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Jam to Phil Lesh, Gov’t Mule, and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at Peach Music Festival this July

Phil Lesh | photo via artist’s Facebook

Scranton PA is more than just the fictional home of The Office. It’s also the non-fictional home to the beautiful Montage Mountain, where the Allman Brothers Band-inspired Peach Music Festival has been jamming for seven years now. Today, the festival revealed their lineup which features headliners Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, Gov’t Mule (playing two sets,) and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Metric at Sands Bethlehem, Phil Lesh at Tower Theater, The Paper Kites at Johnny Brenda’s

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Photo by Justin Broadbent

Canadian pop / alt-rock quartet Metric will be performing at Sands Bethlehem tonight. The band manages to merge smart, socially conscious lyrics and potent vocals with driving beats and heavy guitar hooks. The result is biting and the show promises to be the same. Metric will be performing with Paramore, and you can find tickets and more information hereWatch the video for “Youth Without Youth” below.

Continue reading →

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My Morning Download: “47” by Anders Osborne (playing with Phil Lesh and Friends at the Tower Theatre in November)

Photo by Jayne Tansey-Patron
Photo by Jayne Tansey-Patron
Guitarist, roots rocker, singer and songwriter, Anders Osborne is releasing a new album, Peace, on Tuesday, October 8th on Alligator Records. Earlier this year the New Orleans based, Swedish born musician released the Three Free Amigos EP. Osborne will be heading out on tour with Phil Lesh and Friends for a dozen shows, three of which are scheduled at the Tower Theatre on November 5th, 6th, and 11th. Osborne, who turned 47 this past May, has written what on the surface seems like an autobiographical tune in which he questions his ambitions and the quest for material satisfaction. Below a sampling of the lyrics, download “47.”

Everybody keeps telling me to keep doing what you’re doing,
So I keep doing just that
But it don’t mean a thing

A young man’s dream at 17,
Got s— done at 21
at 32, I met you,
I made a little money at 40
I made a little money at 40
I made a little money at 40
But nothing happens at 47

This human condition, I’ve made it my mission,
To following the cash, go with the masses
Promises, promises, promises, promises,
I made to myself

Pre-order Peace here.

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Phil Lesh and Friends are playing three nights at the Tower Theater in November

pf-20080621_02-philFounding bassist of The Grateful Dead Phil Lesh announced a fall run of tour dates that brings him to Upper Darby’s Tower Theater for three nights in November. His band on this run of dates features “old friends and new” including his son Grahame Lesh and singer-songwriter Anders Osborne on guitar, lead guitarist Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi All Stars, fiddler Jason Crosby (of Robert Randolph and the Family Band, among others) and drummer Tony Leone. Tickets for the run of shows go on sale this Friday, September 13th, at 10 a.m. Go here for more information. Below, watch Lesh and friends perform “Life Is A Carnival” at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, N.J. last November; look out for Crosby’s fiddle solo at the 2:45 mark.

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Listen to new Faxed EP from Philly punks Chronic Anxiety

Chronic Anxiety | art by Clint Takeda | via chronicanxiety.bandcamp.com

Chronic Anxiety — what a band name. The tension it evokes is evident in the loud urgency of their songs, but in a way that makes listening more cathartic than anxiety-inducing. The Philly punk trio appeared on our radar a few months ago when they appeared on Bandcamp with debut EP Little Girls — read about it in The Key’s Items Tagged Philadelphia series. And though the group still remains pretty elusive, they’re now back with another EP, called Faxed. Continue reading →

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Philly Jazz Guide: Top picks for live music around town in October

Trombone Shorty | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Though it doesn’t have the reputation of landmark rock festivals like Woodstock or Monterey Pop, the October Revolution in Jazz was at least as monumental for the free jazz scene. Organized by trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon in 1964, the four-day event was the first of its kind and included pioneering figures in the music like Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Steve Lacy and Andrew Hill. Continue reading →

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Speaking the truth with Philly punk visionaries Soul Glo

Soul Glo | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Soul Glo | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

For many rockers of color, finding films like AFROPUNK — James Spooner’s groundbreaking documentary about minority involvement in punk and hardcore movements — was and is a critical milestone in their development. As a young black and queer punk rocker immersed in the community, watching this film’s scenes unfold, bearing witness to ideas, perspectives, and experiences expressed in the film that were so wildly different, I realized something: each one of those perspectives, from both the youthful, energetic dayglo punk who “didn’t want to be defined by their race” to the raging political hardcore kid using the genre towards black liberation, at some point I had felt similarly, at least in part, to all of the interviewees. The lived black punk rock experience was given a voice. In that documentary’s wake the legions of weird yet still culturally impactful black music has practically given birth to new ways of discovering music through blogs and social media. This wave has infiltrated community centers and Shriners’ hallls, as well as taken to the stages usually reserved for all white bands.

Philadelphia is a city ripe for a black and brown punk reclaiming. Entire movements have thrived for more than a decade dedicated to promoting art and music by marginalized people. Enter Soul Glo, a band etching dark, interpersonal screeds on ancient parchment cut from the skin of the rotting corpse of hardcore punk. Their music travels pedal-driven through lush, dense shoe-gaze forests, bursting out of the other side screaming. Lead singer Pierce Jordan’s voice is an unmatched wail that snakes through the band’s wiry punk orchestration as a truly exhaustive vessel for his trauma-informed lyrics. While their name — taken from a parody product from the cult 80’s Eddie Murphy comedy Coming To America, said to give black folk luscious, wavy jheri curled hair — may come across as comedic, it’s important to remember that the moniker choice is all a part of the intricate cultural interplay and relevancy that truly revolutionary, unbothered and alternative black acts have traditionally embraced. From Parliament’s colorful renditions of life on the mothership to Odd Future’s notorious hyper-cartoon troll Tyler the Creator’s transformation into a living meme, there’s certainly room for jest in this revolution. The sentiment is most aptly put by an interviewee in the AFROPUNK doc when she casually intones: “I don’t feel less black because I’m less normal”

We sat down with Soul Glo to discuss the contradictions, struggles and even empowerment of speaking the truth of the black lived experience to a punk power structure that often values the social capital of whiteness over others. Continue reading →

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Seven bands from the Philly DIY underground you need to hear right now

Ursula | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly is one of those cities (the only city?!) that’s able to contain, harness, and release the unbridled energy of hardcore punk and strange outsider indie rock in the form of four impactful spring festivals and still have enough left to keep the summer righteously shredded.

We came together for Electrifest (queer POC experimental music fest centering LGBT health concerns), Get Better Fest (queerpunk fest put on by the folks at Get Better Records), Break Free Fest (an event centering black and brown hardcore acts) and of course, Philly Shreds (a showcase of punk bands from all over with a heavy Philly edge), but we are still rocking, still falling into our amps in damp, sweltering basements and rolling around in the free dumpstered bagel piles at our local community centers, screaming our hearts out, shouting down The Man.

This article seeks to chronicle the continued mayhem of the Philadelphia punk rock scene, seeking out both the upstart and lesser known bands and the tried and true favorites breathing new life into their sets, as well as highlighting how truly diverse our loud rock scene is. It is exhilarating to think that our community features women, queer / LGBT folks, and people of color playing prominent roles. Sit back and let the pretzel-flavored chaos reign. Continue reading →