Monday, December 22, 2014

POSTED: Monday, December 22, 2014, 3:20 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
St. Vincent, Drake, and Sam Smith top the staff's best tracks of 2014. (, Getty)

We (Allie Volpe, Colin Kerrigan and Gab Bonghi) skimmed through our most listened-to tracks of 2014 and narrowed it down to our absolute favorites (in Spotify playlist form). There was some light disagreement but we managed to settle our disputes.

Here are some highlights:

“Never Catch Me (feat. Kendrick Lamar)”
by Flying Lotus, You’re Dead!

POSTED: Monday, December 22, 2014, 1:58 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
British singer Joe Cocker performs on stage during the "Fire it up tour" concert, on April 6, 2013 in Nice, southeastern France. (VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES ( - Joe Cocker, the British singer who had numerous hits in the 1970s and '80s including a barrel-throated rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends," has died, according to BBC News. He was 70.

Cocker died of an undisclosed illness, his agent Barrie Marshall, told BBC News.

Cocker was known for his raspy-bluesy style and the physical effort he put into performing -- a style famously spoofed on "Saturday Night Live" by John Belushi.

POSTED: Monday, December 22, 2014, 12:09 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Philly's own The Districts had an incredible 2014, with big things coming next year like a new album and tour. (Photo by Ryan Farber)

In a year that brought us incredible debuts, powerful returns from vets, countless miles toured and strange altercations, 2014 was surely a 12 months worth remembering for local bands. These are just a few who killed it this year.


Sweet, punky dudes who made a strong showing at Made in America this year. They remind us of the times of our youth when Hollister played the best music, except CRUISR are way better.

After just wrapping up a tour with the brooding 1975, we have a feeling the name CRUISR will be a familiar one come this time next year, especially with their Vagrant Records full-length debut coming down the pipeline. In the meantime, their All Over EP will warm you up through the winter blues.

POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2014, 11:21 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Philly band Cheerleader play Johnny Brenda's on Saturday, Dec. 20. (Courtesy photo)

Much has been said over the past year about relative newcomers Cheerleader. It usually begins with Chris Duran and Joe Haller making their way to Philadelphia from Connecticut with the hopes of fleshing out the then-twosome into a full-band project — which they did with the addition of Paul Impellizeri, Josh Pannepacker, and Carl Bahner.

The story continues in a complete snowball effect of success: The young band uploaded some demos to SoundCloud, caught the attention of the blogosphere, played their first shows as a band, got whisked away into the SXSW machine (they’ll be heading back again this year, too), hit the overseas scene, released an EP, and hit the road with Colony House and Knox Hamilton this fall, all before bringing it home for one last show of 2014 at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday night. 

It seems overwhelming, but it’s just another day for guys taking the alt-pop world by storm, one sunny synth-burner at a time.

POSTED: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 11:37 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 15: Miranda Lambert performs at the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at Music City Center on December 15, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for dcp)

The latest music festival to call Dover, Del. home is the newly announced Big Barrel Country Music Festival, a three-day fest held at the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway — the same locale as the Firefly Music Festival. The inaugural event will run from June 26-28, less than a week after Firefly’s romp: June 18-21.

Organized by Red Frog Events — the same group that puts on Firefly — and Goldenvoice, — the folks behind the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals — the new fête features headliners Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

Full lineup includes Jake Owen, Chris Young, Gary Allan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Eric Paslay, Jon Pardi, Sturgill Simpson, Dan + Shay, Cassadee Pope, Charlie Worsham, Jana Kramer, The Oak Ridge Boys, Joel Crouse, Chris Stapleton, The Del McCoury Band, Shakey Graves, Billy Joe Shaver, Nikki Lane, Jackie Lee, Logan Mize, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Wade Bowen, Caitlin Rose, Steven Lee Olsen, The Felice Brothers, The Stray Birds, Sam Lewis, The Deslondes, Whiskey Shivers and Drake White and the Big Fire.

POSTED: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 10:50 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Howie Dorough; AJ McLean; Kevin Richardson; Brian Littrell and Nick Carter of The Backstreet Boys perform on stage at British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park on July 6, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

It’s safe to say the Backstreet Boys had a profound affect on many a young gal in the late ‘90s, early '00s. But what happened beyond their fizzle — you know, when choreographed dance moves and vocal harmonies are no longer enough for grown men musicians — remains kind of a sad mystery.

“What do you do when you’re a full-grown man in a boy band?”

Make a documentary, apparently.

POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2014, 4:52 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Ahead of the release of their live album, Dr. Dog released a video covering Architecture in Helsinki's "Heart it Races." (Photo via YouTube)

No stranger to their live sets, Dr. Dog unveiled a video comprised of live footage set to their cover of Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart it Races.”

The Philly band is gearing up to release their first-ever live album on Jan. 13 and this cover makes a showing on the 19-track LP, Live from a Flamingo Hotel, featuring live cuts of the outfit’s always-engaging and energetic sets — unquestionably apparent in the video.

Check out the video and tracklisting.

POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2014, 12:07 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 14: Iggy Azalea performs onstage during KISS 108ís Jingle Ball 2014, presented by Market Basket Supermarkets at TD Garden on December 14, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Hip-hop’s newest powerhouse, Iggy Azalea makes “The Great Escape” this spring for an arena tour. Coming to the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, May 10, the tour will feature one-third of the JoBros, Nick Jonas as special guest and Tinashe and DJ Wizz Kidd as support.

General sale tickets will be available at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 19 (‘tis the season for gifting!). American Express card members will have access to a presale beginning Monday Dec. 15 through Thursday, Dec. 18 at 9 p.m.

This year saw the huge breakthrough for Iggy, who’s debut The New Classic hit number one on both Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap Album charts — the first female rapper to do so. Just last week, she was nominated for four Grammys, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

About this blog
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
Sarah Paolantonio
Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
Nick Vadala
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