ultragrrrl" Lewittinn, and their their song "Oh Mandy" has become the soundtrack to many dancefloor freakouts and more recently, a Sears commercial. Pitchfork's heaped critical praise to Espers, National Eye, Man Man, Pattern Is Movement, Make A Rising -- just to name a few. And don't forget the whole ongoing Nick Hornby/Marah love-in.

In short, Philadelphia is poised to be fucking huge. To add to its buzzworthiness, Plain Parade is pleased to announce the release of Songs From the Sixth Borough, a compilation featuring eighteen Philadelphia artists covering Philadelphia musicians of past and present.

To celebrate their third anniversary of being a part of Philly's music scene, Plain Parade organizers Sara Sherr and Maria Tessa Sciarrino asked local bands to share a cover by another Philly artist, past or present. Who knows the city's musical history better than its musicians?

Songs features a wide variety of bands from Philadelphia's thriving independent music scene. A quick glance at the tracklisting shows the depth of the city's musical history from power pop to soul, punk rock, hip hop, indie rock -- even television jingles. Each band takes the best of the original material and combines it with their own unique sensibilities, turning "Songs" into a unique snapshot of the city's current music scene.

Songs will be available for digital download courtesy of Apollo Audio on Tuesday, November 22nd.


01 Dragon City "I Saw the Light"
Original: Todd Rundgren

02 Sympathizers "White Picket Fences"
Original: Late Night Television

03 Method and Result "Private Eyes"
Original: Hall & Oates
Hall & Oates were Megan's first concert!

04 Golden Ball "Voices"
Original: Espers

05 The A-Sides "Expressway to Your Heart"
Original: Soul Survivors
"Expressway" made it to the Top 5 in 1967, making it Gamble & Huff's first hit.

06 Cordalene "The River is Pale and the Water is Wide"
Original: Bitter, Bitter Weeks
"The first person I thought of when you wanted to do a comp of Philly bands covering Philly bands was Brian McTear. He's been executing the idea in his set for years, so it seemed like the right thing to do. We asked Brian if we could do one of his songs, explaining that we know his music is really personal, so maybe there would be songs he would want us to stay away from. We used "The River is Pale..." as an example of something we should probobly avoid (as its about recovering from a close friend's death). He wrote back and said he would be honored, and that "The River is Pale" would be great; so we took the challenge. It was strange singing people's names I've never met, but I think its one of his best songs. He did tell Jamie he thought it sounded like "heavy metal without the heavy metal." (Mike Kiley, Cordalene)

07 This Radiant Boy "Sliding"
Original: Franklin

08 The Jane Anchor "CIA"
Original: The A's
At the very impressionable age of 7, one member of TJA's life would be transformed forever. Standing on the side of the stage, Brian gazed in awe as his uncle, Michael Snyder, laid down the backbeat for The A's at a record release show. The debut release by The A's on Arista featured a song called "C.I.A." that, unbeknownst to the band, would transform this 7 year old boy. Now, a bit older, the idea was presented to the band to cover a song by a Philly band and his eyes lit up. This was the perfect opportunity for us to pay homage to a band so influential and I hope this may rekindle an interest in The As.

09 Hail Social "New American Apathy"
Original: Mazarin

10 Lee, Jae-Won "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
Original: Robert Hazard

11 Bitter, Bitter Weeks "Never Enough"
Original: She-Haw

12 Rifle Nice "Move Closer to What Deaner Was Talking About"
Original: Al Ham/Ween

13 Walker Lundee "Cowboys to Girls"
Original: The Intruders

14 Evil Janet "Subtle Things"
Original: Cynthia G. Mason
CGM appeared on the Believer Magazine covers compilation, which was one of the inspirations for this album.

15 National Eye "Snowing in April"
Original: Like Moving Insects

16 Rarebirds "Trampoline"
Original: Brother June
"When I heard about this comp, I was torn because there were too many great Philly bands to choose from. I didn't want to just cover a great song, I wanted Rarebirds to give our rendition of one that held some sort of greater meaning on a personal level to me. After tossing around a few possibilities, I remembered about a great little band fronted by a really good friend of mine, Ben Faranda. I think that Brother June never got enough of the recognition they deserved. It's been kind of heartbreaking for me to see such a wonderfully talented person unable devote as much as he would like to new song writing ventures due to a recent medical diagnosis. This is why it means so much to me that he not only gave us his blessing on doing the cover, but he also honored us with a guest appearance singing harmonies on the recording."(Carolynne McNeel, Rarebirds)

17 Andrew Chalfen "Blue But Not Really"
Original: Joey Sweeney
Free Fact: Dean Clean of the Dead Milkmen plays drums on this song.

