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Brittany Howard steps away from Alabama Shakes to share her truth on solo album

Brittany Howard | photo by Danny Clinch | courtesy of the artist

Alabama Shakes‘ frontwoman, Brittany Howard, has led the band through chart-toppers and Grammys since their debut album Boys & Girls came out in 2012. Their sophomore effort Sound & Color came in 2015 and pushed them deeper into the alternative music scene. Now, Howard has just announced a forthcoming solo album titled Jaime, due September 20th via ATO Records. She’s also shared the LP’s leading track, “History Repeats”. Continue reading →

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Watch a trailer for Meek Mill’s Jay-Z-produced docuseries Free Meek

Meek Mill | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

Philly rapper Meek Mill has had a wild career. Following run-ins with the law from his youth and into his adulthood, Mill has seen the dark side of the legal system and is ready to expose its flaws. Teaming up with Jay-Z, Mill has just announced Free Meek, a five-episode docu-series chronicling Mill’s fight for exoneration in his legal case while exposing the broader flaws of the U.S. criminal justice system. Continue reading →

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Work is under way at the former North Star Bar

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Long-running Fairmount venue North Star Bar met a sad end a few years back when its music offerings were unceremoniously declared over in 2015. At the time, word was the space was going in full restaurant mode, with plans to expand its food and beer offerings, but it has sat dormant with most of the block wrapped in chain-link fence for the past three years.

Right now it appears that the building is being partially gutted; earlier today, a music-loving neighbor who wishes to remain anonymous snapped this photo of a work crew demo-ing the east half of the building, the half that formerly contained the North Star’s stage, and it’s been circulating around on social media since.  Continue reading →

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Sheena, Anika, and Augusta team up for simple pleasures

Sheena, Anika, and Augusta | photo by Katie Krulock | courtesy of the artist

There’s a new supergroup in town, folks. Local songwriters Anika Pyle (Katie Ellen, Chumped) and Augusta Koch (Cayetana, Gladie) have joined forces with Sheena Ozzella of Lemuria for a new project. The trio will perform under the name Sheena, Anika, and Augusta, and have announced a four-track EP called simple pleasures that will be released on Asian Man Records. Continue reading →

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Soul Glo is releasing their new album on SRA Records in June

Soul Glo’s new album cover | photo via SRA Records

Philadelphia punk outfit Soul Glo has gone through a lot of changes since the release of their UNTITLED LP from 2016. The propulsive hardcore of that record is steeped in taut playing and nervy shrieks, but the gigs they’ve played have gradually developed and changed, making ample room for large swaths of expansive, cathartic noise. Theirs is a live show that makes the audience feel the frustration and anger of the music in a visceral way, and seeing the song listing of their new album include a cut called “noise tracc,” we expect that it will echo what we’ve been seeing Soul Glo bring to the stage over the past year or so. Continue reading →

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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 →

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Watch Brandi Carlile and Dave Grohl busk on the streets of Seattle

Brandi Carlile got her start by busking on the streets of her hometown of Seattle, and this past Saturday she took a nostalgic trip to Pike Place Market to play an impromptu set, bringing along fellow Seattle native Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters. The two musicians were accompanied by Carlile’s bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroff, a.k.a “the twins,” and part of their set was streamed live on Carlile’s Facebook page, while onlookers captured their own video.

As crowds gathered outside the famous market to watch the unannounced set, Carlile and Grohl played a rendition of The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” plus some of their own songs, including the Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These.” Carlile wrote later on Instagram that the 15-minute set was “one of the most surreal moments of my life.” Watch clips of the performance below. Continue reading →

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Philadelphia poet and experimental artist Moor Mother joins Art Ensemble of Chicago for 50th Anniversary Album

Art Ensemble of Chicago ft. Moor Mother (standing, second from left) | photo by Barbara Barefield | via Rolling Stone

Fifty years after the creation of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. co-founder Roscoe Mitchell is taking on new recruits. The ensemble was formed in 1965 and, over the years, they have garnered praise for their avant-garde sound that successfully fused jazz with European art music and African folk styles. This year, the group is taking another leap this year by adding young, forward-thinking musicians to their ensemble. Among them is Philadelphia-based Moor Mother, a poet and experimental musician who has been collaborating with artists in the Philadelphia music scene for years.

Her work centers around ideas of freedom, future, and the abstract, and it is easy to see how she and Mitchell came together. Continue reading →

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Has Festival Pier sung its final Swan Song?

Festival Pier in 2016

In the wake of the Trocadero’s reported closing on the horizon, news broke that another iconic spot for concerts in Philly may no longer be hosting shows. According to Philly.com, the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, a longtime host of outdoor summer concerts, will not open for a 2019 season.

One event Festival Pier may be best known for is the home of the annual Roots Picnic — so it was a bit of a red flag when it was announced earlier this week that after 11 years at the waterfront venue, the Picnic will be moving to the  Mann Center this year.

Philly.com’s Dan De Luca spoke with Geoff Gordon, the regional president of Live Nation, which booked shows at Festival Pier and operates several venues across town, including the new Met Philadelphia. Although the exact term Gordon used regarding the venue’s closure was “sabbatical,” it appears more likely that Festival Pier’s hiatus will be a permanent one. Continue reading →

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You can become a part of the Beastie Boys Story – filmed at the Tower Theater

Beastie Boys | Still from video

The Beastie Boys are documenting their legacy this spring with three live shows that will become a part of a film called “Beastie Boys Story Told By Ad Rock & Mike D.” Ahead of two NYC shows, the project will kick off with a show right here in Philly at the Tower Theater on April 5.

Last October, Beastie Boys members Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond released a seemingly career-culminating memoir, “Beastie Boys Book,” which recounted stories from their decades-long run. But with this announcement, which Horovitz and Diamond revealed to Amazon Music’s Nathan Brackett at a SXSW panel this week, it’s clear that the Beastie Boys aren’t finished yet. Continue reading →