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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Eric Slick at PhilaMOCA, Philly Plays Beck’s Song Reader at World Cafe Live, Elk Rhythms at the North Star Bar

The Key kicks off its month of curating Tuesday Tune-Out at PhilaMOCA with a special solo performance by local multi-instrumentalist Eric Slick.  Best known as the drummer for Dr. Dog and Norwegian Arms, Slick will be improvising a set to his new short film Primal Essence, filmed specifically for this event.  Opening up the night will be short sets by Jonathan Pfeffer (Capillary Action) and Michael Johnson (Ape School).  Admission is a suggested $5 donation at the door; more information can be found here.  Below, watch Slick show off his drumming skills in a Madoff Productions promo video.

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John Francis’ City of Love Festival to benefit local church’s hospitality effort

The Broad Street Ministry

One of the many wonderful things about the Philadelphia music community is its desire to rally around causes and make a difference in the city.  As cliched as that sounds, its true – the latest example being hometown musician John Francis‘ new City of Love Festival, benefiting Broad Street Ministry and their “Breaking Bread” hospitality initiative.  Amidst debate over whether or not outdoor meal services for the homeless should be allowed in Philadelphia, the Broad Street Ministry has created its own safe haven for the city’s homeless men and women where they can receive a hot meal and a variety of services (including medical attention, art therapy and assistance for veterans) every Thursday afternoon. Continue reading →

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Kuf Knotz, Modern Inventors, The Districts and more to perform Beck’s “Song Reader” at World Cafe Live on 01/08

We’ve all heard about it by now: Beck, the cutting-edge musician who gave us leaf blowers on stage and the 1994 hit “Loser,” set forth his latest release in an unconventional medium – a songbook.  Available this week and distributed by McSweeney’s and Faber, Song Reader: Twenty New Songs by Beck features unrecorded songs in sheet music form, up to interpretation by those adventurous enough to step into its full-color illustrations and lush binding:

“The songs here are as unfailingly exciting as you’d expect from their author, but if you want to hear “Do We? We Do,” or “Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard,” bringing them to life depends on you.”

Over a dozen local musicians have accepted Beck’s challenge and will perform their interpretations of the compositions at World Cafe Live on Tuesday, January 8th.  The line-up so far includes Sean Hoots, Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret, The Levee Drivers, Killer Whale, Modern Inventors, Kuf Knotz, Penrose, The Districts, Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang, Satellite Hearts, The Great Unknown, The Bailey Hounds, and Chris Kasper, with more to be announced soon.  Tickets and more information for the show can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The David Wax Museum at Johnny Brenda’s, Neil Young at The Wells Fargo Center, High on Fire at Union Transfer, Passion Pit at The Electric Factory, Zilla Rocca at World Cafe Live

XPN welcomes Artist to Watch The David Wax Museum to Johnny Brenda’s tonight.  The Americana/Mexican roots duo of David Wax and Sue Slezak released Knock Knock Get Up in August and have since been receiving lots of love from blogs and music publications.  Tickets and more information for tonight’s show with Radio Jarocho can be found here.  Below, watch the video for “Will You Be Sleeping.”

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Download Zilla Rocca’s Party With Villains EP (playing World Cafe Live on 11/29)

Wasting no time after the release of the popular Wu-Tang Pulp project, Philly noir-hop MC Zilla Rocca last week quietly released his brand new Party With Villains EP. (It technically dropped on the day the east coast was cleaning up from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, so he waited a week to announce it.) The set makes a smooth return to Zilla Rocca’s solo style – crackling vinyl and funky backing tracks, fierce rhymes and samples from crime movies. Listen to the EP below, grab a name-your-own-price download at Bandcamp and catch Zilla when he appears at Kuf Knotz’ Boombox Collective showcase at World Cafe Live on November 29.

