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Kate Dressed Up talks Bright Eyes, a cappella, and North Jersey on the 25 O’Clock podcast

Kate Dressed Up | via katedressedup.bandcamp.com

New Jersey singer-songwriter Kate Miller has been playing music as Kate Dressed Up since 2016, and is readying her first full-length album for release sometime next year. This Saturday, she performs at Asbury Park’s Gurlzilla mini-festival, a benefit for the LGBTQ advocacy group Garden State Equality, and as a lead-up to the gig, she appeared on this week’s episode of the 25 O’Clock Podcast.

In the conversation with host Dan Drago, Miller talks about growing up in the semi-rural suburbs of North Jersey and contrasting it with life in the city, and how the scene of young songwriters in her home town of Jefferson influenced her direction — particularly when she won a songwriting competition while in high school.

She enthuses about her favorite songwriters, like Bright Eyes and Sufjan Stevens, talks about exploring music at a deeper level in college (“Arranging a cappella music broke my brain on more than one occasion”), talks how her collaboration with London’s Ganda Boys came to be, and reflects on how to make your style distinctive in as universal as a genre as folk. Continue reading →

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Watch Kate Dressed Up’s transatlantic collab with London’s Ganda Boys, “I Wish”

Kate Dressed Up
Kate Dressed Up | photo by Dan Whitehead | courtesy of the artist

Indie folk artist Kate Miller just released her first single as Kate Dressed Up. The track “I Wish” is collaboration with London-based Ganda Boys, a humanitarian music group, with Ugandan/pan-African musical roots, who help raise global awareness to crises happening in Uganda. Miller met the group at the The Vigil 4 Peace & Ecology at Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park NY, where they were both performing.  The collaboration started with Katie’s original, “Intro Song” and was embellished by the Ganda Boys to create the folk-fusion piece they called “I Wish.” In a two minute documentary, she explains the meaning behind the song, saying….. Continue reading →

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Philly artists send love and support to Houston and beyond via Bandcamp benefits

Mock Suns
Mock Suns are among dozens of Philly artists supporting disaster relief through charitable online releases | photo by Chelsea Schryver | courtesy of the artist

In the aftermath of destruction that Hurricane Harvey wreaked onto the Texan coast — and as Florida grapples with the fallout of Hurricane Irma — Philly’s DIY creatives have been working in full force to support disaster relief by putting Bandcamp’s philanthropic possibilities to test.

From the full-bodied compilations of Good Behavior Records and DIY for Houston, to a release from fresh Items Tagged Philadelphia find, Nymphaea, and a new track from The Residuels, there’s a lot of chances for you to support Houston while also supporting the local scene. Continue reading →

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Rounding up the best and brightest of Governors Ball 2015

Governors' Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish
Governors Ball | Photo by Rachel Barrish

The annual Governors Ball festival is held at Randall’s Island in New York, wedged in between Upper Manhattan and Queens. The rain trickled down on Friday but that didn’t stop the ticket holders from trekking through to make it over for their favorite acts, most especially Philly’s The Districts who started off the fest Friday afternoon at 12:15. A bit too early for most, one would think, but they ripped through their set with a medium sized but lively crowd cheering along to the words of “Young Blood.” Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Ani Di Franco, Marian Hill, Bartees and the Strange Fruit, The Feelies and more

Ani DiFranco | photo by GMD Three | courtesy of the artist
Ani DiFranco | photo by GMD Three | courtesy of the artist

Got plans this week? Because, wow, have we got plans for you. It’s a jam-packed seven days ahead of us, with no fewer than 22 concerts at your fingertips in the Philadelphia region (most within city limits, some a short drive away). Get out. See live music. And we’ll catch up with you on the other side. Continue reading →

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14 must-see performances at the Philadelphia Folk Festival

River Whyless | Photo courtesy of the artist
River Whyless | Photo courtesy of the artist

The 55th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival kicks off tonight, and over the next four days, it will explore the many definitions of folk music in the verdant fields of Schwenksville. You’ll hear heritage songsmiths like Peter Yarrow and Iris Dement as well as contemporary torch-bearers like Anderson East and The Lone Bellow, artists that draw on traditions from cajun (The Pine Leaf Boys) to French-Acadian (Vishti). With local troubadour and story-slinger Wesley Stace overseeing the proceedings along with longtime MC Gene Shay, the Festival boasts one of its strongest lineups in years, and we’re super excited to immerse ourselves in its world. We already gave you an overview of the incredible roster of regional performers on the festival; here are 14 more performers that we’re not planning on missing, and you should do the same. Continue reading →

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The High Key Portrait Series: G. Love

G. Love | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN
G. Love | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.

We seem to be enjoying a bit of a 90s renaissance lately. A bill full of 90s headliners sold out The Fillmore in Philadelphia two weeks ago, and last week another Clinton addressed a Philly-hosted national convention. An “I Love The 90’s” Festival featuring Salt-n-Pepa, Vanilla Ice and Color Me Badd hit BB&T last week. The revival is afoot.

Most of Philly’s Gen X-ers will remember that era of the city’s cultural history with a special reverie, and listening to Garrett Dutton reflect on those years in anecdotes is sure to evoke nostalgia for anyone who was there.

In a candid interview held backstage at his Fillmore show earlier this year, the man known as G. Love talks sentimentally about his days tagging walls and playing street corners and cafes, about basketball and the neighborhoods he called home. He recounts first recognizing the potential of integrating elements of blues rock and hip hop to develop his signature sound. He doesn’t pull punches, either, about the frustrations he faced as a recording artist, with open rebuke for the elements of media or local industry that from his perspective offered paltry support.

While Dutton is known best for the hits that drove his early following, his latest records and performances show an artist still evolving. Last October, G. Love and Special Sauce released their latest record Love Saves The Day, a collection of blues rock tracks including collaborations with the likes of Lucinda Williams and Los Lobos vocalist David Hidalgo.

Speaking of that 90s revival, though, mark your calendars: G. Love plays the Mann with Blues Traveler and The Wallflowers on August 21st. Tickets and more information on that show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Foggy Notions: Philly artist Sonia Petruse on honoring Ryan Adams in drag

Sonia as Ryan | Photo by Laura Stock | courtesy of the artist
Sonia as Ryan | Photo by Laura Storck | courtesy of the artist

Sonia Petruse remembers exactly where she was the first time she listened to Ryan Adams. Like really, really listened to him.

She was familiar with the album 2001 Gold, of course, and its ubiquitous hit “New York, New York.” She remembered the song being paraded around patriotically in the months after 9-11, and hearing stories about how the songwriter wasn’t keen about its point being misconstrued.

But it was 2004 when the music really kicked in. She was 18, driving around her hometown of Leighton, Pennsylvania with a motley group of teenagers. They were in a small car, an old two-door BMW, and it was crammed to the gills. She sat on a friend’s lap. People were stoned. And “Dear Chicago” from the Demolition album came on the car stereo. Continue reading →

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What band are you going to be for Halloween? A look at covers parties in Philly this weekend

Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Vita and the Woolf | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Let’s face it, the adult Halloween is only really fun if you get to get boozed up, listen to some music and dance while dressed ridiculously. Or is that just me? Regardless there are some rockin’ shows this weekend where all of the aforementioned are encouraged – and pretty much required. Continue reading →