Local rockers Purling Hiss celebrate the release of Water On Mars at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The new LP is the trio’s major label debut (through Drag City) and presents the bristly lo-fi guitar rock of previous releases in a more polished, hi-fi resolution while retaining the amped up excess of feedback and noise. The Key explored Water On Mars for a March edition of Unlocked, which you can check out here. Mike Polizze’s band will be joined by his Birds of Maya bandmate Jason Killinger’s newish basement fuzz rock project Spacin’, as well as AXIS:SOVA. Tickets and information the 21+ release show can be found here. Below, watch Purling Hiss’ video for “Mercury Retrograde.”
A four-year-old drug conviction prevented Philly rapper Meek Mill from heading out on tour when his record Dreams and Nightmares was released in the fall; in December, he was temporarily barred from performing by a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge due to stipulations in his probation. That has passed, and Meek is heading out on a national run of dates this spring, beginning in Boston before heading down to headline the Tower Theater on April 5th. Tickets for the show go on sale this Friday, February 22, via Live Nation. Below, watch a video of Meek being interviewed by The Fader at his Sigma Sound Studio concert back in December.
When Meek Mill played a fans-only party at Chinatown’s Sigma Sound back in December, there were some notable folks in the crowd. Miley Cyrus, for one – she was recording downstairs, and popped up in time to hear Meek shout her name out in “Believe It.” But also a video crew from The Fader (which included our buddy Michael James Murray of Out of Town Films). The interview they shot premiered on the blog a couple weeks back, and in it, Meek gives some insight into his work ethic, what it takes to stand out from the Philly hiphop scene, and what keeps him inspired – in his city, and around the country. Check out the video below.
North Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill pledged to donate $10,000 to his alma mater Strawberry Mansion High School, according to a report on Philly.com. Along with the $10,000 donation, he is using his new endorsement through Puma to set up the Strawberry Mansion Knight’s basketball team with new shoes.
These efforts from Meek (offstage name: Robert Williams), who is prohibited from touring for the next 30 days because of his 2008 legal troubles, come as Strawberry Mansion High School is one of the eight schools proposed for closure in concordance with Superintendent Hite’s initiative to consolidate Philadelphia public schools. From Philly.com:
Calling it “a historic moment,” Hite said his recommendations also included changing the grade levels of 23 schools and making other program changes affecting another seven. The total savings for the district could be up to $28 million beginning in 2014-15, he said. The proposed changes will be presented to the School Reform Commission Dec. 20 and, if approved, would affect 17,000 district students, 45 principals and 1,168 teachers. The number of schools would drop from 237 to 199; one in six schools would be closed.
Some community members, including Mill, believes that this consolidation will hurt the public school system. Many believe that forcing students from rival neighborhoods to converge onto the same campus will cause an increase in violence. With all these safety concerns, as well as regards over-crowding, the Hite administration has been assuring Philadelphia residents that a portion of the money being saved will be allocated to address these concerns so that the safety of the children remains a top priority.
More on this topic as it develops. For now you can follow Meek Mill on his twitter, and check out a gallery a review of his fans-only show at Sigma Sound Studio on Tuesday night here.
Just by nature of his music – the big beats, the aggressive rhymes, the relentless airhorns – Meek Mill is larger-than life. So for him to wrap up his breakout year in the cozy surroundings of Sigma Sound Studio in Chinatown was a rare treat. The appearance last night was something of a secretive, fans-only thing that drew a hundred-some devotees out early to catch some DJ action and opening sets from a variety of up-and-coming rappers – Los Angeles MC Thurz, and two signees to Meek’s Dreamchasers imprint, Lee Mazine and Louis V Gutta. Around 10:30, the man of the hour strutted onstage to the cheers of the crowd and the bounding energy of his hype man as they launched into the suave autotune frenzy of “Young and Gettin’ It” from Meek’s debut LP Dreams and Nightmares. He hit on most of that album’s highlights – “Pray” got a modest singalong going, which was massively eclipsed by the frenzy of “Intro” – and only shortchanged the standout “Traumatized” by allowing it just a single verse. “This is my most personal record,” he said of the single, and I guess he wasn’t up to oversharing it last night. Elsewhere in the set, he dipped back to the spring’s Dreamchasers 2 for the bass-heavy banger “Burn” and closed on the rousing “I’m A Boss” from the original Dreamchasers. Meek’s stage presence was pointed and tireless – leaping back and forth, working the crowd, striking a pose – and to underscore how fierce his delivery is, DJ Damage often dropped the backing track during songs to let Meek flow a cappella, never once losing the beat. When he’s headlining venues thrice this size in a year, you can mark these words – the work ethic we saw at Sigma last night will be a big part of what got him there. Check out photos in the gallery above, setlist after the jump. Continue reading →
Only a month after the release of Philly rapper Meek Mill‘s debut full-length album, Dreams and Nightmares, a new version of one of its cuts is available for streaming. Originally “Lay Up” was supposed to appear on Meek’s record with verses from Rick Ross, Trey Songz, and Jay-Z, but the final album version included Wale instead of Jay-Z. You can hear the original version – with Jay’s verse intact – in the player below. Continue reading →