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Firefly on the Fly, Day Two: Weezer, Judah & The Lion, Sofi Tukker, Flume, Twenty One Pilots, and more

Weezer | Firefly Music Festival 2017 | Photo by John Vettese

Here’s a quick rundown of day two of the Firefly Music Festival. While there were over thirty bands on the schdedule on Friday, the big hits of the day were Twenty One Pilots — whose fans are the hypest people at the festival by far — and Judah & The Lion, who opened the main stage in the afternoon. Judah & The Lion joined Twenty One Pilots during their set to cover “Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba and “Jump Around” by House of Pain and the world exploded.

Sofi Tukker was the best set I saw today. The Brooklyn based duo – Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern – played very interactive dance rock with touches of South American percussion. Maggie Rogers came onstage to join in on a song with them. Banks was stunning; and her haunting performance was marked with beautiful sound, choreography, and a lot of awesome weirdness. Franz Ferdinand DJ’d Euro pop on the Treehouse Stage after their main stage set; and Louie Louie performed on the Campground Stage. Continue reading →

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30 Songs, 30 Days and Secretly Group announce Our First 100 Days, featuring Strand of Oaks, Nothing, and more…

Nothing | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN
Nothing | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

In the days leading up to the election, a project called 30 Days, 30 Songs brought together protest songs from high-profile acts like Death Cab for Cutie, Jim James, and Franz Ferdinand. There was so much artist support that the number quickly ballooned to 50 songs, and now, with the help of the Secretly Group, they’re doubling even that. Continue reading →

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Lushlife’s new playlist will have you ready for Eagles’ stretch run

Lushlife
Lushlife | Photo by Ebru Yildiz ebruyildiz.net | courtesy of the artist

Just when you were ready to hang up that green jersey and start making Sunday afternoon plans for the rest of the season season, the ever-mystifying Philadelphia Eagles get their biggest win of the year Sunday afternoon by beating the New England Patriots. Who better to help you celebrate the surprising victory than Philly son Lushlife?
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Finding The Fillmore’s place in the Philadelphia concert landscape

The Fillmore Philly | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
The Fillmore Philly | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

Last Thursday marked the official opening of Fillmore Philly, the seventh Fillmore in the LiveNation portfolio, with a sold-out Hall & Oates performance. Tickets were $95. Back in the mid-‘60s, when Bill Graham opened Fillmore West in San Francisco, tickets could go for $3. You could see Sly and the Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, essentially a dollar a band on some nights. Well, that was then and this is now – fast forward 50 years later and Disclosure is set to fill the 2,500-capacity main room two nights in a row (10/19-20) for $40 a night.

Their first 40 shows booked, between here and 2016, are as diverse as humanly possible: last Friday, WXPN welcomed Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls and their grand, brash and baroque British rock; this weekend, Adventure Club headlines with bliss-kissed EDM and Brandi Carlile brings her delicious countrified Americana on the 11th. Tove Lo’s brand of playful but substantial pop will see her Queen of the Clouds tour consume Philly on the 17th; and before the month’s over, the main room’ll host moe. and the Cold War Kids. Quite a mix, no? And that doesn’t even broach the 450-capacity Foundry upstairs, where tickets will rarely rise above $20, and lots of smaller, local acts will get gigs.

“We really want to be the venue that can work for any type of artist,” says Ben Weeden, a California-based booking overseer for LiveNation. “We have the best production, the best sight lines, the best band experience.” Weeden is coaching and encouraging talent buyers based out of the Frankford Avenue baby, but clearly he’s been around the block and I wanted to ask him about what the future held for this particular room. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Oberhofer at Boot and Saddle, FFS at Electric Factory, Destroyer at Underground Arts and more

Photo by Robynne Orley-Simmons via facebook.com
Photo by Robynne Orley-Simmons via facebook.com

Oberhofer is the name of the both the indie-pop band as well as the frontman, Brad Oberhofer. Their tour swings by Boot & Saddle tonight just ahead of the release of their second LP, Chronovision. Just yesterday, the band released a new single off the album which you can check out here. For more information on the show click here. Continue reading →

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Kindred Pop Spirits: The not-so-unlikely collaboration of FFS

FFS | Photo via facebook.com/FFSMUSICOFFICIAL
FFS | Photo via facebook.com/FFSMUSICOFFICIAL

First things first: you need to know who Sparks are, and it’s a crime against the humanities that you don’t already. The LA-based band has been making unique, eccentric music since the year the Kinks became the Village Green Preservation Society. Having formed in those days, they wished as so many bands did that they could’ve somehow been part of the British invasion. “When we first started out,” Sparks keyboard player Ron Mael remembers, “we wanted to be an English band, we wanted to be like the Who. I really wanted to be Pete Townshend, that’s who I wanted to be. But being a keyboard player, that was impossible. So, I kind of just went the other direction and became really stoic.”

It’s a declaration of which only someone with the artistic sensibility of Ron Mael could really make sense. Together with his younger brother Russell, Mael developed and honed a keyboard sound and texture, as well as a taste for performance theater, that was fresh and distinctive, all stamped with a signature style that was seemingly a direction for pop music brand new at the time. Their records evolved and morphed as quickly and as smoothly and with as much variety as the portraits at the end of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” video did, while the diligence in their craftsmanship remained constant: the songs were always thoughtfully composed, the lyrics cerebral without pretense, the band ironically self-aware without ever being self-serious, or losing a trademark sense of humor that was all their own. If The Darkness have anyone to thank for their careers, it’s really Ron and Russell Mael.

And if at first you might wonder about a collaboration between a self-styled 70’s glam-dance-prog-pop band and present-day pop-friendly and multi-platinum Franz Ferdinand, listen back with fresh ears to a song like Franz’ 2004 hit “In The Dark Of The Matinee” after you’ve familiarized yourself with Sparks’ seminal record Kimono My House, recorded thirty years earlier, and you might get a sense for how easily this working relationship came to the members of both crews. Continue reading →

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Electric Factory’s 20th anniversary season comes with golden tickets, new vendors and a book

The stage at the #EF20 press event | Photo by John Vettese
The stage at the #EF20 press event | Photo by John Vettese

Philly venue The Electric Factory is moving into its third decade at 7th as Callowhill – and the words “Electric Factory” hover somewhere around five decades in the regional lexicon, going back to the famed center city nightclub that hosted gigs by everybody who was famous in the 60s. Moving into its 20th anniversary year, the venue and its promoters announced a handful of new initiatives in a press event yesterday. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Fiona Apple and Blake Mills at Merriam Theater, Oldermost at Boot & Saddle, Lee Fields and the Expressions at Arden Gild Hall and more

fiona

Fiona Apple and singer/songwriter Blake Mills bring their collaborative Anything We Want tour to Merriam theater tonight. Apple’s sultry vocals and damaged goods attitude should combine well with the innovative guitar stylings of Mills. The pair will unite on songs as well as perform their own individual music. Get tickets and more information on the show here.

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