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Listen to Vita and the Woolf and Milton perform a collaborative song on the WXPN Philly Local Show

VitaMilton
Jennifer Pague of Vita and the Woolf and Milton | Photo by John Vettese

Last week, soul singer Milton and art-popper Jen Pague of Vita and the Woolf hit me up last week about doing an on-air collaboration for the XPN Philly Local Show, and what happened was totally unexpected. I figured maybe they’d come in and do a cover, or play one song from each of their albums. So it took me aback when, as I was letting them in the studio, Pague told me “We wrote a song today.” Continue reading →

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SXSW Dispatch: Reppin’ Philly with RECPhilly, What Scene, Freeway, Moosh and Twist, Ground Up, Chill Moody and more

Moosh and Twist  at the RECPhilly showcase | Photo by John Vettese
Moosh and Twist at the RECPhilly showcase | Photo by John Vettese

It was a rainy night in Austin on Friday, making it the perfect time to stay indoors, off of the 6th Street melee and hang with a stacked lineup of Philly hip-hop and R&B musicians. The party at Old School Bar – thrown by promoters What Scene? and record label / artist development upstart RECPhilly – mixed up-and-comers with established names, and kept the room packed with an enthusiastic crowd across the night. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Milton at Bourbon and Branch, Dan Wilson at World Cafe Live, Bondage and Discipline at Boot and Saddle and more

Milton | Photo by John Vettese
Milton | Photo by John Vettese

It’s a night showcasing the new sound of Philly soul tomorrow at Bourbon and Branch with a performance by Milton, who just a year ago released an impressive, eclectic record called Simple Pleasures. Jacqueline Conatance opens the show, and we’re hoping she does her knockout Sylvan Esso cover. Tickets and more information can be found here. Continue reading →

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Carsie Blanton plays an endearing, entrancing set at Tellus 360

Carsie Blanton / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Carsie Blanton | Photo by Elizabeth Mazenko

If you look at her Patrean page, she is a self-described “songwriter, performer, jazz geek, pop enthusiast, and thoughtful hedonist.” Read her bio to learn that she is “an unschooler, a sex blogger, and a Lindy Hopper.” Check out her blog to find her “thoughts on love, sex, music and ferocity.” She lives in a pink house just outside the French quarter of New Orleans with a studio out back called The Watermelon. Her genre on Facebook is “the good kind,” and has been praised by reputable sources like Washington Post, USA Today, OffBeat Magazine, and even John Oates…just to name a few.

There’s no denying that chic singer songwriter Carsie Blanton has a flare of all her own. And the amount of purity and musical depth she brings to a stage is nothing short of entrancing. Thursday evening, Blanton and her touring entourage brought some New Orleanian warmth to a bitter Lancaster winter at the wood trimmed Irish pub Tellus 360. Continue reading →

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An Umbrella for the Music Scene: Tracing the evolution of Broad Street Music Group

Broad Street Music Group founders (from left) Will Toms, Dave Silver, and Andrew Rohe | Photo courtesy of BSMG
Broad Street Music Group founders (from left) Will Toms, Dave Silver, and Andrew Rohe | Photo by Chelsea Memmolo | chelseamemmolophotography.com

2014 marked the official end of an era when Philadelphia International Records closed. The revered label saw artists such as Teddy Pendergrass and Patti LaBelle working with the legendary producing team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff.

One local organization wants to do Gamble & Huff did for artists. They want to connect all the music resources in the city and make Philadelphia a top music market.

Broad Street Music Group is a name you may recognize. The event production company has been committed to the music scene for over two and a half years. Their goal was to “discovered the undiscovered.” And they’re not slowing down at all. Continue reading →

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El Caribefunk, Black Landlord, Needle Points are on the lineup to this Year’s 2nd Street Festival, which is going to be really really fun

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The weird red devil-looking dude who’s the mascot of the 2nd Street Festival | photo courtesy of facebook.com/2ndStreetFestival

One of Philly’s best free festivals / block parties is back for it’s sixth year, and this is looking to be the one best yet.

