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Six locals to catch at the 2014 Philadelphia Folk Festival

Kicking Down Doors
Kicking Down Doors live at the Mermaid Inn | Photo by Valentine Gorski | via facebook.com/KickingDownDoors

Every year you’re bound to catch a smattering of local music at the Philadelphia Folk Festival – from the Helen Leicht-curated WXPN Philly Local Stage (which we’ll preview tomorrow) to the Folksong Society’s Philadelphia Music Co-Op (which has given rise to Cheers Elephant and Toy Soldiers). The 2014 festival, however, is particularly strong in highlighting the music of the Southeastern and Central Pennsylvania region. Here are six local artists to make sure you catch as you’re making your way around the Folk Fest grounds this weekend. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Low Cut Connie at Johnny Brenda’s, Kalob Griffin Band at World Cafe Live, The Districts / Pine Barons at Chameleon Club, and more

Photo By: Charlotte Jacobson
Photo By: Charlotte Jacobson

Old school rock ‘n’ roll outfit Low Cut Connie is playing at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. With a tone like an upbeat “Piano Man” it’s no wonder that the honky tonk group’s whimsical tribute to Philadelphia “Boozophilia,” off of Call Me Sylvia, reached number 31 on Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Songs of 2012″ list. Just last month the band premiered their cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into the Fire” from their forthcoming tribute album via Rolling Stone. Get ready for their Philly show by listening a live performance of the new track below. Find details and tickets here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Red Baraat at The Blockley, Minor Alps at World Cafe Live, Mazzy Star at Union Transfer

Red Baraat | Photo by Eric Ashleigh | www.showtographe.com

Brooklyn’s Red Baraat will bring its jazz and brass funk-fused Indian rhythms to The Blockley stage tonight. The eight-piece ensemble released their Shruggy Ji LP earlier this year via Sinj Records. Back in 2011, the band’s performance at globalFest made Bob Boilen of NPR’s list of favorite shows of the year. Watch their dynamic performance of “Shruggy Ji” below, listen to their XPN Fest set here and get tickets here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kalob Griffin Band at Johnny Brenda’s, Dent May at MilkBoy, The Weeknd at Susquehanna Bank Center, and more

znNa1lSPhiladelphia based Kalob Griffin Band will be bringing their Americana rock n’ roll to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. This band is known for their energetic live shows that are fueled by their love for music and performing. With an enthralling style that utilizes banjo and piano, this band is definitely one to check out. You can listen to their latest album here, download an exclusive new song by clicking here, and expect more new music from them this fall. Tickets for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dice Raw at City Hall, Kalob Griffin Band at Penn Museum, Prefuse 73 / Spaceship Aloha at Morgan’s Pier, At Fest at the Troc

dice raw

Philly hip hop artist Dice Raw will be performing for free at City Hall tonight as part of the City Hall Presents concert series. His newest album, Jimmy’s Back, is available. The album’s is based on The New Jim Crow, a bestselling book by Michele Alexander. Along with the LP, Dice Raw is releasing a short documentary that explores mass incarceration and the prison system, especially in Philadelphia. The concert will run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall courtyard. Listen to Dice Raw’s new track, “Animal,” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Up Up Down Down with Hop Along at Union Transfer, XPN Welcomes The City of Love Festival to Underground Arts, River City Extension at Fed Live, XPN Welcomes Bruce Hornsby to the Scottish Rite Auditorium, XPN Welcomes Morrissey to the House of Blues Atlantic City

South Jersey’s Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start reunite for a show at Union Transfer tonight.  Ten years ago the math rock / shoegazing-punk outfit released And Nothing is #1 – tonight, they will be playing the record from start to finish, appeasing fans who have patiently waited for the band to resurface after 2007′s Worst Band Name Ever.  Tickets and information for the all-ages show with A Great Big Pile of Leaves and Hop Along can be found here. Read yesterday’s interview with Steve Poponi of Up Up Down Down here.  Below, stream “By Surprise” from And Nothing is #1.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kanye West at Revel Ovation Hall, Rebirth Brass Band at The Blockley, Kalob Griffin Band at Chameleon Club

