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FYI on DIYs in PHL: Best Fest

We went to Best Fest last year and had an absolutely fabulous time! It’s just a really special event with such a beautiful community vibe, and it’s FREE so we suggest that you swing by Clark Park this Saturday afternoon. What can you say about a festival that has always been so supportive of our music community and has brought you such notable local acts as Kurt Vile, Tickley Feather, Pony Pants (debut performance), The Extraordinaires and many, many more. We had a chance to grab some beers with the “Best Fest Girls”. Sorry, should we say “Best Fest Ladies” (Erin Engelstad, Vicki Zwicker, Molly Landergan, Kassie, Richardson and Tess Sorensen - absent Eileen Horgan)? We had an enjoyable time chatting about the festival and the thing that brought us together - music. Kassie Richardson was kind enough to answer a few of our questions after we had a chance to get some of the alcohol out of our systems.
The Deli: How did Best Fest start?
Kassie Richardson: In 2005, a group of ladies living together in West Philly heard the park calling...it asked us to make a festival, we agreed to make the Best Fest. 
TD: What is Best Fest about?
KR: Best Fest is about friendship, love, engagement, pleasure, having a sense of humor, figurative youth, art, open air, green, calmness, excitement, trees, respect, and gratitude, among others. Altogether the festival is about creating a day where everyone in the community can come together outside in the park to have fun and listen to some good music and see some interesting performances.
TD: Why did you choose the name Best Fest?
KR: We were all sitting in a room together at the old house trying to think of names and calling them out. I think we all wanted something that didn’t sound too serious. There were a lot of longer ones. “Best Fest” was short, easy to remember, fairly broad, and it rhymed, which we liked. It’s jokingly superlative. We’re proud of what we do, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously.
TD: What are your favorite moments from Best Fest?
KR: One year Make a Rising performed a fantastical play in which they inflated a huge plastic bubble over the whole crowd. Rebirth!
TD: Who are you looking forward to hearing this year?
KR: All of them, of course! If I had to choose just one though, I’d say Unidos Da Filadelfia! because I’ve never seen them perform, and I love the idea of a large group of people performing together outdoors, especially drummers playing Brazilian beats!  They’re going to make the heat cool. 
TD: What do you love about West Philly?
KR: There are a lot of people trying to make ends meet, and it gives you the sense that you should be a part of fulfilling something greater than you are. I love the potential of this neighborhood and the DIY culture that is prevalent here. It gives you the sense that you’re not locked into something that’s out of your control.
TD: What do you hate about West Philly?
KR: Not enough brunch! Not enough Mexican restaurants! Don’t get me started on that!
TD: What local artists are you currently into?
KR: U.S. Girls and Buffalo Stance to name a couple - the former will luckily be performing at Best Fest! Buffalo Stance, or Jamey Robinson, is an amazing musician…it’s always exciting to hear what he’s going to do next!
TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
KR: My sister took me to see Dwight Yoakam when his album This Time came out - “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere” still gives me chills. I think the first album I bought was Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation. Actually scratch that, my mom bought it - I bought it with my heart though. “5-4-3-2-1…” 4eva. 
TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?
KR: A Reuben, when I’m feeling up to the task!
(Poster by Christine Jones)
- The Deli Staff



Joe & The Coats play Arlene's Grocery on June 4

I-banker turned singer-songwriter Joe Barney delivers catchy pop rock with thoughtful lyrics, dynamic guitar playing, and sweet melodies that don’t rot your teeth. With songs inspired by his countless breakups with, "supermodels" and a sound reflective of his time working with famed Rolling Stones producer Rob Fraboni, Mr. Barney, along with his band, The Coats, paints a portrait of a talented young artist struggling to find love and meaning in New York City. In an era of emotionally detached, beat-infused electro-pop music so often bereft of musicianship, Joe & The Coats offer a refreshingly honest, fun, and finely crafted classic rock show. (www.joebarney.com)


Drink your drinks tonight at Exit In - Mattoid, Frank and Quintron!

Get ready Nashville. Tonight the Exit In has a bangin' lineup. Mattoid (your favorite Nashvillian from Helsinki), Frank the Fuck Out and Quintron with Miss Pussycat will all bombard your ears and eyes with lyrical fantasies of love and sex and adventures! Get there for an ass-kicking good time! - Deli Staff


Last Minute Plans: Distractions @ Empty Bottle

The self-titled from Distractions was released this week by the local cassette label Plus Tapes. The first thing that jumps out at you when consuming the sounds of Distractions is the deep rich baritone sounds of Tom Owens. I feel his delivery can best be compared to that of Matt Berninger (The National), but when combined with eclectic sound of his band mates it really sets this band apart. Musically, the band draws from a variety of sources as diverse as British Invasion era rock to spaced-out psychedelic fuzz. The tempo and depth of sound shifts often, and through that shifting draws the listen in the many layers of distracting bliss. 

They are celebrating the release of their new tape tonight at Empty Bottle with Bird Names, Zelienople and Ken Camden. The show starts at 9pm and tickets are just $5.


Let's Check In on the Kids

...turns out they're alright. This may come as a shock, but there's a festival in town this weekend: installment number 4, if my math is correct, of The Kids Are Alright Festival, held at the Bob Bullock State History Museum. It's what we call a U21 festival. Prices are exceedingly friendly - free for events on Friday and $6 for a wide array of music on three stages Saturday. (Above is Sienna of the group Schmillion, winners of the Chronicle's 2009 'Best U18 Band' poll...) The kids, it turns out, are not just alright, they're total pros. 


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