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The High Key Portrait Series: Hardwork Movement

Hardwork Movement | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.

Philly’s newest live-hip-hop collective is working this Spring on perhaps their most ambitious project to date. Historically, where Hardwork Movement’s live shows boast a full band with woodwinds and brass, their albums feature produced beats. But as MC Sterling Duns explains, for the first time, the crew has recently brought their whole band into the studio, determined to document the energy and sound of their shows with their first live recording. As Duns puts it, they wanted to “capture that, bottle that up, so people can take that home with them.”

Packaging the magic of being there into any medium can be challenging, especially when it comes to a crew like this one. The biggest thing about Duns, Jeremy Keys, RB Ricks and Rick Banks — the thing that comes across so immediately and infectiously in person (and, it’s pertinent to note here, what any written interview might also stand to lose, in translation) is their chemistry, the personality of each of the four of them as individuals that informs the rapport and the charm of the group as a whole as well. These longtime friends share history, and the love for music and for their hometown that serves organically to shape their shows, their compositions, their productions and performances, all styled with a wide and eclectic range of artistic influences.

They’ll play World Cafe Live Tuesday night for NPR Music’s sold-out Tiny Desk Philly concert. Later in the month, they’ll return to one of their favorite venues, Johnny Brenda’s, and for the first time will be featured at Firefly Festival in Dover this Summer, among other appearances this year. And in the meantime, they’re working toward a new album, and toward their commitments to supporting and mentoring the students of Play On Philly’s youth orchestra program too. Continue reading →

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Lizdelise share new single “Tell Me” after signing to Odd Gift Records

liz de lise
Lizdelise | photo by Cecilia Brown | http://www.ceciliabrownphoto.com

Local outfit Lizdelise are returning to the fold after a two month tour and some time spent in NYC, where songwriters/musicians Liz De Lise and Mark Watter worked on their first joint material as a duo with a drum machine. “Tell Me” is the first release from those sessions and sees the band elevating De Lise’s eclectic sound to new heights.

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Check out 25 O’Clock’s smorgasbord conversation with Hezekiah Jones

Hezekiah Jones
Hezekiah Jones | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com

Raphael Cutrufello, known through his project Hezekiah Jones, stopped by the 25 O’Clock podcast for another conversation with the always engaging Dan Drago. Although this is a music-centered podcast, it’s always fun when the cast really just shoots the bull with each other, which is exactly what the two did for over an hour. Cutrufello dives into why he really loves his garden, all the weird crap he digs up in his lawn, and how he really digs Glenn Miller and The Singing Nun. Listen to the conversation below. Continue reading →

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Questlove Supreme kicks off second podcast season with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds

via Okayplayer.com

Questlove’s interview / music podcast Questlove Supreme returned to earbuds last week with special guest Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, the Grammy Award winning musician behind songs like “Every Time I Close My Eyes” and “Take a Bow.” During the conversation, Babyface talks about collaborating with superstars like Whitney Houston and Boyz II Men, as well as his early music days. New episodes for the second season of Questlove Supreme will drop weekly over on Pandora, with Nelly Furtado, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis slated as guests. Watch a behind the scenes clip of Questlove’s prep routine below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Radiator Hospital at First Unitarian Church (Get Better Fest 4), Bob Mould at Underground Arts, Whaler at Bourbon and Branch and more

Radiator Hospital
Radiator Hospital | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Radiator Hospital highlights a stacked bill at The Church for the second night of Get Better Fest 4 including HIRS, Soul Glo, Pinkwash and more. Radiator Hospital’s tunes are pure energy, throwing power pop into the gritty DIY tones of modern Philly, all in the name of raising awareness of The Trans Assistance Project, Youth Emergency Services, and Women Against Abuse. The show is all ages, and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Swift Technique gets us out of our funk with theirs

Swift Technique | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN | spotlightviews.com
Swift Technique | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN | spotlightviews.com

Sporting Sixer jerseys and worshiping stuffed penguins, local funk collective Swift Technique took over the World Cafe Live stage for a Free at Noon extravaganza of epic proportions, as the 10-piece (yes! your move The World Is…) brought out all stops to make their hometown return one to remember.

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Jay Som shares “Turn the Other Cheek” for the First 100 Days comp, announces show at the Church

jay som
Jay Som | photo by Cara Robbins | courtesy of the artist

Oakland musician Jay Som is the latest artist to contribute a track to Our First 100 Days, a compilation that benefits organizations supporting LGBTQ rights, immigration, and more in response to the new presidential administration. Melina Duterte’s dreamy, bubbly pop single “Turn the Other Cheek” comes in at #98 in the list and accompanies the announcement of a tour that stops at the First Unitarian Church on September 22nd.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Young Statues at Boot & Saddle, The Districts and Abi Reimold at Chameleon Club, Mick Jenkins at The TLA and more…

 

Young Statues
Young Statues | photo by Shervin Lainez

South Jersey emo four-piece Young Statues makes their return to the stage tonight at Boot & Saddle, playing their first gig in two years. Their last release was 2014’s The Flatlands Are Your Friend, so we imagine some new material is in the works for a third album. Whether any of that makes the setlist tonight is unclear, but hey, any chance to hear them rock out on “Athens” is fine by me. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: The War on Drugs will make their triumphant return to Philly at The Dell on 9/21

The War on Drugs | photo by Dustin Condren | courtesy of the artist
The War on Drugs | photo by Dustin Condren | courtesy of the artist

The last time we saw Philly space rockers The War on Drugs — like actually saw them — they were holding court in their biggest hometown show to date, in the majestic confines of The Tower Theater.

Since then, they’ve signed to Atlantic Records and spent two years polishing their big label debut. Our first taste of it came last week with the majestic epic “Thinking of a Place,” indicating that the band is solidly into its Wish You Were Here phase, and today we got word on when we’re going to see them next, once again leveling up.

On Thursday, September 21st, the band will kick off its Fall 2017 tour at the Dell Music Center in lovely Fairmount Park East, and tickets are on sale next Friday, May 5th, at 10 a.m. To make it even sweeter — 100% of the show’s proceeds are being donated to Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation. More information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to “Thinking of a Place” below, and check their full roster of fall dates. Continue reading →

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Listen to an infectiously poppy new song from Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, “Feel About You”

Buckingham / McVie | photo by John Russo | via RollingStone.com

Fleetwood Mac bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie have a new album of duets on the way this spring on East West Records, and their latest collaboration surfaced today, over at Rolling Stone Magazine. While the simmering verse and emphatic refrain lead single “In My World” sounded solidly like 80s Mac, the new one dives further back to the bubblegum pop of the 1950s and 60s. Listen to the jangling guitar and infectious hooks of “Feel About You” below, and catch Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie this summer when they headline The Mann Center for the Performing Arts on June 30th. Tickets and more information about the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.   Continue reading →