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Girlpool played a killer basement show in West Philly

John Vettese
Girlpool | Photo by Simon Klein

The first thing I noticed in entering Nico Nico Mansion on Saturday was the décor of the house. There was nothing on the walls, and no light fixtures, only bulbs. The house turned venue was experiencing its second show ever, and the hosts hadn’t had time to put any sort of bookshelf, art piece, or poster to cover anything or to make the house feel like home since moving in. Despite the stark surroundings, a very small, young crowd was abuzz to see a great basement show in West Philly.

The magic of the music environment in Philadelphia, and what makes it unique in some respects, is the community and quality of the basement scene. People around the living room were visibly excited for the show that they were going to see. Headlining this show Saturday were up and coming duo Girlpool. These two ladies have been heavily praised around the internet for their songwriting, and punk inspired harmonies. Included on the bill were a host of other great small bands including Philadelphia’s Free Cake for Every Creature, and Southern California’s Watercolor Paintings, that created an atmosphere of youthful exuberance, and sincerity. Continue reading →

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Meek Mill hits the BET Awards stage to perform “All Eyes On You”

Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj | via hiphopsince1987.com
Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj | via hiphopsince1987.com

Meek Mill‘s album officially hit stores this week, but “All Eyes on You,” his single with Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown, has been buzzing on the internet after it surfaced last week. On Sunday night at the BET Awards in Los Angeles, Meek and Minaj were front and center. Being seen together in numerous camera shots throughout the night isn’t a bad look at all, but it’s their on-stage chemistry that seemed to have the crowd talking.

Starting his performance with a quick rendition of his club hit “Monster,” Meek quickly switched it up and brought both Brown and Minaj to the stage to perform the single “All Eyes On You.”  The two obviously have more than just the “Bonnie & Clyde” type track in common, and this performance proved it. Check out the video below; Meek’s new album Dreams Worth More Than Money is available now. Continue reading →

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Imagine Dragons make an explosive return to Wells Fargo Center

Imagine Dragons | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
Imagine Dragons | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

What an experience this night was. Pouring rain, deafening music, tons of fog, and even more lasers.

Imagine Dragons is a rock band, pure and simple, and their songwriting and anthemic choruses have shot them to the kingdom of Top 40 and the tip top of the Billboard 200 with seemingly immense ease. Rock they do; lead vocalist Dan Reynold’s energy was constant and extremely high throughout his entire set, through the most elated and moody of songs. However, at times the band did seem like it would more be aptly named “Dan Reynolds” and friends; there were several points where Dan was the only one lit on stage, even though Wayne Sermon, Daniel Platzman, and Ben McKee were carrying considerable amounts of weight also, providing vocal harmonies too high for most men their age to reach and guitar/bass battles aplenty.

The night was chock full of highlights, as you’d expect at a concert of this enormity. Continue reading →

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Firefly 2015 in pictures

Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

This time last week, thousands of music fans were packing up their tents just outside the Dover International Speedway and making their way home from this year’s Firefly Music Festival. Over four days, we caught amazing performances by Cage the Elephant, Zella Day, Run the Jewels, Paul McCartney, Foster the People, Spoon, Hozier, Steve Aoki and many more (with a bit of rain in the mix). Click below for some highlights and a full Firefly 2015 photo gallery. Continue reading →

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Old Friends and New: Brian McGee, JKutchma, and The Rentiers played Ortlieb’s Lounge

Photo via facebook| https://www.facebook.com/brianmcgeemusic/photos/a.155713057779849.32910.126431967374625/301763119841508/?type=1&theater
Photo via facebook| https://www.facebook.com/brianmcgeemusic/photos/a.155713057779849.32910.126431967374625/301763119841508/?type=1&theater

It seems that in Philadelphia there always seems to be the problem of there being too many shows in one night and having to decide among them. And trust me, it is a very good problem to have. Nonetheless, the second I heard about Brian McGee, The Rentiers, and  North Carolina solo act Jkutchma were playing Ortlieb’s, it was obvious what I was doing that night. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth jam for the sold-out crowd

Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

The cheers and applause were deafening in World Cafe Downstairs today as Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth took the stage. Haynes (The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, The Dead) teamed up with bluegrass outfit Railroad Earth to record his new solo record, Ashes and Dust. They played songs from that record for a sold-out Free at Noon crowd.

Even during his time in his main bands, Haynes wrote folksy Americana songs that he kept to himself for the last 30 years. Now, on Ashes and Dust, he believes this is the right time to release them into the world. Together, he and Railroad Earth recorded over 30 songs, but managed to whittle it down to just 13 for the release. Continue reading →

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Crashing: Oldermost and Sam Amidon bring quiet thunder to World Cafe Live

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

I wasn’t sure I’d make it to the show on Tuesday night. My whole house was shaking from the thunder, and the lighting left little to the imagination as to the state of affairs beyond the confines of my four walls. But luckily, the violent stormfront passed quickly, and I was able to leave for the show right on time. Little did I know that Oldermost and Sam Amidon would bring their own, different kind of storm to World Cafe Live, that night. Continue reading →

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Confidence and Soul: Ibeyi brings their commanding show to World Cafe Live

Ibeyi | Photo by Cameron Pollack | http://cameronpollack.500px.com/
Ibeyi | Photo by Cameron Pollack | http://cameronpollack.500px.com/

I have seen no duo in my admittedly brief history of concert going more commanding of a crowd, more loving of groove, and with more infectious, intricate songwriting than Ibeyi. Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi ooze confidence and soul, constantly singing and smiling through the set, at each other and at the audience. Continue reading →