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Late Rock & Roll Legend Bill Graham to be Honored in an Exhibit at Philly’s Museum of Jewish History

Bill Graham | Courtesy of the National Museum of Jewish American History

Calling all Rock ‘n’ Roll enthusiasts, historians, museum hoppers of Philadelphia, and more. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, most everybody will be able to identify with the traveling exhibit, organized by the Los Angeles based Skirball Cultural Center, that is currently being hosted by The National Museum of American Jewish History.

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, which opened in Philadelphia on September 15, is an exhibit devoted to honoring the life and career of legendary concert promoter, the late Bill Graham. NMAJH is one of three venues who are hosting this retrospective of Graham’s life which is scheduled to remain in Philly through January 16, 2017. Graham played key roles in the careers of Rock legends like the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Fleetwood Mac, the Who, the Doors, and the Rolling stones just to name a few. Continue reading →

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Philadelphia’s Hello Shark releases the introspective new “Jackson Browne”

 

hello shark
Hello Shark | photo by Abi Reimold

Philadelphia’s Hello Shark released his single, “Jackson Browne,” a song that will be featured on his upcoming album Delicate. The song, which we got wind up from our friends at The Deli, is riddled with introspection and longing, and fittingly enough, the lyrics repeated most frequently throughout are “Baby, I’m delicate,” a nod to the forthcoming album title. The track itself is carried along by a consistently slow tempo with smatterings of acoustic guitar, piano notes, and gentle percussions. The full length album will be available on September 30, and the band performs at Clark Park on October 5th. Information on the show can be found here. Continue reading →

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Philly meets Frank: Alex G and Jazmine Sullivan are featured on Frank Ocean’s new visual album, Endless

Frank Ocean | photo via boysdontcry.co

It’s here.

The world has been waiting ever so impatiently for R&B icon Frank Ocean‘s newest work since 2012’s channel ORANGE, and Thursday night it finally dropped. Now available on Apple Music is Ocean’s visual album Endless. The fact that it’s presented as a visual album might come as a surprise. So might the idea that it isn’t entitled Boys Don’t Cry, as Ocean had been teasing for so long. But what might be most surprising are the Philly ties on the new project.

Both soul singer Jazmine Sullivan and indie rocker Alex G are featured on multiple tracks. Sullivan’s vocals can be found on “Alabama,” “Wither,” “Hubolts” and “Rushes.” Alex G plays guitar on “Wither,” “Slide On Me,” “Rushes” and “Higgs.” So there you have it: what is one of the most highly anticipated releases in recent memory is flooded with talent that’s rooted right here in Philadelphia. Additional (non-Philly) contributors to the visual album include Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, James Blake, UK R&B vocalist Sampha , producer Arca, and the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Now, if you can believe this, there actually seems to be more on the way from Ocean. One of his representatives has reportedly said to “keep an eye out for more from Frank.” Most expect it to be the studio album that’s been promised for so long. So maybe that means there’s more Alex G / Jazmine Sullivan / Frank Ocean collaborations just around the corner? Only time will tell. Stay tuned, and watch Frank Ocean’s Endless here.

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PeteJoe Urban rejoins the Creepoid family; playing Union Transfer with Drive Like Jehu

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Creepoid | photo courtesy of the artist

One thing we should aways remember about Creepoid – as dark and heavy and occasionally macabre as they get, they’re family. And we don’t say that just because vocalist / bassist Anna Troxell is wed to drummer Pat Troxell; their bandmates Sean Miller and founding guitarist PeteJoe Urban all grew up together in the Montgomery County burbs – they’re literal lifelong friends.

Which is why we’re excited to note that Urban is back in the fold. Continue reading →

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Balance and Composure makes their long-awaited return with “Postcard,” stacked tour with Foxing and Mercury Girls

Balance and Composure | photo by Andi Elloway | courtesy of the artist
Balance and Composure | photo by Andi Elloway | courtesy of the artist

It’s been radio silence from spectral Doylestown rock five-piece Balance and Composure for the better part of a year now, so we knew something big was brewing. The band has been working hard at Studio 4 in Conshy with regular collaborator and good buddy Will Yip on the production boards, and today just announced their third album, Light We Made, which is due out on October 7th via Vagrant Records. Continue reading →

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I Don’t Love You, Honeybear: Twitter dot com reacts to Father John Misty’s XPN Fest set

Father John Misty | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Father John Misty | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making the world think Father John Misty is good,” —anonymous.

