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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Worldtown Soundsystem at Pastorius Park, Void Vision at Kung Fu Necktie

Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone | courtesy of the artist
Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone | courtesy of the artist

The Philly-based house music / international pop collective Worldtown Soundsystem comes to Pastorius Park tonight as part of the park’s summer concert series. The massive hooplah of a group will bring their world music-infused electro tracks, so be prepared to partay. Really, you’re going dance whether you like it or not. Listen to their track, “Testify,” below if you don’t believe me. Sponsored by Kismet, the Chestnut Hill Community Association and Chestnut Hill Hospital, the show is open and free to the public. Find info on the show over at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Worldtown Soundsystem, Bardo Pond, Sun Ra Arkestra and more will play along the Schuylkill this summer for Parks on Tap’s Twilight Music Festival

Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone | courtesy of the artist
Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone | courtesy of the artist

Tis the summer for free shows under the Philadelphia skies. After an exceedingly solid lineup at Spruce Street Harbor Park was announced last week, today we’ve got word of another excellent round of gigs next river over.

As Philly.com’s Dan DeLuca reports, the Parks on Tap folks — the organization responsible for the pop-up beer gardens you saw all over Philly public spaces last summer — are bringing live music to MLK Drive every Sunday this summer for a series they’re calling Twilight Music Festival.

It begins July 9th, with DJ and multi-instrumentalist Taylor McFerrin (son of the famed Bobby) and from there boasts an all-local run of shows including the internationally-infused house jams of Worldtown Soundsystem, the spaced-out soundscapes of Bardo Pond, the boundary-pushing jazz of Sun Ra Arkestra, the earthy psychedelic harmonies of The Dove and the Wolf and more. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Worldtown Soundsystem at Johnny Brenda’s, No Good Sister at Boot & Saddle, Rockers Galore at Milkboy and more…

Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone | courtesy of the artist
Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone | courtesy of the artist

Worldtown Soundsystem celebrate their 6th anniversary at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The world music / electronic outfit will be debuting all new material, following up last year’s self-titled EP with what is sure to be an electrifying collection of beats. Tickets and information for the 21+ dance party can be found here; check out “Testify” below.

Continue reading →

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Worldtown Soundsystem on its first five years of bringing international music to the Philly party scene

Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone | courtesy of the artist
Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone | courtesy of the artist
Over a dozen people comprise Philly party collective Worldtown Soundsystem, and the crew has made a huge noise bringing sounds and rhythms from around the globe to the Philly party scene. With the band celebrating its fifth anniversary this Saturday night at The Fillmore, we sat down with founding members Ben Arsenal, Gary Dann, Jonifin Marvin, Femi Oluwafemi, Jules Starr to talk about how Worldtown got here and where it’s going.  Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Worldtown Soundsystem

Worldtown Soundsystem in  the WXPN Studio | Photo courtesy of the artist
Worldtown Soundsystem in the WXPN Studio | Photo courtesy of the artist

We’ve recorded hundreds of Philly musicians for The Key Studio sessions over the past five years. A span of genres. Bands made up of old friends and family members as readily as bands who met online. Nevertheless, with everything under our belt, Philly’s Worldtown Soundsystem – which has been operating out of Fishtown’s Boom Room Studios for a few years now – managed to nab two firsts in their appearance this week. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Worldtown Soundsystem conquers the streets in “The Boutique” video, heads to Rittenhouse venue this Saturday

Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo via www.world.town
Worldtown Soundsystem | Photo via www.world.town

Members of 12-piece Worldtown Soundsystem come from all over the world: Jamaica, Nigeria, Brazil, Alabama, and Vermont, joining forces right here in home sweet home, Philadelphia.

As expected, this multicultural band infuses an eclectic global mix of sound, and completely rocks it live, two qualities shown in the new video for their electronic/house/reggae track, “The Boutique.” Continue reading →

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Old City Fest Returns with performances from Worldtown Sound System, Ernest Stuart, and more

Musicians playing on N 3rd St at Old CIty Fest 2015 | photo by CJ Dawson Photography | courtesy of Old City District
Musicians playing on N 3rd St at Old CIty Fest 2015 | photo by CJ Dawson Photography | courtesy of Old City District

This October, 9th, The Old City District will once again celebrate its art, history, and culture with another blockbuster festival. The event will run from 11:00am to 6pm and will feature over 100 vendors, 30 restaurants, fashions shows, street performers, and family activities. If that’s not enough, the festival will also feature performances from Philly Phavorites like Worldtown Sound System, Ernest Stuart, and more. Continue reading →

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The Boom Room will celebrate its 5th anniversary with a bang

Cee Knowledge and The Cosmic Funk Orchestra | still from "The Boom Room's 3 Year Anniversary BBQ" video
Cee Knowledge and The Cosmic Funk Orchestra | still from “The Boom Room’s 3 Year Anniversary BBQ”