The 2nd Street Festival, which takes place on 2nd street between Germantown Avenue and Green Street in Northern Liberties, will be jam packed with craft vendors, tasty food and tastier beer. But most importantly, great music. The lineup has some pretty great acts including TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Needle Points, Joey Sweeney & the Long Hair Arkestra, Black Landlord, DRGN King, Weird Hot, El Caribefunk, Milton, The Hello Strangers, Mock Suns, and more. You’re excited already, aren’t you? Well then make sure you head over to NoLibs on August 3rd to join in on the fun! And remember, it’s free, so bring your friends and family and any other random people you may know.

The complete lineup can be found after the jump, along with music from some of the artists on the bill.

Continue reading →

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, including The Afghan Whigs, Milton and more

Photo by Rich McKie
Photo by Rich McKie

Reading, PA resident Milton stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session.  The Maryland native surrounded himself with a full band that brought his jazzy, soulful compositions to life.  Check out “I Desire to Know” below and get the full session here.

Folkadelphia welcomed back its frequent subject Psalmships in April, recording a live session in celebration of Joshua Britton’s new LP I Sleep Alone.  Stream and download the session below, featuring guest appearances by Brad Hinton and Chelsea Sue Allen.

With the XPoNential Music Festival quickly approaching, it’s a good time to get reacquainted with some of the bands that will be performing, like Commonwealth Choir.  Originally from Doylestown but now based in Fishtown, the indie pop / rock group recorded a Key Studio Session earlier this year.  Get a free copy of their song “Palace” below.

2014 Non-COMM performers The Afghan Whigs will be back in town on October 3rd, supporting one of this year’s best records Do To the Beast.  You can get a free download of “Matamoros” below, courtesy of My Morning Download.  Tickets and information for the upcoming show can be found here.

 

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The Key Studio Sessions: Milton

Though he’s not from here originally, Milton McCauley has a voice, sound and charisma that fits right into the heritage of Philadelphia soul. But even saying “Philly soul” is selling this very talented musician short. Originally from Maryland and currently based in Reading, Milton – an artist who prefers to go just by his first name – draws from an expanse of genres. Produced by Rob Devious (who also plays keyboards in his live band), the album pulls from jazz, pop, hiphop and electronic groove music. The live band that joined us in the WXPN studios this week for a Key Session adds an undeniable rock undercurrent to the mix as well. “Desire” is a pretty solid sonic mission statement, but the progressive swell of “Slippin Dippin” is also captivating, as is the guitar-vocal simplicity of “Emotion Picture.” Listen and download the set below, and see Milton take on the new Dockside Bar at Dave and Buster’s this Saturday the 12th of July; tickets and information on the show can be found here.

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Indulge in Simple Pleasures courtesy of neo-soul newcomer Milton

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Milton may be new to the local music scene, but he’s already proving to have something interesting up his sleeve on his debut album Simple Pleasures. It begins with a pair of laid-back, groovy R&B tracks that welcome the listener to his sound and are reminiscent of Dwele and Raheem DeVaughn. But then things get a lot more interesting. Dubstep and electronic influences make their way to the surface unexpectedly and compliment Milton’s smooth vocals on “Questions”, the ode to his drug of choice on “Green Acres”, and his falsetto-driven “Slippin Dippin”.

The stand-alone electric guitar and Milton’s impassioned vocals on sensual ballad “Emotion Picture” takes us back to basics before the synthesized sounds return via “G.M.A.C.” He dreamily sings of wanting to fully immerse himself with thoughts of his lover on “Lost” which unearths the album’s ambient undertones that he digs deeper into with “Eros Attraction”. Conflict and tensions arise in the form of “U vs. Me” where Milton finds himself at odds with his partner and questioning “why does it gotta be you versus me?” led by piano. Milton ends the record with the forward-looking “Curtain Call” where he sings of moving on and letting go. Through interesting production choices, Milton takes traditional R&B to the next level on his impressive debut.

Hard Rock Philly welcomes Milton to its stage on March 30th for an album release show. Get tickets here and listen to “Questions” below.