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Karmin kicked off its Pulses tour with a high-energy TLA show

Karmin | Photo by Pete Troshak | shak74.com
Karmin | Photo by Pete Troshak | shak74.com

The story of Karmin is one of the most interesting in music the last few years. Engaged pop duo Nick Noonan and Amy Heidemann started out covering hits by other artists in an attempt to show off their talents. They amassed millions of views on YouTube and fulfilled the dreams of every struggling musician by getting signed to a major label. They got backed by Questlove of the Roots here and here. They released an EP called Hello in 2012 that yielded a hit in the form of the inescapably catchy “Brokenhearted.” Everything seemed to be going their way, but then the ride got bumpy. The first full length album, Pulses, has been complete for over a year but in limbo due to disagreements between Karmin and Epic Records. The band is out on the road for their first tour as headliners despite the album not being for sale (it’s scheduled for release 5/25), and gave an impressive show at the Theatre Of Living Arts on Friday night on one of the first dates of their Pulses tour. Continue reading →

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Philly cult favorites The Yah Mos Def reunite, perform at Boot & Saddle 12/14

Locally acclaimed rap duo The Yah Mos Def (YMD) will return to the stage this December 14th at Boot & Saddle. After playing copious amounts of shows in the 2000s, building a cult following and releasing Excuse Me, This Is The Yah Mos Def in 2008, YMD went on a five-year hiatus, but they’re ready to bring their energetic and fun show back into the minds of local hiphop and indie rock fans.

YMD could be referred to as Philadelphia’s Beastie Boys. Using samples from rock tracks by bands such as Bikini Kill, Minor Threat, and Cap’n Jazz, the beats made by this group are crazy and out there. On top of that, the duo yells lyrics like punks, making them even more raucous (think the very young Beasties you heard on Some Old Bullshit). Their delivery style is one of insanity. Raw, radical, and quick; the two switch off and match the intensity of the music backing them up, rapping lines like “The Yah Mos!, Runnin’ both coasts, it don’t matter, reminiscent of Crew Jones, but way radder. I’m going international like I’m Bob Dylan, and my face is prettier than Paris Hilton.”

YMD keeps their music in the space between kitschy and ridiculous. If you see them live, expect them to be jumping around and going crazy. Listen to their album Excuse Me, This Is The Yah Mos Def here and find tickets to their show with Prowler and Tygerstrype here. Below, check out a video of YMD playing a First Friday set at AKA Music WTHN circa 2007.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Beta Hi Fi Finals at World Cafe Live, Salt N Pepa at Dell Music Center, Rosanne Cash at Sellersville Theater

A1RIdAICcAEi4n3.jpg_largeAll this week, the annual Beta Hi-Fi competition has showcased a variety of new, local bands at World Cafe Live.  The shows have been a great way to get to know emerging artists in the region and tonight marks the final set of performances for the week.  The groups were chosen by the audience’s votes, so all your favorites will be on stage tonight.  The show starts at 7 and best of all (besides the great new music) is that it’s free. Click here for more information about the show.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jawnzap7 at The Note, Fly Fest in Lancaster, Shawn Mullins at Sellersville Theater

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Jawnzap7, though the name is confusing, can spit rhymes like no other.  Hailing from Philadelphia, he has a fast hip-hop flow and solid beats to match.  Though the rapper only has a large set of singles and EPs to their name, all of the releases are pretty impressive.  Tonight, Jawnzap7 plays The Note along with a lineup of other up and coming musicians.  Click here for ticket information and listen below to get in on the rap action.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Brandywine Folk Fest, Busses at Johnny Brenda’s, K-OS at Union Transfer

good-old-warThis weekend marks the second year of the Brandywine Folk Festival.  From Friday through Sunday, you can enjoy the warm weather and music with the many many incredible bands, many of which hail from Philadelphia.  To name just a few (and I mean a few) out of this fantastic lineup, you can catch Good Old War, Mean Lady, The Districts, The Lawsuits and Cheers Elephant.  So if you’re looking for the best way to spend the final days of summer, the Brandywine Folk Fest is an incredible way to go.  What’s not to love about great music, food and frisbee golf?  Click here for ticket information. Below, watch the video for Good Old War’s “Calling Me Names.”

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Tyler, The Creator embarks on his first solo tour alongside Kid Cudi (playing Festival Pier 9/26)

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Tyler, The Creator, one part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future, is about to embark on his first solo tour alongside Kid Cudi.  Both artists released new albums this past April, Cudi with his third LP, Indicud, and Tyler, The Creator with Wolf.  Both albums bring the two rappers back into the game in new ways; this is Kid Cudi’s first rap album since 2010, while Tyler’s effort sees him testing the waters on writing music that wasn’t centered solely around gruesome themes.  The tour stops at Festival Pier on Penn’s Landing at the end of September.  Listen below for a taste of their new LPs.

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A UK production duo, an Atlanta experimental band and two Philly rappers make “Machina”

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Today, we’ve got a very interesting release from none60 records. As The Deli reported earlier, UK duo Silent Dust worked Atlanta with experimental rock group Cloudeater to produce this chilled-out electronic track.  The song features vocals from Cloudeater as well as back-and-forth rapping from Philly MCs Zilla Rocca and Curly Castro.  This patchwork group makes for some dark electronic tones full of ancient historic references in this good-girl-gone-bad track.  How this crew came together is a mystery, but here’s hoping they do more collaborations in the future.  Check out the single “Machina” below.

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Dice Raw releases a thought-provoking new single, “Wake Up” (playing City Hall on 8/7)

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Philadelphia rapper Dice Raw is set to release a new thematic album called Jimmy’s Back in the beginning of August. Based on the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Dr. Michelle Alexander, it looks at topics like prison reform, the legal system and racial stereotyping (many of which were in the news in a big way this weekend when the George Zimmerman verdict was announced on Saturday). Produced by Roots associate Khari Mateen, “Wake Up” is a call-to action, with a tense and anxious beat under Dice Raw rapping about unfair laws and circumstances.  Check out the single below and look for the album August 4th.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Wire at Union Transfer, Mac Miller at Festival Pier, Bosnian Rainbows at Underground Arts, Jucifer and Fantasy Panther at Kung Fu Necktie, Rosu Lup at The Fire

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Wire have been around since the 70s, expanding the genre of punk since their landmark first album, Pink Flag.  Releasing albums and touring consistently since their formation, Wire are legends not only of the punk world, but to countless other musicians and genres from R.E.M to The Cure.  Back in March, the group released their thirteenth studio album, Change Becomes Us, and are currently on tour in support of the album.  Tonight you can catch the post-punk group at Union Transfer along with Bear in Heaven.  Click here for more info. and check out one of their newer songs below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at Union Transfer, Family Vacation at Steel City Coffeehouse, JD McPherson at World Cafe Live, Reef the Lost Cause and Voss at The M Room

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark have been around since the late 70s, garnering critical acclaim as masters of new wave and earning the title “intelligent pop” from the release of their self-titled 1981 full length. Except for a small gap in the 2000s, the group has been consistently releasing material since the late 70s, including their most recent release, English Electric, which came out this summer.  Tonight, the godfathers of new wave play Union Transfer.  Click here for ticket info and check out one of their classic hits below.

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