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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sammus at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Hezekiah Jones at Underground Arts, Beach Fossils at The Church, and more

Sammus | from the “Qualified” music video

Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo wowed us as the unapologetically herself beat-maker / spoken-word-style lyricist Sammus, at her recent Folk_KEY-delphia Studio Session. Tonight, she’ll no doubt do the same at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for tonight’s Afrofuturist Affair Costume Ball, which is organized by Black Quantum Futurism and presented as part of Philadelphia Assembled. The night will also feature performances by Moor MotherKing Britt / Fhloston ParadigmMovaKween, and :3LON; along with tarot card reading, body paintings, mask making, a fashion show, and a ton more. Find additional info on the free event here, and watch the Alanis Morissette inspired video for “Mighty Morphing” below. Continue reading →

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Moor Mother, King Britt and more to play AfroFuturist Affair Costume Ball

#blackquantumfuturism 2017 #pewfellows

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Final Fridays at the Philadelphia Museum of Art always provide a fantastically curated night of entertainment that’s hard to find elsewhere, and the upcoming AfroFuturist Costume Ball is certainly no exception. On Friday, Oct. 27, the museum’s Great Stair Hall will fill with the sights and sounds of Afrofuturism — if you’re not familiar, that’s an artistic and cultural movement centered around Black liberation through a futuristic sci-fi lens. The AfroFuturist Affair, along with Black Quantum Futurism and Philadelphia Assembled, have planned the event, their 7th annual, as a celebration of AfroFuturist and Black speculative music, art, design and creativity. Continue reading →

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Celebrate the Parkway’s birthday with 100 Years in Philly Music

ross bellenoit
Ross Bellenoit | photo by Brett Wilshe

With a new year comes a new reason to celebrate — 2018 is the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s 100th birthday, and they’re kicking off a full year of celebration a little bit early. This Friday, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will host the first Parkway 100 event — a free concert featuring an ensemble of local jazz and folk musicians led by multi-talented Philadelphia songwriter, guitarist and producer Ross Bellenoit. Continue reading →

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Listen to Ben Vaughn’s Spotify playlist for the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s International Pop exhibit

Ice Cream, 1964, by Evelyne Axell (Collection of Serge Goisse, Belgium) | Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Ice Cream, 1964, by Evelyne Axell (Collection of Serge Goisse, Belgium) | Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Rock and roller, producer, guitarist, music historian, and host of his own radio show – heard each Saturday on WXPN at 5 pm – Ben Vaughn, has curated the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s first Spotify playlist for their new International Pop exhibit. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Nels Cline at Boot & Saddle, Spill at Ortlieb’s, Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Arts and more…

Wilco at Solid Sound Festival | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Wilco at Solid Sound Festival | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

Ars Nova Workshop presents the Nels Cline / Larry Ochs / Gerald Cleaver Trio at Boot & Saddle tonight. Cline, perhaps best known for his role in Wilco, spent a large part of his career as an exploratory and experimental jazz musician. Just last year he released a collaboration with NYC avant garde outfit White Out called Accidental Sky, which received nods as one of 2015’s best experimental albums. Tickets and information for tonight’s trio performance can be found here. Watch Cline perform a song at Johnny Brenda’s for Out of Town Films below.

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Northern Arms bring gallery tour to Fleisher/Ollman and the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Northern Arms
Northern Arms | photo by Max Gaines | thechurchofmax.com

Resident noir-rockers Northern Arms have been playing their dark and dramatic songs in venues that are a little more used to silent art forms lately.  Beginning with a David Lynch-inspired set at PAFA last week, the ten-piece band continues a tour of art gallery spaces in Brooklyn this week before returning to Philly on Friday, December 5th for a set at Fleisher Art memorial with Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society.  Two sets at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on January 9th bring the tour to a close, though we’ll be hearing from Northern Arms soon after as they complete a new record at Miner Street Recording.  More information for the shows can be found here.  Listen to the demo of “Come To Me” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: John the Conqueror at Milkboy, Art Garfunkel at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Black Horse Motel with Song Dogs and Spirit & Dust at Boot & Saddle and more

 

John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong
John the Conqueror | photo by Cinthya Vong

John the Conqueror celebrate the release of The Good Life at Milkboy tonight.  Formed in 2010 by Mississippi natives Pierre Moore and Mike Gardner with Philadelphian Ryan Lynn, the trio has spent its short career creating a sound that keeps the true blues of the south alive.  Working in affinities for punk and vivid narratives, John the Conqueror’s new record is a study in traditional music storytelling with an energy that is hard to match.  Tickets and information for the hometown record release show with Blayer Pointdujour & The Rockers Galore and Thee, Idea Men can be found here.  Stream and download “Waking Up to You” from The Good Life below.

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Bakithi Kumalo will lead a South African Dance Party at the Philadelphia Museum of Art tonight

Paul Simon with Bakithi Kumalo | photo via www.facebook.com/bakithikumalo
Paul Simon with Bakithi Kumalo | photo via www.facebook.com/bakithikumalo

The video for Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” famously features the singer-songwriter’s old pal Chevy Chase hamming it up while lip-synching to Simon’s vocals. But Chase isn’t the only one faking it in that clip. ­ Simon appears alongside him, cycling through a number of instruments while wearing a stoic deadpan. Near the end of the video, Simon mimes an elastic bass run and proceeds to play along with the record’s buoyant groove.

The man responsible for the song’s now-iconic bassline is actually Bakithi Kumalo, who will host a South African Dance Party on Friday evening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A native of Soweto township, Kumalo now lives in the Lehigh Valley and has worked with a wide range of artists, including Cyndi Lauper, Hugh Masekela, Herbie Hancock, and Chaka Khan.

Kumalo’s sound, which graced much of Simon’s landmark 1985 album Graceland, blends the traditions of his native South Africa with the electric fusion sound of bassists like Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke. At the Art Museum, he’ll lead a five-piece band through music from his four solo CDs, a rare opportunity for a musician who spends so much of his time on the road playing other people’s music ­ as he will early next year, as he heads back out on the road for a tour co-headlined by Paul Simon and Sting.

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Photos: Lee Ranaldo at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Guitarist Lee Ranaldo, an alum of XPo Fest ’12 and a founding member of Sonic Youth, performed a program of John Cage pieces last night as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Dancing Around the Bride exhibition. On display since the fall, the interdisciplinary exhibit celebrates the work and interactions of 20th century artists Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.

Ranaldo has long drawn influence from Cage – read Elliott Sharp’s interview with him here – and last night performed several abstract guitar pieces while dancers from Cunningham’s dance company performed on the stage in front of him. The sound was imaginative and somewhat mystical, mixing in audio from radio and a player piano with Ranaldo’s exhilarating guitar work. He suspended his guitar from the ceiling and played it with a bow, waved it atop his upturned guitar amplifier, swung it like a propeller around the room and allowed the air and motion the shape the sound how it would. Ranaldo performs again today and tomorrow, beginning at 1 p.m.; more information can be found at the museum’s website.