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Jazmine Sullivan is returning to Philly in April and we’re pumped

Snapshot from Vibe Session performance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlzzumFNIr4)
Snapshot from Vibe Session performance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlzzumFNIr4)

Vocal powerhouse and Philadelphia local Jazmine Sullivan embarked on her Reality Show Tour and made sure to pay a visit to Philly earlier this month, playing a sold-out performance at the TLA and moving on to New York and Denver.  But it looks like the localite isn’t finished with Philly quite yet; Sullivan released her new April dates yesterday and it looks like her hometown will be on the bill once again, performing the TLA on April 26th. Tickets go on sale tomorrow so be sure to snag them while you can, as they are sure to go fast. You can find more information on Sullivan’s upcoming show here. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Good Girl

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

It doesn’t take long to get hooked on infectious Philly R&B group Good Girl; I’d say about 60 seconds into their 2014 mixtape 90s Kinda Love was about all I needed. As somebody who grew up in the 90s, this charismatic four-piece captures everything that was great about TLC, Destiny’s Child, En Vogue, Janet Jackson…all those feel-good pop jams that soundtracked our bus rides and school dances. But as much as the ladies - Morgan, Megan, Arielle and Courtney – play off of this sense of nostalgia, you don’t need to be pushing 40 to appreciate what they’re doing. Continue reading →

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10 Great G. Love songs not named “Cold Beverage”

 

G Love | photo via facebook.com/glovespecialsauce
G Love | photo via facebook.com/glovespecialsauce

G. Love & Special Sauce have officially reached the legal drinking age. The year 2015 marks the 21st birthday since the Philly-bred band released its self-titled debut album in 1994. But with a career spanning 11 albums (including G’s four solo albums), for some reason, some people still only know G. Love primarily for “Cold Beverage.” Stop the madness! Together, the band, which also includes drummer Jeffrey Clemens and James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott on bass, have recorded a slew of great jams with their trademark style that’s part hip hop, part unhinged blues, and for some reason these other jams have gone unnoticed. But not anymore! Here’s ten great deep cuts from G. Love & Special Sauce. Continue reading →

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Catching up with G Love before his March shows at the TLA

via facebook.com/glovespecialsauce
via facebook.com/glovespecialsauce

G Love has been a staple of the Philadelphia music scene for what seems like forever, with his first album, G. Love and Special Sauce, coming out nearly 21 years ago. But G. (born Garrett Dutton) never stopped making music and is back to the old touring grind this March with an extensive U.S. tour, which includes two stops in Philly at South Street’s Theater of the Living Arts, to promote his newest album, Sugar.

But this year’s Sugar Blues Tour is just the latest in G. Love’s storied music career; he’s basically toured nonstop over the course of the past 20 years, and doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. In this interview for The Key, G. talks about his band hitting the drinking age, the return of original bassist James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott, and the grind that’s necessary to stay relevant in the music business. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Common at The TLA, Pompo & The Community College Rejects at Kung Fu Necktie

Common | via twitter.com/common
The cover of Common’s Nobody’s Smiling | via twitter.com/common

After a brief hiatus, Chicago rapper Common re-emerged this year with his tenth studio album, Nobody’s Smiling. Released on Def Jam Records in July, it was a timely artistic statement, as the album deals with the high crime rate in his hometown that hit a peak this summer, with guest collaborations from Jhené Aiko, Big Sean, Vince Staples and more. Tonight Common headlines the TLA in Philly; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, listen to “Kingdon” featuring Vince Staples. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Young Chris at The TLA, The Gallerist at Bourbon and Branch, Divers at World Cafe Live at The Queen

Young Chris | photo via hiphopsince1987.com
Young Chris | photo via hiphopsince1987.com

Philly rapper Young Chris headlines the TLA tonight. Emerging on the scene 12 years ago as an affiliate of Beanie Siegel and Freeway’s State Property collective, he branched out on his own, first as part of Young Gunz and then as a solo artist. When it comes to mixtapes, this dude is prolific, releasing on average two per year since 2007 (and embarking on the ambitious 30 Days / 30 Verses project in 2009). After a couple years of dropping random freestyle clips, Chris re-emerged this spring with the Philly-centric Gunna Season mixtape, which was praised by Stereogum: “the Philly veteran…just raps. And it’s great because he’s great at it.” Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; below, watch Young Chris’ video for “I’m Alive.” Continue reading →

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UK dance-pop sensation Charli XCX takes The TLA by storm

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Charli XCX | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

On Friday night, the TLA welcomed electronic pop artist, Charli XCX. The 22 year old English singer-songwriter released her debut album, True Romance in April 2013 but her biggest claim to success was from “I Love It,” the song she wrote and was performed by Icona Pop. “I Love It” became a #1 hit single in the UK and topped the charts in North America. Friday night, she performed backed by a band and group of dancers, some in Go-Go attire, others dressed like Catholic school girls. Continue reading →

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DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist celebrate Afrika Bambaata and the art of turntablism at The TLA

DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist | Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

In the most basic description of the term ‘DJ’ it is possible to narrow down the term to 3 categories. There is the DJ that just plays music, only presses play or plugs in the iPod or hits shuffle on the laptop. This, unfortunately, is by and large the view of the DJ in far too many circles. Second is the DJ that works the crowd, they have an understanding of music that runs deep and knows how to play to their target audience, and in turn deepen that appreciation, and build relationships. Thirdly, there is the DJ that can play an audience not the music they came to hear, but the music the DJ wants to play, and present it in such a way as to give said audience an appreciation of something that might otherwise be outside of their comfort zone. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dead Milkmen at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Lorde at the Mann Center, and Bob Mould at the TLA

The Dead Milkmen
Photo via deadmilkmen.com

The City of Brotherly Love’s satirical punk-rock band Dead Milkmen headline a fundraiser at Laurel Hill Cemetery tonight; the band joked on its Facebook that the last time it played in a cemetery, the result was the “Big Time Operator” video. Formed in 1983 at Temple University, the Milkmen found success on college radio with their debut album, Big Lizard in My Backyard. Their songs ranged from tunes with nonsensical spoken intros like “Bitchin’ Camaro,” to “Takin Retards to the Zoo”, a less-than-50-second punk-joke song. Goofy lyrics dripping with a Philly accent spread their success internationally with “Punk Rock Girl,” the hit off of their sophomore album Beelzebubba, which landed with a sturdy spot on MTV’s video rotation. After reuniting in 2008 under the pseudonym Les Enfants Du Prague, the band decided to become an active group once again and set to record album The King in Yellow, which dropped March 2011. They have since released four singles including “Welcome to Undertown”, and “Big Words Make the Baby Jesus Cry”. Tickets and information on the show can be found at here. Below, watch the music video to “Punk Rock Girl.” Continue reading →