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Philly graffiti legend Cornbread will speak at an AAMP screening of Wall Writers documentary

Cornbread in 1971 | Philadelphia Inquirer photo via facebook.com/WallWriters

“To….protect my area, my turf. Right here, where I live…”

In a scene from Jungle, the unheralded 1969 documentary film on street gangs in North Philadelphia, a young man is asked why he gang wars (note: the phrase “gang war” was essentially used as a compound verb in Philly and some oldheads still use it as such), and this sentiment is repeated by his comrades all members of the Oxford Street gang. The young men shyly recount their experiences in the gang while stray tags pepper the bright, white wall behind them. Throughout the 60s and 70s, thousands of Philadelphia youth were thought to be involved in gangs. Marred by fights and stabbings, the city’s gang culture was simultaneously vicious and creatively rich, as evidenced by scenes in Jungle were members of the 12th & Oxford gang can be seen strolling on the block performing a call and response rhyme routine that prefigures rap and hip-hop as we would later know it. In 1971, a young man named Cornelius Hosey was killed in a gang-related altercation and the local news wrongfully identified the victim as North Philly graffiti writer Cornbread. Catalyzed by this mix up, the real Cornbread (born Darryl McCray) went on an ambitious tear throughout the city, throwing his tag up on every clean surface he could find, determined to reclaim space and prove that he was in fact, very much alive. Continue reading →

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Watch Aretha Franklin’s final Philadelphia performance from the Mann Center in 2017

Aretha Franklin performs at the Mann Center on August 26, 2017 | photo via twitter.com/MannCenter

Last summer, the late great Aretha Franklin gave her final Philadelphia performance in Fairmount Park at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts on August 26th. It was her next to last concert overall, followed only by a festival set in the Chicago metro area on September 3rd, and it found the Queen of Soul singing a mix of classic hits and deep cuts.
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Just Announced: Mirah will bring Understanding to Johnny Brenda’s

Mirah | photo by Emily Zeitlyn | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia-born but Brooklyn-based musician Mirah will return to her first hometown this fall for a show at Johnny Brenda’s on October 13, touring behind the release of her forthcoming sixth LP Understanding. She’s been writing, recording and touring for over 20 years now, and various iterations of her music have seen her span personas from acoustic singer/songwriter to experimental pop artist and everything in between. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Letters to Cleo will play their first Philly show since 1995 at Underground Arts this fall

Letters to Cleo
Letters to Cleo | courtesy of the artist

Whether you know them from back in the 90’s or from their recent resurgence sparked by an episode of Parks and Recreation, it’s safe to say Letters to Cleo are something of a cult favorite. Though they disbanded in 2000 after their initial 10-year run, the band reunited a few years ago, and it seems like they’re back for good. Since the reunion, Letters to Cleo has played primarily in their hometown of Boston, but this fall they’re taking things on the road, with a show at Underground Arts on November 14. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: illuminati hotties headline PhilaMOCA this October

Illuminati Hotties | photo by Kristy Benjamin | courtesy of the artist

Self-proclaimed “tenderpunk pioneer” illuminati hotties headline PhilaMOCA this October. Project of do-it-all L.A. musician Sarah Tudzin, the songs on 2018 debut LP Kiss Yr Frenemies display a range of dynamics and emotions. At times, the tracks take on quiet, lo-fi qualities, similar to Philly’s Cyberbully Mom Club. Elsewhere, driving and explosive riffs blindside the listener, like on track “Shape of My Hands.” Tudzin generated well-deserved buzz surrounding the release of the album following its May release on Tiny Engines. The opening of the album features the one-two punch of the quiet, prelude-esque title track leading into the driving, power-pop bop “(You’re Better) Than Ever.” Continue reading →

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Made in America adds Kendrick Lamar to the lineup

Kendrick Lamar | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

After appearances at the BB&T and Firefly earlier this summer, Kendrick Lamar is about to make his return to Philly, this time as the just-announced headliner of next month’s Made in America Festival. The festival announced its initial lineup back in June, and with names like Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Janelle Monae at the top of the bill, the addition of another extremely high-profile headliner just a few weeks before showtime comes as a bit of a surprise — albeit a very welcome one. Made in America also announced last week that several additional acts, including Pusha T, 6ix9ine and Daniel Caesar, will also appear. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Courtney Marie Andrews will join Shakey Graves and The Wild Reeds at The Fillmore next month

Courtney Marie Andrews | photo by Laura E. Partain

Those who were captivated by Courtney Marie Andrews‘ XPN Fest performance need not wait long to see the artist back in town. Andrews has been touring non-stop lately in support of her recent record May Your Kindness Remain, and her lengthy fall tour now includes a stop at The Fillmore opening for Shakey Graves, part of a stacked triple-bill that will give attendees a glimpse of three distinctly different approaches to the contemporary folk/Americana genre. Continue reading →