On Saturday, Oct. 8th, The Boom Room turns five. Since its inception, the recording studio/event space has brought the Fishtown neighborhood together with a variety of performances, exhibitions, and educational workshops, and in commemoration, they’re throwing a birthday party of epic proportions. The event will feature both an outdoor stage and and indoor dance party, with performances from Worldtown Soundsystem, Jae the Artist, The Living Sample, and more. If that isn’t enough, you can also expect to see fire spinning, aerial acrobatics, and (wait for it) complimentary food & beverages. The party will kick off at 3pm and won’t stop until “late af”, so make sure to get a good nap in beforehand. Continue reading →

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Philly Progress Report 2016: What’s new, what’s next in the music scene – (page 3)

EPs and more!

Okay, so that’s a pretty heavy list already…and all of that’s not even to mention the world of EP and single releases, of which we’ve got a few standouts worth noting.

Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties
Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties | photo by Mitch Wojcik | courtesy of the artist

Dan Campbell’s storytelling folk project Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties delivers an interlude EP called Bittersweet, picking up where his title character left off after 2014’s We Don’t Have Each Other and setting him up for the next stage in his journey. Campbell takes cues from the narrative songwriting approach of The Mountain Goats, and with this set – and a followup LP he expects to drop in the next year – Campbell is nicely carving out a role for himself in addition to leading the charge for pop-punk heroes The Wonder Years. Bittersweet came out in May on Hopeless Records on tri-color vinyl, themed after the song names: Cherry Red, Carolina Blue and Seafoam Green.


With spirited hooks and lively playing, Philly’s Queen of Jeans charmed their way into the city’s collective heart following the January release of their self-titled debut; their XPNFest set this summer is one not to miss.


Singer-guitarist Cynthia Schemmer took some time off of Radiator Hospital to introduce the world to her solo outfit Swanning; their EP Drawing Down the Moon is a fierce collection of indie rock anthems.


The globally-oriented Worldtown Soundsystem made its long-awaited tried from rocking club nights to hitting the recording studio on their vibrant debut.


Bucks County’s Julia Hudak proves to be a local answer to Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten with her moving Careful of the Nettles EP.


Following his long stint with punk rockers Kite Party, singer-guitarist Russell Edling gets positively dreampoppy with Cherry.


Rapper MH the Verb steps out with witty rhymes and revved up beats on the ArtHouse95: Owl EP.


Modern rockers Those People level up with the focused and energized Human Robot set, led by the powerful vocals of Assad Kharfe – another XPN intern alum.


Swaggery retro-rockers RFA deliver catchy songs about young love, young lust and staying out late partying on Something New from RFA.


Heady indie rock gentlemen Roof Doctor blend their love of Pinback with their love of Phish on the new My Band EP – smart, sharp, catchy, weird.


Party-rocking brass band Darla delivered the instantly digable live set Darla Comes Alive! Vol. 2, featuring a version of “Dallas Morning News” from their Key Studio Session.


I guess this makes Abi Reimold the only artist to make this list twice (here as a drummer), but her punk trio (along with guitarist Ashley Tryba and bassist Sarah Myers) Fake Boyfriend released a solid EP called Mercy back in February. It’s a fuzzed-out and fun trip into bumtown through the eyes of three awesome ladies.


Founded in France and relocated to Philly to record at Miner Street with Nightlands’ Dave Hartley, The Dove and The Wolf dug the city so much they stuck around for a while. Their I Don’t Know What To Feel is haunting and magnificent.


An alum of The Gathering and collaborator of Truck North, local rapper Ai-Que the M.C. got back in the game this spring with the Hai Ai-Que! EP.

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The High Key Portrait Series: Zeek Burse and Paralee Knight

Zeek Burse and Paralee Knight | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller | koalafoto.com
Zeek Burse and Paralee Knight | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller | koalafoto.com

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.

Singer, songwriter and music producer Zeek Burse has been on a musical sojourn for the past three years in Philly. When a chance meeting with one of Philly’s greatest R&B vocalists got Burse involved with The Boom Room Studio’s “Music Church,” Burse had an opportunity with drummer and producer Gary Dann’s music collective Worldtown Soundsystem to show off the talent that he’d developed from a young age almost exclusively under the influence of American Deep South gospel — most recently resulting in WorldTown’s electric debut single “Testify,” featuring Burse on lead vocals.

Since then, however, and along with songwriting companion Paralee Knight, Burse’s influences have diversified and evolved. At the top of 2016, expect to find the charismatic soul singer playing dates around Philly with Worldtown, at his new music residency at Relish, and dropping a new EP on February 22nd. The recording project — titled 22 — seeks to focus on and specifically feature the various musical styles that Burse has developed, the eclectic influences with which some time spent evolving as a Philadelphia artist have informed his style. Continue reading →