Nationally-renowned R&B / soul singer (and University of Pennsylvania graduate) John Legend will return to his alma mater on Wednesday, January 16, to deliver the university’s 12th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in Social Justice. While studying English and African-American Literature at Penn, Legend (offstage name: John Roger Stephens) became active in the university’s a cappella scene, and also began building his name performing at downtown blues venues.
For his appearance, Legend will be interviewed by Penn professor Camille Z. Charles at Irvine Auditorium; tickets are free and available at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts box office at 3680 Walnut Street on a first-come, first-serve basis. Go here for more information. Below, watch Legend performing “How I Got Over” from his collaboration with The Roots at Calvary Baptist Church in West Philadelphia.
John Legend has announced a Fall tour that comes to the Tower Theatre on Thursday, November 1st. Legend is releasing a new album called Love in The Future and was co-Executive Produced with Legend, Kanye West and Dave Tozer. You can listen to a snippet of “Caught Up,” co-written by Legend and West here. Opening the show is the new British singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas who is WXPN’s Artist To Watch. Tickets to the show go on sale this Friday. Go here to purchase tickets. Below, watch Legend and The Roots perform Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up.”
John Legend made a surprise visit to the Cavalry Baptist Church in West Philadelphia this past Sunday morning. That evening he opened for Sade at the Wells Fargo Center. In church, backed by the choir he sang an Aretha Franklin song, “How I Got Over.” This is how it went down:
Philly’s Gypsy Death And You & Eat Your Birthday Cake perform at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $8)
Ugly Radio Rebellion with Ike Willis: A Tribute To Frank Zappa at The North Star Bar at 8PM. Tickets to the 21 + show are $10-$130.00.
“Do the Evolution”: a 20th Anniversary Tribute Celebration of the music of Pearl Jam at World Cafe Live at 7PM. Tickets are $15–$20. In addition to the ticket price, there is a $10 per person food and beverage minimum for all reserved seating at this show. There is no minimum for General Admission tickets.
Sade with special guest John Legend perform at the Wells Fargo Center at 7:30PM. Ticket information here
Philadelphia’s music scene doesn’t get up early enough for a morning roundup. While the rest of the world is sipping on their lattes and reading about international affairs, we’re nursing our hangovers and trying to shake the ringing out of our ears. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like to (eventually) stay informed. Snooze Alarm presents Philly’s most important local-music-related news, whenever the scene finally gets around to making it (and the rest of us are ready to read it).
Is That The Sound Of … Philadelphia? Is That The Sweet Philly Soul? “Philadelphia music was well represented at the Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear on the National Mall in Washington on Saturday. The Roots were the house band, and the Philadelphia hip-hop collective kicked off the festivities with a set with U Penn grad John Legend that drew from their new old school soul album Wake Up!” (In The Mix)
Ted Leo, My Morning Jacket, !!!, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT, Jack White Go All Out for Halloween “Last year, Ted Leo celebrated Halloween by teaming up with some friends in Philadelphia to play an entire show as the horror-punk legends Misfits. Judging by all YouTubed evidence, it was awesome. This year, Leo repeated the trick, once again playing an entire Misfits set with tribute band TV Casualty in Philadelphia on Thursday night. And judging by the YouTube evidence below, it was, once again, awesome. This is a nascent annual tradition we can get behind.” (Pitchfork)
The 9th Annual First Person Festival Starts in Just One Week! “It’s that time again! The 9th Annual First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art is just around the corner. From November 8-14 choose from thirty events including documentary film premieres, author readings, workshops and live performances all inspired by real life experience. Check out the East coast premiere of the hit one-man show, The Real Americans, and the ‘Best Storyteller in Philadelphia.’” (Uwishunu)
Like A Man Smoking At A Gas Station, Meek Mill’s About To Blow Up (Says MTV) “Well, for what it’s worth MTV (taking a break from plotting the next season of Jersey Shore, no doubt) seems to think Philly’s own Meek Mill — who wowed ‘em the other week at the Power 99 Powerhouse show at the Wells Fargo Center — is the next hot-shit rapper to emerge from the 215. Hard to argue with that. They ran a nice lil’ Meek profile the other day; here’s an excerpt” (Make Major Moves)
As we mentioned yesterday, John Legend And The Roots recently covered Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” during their Spike-Lee-directed American Express UNSTAGED show at New York’s Terminal 5. Here’s the video, which features Legend, Questlove, and Co. injecting a little soul into the Montreal band’s anthemic live-set closer.