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“My F’in Night at the Opera”: Iggy Pop channels the spirit of ’77 at the Academy of Music

Iggy Pop | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN | wendymccardle.com
Iggy Pop | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN | wendymccardle.com

This story begins on March 19, 1977. It’s the day after the release of Iggy Pop‘s solo debut, The Idiot, and he’s performing at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia with his collaborator and producer, David Bowie. Also in attendance is my concert connoisseur / photographer mother, Nancy. She has brought her camera, hoping to catch photos of Bowie but unwittingly bearing witness to a musical partnership that would connect Iggy Pop to another musical brethren decades later.

Fast forward forty years – I’m standing in front of the Academy of Music, waiting for my turn to photograph Iggy Pop. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Songhoy Blues at Arden Guild Hall, Iggy Pop at Academy of Music, La Santa Cecilia at World Cafe Live at The Queen, and more…

Songhoy Blues
Songhoy Blues | photo courtesy of the artist

Songhoy Blues, a desert blues quartet from Timbuktu in Mali, released their debut album Music In Exile in March of 2015, and they will be performing tonight at the Arden Guild Hall. Opening the show will be Philly locals Ill Fated Natives. For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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The 7 best things I saw at SXSW

Jack Garratt | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Jack Garratt | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

As with the past twenty plus SXSW music festivals I’ve attended, coordinating seeing all the bands I’ve want to see each year I go is a function of timing and serendipity. And it’s nearly impossible to see everything I have on my wish list. At any time, there are both official and unofficial showcases all around the city, and there are literally hundreds of them. SXSW is a sprawling, crowded event where you can see a random band rocking out in a vacant parking lot, or see an emerging buzz band, or if you’re willing to wait in a long line to get into the Spotify house, or the Pandora stage or the Hype Hotel, you might be able to see some big name rock bands or rappers along with bands your industry friends have declared the next big thing. It can get very complex very quickly.

Going into SXSW this year I had a list of 23 artists I wanted to see, and given I was at the festival for less time than usual, I knew a list of that size was over reaching. I managed to see about a dozen shows over the three days I was in Austin. Here’s some of the best things I saw. Continue reading →

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Listen to Iggy Pop’s Post Pop Depression via NPR Music

Iggy Pop | photo by Andreas Neumann | via NPR

Rock and roll wild man Iggy Pop may be winding down his career in music, according to news reports, but he’s leaving fans with a final outing: Post Pop Depression, recorded with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and members of The Arctic Monkeys. The record is out on March 18th and streaming this week in its entirety via NPR Music’s First Listen series.

Writing for NPR, Jason Heller called the record introspective, vulnerable and nostalgic, hearkening back to Pop’s collaborations with David Bowie on The Idiot and Lust for Life. Continue reading →