Tonight’s Concert Picks: Belle and Sebastian at Mann Center, Pine Barons at PhilaMOCA, GrandeMarshall at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Belle And Sebastian
Belle And Sebastian | Photo by Søren Solkær

A Belle and Sebastian performnce is reason enough to head out to the Mann Center on any night, but throw in Andrew Bird and Porches to the lineup and you’ve got an unmissable show on your hands. The Scottish seven-piece’s last record was 2015’s Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, and they have a new album promised later in 2017 on Matador. Listen to the new single “We Were Beautiful” that the group dropped over the weekend, and check out the XPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Shifting the Gaze with Alice Bag at Kelly Writers House, GrandeMarshall at MilkBoy, Kris Kristofferson at the Keswick

alice bag
Alice Bag | photo from artist’s website

Los Angeles punk legend Alice Bag leads a reading and conversation at Penn’s Kelly Writers House for the second installment of Shifting the Gaze. The recurring event was formed last year as a venue for continued discussion surrounding women in the music industry. After leading the Bags through the early waves of punk and writing a series of books about her experiences, Bag released her debut solo effort last year via Don Giovanni Records. Listen to her just-released single “Reign of Fear” below and more information about the event here.

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Listen to GrandeMarshall get sentimental on “Now & Then”

GrandeMarshall | Photo by Doug Interrante for WXPN

GrandeMarshall has always been a downbeat kind of guy, vibe-wise, even when his lyrics skew more towards motivational sentiments and braggadocio. BUt this latest track from the Philly MC is some of his most introspective and reflective that we’ve heard. A standalone joint from an upcoming Throwed Mind compilation (hat-tip, Okayplayer) sees Grande describing a longtime and loyal companion: “seen me grow, seen me blow / seen my highs, seen my lows.” But as the song proceeds, it’s unclear whether we’re talking about a friend, a romantic partner or a fan. It’s also unclear whether this person is still a fixture in Grande’s day-to-day, but one thing is clear on the sentimentalist tip: they mean the world to him. Give the song a listen below, and revisit our Key Studio Session with GrandeMarshall here. Continue reading →


Hang out in North Philly with GrandeMarshall in “Never Change”

GrandeMarshall | photo courtesy of the artist

“Never Change,” a standout track from GrandeMarshall‘s Fools Gold debut My Brother’s Keeper, gets the video treatment in a new clip shared this week. The Philadelphia-based rapper takes us around his North Philly neighborhood, stopping in at a barbershop, sitting on a stoop and riding around in a cab before hitting his local bar for a send-off drink.

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The Key Studio Sessions: GrandeMarshall


Philly rapper GrandeMarshall has a style unto himself. In his past few years of activity on the Philly scene, he’s impressed with his laid-back flow – cool, calm, collected and confident – with lyrics that are a little bit braggadocio, a little bit introspective. They don’t go for the throat as much as they put their hand on your shoulder, look you dead in the eye and tell you how things are going to be.

Paired with these rhymes are spectral, textured beats. Midtempo and sparse, they’re adorned by minimal production and ghostly synth melodies, carving out lots of space and creating an ambience that’s as chilling as it is meditative. Continue reading →


GrandeMarshall turns up for the hometown crowd at Union Transfer

GrandeMarshall | Photo by Doug Interrante
GrandeMarshall | Photo by Doug Interrante

GrandeMarshall, playing his first show since releasing his debut album My Brother’s Keeper on Fool’s Gold Records, turned it up a notch for his hometown at Union Transfer last week. Opening for one of hip hop’s youngest and most promising stars, Vince Staples, is no small feat, and the Philly phenom lived up to the hype. The set opener “ITSPULLUP” set a tone on stage which embodies the spirit of our city – a toughness and confidence that can felt by GrandeMarshall’s mere presence. Continue reading →


Listen to Grande Marshall’s Daytrotter session

This tasty new set tripped down the Daytrotter wire today; backed by a DJ and a handy cache of moody, evocative beats, up-and-coming Philly rapper Grande Marshall released a session that’s available as streaming and downloadable audio for members. He recorded five songs – “Anslinger’s Revenge,” “95’s,” “Boathouse,” “Lupin III” and “Thuggis Shidd Pt. II” – at Good Danny’s in Austin.

Daytrotter honcho Sean Moeller described Marshall as a young man who “had to adjust to an impartial real world that’s been littered with hardship and disappointment:”

When he raps, you hear this in every line. You hear that the struggle is still fresh and he’s being strong about it, but there are plenty of parts to the story that are tender and will always be tender.” Heavy stuff, but important and meaningful stuff. … Grande Marshall songs are about staying afloat when everyone’s so quick to tie blocks of cement to everyone else’s ankles, just to watch them sink. It’s the kill or be killed mentality that Grande Marshall talks about – that grand and selfish notion that it’s either me or it’s you going down – and it’s incredible how few winners there are when that game’s played. Grande Marshall will win.

Download Grande Marshall’s Daytrotter Session here. For more, check out some of Grande Marshall’s appearances in the Key archives here.