Probably the most anticipated release from Philly’s hip-hop scene this year, Dreams and Nightmares – the major-label debut full-length from North Philly rapper Meek Mill- hit stores today. Leading up to its release, Meek described the record to reporters as a journey, a story of his life to date, and you really feel that listening. Unlike the two Dreamchasers mixtapes that gained him mainstream popularity (not to mention the half-dozen other underground mixtapes that preceded them), this isn’t simply a celebration of a young man achieving his aspirations. Those collections touched on the struggle and the path Meek took, but were mostly empowering tales of going it your own, a rapper as a self-made success. This album gives equal time to the flipside, the hardships and dangers, the nightmares that its title alludes to. Continue reading →
This weekend, Jay-Z‘s much-anticipated Made In America festival will fill the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with more than thirty artists playing on three stages in two days. It will be a massive musical melting pot, with everything from hip-hop (Meek Mill) to dubstep (Skrillex) and art-rock (Dirty Projectors) represented. Chances are, you know many of the bands on the bill – Pearl Jam and Run D.M.C. are household names. And even if you don’t realize who sings it, Passion Pit‘s “Take a Walk” has been an inescapable and awesome summer hit. Other performers may be completely new to you (Prince Royce? Afrojack?)…and that’s cool too! Music festivals are about discovery, after all, and we’re here to help you in that process with a crash course in the Made in America lineup. Listen to our Spotify playlist below – it’s got one track from just about every artist on the lineup – and get excited for two days of eclectic sounds eminating from the Parkway!
Gritty lo-fi garage rock band Purling Hiss are playing a free hometown show tonight at Morgan’s Pier with Bandname as part of R5′s Free Saturday Summer Concert Series. The show starts at 6 p.m. and you must be over 21 or accompanied by a legal guardian for entry. Below check out the official music video for the Purling Hiss’ song “The Hoodoo” off their EP, “Lounge Lizards,” out on indie label Mexican Summer.
Rapper and Philly native Meek Mill is a dedicated self-promoter. The hip-hop artist has self-produced and released 14 mixtapes and his hard work has paid off. Meek Hill has collaborated and opened for the likes of Drake, Lil Wayne, and Diddy. Now he is playing two headlining shows at the TLA tonight as part of his Dreamchasers Tour, followed by a slot at the Jay-Z-curated Made in America Festival. The first show tonight at 7 p.m. is sold out, but there are still tickets available for the 11 p.m. show, which are on sale here for $57.50 each. Both shows tonight feature support by rapper Black Cobain. Below check out the music video for Meek Mill’s song “Amen” featuring Drake and Jeremih.
XPN welcomes Pittsburgh alt rock/soul band Lovebettie to The Garden in Carlisle, PA tonight. The show is part of The Garden’s Ladies of the Early Evening series, which features a free show by a female artist every Saturday evening from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. through September 24th. Bring your own chairs or blanket, relax, and enjoy the free tunes. Listen to Lovebettie in the player below.
“Who knew only two guys could make so much noise?” said one concert goer at the Japandroids show at Johnny Brenda’s this past Friday night. A two man band is extremely possible to get a crowd moving, however Japandroids – consisting of Canadian rock duo, Brian King and David Prowse – wasted no time in rocking the sold-out Johnny Brenda’s. Japandroids have two self-released EP’s, and two full length albums out. Last month they released Celebration Rock, a truly celebratory rock record.
The energy at the Fishtown venue was palpable even before anyone stepped onto the stage. On one of the hottest days of the summer and a sold-out performance, this was bound to be a sweaty show. At just around 9:20 PM, Brian King announced the opening rapper, Cadence Weapon, also from Canada, who tore up the stage and brought a spark of energy to the already hyped crowd. The crafty rapper also did two songs over other artist’s instrumentals; one included “88″, produced by Grimes, and another entitled “Loft Party” with instrumentals by Philadelphia’s own Meek Mill. Cadence Weapon’s latest release is Hope in Dirt City, and you can check out the song “Loft Party” from the show below.
Japandroids came on stage quickly after Cadence Weapon’s excellent performance. The duo is known for their blending of punk and garage rock and recalls Nineties’ rock bands like New Found Glory and Sugarcult with a modern twist. It’s a rarity to hear true rock ‘n roll in this day and age, with the simplicity of just vocals, a guitar, and a drum set. Brian King’s powerful voice gave a burst of energy, rejuvenating the crowd with wild ballads and heavy power chords; while David Prowse’s drumming created a juxtaposition of steadily out of control rhythms.
Opening with “Boys Are Leaving Town” from Post-Nothing, then dove into an extended version of “Adrenaline Nightshift” followed by “The Nights of Wine and Roses” which King openly admitted to stealing the title from the band The Dream Syndicate; one of two bands that influenced him while writing the album over the course of a year.
Right before the the duo played my personal favorite, the somewhat slower “Continuous Thunder,” I sought some respite in the balcony. The song has a catchy hook and lyrics that leave an impression on you; “If I had all the answers/And you had the body you wanted/Would we love with legendary fire?” Next, they played “Fire’s Highway,” and the crowd was getting so into the show that they were pounding their fists in the air as well as on the stage, and wildly moshing about. This was one of the craziest and fun shows I’ve been to at Johnny Brenda’s.
In addition to being influenced by The Dream Syndicate while working on Celebration Rock, Japandroids were also influenced by Philadelphia natives, The War on Drugs, for whom Japandroids dedicated the last song of their set, “For the Love of Ivy.” It was truly incredible to get such a crazy, intense show out of just vocals and two instruments; Japandroids just proved that rock ‘n roll is far from being dead.
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)