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Philly Drum Project announces 2014 / 2015 schedule, including clinics with Chris Powell, Brian Frasier Moore and more

Philly Drum Project
Chris Powell of Man Man | photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Philly Drum Project has announced its 2014 / 2015 season, expanding its musician-friendly seminars to include nine Beats, Brews, & Banter events, two OpenDrum meet-ups, a fundraising effort called ReDrum to support community center workshops and a third annual DrumPhil summer program.

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Philadelphia United Jazz Fest celebrates the scene in Center City

Philadelphia United Jazz Fest celebrates the scene in Center City
Philadelphia United Jazz Fest celebrates the scene in Center City

For the eight years spanning 2004 and 2011, the West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festival was the closest thing that Philadelphia had to an annual jazz festival. That was long a sore point given the city’s rich jazz heritage, the fact that the festival took place in the far-flung Northwest, and the prevalence of fading R&B stars like WAR and The O’Jays as headliners rather than actual jazz artists. And it was even worse when the festival folded amid neighborhood political squabbling, seemingly leaving Philly jazz fest-less once again.

Thankfully a few local jazz lovers have since stepped up. At virtually the same moment that West Oak Lane was taking its last gasps, trombonist Ernest Stuart founded the Center City Jazz Festival, which has become an annual and growing spring event. Then last year, West Oak Lane producers LifeLine Music Coalition returned with the Philadelphia United Jazz Festival, which was smaller in scale than West Oak Lane but proved to be a closer approximation of their original vision – namely, a showcase for Philadelphia jazz musicians in Center City. Continue reading →

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Bridging fairy tales and hip-hop with MC Frontalot at the North Star this Friday

MC Frontalot | Photo by Ben Trivett
MC Frontalot | Photo by Ben Trivett

Back in 1985, when all the other kids were at recess playing kickball, 11-year-old Damian Hess was hanging out by himself in the school library obsessing over books of fairy tales. That interest stuck with Hess over the next three decades, and at 40, now known as nerdcore hip-hop pioneer MC Frontalot, he’s offering his own take on ten classic stories on his sixth album, Question Bedtime (Level Up). He’ll bring songs from the album and the rest of his catalogue to North Star Bar on Friday. Continue reading →

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Kicking back with Vita and the Woolf at Spice House Sound

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Jen Pague and Bobby Cleveland of Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

On one of the last warm days this summer, I ventured past my usual points of familiarity in Fishtown to the newly opened Spice House Sound on Wilt Street. Suddenly finding myself somewhat lost in a tiny alley next to St. Laurentius, I stare at the address on my phone again and frantically call Jen Pague, frontwoman of Vita and the Woolf, explaining I think I’m at the wrong place. She laughs and tells me to stay where I am.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Goodnight Texas at World Cafe Live, Quilly at the TLA, Gladys Knight at Sands Bethlehem

Goodnight Texas | Photo by Matthew Washburn
Goodnight Texas | Photo by Matthew Washburn

World Cafe Live is getting a treat tonight Americana folk-rock band, Goodnight Texas. No, bandmates Avi Vinocur, Patrick Dyer Wolf, Alex Nash, and Bobby Kendall are not from Texas. The name actually came from the geographical midpoint between the songwriters Avi Vincour (of San Francisco) Patrick Dyer (of North Carolina). What a clever way to create a unique name. Their music give you a nice, feel-good, chill vibe; it’s as if you want to sit on the porch with your significant other and watch the sun set. That makes World Cafe Live the perfect place tonight to go on a date. Checkout their song “Maggie’s Farm” below. Continue reading →

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News from DRGN KING! New album and Philly shows are a GO!

DRGN King
DRGN King’s Baltimore Crush artwork by Perry Shall

Get excited because we just got word our homies in DRGN KING that their sophomore album, Baltimore Crush, is coming out October 28th via Bar/None Records! It has a rad album cover by Philly artist Perry Shall (check it out above) and comes with a fall tour, which includes a hometown show at Johnny Brenda’s on September 26th, as well as a show at City Hall’s new Dilworth Park on October 18th.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Gaslight Anthem at The Mann, Parker Millsap at Tin Angel, The Gang Age at Bourbon & Branch and more…

The Gaslight Anthem
The Gaslight Anthem | photo by Drew Gurian | www.drewgurian.com/

New Jersey rockers The Gaslight Anthem bring their new record Get Hurt to The Mann Center‘s Skyline Stage tonight.  Released earlier this year, Get Hurt follows the band’s 2012 LP Handwritten with a retuned style and updated aesthetic.  What was previously all retro and throwback rock to the early days of Springsteen is now modernized, though the group’s blue collar, everyman stories are still present.  Watch the video for the title track below and get tickets for the show with Jimmy Eat World and Against Me! here.

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Jukebox the Ghost to kick off their upcoming tour at Union Transfer

Jukebox the Ghost | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
Jukebox the Ghost | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

Circle, star, and highlight November 1 on your calenders, Jukebox the Ghost fans. Your beloved indie-pop trio is coming back. Just weeks ago they treated an audience to an electrifying Free At Noon performance at a jam-packed World Cafe Live, and today they announced they’ll kick off their upcoming headlining tour at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer. Continue reading →

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How Dr. Dog recorded a Beatles song in parking lot attendant’s booth

Dr. Dog
via instagram.com/drdogmusic

On a Monday morning in early June, Dr. Dog’s tour van pulled into the parking lot of Stage AE in Pittsburgh. It was technically their day off, but the band had work to do before headlining the venue the following night. They had just played the Wakarusa festival in Ozark, Arkansas, and while they were there, they took in a set by The Flaming Lips, met Wayne Coyne and got to talking. It turns out Coyne and the Lips were planning an ambitious, star-studded tribute to The Beatles‘ iconic, influential psychedelic opus, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band – and they wanted Dr. Dog on board, with one catch – they had to work fast. Continue reading →