Philly Drum Project has announced its 2014 / 2015 season, expanding its musician-friendly seminars to include nine Beats, Brews, & Banter events, two OpenDrum meet-ups, a fundraising effort called ReDrum to support community center workshops and a third annual DrumPhil summer program.
On Friday, November 11, 1966, when John Coltrane took the stage of Temple University’s Mitten Hall, he was at a stage in his evolution when music seemed to erupt forth from his body, and it was all he could do to place his horn in front of it to channel the torrent of sound. At times during this particular concert that didn’t happen; instead, he steps to the microphone and sings/chants/bellows in an almost primal wail, beating his chest for effect.
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 →
Okay, number nerds, this is pretty interesting: Spotify this week released a study on “the most musical universities in America,” ranking schools based on amount of music listened overall and number of subscriptions at their student rate. The University of Pennsylvania ranked as the 34th most musical school in the country, and the school-specific breakdown provides an interesting snapshot of the West Philly ivy league institution’s listening habits. Continue reading →
Philly rockers Strand Of Oaks will headline Arden Gild Hall in Wilmington this evening. The project of lead singer Timothy Showalter continues to capture listeners’ attention, especially with the release of their recent album HEAL, Showalter’s nod towards his cathartic healing process after overcoming a dark period in his life. The album’s anthemic tracks carry heavy topics easily with stream-of-consciousness lyrics, emotive drumming and raw guitar riffs. Most recently, Showalter released his personal cover of The National’s “Pink Rabbits,” hinting at the song’s importance in his own life. For more information on tonight’s performance, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch Strand Of Oaks’ music video for “Goshen ’97″ below. Continue reading →
Yesterday, we came across a YouTube video of a Philadelphia television newscast circa 1979, profiling The Grateful Dead and their fans during a performance at The Spectrum, and there seemed to be a common refrain. This was music that made its audiences feel good. These were songs that tugged at your heartstrings, had bittersweet moments, but ultimately uplifted listeners into a positive space. I don’t bring this up to reductively infer that the Dead and this week’s Key Studio Session featured artist, Kalob Griffin Band, necessarily sound alike – though there is an undeniably 60s influence on their very “I Shall Be Released”-esque ballad “A Song For You” that closes the set. Instead, I mention it because of the effect each band has on its audience. Continue reading →
Pardon me if I was not sweating by the end of Jack White’s rip-roaring 105-minute set on Sunday night at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland; it was a nippy 55 degrees by show’s end. The nearly sold-out crowd was certainly in a heated frenzy from start to finish as White orchestrated a set that spanned his two solo albums, The White Stripes, Dead Weather and The Raconteurs.
Notorious for moody and eccentric behavior, White seemed nothing but pleased to be playing on a Sunday night. From the first notes of the show-opening White Stripes’ song “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” onward, the crowd was on its feet. Lit exclusively by blue lights, White, with a new hairdo that appeared inspired by Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, did what he does best: paint an aural landscape of sublime rock ’n’ roll with his guitar brilliance and bluesy vocals. Continue reading →
It sounds like S.T.S. may have a hit on his hands. Yesterday, the Philly rapper released a brand new track from his upcoming project WhiteGold: 215′s In My Trunk featuring local leading man, Black Thought of The Roots.
“$5,000 Dolla Coat Shit” is a great song for two reasons, starting with the beat. Continue reading →