Donald Glover knows our ‘America’ loves Black Art and hates Black Lives. Can he make America learn something else?

Childish Gambino’s This Is America | still from video

The most jarring moment of the music video for Childish Gambino’s “This is America”—the visceral clip for the unsettlingly heavy gospel-meets-trap song that garnered over 105 million views on YouTube as of this writing—arrives at the 1:39 mark. The preceding 98 seconds of irreverent dancing, sudden homicide and Jim Crow allegory abruptly pivot to ten members of a Black church choir joyfully singing “Get your money, Black man!” before Gambino picks up an assault rifle and quickly shoots all of its members to death. “This is America,” he raps into the camera, the blandness of his expression caustically juxtaposed with the weapon of war he then passes to a cloth-bearing child. Continue reading →


Before he says goodbye to Childish Gambino, Donald Glover will bring Awaken My Love to the Wells Fargo Center

Donald Glover | photo via

2018 is going to be a major year for Donald Glover. With the recent premiere of Atlanta, Glover signed a new record deal with RCA Records and announced a North American Tour for his music-alter ego Childish Gambino with the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, best known for their hit “Black Beatles.” The fall itinerary is set to kick off in Glover’s hometown Atlanta, September 6th, and hitting other 12 cities including Philadelphia, September 18th at the Wells Fargo Center.

Last year during his performance at the Governors Ball in NYC, the multi talented Glover announced that his 2016 LP Awaken, My Love!  would mark the retirement of his moniker. At the 2018 Grammys in January, he confirmed with reporters that he will stand by his decision to bring the curtains down on Childish Gambino after 10 years. The ever-growing artist has made a name for himself in every area of the entertainment industry as a rapper, writer, actor, comedian, and director. The Grammy-winning R&B artist started off writing for the American sitcom “30 Rock” then released a comedy special on Netflix called “Donald Glover: Weirdo”. Afterwards, the R&B artist started acting, starring in TV series and films such as Community in 2009 and Magic Mike XXL in 2015. Now, he is directing his own television series, the acclaimed Atlanta, which is on FXX.   Continue reading →


The Key Studio Sessions: Dominic Angelella

There was a time that, whenever I’d write about Philly singer-guitarist-multi-instrumentalist Dominic Angelella, I’d begin by launching into a litany of local and national acts he’s been involved with over the past ten or twelve years. I’m not going to do that here — at this point, there are too many of them. And beyond being an exceptionally busy person in the supporting cast of other local and national bands, Angelella is a tremendous songwriter in his own right, and this spring he blessed us with a whole new batch of tunes. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Little Simz at Union Transfer and KT Tunstall at Sellersville Theater

Little Simz | via

Britain’s Little Simz brings her area rap to the states as she takes over Union Transfer for the night. She’s sort of London’s Donald Glover, as her insane flow and hype beats are only a part of the talent of the television actor and artist. The gig is all ages, and more information/tickets can be found through the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Born entertainer Childish Gambino gives a steller performance at the Electric Factory

Childish Gambino | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

Donald Glover is a man of many traits; an actor, a comedian, a writer, but this night he was his musical moniker, Childish Gambino. The Electric Factory was packed with eager fans anticipating what was sure to be an epic performance. The background was lit with a twitter feed where fans could type in anything and it would pop up on screen which ensued hilarity and a lot of sexual innuendos.

With no opening act, only a DJ that played 90’s hip hop singles like “Hot in Herre” and “MotownPhilly”, the crowd was getting antsy. Especially when there was a dropped phone call over the loud speakers that beeped for a few minutes before Gambino finally entered the stage.

Ok, so I haven’t really been to many hip hop shows, with the exception of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at the Roots Picnic last year. So in my head all I picture is the main rapper and DJ in the background. That was not the case here, the stage was packed with instrumentalists from a keyboardist, two guitarists, a DJ, a drummer, and probably a few others. Not to mention his posse of folks just chillin’ in the back on couches. The backgrounds were stellar, they included a house with windows , crazy blue and white surging lightning bolts, and an outdoor bonfire.

Gambino gave a strong performance and commanded the audience with rap ballads and power chords featuring thoughtful lyrics about racism, politics, family, and love.

