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Grandchildren and Vessna Scheff benefit shows to support Big Picture Alliance and Aspiring Young Artists

Grandchildren | photo courtesy of the artist
Grandchildren | photo courtesy of the artist

Grandchildren‘s Aleks Martray has teamed up with fellow Philly musician Vessna Scheff to put together a short series of benefit shows. In a fundraising effort for local youth film and music programs, the two artists have assembled a variety of local musicians to perform at Boot & Saddle on November 16. The second show, November 17 at Warehouse on Watts, will feature youth films and musical performances. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Vessna Scheff at Bourbon and Branch, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Johnny Brenda’s, You Blew It! at First Unitarian Church, and more

Vessna Scheff | Photo by Johnny Call via artist’s Facebook page

Vessna Scheff grace the stage tonight at Bourbon and Branch, and you can expect clear, sultry vocals atop ukulele strumming and saucy trumpet backings (courtesy of Koofreh Umoren.) Yes, this eclectic combination is a real thing, and it’s refreshingly amazing. See for yourself by watching Vessna Scheff perform “Nodding (Always On My Mind)” live below, and then head over to the XPN Concert Calendar for more info on the show. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hoots and Hellmouth at Ardmore Music Hall, Vessna Scheff at Bourbon and Branch, and Norah Jones at the Academy of Music

Hoots and Hellmouth | courtesy of the artist
Hoots and Hellmouth | courtesy of the artist

Philly folk rockers Hoots and Hellmouth reached new heights on their latest album In The Trees, and tonight, they’ll demonstrate that newfound altitude by headlining Ardmore Music Hall with support from Cris Jacobs. Stream the video for groovy, new single “Diction” below, and read our interview with frontman Sean Hoots here. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more info on the 21+ gig. Continue reading →

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A Journal Come to Life: Vessna Scheff translates experiences into songs

Vessna Sheff | photo via vessnascheff.com
Vessna Sheff | photo by Rohan Ayinde Smith | ayindesmith.com | via vessnascheff.com

Art is a form of expression. Many great artists, whether it’s through music, painting, or poetry, find creative ways to share how they’re feeling or how they once felt with the public. Philadelphia native Vessna Scheff is a perfect example of an artist using their work to speak for them. With the help of her ukulele mixed with the assistance of her angelic voice, the singer/songwriter recently released an EP called Come Home which can be described as a journal of poems detailing the ups and downs of love that are dedicated to a special person in her life. Continue reading →

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Koof & Vessna debut recording collaboration with music video for “Echoes”

koof & vessna
Koof & Vessna | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Koof & Vessna are two talented local artists who have teamed up for a new collaboration, sharing their debut single and music video “Echoes” this week. Koof Ibi can usually be found behind the camera at the Random Tea Room Sessions or behind the horn in West Philadelphia Orchestra; Vessna Scheff is a singer-songwriter with crystal clear vocals and a trusty ukulele. Together, the pair create an atmosphere of soulful, reflective solitude.

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The Week Ahead: Jupiter & Okwess, Stef Chura, Nothing, Soul Glo and more

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

Can we collectively agree to retire the aughties hipster cliche “Rocktober”? Not because the tenth month of the year is no longer jam-packed with live music — it absolutely is, moreso than ever, as any casual glance at the calendar will tell you — but because there are many more offerings at your disposal this month than mere rock.

This week alone, there is Nigerian-tinged R&B, homegrown hip-hop, jazzy folk, folky punk, and so much more. Here are 27 concerts you can see in Philadelphia in the next seven days, with a whopping eight options on Saturday night. Heck, even Monday has four shows you can choose from — Monday! GTTG, Philly.

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Local artists inspire Philadelphia’s youth at Aspiring Young Artists

Aspiring Young Artist | photo by Richard Sanders | courtesy of Aspiring Young Artists

The city of Philadelphia has a very incredibly vibrant music scene and a rich music history that spans genres. But imagine if those two intangible things could become more of a direct resource for the adolescents of the city who are in school and have a passion for creating music. That’s where Aspiring Young Artists steps in.

While most schools can only advocate for more funding so they don’t have to make really hard choices, like cutting out art programs because of lack of funds, AYA cuts out the middle man and connects North Philadelphia students from schools like Youth Build Philadelphia, Kensington CAPA and Olney Charter High School with local artists who teach them how to compose their own music and expose them to the beautiful things that are happening in their hometown’s music scene.

Recently I was able to sit with AYA’s founder Ricky Strickler about how the music programs and the local artists that lead them have made an impact on its students. Continue reading →

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Start your week off by watching every Philly entry to NPR Music’s #TinyDeskContest

Gracie and the So Beautifuls’ Tiny Desk Contest entry | still from video

The annual NPR Music #TinyDeskContest revealed its 2018 winner last month: Naia Izumi, a Georgia-born, Los Angeles-based busker who excels at swift guitar licks, live looping and fervent rock and soul vocals. While we’re certain to hear more from Izumi and team Tiny Desk in the coming weeks and months, let’s not get too far from this year’s competition without celebrating the plethora of impressive Philadelphia-based entries. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mitski at Union Transfer, Cayetana at Skid Row Garage & more

Mitski | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist
Mitski | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

Indie rock goddess Mitski returns to Philadelphia tonight in another round of touring to support her latest album Puberty 2The singer-songwriter has made her way through several local venues from our own World Cafe to First Unitarian Church to PhilaMOCA and more, and this time around she has graduated to headlining Union Transfer. Mitski’s cutting lyrics and powerful voice driven by electric guitar makes for an intimate live performance in both the quiet moments and in the loud no matter the size of the venue. The night will also be a hometown show for Philly-based opener Half Waif who will be on the road with Mitski for the duration of the tour. For more information on the sold out show, click here. Continue reading →