By

Sound and Vision: King Britt and friends bring their Missed Guided Tour to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

King Britt | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | <a href="http://agellmanphotos.com/" target="_blank">agellmanphotos.com</a>
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 the floor, and a cascade of warm electronic notes and slight rhythms bubbles out of them. The texture is appropriate, given the artwork facing Britt on the other side of the table: Seine by American minimalist painter Ellsworth Kelly.

At first glance, the piece is a grid of pixels: black and white squares of oil paint strewn across the wood surface, concentrating with a thick vertical line in the center. Upon further reflection, it becomes clear that the scene is not entirely abstract, but topographical – this image is Kelly’s rendering of the Seine River in Paris.

“It looks digital, right?” King asks me. “But this is from 1951, man. Pre-digital.” Continue reading →

By

Tyler The Creator and Vince Staples go big, introspectively, at the Liacouras Center

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. Continue reading →

By

Todd Rundgren is hitting the road to Utopia this spring

Todd Rundgren’s Utopia | Courtesy of Live Nation

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. Continue reading →

By

Steve Martin and Martin Short announce August Mann show

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers on NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert | still from video
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. Continue reading →

By

Just Announced: Mannequin Pussy to headline PhilaMOCA next month

Mannequin Pussy | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Mannequin Pussy | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

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. Continue reading →

By

The Power of Two: Listen to the 22 bands playing Two Piece Fest XI this weekend

Honeytiger | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Honeytiger | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

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. Continue reading →

By

Free At Noon Flashback: The James Hunter Six performs from new record, Whatever It Takes

James Hunter Six | photos by Ashley Gellman | agellmanphotos.com

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. Continue reading →