Loads of jazz, a helping of punk rock, autumnal tones, possibly the last big outdoor concert of the year, and of course Philly Music Fest — a four day celebration of music born and bred in the 215. Here are 18 concerts to see in the next seven days. Continue reading →
California songwriter Jay Som‘s recent move down the coast resulted in not just a new home, but a new collaborative project. When Melina Duterte, the musician behind Jay Som, relocated from the Bay Area to Los Angeles following the release of her acclaimed 2017 debut LP Everybody Works, she met singer-songwriter Justus Proffit, and a just-for-fun jam session soon turned into a new musical project entirely. The duo will release an EP, called Nothing’s Changed, on September 28 via Polyvinyl. Continue reading →
Within a 2-and-a-half hour, 43 song framework – not counting additional snippets, elements and slips of other tracks, theirs and not theirs, within each tune – of costume changes, flames, good hair, stomping, dueling catwalks, raised moving stages, fireworks literal and figurative, choreographed sideways glances, nose tugs, and oh yeah, dancing, the wife and husband team of Beyoncé and Jay-Z executed an On the Run II extravaganza at Lincoln Financial Field last night. It was great, and good, and too much, and occasionally not enough – but I’ll get to that.
Actually, let’s get to that now. Having witnessed every show that Beyoncé (Destiny’s Child, too) and Jay-Z (including duet gigs with Kanye West and Justin Timberlake) have performed within a 200 miles radius of Philadelphia, I can safely say that I know what the energy of a given Bey, Hova, and-or On the Run teaming (a la 2014’s first event) looks, sounds and feels like. Continue reading →
While Jay-Z’s seventh annual Made In America music festival is set to bring Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, and Janelle Monae to Philly on Labor Day weekend, this could be the last year the event takes place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Or, depending on how alarmist you want to get about it, in Philly at all.
Yesterday, Danya Henninger of Philly news site Billy Penn reported that MIA 2019 would not be held on the Parkway, attributing the news to an unnamed Philadelphia communications official; this was verified by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Dan DeLuca, who received a statement from deputy communications director Sarah Reyes. Both accounts contained similar reasoning and language: per Reyes in the Inquirer, “When the festival first started, it was intended to provide a unique attraction to the city on the otherwise quiet Labor Day weekend. Over the years, tourism has grown overall, and the need for an event of this scale at this location may no longer be necessary.”
This, however, came as news to Jay-Z and his partners at both Roc Nation and LiveNation, who organize the festival every year. They learned about the city’s intents though the Billy Penn article, and Jay-Z responded to what he’s termed as an “eviction” with a scathing Inquirer op-ed today. Continue reading →
Oakland neo-soul singer, rapper and producer Elujay first came on my radar when he released his 2016 debut project Jentrify. It was an upbeat and soulful mix of tracks with a lot of catchy melodic hooks that showcased his laid-back style of delivery as well as his sensual vocals.
For lyrical inspiration, Elujay looked at the changes in his Bay Area community, where high-end new developments were causing a shift that displacing longtime lower-income residents. He other goal with the thirteen track collection was to represent the community’s thriving musical culture by incorporating many of its creative minds, musicians, and voices, including Samaria, Jay Ant, Rexx Life Raj, and more.
From there, Elujay has been releasing a bunch of singles such as the infectious Goldlink-esque style track “Golden” and earlier this month, a soulful gem titled “Locked In” following his equally smooth track “Starchild.” The artist debuted the new track on a performance with COLORS (watch the video here) as a preview for his to-be-titled second full-length project. Continue reading →
Beyonce has had braids in for months. For those of you who are not well versed in the language of the Bey Hive, it means she’s up to something. That something is On the Run 2. That’s correct, Beyonce and Jay-Z are teaming up for another joint tour, which kicks off in Cardiff, Wales on June 6th, and makes its way to the U.S. by late July for 21 North American dates — including one at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on Monday, July 30th. Continue reading →
Through Instagram, the Roc Nation rapper Jay Electronica announced his Spring 2018 tour. The tour is only nine days long, which isn’t common, but luckily, one of the shows will be taking place in The City of Brotherly Love! He is set to perform at Union Transfer on February 6. Continue reading →
H.O.V. takes the Wells Fargo Center stage for his next installment of his 4:44 world tour. The Brooklyn rap icon’s 13th LP is a monumental work, showing how Jay-Z is continually willing to challenge himself artistically and go outside of his comfort zone. The initial stops of the tour have been met with rave reviews, so consult the XPN Concert Calendar for more info and tickets. Continue reading →
The new song vibes with all sorts of synth and bass-heavy grooves, while the lyrics are heavily influenced by all things free, just as the title suggests. Singer Anthony Friedlander channels a U2-esque sound when he really gets into the vocals, and it totally works. This is a fun, not-too-heavy, not-too-light song from a band who knows exactly how to grab a listener’s attention. Continue reading →