18 Motherfucking Clash "Take Me Apart"
Original: the Dead Milkmen




Ewww, Greg Kot. Chicago as "The Most Important Rock City"? Dan DeLuca of the Inquirer disagrees, and you can hear him say so on WNYC's fantastic Soundcheck program. Featured on the show was Hail Social's contribution. You can stream or download the show here.



The A-Sides expound upon the making of "Expressway To Your Heart", among other things, on the brand-new WHYME? podcast. Have a listen here!




Is 7:00 a.m. too damn early for you? If so, you missed out on hearing Maria and Megan from The Method and Result talk about the compilation on WHYY. Thankfully, this wee clip has been archived here.


SFTSB gets some inquirer love! Click on the image below to read the article.


» SFTSB Gets A Whole Lotta Love From City Paper!

When we read this review, we were glowing:

Our usually self-destructive city's been drafting love letters to itself all year, but nothing's as romantic as this Plain Parade Philly-covers-Philly MP3 compilation. Mostly, it's indie kids paying homage to indie kids. Hail Social caffeinates Mazarin. Evil Janet turns a Cynthia G. Mason favorite into peppy bliss. Cordalene does a heroic Bitter, Bitter Weeks, who in turn strip a She-Haw tune down to its desperate core. Of course, soul is Philly's soul, which is probably why The A-Sides' cover of the Gamble/Huff classic "Expressway to Your Heart" feels like the most natural thing in the world. And Robert West conjures a sultry croon on Walker Lundee's faithful remake of The Intruders' "Cowboys to Girls." It's uncanny and captivating. Meanwhile The Method and Result turn "Private Eyes" into a sparse robot love song that mixes canned beats with warm bass tones. It's miles from Hall and Oates' complicated stalker anthem, but still catchy. The comp's most inspired reinvention comes from everybody's side project, Rifle Nice, who stitch the unforgettable Action News horn progression to Ween's simple slacker's anthem "What Deaner Was Talking About." Fits like a glove. And therein lies the value of The Sixth Borough, the clever unlocking of pop potential. Hear that, Philadelphia? It's yourself saying you love you. It's what everybody—every band, booker, blogger, Dummytowner, crewcial poster, wheat paster, rock writer and rumor miller—has been trying to say. Move closer to your world my friend and you'll see. (Patrick Rapa)

» SFTSB On WHYY This Morning!

If you were awake at 8:00 AM this morning, you more than likely heard Megan Wendell from the Method and Result and Maria from Plain Parade expound a minutes' worth of knowledge about our little record. We'd like to thank Joel Rose at WHYY for giving us that opportunity!


» SFTSB fever! Catch it -- Stereogum has!

» From - CD of the Week!!

"So the rest of the world can't make a good cheesesteak? The least Philly can do is offer a recipe that's just as dangerous and tasty -- like a Rifle Nice merger of Ween and the Action News theme! This and 17 other tracks make up Songs From The Sixth Borough, released to coincide with Plain Parade's third anniversary of booking intimate indie performances throughout the city. Philly's latest and greatest performers interpret local pop and decidedly-not-pop music from the last five decades. "The Sound Of Philadelphia" soul gets a straightforward reading from Walker Lundee and a lo-fi spin from the A-Sides. The Method and Result almost turn Hall & Oates' "Private Eyes" into trip-hop, while Lee, Jae-Won wraps "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (penned by local rocker Robert Hazard) in warm feedback. Other acts rep their peers: Hail Social do Mazarin, for example, while Cordalene do Bitter, Bitter Weeks. New York Times articles that don't kill us make us stronger, and Songs From The Sixth Borough is a celebratory circling of the wagons." (Adam Blyweiss)

» WHYY covers SFTSB? Details soon!


SFTSB Listening Party!

When: Saturday 11/19
Where: Tritone (1508 South Street)
Cost: 3$ (gets you some free drinks)


» SFTSB gets a quick mention on Philebrity!

» Phillyist gets all excited about SFTSB too.





Apollo Audio is an internet-only record label, streaming full album previews via a proprietary Macromedia Flash player interface. Apollo can help you sell albums in the catalog via digital download, without the need for a 3rd party software application or subscription service.

Turtle Studios has been helping artists make great recordings since 1997, becoming a fixture of the Old City arts scene and the greater Philadelphia music community. The studio is known for its comfortable and creative atmosphere, as well as its highly professional and musician-centered approach to recording projects.

Curious parties should write to us here.

One Sheet (PDF)
High Resolution Artwork (6.1MB, TIFF format)