How I survived my first Made In America festival

Made in America | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

Earlier this month, the 2016 Made in America Festival took to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philly for two days; you can see our full photo coverage here and here. Today, our Lissa Alicia comes to us with her full experiential account of the Philly megafestival; highs and lows alike.

This year’s Made In America fest was my very first one, and I was not at all prepared for what was in store for me that weekend. By no means was this my first rodeo (festival). Earlier this year I attended The Roots Picnic. In the past I have hit up both Governors Ball, Mad Decent Block Party, and Afropunk Festivals. Attending those festivals were for pleasure. Although I was looking forward to Made In America, I was work minded since I was covering the show. I am only 25, so I figured moderate energy and a banana for breakfast would get me through day one. I mean I did survive moshing and raving at Mad Decent while nursing a legendary hangover and only existing on half a blueberry muffin. I guess I am too old for all that jazz now. Continue reading →


The Week So Far: 12 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Our Griffins, Made in America Festival, Kate Faust)


Our Griffins‘ Michael Boyd LP is the focus of this week’s Unlocked series [link]

XPN Morning Show host Michaela Majoun highlights the best Fall arts events with her 30 Days of Philly Arts daily feature [link]

Watch Younger Me‘s warpy summer video for “Swimming Pool” [link]

This year’s 215 Festival is set for Oct. 17-20, with a preview night to be held at Port Richmond Books on Sep. 13 [link]

Christopher Paul Stelling stopped by for a Folkadelphia Session [link]

Get to know Ohio’s The Sidekicks, summer tourmates of Hop Along and masters of punk disguise [link]

Revisit this week’s Key Studio Session with musical chameleon Kate Faust [link]

Fitz and the Tantrums announce new Philly show at the Electric Factory on 11/1 [link]

New England’s Magic Man premiered a new song called “Every Day” off of their upcoming You Are Here EP [link]

Get a full recap of Labor Day Weekend’s Made in America Festival with videos, photos and reviews [link]

Listen to XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week, “The It-Switch” by Johnny Marr [link]

Get a free download of Luray‘s “The Wilder” off of the singer-songwriter’s debut LP [link]


6 EDM acts not to miss at this weekend’s Made in America Festival

Porter Robinson
Porter Robinson

The Made in America Festival hits the Ben Franklin Parkway this weekend, and the lineup is stacked with a huge assortment of electronic musicians. Deadmau5, the eccentric Empire of the Sun, and many more awesome and lesser-known artists will be turning the parkway into a dance party that weekend. These artists and DJs represent many different styles within the EDM scene, both musically and performance-wise. Get educated on some of the must-see acts below. Continue reading →


Reacting to a controversial verse by Made In America Festival artist Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick-LamarConsidered one of the most talented arrivals to the rap scene, Kendrick Lamar was applauded for his 2012 debut, good kid, M.A.A.D city. The record was honest and undecorated, served with a sublime poetic lyricism that’s been hard to find in contemporary hip hop. It was personal, and it was unusually beautiful.

But last week, Lamar has been recognized for an entirely different reason: criticism of fellow hip hop artists. The California wordsmith appeared on a Big Sean track titled “Control,” which premiered on Monday and included the talents of in-the-shadows rapper, Jay Electronica.

And it was here that Lamar chose to call out no less than eleven rappers, including Philadelphia’s Meek Mill and Pittsburgh’s Mac Miller – and rather ironically, the very artists with whom Lamar had collaborated on the track, Big Sean and Jay Electronica. Continue reading →


Watch AlunaGeorge’s video for “You Know You Like It” (playing Made in America Festival)

AlunaGeorge+PNGAlthough they’ve only released a handful of tracks to date, “future-pop” duo AlunaGeorge are already creating a huge stir in the music world.  They’re already booking huge venues, including Philly’s Made in America Festival at the end of August.  In the meantime, AlunaGeorge just released a new video for their single, “You Know You Like It.”  The music video features the duo in an empty pool with a gang of strangely dressed dancers.  While the song is reminiscent of 90s R&B pop, it features minimal electronic instrumentation more like dupstep and modern house.  Check out the video below and look for their debut album Body Music in July.


Made in America Festival returning to the Parkway; announcing lineup via Spotify on Wednesday

Today Jay-Z officially announced that the wildly successful Made In America Festival will return to the Ben Franklin Parkway this Labor Day Weekend. The official line up will be announced via  Spotify at noon this Wednesday, April 10th. Last year’s show featured musical heavyweights Pearl Jam, Run DMC, Skrillex, Calvin Harris and many others. This year’s two-day festival happens on August 31st and September 1st. Check out the Jay-Z’s promo video for the festival below.


Zone out to some of our favorite DJ Shadow videos (playing Made In America Festival)

Not to be overlooked amid all the mega-superstars and buzzing up-and-coming bands at this weekend’s Made in America Festival is the tried-and-true turntablist hip-hop pioneer DJ Shadow, who performs on Sunday. He broke big in the 1996 with the classic Endtroducing… and from there built a steady and consistent body of work with his own records, his U.N.K.L.E. collaboration with James Lavelle, and his movie soundtrack work. Not too long ago we talked about Shadow on Facebook and a commenter gave us flack, insinuating that DJ / instrumental music requires no talent or artistry. Believe it or not, it does. Check out some of our favorite DJ Shadow videos below, and catch his set on Sunday – either in person or over the internet. Continue reading →


Remember that time Pearl Jam dressed up as Devo at The Spectrum? (playing Made in America Festival this weekend)

Pearl Jam as Devo | via Billboard

Now, we’re not saying Pearl Jam is going to bust out the radiation suits and energy dome hats for their appearance at this weekend’s Made in America festival. We’re not even suggesting they should, but rather reminding you that Eddie Vedder and his bandmates are, above all else, massive music nerds who have rocked some pretty excellent cover versions of the years. Check out this video of them closing down The Spectrum with Devo’s “Whip It” the last time they visited Philadelphia (Halloween of 2009) and let us know what you’d like to hear them cover when they play the Parkway on Sunday. Continue reading →


Get a crash course in the Made in America Festival with our Spotify playlist

This weekend, Jay-Z‘s much-anticipated Made In America festival will fill the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with more than thirty artists playing on three stages in two days. It will be a massive musical melting pot, with everything from hip-hop (Meek Mill) to dubstep (Skrillex) and art-rock (Dirty Projectors) represented. Chances are, you know many of the bands on the bill – Pearl Jam and Run D.M.C. are household names. And even if you don’t realize who sings it, Passion Pit‘s “Take a Walk” has been an inescapable and awesome summer hit. Other performers may be completely new to you (Prince Royce? Afrojack?)…and that’s cool too! Music festivals are about discovery, after all, and we’re here to help you in that process with a crash course in the Made in America lineup. Listen to our Spotify playlist below – it’s got one track from just about every artist on the lineup – and get excited for two days of eclectic sounds eminating from the Parkway!