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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 →

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Listen to two new Gorillaz songs, “Humility” and “Lake Zurich,” see them at Wells Fargo Center in October

Gorillaz | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Good news in the Gorillaz-verse! Earlier this week, Gorillaz announced new album The Now Now, the quick follow up to 2017’s Humanz. Today, the virtual band released two new tracks off their 6th studio LP, groovy bop “Lake Zurich” and album opener “Humility,” which features George Benson on guitar and vocals. Along with the two new tracks, the band provided more details on their upcoming album, which is set to release on June 29th. View the full tracklist and album artwork below. Continue reading →

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What has Anthony Green been teasing on Twitter, anyway?

Anthony Green | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

Philly modern rock icon Anthony Green is celebrating 10 years of his debut solo record Avalon this summer, along with pals Good Old War and Found Wild. That’s no secret, and he announced the tour a few weeks ago after much fan speculation (Green is a fan of anniversary shows, after all — his band Circa Survive has done two 10-year celebration tours for their first and second albums already). Avalon‘s second stop is right here at home at the TLA on June 30th, following a show in DC the night before.

However.

If you’ve paid any attention to Green’s social media happenings, he’s been pretty vocal on Twitter about an impending release. He recently recorded a live session at Studio 4 in Conshohocken with acclaimed engineer Will Yip, and apparently that was just the beginning of a very busy summer for Green, and one of two releases he’s been working on. Continue reading →

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Amos Lee is getting personal on his upcoming LP My New Moon

Amos Lee | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

No one is more excited about the release of Philly rooted singer-songwriter Amos Lee’s new LP My New Moon than us here at WXPN. The XPNFest and NonComm veteran will be releasing his seventh studio album on August 31st via Dualtone Records.

The folk/soul rock artist has had a lot of success over the years, with his last record, 2016’s Spirit, debuting at number three on the Billboard Rock. For the upcoming LP, he has taken a more personal approach by molding the collection of tracks to reflect struggles throughout a recent period of his life period of his life. Produced by Tony Berg (who has worked recently with Phoebe Bridgers, and Andrew Bird), My New Moon features a number of collaborators such as Blake Mills, Benmont Tench, Greg Leisz, Ethan Gruska, and more. Continue reading →

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Dave Matthews releases his first single and video from new LP – “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)”

Dave Matthews Band | photo by Doug Interrante

Just a week ago, fans were excited to catch their first glimpse at the official tracklist of Dave Matthews Band‘s new LP, Come Tomorrow. But today, they’ve received some ear and eye candy in the release of its first single, “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)” – in both streaming and video formats.

The song starts off with a lighthearted guitar riff, paired with Matthews solo voice – but quickly escalates to an anthemic rock tune with the crash and technical drum fills we’ve come to expect from his longtime drummer, Carter Beauford. The video takes it to a whole nother level, bringing the Come Tomorrow album cover to life. You’ll find yourself levitated through a world of flying cities, suspended from balloons of hot air – a la Of Monsters And Men, just without the horned beasts and fire yielding, feather faced ladies! Continue reading →

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Meek Mill speaks out on criminal justice reform at the National Constitution Center

Meek Mill
Meek Mill | still from video

It’s only been a matter of days since he was released from prison, but Philly rapper Meek Mill is already turning his hard-fought legal battle into a movement for criminal justice reform. Meek Mill was serving time in a Chester state correctional facility before his two- to four-year sentence for a probation violation was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on April 24. Meek was sentenced by Judge Genece Brinkley, the same judge who convicted him on questionable charges 10 years ago and also allegedly asked the rapper ad his then-girlfriend to record a personalized Boyz II Men cover for her to avoid further legal trouble.

Meek Mill’s imprisonment was widely protested in Philadelphia since his sentencing last November, with rallies outside City Hall, signs emblazoned with #FreeMeekMill and #Justice4Meek, and “Stand With Meek Mill” buses and billboards around town. A few weeks ago, Meek released a video for “1942 Flows,” which contains footage from local protests.

On Thursday, Meek Mill appeared at the National Constitution Center with state lawmakers and Governor Tom Wolf to push for criminal justice reform. Continue reading →

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Listen to Meek Mill talk about justice reform and the importance of voting in a phone interview with CNN’s Don Lemon

Meek Mill
Meek Mill | still from video

This past Monday night, Philly rapper Meek Mill called in for an interview on “CNN Tonight” to speak with Don Lemon, who also recently visited Meek in prison. In the interview, the two discussed Meek’s ongoing legal battle, Judge Genece Brinkley, and the status of Meek’s hearing in relation to the credibility of arresting officer Reginald Graham, who is the sole witness in Meek’s original 2008 gun and drug case. Continue reading →

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Swearin’ is back, baby, newly signed to Merge Records

Swearin
Swearin’ | photo by Ali Donahue | courtesy of the artist

When a reunited Swearin‘ opened for Superchunk at Union Transfer earlier this month, not only did they sound totally asskicking in that proverbial haven’t-missed-a-beat kind of way, they also debuted two new songs during their set, giving fans hope that getting back together was not just a one-off novelty for the tour.

Today, we are happy to report that the Philly-formed band has joined the roster of Merge Records, a move that totally makes sense — singer-guitarist Allison Crutchfield released her solo record on Merge in 2017, and her sister Katie’s band Waxahatchee (which she also plays in) has called Merge home since 2015.

The band is comprised of Crutchfield as well as fellow singer-guitarist Kyle Gilbride, longtime drummer Jeff Bolt, and new bassist Amanda Bartley. Continue reading →