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Philly meets Frank: Alex G and Jazmine Sullivan are featured on Frank Ocean’s new visual album, Endless

Frank Ocean | photo via boysdontcry.co

It’s here.

The world has been waiting ever so impatiently for R&B icon Frank Ocean‘s newest work since 2012’s channel ORANGE, and Thursday night it finally dropped. Now available on Apple Music is Ocean’s visual album Endless. The fact that it’s presented as a visual album might come as a surprise. So might the idea that it isn’t entitled Boys Don’t Cry, as Ocean had been teasing for so long. But what might be most surprising are the Philly ties on the new project.

Both soul singer Jazmine Sullivan and indie rocker Alex G are featured on multiple tracks. Sullivan’s vocals can be found on “Alabama,” “Wither,” “Hubolts” and “Rushes.” Alex G plays guitar on “Wither,” “Slide On Me,” “Rushes” and “Higgs.” So there you have it: what is one of the most highly anticipated releases in recent memory is flooded with talent that’s rooted right here in Philadelphia. Additional (non-Philly) contributors to the visual album include Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, James Blake, UK R&B vocalist Sampha , producer Arca, and the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Now, if you can believe this, there actually seems to be more on the way from Ocean. One of his representatives has reportedly said to “keep an eye out for more from Frank.” Most expect it to be the studio album that’s been promised for so long. So maybe that means there’s more Alex G / Jazmine Sullivan / Frank Ocean collaborations just around the corner? Only time will tell. Stay tuned, and watch Frank Ocean’s Endless here.

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Listen to Jazmine Sullivan put an urgent reggae spin on Nina Simone’s “Baltimore”

Photo by John Vettese
Jazmine Sullivan | Photo by John Vettese

Yesterday the music blogosphere was abuzz with the announcement of Nina Revisited… A Tribute To Nina Simone, a new compilation honoring the jazz / blues vocalist and songwriter with new interpretations of her recordings – including Lauryn Hill’s much-shared, 7-minute rendition of “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair.”

Ms. Hill’s epic cover is  certainly worthy of the attention, but a handful of other teaser tracks are afloat in the ether as well, including a lively version of “Baltimore” by Philly’s Jazmine Sullivan. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Speedy Ortiz at Johnny Brenda’s, Jazmine Sullivan at The TLA, Ex Hex at Union Transfer

Speedy Ortiz | Photo by Daniel Topete
Speedy Ortiz | Photo by Daniel Topete

Northampton rock four-piece Speedy Ortiz have an awesome new record called Foil Deer and a headlining show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. The band gets the 90s tag a lot, and in a sense, rightfully so – their sound can be mind-bendy and experimental as easily as it can be super hooky and poppy, not unlike Helium or Throwing Muses. But they make it something contemporary and unique, especially on jams like the slick “Puffer,” which you can listen to below. Joining the band tonight is buzzing artist Mitski, whose LP Bury Me at Makeout Creek won hearts like crazy last year. Tickets and more information on the show can be found here. Continue reading →

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Jazmine Sullivan is returning to Philly in April and we’re pumped

Snapshot from Vibe Session performance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlzzumFNIr4)
Snapshot from Vibe Session performance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlzzumFNIr4)

Vocal powerhouse and Philadelphia local Jazmine Sullivan embarked on her Reality Show Tour and made sure to pay a visit to Philly earlier this month, playing a sold-out performance at the TLA and moving on to New York and Denver.  But it looks like the localite isn’t finished with Philly quite yet; Sullivan released her new April dates yesterday and it looks like her hometown will be on the bill once again, performing the TLA on April 26th. Tickets go on sale tomorrow so be sure to snag them while you can, as they are sure to go fast. You can find more information on Sullivan’s upcoming show here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jazmine Sullivan at The TLA, Moon Duo at Boot and Saddle, Dom Flemons at Sellersville Theater

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jazmine Sullivan at The TLA, Moon Duo at Boot and Saddle, Dom Flemons at Sellersville Theater

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
Philly singer Jazmine Sullivan took several years away from the spotlight, but her new Reality Show LP was well worth the wait. A lively blend of funk, soul, R&B, pop and even disco, it showcases the range of Sullivan’s influences while keeping the strength of her songs in the forefront. Tonight she and her band play a hometown show at the TLA; tickets and more info can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Jazmine Sullivan’s Reality Show tour brings her to The TLA on March 10th

