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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jill Scott at Sands Bethlehem, Hardwork Movement at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Rosali and the Middlemen at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Jill Scott | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Philly soul queen Jill Scott brings her 2017 summer tour to the Sands Bethlehem arena tonight. After building her name in Philly’s Black Lily open mic scene in the late 90s — and writing the hook for The Roots’ immortal “You Got Me,” and touring with them in the late 90s — Scott stepped to center stage with 2000 with Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds Volume 1. The record was universally acclaimed, and holds up to this day; I had it in heavy rotation earlier this week, just because, and it’s amazing the amount of new sound and nuance you discover with each revisit. Scott has had a successful run in the decade and a half since, building her profile from local star to global star, and her fifth album, 2015’s Woman, found her as knockout as ever with the hooks, vocals and introspective words. Tickets and information on tonight’s concert can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Revisit “The Way” below. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Offa Rex (The Decemberists + Olivia Chaney), Pinegrove, The Dove & The Wolf, Hardwork Movement and more added to XPoNential Music Festival 2017

Offa Rex | photo courtesy of the artist
Offa Rex | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

The lineup of the 2017 XPoNential Music Festival keeps growing, with today’s addition of Offa Rex — a new collaboration between indie rock troubadours The Decemberists and singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney — to WXPN’s July gathering on the Camden waterfront. The band, which releases its debut album The Queen of Hearts July 7th on Nonesuch Records, blends traditional English-Irish-Scotch songwriting with folk rock and psychedelia. Listen to their interview with NPR Music’s Bob Boilen below. Continue reading →

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ILL DOOTS, Hardwork Movement and more will play NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Philly 2017 concert

ILL DOOTS | via illdoots.com

After a lively third year of over 6000 entries and a knockout winning video from New Orleans outfit Tank & The Bangas, NPR Music is once again taking its Tiny Desk Contest on the road, and it swings through Philadelphia on May 2 at World Cafe Live.

The all-Philly lineup will feature two hip-hop bands near and dear to The Key’s hearts. ILL DOOTS, a South Philly collective that just recorded a Key Studio Session last month, will perform after delivering an impressive Tiny Desk submission featuring their stirring and socially conscious anthem “Black Matter.” Hardwork Movement, a band we’ve loved since hearing their first single “Shine” a year and a half ago, is also on the bill on the strength of their breathtaking new “Becca’s Jam,” making its debut in their Tiny Desk submission. Two more artists will be announced closer to the event; stay tuned for more on that. Continue reading →

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Hardwork Movement gets reflective on “Some Winter”

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

A day where the Philadelphia region is (mostly) at home and looking out our windows, watching over a foot of snow pile up, is a good day for reflection. Philly hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement does just that, sans actual snow, in its latest video for “Some Winter,” a track from its recent Draft Night EP.

The band is sitting on a bench in West Philly’s Clark Park, reminiscing about the last time they played Johnny Brenda’s — presumably getting psyched for their next gig there: next Thursday, Marcy 23rd with KOI Child — when they spot MC Sterling Duns’ ex across the way, on a date with someone new. Continue reading →

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Watch Hardwork Movement groove in reverse all around Philly for the “On the Rise” video

Hardwork Movement | photo via facebook.com/hardworkmovement

Philly hip-hop sensations Hardwork Movement are wasting no time getting 2017 off to a productive start. After packing the house at Johnny Brenda’s and then laying low for the holidays, the nine-piece emerged this week to debut a new music video for their recent single “On The Rise.” Shot in and around Philadelphia this autumn, it shows the core four-piece of Sterling Duns, Jeremy Keys, R.B. Ricks and Rick Banks grooving at recognizable locales from North Broad to the art museum, and everything looks all well-and normal until a jacket flies in from the wings and lands itself on Duns, or a sheet of paper uncrumples as Ricks and Keys pass it back and forth.

Inspired by The Pharcyde’s “Drop” video from the 90s, HWM shot the action in reverse and played it back to trippy effect. Continue reading →

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Hardwork Movement brings an amazing year of shows and new music to a close with their new EP Draft Night

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | Photo by Zack Garlitos | courtesy of the artist

It has been a year of continuous wins for our favorite nine-piece Philly hip-hop group, Hardwork Movement. (Not to be confused with our favorite eight-piece Philly hip-hop group.)

Since the January 2016 release of their debut LP, Good Problems, the fiercely Philly collective has been gaining momentum in the city that they are so proud to call home. Tonight, Hardwork Movement keeps the ball rolling with their show at Johnny Brenda’s, in conjunction with this milestone comes the release of their EP Draft Night. This five-track mixtape features everything we love about Hardwork Movement’s music: confident and energetic verses, jazzy instrumental arrangements and content that perfectly coincides with their mantra “for the people.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hardwork Movement at Johnny Brenda’s, Sorority Noise at First Unitarian Church, Daughter at The Electric Factory and more

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philadelphia hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement is playing a record release show at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The group’s music boasts intricate jazz-tinged instrumental arrangements and a fierce pride of their deep roots in The City of Brotherly Love. 2016 was a fantastic year for the nine-member group: earlier this year they released their debut LP Good Problems, and a few months later they signed to Chill Moody’s #nicethingsMUSIC imprint. Come help Hardwork Movement celebrate and get a taste of their mixtape Draft Night at their last show of 2016 in Fishtown. Brooklyn-bred Tacuma Bradley’s Unity Band and Philadelphia singer-songwriter Julia Rainer are also on tonight’s bill. Check out the WXPN Concert Calendar for more information on this 21+ show, and check out Hardwork Movement’s performance of “City Bars” during a session with Philadelphia-collective Out of Town Films. Continue reading →

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Hardwork Movement bring the heat with new single “On The Rise”

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

On Friday night, Philly hip-hop collective Hardwork Movement will headline Johnny Brenda’s, and to coincide with that milestone, they’ll release a new mixtape called Draft Night. These Philadelphians have always been a band of mission statements, and they continue that trend with new single “On the Rise.” Continue reading →

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Hardwork Movement shine in their new Out of Town Films session

Hardwork Movement
Hardwork Movement | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philadelphia’s Hardwork Movement has been living up to its name with a very big, very busy 2016. In January, they released their debut LP, Good Problems, and months later, they signed to Chill Moody’s #nicethingsMUSIC imprint. Since then, they have become a mainstay of the Philly music scene, and just before they take to The Foundry stage tomorrow night in support of RJD2 at the XPN-curated Red Bull Sound Select party, the band has seen fit to share a new session with Out of Town Films. Continue reading →