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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 →

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Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers were loose, limber, and incisive at Underground Arts

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN | senialopez.photography

Three full-length records, one bestselling memoir, and countless tours interspersed between: the past few years haven’t exactly left Laura Jane Grace with much free time.

The current venture: the tailend of a U.S. tour in support of the Against Me! bandleader’s 2018 solo record, Bought to Rot (released last fall on Bloodshot Records), with her backing band the Devouring Mothers. Friday night’s show at Underground Arts served to highlight Grace’s deft songwriting talents and showcase Bought to Rot’s freewheeling “mixtape” sensibilities onstage. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: SNL’s Pete Davidson to perform at The Trocadero this weekend

via Ticketfly

With the confirmed closing of the historic Trocadero theater, many Philadelphians are wondering what final shows will grace the beloved stage. In that spirit, ir was just announced on social media that stand-up comedian Pete Davidson will perform this Saturday, April 27 at the Trocadero. Davidson is best known for his five-season run as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. He has also appeared in films such as Set It Up, Big Time Adolescence, What Men Want, and The Dirt. Continue reading →

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Anika Pyle of Katie Ellen joins Her Smell director Elisabeth Moss for a post screening Q&A at The Roxy

Katie Ellen | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

After years fronting former punk band Chumped and her current project Katie Ellen, local songwriter Anika Pyle knows a thing or two about the music industry. This weekend, she’ll share some of her insider knowledge during a Q&A following the Philadelphia Film Society’s screening of the new film “Her Smell.” Pyle will join the film’s writer and director Alex Ross Perry for a conversation following the 6:30 p.m. screening this Saturday, April 27, at the PFS Roxy Theater.

“Her Smell” stars Elisabeth Moss as a fictional punk rock singer, Becky Something, who saw major success in the ’90s but is now down on her luck and struggling with addiction. The story follows Becky Something’s journey to recovery as she reckons with her past and tries to reclaim the creativity and inspiration that made her successful.

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Just Announced: Tame Impala will play The Mann this summer

Tame Impala | photo by Neil Krug | courtesy of the artist

Tame Impala‘s touring schedule this spring and summer involves a lot of ocean crossing. But after Kevin Parker and his band finish bouncing back and forth between North America, Europe and Australia, they’ll wrap up the tour here on the East Coast, stopping in Philly for a show at The Mann on August 23.

Tame Impala released two new singles, “Borderline” and “Patience,” recently, and performed on SNL last month. The project’s last album was 2015’s Currents, and it certainly looks like we can expect to hear something about a new release soon. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Lizzo will headline The Met in September

Lizzo | photo by Luke Gilford | courtesy of the artist

After selling out nearly every single show on her upcoming “Cuz I Love You” tour, Lizzo just announced another run of shows this fall. The “Cuz I Love You Too” tour will take the multitalented singer/rapper/flutist throughout the US, playing some of her biggest venues yet. Just four months after Lizzo plays a sold-out TLA show on May 18, she’ll return to town to headline The Met on September 18.

After releasing a series of instant-favorite singles, like the ever-so-catchy “Juice,” and making several television appearances throughout the winter, Lizzo’s highly-anticipated album Cuz I Love You came out last week; it’s her third full-length and her major label debut. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Peter Bjorn & John, Girlpool, Center City Jazz Fest, Joan Osborne, and more

Jeff Bradshaw performs at Center City Jazz Fest 2018 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

The annual Center City Jazz Fest is always one of our favorite days of the year, and if that’s all Philly had going on this week, we’d still be over the moon excited. But there are, as always, a variety of options, from heartfelt singer-songwriters to the Detroit band that arguably invented punk in the U.S. Here are 15 concerts to see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia.
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Free at Noon Flashback: Ryan Bingham is a standout in his genre

Ryan Bingham | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

Ryan Bingham sings the blues — on his own terms. Raised in New Mexico and Texas, Western influences run in the songwriter’s blood, and he’s channeled them into everything from his role on the TV show Yellowstone and his Grammy and Oscar wins for the Crazy Heart soundtrack, to his curated music festival outside of Austin and his six albums of grooving Americana tunes.

Bingham played sold-out Free at Noon set today, following the release of his latest record American Love Song earlier this year. His unique sound makes him a standout in his genre — with timeless, traditional elements like gospel backup singers and fiddle solos, Bingham’s brand of country is more authentic than anything you’re likely to hear on country radio. Backed by a rock band and making full use of the venue’s disco ball, he knows how to turn a show into a party, too. Continue reading →

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Shared Energy: Galantis and their fans give it their all at Franklin Music Hall

Galantis | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN | dehartvisuals.com

Despite the rainy and dreary night, hundreds of people were welcomed to Franklin Music Hall on Friday with blue fog bellowing from the stage. Considering Galantis had sold out the venue that night, no one wasted any time making their way to the front row immediately as soon as doors opened. Continue reading →

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Stinking Lizaveta, Pissed Jeans, Alright Junior, Lisa Christ Superstar and more to play The Troc’s last local show

Stinking Lizaveta | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // Pissed Jeans | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN // Alright Junior | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN // Lisa Christ Superstar | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

When word got out that iconic Philadelphia venue The Trocadero was closing its doors for good this spring, owner Joanna Pang promised “We’re going to go out with a bang, in grand Troc style,” with a series of final concerts.

One of those is a an all-local showcase, curated by Lisa Flynn, who was a promoter at the venue in the late 90s and early thousands, and packed the Balcony bar and big room alike with Philly rock favorites like her power trio Lisa Christ Superstar. That band is back together for the May 19 main stage show, along with aughties psych mindbenders Three-4-Tens, and alternative-era faves Dandelion, who released two LPs during the major label boom of the 90s. Continue reading →