Matt Pond PA was among the best bands affiliated with Miner Street Recordings, a Philadelphia studio that takes its name from the West Chester street where its co-founders once shared a house as students at WCU. An indie-rock dude with rather erudite aspirations, leader Matt Pond liked to play sitting down, and strings played a major role in the group’s languid yet sophisticated sound. Since leaving Philly and parting ways with the “PA,” Pond has found moderate success in unlikely places, including a Starbucks TV ad campaign. His latest CD, The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand, is beautifully rendered, artfully accessible folk-pop that deserves a wider audience—especially now that Pond is playing standing up. Visit utphilly.com. —Hobart Rowland
Longtime Main Liner Peggie O’Neill battled cancer for more than 20 years before succumbing to the disease in 2011. She also worked two jobs while raising six boys—one of them well-known developer Brian O’Neill. Published posthumously, this modern parable reveals the five “secrets” that led O’Neill to a place of strength and inner peace. “Her objective,” says Brian, “was to provide peaceful solutions to enable women to deal with the daily stresses of life.” Visit catholicword.com. —Tara Behan
At press time, the NHL’s abbreviated season had only just begun, and the latest Flyers team was already in a 2-6 hole. This zingy little hardback should offer some inspiration. Written by Bobby Clarke’s daughter, it draws on interviews with more than 30 Flyers greats for its spirited insider take on the Broad Street Bullies’ back-to-back Stanley Cup victories in the ’70s, along with the team’s status as a perennial contender through 34 playoff appearances—and, hopefully, a 35th. Biased? Yes. Entertaining? Most definitely. —H.R.