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Travis Scott, Cardi B, James Blake, Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack and more to play Made In America 2019

Travis Scott | photo by Isaiah Spicer for WXPN / Cardi B | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN / James Blake | photo by Isaiah Spicer for WXPN

The eighth annual edition of the Jay-Z curated Made In America festival comes to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on August 31st and September 1st, and this year sees headlining sets from psychedelic Houston rapper Travis Scott (who also headlines Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival) and Bronx queen Cardi B (who made her MIA debut in 2017). Continue reading →

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James Blake assumes many forms at The Fillmore

James Blake | photo by Isaiah Spicer for WXPN | iospicer.com

James Blake has come a long way since he first introduced himself to the world through a series of gorgeously glitchy EPs back the start of the decade. From there, we’ve seen him undergo subtle but significant evolution. That early glitchiness gave way to dubstep-infused piano balladry, Mercury Prize-winning R&B, and elegant experimental soul, all anchored by Blake’s smooth, syrupy vocals.

This year’s Assume Form saw him adopting a different kind of shift, abandoning his trademark interiority in favor of collaboration and songs about romantic contentment. I’d dare say it’s the happiest collection of songs he’s put his name to yet. That happiness was both obvious and contagious at last Friday’s show at The Fillmore. Attendees were treated a generous, joyous selection of songs from his career, one that both properly showcased his new album and infused his past highlights with its positive vibes. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Adia Victoria, James Blake, Things Fall Apart tribute, Anderson .Paak and more

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals @ The 9th Annual Roots Picnic | photo by Wendy McCardle

From tonight’s headlining set form DIY faves Adult Mom to Sunday’s hotly anticipated return of Anderson .Paak, singer-songwriters Lily & Madeline and a 20th anniversary tribute to Things Fall Apart, this week is packed with live music. Here are 15 concerts to see in the next 7 days, all around Philly. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: James Blake will play The Fillmore Philadelphia

James Blake | photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
James Blake | photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

2018 has been an intensely busy year for producer/singer/songwriter James Blake. He toured with Kendrick Lamar, collaborated on the Black Panther soundtrack and was featured on a single from Travis Scott’s Astroworld. Although there isn’t word on a new album just yet, he released two of his own singles, “If the Car Beside You Moves” and “Don’t Miss It.” Continue reading →

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#NowPlaying at The Key: Eight must-hear songs by James Blake, Palberta, Mykki Blanco and more

James Blake | photo by Brianna Kehone for WXPN // Palberta | photo courtesy of the artist // Kanye West | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

This week’s song selections from Team Key include music that reminds us of a low-budget indie rom com, possibly one involving robots, a minute-long blast of unconventional energy, a sensitive offering from a complicated and confrontational artist, and more.
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Just Announced: James Blake to headline the Electric Factory on 9/30

Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com"
Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

UK producer/singer-songwriter James Blake will headline the Electric Factory on Friday, September 30th. The news that Blake is touring isn’t much of surprise, considering his 3rd LP The Colour In Anything was released May 6th. The album itself, though, is a totally different story — it came out with basically no advance notice from Blake. Recorded in both the UK and California, Blake’s latest work has contributions from both Frank Ocean and Bon Iver, who is featured in the latest single “I Need A Forest Fire,” found below. Continue reading →

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Cool Intentions: Islands, Speedy Ortiz & James Blake on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Islands | Photo by Christian Faustus, courtesy of the artist
Islands | Photo by Christian Faustus, courtesy of the artist

The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns tonight at 11pm ET on WXPN (right after What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese, of course!). Tonight’s show is a special one, thanks in part to a very unique Album Spotlight I’ve got lined up. When we last heard from our friend Nick “Diamonds” Thorburn, he was out doing a solo thing that resulted in a seriously groovy IRHP session. He also hinted that his next project would be recording and releasing TWO new albums with his main band, Islands. Those two albums, Taste and Should I Remain Here At Sea?, are both out today, and we’ll hear selections from each on tonight’s show. There are also plenty of new singles to get to, namely ones from fellow IRHP Session vets Speedy Ortiz, UK electro-soulster James Blake and the monumental return of The Stone Roses. Check out a few of those below:

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Listen to Jacqueline Constance’s hypnotic James Blake cover

Jacqueline Constance | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Jacqueline Constance | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly R&B singer Jacqueline Constance makes music is exciting in its own right. But as we saw during her Key Fest set this spring, she also does incredible covers. Constance recently recorded a session with the folks over at RECPhilly, and it features her version of James Blake’s haunting “Retrograde.” She injects with a bit more soul than the (equally captivating) original using only a loop pedal and some impressive vocal control. Watch the session below. Continue reading →