It’s always fascinating to find the singular sensation that is Nellie McKay — risk-taking vocalist/composer in a contemporary pop/jazz vein, Bernie Sanders supporter, dog lover, one-time Poconos native — elbows-deep in one of her several character-driven, live showcases.


Chrissy Tashjian wanted the audience to know where she was coming from. The lead singer and guitarist for the Philadelphia-based punk rock band Thin Lips vocalized her concern for the safety of LGBT youth and adults while on tour in Europe with The Superweaks and Modern Baseball, two other Philadelphia-based bands.

When you talk with Eddie Bruce — the young, but old-school-stylized nightclub Philadelphia vocalist who splits his career between wedding singing and cabaret crooning — you can feel the urgent passion in his voice as he addresses his work and his life.

Ten years ago, Stephin Merritt told me, “I do a lot of conventional things, but I don’t do them conventionally.” That makes sense considering Merritt’s newest The Magnetic Fields recording, “50 Song Memoir,” with his longtime musical partner Claudia Gonson.

Pioneering out rock band Boys’ Entrance is releasing a double album this month entitled “Tunnelvision.” The queer rock opera set in the 1980s during the AIDS epidemic centers on openly gay rocker Tim and his tumultuous relationship with a closeted fan, Troy, which quickly spirals into a roller coaster of break-ups and make-ups, drugs, alien encounters and one of the men becoming a rent boy.

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