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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ai-Que at Obscura, Restorations at Johnny Brenda’s, Nathan Earl and Rachel Joy at Melodies Cafe and more

Ai-Que | Photo by HLS Photography | via reverbnation.com/aiquethemc
Ai-Que | Photo by HLS Photography | via reverbnation.com/aiquethemc

The seasonal hip-hop / soul / rock / poetry showcase Obscura holds its spring installment tonight at Sara’s Place in Brewerytown. Heading up the bill is Philly MC Ai-Que, a dude who spits thought-proviking verses over relaxed backings not unlike The Roots, Tribe, De La or any number of other 90s faves. You can listen to his track “Now or Never” below, and that alone should convince you to check this show out. Also on the bill are ethereal singer Aiani-Koli Mars, as well as rappers Cazzie Jetson and Rhetoric Wallace, and DJ John Morrison. Admission to the show is $5, more information can be found at its Facebook event page. Below, listen to a roundup of some of the performers.   Continue reading →

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Obscura celebrates local talent at West Philly’s A-Space

Obsucra | Photo by John Vettese
The Bul Bey | Photo by John Vettese

The latest in the semi-regular Obscura series brought a stellar lineup of local talent to the A-Space anarchist community center in West Philly on Saturday night. Founded by local writer and promoter Lissa Alicia Simpsons, the series aims to spotlight local independent artists who are all too often overlooked in the Philly music scene. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Obscura at A-Space, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist tribute to Afrika Bambatta at The TLA, and Cassavetes at the First Unitarian Church

Obscura
Photo via Kieko Photography

After a successful debut showcase in June, the Obscura series is returning to A-Space. The brain child of journalist and promoter Melissa “Lissa Alicia” Simpson, Obscura‘s goal was to gain recognition for hip-hop artists in the West Philadelphia area that had unfortunately slid under the radar. Local rappers Verbatum Jones and The Bul Bey are featured on the bill, as well as Luci Rising, an eclectic songwriter and poet. Click here for tickets and more information. Below, watch The Bul Bey’s music video for “Where I’m From.” Continue reading →

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The Obscura showcase gives hip-hop and indie a new voice in West Philly

Photo courtesy of Kieko Photography

For many local music fans, “West Philadelphia” is synonymous with DIY ethics and dingy basements, guitar howls and lost hearing. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, those whose predilections lean towards hip-hop and breathing room might feel short-changed.

Obscura creates a space for those others, building off of the Cedar Park neighborhood’s rich diversity and deep-rooted progressivism to create a space where incendiary hip-hop and indie music can find a home. Continue reading →