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Whitney extends their U.S. tour to include Philly, but where’s LP2?

Whitney | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
Whitney | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

Whitney is comprised of songwriting duo Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich. In 2016, they released their debut album Light Upon the Lake, which was a critical and commercial hit. Now it’s three years later and we’re still without a sophomore effort from the band. Last week they announced an extension of their U.S. tour, including a Philly date in the fall, but LP number two is nowhere to be heard. Continue reading →

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Common is coming to Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books in Germantown for a talk and book signing

Common | photo courtesy of the artist

Let Love Have the Last Word is the new memoir by Common — Grammy Award-winning, Academy Award-Winning, and Golden Globe Award-winning musician, writer, actor, and activist. The Chicago-based hip hop artist, born Lonnie Corant Jaman Shuka Rashid Lynn, will be traveling the United States on a book tour throughout the summer, and the tour includes a June 1st talk and book signing at Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books in Germantown.

In the memoir, Common opens up about his relationship with his daughter, abuse he experienced as a child, and the value of conversation in the process of emotional healing. He has said that he hopes his book and his presentations will help “create a space” for people who have experienced similar traumas “to be able to share that — that’s part of the healing.” The memoir also touches on his faith and his experiences with romantic love. Continue reading →

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Victory Boyd, Batalá Philadelphia will play ACLU cultural celebration at 23rd Street Armory this week

Victory Boyd | photo courtesy of the artist

The American Civil Liberties Union has been celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its founding throughout the spring with a nationwide tour featuring presentations, performances and community activities. The tour, which the organization describes as “a multi-city exhibition on your rights and freedoms,” began in Austin in March and will visit a total of fourteen cities — it arrives in Philadelphia today. Continue reading →

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Lizzo raises her voice in song and on social issues at uplifting TLA set

 

Lizzo | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

A sermon. A therapy session. A protest. An evening of self-love. What do all of those things have in common? Lizzo offered all of that and more to her fans during her Saturday night performance at the TLA.

As fans, covered in glitter, sequins, and pastel wigs filtered into the South St. venue they were flanked by multiple signs stating that the Lizzo show was “100% sold out,” the sentiment mirroring Lizzo’s song “Truth Hurts” where she decrees that is “100% that bitch.” According to Lizzo, this was a far cry from her first show in Philly where only about 100 people who showed up. Continue reading →

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Watch Kuf Knotz and Christine Elise perform with Play On, Philly! students

Kuf Knotz, Christine Elise, and the Play On Philly students | photo courtesy of the artist

Here at WXPN, we know how powerful music can be, and we’re psyched to talk about a program that feels the same way. Play On, Philly! is an organization that provides underserved children in Philadelphia with a musical education experience that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. The group has made it their mission to inspire K-12 students and help develop their personal skills through the learning of orchestral instruments, all from their instructional sites at three different schools throughout the city. Continue reading →

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Philly rapper Khemist and drummer Anwar Marshall come together in acoustic performance on “It Don’t Get No Easier”

Khemist | still from video

Logan Valley rapper Khemist teamed up with fellow Philadelphian and jazz-schooled drummer Anwar Marshall for an impressive performance of “It Don’t Get No Easier,” another new track off Khemist’s forthcoming Khemtrails EP. The two fuse together strongly as Marshall’s complex rhythms match nicely to Khem’s intricate lyrical flow. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Radiator Hospital, Anderson .Paak, Jonatha Brooke, Native Harrow and more

Radiator Hospital | courtesy of the artist

Start the week out with hooky power-pop from Worriers. Wrap it up with dreamy folk by Native Harrow, or the propulsive Break Free Fest, centering marginalized artists in punk. In the middle, catch psych, funk, one timeless singer-songwriter, and so much more. Here are fourteen concerts to see in the next seven days all around Philly. Continue reading →

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Tacocat sticks it to the man (both literally and figuratively) at Boot and Saddle

Tacocat | photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN | ellencm.com
Tacocat | photo by Ellen Miller for WXPN | ellencm.com

It was fitting that Tacocat’s 2019 tour marched through Philly when it did. Just last week, the governor of Alabama signed into law a near-total ban on abortion, which has the power to put doctors who perform such medical procedures behind bars for 99 years. In case you’re wondering, that’s a harsher punishment than some rapists receive in Alabama. The passing of the law will likely set up an eventual showdown between women’s rights advocates and the United States Supreme Court, and some believe that recently-appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh has the potential to be a deciding vote on overturning Roe v Wade.

Reasons like these are why bands like feminst punk bands like Tacocat exist. Don’t let the whimsy palindromical name fool you; when it comes to women’s rights and sticking it to the man (literally and figuratively), Tacocat doesn’t mess around. Seattle’s favorite riot grrrl resurrectors did their part to help dismantle the patriarchy at South Philly’s Boot & Saddle Saturday night while touring their most recent release, This Mess is a Place. While the Alabama law, to my surprise, didn’t specifically come up in discussion by the band at all during the night, the rage was implicit in the music. When a band writes songs with titles such as “Men Explain Things to Me,” “Hey Girl,” and “Crimson Wave,” the music sort of does the talking for you. Continue reading →

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Philly native Barney Cortez pays homage to lost loved ones on new Farewell Dogs EP

Barney Cortez | photo via barneycortez.bandcamp.com

Philadelphia native Barney Cortez is back with a new EP, Farewell Dogs. This release sees Cortez strip back from the power pop sounds of his previous release, Pretty Thin, and remember some dearly departed friends along the way.

Previously a co-founder of Philly indie dance group Nicos Gun, and currently a touring guitarist with Rayland Baxter, this is Cortez’s second official solo release. He strips down his approach on Farewell Dogs, echoing a similar vibe to that of Grizzly bear or Fleet Foxes. On “Out of the Wheel,” a lovely harmonica melody accompanies Cortez’s subdued vocals. On “Culture Club,” Cortez sings about feelings of inclusion and wanting to feel unique. The EP includes two short interludes, “Hush” and “Purple Shields,” which mesh nicely with the other songs. Continue reading →

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Summer Scouts hold on to hope in the darkness of the “Flourish” video

Summer Scouts | photo by K. Egan | courtesy of the artist

Lehigh Valley modern rock five-piece Summer Scouts will release their new record, Endless Light, on June 21st, and the lead single from it continues to balance the band’s heavy atmospheric playing in the vein of Explosions In The Sky with lead singer Katherine de Menno’s infectious pop vocals, reminiscent of Paramore’s Hayley Williams and CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry.

The new single from that record, “Flourish,” is about keeping a grip on hope, even in our darkest hours where “I’ve become the sum of all my fears / looking back on all those wasted years.”  With counterpoint vocals from guitarist Ross Huber, Summer Scouts take us though that journey of self-doubt to the point where “I flourish inside / you’ll find me alive.” Continue reading →