Photo by Kristian Dowling

Tireless entertainer Kanye West brings his bright and bold live show to Atlantic City’s Revel Ovation Hall for the final night of a three-night stand. Though West did not have a proper solo release this year, he appeared on Cruel Summer, a compilation showcasing the roster of his G.O.O.D. Music label; plus, he’s still riding high on Watch The Throne, the outstanding collaborative album he released with Jay-Z last year. More information on the show can be found here. Friday’s opening night show made some headlines when West appeared onstage in a diamond-encrusted mask, later swapping it out for a mask-and-powered-wig combo that Fuse compared to a Yeti. Check out a video below and decide for yourself.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: In Memory of Joe Stummer at North Star Bar, World/Inferno Friendship Society at Chamelon Club, Kalob Griffin Band at World Cafe Live, The Babies at Kung Fu Necktie

To mark the anniversary of Clash guitarist Joe Strummer’s passing, the North Star Bar will be hosting In Memory of Joe Strummer: A Benefit for Strummerville. The show benefits the Strummervile charity that financially support struggling musicians who aspire to change the world through music. The charity was established by family and friends of the influential punk rocker, and a variety of acts will be performing in support of the cause including Blayer Point du Jour and the Rockers Galore, The Cold Roses, Betty Iron Thumbs, I Yahn I Arkestra, The Future Unwritten (named after the Strummer documentary), The Successful Failures and Split Red. More information on the foundation can be located here. Below, watch one of the Strummerville sessions directed by famed punk scene DJ and Clash associate Don Letts.

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Kalob Griffin Band lives while they’re young (playing World Cafe Live 12/22)

Photo by Rhys Asplundh | www.flickr.com/people/rhysasplundh
I’m meeting a couple of the guys from the Kalob Griffin Band for a drink at Fergie’s in Center City. I’ve snagged a four-top by the bar and set my notepad in front of my beer. At 2 p.m. exactly, the boys burst in through the swinging stained-glass door.

“Ali!” they call out. “Hey, Ali!” That may be my nickname, but they’re not talking to me.

They’re greeting Fergie’s bartender, Ali Wadsworth, a soulful Philadelphia singer-songwriter and one half of Hoots and Wadsworth, one of the two acts opening for The Kalob Griffin Band (KGB) on December 22 at World Cafe Live.

“Ali’s amazing,” says Griffin, slugging back a shot of Jack Daniels and cracking open a Narragansett pounder almost simultaneously.

“We did a duet with her at The Living Room on the Lower East Side,” adds Eric Lawry, drummer of the indie Americana quintet.

John Hildenbrand, keyboardist for the band, nods. “She can sing like nothing else and she’s a huge supporter of us. So much respect.”

Support is what makes The KGB world go round. Continue reading →

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Three days of celebration at MilkBoy Philly begin tonight

In 1999, a partnership began between Jamie Lokoff and Tommy Joyner, and the result was the MilkBoy empire we know today. Starting out above Zapf’s Music off of Roosevelt Bouelvard, the two joined forces to take Joyner’s MilkBoy Recording Studio to the next level. After two years at the North Philadelphia location, Lokoff and Joyner chose to move the studio to a space in Ardmore, where it resided for just over ten years until moving to its current location – 7th and Callowhill, the same building as the Electric Factory. Before the studio was even moved, they chose to expand their brand, create something more out of MilkBoy, something that everyone could enjoy. I got to chat with Tommy and Jamie about how they went from just a recording to studio to a full out bar, venue, coffee shop combo and their upcoming MilkBoy Philly anniversary shows.

Photo by Tony Wood

The Key: How did you go about expanding the recording studio to become a venue and a coffee shop?

Tommy Joyner: We were approached by people in the town and became very involved in Ardmore. I was on the Board of the Ardmore Business Association, and Jamie on the Board of Ardmore Initiative. The coffee shop/music venue was opened in February 2006 followed by the Bryn Mawr location in 2007, which no longer exists. Then just over a year ago, the folks who owned the property in Center City contacted us. We were looking to get into Philly so it was really perfect timing.

TK: What is the difference between MilkBoy Coffee and MilkBoy Philly?

TJ: MilkBoy Philly is a bar and a rock club. It’s larger, and we’re able to do louder shows because the PA is robust, to say the least. The stage is bigger, and you’re more likely to see a national act perform at MilkBoy Philly. We have to be choosy about doing all-ages shows there, whereas MilkBoy Coffee is smaller, more for acoustic-oriented acts, and always all-ages and BYOB. They are both booked really well to showcase the best talent, but they feel really different from each other. Continue reading →