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Tonight’s Halloween Concert Picks: The Spinto Band at Johnny Brenda’s, The Dead Milkmen at Union Transfer, A Tribute to Halloween at The Fire, Kuf Knotz’s BoomBox Collective at World Cafe Live

Indie poppers The Spinto Band are playing the spooky-scary “Dress Up and Make a Sound” event tonight at Johnny Brenda’s.  The Deleware outfit has promised to scare your face off and give you goosebumps (what else could you ask for?) with the help of Philadelphia rock ‘n’ rollers Toy Soldiers, Pittsburgh’s Delicious Pastries and DJ Langor. Tickets are $10 here; doors will open at 8:00 p.m. for the 21+ show.  Check out The Spinto Band’s video for “Muesli” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Boom Room Studio’s first anniversary party, Zammuto at Johnny Brenda’s, Cheers Elephant and more at Maysie’s Farm Fest, Gotye at The Tower Theatre, Melody Gardot at The Merriam Theatre

Photo by Theresa McCullough | tresmackproductions.tumblr.com

To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Fishtown recording studio Boom Room has booked a monster of a show.  Headlined by hip hop group Camp Lo, The W.E. featuring R&B singer Jaguar Wright, psych-jazz trio Grimace Federation and Kuf Knotz, the event will have an outdoor stage, an indoor dance party and an after party.  Complementary food and beverages will be provided by Vitamin Water, Pabst Blue Ribbon and the Local 215 food truck so really, you have no excuse to not dance your feet off.  Tickets are $30 and can be purchased here for the 21+ party, which kicks off at 1:00 p.m.  Below, watch a promo video for Boom Room Studios.

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The Boom Room celebrates one-year anniversary with Camp-Lo, Kuf Knotz and more on 9/29

Photo by Grace Dickinson

After one full year of throwing private events and hosting bands in its recording studio and practice space, the Philly venue Boom Room Studio will be celebrating its one-year anniversary with a blow-out party on September 29th. The event will feature food, drinks, and a slew of live performances. Confirmed artists include rap group Camp Lo, former Roots and Jay-Z backup singer Jaguar Wright‘s new band The W.E., Grimace Federation, BAM!, Kuf Knotz, Nex Millen, DJ Lina Luv, Cultureal, and the Magic Message DJs. The indoor/outdoor event starts at 3 p.m. and goes until the wee hours with a late night dance party hosted by the Magic Message DJs. For more background info on the space from owner of the Boom Room, watch this short behind-the-scenes documentary below. Continue reading →

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Additions to 2nd Street Festival include Lushlife, Purples and a pie eating contest

The folks at the fourth annual 2nd Street Festival are ramping up for a big Sunday in Northern Liberties this weekend. On Saturday, they announced their full lineup for Sunday Aug. 5 in a handy-dandy schedule spreadsheet. Additions include new bands, new DJs and even a pie-eating contest. We’re pretty psyched about that last one, so let’s hit it first – 3:00 p.m. at the festival’s Germantown stage, presumably during a set by Variable Elements, a funk cover band also added to the lineup. That stage opens with singer-songwriter Orion Freeman and wraps with a flamenco band.

A big addition to the festival’s main stage in the Piazza is Philly hip-hop impressionist Lushlife (listen to his Key Studio Session here). The Poplar stage now opens with a set from soulful songwriter John Francis (hear his Key Studio Session here), feisty Philly rockers Purples (their Key Session can be downloaded here) and ubiquitous MC Kuf Knotz (he did a Key Session too, and it’s here). Also on Poplar are mind-blowing Baltimore psych heads Secret Mountains, as well as DJ DNA of Johnny Brenda’s popular gospel brunch and twangy rockers Brooke Shive and the 45s.

Last, there’s the Fairmount Stage, which is pretty much entirely new additions. Two Philly dance troupes will perform – Philareyto, which specializes in Puerto Rican dance, as well as Fuego Nuevo, a group preserving Aztec dance and culture. Opening that stage will be The Webbs and a jam session with John Fuhr, as well as a set in the middle of the afternoon from the Philly School of Rock.

The 2nd Street Festival runs from noon to 10 p.m. along 2nd street in Northern Liberties; the day also includes craft and food vendors, is free and open to the public. More information at 2nd Street Fest’s Facebook page.

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XPoNential Fest: Dana Alexandra makes a splash on the Marina Stage (photos, audio, setlist)

Central Pennsylvania’s own Dana Alexandra kicked off the third day of the XPoNential Music Festival with an energetic performance at the Marina Stage. Philadelphia rapper Kuf Knotz joined her onstage for a song, and Alexandra enthusiastically interacted with the crowd, cooling them off with water balloons and water pistols. Check out a photo gallery above, and see the setlist below. here (via the WXPN media player). Continue reading →

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