A country song began to play. Like the very commodified, mainstream country radio kind of song. The kind of breezy, late summer day, wind-blowing-through-your-hair-as-you-drive-your-pickup-truck kind of country song.
I heard the phrase “parked out by the lake” more than a few times, but didn’t think much of the glossy genre’s fairly standard fare. The question of why Phoebe Bridgers chose this track in particular to walk onto stage to though — that nagged at my noggin. I mean, there are so many options, Pheebs. Poised at the mic, she even began ...
Caitlyn Smith released her debut full-length record Starfire last month, but her songs have already been topping the charts for years – sung by the likes of Dolly Parton, Meghan Trainor, James Bay, Lady Antebellum, and so many more. Smith has refocused her songwriting expertise on her own life, crafting vivid, powerful lyrics from the stories and experiences that she’s collected while living and working in Nashville.
For today’s Free At Noon show, Smith’s already intimate tracks were made even more so during the solo performance. With the record’s production ...
King Britt composes in front of Kelly’s Seine | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com
Footsteps ping from floor to ceiling in Gallery 175 of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but they aren’t distracting King Britt. He is focused on the artwork in his line of sight, and the musical gear at his fingertips.
The Philadelphia electronic artist, producer and DJ is composing a new piece in the museum, stationed at a long table covered in an array of gadgetry – synthesizers, samplers, and a laptop plugged into a mixing console. Stereo speakers are set up on ...
Tyler The Creator | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN
Vince Staples and Tyler, The Creator are showing serious growth from the now-disbanded Odd Future crew. With more attention spent on interactive stage settings at the Liacouras Center last week, each artist was able to deliver a more introspective set then we’ve seen from them in the past.
Vince Staples | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN
Following a huge collaboration with Kendrick Lamar for the Black Panther soundtrack, Vince Staples was in command of the stage. Silhoutted by an automated LED/Video screen wall and engulfed in a ...
Todd Rundgren is going on tour this spring with Utopia, his progressive rock band formed in 1973. They are playing two shows in the area; Saturday, May 5th at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, and they open the tour at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, PA, on Wednesday, April 18th. The reunion features Rundgren, original members Kasim Sulton (bass) and drummer Willie Wilcox of Utopia and keyboardist Ralph Schuckett of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia.
Fans of the band should be on the lookout for a seven CD collection – The Road ...
To Lou Maresca, founder of the incomparable Allman Brothers Band tribute Live At The Fillmore, the ABB were in a league of their own in rock music. “They more or less invited the style… of a double guitar lead, the harmonies, Duane Allman’s slide guitar style,” he says in a phone interview with Rock On Philly. “They are considered the innovators of southern rock, but their music wasn’t just that. The thing that was unique about the Allman Brothers is that they incorporated rock and roll, blues, jazz and country together.”
Starting Wednesday with the latest in a series of tributes to Philly jazz great Sun Ra and running through Monday and a Princeton performance by orchestral pop mastermind Andrew Bird, this week’s concert picks touch on rock, hiphop, funk, punk and more. Read on for 20 shows to see in Philadelphia this week
Wednesday 2/21: Satellites are Spinning Sun Ra Tribute at Johnny Brenda’s
Satellites are Spinning: A Sizzling Sonic Celebration of Sun Ra hits Johnny Brenda’s Wednesday night. Featuring The Willow Trio with a large ensemble of featured guests, this is the 4th ...
St. Vincent added additional dates to her Fear The Future tour this week, this time making a regional stop in Wilmington. The project of songwriter-guitarist Annie Clark will bring her frenetic instrumental skills and angelic vocals to the Queen Theater on May 25th.
The indie rock goddess’ tour centers around her most recent album MASSEDUCTION, which was released at the end of 2017. In a unique one-woman show, where Clark and her guitar are just about the only things onstage the entire night, she shows truly showcases ...
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert | still from video
Longtime friends and collaborators Steve Martin and Martin Short are set to dazzle the Mann center this August. Joining the duo at the Mann is Jeff Babko, keyboardist for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Martin’s regular collaborators in bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers. Check out NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert featuring the band and Steve Martin below.
Most recently appearing in the city of Philadelphia alongside Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Steve Martin was spotted playing the banjo in a rousing rendition of Fly ...
