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Bridging fairy tales and hip-hop with MC Frontalot at the North Star this Friday

MC Frontalot | Photo by Ben Trivett
MC Frontalot | Photo by Ben Trivett

Back in 1985, when all the other kids were at recess playing kickball, 11-year-old Damian Hess was hanging out by himself in the school library obsessing over books of fairy tales. That interest stuck with Hess over the next three decades, and at 40, now known as nerdcore hip-hop pioneer MC Frontalot, he’s offering his own take on ten classic stories on his sixth album, Question Bedtime (Level Up). He’ll bring songs from the album and the rest of his catalogue to North Star Bar on Friday. Continue reading →

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Wilbur release “cool kid”, an ode to a well-loved local bartender

Wilbur | Photo by Dan Lidon | Courtesy of the artist
Wilbur | Photo by Dan Lidon | Courtesy of the artist

Local faves Wilbur have been quite busy these past couple months. The comedy-rock quartet collaborated with Satellite Hearts for Philly Tapes Philly’s July installment, played a free show at this year’s MusikFest, and just finished upcoming EP bueno para ti, which is scheduled to be released next month.

As of yesterday morning, Wilbur has made the first single, “cool kid”, available for your listening pleasure. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Pretty Greens at North Star Bar, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Chameleon Club, The Warhawks at Kung Fu Necktie and more…

The Pretty Greens
The Pretty Greens | photo by Jason Blake | http://www.jason-blake.com

Local punk trio The Pretty Greens play North Star Bar tonight.  The self-described feminist art-garage pop-punk outfit released an EP called Jealous Waves earlier this year, reaching out to melodic surf punk to create a Best-Coast-with-a-mission vibe.  Watch the band play the title track to the EP live below.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Southwork at Johnny Brenda’s, The Sixties at North Star Bar, Mo Lowda and the Humble at MilkBoy and more…

Southwork
Southwork | photo via www.imposemagazine.com

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 →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Apache Relay at North Star Bar, Wolf Gang at Johnny Brenda’s, Deleted Scenes at Boot & Saddle and more

The Apache Relay | photo via facebook.com/theapacherelay
The Apache Relay | photo via facebook.com/theapacherelay

The Apache Relay arrive in Philadelphia tonight for a 9 p.m. show at The North Star Bar with The Weeks.  The band, currently on tour for their self-titled new album, took its name from Heavyweights, a 1995 movie starring Ben Stiller, and haven’t looked back since.  Their first album, American Nomad, debuted in 2011 and introduced the world to Apache’s acoustic folk sound.  Their new album takes their great folksy music to an entirely new level.  Listen to a new song entitled “Katie Queen of Tennessee” below, and get tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: M.I.A. at Tower Theater, Gliss at Kung Fu Necktie, Woods at Boot and Saddle, and more

Photo via facebook.com/miauk
Photo via facebook.com/miauk

Tonight, M.I.A. graces the Tower Theater stage and fans (old and new) should, as always, expect a little bit of everything from the singer-songwriter’s genre-bending music. On her latest album Matangi, it’s clear that her sound is still a hybrid of electronic, pop, hip-hop and world music. Best known for her 2007 platinum hit “Paper Planes”, M.I.A. isn’t a traditional singer or rapper; she’s crafted a style that’s somewhere in between and it’s infectious. Watch “Y.A.L.A.” below and get tickets here

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Canadian R&B starlet Jessy Lanza to play North Star Bar 5/3

Artwork courtesy of the artist
Artwork courtesy of the artist

If you’re into heavenly bedroom-pop, Jessy Lanza’s debut Pull My Hair Back is a must-hear record. Lanza’s take on minimalist R&B is hypnotic and colorful in a mellow, quietly captivating way. Taking cues from dance-inspired R&B of the early ’90s, the Canadian songstress delivers delightful midtempo jams just as well as her slower, moodier tunes. Watch “Kathy Lee” below and get tickets to her Philly debut, May 3rd at North Star Bar, here.

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Philly’s Revolution, I Love You serve up a round of electro-rock delights via The Atlantic Ocean EP

Photo via facebook.com/revolutioniloveyou
Photo via facebook.com/revolutioniloveyou

Crunchy synth work and loud guitar riffs are central to Revolution, I Love You‘s modern twist on classic rock ‘n roll, which reoccurs on their new EP The Atlantic Ocean. The band says the new EP, released this Tuesday, “is influenced as much by The Replacements, Bruce Springsteen, and Big Star as they are by the electronica and hip hop artists whose influence was so prevalent on Revolution, I Love You’s earlier recordings.” Even their quieter tracks, like the lazy drum loop-led “Shotgun”, are marked by their signature flavor. Listen below and get tickets to their EP release show at North Star Bar this Friday with theone2s here.

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Airy shoegaze meets fast punk: TheOne2s to play North Star Bar 2/28

Photo via facebook.com/theone2s
Photo via facebook.com/theone2s

A delightful mix of punk and shoegaze would be the best way to describe TheOne2s. The Philly band, which is made up of members from Leiana and Big Crowd Popular, just released EP One last month. Check out the video for “Wide Awake” from their new release below and get tickets to their show at North Star Bar on February 28th here.

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Johnny Flynn plays in Philly for the first time in 3 years

Photo by Elizabeth Mazenko
Photo by Elizabeth Mazenko

“The water sustains me without even trying,” a loving yet subdued crowd sings back to the British new-folk icon Johnny Flynn on Saturday night. “The water can’t drown me, I’m done with my dying.”

For the first time in three years, Flynn passed through Philly playing a sold out crowd packed into North Star Bar. Following a bouncy set by The Melodic, and stripped of his band The Sussex Wit, Flynn got though his first two songs “Lost and Found” and “The Ghost of O’Donahue” before pulling out a small wrinkled piece of paper from his pocket. “I try playing this game with myself,” Flynn explains how he tries to remember the songs on his setlist without looking. “This time I didn’t do so well,” he said as the audience chuckled.

IMG_5960_ed
Photo by Elizabeth Mazenko

The rest of the night was the perfect balance between celebrating his 2013 release Country Mile with newer tunes like “Murmuration” and “The Lady Is Risen,” and boot stomping crowd favorites from A Larum and Been Listening.

Playing “The Water,” Flynn got the crowd’s help on the originally dueted song. Getting to the end of his wrinkled list, the crowd groaned at the announcement of his last song. Glad the packed room didn’t want his set to end, Flynn jumped right into “Tickle Me Pink,” which he allowed the audience to finish by repeating the refrain in an almost chant. “Pray for the people inside your head / for they wont be there when you’re dead.”

Check out the setlist from Saturday’s concert at the North Star after the jump. Continue reading →