Last Wednesday, I sat onstage at Underground Arts as my boss Bruce Warren asked a deceptively simple question: “Why do you love Philly?”
We were there as a part of a State of Young Philly panel on the city’s music industry and cultural economy; Bruce was moderating and I was speaking alongside Chill Moody, Chris Ward of Johnny Brenda’s and Katonah Rafter of Fame House.
For me, the answer was obvious: the music! It’s the city I listened to and aspired to become part of while growing up in the northwestern ‘burbs of Montgomery County. Even as a kid I would always relish seeing a local artist get national attention – when I first heard The Roots in high school (opening for The Beastie Boys at the Civic Center in 1995), I was filled with an immense sense of pride that these incredibly talented people who had just played Letterman were from my city. That national attention comes a lot more often these days, no matter the scene or genre – DIY punk to hip hop to singer-songwriter to psych rock. Whatever music you fancy listening to, you can find an artist who excels at it in the Philadelphia region.
At the State of Young Philly event, I spun together an hour-long, Philly-centric DJ set showcasing some of my faves from recent years, and with the reflective Thanksgiving holiday upon us, I’m sharing the playlist with you: 20 local artists we’re thankful for this year. Continue reading →