Massively exciting news for you this morning: British rock titans Radiohead will headline Philadelphia arena Wells Fargo Center for two nights, on July 31st and August 1st, the final two dates of their summer tour this year. Tickets to the concerts go on sale Friday, February 23rd at noon, and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
For most Philadelphia fans, this is their first opportunity to see the band in a very long while. In recent years, Radiohead’s U.S. tour dates have been limited to major cities and festivals; their last ...
Fresh off an opening slot at Creepoid’s send-off show this past weekend, Mannequin Pussy has just been announced as the secret headliner for the Peaer / Strange Ranger gig. Taking place at PhilaMOCA on March 7th, this Tiny Engines reunion of sorts features some of the label’s best on one bill. Be sure to catch MP at this intimate show before they set out on a Spring Tour with VA rockers Turnover.
Sample a selection of live songs from Mannequin Pussy, Peaer, and Strange Ranger below. Get your tickets at XPN’s ...
Whoever established that most bands should have more than two members clearly never encountered the surprising power of a duo. For 11 years now, Two Piece Fest has been proving just how great a two-person act can be. The annual celebration of duos is a much-anticipated tradition of the local DIY scene each year, and this year’s lineup is finally here.
Two Piece Fest XI will bring 22 two-person acts together for the day-long gig; most are local. Some of the standouts include Honeytiger, Boon, Shrill, Madam Data/Mental Jewelry...
It truly was a Night of Stardust last Sunday evening at the Keswick Theatre.
The Celebrating David Bowie tour, featuring longtime Bowie collaborators Mike Garson (keyboards), Carmine Rojas (bass), and guitarists Earl Slick (who we interviewed ahead of the show) and Gerry Leonard, performed the second show of their North American leg. The show also included vocalists Bernard Fowler and Gaby Moreno, who took turns singing lead in place of the Thin White Duke.
Each show on the tour promises special guests, and the Philly show had the honor of hosting Joe Sumner (of ...
Following jazz-funk trio Hambone Relay’s set, today’s Free At Noon doubleheader continued with blues and soul outfit the James Hunter Six. The afternoon performance kicks off the English group’s US tour in support of their brand new record, Whatever It Takes.
James Hunter’s gritty, soulful voice continuously and effortlessly moved between commanding the crowd’s attention and serving as an instrument itself, thrown around in incredible range and style that was difficult to mimic when he led a call-and-answer bit during the last song.
The rest of the Six included an upright bass, both tenor and baritone saxophones, and the classic keys and drums. For a minute, there were two upright basses – as the set came to an end, Hunter teased the audience with “I’m about to do something really crazy,” and crazy it was. He slung his guitar around and down to the ground where he continued to play, an impressive feat of flexibility and finesse that became even more so when he did so standing on only one leg.
The James Hunter Six will be playing ArtsQuest in Bethlehem, PA on February 22nd. Watch the performance and check out photos below.
“I was you guys every week,” said Rob Tait, now onstage behind the drums instead of part of the Free At Noon crowd gathered in World Cafe Live. Tait was joined by organist Mark Brown and guitarist Luke Ferracone, who together are Hambone Relay.
The Philadelphia-based trio’s modern, jazz-funk-psychedelic grooves in no way matched the gray skies outside. Their dynamic, up-tempo tracks immediately heightened the energy in the room and never let it drop during the set. The trio performed tracks from their 2013 self-titled debut and their 2016 record Free Hugs all the way to their latest release, American Hi-Fi.
Tait also made sure to give a special shout-out to XPN’s Dan Reed. Hambone Relay had been covering “Come Together” at Dawson St. Pub when a man was handed a mic and took over the vocals – that man turned out to be Dan Reed, whose show Tait listened to avidly but had never before seen in person.
Monette Suder performs at Center City Jazz Fest 2017 | photo by G.J. Hild photography | courtesy of Center City Jazz Fest
The annual Center City Jazz Festival returns for its seventh year on Saturday, April 28th. You’ll be able to spend six hours listening to the sweet sounds of horns, keys and more. There will be over twenty bands performing across five venues on the Sansom Street corridor: Franky Bradley’s, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, Fergie’s Pub, MilkBoy, and Time Restaurant.
