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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 →

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Neko Case returns with her first album in five years, Hell-On, and a Festival Pier gig

Neko Case
Neko Case | photo courtesy of the artist

Singer-songwriter and occasional member of The New Pornographers, Neko Case, is back with her first solo project in 5 years, a new album called Hell-On. The album art is intense, featuring Case wearing a top made of brown hair, a hat sculpted out of cigarettes, the words “Hell-On” melting off of her shoulder, and a small, smokey fire bursting out from under her top. The first single, “Hell-On” features imaginative lyrics, whimsical production, and her unique voice. Continue reading →

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Holy smokes! Philly’s The War on Drugs just won a Grammy.

The War on Drugs | photo by Galea McGregor for WXPN
The War on Drugs | photo by Galea McGregor for WXPN

Instead of saying “Philly’s The War on Drugs,” we’re now able to say “Philly’s Grammy Award-winning The War on Drugs.”

Adam Granduciel and his band of space rock soundscapers just took home the Best Rock Album trophy for their 2017 LP A Deeper Understanding at the 60th annual Grammy Awards, which is taking place this evening at Madison Square Garden in New York. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Elton John will bid Philly goodbye in ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour

Photo by Darragh Dandurand Friedman for WXPN | darraghdf.wordpress.com

At a New York press conference with Anderson Cooper this morning, the Sir Elton John announced his retirement from touring. But don’t worry, not just yet. You can still say your goodbyes to the music legend’s live show as he’s soon embarking on a whopping 300-show run, dubbed the ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour.

In a live-streamed video from the conference, John explains his reasoning to stop touring. He states, “My priorities have changed in my life. Ten years ago, if you’d have said I’m gonna stop touring, I’d have said, ‘No no, I’m a working musician. I always play.’ But we had children and that changed our lives.” Continue reading →

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Kendrick Lamar, SZA and cohorts from the Top Dawg Entertainment roster bring their summer jam to BB&T

Kendrick Lamar and SZA at Coachella | photo by Emma McIntyre | Getty Images

Tour announcement season is officially upon us! With a handful of star-studded spring/summer lineups already announced (Waxahatchee / Hurray For The Riff Raff / Bedouine at Union Transfer on 4/16; Japanese Breakfast / LVL UP / Radiator Hospital at Union Transfer on 6/3; Dr. Dog / (Sandy) Alex G at The Festival Pier on 6/23), it’s only fitting that one of the best modern day Hip-Hop labels announces the tour of the summer.

Dubbed TDE: The Championship Tour, the label’s all-star lineup enlists Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SiR, Lance Skiiiwalker, and stops in Philly on Friday, June 8th at BB&T Pavilion. Continue reading →

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The Decemberists are back to the future with their synth-y new single “Severed” and a Mann Center gig this June

The Decemberists | photo courtesy of artist

The Decemberists’ rich and earthy folk music always lingers with a sense of the past, but it was their recent offshoot project, Offa Rex, that quite literally time travelled back to the way olden days by solely performing traditional English folk songs with guest singer, Olivia Chaney. Now, the band is time traveling again — only this time, to the future.

With the release of their new single “Severed,” we hear the results of working with new producer, John Congelton (St. Vincent, Lana Del Ray, The Districts) for a unique mix of prog and garage rock sounds that morphs into a futuristic, space-y kind of folk breed. Listen to the single below. Continue reading →