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Following her return from musical hiatus and the release of this year’s excellent Reality Show, Jazmine Sullivan is taking her songs to the fans on nationwide tour this winter. The Reality Show tour kicks off March 1st in New Orleans, conclude on March 29th in Las Vegas and in between stops at The TLA for a hometown show on March 10th.  Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Happy Reality Show release day to Jazmine Sullivan! See photos of her listening party at MilkBoy

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

“More than anything, I’m a storyteller,” Philly’s Jazmine Sullivan told the big crowd gathered around the tiny stage at MilkBoy Studio. And true to that, her listening party last Thursday very much had a Storytellers vibe to it: Sullivan seated on a barstool, listening to the album track by track, pausing in between to share background tidbits and perspective on each one. Continue reading →

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Your late-arriving link roundup, 1/3/2011: Jazmine quits, Hipster Mummery makes Philebrity barf

Is Jazmine Quitting? “In possibly the most shocking early retirement announcement since Barry Sanders, Grammy nominated 23-year-old Philly R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan apparently took to the interwebs yesterday to say she’s finished with her burgeoning music career, presumably before the industry chews her up and spits her out.” (Make Major Moves)

The Whole Idea Of “Mummery With A Message” Still Makes Us Wanna Puke, But We Have To Say: We Loved The Little Robot Fracker “Look: We don’t wanna harp on it, because it’s already been two years going, but suffice it to say: Our feelings about Hipster Mummery have not changed. But for the second year running, Space 1026‘s Vaudevillains NYB totally charmed us again this year with their whole “Phantasy Phorest” concept (see clip above). And with more Hipster Mummer groups involved, and in some cases, placing in competition, it doesn’t look like this mini-phenom is going away anytime soon.” (Philebrity)

Last Chance To See Irving Berlin’s White Christmas At The Walnut Street Theatre, On Stage Until January 9 “Only eight shows remain for this season’s run of Broadway musical favorite Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the classic Walnut Street Theatre, on stage until January 9th.” (Uwishunu)

The 12th Annual Lou Bega Awards “In 1999 — the worst year in music history — Jon Katz and Bill Benz co-founded the Lou Bega Award, named after the worst recording artist of all time. This prestigious award, given annually each December, goes not necessarily to the artist with the worst song, but to the one which most desecrates the concept of popular music altogether. Not necessarily the worst song of the year, but the song whose very existence is its most embarrassing attribute.” (Phrequency)

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From Black Lily to Ladies Night, S.T.S.’ Philly roots run deep

STS | Photo by Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN
STS | Photo by Josh Pelta Heller for WXPN

Whether you’re calling him STS or Sugar Tongue Slim, this rapper been a mainstay in the Philadelphia scene for over a decade — so much so that it can be easy to forget that he was born and bred in Atlanta.  He even names the Philadelphia Eagles as his favorite football team.

When it comes to hip-hop in Philly, you often hear artist tout how the City of Brotherly Love holds them back — that living here is like being a crab in a barrel. Typically our artists can be found taking up new residence in places like LA and New York, and very seldom do you come across an out-of-town rapper that has made Philadelphia his permanent residence with no plans to relocate. STS tells us that it’s all because of a little thing called Black Lily.

If you are 30 or over and know even an ounce about the neo soul scene that was developing in Philly during the late 90’s to early 2000’s, then you know what he’s talking about. Black Lily was a weekly woman-centric open mic that took place at The 5 Spot — and if you were a regular, it was nothing to catch an intimate set from the likes of Jill Scott, Jazmine Sullivan, or The Roots. Black Lily was where STS fell in love with the city.

“That place was magic,” said STS. “The first night I went there, was supposed to be my last night in Philly. I never left.” Continue reading →

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Give yourself to the introspection in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s new “Fireproof”

Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | photo by Michael Regan | via NPR Music

Philly band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is back with “Fireproof,” the first single released off their forthcoming record The Tourist. This plucky synth-heavy track details the dangers of being “fireproof,” or overly confident. The song features numerous bass and vocal driven buildups that trail off into instrumental interludes, giving way to introspection on the end of both listeners and singer Alec Ounsworth. Continue reading →