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Under new management, Drexel’s reimagined Flux fosters community

Drexel battlefest at Flux Space | photo by Marshall Woodruff | courtesy of the artist
Drift performs at the Flux-curated Battlefest | photo by Marshall Woodruff | courtesy of the artist

Everybody’s heard the philosophical question about the tree falling in the forest, and frankly, I could care less about figuring it out. Why should I care if some random tree in some random forest is making noise? It’s a tree. With that being said, when you apply the same question to an up-and-coming band, the answer becomes a lot more interesting and a lot more clear-cut. Yes, of course they can make a sound, but wouldn’t it be a lot more fun if someone was around to hear it?

Before you headline Madison Square Garden and save the world with your music, you just need to find a community that’s willing to give you a chance. For a lot of bands, that community is the school they’re going to—just ask R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Slowdive, Radiohead, and countless others. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the more supporting and accommodative that somewhere is, the easier it is to get your feet off the ground. As a student and musician currently finishing up my undergraduate at Drexel, I understand this all too well, but for much of my college career, the campus has lacked a place like-minded friends and I could call home. It wasn’t always that way, though.

About six years ago, a Drexel student received a grant for over $90,000 in top-of-the-line sound equipment. It was eventually installed in the basement of the James E. Marks Intercultural Center, resulting in the birth of Flux, the university’s premier concert venue. For the next few years, the space hosted performances from student, local, and touring acts, including Modern Baseball, The Districts, The Front Bottoms, and more. It was the community-centric space I had always dreamed of in high school, but just as I was beginning to feel optimistic about the future, things took a turn for the worse.

Midway through 2014, “The Man” had his manly say.  It’s announced that the Intercultural Center is being torn down to build a hotel, and shortly after, Flux hosts its last show.  The team spends the ensuing months searching for a new space to no avail. With no venue, they lose funding, the students involved graduate, and just like that, Flux disappears completely. Continue reading →

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Battlefest V comes to the URBN Annex Black Box Theater tonight, featuring Liz de Lise, Endless Taile and more

Liz De Lise | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Liz De Lise | Photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Battlefest, Drexel University’s annual free concert, happens tonight at the URBN Annex Black Box Theater. This year’s show will feature some of Philadelphia’s best up-and-coming artists, featuring indie-pop duo Liz de Lise, power trio Endless Taile, and Drexel student based outfits Tiger Oil and Drift.

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DRGN King and SHMNS to headline Flux at Drexel University on 1/24

DRGN King | photo via www.facebook.com/wearedrgnking
DRGN King | photo via www.facebook.com/wearedrgnking

Drexel University’s Flux will throw their first show of the year on Friday, January 24th featuring DRGN King and SHMNS.  DRGN King had a big 2013, playing a much-loved set at the XPoNential Music Festival in July, recording Daytrotter, Brighton Sound and Out of Town Film sessions and releasing its debut full-length Paragraph Nights on Bar-None Records.  SHMNS are a new electro / pop outfit from Philadelphia that released their glimmering debut EP Somewhere Between Here and There in May of last year.  Also playing are Mammoth Indigo from Virginia and Boston’s Sparhawks.  More information about the show can be found on the Facebook event page here.  Watch DRGN King perform “Undertow” below, followed by SHMNS track “Oh! Hallelujah!”

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MadKo Concerts presents Bok Nero, Kill3r Whale and more at Flux on 6/7

bok nero

Drexel University’s MadKo Concerts is closing out the semester with a show featuring a variety of local musicians at the school’s Flux venue.  The bill lists rapper Bok Nero (pictured) of the Blonde Gang crew, chiptune duo Kill3r Whale, EDM producer Speaker of the House, house / electro DJ Sweekuh and dubstep DJ Subtronics, offering a sample of the city’s up-and-coming performers in an unconventional line-up.  Tickets and information for the show can be found on its Facebook event page here.  Check out videos and tracks from the bands below.

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