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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Little Big League at Johnny Brenda’s, Asaad at Silk City, Trail of Dead at Underground Arts and more

Via Facebook.com/LittleBigLeague
Via Facebook.com/LittleBigLeague

It was a good 2013 for Philly indie-punk four piece Little Big League. The band released it’s debut full length, toured and garnered attention from national media outlets like Pitchfork. Now they’re playing their first headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s just in time for front woman Michelle Zauner to show off her new strat and the band to hopefully unveil some of the songs they’ve been tracking for album number two. Tickets and info can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Download Asaad’s new album #COLDBLUE on Bandcamp

Asaad Saudi Money

Philly rapper Asaad dropped a new album, #COLDBLUE on BandCamp last weekend. Asaad, who also goes by Saudi Money, last gained attention for his almost ten-minute long track, #AK47 (with Wyo and GrandeMarshall). The new album’s tracks draw on various rap and hip-hop influences, both mainstream and oldschool.You’ll find some autotune, some r&b beats, gritty lyrics, Philly shoutouts, and a solid amount of tunes backed by church choir sounds. #COLDBLUE even includes a track dissing New York Virginia rapper Pusha T who, according to Asaad, stole one of his songs after Asaad signed to his label. You can stream and/or buy #COLDBLUE below.

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PREMIERE: DRGN King’s official tour mixtape (featuring Dangerous Ponies, Ape School, Grande Marshall and a new DK song)

DRGN King | Photo by Kate Bracaglia
DRGN King | Photo by Kate Bracaglia

Philly’s DRGN King just wrapped up a spring tour, and it left frontman Dominic Angelella sonically inspired. This morning we bring you the premiere of a tour mixtape he compiled, which ranges from folks they shared stages with to hearty van jams. From Dominic:

“Last month, my band Drgn King went on our first tour ever. This isn’t such a momentous occasion for most people but it was very exciting for us. We met some great bands on the way, saw people we knew play mind-blowing music, and listened to a lot of bizarre records in the minivan. This mix focuses on friends of ours we listened to/hung out with/drank with on the trip. hopefully you all enjoy this as much as we do. Hidden somewhere in the mix there’s a Drgn King song that didn’t make Paragraph Nights. It was too quiet.”

Minivan Problems: A Spring Mix by Drgn King

1. “The Sykesville Strawberry Festival” by Boat Water (from Home is a Place To Give)
2. “20 Different Days” by Eros and The Eschaton (from their Bandcamp)
3. “Cocaine and Guns A$AP” by Ape School (from Junior Violence)
4. “Dedicated” by Grande Marshall feat. Saudi Money (from #MUGGAMAN)
5. “Pusher” by Walking Shapes (from Soundcloud)
6. “Sparks” by Dangerous Ponies (from Tenderheart)
7. “Eldersburg Fun Arcade Near The Fashion Bug” by Boat Water (from Home is a Place To Give)
8. “Pretty Lil’ Preacher” by Drgn King (scrapped from Paragraph Nights)
9. “The Iceman” by Norwegian Arms (ripped from Youtube)
10. “Accessory” by Neighbors (from I Love Neighbors)
11. “TLW are Deaf” by Trans Upper Egypt (from North African Bezerk)
12. “Erica Western Teleport” by Emperor X (from Erica Western Teleport)
13. “Sleep It Off” by Asaad feat. Drgn King (from Dirty Middle Class)

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Saudi Money (formerly Asaad) releases new mixtape New Black History Month II

asaadnewblack Philly rapper Saudi Money has released a new mixtape, New Black History Month II. Money gets some help from Wyo & GrandeMarshall, and various production credits from Sunny Norway, Nascent & QB, Ben Pramuk & SamGreenS, and Problem. The 22 year old rapper recently announced his name change from Asaad to Saudi Money and is set to release his debut album 006 in March. The mixtape holds us over until then. Stream it/download it below or download it here.

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Download “AK47,” an epic collaboration between Philly rappers Asaad and Grande Marshall

This one’s a trip – emerging Philly rapper Asaad (whose creative streak in 2012 impressed me during our Year-in-Review) is gearing up to release his latest project, 006, and its first single is an epic nine-minute meditation on gun violence with two other emerging local hip-hop names in tow. The buzz-making Grande Marshall (who signed to Fool’s Gold Records in the fall) joins along with Wyo for the smooth, mid-tempo, Pulp Fiction-referencing joint that premiered at Complex Magazine today. Listen and download the track below.

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s top five Philly music discoveries of 2012

With just two weeks remaining in 2012, it’s come time to look back at the year that’s just passed us by, look ahead at the year just ahead of us, and generally reflect on stuff that got us excited – in music, and in general.

But if you’re like me, you find best-of lists a little boring. I mean, they’re kind of a necessary evil, in terms of the cultural community putting the past 12 months into context. That said, after the fifty-billionth iteration they can almost become a chore to read and to put together. So for The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected.

We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, I’ll get things started with my top five Philly music discoveries of 2012. Coming across an exciting emerging musician I’ve never heard before is easily a highlight of my job, and there was no shortage of that this year. (See the incomplete honorable mention section.) With this list, though, I tried to focus on the less-discussed acts, the ones you won’t find on a show every weekend. Some artists hit the ground running this year, and that’s great – these artists are ones that are worth your time to seek out. Continue reading →

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The alternative hip-hop philosophies of Asaad and his new album #TROY

“They love black but don’t wanna be black.”

The words come straight from the sage’s mouth, ASAAD is what Philadelphia underground hip-hop is all about. It’s hard to label the MC as underground, because it’s only a matter of time before he blows up – and his new album, #Troy, illustrates that the artist is definitely growing up. His profound mantra perpetuating the idea of “New Black” seeps through every syllable and although his imagery is metaphorical the meaning is very literal. He is offering up the mentality of re-writing black history with beats and rhymes, but presenting it like an anecdote of modern life from a tortured mind. Articulate, intricate and a little insane, ASAAD weaves cultural references to Wu-Tang, Balthazar and the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. In early 2012 ASAAD released a documentary called New Black History that shows the Philadelphia native sharing his philosophies.The footage shows interviews of him representing Philly and is inter cut with him dropping knowledge on New York City. You’ll be intrigued by the mystery but can find all the answers in his raps; advocating the greater good and claiming that he’s bringing hip-hop back….and he is.

This documentary can be found here. His latest effort, #Troy, can be streamed on his bandcamp located here. Below is the video for his 2012 single “Jumanji Flow.”

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