Monday, January 26, 2015

POSTED: Saturday, January 24, 2015, 1:18 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife

For an Englishman who lives in New York, John Oliver is remarkably conversant with the foibles of Philadelphia. And he got right to it during the second of his two shows at the Tower Theater on Friday night. “Thank you for being here,” he greeted the audience, “and not out on the streets punching each other.”

Oliver, the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, may not have grasped the meaning of this fair city’s Mummers tradition, but he applauded its spirit, noting that while the rest of the country is groaning in bed on Jan. 1, Philadelphians are up early and getting hammered in silly costumes. “What a hard drinking city,” he marveled.  

If you came to the show expecting political and social commentary, based on Oliver’s TV persona, you may have been surprised at what a colloquial tone he adopted, in a lively set that included a surprising amount of sports references (including repeated mockery of Eagles’ QB Mark Sanchez), observations about animals (leading to a nasty Bill Cosby analogy) and assorted accents.

POSTED: Friday, January 23, 2015, 3:59 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Singer Hayley Williams of Paramore performs onstage during CBS Radio's We Can Survive at the Hollywood Bowl (presented by 5 Hour Energy) on October 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.)

Ain’t it fun? Closing out an extended few years of touring behind their self-titled release, Paramore are hitting the road for one final bout of dates behind the 2013 LP.

Hitting smaller theaters in celebration of the era that launched the band from club show punkers to stadium-filling rock stars, Paramore will make a stop at Atlantic City’s Borgata on Friday, May 8.

The “Writing the Future” tour will see opening support by Copeland.

POSTED: Friday, January 23, 2015, 12:51 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Local acts Cheerleader and Chiddy Bang will play a Firefly Music Festival preview concert this Sunday. (Courtesy, Getty Images)

With all the hubbub concerning lineup announcements for Coachella, Bonnaroo, Governers Ball, Hangout Fest and the like, we here in the Philly area are all, “Um, what about us?” concerning the Firefly Festival lineup.

Organizers have thrown us a bone with a pre-lineup free concert at the Trocadero Theatre (1003 Arch St.) this Sunday, Jan. 25 featuring two confirmed Firefly artists — locals Cheerleader and Chiddy Bang. Doors are at 7 p.m. and entry is based on a first-come-first-serve deal for over-21 attendees (sorry, kids).

You’ve got to RSVP first, although that doesn’t ensure your admission — you’re going to have to get in line with the best of 'em.

POSTED: Friday, January 23, 2015, 11:01 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Hiss Golden Messenger will open for Ben Howard on Saturday at Union Transfer. (Photo by Remedy)

Sometimes it’s all about the timing. There are the album releases that seem like they’ve been months — or even years — in the making, then there are the rapid-fire artists who seem to have the spigot on full-blast when it comes to songwriting, constantly churning out new material.

Hiss Golden Messenger has found himself somewhere in the middle. M.C. Taylor, whose previous musical outlets included the hardcore outfit Ex-Ignota and the alt-country group The Court and Spark, released his fifth LP under the Hiss Golden Messenger moniker — Lateness of Dancers, his debut on Merge Records, which ended up on a handful of year-end best lists — in September and is following it up five months later with a three-song EP.

Southern Grammar, out on Tuesday, Feb. 3 on Merge, is the result of a desire to find a physical home for the six-minute rolling folk-country ballad “Brother, Do You Know the Road?”

POSTED: Friday, January 23, 2015, 10:33 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Salt-N-Pepa perform during the 4th Annual "Home For The Holidays" Benefit Concert at Beacon Theatre on December 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Not only will '80s hip-hop goddesses Salt-N-Pepa be hitting the area in June for the recently returned Mixtape Festival in Hershey, but they’ll also make another public appearance next month at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s second annual Cheers for CHOP benefit as headlining performers.

The ladies will be pushing it for a good cause: Ticket and sponsorship proceeds will benefit the hospital, with over $400,000 raised at last year’s inaugural event. Tickets are available for purchase until Monday, Feb. 16.

Held at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia on Saturday, Feb. 28, the event will be replete with cocktails, a silent and live auction, and, of course, the entertainment.

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 9:52 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Inductees Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee of Rush perform on stage at the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

While this may not be as intimate as the concert scene in 2009’s bromance comedy I Love You, Man, Rush fans will have a lot to celebrate this summer. Recognizing 40 years rocking, the Canadian prog rock trio will hit the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, June 25 as a part of the R40 LIVE tour.

General sale tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 30, while Citi card members will have access to a presale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Regular presale opens at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29.

The band will be honored in March with an Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, an honor associated with Canada’s Juno Awards, for their charitable contributions to both Canadian and international causes.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 11:45 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife

It’s safe to say that DJing is still a man’s game — at least if you look on the surface. Out of the lineups announced for some of this year’s major dance festivals (Ultra Music Festival in Miami, EDC Puerto Rico and MexicoSpring Awakening Festival in Chicago) the pickings are slim — to put it lightly — for female talent.

Lineups are dominated by the big male names — Afrojack, David Guetta, Tiesto, Bassnectar, Steve Aoki, Avicii — with the occasional female headlining spot by Nervo, but overall it’s still a guy’s world.

Although these are huge festivals with DJ bookings coming from international artists, the gap in gender representation is apparent: Female DJs accounted for under 10 percent of the performance lineup at seven major festivals last year, according to Thump, the electronic music division of Vice.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 10:40 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Recording artists Dave Grohl (R) of Foo Fighters and Shane Fogerty perform onstage during the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring Lucian Grainge at The Beverly Hilton on January 25, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown (Getty Images)

Due to popular demand, the Foo Fighters have added a second local tour date to their massive summer tour, set to hit the Susquehanna Bank Center again on Monday, July 13, a week after their first appearance.

Tickets will be available at 7 p.m., so act fast — they’re in short supply for the July 6 date already. 

Opening duties will again be offered by UK rockers Royal Blood.

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Encompassing the sounds and beats of the city, we're here to turn you on to the local notables and under-the-radar artists, while showing you more of the bands and hot spots you already know and love.

Allie Volpe
Gabrielle Bonghi
Kate Bracaglia Music Blogger
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