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Fasten Your Seatbelts!

July 11, 2007 - Jim Price

If you’re a local music-aholic like me, fasten your seatbelts, because this week and weekend (July 11-15) are jam-packed with lots of music events to see and experience.


This Wednesday evening, Altoona’s Railroaders Memorial Museum kicks off their Alive @ Five Summer Concert Series.  Pittsburgh-based national country recording group The Povertyneck Hillbillies and Slabtown will provide the music on the Museum’s big low flatcar stage starting at 6 PM.  There will be food and refreshments, too.  Remember to bring an umbrella or rain poncho, as the forecast is for showers and thunderstorms.


This Thursday marks the return of the popular Wing-Off’s at Lakemont Park, running every Thursday evening through August 16.  From 6 to 9 PM this Thursday, Felix & the Hurricanes will provide the perfect blues-rocking soundtrack to consume mass quantities of poultry flying appendages to.



Also, following the Children’s Day activities on Wednesday, Thursday through Sunday will be a live music fan’s smorgasbord at the annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in downtown State College.  This year’s festival features another wide range of musical entertainment, from rock to blues to jazz to country to Celtic to folk and much, much more.  I’m actually burning a vacation day from my workplace to take in Friday’s slate of entertainment!


On Friday evening, the Blair County Arts Foundation presents the next installment of the 2007 Summer Sounds of Jazz Concert Series at downtown Altoona’s Curtin Plaza from 6 to 9 PM.  Altoona’s own Randy Jackson Jazz Band will provide the quality music, with Clem’s Ribs and beverages on hand for your enjoyment!


On Friday night, the ever-popular Vs. the Earth returns to Altoona’s 4D’s Lounge to pack the house.  This Friday’s show will be a CD-release party for the group’s brand new album, The Initiative.  If you’re planning to go, get there early, because this room will fill quickly and the 4D’s usually ends up having to turn people away from the door as the evening progresses!



If you’re up for a small roadtrip and enjoy music and overnight camping, Gigaroo IV takes place this Friday night and Saturday at the Iselin Ballfield in Iselin (about 15 miles west of Indiana).  Bands performing there include Back Alley Sally, Solegion, 4 Day Crawl, Popcan Soundsystem, Soundrive, Absent Minded Blindness, Slabtown, The Alluminati, Half Crazy, The Mourning Sun and Five-2-One.  Admission is $10 per person; overnight camping is free, and food vendors will be available.


Then Saturday night, take your pick of any number of bands playing in the Altoona area nightspots; including ever-popular Wellsboro rockers Til December at Burgi’s Roundhouse, Saxton rock-and-rollers Fayted at City Limits, a three-band metal bill at Aldo’s featuring From Dissension, Chapter 12 and Demolitia, local favorites Hello, Vixen at the 4D’s Lounge and more.  And for blues fans, State College’s Blues Moon makes their Altoona area debut this Saturday night up the Buckhorn at JW’s Cozy Tavern (formerly the Ferris Wheel).  Blues Moon features the incredible voice of feisty frontlady Trace Moran from Cresson, along with drummer Andrew Jackson Sr., a veteran of Happy Valley stages.  This is a great opportunity to see the new JW’s Cozy Tavern, plus enjoy some great blues and classic rock to boot!


Then on Sunday, enjoy the fun, sun, music, bikinis, food and refreshments on Lake Raystown as Felix & the Hurricanes present their annual summertime Bikini Blues Cruise aboard the Proud Mary riverboat.  The boat leaves at 2 PM; there will also be food and refreshments at a picnic pavilion before and after the cruise.  Tickets are $25 and available from the Hurricanes; get them early, as last year’s Blues Cruises sold out!


And if you have any energy left on Sunday night after all of this activity, head to Pellegrine’s to catch one of Harrisburg’s brightest rising bands, The Amy K Band.  Amy K, the former Lovestomp singer, has taken the reins of her own band and is moving forward.  This lady has a voice, spunk and a bright personality (and is very easy on the eyes, too!), and her band rocks with popular current and classic rock favorites.  The Amy K Band is a rising force well worth checking out.


Wow, what a weekend!  I’m getting exhausted just writing about all of it!  And I will be exhausted at the end of Sunday night from trying to see all of it as well; but it will be tons of fun along the way!  The bottom line; there is a lot of music to see and enjoy this weekend, so make plans to check out some or all of it.  Support live local music, and give these entertainers an audience to play to!

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