Grammy-award winning Tuareg group Tinariwen will bring their sweeping sounds of the Sahara to Union Transfer tonight. The Malian rockers recently released their album, Elwan, which features contributions from Kurt Vile, Mark Lanegan, Alain Johannes, and Matt Sweeney. Find more info on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar, and take a trip to a rock show in the desert by watching the video for “Sastanàqqàm” below. Continue reading →
This past May, New York rapper/producer Oddisee released The Odd Tape, an eclectic beat tape that is both smooth and jazzy but not smooth jazz (Sorry, Kenny). Now, he’s stepping back up to the mic for his latest, The Iceberg. It’s due out early next year, but you can listen to its first single “Things” now. Continue reading →
Oddisee is a Washington DC based rapper and producer who has done things his own way for years now, and has had plenty of success doing it. On his most recent album, The Good Fight, Oddisee shows off his eclectic mix of soul, jazz, R&B and of course some killer lyrical fire. He will be performing tonight at Johnny Brenda’s with The Bul Bey; for more info on the show click here. Continue reading →
LiveConnections completes this season of ClassicAlive with Jason Vieaux and the Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble at World Cafe Live. The concert will bridge Western classical and Eastern traditional music with the world premiere of a composition by Philadelphian Kinan Abou-afach. Vieaux is a Grammy Award winning guitarist who received this year’s Best Classical Instrumental Solo nod for his 2014 LP Play. The musicians in Al-Bustan Takht have received the Pew Fellowship in the Arts to support their collaborative, educational programs. Tickets and information can be found here. Continue reading →
Originally hailing from New York, rapper / producer DistantStarr has been holding it down in both Philly’s underground rap and experimental beat scenes for about a decade. His sound, a rich mixture of spacey, ambient-inflected instrumentals and slick, razor-sharp bars tastefully embodies the spirit of both scenes. We caught up with Distant Starr a few days after his mind-blowing, impromptu set at Backyard Bxss (a live Beat showcase organized by Smth Savant collective). We talked about his latest release, Discover Tape, the unheralded history of Philly’s live Beat scene and the collaborative work that has connected him with artists around the world. Continue reading →
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. Today, Key photographer Matthew Shaver ponders unlikely combinations of eats and sounds.
Eating out is meant to be a social event, a gathering of friends and family where someone else does the hard work, leaving you to drink and be merry. Time and circumstances align every so often that I eat out alone, my only company are my headphones and an iPod full of hopes and dreams. Like fine friends or fine wine, fine music can be associated with a great restaurant, or a great plate. I’ve listed some of my favorite pairings below (Note: I am a vegetarian, and the choices all reflect that.) Continue reading →
Lushlife and collaborator CSLSX recently stopped by the set of The Special without Brett Davis, a strange variety show that airs on public access television. Lushlife performed two tracks from his new release, Ritualize, “Body Double” and “Integration Loop.” Continue reading →
Summertime Sips and Summertime Sounds is our occasional, seasonal foray into summer vibes with our fave local “summertime” bands, in which we meet up, share a drink, and revel in the sunny weather (check out past editions here). Today we catch up with rising West Philly emcee The Bul Bey.
South Philly’s the best around the holidays, when row homes battle for “brightest” and “most festive,” and Old City’s gorgeous in the spring, when the national park gardens come alive. But I’ll take West Philly in the summer hands down, when everything is green and lush and farmers’ markets dot Baltimore Ave., yet the bars remain comparatively empty, the college kids and shore-goers all away for the season. Is it a coincidence that The Fresh Prince, in West Philadelphia born and raised, chose summertime as the subject of his epic, seasonal anthem? Is there anywhere east of 40th you’d rather than be than your friend’s giant, wrap-around porch, drinking a beer, after Ethiopian / Eritrean / Vietnamese food at Gojjos / Dahlak / Vietienne?
Amir Richardson, who performs under the name The Bul Bey, is like Smith in that he grew up in West Philly; unlike Smith, he still lives there now. In fact, his neighborhood is the subject of his breakout music video “Where I’m From,” a lively and complex portrayal of a place where, yeah, you better lock your doors—but where there’s also a real sense of community, whether hanging with your crew at a house party or laughing at your drunk uncle’s block party dance moves. The video, with its bright colors and enthusiastic participants (Bey tells me he did not instruct the kids to dance; they just did it) is sort of the ultimate tribute to summers in Philadelphia. So who better to talk summer vibes with than Richardson, who not only created a new summer classic, but is also one of our very fave rising hip-hop artists in the city right now? Continue reading →
Local and national hip hop extraordinaires will show off their stuff at Johnny Brenda’s tonight for Beat Society. The hip hop gathering features five producers and three performers putting their skills to the test as they switch off playing beats and remixing samples. Tonight’s showcase includes producers Ill Mind, Oddisee, Hezekiah, Khrysis and Eric G with performers Peedi Crakk, STS and Reef the Lost Cauze. Tickets and information for the 21+ event can be found here. Check out the Key Studio Sessions curated by Philly Music Mag with Peedi and Reef from last year, and watch the video from Reef below.