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Camden Trumpeter Arnetta Johnson will bring her impressive repertoire to Chris’ Jazz Cafe

Arnetta Johnson | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Arnetta Johnson is a trumpeter from Camden, NJ who’s done so much more than play in her school’s marching band. She’s only 25 years old and has backed Beyoncé for the past three three years, touring with her all-female band and playing dream gigs like Superbowl XLIX and Coachella. She attended Berklee University right out of high school with a full scholarship and was mentored by critically acclaimed trumpeter Darren Barrett.

NPR has named Johnson one of the top 20 artists to watch in 2019, as she’s just released her debut album If You Hear a Trumpet It’s Me via Gryscl Entertainment. Now, she’s gracing Philly with her prodigious talent at Chris’ Jazz Cafe on July 19th.  Continue reading →

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Steve Gunn releases two lush new tracks, “Be Still Moon” and “Shrunken Heads”

Steve Gunn | photo courtesy of the artists

Steve Gunn, the Delco-raised Brooklyn-based folk-rock experimenter, released two new songs on Tuesday morning. “Be Still Moon” and “Shrunken Heads” follow Gunn’s LP The Unseen In Between, which came out in January on Matador Records, and both tracks conjure up the same airy beauty, charged with mystery and doubt, that marks the material on the LP. Continue reading →

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Purling Hiss is back with the new Interstellar Blue EP, out in July

Purling Hiss | photo by Mike Polizze | courtesy of the artist

This week, Purling Hiss announced the upcoming release of a new EP Interstellar Blues and released a grim new track entitled “Useful Information.” The local outfit, led by songwriter/guitarist Mike Polizze, most recently released the LP High Bias in 2016, which mixed pop punk and heavy alt rock with psychedelic production and a twisted sense of humor. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Perry Farrell, Kikagaku Moyo, Jawbox, Sheer Mag and more

Perry Farrell | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

The big gig this week, of course, is two hours south of Philadelphia in Dover, Delaware. But if you’re not going to Firefly, fear not — there’s no shortage of shows to keep you on your feet and entertained back home. (And if you are going to Firefly, check out our festival guide here.) From 90s American alternative heroes to present day psychedelic mindbenders from Tokyo, local rock and roll on the waterfront and some hip-hop theatre on North Broad Street, here are 15 concerts to see in the next seven days, all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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Two to Tango: Mark Volman of The Turtles and Susan Cowsill of The Cowsills discuss the 10th Anniversary of the weird Happy Together tour

The Turtles (left) and The Cowsills | photo courtesy of the Happy Together tour

Despite each act’s sunshiny harmonies and quirkily humorous lyrical eclat, there’s definitely something wonderfully weird about The Turtles and The Cowsills, two of the groups on Flo & Eddie’s Happy Together tour of pop-psychedelic 60s acts, now celebrating its 10th anniversary at the Keswick on June 19.

While Flo & Eddie are renowned for time collaborating with Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention during that mad ensemble’s most conceptual period (e.g. the “Billy the Mountain” song cycle), The Cowsills were the initial inspiration for ABC Television’s The Partridge Family, but were too odd a lot, gangly and pimply to be Hollywood stars.

Though any conversation with Mark Volman and Susan Cowsill, alone, could go a million different ways and tackle a million unique subjects, this Two to Tango interview focused on the relationship between The Turtles and The Cowsills, past and present, and in connection to the gathering of minds that is the decade-long Happy Together. Continue reading →

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David Bazan documentary Strange Negotiations will be screened at Johnny Brenda’s

David Bazan | still from film

Strange Negotiations, a new documentary about the life of Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan, will make its East Coast premiere at Johnny Brenda’s on June 21. The Kickstarter-funded film premiered at SXSW this year, and now filmmaker Brandon Vedder is taking it on tour, with a series of screenings later this month. Bazan will join Vedder for a Q&A following the screening. Continue reading →

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Isolation feels familiar in Tate’s new single “Bad Hangover”

Tate | Photo by Sarah Rudderow | via facebook.com/tatethings

Everyone is familiar with occasional feeling of loneliness where you feel oddly detached from a person or a place you’re usually connected to. Maybe somebody screwed you over, or maybe you’re exhausting yourself by repeating your own mistakes. Either way, you’re unsettled. Philadelphia four-piece Tate conveys this aura in their latest indie-rock single “Bad Hangover.” We’ve all been there. Continue reading →

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Beano French, A.M. Mills, Octave Cat and more join the Waterfront Sessions July lineup

A.M. Mills | photo by Joshua Cicetti | courtesy of the artist // Octave Cat | photo by Ben Wong | courtesy of the artist // Beano French | photo courtesy of the artist

On a Thursday night in the summer, there’s no better place to be than Spruce Street Harbor Park. The park’s annual Waterfront Sessions encourage you to “tap your toes and groove to jams by some of Philly’s finest artists,” with a free concert each week throughout the season. The sessions kicked off last week, and the July lineup has just been announced, bringing us four more weeks of music to look forward to. Continue reading →

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Y La Bamba’s “Mujeres” music video is a call to protect and fight for all women

Y La Bamba | still from video

Y La Bamba ‘s new music video for “Mujeres,” the title track to its 2019 album, is exactly what the commanding, percussion-heavy song deserves. It features women of every demographic embracing and celebrating their femininity. The group’s lead singer and songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza said, “This song is a daily mantra to continue to protect and fight, for all women, for myself.” Continue reading →