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Firefly On The Fly: Saturday heat from Travis Scott, Death Cab For Cutie, Tank and the Bangas, Little Simz and more

Travis Scott | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

If day one of the Firefly Music Festival was a great experience discovering new artists, day two was time for adjusting expectations. While there were plenty of highlights, some artists that have been talked up as the next big thing did not exactly deliver, while others performed strongly but were slotted on stages and at times that didn’t work. Continue reading →

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Tank and the Bangas’ new album Green Balloon brings the band to new heights

Tank and the Bangas | photo by Alex Marks | courtesy of the artist

Two years after their sensational Tiny Desk win, Tank and the Bangas have returned with a new album, Green Balloon, out today via Verve Forecast. A hip-hop/soul/R&B/poetry (and more) group based in New Orleans, Tank and the Bangas have developed a sound so specific to their identity that calling them “unique” is an understatement. The group is led by Tarriona “Tank” Ball who said on Instagram that Green Balloon explores “every person I was in my life up until now” through the color green. Green balloon, green with envy, green with naiveté, and other interpretations, it’s an exciting idea to see how far the genre-combusting group can stretch the chromatic concept. Considering that many musicians write about identity, i.e. who we are, where we come from, how we are shaped by our experiences, what makes Tank and the Bangas so different? The short answer: everything. Continue reading →

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Tank and the Bangas explore sex and love in new single “Nice Things”

Tank and the Bangas | photo by Alex Marks | courtesy of the artist

Two years after their NPR Tiny Desk Contest victory, Tank and the Bangas are back with a new single, “Nice Things”, off their upcoming album, Green Balloon. The album was announced last month and will be an exploration of the jazz-funk-soul group’s coming of age. Lead vocalist Tarriona “Tank” Ball says that Green Balloon is the sister to their previous album, Think Tank. Think Tank was 12,” says Tank, “and Green Balloon is 16 and having sex. She’s out there.” Continue reading →

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The Roots are performing Things Fall Apart at The Roots Picnic this year (plus Raphael Saadiq, Tank & The Bangas, Yasiin Bey, &More, and more)

The Roots @ The 9th Annual Roots Picnic | photo by Wendy McCardle

Beloved Philly hip-hop trailblazers The Roots are moving across town this year. After a decade at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, the annual Questlove-curated Roots Picnic has found a greener and more spacious home in West Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts. As Quest wrote on Instagram, “finally we have GRASS to have a real picnic!”

The festival is set for Saturday, June 1st, and the band is using the occasion to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its breakthrough album Things Fall Apart by performing it in full…though, since this is The Roots we’re talking about here, don’t expect a note-for-not recreation. Continue reading →

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Tank and the Bangas and Big Freedia bring NOLA to the TLA

Tank and the Bangas | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

Even without the beignets, po’boys, or steaming pots of gumbo, Philadelphia was able to taste the full-flavored robustness of New Orleans on Saturday evening thanks to The Head Banga Tour that made its way to the TLA. The show featuring all NOLA acts was headlined by Tank and The Bangas and included performances from Big Freedia and Naughty Professor. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Tank and the Bangas will be joined by Big Freedia on tour this fall, with a stop at the TLA in October

Tank and the Bangas | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

Although we may still be recovering from the unforgettable “vortex of crazy” that was Tank and the Bangas‘ XPN Fest performance, it’s never too soon to welcome them back for another show. Now that we’ve had over a week to catch our breath post-festival, the news of Tank and the Bangas’ return to Philly feels perfectly timed, and their upcoming fall tour couldn’t have a better lineup. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Tank And The Bangas send the crowd into a vortex of chaos and joy

Tank and the Bangas | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

The New Orleans-based Tank and the Bangas can be described as a tribe of truly passionate artists with immense, generous talent and massive amounts of energy — it all showed on stage.

Everyone in the vicinity was not ready for the vortex of crazy we were about to enter. The band’s stage presence, especially frontwoman Tarriona “Tank” Ball’s, was electrifying as they performed a beautiful, chaotic explosion of genres from hip-hop to funk to hard rock, with covers from Anderson .Paak’s funky bop “Come Down” to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Continue reading →

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Listen to #XPNFest artist Tank and the Bangas’ new single “Smoke.Netflix.Chill.”

Tank and the Bangas | photo by Gus Bennett Jr. | courtesy of the artist

It’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since Tank and the Bangas appeared on our radar as the winners of NPR Music’s 2017 Tiny Desk Contest. There’s a reason the New Orleans-based group stood out among the annual contest’s six thousand other entries and made their way into the winning slot. Their energy is infectious, and we’re about to hear a whole lot more of it. Continue reading →

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New Orleans outfit Tank and the Bangas chosen as 2017 Tiny Desk Contest winners

tank and the bangas
Tank and the Bangas | photo via Facebook

After sifting through 6000 entries, NPR Music has found its third annual Tiny Desk Contest winner in Tank and The Bangas. The New Orleans outfit wowed the panel of ten judges with an “organic” performance of their song “Quick,” filmed in a classroom with Tarriona “Tank” Ball sitting on the requisite desk, surrounded by her bandmates.

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Eight things we loved about the new and improved Roots Picnic (and three things we didn’t)

The Roots | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | brotherlylost.com

For the twelfth year running, Philly icons and global hip-hop heroes The Roots brought their pre-summer throwdown back to their hometown. The Roots Picnic touched down in its new home at The Mann Center at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 1st, with rap-soul duo &More opening a day of sun, sounds, and multi-sensory experiences, all the way up to the show-stopping performance of The Roots’ breakout album Things Fall Apart, which turned 20 in February. The Key was on hand from bottom to top, and here is what we saw all day — beginning with the immense amount of stuff there was to love. Continue reading →