Just Announced: DJ Shadow will headline the TLA in October

DJ Shadow
DJ Shadow | photo courtesy of the artist

Where does one begin with electronic music pioneer DJ Shadow? There’s the way he blazed a new sonic trail twenty years ago on his debut LP Endtroducing… – a master stroke of turntablist genius – and on the limited-run singles that comprised his 1998 followup Preemptive Strike. And there’s the way he’s refused to allow himself to be pigeonholed by those early successes, bringing hyphy to the masses on 2006’s The Outsider and one again refining his voice this year on The Mountain Will Fall, his fifth LP. Continue reading →


DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist celebrate Afrika Bambaata and the art of turntablism at The TLA

DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist | Photo by Matthew Shaver |
DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist | Photo by Matthew Shaver |

In the most basic description of the term ‘DJ’ it is possible to narrow down the term to 3 categories. There is the DJ that just plays music, only presses play or plugs in the iPod or hits shuffle on the laptop. This, unfortunately, is by and large the view of the DJ in far too many circles. Second is the DJ that works the crowd, they have an understanding of music that runs deep and knows how to play to their target audience, and in turn deepen that appreciation, and build relationships. Thirdly, there is the DJ that can play an audience not the music they came to hear, but the music the DJ wants to play, and present it in such a way as to give said audience an appreciation of something that might otherwise be outside of their comfort zone. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Obscura at A-Space, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist tribute to Afrika Bambatta at The TLA, and Cassavetes at the First Unitarian Church

Photo via Kieko Photography

After a successful debut showcase in June, the Obscura series is returning to A-Space. The brain child of journalist and promoter Melissa “Lissa Alicia” Simpson, Obscura‘s goal was to gain recognition for hip-hop artists in the West Philadelphia area that had unfortunately slid under the radar. Local rappers Verbatum Jones and The Bul Bey are featured on the bill, as well as Luci Rising, an eclectic songwriter and poet. Click here for tickets and more information. Below, watch The Bul Bey’s music video for “Where I’m From.” Continue reading →


Interview: Cut Chemist talks record-shopping, Philly, and his collaborative Afrika Bambaataa tribute with DJ Shadow

Cut Chemist (Photo via Facebook)
Cut Chemist (Photo via Facebook)

Cut Chemist, né Lucas MacFadden, doesn’t just make beats. He makes vibes. The DJ, producer, and mix-Master (with a capital M) has been soundtracking moments for 20 years now. He got his start with boisterous underground rap crew Jurassic 5 (remember them?)—then also took turns in Latin-funk band Ozomatli and Less Than Jake (yes, really)—in addition to creating his own, mind-blowing jams.

Throughout the years MacFadden has worked closely with fellow DJ and like-minded artist Josh Davis—a.k.a., DJ Shadow. The pair has released four live records together, and share an affinity for creative yet effortless beats. This Saturday, they’ll team up at the TLA for their “Renegades of Rhythm” tour, featuring the music of hip-hop progenitor Afrika Bambaataa. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: DJ Shadow Made in America Afterparty at the TLA, Galactic and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears at Wiggins Park Labor Day Music Festival, and Black Swans and Meg Bairs at Studio 34

Besides day two of the Made in America Festival, there’s a bunch of shows going on in the Philadelphia area tonight. If you’re hitting up the festival today and looking for something to do afterwards (or just feel like taking in some impressive turntable skills), DJ Shadow will be spinning a late night Made in America afterparty at the TLA. The show starts at 11 p.m. and tickets are available here for $18. Check out a roundup of some of our favorite DJ Shadow moments here.

If you’re looking for free outdoor music, the Camden County Freeholders are hosting a free Backyard BBQ tonight at Wiggins Waterfront Park. Performances include Galactic featuring Corey Glover, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Royal Southern Brotherhood with Cyril Neville, 61 North, and Mia Boarders. The music starts at 2 p.m. and goes all day. For more information click here. Check out the video for Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears’ song “Mustang Ranch” below.

Finally, if your looking for something folksy, check out the Folkadelphia Presents show at Studio 34 with The Black Swans, Meg Baird, and Glenn Jones tonight. The doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are on sale here for $10. For more details check out the Facebook event page here. Below, listen to The Black Swans’ song “Nap.”


Zone out to some of our favorite DJ Shadow videos (playing Made In America Festival)

Not to be overlooked amid all the mega-superstars and buzzing up-and-coming bands at this weekend’s Made in America Festival is the tried-and-true turntablist hip-hop pioneer DJ Shadow, who performs on Sunday. He broke big in the 1996 with the classic Endtroducing… and from there built a steady and consistent body of work with his own records, his U.N.K.L.E. collaboration with James Lavelle, and his movie soundtrack work. Not too long ago we talked about Shadow on Facebook and a commenter gave us flack, insinuating that DJ / instrumental music requires no talent or artistry. Believe it or not, it does. Check out some of our favorite DJ Shadow videos below, and catch his set on Sunday – either in person or over the internet. Continue reading →


Philly digital tech company Fame House and DJ Shadow launch first-of-its-kind BitTorrent revenue campaign

Philadelphia-based digital media and marketing company Fame House recently announced a campaign with DJ Shadow that allows artists to directly make revenue from a file-sharing platform; in this case, BitTorrent.

Since its 1996 release, Shadow’s Endtroducing has remained one of the most important and innovative DJ/turntablist/hip-hop records. Shadow began working with Fame House founder and CEO Michael Fiebach in 2006 when Fiebach launched Shadow’s online operation. In 2009, Fiebach conceptualized and managed the relaunch, making it the first independently-operated artist download store to license music from a major label for direct-to-fan sales.

With the new campaign, Shadow will essentially make money from free downloads. According to Gigaom:

BitTorrent will offer a bundle of three MP3s from DJ Shadow’s upcoming album, Hidden Transmissions from the MPC Era (1992-1996) for download. The package will also include digital artwork, as well as some bundled software that will generate revenue for both the company and the artist.

BitTorrent, a peer to peer file sharing distribution platform, launched in 2001. While there has been some opinion in the music business claiming that recorded music sales have declined as a result of peer-to-peer distribution platforms being used to share content illegally and copyright infringement, the platform itself is not illegal or a piracy tool. Many indie artists use it to distribute their music, as do record labels and film makers. Now, using BitTorrent’s proprietary client, DJ Shadow intends to monetize his downloads through the immense reach of the file sharing community. Go here for more information.