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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lizzo at The Foundry, Josh Ritter at Longwood Gardens

Lizzo | photo by Garrett Born | courtesy of the artist
Lizzo | photo by Garrett Born | courtesy of the artist

Can’t wait until Made in America to catch Lizzo live? The Minneapolis alternative hip hop act returns to Philadelphia for a performance at The Foundry. Following 2015’s LP Big Grrrl Small World, Lizzo released an EP Coconut Oil last year which features the singles “Good As Hell” and “Phone.” Check out the XPN Concert Calendar for more info. Continue reading →

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Heavyhitters Jay Z and J. Cole join Solange, Sampha, Lizzo and more at Made In America 2017

Photo by John Vettese

Christmas comes only once a year? False. See: Made in America announcement day. Philadelphia’s Labor Day party is back for another round, and with the announcement of this year’s lineup, we imagine the entire city is excited.

Headlining performances from Jay Z (obviously), J.Cole and The Chainsmokers top of the list of 50+ artists, with featured performances from Run The Jewels, Solange, Lizzo, SamphaMigos, and a heck of a lot more. The local scene is also well represented, as PNB RockBeach Slang, Mannequin Pussy and Queen of Jeans nab some earlier spots.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Lizzo at The Foundry and Fruit Bats at Underground Arts

Lizzo
Lizzo | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Minneapolis artist Lizzo is bringing her spunky style of alternative hip-hop to the Foundry at the Fillmore tonight. She is currently touring in support of her first release with Atlantic Records, Coconut Oil. Tickets and more information can be found on the WXPN Concert Calendar; watch the video for “Phone” below. Continue reading →

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Florence and the Machine release dramatic new song, “Big God”

Florence and the Machine | photo by Vincent Haycock | courtesy of the artist

Those of us anticipating Florence + the Machine’s upcoming High as Hope album can satiate our hunger for a little longer with the album’s newly released third single, “Big God.” Proving once again that the band are masters of melodrama, “Big God” is a moody piano ballad with stark dynamics and religious lyrical imagery that would fit comfortably on a Nick Cave record. The song also features high-profile collaborators Jamie xx and Kamasi Washington contributing songwriting and saxophone respectively. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Florence and the Machine will bring High As Hope to Philly in October

Florence and the Machine | photo by Vincent Haycock | courtesy of the artist

Theatrical modern rock faves Florence and the Machine will embark on their biggest headlining tour to date this fall, in support of the band’s upcoming fourth studio LP High As Hope. The record sees frontwoman Florence Welch teaming up with a hit-parade of collaborators, including saxophone luminary Kamasi Washington, electro-soul singer-songwriter Sampha, producer extraordinaire Jamie xx, crooner Tobias Jesso Jr. and more.

The band’s 23-date North American tour comes through Philadelphia on Sunday, October 14th at the Wells Fargo Center, with Grizzly Bear opening the show; tickets go on sale Friday, June 1st at 10 a.m., more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Openers on other stops of the tour include St. Vincent, Lizzo, Kamasi Washington, and Perfume Genius. Get the full run of dates below, and watch the music video for “Hunger” from High As Hope. Continue reading →

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Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, SZA, Alt-J and more will play Firefly 2018

Kendrick Lamar | via Billboard.com

The seventh annual Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware will feature acclaimed stars of rap and rock, with Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys and The Killers in the headlining slots.

The Detroit rapper, otherwise known as Marshall Mathers, released his ninth studio album Revival in 2017, and is making his Firefly debut. Compton’s Lamar is on his second Firefly slot on the strength of last year’s universally praised DAMN. LP – he first appeared in 2013, following good kid, m.A.A.d city. Arctic Monkeys and Killers are returning on players too, having played in 2014 and 2015, respectively. For the former, it’s their first concert in three years (per Pitchfork) and they have an album on the way in 2018 as well.
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Made In America day one is a soggy spectacle with J. Cole, Solange, Marian Hill, Migos and more

J. Cole | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | brotherlylost.com

Okay, yes — it was wet. It was muddy at parts. But though yesterday’s climate conditions during Made In America were less than ideal for a celebratory end-of-summer music festival, as Minneapolis rapper Lizzo pointed out during her early afternoon set, there was no room for us to grumble.

“We have a bit of a rain thing going on,” Lizzo said. “But this doesn’t compare to what’s going on in Houston. I’m from Houston originally, I have friends and family who lost everything.”

She encouraged the crowd to donate to relief efforts, and to do so at at the local level as directly as possible. Then she launched into a knockout performance of “Water Me,” a song she said she felt uncertain about playing in the wake of Harvey — “I’m done with water” — but one her Houston loved ones encouraged her to embrace, saying it uplifts them.

So, let’s not dramatize yesterday’s weather. It was soggy, it was a slog to get from point A to point B (but it usually is during MIA, honestly). But the show went on. Continue reading →

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10 artists you didn’t realize are playing Made In America this weekend

Rapsody | via The Source

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be teeming with music and meyhem this weekend when the annual Made In America festival kicks into gear Saturday at noon. There are some incredible big names on the bill – the brilliant Solange and the charismatic J. Cole; the emotive Sampha, whose record Process is one of 2017’s best; Philly-rooted pop sensations Marian Hill, who play the main stage on Saturday; and of course Jay-Z himself, returning to the festival stage to celebrate his latest outing 4:44.

But there’s been a modest amount of grumbling about the lineup this year, in no small part because the polarizing dance-pop outfit The Chainsmokers are a co-headliner on Sunday night. People are either “I passionately hate this band and all that they stand for” or “yay music, I listen to whatever’s on the radio!” — and for those in the former camp, once they saw The Chainsmokers’ name on the lineup, they stopped reading further. But as always, the Made in America undercard is reliably awesome, and the early-afternoon slots as well as the out-of-the-way spots (helloooooo Skate Stage) are packed with goodness.

Here are ten artists that you maybe didn’t realize are playing Made in America, but who you definitely should not miss. – John Vettese
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Stream a webcast of the VuHaus Radio Day Stage at SXSW this March

Lizzo | photo by Garrett Born | courtesy of the artist
Lizzo | photo by Garrett Born | courtesy of the artist

On Friday, March 17th, WXPN and four other public radio stations across the country — WFUV in New York, The Current in Minneapolis, KUTX in Austin and KXT in Dallas —  will present the VuHaus Radio Day Stage at SXSW. The stage will host performances by Spoon, Hippo Campus, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, and more. If you’re like me and don’t have the opportunity to attend the festival this year, you’re in luck, because you can still stream it via VuHaus webcast. Find a full lineup and set times below. Continue reading →