He belted out tunes from his latest LP, Because the Internet as well as a few numbers from his previous, Camp and ended the night with a special freestyle with fellow artist, Steve G Lover.

Continue reading →


Childish Gambino to bring Deep Web tour to Electric Factory 3/28

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Multi-talented rapper Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover, star of NBC’s Community) is headed out on a North American tour in support of his latest release Because the Internet. Creatively enough, the new LP is actually a soundtrack to the same-titled screenplay Gambino wrote about Rick Ross’s fictional son and his struggles in the shadow of fame. The tale comes to life for local fans on March 28th at the Electric Factory. Get tickets here and watch his latest video for the infectious “3005” below.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Childish Gambino and Chill Moody at Great Plaza, Sebadoh at Union Transfer, The Internet at the Barbary, and Carbon Leaf at Musikfest

Childish Gambino, the stage name of multi-talented rapper/actor/writer/comedian Donald Glover, will be making a stop in Philly on his Camp Tour tonight. The show, which takes place at 7:30PM at Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, features a performance by Philly hip-hop artist Chill Moody. Tickets are available for $47.35 here. Watch Childish Gambino’s VMA-nominated music video “Bonfire” in the player below.

Sebadoh, one of the early pioneers of lo-fi indie rock who formed back in 1986, are coming to Union Transfer tonight. After going on hiatus, the band reunited in 2007 and have since been touring and released Secret EP on their Bandcamp page. The EP is available for digital download and physical copies are only available at shows on current tour. Opening up the show will be Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr.‘s Lou Barlow performing a solo set and two-piece bass and drums duo from members of Sebadoh and the Fiery Furnaces, Circle of Buzzards. Doors open at 8PM and the show starts at 9PM. Tickets are available here for $16. Listen to Sebadoh’s Secret EP in the player below and, if you like what you hear, make sure to snatch up a limited edition physical copy at the show tonight.

The Internet is an electro hip-hop duo consisting of DJ/singer/producer Syd tha Kyd and producer Matt Martians of OFWGKTA. The show tonight with Kilo Kish was originally scheduled to take place at Johnny Brenda’s, but was recently relocated to The Barbary. The show is now all ages and tickets purchased through Johnny Brenda’s will be honored. Doors open at 7PM and the show starts at 7:30PM. Tickets can be purchased for $13 here.

Finally, indie rock band Carbon Leaf is playing a free show at Musikfest’s The Morning Call Plaza Tropical at Main and Spring Streets in Bethlehem, PA tonight at 6:30PM. For more info on the show, visit the Musikfest event page here. Watch the band’s music video for “Life Less Ordinary” in the player below.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Turning Violet Violet, Greg Laswell, Childish Gambino w/ Danny Brown & Wigwams

Tonight we celebrate the variety of music that is being held in Philadelphia, both by genre and locale. The Fishtown indie / chamber fivesome, Turning Violet Violet released their record Double Cure in May and we were lucky enough to do a Key Studio Session with them around the same time. The album was recorded, produced, engineered and mixed by Jon Low and Brian McTear at Miner Street Recording. John Vettese, writing about the record, said: “The album’s thundering percussion and thrilling crescendos create a immediate sense of urgency, heightened by lyrics that long for simpler times in the face of an uncertain future. Meanwhile, the playing and arrangements sound like exactly what they are: the work of five skilled and studied musicians who are just as epic performing live as they are on record.” They play tonight with The Deer Tracks and Nouela at 9:15 PM at Johnny Brenda’s, tickets are $10 and the show is 21+.

Also playing:
Singer-songwriter Greg Laswell plays with Elizabeth & The Catapult at World Cafe Live Upstairs at 8PM. His new compilation of songs is entitled LandlineGo here to purchase tickets to the all ages show. Below, listen to the song “Landline” that he did with Ingrid Michaelson for the album

Childish Gambino, better known as Donald Glover from the hit NBC comedy, “Community”, performs tonight with Danny Brown at River Stage at Great Plaza-Penn’s Landing. Show starts at 7:30PM, tickets are $35 plus processing fees.

Our final pick for tonight is the indie rock band Wigwams at Kung Fu Necktie. Opening are Mmoths, Tressors and Gull. Showtime is 7PM; tickets to the 21+ show are $10.00