Whether you think he’s the greatest post-modern performance artist of our generation or just an annoying hack, everybody’s talking about Father John Misty after his wild ride of a “set” at XPNFest Friday. Lovers and haters alike took to the megaphone of the masses — Twitter dot com — to voice their feelings, as one does. We’ve collected a number of the best, for your viewing pleasure. (Unlike that other 45 minutes of FJM’s set, amirite?) Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Vita and the Woolf will headline Boot and Saddle on 10/6

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

Philly electro-pop/rock act Vita and the Woolf will headline Boot and Saddle on Thursday, October 6th before heading to the midwest and west coast for a string of dates. Fellow locals Square Peg Round Hole and imprssive Massachusetts artist Mal Devisa join the bill as well, making for a deep lineup that will surely provide a great evening. Continue reading →

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Inside the Aspiring Young Artists program, a six-week songwriting workshop for high schoolers

Nyjiah Jenkins
Nyjiah Jenkins | photo by Nnamdi Ejim | courtesy of AYA project

Across the street from the Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, through the rusted blue foundation of the Market-Frankford Line and past the opposing gravel-filled vacant lot, there are murals. On the left is a zoomed-in portrait of a hoodied black teen with the caption, curving around his head, “Trying to be a good person.” To the right, another face, this one anonymous, silhouetted with black paint. Inside the face is an assurance, or maybe even a plea. “Don’t worry I’m not gonna rob you.”

Ricky Strickler, a 27-year-old master’s student at Temple studying Urban Education, sees beyond this stereotype. An experienced worker in Philadelphia schools through programs like AmeriCorps and YouthBuild Philly, a charter school specifically for high school dropouts, he got a firsthand view of a school system that was both broke and failing to recognize its own students’ talents. “It was amazing to see how much incredible music talent was passing through that building, who had been pushed out or had left our regular high schools,” he says. “So that got me thinking about music and how it could be used pedagogically, in education.”

Before grad school, Strickler majored in business and wanted to pursue a job in the music industry. A drummer since age 12 and a member of a multiple bands growing up, it seemed the natural path. Until it wasn’t anymore. “Somewhere along the way, my last couple of years in college,” he says, “I got really interested in education in America and the inequalities that exist, specifically in inner cities.”

Strickler was still passionate about music; he just had to figure out how to combine this with his newfound interest in education. The result is the Aspiring Young Artists program, which piloted this year at KCAPA. Serving also as the capstone project for his Urban Education degree, the program is a six-week songwriting workshop that culminates with students taking their carefully crafted compositions to the studio and turning them into real, tangible songs. Continue reading →

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Bondage & Discipline announce album series Love Me Like I’m Dead, first edition NO ONE out July 12th

Bondage
Bondage & Discipline via Facebook.com/bondageanddisciplinemusic | Photo by Jon Stars | jonstars.com

If you’ve been waiting patiently for the first LP from Philly rock/electronic outfit Bondage & Discipline, your wait is almost up — well, sort of. The band announced Wednesday that they’ll be releasing their first album Love Me Like I’m Dead this summer, albeit through a series of smaller sets of songs. The first part of the series, a three-song collection entitled NO ONE, will come out July 12th. The rest of Love Me Like I’m Dead will be spread out over the course of the next four months. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Lauryn Hill will headline the Mann Center for the Performing Arts this summer

Ms. Lauryn Hill | via facebook.com/mslaurynhill

Super exciting news of the day: singer-songwriter-r&b-soul-hip-hop great Lauryn Hill – or Ms. Lauryn Hill, if you prefer – returns to Philly this summer to headline a show at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, August 27th. Tickets go on sale Thursday, June 30th at 10 a.m., and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →