As an end-of-semester-send off, Villanova University’s student-run radio station WXVU and the Campus Activities Team have announced the line-up for their Philly Underground Music Festival. Open to all ID-carrying college students in the Philadelphia area, the December 8th event will take place on Villanova’s campus and feature a solo headlining slot by Alex G, supported by Weekender, Abi Reimold, and Curtis Cooper.
The world has been waiting ever so impatiently for R&B icon Frank Ocean‘s newest work since 2012’s channel ORANGE, and Thursday night it finally dropped. Now available on Apple Music is Ocean’s visual album Endless. The fact that it’s presented as a visual album might come as a surprise. So might the idea that it isn’t entitled Boys Don’t Cry, as Ocean had been teasing for so long. But what might be most surprising are the Philly ties on the new project.
Both soul singer Jazmine Sullivan and indie rocker Alex G are featured on multiple tracks. Sullivan’s vocals can be found on “Alabama,” “Wither,” “Hubolts” and “Rushes.” Alex G plays guitar on “Wither,” “Slide On Me,” “Rushes” and “Higgs.” So there you have it: what is one of the most highly anticipated releases in recent memory is flooded with talent that’s rooted right here in Philadelphia. Additional (non-Philly) contributors to the visual album include Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, James Blake, UK R&B vocalist Sampha , producer Arca, and the London Contemporary Orchestra.
Now, if you can believe this, there actually seems to be more on the way from Ocean. One of his representatives has reportedly said to “keep an eye out for more from Frank.” Most expect it to be the studio album that’s been promised for so long. So maybe that means there’s more Alex G / Jazmine Sullivan / Frank Ocean collaborations just around the corner? Only time will tell. Stay tuned, and watch Frank Ocean’s Endless here.
Greg from Como Tapes dropped us a line this week to share a podcast he’s been working on for a few years, and boy are we glad he did. The Vermont / New Jersey tape label has been producing its Musicians Talk series since 2013, sitting down with local favorites and national up-and-comers to get into their heads about songwriting and to hear some live performances.
The album that many believe launched Alex G from Temple house shows to gigs all around the world is getting re-issued on Run For Cover Records. DSU (short for Dream State University) was first put out on the tiny Brooklyn label Orchid Tapes just over than two years ago. Continue reading →
Indie rock heroes Built to Spill have announced a run of dates along the east coast for the fall, and they’ll be taking Hop Along and Alex G along for the ride. Though no Philly date is listed on the schedule, the trio will hit the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on October 8th and this is one bill well worth the return bridge toll.
If you were standing up front, close to the stage last night at Union Transfer, you’d have noticed a disproportionate demographic of 17- to 20-year-olds, holding iPhones instead of beer and waiting bright-faced and wide-eyed for the double-bill of Philly’s own Alex Giannascoli — better known as Alex G — and New York’s Porches.
Concurring that Giannascoli’s fans were largely a younger demographic, the 19-year-old next to me expressed his moderate and considered sartorial disdain for his generation: “They’re all dressed weird too.”
That said, many were wearing band shirts advertising their adoration for the Philly-based, highly prolific DIY bedroom-recording-studio songwriter.
On the contrary, Porches tees were few and far between, and the blank faces on the crowd seemed to suggest that this was largely an introduction to the music of opening band Your Friend. Continue reading →
Alex G brings a spring tour home to Union Transfer tonight. The Havertown native has been supporting last year’s Domino Records debut Beach Music in a big way, criss-crossing the country, booking international festivals and now headlining his largest Philly show to date. Pretty cool stuff for a band that got its start in the Temple house show scene. Watch the video for “Mud” below and pick up tickets to the all-ages show with Porches and Your Friend here.
Alex G has shared another video for a track off of last year’s Beach Music LP, this time choosing the quiet and quick “Mud.” It was directed by Colin Acchione (the brother of Alex G band guitarist Sam) and follows Alex and Emily Yacina (who provides backing vocals on “Mud”) as they explore the woods in the rain.
Alex G is no longer a well-kept secret of the Temple house show scene. These days if he plays a basement, it’s a surprise set kept under wraps until after the last band on the lineup plays. If he plays a show in Philly at all, it’s a sold-out gig at the First Unitarian Church or a headlining spot at Union Transfer.
Meanwhile, a flurry of announcements about festival slots around the globe are streaming in and today the band starts a two week jaunt across Europe and the UK (and not for the first time). But, luckily for us, he’s not leaving his Philadelphia roots behind just yet as we see in a new video for “Bug,” taken from last year’s Domino Records debut Beach Music.