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Elton John gave Low Cut Connie a shoutout at his Wells Fargo Center show

Elton John with Low Cut Connie’s Adam Weiner | via Facebook

Elton John wants you to know that he’s a Low Cut Connie fan. Furthermore, he wants to make sure that you listen to them, too — though XPN listeners won’t have any trouble with that. The Philly band has been a favorite among their hometown audiences for some time, but it’s rare for a local band that hasn’t quite reached mainstream attention to receive such a ringing endorsement like this from a musical icon.

When his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour came through the Wells Fargo Center earlier this week, Sir Elton gave Low Cut Connie a public shoutout, even dedicating his song “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to the band, which he ranks among his current favorites.

Captured on the Instagram video below, “There’s always been a lot of wonderful music coming out of Philadelphia, ever since I can remember,” said Elton John. “And there’s a band that I love at the moment so much called Low Cut Connie, who are also from Philadelphia. And I’d like to dedicate this song to them right now, because I love them very much, and you should check them out. Buy their records, go see them. Amazing.”

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The Electric Factory is now North Seventh? Unless you can think of a better name.

The Districts
Photo by John Vettese | for WXPN

Philadelphia venue The Electric Factory, it seems, is changing hands and identities.

Reports trickled in this morning that the iconic Ben Franklin head was no longer perched atop the Callowhill building that houses the 23-year-old venue. And though the venue’s website appears to be intact, its Instagram page has been rebranded @northseventhphilly — a placeholder account uses its former name @efactoryphilly to redirect — and the page now has a Bowery Presents icon for its profile pic. Continue reading →

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Bob Dylan, Kurt Vile and Amos Lee are on the initial lineup for The Met Philly

Bob Dylan | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // Kurt Vile | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN // Amos Lee | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

Singer-songwriter icon Bob Dylan will be the first artist to take the stage at the newly renovated venue The Met Philly, which opens on December 3rd. The initial lineup was announced this afternoon in a press conference from promoters Live Nation, and it also features Philly son Kurt Vile playing his hometown album release for his new Bottle It In LP on December 29th, and fellow hometown hero Amos Lee headlining on April 6, 2019.

The initial run of shows also includes Toto tribute band Weezer headlining on December 12th, cerebral Bucks County alt-popsters Ween on December 13th, violinist Lindsey Stirling on December 18th, and Germantown rapper PnB Rock on December 28th. Continue reading →

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Queen Latifah will receive Philadelphia’s Marian Anderson Award this fall

Queen Latifah | via The Boombox

When rapper / actress / activist Queen Latifah burst onto the scene with her debut single “Ladies First,” the impact of the song created a ripple effect that continues to reverberate through the genre today. Backed up by U.K.-born expat Monie Love, “Ladies First” was an opening shot of a hungry young MC and a declaration of sorts.  From her very first introduction to the scene, Latifah set off on a mission to inspire women to assertively step to the forefront in a largely male-dominated culture. Although hip-hop has had a wealth of gifted women MCs that came before her (MC Sha-Rock of the Funky Four +1, Sequence, Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte etc.), Latifah’s sharp technique, regal air and message that focused on black women’s empowerment set her apart from her peers. Songs like “U.N.I.T.Y.”, “Just Another Day” and “Latifah’s Had It Up 2 Here” saw Latifah carving out a distinctive space centered around her blackness, femininity and deep sense of community consciousness. Continue reading →

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City Winery is coming to Philadelphia

Suzanne Vega at City Winery New York | via facebook.com/citywinerynyc

As renovations continue at what was once the Gallery at Market East, news emerged this week that live music will be in the cards when the space re-opens next year.

City Winery, the restaurant / live music chain that originated in New York City in 2008, will open its seventh satellite venue in the shopping and entertainment complex (which will be called Fashion District Philadelphia) when it opens in September of 2019, the Inquirer reports. Continue reading →

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New venue The Locks will bring singer-songwriters to Manayunk this fall

The team behind The Locks | photo by Michael Bryant for philly.com

The folks who brought us live music at the Tin Angel for over 20 years are about to make their return with a new venue, and they’ve already begun to fill up their calendar of shows through the end of the year. Set to open in September, The Locks is situated on Manayunk’s vibrant Main Street over the Irish pub Sona, The Inquirer reports.

The four men behind the new venue are familiar faces in the Philly music scene: former Tin Angel owner Donal McCoy and booker Larry Goldfarb, plus Richard Kardon and Jesse Lundy of Point Entertainment. Thanks to its location and the niche brand of live music experience it will offer, The Locks seeks to set itself apart from other city and suburban music venues. Continue reading →

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Made In America will remain on the Ben Franklin Parkway, says Philly Mayor’s office

Made In America | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Made In America is remaining in the heart of the Philadelphia. The future of Jay-Z’s annual music festival was in doubt last week, as word got out that the city did not want it located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway beginning in 2019. But following a national backlash, both parties have come to an agreement, announcing today that the festival will remain in place at the foot of the Art Museum Steps. Continue reading →

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Made In America’s future on the Parkway is in question; Jay-Z responds to city’s “eviction” in Inquirer op-ed

Jay-Z | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

While Jay-Z’s seventh annual Made In America music festival is set to bring Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, and Janelle Monae to Philly on Labor Day weekend, this could be the last year the event takes place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Or, depending on how alarmist you want to get about it, in Philly at all.

Yesterday, Danya Henninger of Philly news site Billy Penn reported that MIA 2019 would not be held on the Parkway, attributing the news to an unnamed Philadelphia communications official; this was verified by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Dan DeLuca, who received a statement from deputy communications director Sarah Reyes. Both accounts contained similar reasoning and language: per Reyes in the Inquirer, “When the festival first started, it was intended to provide a unique attraction to the city on the otherwise quiet Labor Day weekend. Over the years, tourism has grown overall, and the need for an event of this scale at this location may no longer be necessary.”

This, however, came as news to Jay-Z and his partners at both Roc Nation and LiveNation, who organize the festival every year. They learned about the city’s intents though the Billy Penn article, and Jay-Z responded to what he’s termed as an “eviction” with a scathing Inquirer op-ed today. Continue reading →

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Nothing announces new album with a surreal, apocalyptic video for the new “Zero Day”

Nothing
Nothing | photo by Ben Rayner | courtesy of the artist

Philly shoegazers Nothing have announced a new album, Dance on the Blacktop to be released August 24th on Relapse Records. The follow-up to 2016’s Tired of Tomorrow, Dance on the Blacktop sees the band collaborating with noted producer John Agnello (Hop Along, Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile) to craft “a brave walk into the absurdity.”

Along with the album announcement, Nothing released a video for lead single “Zero Day.” Surreal and apocalyptic, the video is a fitting counterpoint to the metallic funeral march of the music. Watch the video for “Zero Day” below, and check below for the track list and tour dates. Continue reading →

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Bruce Springsteen will perform at the grand reopening of beloved Jersey venue Asbury Lanes

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN | deltufophotography.com
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN | deltufophotography.com

On June 18th, the city of Asbury Park will celebrate the grand renovation of its famed Asbury Lanes with a night of live music…and of course Jersey native Bruce Springsteen will be featured in the lineup.

A bowling alley and bar that became a beloved spot to catch punk shows in the Garden State, Asbury Lanes is now officially outfitted as a new music venue, and the celebration (which also features Portugal. The Man) will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County. Asbury Lanes has been officially open since Memorial Day Weekend. Continue reading →