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Action Bronson crushes at the sold-out TLA

Action Bronson | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com
Action Bronson | Photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com

At capacity and straining under the crushing weight of Action Bronson’s massive personality, the sold-out TLA’s stage shook under punishing bass and rose to meet the gregarious Queens MC on his Mr. Wonderful tour.

In what was a seemingly short but passionate set, Arian Arslani AKA Action Bronson brought it. The “Fuck, That’s Delicious!” star arranged all of the ingredients necessary for a memorable night. With way more energy than you’d expect from a guy so solidly built, the Flushing rapper ripped a page out of Oprah’s handbook and took to merchandising as he bounded across the stage between songs – showering the crowd in gifts, sonic and store-bought alike. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Action Bronson at The TLA, Kiska at Boot and Saddle

Action Bronson | Photo by Mark Schaffer
Action Bronson | Photo by Mark Schaffer

He may have just this year released his major label full-length debut, but Queens MC Action Bronson has become a household name for people in the know since debuting in 2008. Tonight, he brings his new LP Mr. Wonderful to the TLA; it’s a fast-paced mix of irreverent rhymes and pointed delivery. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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The Roots Picnic brings an inspired musical frenzy to the Festival Pier

The Roots and Snoop Dogg | Photo by Mark Schaffer
The Roots and Snoop Dogg | Photo by Mark Schaffer

The anticipation behind this year’s Roots Picnic could have easily evolved into a self-fulfilling letdown of high expectations gone unfulfilled. Fortunately for the sold-out crowd of over 6,000, the day met every benchmark for a phenomenal musical experience.

With the newly-renovated and sand-strewn Festival Pier as its home base, the all-day festival boasted an eclectic line-up of both upstart and established acts of various genres. All acts shared the Questlove seal of approval, bearing a heavy emphasis on rhythm and sunny-day vibes.

Janelle Monae | Photo by Mark Schaffer
Janelle Monae | Photo by Mark Schaffer

Although every act of the day put on a frenzy-whipping set (the strongest of them being, arguably, a sunset-backed and pitch-perfect Janelle Monáe), there were a few noteworthy highlights:

-    An inspiring group of sets in the first half of the festival (prior to most attendees’ arrival) with particularly strong ones from New Zealand RnB group Electric Wire Hustle, hip-hop/classical sequence-loops master Emily Wells, blues-rock guitarist and singer Roman Gianarthur (including soulful covers of Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” and Radiohead’s “High and Dry”), West Philly’s own Chill Moody, and British drum-and-bass act Rudimental (during which this reporter felt bass shocks that almost stopped his heartbeat)

-    Guest appearances from Philly’s own Freeway and Harlem’s Jim Jones during a DJ set from legendary producer Just Blaze, with Freeway performing State Property hits like “Roc da Mic

The War on Drugs | Photo by Mark Schaffer
The War on Drugs | Photo by Mark Schaffer

-    A searing performance from WXPN favorites The War on Drugs, during which frontman Adam Granduciel gave Program Director Bruce Warren a heartwarming shoutout (referring to him as “The Other Boss”)

-    The aforementioned strongest set of the day, starting with The Electric Lady herself being wheeled out on a stretcher in a straitjacket before tearing through most of her hits with uncompromising intensity

-    The Roots (post-Snoop Dogg) bringing out Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, and former member Rahzel for an epic rendition of several popular songs showcasing all three of their legendary beatboxing.

Check out photos from the day’s festivities, taken by local musician and photographer Mark Schaffer, in the gallery below.

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Snoop Dogg, Janelle Monae, The War on Drugs and Chill Moody top The Roots 7th annual Roots Picnic lineup

Now in its 7th year, The Roots Picinic will bring an eclectic array of music to Festival Pier on May 31, and the band today revealed everything you need to know about this year’s installment.

The year the legendary hip-hop crew will share the stage with Snoop Dogg (backed by The Roots), as well as Janelle Monáe, Action Bronson, A$AP Ferg, araabMUZIK, The War On Drugs, Rudimental, Jhené Aiko, Biz Markie (DJ Set), Bad Rabbits, Electric Wire Hustle, Chill Moody, Emily Wells, Roman GianArthur & more.

Get tickets when they go onsale this Friday at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster and watch a few of the latest clips from acts on this year’s incredible lineup below.

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Scope Rare Chandeliers with Action Bronson (performing at The Blockley on 12/28)

On Friday, December 28th, Queens hip-hop artist Action Bronson will be performing at West Philadelphia’s The Blockley. Bronson, a respected chef turned rapper, has released a string of critically acclaimed mixtapes and albums since 2011 and has collaborated with Ghostface Killah (from Wu-Tang fame) and Earl (from the controversial hip-hop collective Odd Future). On his most recent release, a 2012 mixtape called Rare Chandeliers, he was able to work with legendary producer, The Alchemist — who produced tracks featuring the likes of Schoolboy Q and Styles P. Also performing on the bill is Ground Up, Meyhem Lauren, Guy Harrison and Pooda Dappa. For more information and tickets visit the Blockley’s website located here. Bronson’s new mixtape Rare Chandelier can be found here. Below is the video for his latest video “The Symbol.”