By

Watch Rasan In The Heyday play practically every club in Philly ahead of a big weekend of Philly gigs

Rasan In The Heyday | still from video

Philly rock outfit Rasan In The Heyday first appeared last April with a Bandcamp demo that, while rough around the edges, showed a great deal of promise. A year later, the band is beginning to deliver on that with the release of “Rely On,” an uplifting modern rock song in the vein of The Lemonheads and Recovering the Satellites-era Counting Crows.

Band leader Rasan Allbritton sings with conviction about the race through life the connections we make on the way, and in the accompanying music video, we see him and his bandmates Hayden Remick on guitar, Patrick Bayer on bass, and Josh Caton on drums rushing across a spectrum of Philly clubs from Kung Fu Necktie to Bourbon and Branch to MilkBoy and more. Continue reading →

By

Def Poetry Jam returns to its Philly roots at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

clockwise from left: Ursula Rucker, Vanessa German, Bonafide Rojas, Sonia Sanchez | photos courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

In season one, episode four of the popular early-2000s spoken word HBO series Def Poetry Jam, celebrated poet laureate and Black Arts movement co-founder Amiri Baraka performs an excerpt from his poem “Why Is We Americans.” Filmed in the wake of 9/11 against a hellish political backdrop of war, nationalist paranoia, the Patriot Act and artistic censorship (in the form of Clear Channel’s infamous list of banned songs post-9/11), Baraka’s performance is crackling with fire and righteous indignation. Continue reading →

By

The International House building is being sold; future of its arts programming is unclear

Joe Jack Talcum
Joe Jack Talcum at International House | Photo by John Vettese

The towering International House building at 37th and Chestnut has long been home not just for students from around the world attending college in Philadelphia, but for a vibrant array of arts and cultural programming. Their events calendar runs the gamut from film screenings to musical performances by traditional ensembles like the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, experimental artists like J.G. Thirwell and Zola Jesus, and left-of-center multimedia events like The 78 Project’s direct-to-acetate taping of a Joe Jack Talcum performance.

This week, however, the long-running institution announced plans to vacate and sell the property, and “set a new course for the organization.” Continue reading →

By

The Black Keys’ “Eagle Birds” is another boot-stomp earworm from their next album “Let’s Rock”

The Black Keys | photo by Alysse Gafkjen | courtesy of the artist

Akron, Ohio rockers The Black Keys have been dominating the airwaves, not just here on XPN, but pretty much everywhere with their barn-burning single “Lo/Hi,” and today we have another new song from Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney to add to the mix. The bluesy boot-stomper “Eagle Birds” is a get-lonely jam that comes with the announcement that The Black Keys’ ninth studio album will be called “Let’s Rock” — something we previously knew as the name of their tour — and it comes out on June 28th via Nonesuch / Easy Eye Sound. Per the album cover, those quotation marks are part of the title — punctuation nerds, take note.  Continue reading →

By

Erin Fox lets go of expectations and insecurities in the new “Tides” video

Erin Fox | photo by Abad Rosa | courtesy of the artist

When she’s not leading Philly hard rockers Resilient, singer-songwriter Erin Fox releases solo music under her own name, which she describes as “dark folking indie.” Fox’s latest record Forbidden Youth was released last May, and now she’s back with a new video for the track “Tides” from that album. Continue reading →

By

Liz Parsons’ vocals are smooth like “Honey” on Big Nothing’s newly released track

Big Nothing | photo by Jared Castaldi | courtesy of the artist

This week, Philly punk four-piece Big Nothing released a second song from their album Chris after releasing lead single “Real Name two weeks ago, and though the album won’t be released until May 10 via Salinas Records, “Honey” is keeping us satisfied in the meantime. Bassist Liz Parsons writes and sings the track, and her smooth yet powerful vocals combine punk and pop in an irresistibly ear-catching blend. The song takes a classic sound and adds spice, delivering a catchy chorus that’ll get stuck in your head. Continue reading →

By

Follow Mannequin Pussy on an emotionally-wrought night out in the new “Drunk II” video

Mannequin Pussy | photo by Marcus Maddox

Mannequin Pussy just announced that Patience, the Philly four-piece’s third full-length and Epitaph Records debut, will be released June 21. The forthcoming album’s lead single “Drunk II” is out now, along with a video directed by singer-guitarist Marisa Dabice.

“Drunk II” is a song about overcoming heartache, and its video explores the feeling of loneliness in a crowd as it follows Dabice on an emotionally wrought night out with her bandmates as she tries to hide the pain she’s feeling under the glittery sheen of the bar. Continue reading →

By

A Philly DJ Roundtable: Exploring the state of the art of party rocking in 2019

DJ Lean Wit It
DJ Lean Wit It | photo by Dvvinci | courtesy of the artist

From the reggae sound systems of Jamaica in the 70s, to England’s illegal pirate radio stations of the 1960s and beyond, the history of global DJ culture is impossibly rich and complex. In music circles around the world, Philadelphia is recognized as a breeding ground for some of the world’s best DJs. Having to bridge the gap between technical skill, taste and a deep knowledge of the music one plays, the art of being a (good) DJ in this city no simple task. Club culture in this city is built upon a foundation of decades of history and tradition.

In the wake of the cultural and economic boom of the disco-era (led by Philadelphia International Records), the essence of modern DJing as we know it began to take shape. Spurred on by a few key technical innovations — most notably, the creation of extended, “remixed” versions of popular R&B / soul cuts, the 12” vinyl single, and the practice of creating a seamless flow of music by mixing two records together on two turntables and a mixer — the disco-era initiated a gradual shift of focus away from bands and concerts, toward DJs and clubs, and effectively changed the way we experience music. Continue reading →

By

Todd Rundgren spills his guts, tiny chapter by tiny chapter, in The Individualist

Todd Rundgren | photo by Lynn Goldsmith | via Relix

Todd Rundgren has made and maintained a career– to say nothing of a long-devoted fan base, no-matter what — based on shock and awe. Whether it is his wont for moving quickly through musical genres (when harmony-drenched blue eyed soul smash singles would have sufficed), or pushing political and religious stances, the Upper Darby-born Rundgren’s principle element is surprise (and fear, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical …).

Writing and releasing an autobiographical book, The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams & Dissertations, is yet another revelation as Rundgren has been fairly tight-lipped about his personal life, until now. If you expect gossip, stay clear. If you’re looking for frank, adventurous self-centric writing in bites sized doses, welcome.

To go with a new book, Rundgren is doing double-duty in each city he visits, with portions of his show dedicated to live music, and other portions dedicated to reading from The Individualist, a page related A/V show, and a Q&A segment. Rundgren appears at The Fillmore, May 1 and 2. Continue reading →

By

Wyatt Flynn shifts from uncertainty to optimism on Moving Day EP

Wyatt Flynn | via wyattflynn.bandcamp.com

Philly singer-songwriter Wyatt Flynn makes his debut with the new Moving Day EP, out now on Bandcamp. A self-described “Trans Sadboy Making Music About Being Gay And Having Feelngs,” Flynn filters his personal experiences into narrative-driven songs, moving from uncertainty to optimism over the EP’s four tracks. Continue reading →