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Members of Hurry, Bleeding Rainbow and Cassavetes will cover Weezer at Yards Brewery this weekend

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This weekend’s Weezer tribute will raise money for breast cancer research and treatment

Awesome event alert: in support of Yards Brewery’s annual Pynk charity ale, a bunch of players from the Philly DIY scene are getting together to cover Weezer this Friday beginning at 7:30 at the Philly beer company’s Delaware Avenue tasting room. The program features classic records Pinkerton (get it?) and The Blue Album – which is great news for fans who are on the fence about going to the recently-announced “we’re-playing-our-new-album-in-its-entirety” Trocadero show later this month; this Friday’s homespun gig will have all the fan favorite cuts that you really want to hear (but likely won’t) from the band itself. Continue reading →

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20 Years Later, It’s Still Illmatic: Reflecting on Nas’ milestone debut

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Photo by Danny Clinch

Twenty years ago, rap icon Nas debuted with his critically acclaimed album Illmatic. Since its release, this album has been considered a classic not just by hip hop heads, but by music lovers of all genres. There’s something about the street poetry from the Queensbridge MC that still still captures not only listeners’ ears, but also their minds.

But how do we celebrate 20 years of a milestone album? A couple ways, beginning with the new documentary Time is Illmatic, which takes us into the thought process of the young Nasir Jones when he made his first album, including interviews with Busta Rhymes, Alicia Keys and Pharrell. The tour in support of the documentary – which includes Nas performing the album in its entirety – comes to The Keswick Theater this weekend.

Another question we must think about is what made Illmatic so great? Why is it that this album is still being praised 20 years later? Continue reading →

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The Chiptune Summit: 8static Music Festival

Cheap Dinosaurs will play the 8static music festival
Cheap Dinosaurs

Fresh off an “Event of the Year” nomination in the 2014 Philadelphia Geek Awards, experimental electronic collective 8static is preparing to host its second 8static Festival from October 16th to 18th at the First Unitarian Chuch. The festival will consist of both and audio and visual art by artists using only technology considered to be old or obsolete, re-purposing and giving new life to old gaming objects such as GameBoys and other 8-bit adventure tools. Continue reading →

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Esperanza Spalding brings a spectrum of tastes to the Keswick

Esperanza Spalding | Photo courtesy of the artist
Esperanza Spalding | Photo courtesy of the artist

Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding responded to becoming jazz’s “it girl” – she was, after all, the one artist who could nab a Best New Artist Grammy from under Justin Bieber’s tween-dream coif and win one for the jazz team – by going ambitious. On her last two albums, Chamber Music Society and Radio Music Society, Spalding folded all of her multifarious musical interests into two packed albums. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler at First Unitarian Church, Glenn Tilbrook at Tin Angel, Reagan Youth at Underground Arts and more…

Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler
Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler | photo courtesy of the artist
Locals Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler open for Nico Muhly and Richard Reed Parry at the First Unitarian Church tonight.  The harp / guitar / synth duo released its debut full-length Slant of Light last Tuesday, an LP that was recorded during the city-stopping snowstorm of last winter.  Lattimore and Zeigler have been performing live together for a few years now, but this release expands on the droning, exploratory, freeform pieces they have played in the past to include subtler, more introspective works as well.  Listen to “The White Balloon” below and get information for the show here. Continue reading →
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RJD2 / Sugar Tongue Slim at Underground Arts, Banks at Union Transfer, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle and (much) more

RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com
RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com

DJ and electronic dance artist RJD2 headlines the Jump Philly-curated Sound Select show tonight at Underground Arts with Sugar Tongue Slim and Marian Hill. After gaining popularity for his song “Ghostwriter” from 2002′s Deadringer, RJD2 has continued to catch people’s attention with his jazzy, throwback mixes. Many might know his song “A Beautiful Mine,” which was featured as the theme song for AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Infused with samples from big band music and jazz standards, his songs takes from the old and mixes it in a fresh, current style. The artist has most recently been working with rappers on his latest album, More Is than Isn’t, including Philly’s Sugar Tongue Slim, who will be sharing the stage tonight. STS has become one of the top hip hop artists in Philadelphia and continues to maintain his presence in the music scene here. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar and watch RJD2′s music video for “1976″ below. Continue reading →

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Red Bull Sound Select: See Who’s Playing

Sugar Tongue Slim | Photo by John Vettese
Sugar Tongue Slim | Photo by John Vettese

The Red Bull Sound Select is an live music series sponsored by the wing-dispensing energy drink company it’s named for, in an effort to promote new music and artists in emerging genres and styles. The concert series happens all over the United States and presents lineups consisting of up-and-coming artists alongside national names. This Saturday, September 27th, the Sound Select series, curated for this show by Jump Magazine, brings a varied group of artists, each known for their own unique “spin” on hip-hop, to Underground Arts. The lineup consists of instrumental hip-hop producing and djing icon RJD2, slick-lipped Philly boy  and “GOLD”-affiliated rapper Sugar Tongue Slim, and the Philly minimal electro-funk/soul/jazz/hip-hop/so-many-other-things duo known as Marian Hall. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Lawsuits at Johnny Brenda’s, Fishbone at MilkBoy, North Mississippi Allstars at Weis Center

The Lawsuits | Photo courtesy of the artist
The Lawsuits | Photo courtesy of the artist

You can’t pinpoint the sound that Brian Dale Allen Strouse, Brendan Cunningham, Vanessa Winters, Josh Friedman, and Joe Bisirri create. You can hear some influences in the music they make as The Lawsuits, coming from gospel, reggae, folk and many more. This beautiful combination is probably the reason why they’re so adored in their hometown. Tonight, the band celebrates the release of its latest EP, Tumbled; check out their song “(Darla Nye) Never Love Someone” below, and get tickets and information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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City Bisco begins tonight! Listen to the winning mixes selected by the band

Disco Biscuits | Photo by Dave Vann | via facebook.com/discobiscuits
Disco Biscuits | Photo by Dave Vann | via facebook.com/discobiscuits

Jam scene heroes Disco Biscuits kick off their three-day City Bisco extravaganza tonight at The Trocadero, continuing tomorrow night at the Electric Factory with American Babies and ending Saturday at the Mann Center with disco legend Giorgio Moroder. Passes are sold-out, though the band just announced a live-stream of the events at the sold-out Trocadero show as well as the Electric Factory show. Earlier this week, we ran a giveaway for weekend passes to City Bisco. Listen to the grand prize mix below by Clint Meadows, as well as runners up who will all receive passes to Saturday night’s Mann Center show. Tickets for the Electric Factory and Mann Center shows are still available, tickets and more info can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Calle 13 make Philly debut (and history) this Saturday at the Merriam Theater, and we all should be paying attention

Calle 13 | Photo courtesy of Kimmel Center Presents
Calle 13 | Photo courtesy of Kimmel Center Presents

With more than enough English-language music flooding American airwaves to make even the most eclectic music-lover’s heads spin, a group like Puerto Rico’s Calle 13 might easily fall under the radar. Maybe you were lucky enough to hear their eccentric mid-2000s breakout hits “Atréve te-te” and “La Jirafa” at a college- or work-sponsored Latin music night and thought “Hey, this is a pretty cool beat,” before shimmying your hips off-rhythm for the next few hours. Continue reading →