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In my mind and for at least a good chunk of years now, Andrew Jackson Jihad have occupied a musical sector between sweaty basement punk rock and outspoken brash folk (I picture Billy Bragg or even Woody Guthrie) and I guess, the two are not so very different after all. Lyrically driven, songs with meaning, songs with humor, songs with a message, songs about life and living it and being a part of the world. They can be action oriented, acidic in delivery, absurd and totally irreverent in narrative, and sometimes very sweet. Many have done it before AJJ and many will do it after – to speak openly, to sing loudly, to share widely, but AJJ does it with a certain style unique to them. I became a fan late in the game and it’s with their new record, Christmas Island, that the band has totally made me a through and through devotee (I’m having a blast digging into the back catalogue), but even before this point, the band held a weighty stature for me in my imagined hierarcy of music. I always pictured AJJ live performances to be on par with religious congregations, with people chanting, waving their hands and moving wildly, maybe even violently. I see the room as blur of bodies and raw sensory stimuli where my own senses can’t quite get a solid read on anything. But it’s the unknowingness, the uncertainty, the fever pitch of it all, that makes the performance relevatory. I think folks would agree with that scene and I know I’ve heard many dazzled accounts by attendees of AJJ concerts.
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From October 11th to the 13tg, Drexel’s student-run radio station WKDU hosted their 11th annual Electronic Music Marathon, featuring DJs from all over the city live mixing on the show for dedicated timeslates over the entire course of the weekend. Listeners were asked to donate to the event as well, which benefited Musicopia and Village of Arts & Humanities, two local non-profit organizations that focus on promoting music and the arts in Philadelphia and exposing kids to music and the positive effects and influence it can have. Continue reading →
While setting up for his Key Studio Session, John Sharkey III of Dark Blue remarked that he’d just revisited some of his old Psychedelic Furs records. “People keep comparing my voice to Richard Butler, so I figured I should listen,” he said. “Man. They wrote some fantastic songs.” While it might be a stretch to call Dark Blue a direct descendent of the Furs – or any post punk band specific, despite what your Joy Division meter might be telling you – one commonality they share is placing mood and ambiance at an equal level of importance as tight songwriting. Continue reading →
Hip Hop Soul is a sub-genre of R&B that fuses soul, blues and gospel sounds over hip-hop beats. Thanks to artist such as Mary J. Blige, TLC, R. Kelly, Montell Jordan, and Jodeci, hip hop soul exploded in the mid 90s and is still considered a classic genre to this day. It seems as if one up-and-coming Philly artist is planning on bringing the vintage sound back to limelight. Throughout the The Vintage Tape, you can hear songbird Carrera Shante impressively using her deeply soulful voice over classic hip hop beats. Continue reading →
You Do You had a big week, celebrating the release of their new I Got Time EP on Tuesday and premiering their Key Studio Session on Wednesday. The latter features a track off of the new record, as well as an unreleased number and a few older jams. Listen to “Island Rat” below and get the full set here.
This fall, singer-songwriter icon Lucinda Williams released her eleventh studio album, Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, and yesterday she joined XPN Morning Show host Michaela Majoun on the air to talk about the album and her upcoming local show. She plays the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, NJ, tomorrow; tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to Williams’ interview with Majoun after the jump. Continue reading →
Even the most casual fan of Canadian indie pop torch-bearers Stars has to pick up on the band’s evident reverence for the music of Morrissey and The Smiths. So it’s totally fitting that, when Torquil Campbell and Chris Seligman of the band stopped by Dan Reed’s show on WXPN this Wednesday for the Like A Version segment, they unpacked an acoustic guitar and dusted off a Smiths classic. After the jump, listen to their rendition of “What Difference Does It Make?” from The Smiths’ self-titled 1984 album, and listen to their full conversation with Dan Reed. Continue reading →