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The War On Drugs talk about music, performing and life in Philadelphia with Minneapolis’ The Current

The War on Drugs | Photo by Nate Ryan via thecurrent.org
The War on Drugs | Photo by Nate Ryan via thecurrent.org

Philadelphia space rock heroes The War On Drugs recently performed on air for The Current in Minneapolis and talked about their latest album, Lost In A Dream. The band has been recognized on the national level for bringing enormous energy to the stage – something that radio host, Jill O’Reilly, notes right off the bat.

The interview ensues with playful banter from frontman Adam Granduciel and spot-on performances from their album, including “An Ocean In Between the Waves” and “Eyes to the Wind”. Granduciel also takes time to elaborate on some of the qualities of Philadelphia that drew him to make the move there from Massachusetts. Continue reading →

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Rebellum bring Afrofuturism to the Painted Bride on 9/27

Rebellum
Rebellum | photo by Nisha Sondhe

When Greg Tate founded Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber in 1999, the amorphous ensemble was conceived as a turn-of-the-21st century evolution of the electric funk-jazz maelstrom of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, filtered through the ideas of the Black Rock Coalition (of which Tate was a co-founding member) and the explosion of hip-hop culture. The band became known for its sprawling, utterly unclassifiable group improvisations, executed under the rules of Butch Morris’ conduction system and drawing on influences from Jimi Hendrix to George Clinton to Sun Ra and who-knows-what in between.

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Listen to Stephen Powers’ interview on the XPN Morning Show, see him tonight at International House

Stephen Powers | Photo via firstandfifteenth.net
Stephen Powers | Photo via firstandfifteenth.net

Beginning tonight International House Philadelphia (IHP) is presenting the first in its newly conceived speaker series: Wayfaring: Conversations on Travel, Art & Culture, curated by Anthony Smyrski of Random Embassy and Megawords. The series will give members of the art community a way to discuss the way that travel and multi-cultural experiences have influenced the artistic process. The first speaker (tonight Sept. 18, 2014) is artist and graffiti muralist Stephen Powers who will discuss his on-going projects: A Love Letter to the City. Bob Bumbera from the XPN Morning Show had a chance to speak with both Powers and Anthony Smyrski recently about the new speaker series at I House Philly. 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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Listen back to OutBeat Jazz Festival director Chris Barlett’s interview with Robert Drake

OutBeat
Vocalist and pianist Andy Bey is one of the OutBeat headliners announced today | photo via nprmusic

Next week brings OutBeat : America’s First Queer Jazz Festival to venues across the city, presented by the William Way LGBT community center and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.  In anticipation of the landmark event, XPN’s Robert Drake invited William Way Center Executive Director Chris Bartlett into the studio to discuss the festival’s inception, the role of LGBT musicians in the heritage of jazz music and the commitment of the William Way Center to create cultural opportunities for the city.  OutBeat begins next Thursday, September 18th and runs through Sunday, September 21st.  Listen to the segment below and learn more about the festival here.

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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 →