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XPN Fest Recap: Arkells uplifts the Marina Stage crowd

Arkells | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

Arkells knew they were fortunate. With the adjustments made to the schedule Friday, things, of course, didn’t go as planned for everyone. So the Hamilton, Ontario-based rockers wasted no time in getting the party going. Main vocalist Max Kerman jumped into the crowd during the band’s very first song, asking them to join him on “A Little Rain (A Song For Pete)” in singing the line “When the rain starts coming down / a little rain ain’t bringing me down.”

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Philly dedicates a stretch of Broad Street to hometown R&B icon, Boyz II Men

Boys II Men Blvd Ceremony |Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

On Saturday afternoon, June 24th, 2017, the city of Philadelphia officially renamed the stretch of Broad Street between Christian and Carpenter as Boyz II Men BLVD. The R&B crooners have had a long and storied career that began in the city almost 3 decades ago. The fitting tribute took place on the steps of the Philadelphia High School of Creative and Performing Arts. Continue reading →

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Photo Recap: The crowd gets Spanked before Robert Glasper Experiment at World Cafe Live

Robert Glasper Experiment at World Cafe Live | Photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN | koofibi.com

Following last year’s ArtScience, Jazz pianist Robert Glasper brought his quartet of experimental jazz instrumentation with hip-hop (and a little bit of everything else) undertones back to Philly for a show at World Cafe Live on June 20th. Glasper hit the stage after a dynamic performance from Philly trio Spank, led by musician, producer and world renowned drummer George “Spanky” McCurdy. Check out what went down in the gallery Continue reading →

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Actually Maybe Do Call It A Comeback: LCD Soundsystem at Brooklyn Steel

LCD Soundsystem | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

LCD Soundsystem isn’t having a bad year for a band that’s been dead for the better part of a decade. Last night in Brooklyn, they played the 5th show of their 2nd New York residency this year. With a world tour culminating in a 3rd, 10-day stand at new venue Brooklyn Steel, they’re really laying it on thick. All told, that’s 22 shows at the venue that the christened back in April, with the original 5-night run. I have yet to meet a single person in real life who’s mad that LCD is playing so many shows — and why would they be? This is a band that was an absolute standardbearer for the oughties fledgling indie/dance/whatever-core scene that they now reign over as ensconced legends. Continue reading →

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PHOTOS: Sigur Ros at The Mann

Sigur Ros | Photo by Matthew Shaver | matthewshaver.com

Icelandic post rock band Sigur Ros brought its summer tour to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts last night. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the band performed two career-spanning sets as a trio, mixed with their trademark visual spectacle. Check out a gallery of photos from the show care of our Matthew Shaver. Continue reading →

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PHOTOS: George Clinton at Ardmore Music Hall

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren | http://www.koofibi.com

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic played a sold out show on Thursday, June 8th at the Ardmore Music Hall, a venue that’s becoming a regular tour stop for the legendary funk outfit. Though Clinton’s last record was 2008’s George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love, news has been swirling that a new album will drop sometime this year. The live show is still the true P-Funk experience though – At 75 years old, Clinton is as charming and engaging as ever, backed by a band that includes his granddaughters / music duo Kandy Apple Redd on vocals. The Key’s Koof Ibi Umoren was on hand to photograph the performance – check out his gallery of Clinton and opening act Kung Fu below.

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Free at Noon Flashback: Swift Technique gets us out of our funk with theirs

Swift Technique | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN | spotlightviews.com
Swift Technique | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN | spotlightviews.com

Sporting Sixer jerseys and worshiping stuffed penguins, local funk collective Swift Technique took over the World Cafe Live stage for a Free at Noon extravaganza of epic proportions, as the 10-piece (yes! your move The World Is…) brought out all stops to make their hometown return one to remember.

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Free at Noon Flashback: Maggie Rogers grooves her way into the hearts of pop fans with an electric performance

Maggie Rogers | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

Alternative pop princess Maggie Rogers made a stop by World Cafe Live for an energized Free at Noon, taking time out of her sold-out tour of the great United States to pay one of her favorite stations a visit. Just like her sparkling blue kicks, her brand of singer-songwriting adds that ounce of shiny flair with a fantastic blend of folk harmonies paired with booming electronic instrumentation.

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The man who makes the songs, and the songs that make the man: Two nights with The Magnetic Fields at Union Transfer

The Magnetic Fields at Union Transfer, night two | photo by K. Ross Hoffman for WXPN
The Magnetic Fields at Union Transfer, night two | photo by K. Ross Hoffman for WXPN

Stephin Merritt, the ingenious and wholly singular songwriter behind The Magnetic Fields, among other enterprises, calls himself “the least autobiographical person you are likely to meet.”  And yet, he has created his autobiography, of sorts, in 50 Song Memoir: the Fields’ latest, eleventh album as well as a two-part live performance (a concert, but also something slightly other than a concert) that was staged this past Wednesday and Thursday at Union Transfer.  The premise, or gimmick, is winningly simple and perfectly Merrittian: one song for each of the first fifty years of his life – bringing us from 1966 to 2015 – split evenly between the two nights.  The resulting experience was fascinating, complicated, revelatory – for fans, at least – and strangely human. Continue reading →