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Metallica will release an illustrated children’s book

The ABCs of Metallica | via metallica.com

Yes, Metallica has announced casual plans for an upcoming album, but fans can expect another unconventional project from the metal heroes: in late November, Metallica is creating a children’s book. (No that is not a typo.)

It’s called The ABCs of Metallica, and according to a statement on the band’s website, the book looks at the history of the group from A to Z with some fun facts thrown in along the way. Continue reading →

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Gregory Alan Isakov’s vintage “Southern Star” video is understated drama at its peak

Gregory Alan Isakov | Photo by Blue Gabor Caleel

Singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov has seen a lot of recent success with his latest album, Evening Machine, reaching #1 on Billboard’s Folk and Americana charts. As he heads out on tour in support of it, he released a new music video for one of the songs off of the album.

Shot in widescreen with a vintage style title sequence and a grainy filter, “Southern Star” is set in a glamorous Boston estate with grand staircases, elaborate wall molding, and a massive chandelier. Looking quite out of place, Isakov strums his guitar wearing a brimmed hat, a t-shirt, and jeans. He sings into a nearby mic accompanied by band members playing their respective instruments. At one point, his percussionist is seen vigorously hitting the drums alone at the center of the staircase. “Southern Star” is understated drama at its peak. Continue reading →

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DJ Delish’s Khadijah *VOL 1* makes another contribution to Philly vogue

DJ Delish | photo courtesy of the artist
DJ Delish | photo courtesy of the artist

Originating from queer black and Latinx youth in 60s Harlem, vogue is largely ignored and misunderstood by the mainstream to this day. And although we see appropriations of the subculture everywhere, many listeners are largely unaware of the scene’s history and significance (check out this mini-doc for a briefing). However, Philly’s DJ Delish is looking to change that, with her music being the soundtrack. Continue reading →

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American Trappist brings more melodic introspection to Amuse​-​oreille, Vol. 2

American Trappist
American Trappist | photo by Kara Donnelly | courtesy of the artist

American Trappist is the solo project of Joe Michelini (formerly of the band River City Extension). New Jersey born and raised, his music has always had a clear Mid Atlantic alt-rock influence. His newest EP Amuse​-​oreille, Vol. 2, lightens up from the Gothic Americana sound of older records with a more subdued rock tone across the board. For Michelini, this means surf guitar and light percussion, and on a surface level, Amuse​-​oreille, Vol. 2 might be the sort of record you’d want to put on while lounging at the beach. Continue reading →

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Made In America artists Freddie Gibbs and Madlib team up again on Bandana

Freddie Gibbs | still from video

In 2014, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib worked together to make Piñata. It was, by all means, a great album, with even better features. Underground rappers like Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, Ab-Soul, and more mainstream names like the late Mac Miller appeared on the tracklist. Piñata was mellow, melodic, and mimicked an old school sound with lyricism at the forefront.

Five years later they’re back with another record, Bandana. Over this period, they have become veteran performers.  One might think it’d be hard to top such a praised collaboration, but they have sharpened their talents over the years. Continue reading →

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Marcelyn talks music, college, and Philly on 25 O’Clock Podcast

Marcelyn Lebowitz | Photo by Mistycat Media

25 O’Clock is known for showcasing the stories behind musicians in the Philadelphia area, and Wednesday’s podcast was no exception. Singer Marcelyn (formally known as Marcey Lebowitz) sat down to talk with host Dan Drago on the 26th.

Marcelyn is known locally for her theatrical voice, which can be attributed to years of formal vocal training. Her sound is not classical, but her years of classical training are particularly noticeable in her debut album as Marcelyn, Indignities & Depravities, which was released last year.

On 25 O’Clock she delves into a deeper background of how she came to be as an artist. Marcelyn started taking voice lessons at age 9, attended the Creative and Performing Arts High School of Philadelphia, released her first album at 14 years old, and even went to Penn State for vocal training. Continue reading →

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Native Harrow wants you to know that they will not make happier music

Native Harrow | still from video

Regionally-rooted folk duo Native Harrow offered a response to listeners that are tired of sad songs in the title track to their new album Happier Now. In an interview with Folk Radio UK, singer-songwriter and guitarist Devin Tuel defends her decision not to make “feel-good” music and cites her age as a reason she has learned to stop people pleasing. If she wanted to, she could make happy music, but she likes tackling subjects that might disconcert her, or upset her head on.

While her explanation might seem hyper specific, the song and its lyrics are open enough to be capable of resonating with a lot of people. Without context, it is a song for anyone that has decided to ignore the opinions of others to find peace within themselves.  Continue reading →

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Philadelphia Folk Fest expands lineup to include Helen Leicht’s Philly Local showcase, Dan Blacksberg, Nina de Vitry, Michael Braunfeld, Philly Music co-op and more

The Philadelphia Music Co-Op stage at Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

As the 58th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival grows nearer, the lineup continues to expand as side stage showcases, workshops, and other features are rolled out. These artists join previously-announced headliners David Crosby, Margo Price, and more.

On Saturday afternoon, WXPN’s Helen Leicht hosts her annual Philly Local showcase on the festival’s camp stage. Artists hand-picked by Leicht from the Philadelphia region will include singer-songwriter Blair Bodine, Americana outfit Jackson Pines, electronic pop trio Great Time, and rock band The End of America Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Son Little will headline World Cafe Live in November

Son Little | photo by Marc Lemoine | courtesy of the artist
Son Little | photo by Marc Lemoine | courtesy of the artist

It’s been a few years since we’ve seen him last, but Son Little just announced a U.S. tour for the fall, with a Philadelphia stop at World Cafe Live On November 29th, he will perform at World Cafe Live. North Carolina based folk singer, Christopher Paul Sterling will open the show.

While Son Little — the stage name of guitarist / producer Aaron Livingston — grew up in Los Angeles and has lived in New York and New Jersey, he established roots and started his career as electro-soul singer-songwriter singer in Philly. With The Roots being one of his biggest inspirations (and a past collaborator of his), and first concert experience being at the Tower Theater, there’s a special place in his heart for this city. It will be exciting to see him back onstage in his stomping grounds. Continue reading →

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Slomo Sapiens celebrate Halloween in June with “Jeepers Creepers”

Slomo Sapiens | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Jeepers creepers is right! Philly psychedelic rock band Slomo Sapiens is back on the scene with an ominous new single. On June 13th, the band released song “Jeepers Creepers” in anticipation for their upcoming album Cabin Fever Dreams. Despite Cabin Fever Dreams being the band’s debut, they are not so new to the music scene. Since 2017, the band has released two EPs Fishtown Tapes and Hot Milk as well as single “Fangs.”  Continue reading →