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10 artists playing Firefly you shouldn’t miss

Zella Day | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
Zella Day | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

The Firefly Music Festival starts this Thursday and goes through Sunday. Over 100 bands spread out on six stages will seek love and admiration from audiences crammed into Dover, Delaware. We’re psyched for the headliners – Sir Paul McCartney, The Killers, Morrissey, The Killers, and Snoop (as long as he brings the hits and stays clear of that new album). We’re equally excited to see Run The Jewels, Hozier, DJ Mustard, Sylvan Esso, Citizen Cope, and Spoon. The bill is stacked with the requisite one hit alt-rock newbies (um…) that the crowds likely won’t pay attention to until the band plays “the hit.” But below the headliners and mid-level artists playing, there’s a lot of gems.

Here are ten artists playing Firefly that you shouldn’t miss. Continue reading →

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Listen to Amos Lee collaborate with RJD2 and STS on “Don’t Get Played”

 

RJD2 and STS | via Facebook.com/RJD2
RJD2 and STS | via Facebook.com/RJD2

The new album by Philly electronic artist RJD2 and local rapper Sugar Tongue Slim was already a dream collaboration, but add in one of our favorite local soul singer-songwriters, Amos Lee? Wow.

On “Dont Get Played” Lee’s smooth vocals and elegant hook gives way to the equally-smooth rap from STS, whose rhymes center around love and loyalty, breaking up and making up and everything in between. It’s a standout soul/rap/jazzy/electronic hybrid where all three artists prove they’re not messing around. Continue reading →

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STS & RJD2 illuminate low-income struggles with new video for “Hold On, Here We Go”

 

Still shot from STS and rjd2's video for "Hold On, Here We Go"
Still shot from STS and rjd2′s video for “Hold On, Here We Go”

Philly duo STS & RJD2 have proven a force to be taken seriously. With their album, STS x rjd2, out on May 5th, the two are hyping up the release with a new music video for their track “Hold On, Here We Go.”

The song is an ode to the struggles of low-income families, and its video centers around a boy saving up for his first car, collecting his hard-earned money in a box under his bed. But when tragedy strikes his family, the boy thinks twice about how his money will be spent. Continue reading →

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RJD2′s Icebird album gets a special vinyl reissue for Record Store Day

RJD2 and Aaron Livingston | Photo courtesy of the artists
RJD2 and Aaron Livingston | Photo courtesy of the artists

Record Store Day is coming up next month on Saturday, April 18, and fans of local artists RJD2 and Aaron Livingston (the mastermind behind Son Little) have something to look forward to: a reissue of the 2011 LP by their collaborative project Icebird. The Abandoned Lullaby will be released on clear gold vinyl  via RJ’s Electrical Connections and MAD Dragon Records.

You might have caught Son Little in February at Free at Noon; his collaboration with RJD2 for The Abandoned Lullaby showed his diversity as an artist, resulting in an album that had one Pitchfork’s Nate Patrin dubbing the pair “the best two main independent producer/singer superduo to come out of the woodwork since Gnarls Barkley.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: RJD2 / Sugar Tongue Slim at Underground Arts, Banks at Union Transfer, Dark Blue at Boot and Saddle and (much) more

RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com
RJD2 | Photo via Philly.com

DJ and electronic dance artist RJD2 headlines the Jump Philly-curated Sound Select show tonight at Underground Arts with Sugar Tongue Slim and Marian Hill. After gaining popularity for his song “Ghostwriter” from 2002′s Deadringer, RJD2 has continued to catch people’s attention with his jazzy, throwback mixes. Many might know his song “A Beautiful Mine,” which was featured as the theme song for AMC’s hit show Mad Men. Infused with samples from big band music and jazz standards, his songs takes from the old and mixes it in a fresh, current style. The artist has most recently been working with rappers on his latest album, More Is than Isn’t, including Philly’s Sugar Tongue Slim, who will be sharing the stage tonight. STS has become one of the top hip hop artists in Philadelphia and continues to maintain his presence in the music scene here. For more information on tonight’s show, check out the XPN Concert Calendar and watch RJD2′s music video for “1976″ below. Continue reading →

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Red Bull Sound Select: See Who’s Playing

Sugar Tongue Slim | Photo by John Vettese
Sugar Tongue Slim | Photo by John Vettese

The Red Bull Sound Select is an live music series sponsored by the wing-dispensing energy drink company it’s named for, in an effort to promote new music and artists in emerging genres and styles. The concert series happens all over the United States and presents lineups consisting of up-and-coming artists alongside national names. This Saturday, September 27th, the Sound Select series, curated for this show by Jump Magazine, brings a varied group of artists, each known for their own unique “spin” on hip-hop, to Underground Arts. The lineup consists of instrumental hip-hop producing and djing icon RJD2, slick-lipped Philly boy  and “GOLD”-affiliated rapper Sugar Tongue Slim, and the Philly minimal electro-funk/soul/jazz/hip-hop/so-many-other-things duo known as Marian Hall. Continue reading →