“The Philly hip-hop scene needs something fresh,” Hezekiah told the audience at MilkBoy. The Philly MC was in literal master of ceremonies mode at the center city venue last night, hosting the launch of a new party organized by Illvibe Collective that had clever wordsmith S.T.S. (Sugar Tongue Slim) in the headlining spot. Hezekiah explained to the crowd that their goal was a new showcase of the city’s emerging talent that also celebrated its established names on a planned monthly basis. Last night’s kickoff was modestly attended – decent for a Wednesday night though – but the people who went were pumped to be there. “We’re family,” Hezekiah and DJ PHSH said throughout the night, and indeed there was a warm and engaged vibe among the people on the floor, and the talent on stage did not disappoint. Continue reading →
It’s no secret we’ve been falling a little bit in love with indie-pop five-piece Cheerleader the past few months. The band’s summery vibes make for some damn catchy tunes, and the title track for their upcoming EP On Your Side doesn’t stray from this aesthetic we’ve grown so fond of. Continue reading →
We were already a fan of outside-the-box Philly rapper S.T.S. (AKA Sugar Tongue Slim), and then this summer he took his artistic scope to a prolific new level – and with it, our enthusiasm was amped even further. First, there was his weekly “In The Lab” series of remixes, collaborations and other audio ephemera he’s been releasing on pretty much a weekly basis since June. His latest – “How Philly Use To Sound” – features cuts from DJ Jazzy Jeff, alongside verses from up and coming rappers Dayne Jordan and Son Little, celebrating the jazz and soul roots of the city: “this was a renaissance town / full of seekers who found / a soul song in they heart / a sort of hip to their hop / a certain je ne sais quoi / a touch of jazz in the park / a saxophone in the dark.” Slim and his collaborators paint a vivid picture here, and especially so on We Can Talk Politics and World Affairs, the incredible EP he dropped this summer that’s equally parts hard-hitting beats, high-energy rock and thought provoking rhymes unpacking a bevy of social issues from religion to racial profiling. Tonight Slim headlines MilkBoy on a stacked bill that also features Hezekiah, The Bul Bey and more. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “How Philly Use To Sound.” Continue reading →
Local indie rockers Southwork will play Johnny Brenda’s tonight, celebrating the release of its latest record Wear Your Heart Out. The record was recorded in a South Philly row home on a reel-to-reel tape machine owned by frontman Mike Vivas’ cousins. The recordings are raw and heartfelt, just fuzzy enough to sound like a warp-y dream. Take a listen to “Tell You a Story” below and pick up tickets for the show with Tutlie and Purples here. Continue reading →
Local haze-pop group Cheerleader join Kristopher Roe of alt-rock stalwarts The Ataris at MilkBoy tonight for the venue’s 15th anniversary. Cheerleader released a new video for its crystalline pop single “Perfect Vision” earlier this month, a track that will be on the full-length follow-up to this year’s self-titled debut EP. The song moves away from the pure haziness of the EP and pulls production influences from radio pop songs, making it a perfect summer anthem alternative. Meanwhile, Kristopher Roe of The Ataris has embarked on a solo acoustic tour of the States, performing fan favorites and requests in intimate settings. Watch Cheerleader’s video for “Perfect Vision” below and get more information about the free show here.
Center city venue MilkBoy its third anniversary next month with three days of free shows. The party also marks the 20th anniversary of its parent company, MilkBoy the Studio. From August 14 to 16th, the venue will host phenomenal performances from artists like The Ataris, Cheerleader, and the Lawsuits. To help you map out your show-going, we’ve highlighted an artist (or two) for each day. Continue reading →
Norristown’s weekend Walla Fest is back for its fourth year with a stacked line-up of local music including Pine Barons and Vita and the Wolf. Pine Barons recently went up to Lafayette Hill’s Kettle Pot Tracks studio to record an On the Hill Session, which you can check out here. Meanwhile, Vita and Wolf have released two singles on their Bandcamp – listen to “Mary” below. More information for the festival, which takes place at the Centre Theater in Norristown today and tomorrow, can be found here.
Little Daylight is an electro-pop group out of Brooklyn. In the past year, they have released an album called Tunnel Vision, toured with Bastille and have had singles remixed by artists like Future Islands. They recently played two huge festivals, Governor’s Ball and Firefly, and received high praise for each performance. Their new album, Hello Memory, is set to be released July 15th.
This week, the group posted a new song, “My Life”, to their SoundCloud page. It’s a big song that needs to be played loudly. Just shy of three minutes long, the catchy percussion and synthy back-beats keep us wanting more. It’s loud, but not TOO loud.
You can bet Little Daylight’s live performance is a guaranteed good time. Make sure you catch them when they perform at MilkBoy on September 20th.
Standards have always been a way for jazz artists to come together on common ground and find a collective sound. For generations, musicians have joined together in jam sessions and played “Autumn Leaves” or “My Funny Valentine” or “Caravan,” putting their own unique, modern spin on these timeless classics.
Toronto trio BADBADNOTGOOD found their sound with a much more contemporary standard – Gucci Mane’s “Lemonade.” The three members met while students in the jazz program at Toronto’s Humber College, but it was their shared love of hip-hop that brought them together as a group. “Being at jazz school, a lot of people were just into jazz because that’s obviously what they’re studying, but we bonded because we had a lot of other common interests,” says keyboardist Matthew Tavares.
Those interests have now resulted in three albums and a burgeoning career as producers with some of the very hip-hop artists whose work they admired, including collaborations with Odd Future members Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler the Creator, and Frank Ocean. Their latest CD, III (Innovative Leisure), is their first composed wholly of their own original music, foregoing the hip-hop and rock covers that distinguished their previous releases. They’ll perform some of that music – and reprise a few of those trademark covers – at MilkBoy on Saturday night.
So is BBNG a jazz trio with hip-hop leanings? A hip-hop crew with jazz roots? According to bassist Chester Hansen, “It’s a difficult question. I don’t know if we could accurately say that it’s one thing or the other. I think it’s really just a combination of all of our influences; jazz and hip-hop are definitely in there in great amounts, but it’s open to interpretation.”
“I wouldn’t really call it jazz because a lot of the songs don’t some of the elements that people consider to be jazz,” adds Tavares. “Other songs do, but maybe they’re missing other elements. It’s really a big mish-mash of stuff we like to listen to, the music we like to learn and approach and explore and be creative with.”
III definitely showcases the hybrid sound that the band has forged over the last several years. Continue reading →
Thee Idea Men, a bluesy Philly indie rock band that formed in 2011, are ready to debut its second full-length, New LevelShoes, released digitally today. The 10-track album is reminiscent of The Black Keys in terms of their static and grit. Each song is different from the next, jumping from a sinister, psychedelic rock vibe in “Shake It” and “Underplayed” to a slower more mellow bluesy sound like in “Please” and “Addicted.” You can listen to a full stream of the album below and catch Thee Idea Men at MilkBoy on May 31st for their CD release show. Tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.