Tonight’s Concert Picks: Robert Glasper Experiment at World Cafe Live, Joan Shelley at Boot and Saddle

Robert Glasper
Robert Glasper | Photo courtesy of the artist

Jazz pianist Robert Glasper brings his quartet of experimental jazz instrumentation with hip-hop (and a little bit of everything else) undertones to World Cafe Live tonight. The quartet’s album Black Radio won the 2013 Grammy for Best R&B Album, several tracks featuring Philly’s own Bilal. They are currently touring following last year’s ArtScience. For more information, visit the XPN Concert Calendar.
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: City Rain at Underground Arts, Robert Glasper Experiment at Tower Theater, Holy Ghost Tent Revival at MilkBoy and more

Last year, electro-pop duo City Rain premiered its single for “The Optimist,” a unique blend of synth and rock that tells a story of loss and positivity. Since its release, the song has garnered more than 200,000 views on YouTube and has been nominated for an Independent Music Award. It’s just one song off the duo’s latest album, Songs For a High School Dance, which is being featured all week in The Key’s Unlocked series. The album officially drops on May 6, but celebrate at their album release show tonight at Underground Arts. The show starts at 8 p.m. and the $7 tickets can be purchased here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: James Blake at Union Transfer, Robert Glasper Experiment at World Cafe Live at The Queen, Coke Weed at Boot & Saddle

Photo by Chris Sikich |"
Photo by Chris Sikich |
Recent Mercury prize winner James Blake returns to Philly tonight at Union Transfer. The electronica artist won the prestigious British music award for his current release, Overgrown. Tickets and information for the all ages event can be found here.

Robert Glasper recently released Black Radio 2, building on the genre bending musical blueprint he debuted on 2012’s Black Radio. Bringing together jazz, R&B, neo-soul, and hip-hop, the Robert Glasper Experiment perform at World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington for an XPN Welcomes event. Tickets and more information can be found here. Below, listen to Glasper’s collaboration with Norah Jones from Black Radio 2.

Psychedelic rockers Coke Weed made one of 2013’s most under-the-radar and likely underrated rock records, Back To Soft. The Bar Harbor, Maine quintet is fronted by Milan McAlevey and the band’s music is bathed in electric Sixties vibes with elements of Velvet Underground, Grace Slick & The Great Society, and Creedence. The band play at Boot & Saddle. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

Also tonight:
John Vanderslice with Philly’s Market East at Johnny Brenda’s.


Robert Glasper and Jill Scott release a collaborative music video for “Calls”

jill scott

Prolific jazz musician/producer Robert Glasper and Philly neo-soul queen Jill Scott have released a music video for “Calls,” their collaboration featured on The Robert Glasper Experience’s much-anticipated LP Black Radio 2. The video, directed by Ace Norton, opens with the anonymous quote “Moving forward is moving on,” before shooting to Scott (donning a dress and hat straight out of the 40’s) in an old Cadillac stuck at a red light that ironically won’t turn green.

The video, hazy and dream-like in nature, perfectly accompanies the ethereal vocals of Scott that float effortlessly above Glasper’s dreamy piano chords. Described as “a story of a metaphysical romantic connection partly quantified in unanswered phone calls,” the video displays palpable chemistry between Scott and Glasper, who look and sound as if they have been working together their whole lives. During one of the most moving parts of the video, Scott is seen staring longingly at Glasper on the piano, as she echoes the lyrics “Look up, then there’s, a beautiful man with a kind heart”. You’ll have to watch the full video to see how the beautifully constructed story unfolds.

Black Radio 2 is the follow-up album to the 2012 Grammy Award winning Black Radio, which won for Best R&B Album. Black Radio 2 features a slew of collaborations, ranging from artists like Faith Evans and Norah Jones to award-winning songwriters such as Claude Kelly (Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson) and Andrea Martin (Angie Stone, Monica). The result promises to be a soulful fusion of jazz, R&B, and hip-hop not to be missed. The Robert Glasper Experiment comes to World Cafe Live at the Queen on Monday, November 4th. Tickets and information can be found here.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bloktoberfest, Swans at Union Transfer, Robert Glasper Experiment at World Cafe Live, Mike Doughty at WCL at The Queen, Marco Benevento at The Blockley

The culmination of music, beer and food in one spectacular celebration known as Bloktoberfest returns to Philadelphia today on South Street between Broad and 18th. The event, now in its fourth year, will have two stages set up with live acts including Toy Soldiers and Grandchildren; the full line-up can be found here. While participants must be 21 for a Beer Bracelet, Bloktoberfest is an all-ages free event, and it begins at noon. More information can be found here. Below, download Toy Soldiers’ single “Been Here All My Days.”

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