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The Week Ahead: Octave Cat, Ruby The Hatchet, PnB Rock, Potty Mouth and More

Ruby the Hatchet | photo by Jake Gravbrot | via facebook.com/RubyTheHatchet

On the one hand, it’s a quiet week. On the other hand, I dare you to go to Ruby The Hatchet’s Ortlieb’s gig on Saturday and claim that it’s quiet. From the haunting instrumentals of Hour to the space rock of I Think Like Midnight, the garage rock of Queen Vice and hiphop of PnB Rock, here are ten concerts to see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: The Wombats, PnB Rock, The Dove and the Wolf, Passion Pit and more

PnB Rock at The Roots Picnic | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Now this is a bit more like it. Last Tuesday’s edition of The Week Ahead was a bit tighter, a quiet first week of year. This week, though, we’ve got 18 shows for your consideration, from Brit rockers The Wombats at Union Transfer to the heavy atmospherics of True Widow at Johnny Brenda’s, Philly rapper PnB Rock headlining a homecoming gig at The Fillmore, and a lot more. Add into the mix a healthy slate of continuing Philly Loves Bowie Week activity, and you’ve got plenty of reasons not to stay in from the cold. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Deerhoof at Underground Arts, PnB Rock at Chameleon Club, Sam Amidon at World Cafe Live

Deerhoof | via facebook.com/deerhoof

San Francisco indie rockers Deerhoof have been around for over 20 years now, but their vibrant energy and knack for conveying astute political haven’t slowed a bit — the four-piece recently released their 14th full-length Mountain Moves via Bandcamp and donated all of the proceeds to the resistance organization Emergent Fund. Empath and Haldol also play the Underground Arts show. Listen to Mountain Moves below, and find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Questlove, Sheila E., Morris Day and PnB Rock will honor Prince with a free West Philly concert

Questlove | Photo by John Vettese

When Prince passed away last year, he was eulogized by artists the world around — and one of the most devoted voice was from Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, drummer and bandleader of The Roots. Quest was a fan from a young age, and as he wrote in Rolling Stone essay last April, “I patterned everything in my life after Prince.”

Next month, Questlove leads a loving tribute to the Purple One at the 2017 N2N Festival (Neighborhood to Neighborhood), and the performers joining him are no joke: Prince collaborators Morris Day and Sheila E. will take the stage at the free concert along with a rising rap sensation from Germantown, PnB Rock. The event, which takes place Saturday, September 16th, is basically a huge block party in West Philly between 49th and 51st Streets, stretching from Willows to Catherine with its nexus at at 50th and Baltimore.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mars Parker at Underground Arts, PnB Rock at The Chameleon Club, Maceo Parker at Ardmore Music Hall and more…

Mars Parker | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Mars Parker | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

This week’s Key Studio Session featured Mars Parker, a local artist who blends soulful jazz textures with the realism of hip hop. Tonight he brings his recent Mars Museum 3 release to Underground Arts, opening for Chill Moody and Voss. Check out a Key Session performance of “Selfworth” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Belly at Union Transfer, The Avett Brothers at Musikfest, PnB Rock at Chameleon Club and more…

Belly, circa mid 90s | Photo by Stephen Di Rado | via bellyofficial.com

’90s dream pop band Belly is back after 20 years off. Yup, it’s true, and they’re playing Union Transfer tonight. New music is promised to be released soon, but it’s a safe bet you’ll hear some of it live tonight. Relive the classic “Feed The Tree” below and get any more info you need on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Binge on WXPN’s #XPNBinge on the 70s

Johnny Fever’s guest DJ set on #XPNBinge is not available at this time, but almost everything is avialble to stream below | photo via Tumblr

Last weekend, WXPN binged on the music of the 1970s for over 50 straight hours. Did you miss any of it? We’ve got you covered. Continue reading →

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10 Years Ago, Meek Mill released Flamers 2, the match that started it all

Meek Mill’s Flamers 2 | via Genius.com

It’s hard to be from Philadelphia and not be proud of Meek Mill.

You don’t have to be a die-hard. You don’t have to agree with every decision that he’s ever made. But it’s pretty difficult not to respect this man’s grind when 15 years ago, rap DVDs like 2 Raw For The Streets could be found in any high school from Philadelphia all the way out to Reading and Willow Grove, and on them you would often see the beginning stages of a young dreamer chasing his dreams. It’s also hard not to salute Meek Mill when 10 years ago, February 24th, 2009, he released what his city would know as the match that started it all…better known as Flamers 2. Continue reading →

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The inaugural Hijinx Fest fills the Convention Center with lights and music

Hijinx Festival | photo by Avi Warren | aviwarren.com

Last weekend, the first-ever Hijinx Fest brought a large crowd, and a lot of bass, to the Pennsylvania Convention Center to close out 2018. With over 20,000 people in attendance, the event is like nothing the city has ever seen before. There was an excellent mixture of EDM, hip-hop, amazing lighting, and art installations filling the entire GA floor of the Convention Center. Continue reading →

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Casual Splendor: The Met Philly makes its debut with Bob Dylan in the driver’s seat

A sold-out crowd awaits Bob Dylan at opening night of The Met Philly | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

A chilly breeze cut up Poplar Street yesterday morning, blowing broken caution tape and discarded Wawa bags above the heads of dignitaries gathered for the ribbon cutting of The Met Philly. Out on the building’s North Broad Street face, a team of carpenters scrambled to reinforce windows and hammer out other down-to-the-wire touch ups.

“Did you bring your checkbook?” developer Eric Blumenfeld asked his colleagues from the podium. “We still have some work to do.”

The crowd chuckled at his quip, but it seems that The Met will be well into its inaugural season before work on the building is completely finished; and not for nothing, either, since renovating a century-old music venue is a delicate task. Not that the casual concertgoer will really notice the ongoing work. The parts of the venue that matter the most — the concert hall, the bars and other hospitality centers — were mostly in full swing last night for the opening concert with Bob Dylan and his band. And from there, the calendar only gets more exciting: John Legend tonight, Lindsey Stirling in a couple weeks, Kurt Vile near year’s end. As Live Nation’s regional president Geoff Gordon said upon taking the mic, “We don’t want to be pigeonholed into one genre, whether it be Tyler Perry or Charlie Wilson, whether it be PnB Rock, Mariah Carey, or Bob Dylan. We’re going to do it all.”

Returning to the venue just ahead of showtime, the disarray of the morning — confetti strewn around the streets, construction gear lining the sidewalks — had all been swept away for the glitz and glamour of a searchlight casting a radiant golden glow on the building’s white brick facade and arched windows. Once inside, though, the mood of the night became remarkably more casual. This didn’t feel weighed down by the formality of, say, seeing a show at the Kimmel Center or Academy of Music, where you’re likely to be surrounded by concertgoers wearing button-up shirt / tie combos or and cocktail dresses, sipping wine out of plastic cups. Some of that was going on at The Met, sure, but for the most part the vibe was a rock show audience in a venue filled with grandeur.  Continue reading →