Press Pop Is Not Dead After All

No Comments 21 April 1999

Pop Is Not Dead After All

JIM BOGGIA has been a name that has been synonymous with the Manayunk music scene for the past few years. He hosts open mic night at the Grape Street Pub, is playing lead guitar and doing back up vocals for BEN ARNOLD’s latest project and often just hits the stage solo. But recently Boggia passed over the Manayunk line into the heart of Philadelphia’s South Street.

He made his way over to George’s Fifth Street Cafe to give Philly a taste of what they have been missing. With his long flowing hair, a token leather jacket and a pair of jeans, Boggia got ready to rock the normally quiet cafe. As soon as he started off singing ‘I’m In Love With a Girl,’ you could tell that Philly was missing something — his irresistible pop tunes. In a town filled normally with nothing but rock and folk, I was more than happy to see this change.

Who would not want to sing along to lines like “Several thousand times a day / Do you feel this way” and his song ‘Weather.’ His songs were like an addiction — you just couldn’t get enough of them. But the song ‘Bubblegum 45s’ topped off his set. He explained to the audience that he wrote this song in memory of his Fisher Price Record Player. He felt that this was the best way to listen to pop music.

The funny lyrics and stories didn’t end there. The sounds of Boggia’s guitar on ‘Eleanor’ and his “groovy” lyrics transported me back to the time of those cheesy ’60s songs. After that, he tried to give the audience a music lesson by telling them which keys were used for what type of song.

This local then played the Waltz in C sharp and had the entire joint up and dancing. His tunes and songs made you feel good about yourself. On a whim, Boggia even sang a song about an “amazin? dancing bear” for the first time. His mellow track ‘Peter Pan’ had the crowd wishing they could not only “fly like Peter” but also play like JIM BOGGIA.

The audience could have listened to him perform all night, but since that wasn’t possible they thought they had better make the best of his last few songs. The cafe-goers tapped and clapped to a rendition of STEVE MILLER’s ‘Jungle Love’ and ‘Annie Also Ran.’ And by the end of the last guitar chord, the audience full of smiles.

I would say that JIM BOGGIA’s original tunes and spectacular voice won the crowd over quite easily. But his performance was more than an awesome night out on the town — it was a reminder that the local Philly pop scene is far from dead.

–Flora Parhizgari

MTV College Stringer

(April 21, 1999)

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