Today is the official kick-off for Musikfest, as you probably well know if you’re reading this. Once again we’ve spent many nights into the wee hours listening to and picking out the best of the best for this year’s line-ups. A few things to note this year: Here Come the Mummies are back for a free show. Do not miss this. Two notable absences include March Fourth Marching Band, who will be playing at Artsquest later in the year, and the booze-fueled Fighting Jamesons, who played one hell of an awesome set last year.
There also seems to be an absurd amount of Americana/folk/etc music this year. We’re going to go ahead and blame that on Mumford and Sons. There also generally seems to be a lot of jazz/swing/big band/Roaring 20’s kind of stuff going on. Perhaps that’s just a way of keeping old music around while still appealing to the hipster crowd and axing some polka. Or we’re just imagining things.
Tonight’s headliner is Carly Rae Jepson. And yes, we’ll be there (for some of it, anyways). That’s all we’ll say about that.
The festival officially kicks off at 6pm at Americaplatz on the SouthSide. The opening ceremony will include a performance by John Gorka, the first ever artist at Musikfest and tribues to John Walson Jr, of Service Electric, and Linny Fowler.
And without further ado, our music picks for the evening:
Tim Harakal – performing from 6pm to 6:40pm at the Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz inside the Frank banko Alehouse Cinemas in the Artsquest building
This Whitehall native plays laid back acoustic sets consisting of a mix of his own original music and covers like Rolling in the Deep, House of the Rising Sun, and Hallelujah. Think easy-going, Jack Johnson-style. It’s a great way to ease into Musikfest.
Lucy Stone – performing from 9pm to 9:40pm at the Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz inside the Frank banko Alehouse Cinemas in the Artsquest building
This indie singer/songwriter from Philly incorporates her strong vocals on top of a mixture of pop and blues. She released her five track Would You? EP in September and went on to tour with Rusted Root and garner and Independent Music Award nom.
Heather Friedman – performing from 11pm to 1am at the TD Bank Community Stage at the Air Products Town Square
Heather Friedman isn’t new to Bethlehem. She performed earlier this year at Artsquest’s RiverJazz festival and is returning to perform a late night set tonight on the SouthSide. Her music is reminiscent of Regina Spektor, infusing a bit of whimsy into piano-backed pop.
John Beacher – performing from 6pm to 8pm at Main Street
This New-Hope based folk singer incorporates blazing-fast singing and scatting with a catchy melody and guitar rhythm into his single, “Dance With Me”. His lively and foot-stomping music should fit in well with the Main Street crowd.
Lovebettie – performing from 8:30pm to 10:30pm at Main Street
They call themselves the ‘pioneers of Swagger Rock’, whatever the hell that means. Regardless, lead singer Alexandra Naples’ deeper, bluesy voice lends this band a fresh sound.