So far, all we know is that performers such as Dave Kikoski, BIGYUKI, Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life Delta, Sharel Cassity, Leon ...
There’s a new album coming out. It’s called Tell Me How You Really Feel. It’s got a wicked lead single called “Nameless, Faceless,” a total F the patriarchy jam about power, inequality, internet trolls and objectification set to hard-hitting riffs; the chorus incorporates the Margaret Atwood quote, “Men are scared that women will laugh at them, women are scared that men will kill them.” There’s ...
Those who follow the Philly music scene closely have probably heard of Doylestown psych rock outfit Ceramic Animal. And soon…very soon… so will everyone else.
For a few years now the suit-clad foursome known as Ceramic Animal has been kicking around Philly and New York City. These self-proclaimed “couple a nasty boys” look anything but–in their signature matching three-piece-suits-and-ties. But it’s far from a gimmick. From where I sit these guys just might have what it takes.
Here is why I’m betting on these boys to have a breakout 2018:
Lady Alma at Kindred Presents | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Need last minute Valentines Day plans? The Kimmel Center’s regular Sittin In live session is back with a lineup curated by jazz bassist Anthony Tidd and featuring lots of awesome Philly artists like poet Ursula Rucker, singer Lady Alma, experimental sound-looper Jacquline Constance, guitarist Tim Motzer, plus Range da Messenger, Chartel Findlater, Lee Mo, Luke O’Reilly, and Mario Crew.
It also happens to be the 6th anniversary of the Kimmel’s Sittin In, and they hope to channel some historic Philly party energy.
The Roots and Pharrell at The Roots Picnic | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
For those of who are just rising and shining, Roots drummer Questlove has been posting the lineup of the 2018 Roots Picnic, one artist at a time, to social media since about midnight tonight.
The concert takes place at Festival Pier on Saturday, June 2nd, and the lineup is pretty mammoth. Headlining is 90s R&B queen Brandy, who will be performing a set backed by The Roots. Georgia rapper 2 Chainz is also high on the bill, along with a Dipset reunion of founding ...
Trombone Shorty | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN
Perennial festival circuit favorite Trombone Shorty is bringing a festival of his own on the road this summer. Dubbed the Voodoo Threauxdown, the New Orleans gumbo of a concert pairs Shorty’s funk / jazz / jam rock stylings up with kindred spirits Galactic, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, New Breed Brass Band and more.
The festival comes to Philadelphia for an evening at the River Stage at Penn’s Landing on August 12th; tickets go on sale Tuesday, February 20th via LiveNation, more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Get ...
Philadelphia rocker Mike Matteson is back with his new lyric video for his latest single, “The Bump”. Matteson is part of the a recent group of signees to Drexel University’s esteemed campus label, Mad Dragon Music Group. This psychedelic new video comes ahead of Matteson’s forthcoming Chocolate Milk EP, which is slated for release this upcoming Friday, February 16th.
From poppy blues to cerebral rap, classic country to experimental Americana, Philadelphians and those just passing through, we once again bring you a variety of live music to see in the 215 this week — 15 concerts in the next seven days.
Tuesday 2/13: ZZ Ward at TLA
The typically fedora-adorned ZZ Ward uses her robust and raspy voice to blends bits of blues, folk, and pop into her music. She released a new album last summer titled The Storm, which features a guest appearance of Fitz & the Tantrums on track ...
After Belly announced news back in the fall that they were of recording a new album, we at The Key were over here hoping that the 90s alt-rockers would expand that happy announcement to include new tour dates. Well, friends, it hath come trueth.
After the crew releases their yet-to-be-titled album on April 6th, Belly will be making their way to Philly towards the end of their upcoming run with a show at Union Transfer on September 28th. Tickets go on sale next Friday the 16th at 10 AM. Get those here...
The Wonder Years | photo by Jonathan Weiner | courtesy of the artist
After announcing their sixth album Sister Cities last week, Philly’s The Wonder Years rolled out their spring tour schedule today — and it’s a stacked show.
Joined by scene faves Tigers Jaw, Tiny Moving Parts, and Worriers, the band begins the run this May in Pittsburgh and wraps it up in June in Baltimore, with a stop at The Fillmore Philly on June 8th in between. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 16th at 10 a.m.; more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.