Soul / funk / rock artist and Philadelphia native Bilal headlines a show at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown tonight. In the past, he has worked with big names like Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Kimbra just to name a few. His last solo release was In Another Life, released last year. Opening up for Bilal will be the fellow Philadelphian Ursula Rucker. She is a poet, activist, and recording artist who has been performing for over seventeen years. This show featuring some of Philly’s finest is not to be missed. Tickets and more information about the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Check out the video for “Money Over Love” below. Continue reading →
If you would have told me five years ago that Modest Mouse and Brand New would not only tour together in 2016, but co-headline, I would have shrugged said “Eh, I’d probably go see Modest Mouse.” Unlike many of my peers, I didn’t get into Brand New in my formative years, so Modest Mouse became the impetus for me making the pilgrimage out to the Mann Center Saturday night to see the most head-scratching double-header of 2016 summer touring season. While Modest Mouse’s brand of post-shoegaze certainly isn’t anything close to what I’d call “lighthearted,” it’s a far cry from the wallowing, starkly emotional crushers from Long Island’s Brand New. While a lineup like that might provoke confusion, it doesn’t trip on it’s way to the bank — the Mann’s entire 14,000 capacity was entirely sold out mere days after tickets were on sale. The tour proved a big truth: While either band would likely struggle to sell out the amphitheater, the sum is greater than it’s constituent parts. The same could be said about each band’s distinctly divergent career. Continue reading →
How do you write about your favorite band? Do you tell your readers to take everything you are about to say with a grain (or heap, more like) of salt because you’ve been a Wilco fan since before you were born (literally)? Or do you decide to embrace your innermost fanboy and scrawl out a review brimming with those adjectives we music critics employ when we like what we hear? And when it’s your first time seeing Wilco in your home city of Philadelphia since their show at the Tower Theater in 2008? It all seems a nightmare for any modicum of journalistic integrity to me. Continue reading →
It was over before it even began. Cage the Elephant‘s Matt Schultz didn’t even have to move a muscle to have the screaming crowd at the Mann Center leap into the palm of his hand. Anyone who’s ever seen the band perform live before knows that Schultz is anything but a slacker, so sing for his supper he very well did. Extreme hype for the band is more than well-deserved, as they seem to perform without limits to their energy. Thursday night at the Mann’s Skyline Stage, however, they showed a hand both same and different. Continue reading →
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard return to Underground Arts tonight. The Australian garage / psych rockers released their eighth studio recored this year with the critically acclaimed Nonagon Infinity. To emphasize the Infinity part, the LP is apparently recorded as a loop, with the final notes matching up with the opening notes for endless Gizzard fun. Check out “People-Vultures” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.
Folk legend Paul Simon is prepping his newest solo album, Stranger To Stranger, and he recently shared the album’s newest single, “Cool Papa Bell.”
The song, which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the classic Graceland, channels island beats, chimey guitars, and a thumping tuba bassline. But there’s also an unexpected lyrical side to it. Continue reading →
Philly’s Mariah Johnson makes moody, jagged lo-fi pop under the name Woven In, and tonight she’s on a gig upstairs at Fishtown’s Kung Fu Necktie. Earlier this year, Woven In released the Feel LP, which you can listen to below; get more information on tonight’s show with Coin Purse and Straw Hats at its Facebook event page. Continue reading →