Saturday, August 1, 2015

POSTED: Friday, July 31, 2015, 11:36 AM
Hibou - French for "owl" - is the brainchild of former Craft Spells drummer Peter Michel. (Photo by Jenny Jimenez)

Peter Michel is proud of his band name.

“It’s easy to pick a band name because it sounds cool,” he said on the phone from Denver, where he’s just woken up after a night on tour. “But that’s not how this one was.”

The story goes like this: In the seclusion of his family’s cabin on Whidbey Island, about 30 miles north of Seattle, the multi-instrumentalist sat down to play some tunes. He found company in the presence of a baby owl. It didn’t move. It wasn’t frightened — it just sat there. So naturally, he told some friends of the spiritual connection, one of whom brought Michel a glass owl figurine back from Paris. He noticed the tag read “hibou,” French for “owl.” 

POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2015, 4:38 PM
Philadelphia musician Joshua Thomas will pay tribute to Joni Mitchell. (Billy Cress, Getty Images)

On Saturday, Aug. 1, local musician Joshua Thomas will perform Joni Mitchell's Blue and Hejira albums in their entirety during “I Am on a Lonely Road”, a special tribute concert to the Canadian singer-songwriter at the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia (123 S. 17th St.).

“I came up with the idea to do one album start to finish,” Thomas told me. “I had the idea because I think it is really important to set it up so people will hear something as a cycle – the way the artist intended it to sound.” The folk music legend recently suffered from an aneurysm – reports say her condition is improving – but the timing seems fitting for fans seeking some comfort.

Thomas' obsession with Mitchell stemmed from his grandparents sharing with him the work of a female jazz artist: Diana Krall. He heard "A Case of You" on a live album and was moved. "For a while I thought Diana Krall wrote it. I just didn't know. I knew it wasn't a jazz standard. I looked in the liner notes and saw the name Joni Mitchell.”

POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2015, 3:12 PM
Vocalist Michael Andrews at a Tuesday-night jam session at 23rd Street Cafe. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)

One of the funniest things about the intimate, brick-walled 23rd Street Café (233 N. 23rd St.) is that the place has been "closing" ever since it opened.

When it began its Tuesday-night-only jazz jam sessions for local players and singers in 1990, the only reason they started the open mic there was to make certain that Mace Thompson's spot kept its liquor license when it was decided that the venue as a restaurant wasn't working. Plus, says Philly architect-and-jazz aficionado Herman DeJong, the man who started the jam in 1989 at the Boat House Row Bar in the Rittenhouse Hotel, he needed a spot for his players after the hotel closed down their party.

The Café had run out of steam so they collaborated.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 2:23 PM
Janelle Monae entertains at the seventh annual Roots Picnic on the Delaware. (Ed Hille/Staff Photographer)

Janelle Monae’s new label, Wondaland Records is teaming up with Epic Records for a series of free, “secret” shows featuring Monae herself and other artists on the Wondaland roster.

The Eephus Tour, named after the label’s first compilation EP (out Aug. 14), will kick off at an unknown location in Philly on Wednesday, Aug. 12. The only way in is to submit a short form on Wondaland’s website. You’ll be emailed the details 24 hours before the show based on a first-come, first-served basis. Oh yeah, and you’ve got to be over 21.

Other artists gracing the stage besides Monae include Jidenna, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, and Roman GianArthur.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 6:46 PM
Bob Charger had been with WOGL for nearly 20 years. (Photo via Facebook)

In the midst of personnel changes at CBS, the network has continued restructuring on their Philadelphia radio stations. Top-rated classic hits station 98.1 WOGL has let go of Bob Charger, weekday nighttime jock.

The move comes as a result of inter-network cuts, said Charger, who hasn’t been with the station since July 13. He also noted that WOGL would no longer employ full-time on-air talent from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. A rep from CBS denied this claim.

“I was not fired. It was a layoff,” he said.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 11:13 AM
Jeff Rosenstock: Mastering the art of just getting by - and writing songs about it. (Courtesy photo)

“No, I’m not drunk at 3 in the afternoon, like most people.”

Jeff Rosenstock has had to clear that up before — mostly to fans. At one point in his career, the songwriter and leader of former outfit Bomb the Music Industry! received calls from listeners after they came across his number online.

“People would call me at like 3 in the afternoon be like, ‘Hey, are you drunk right now?’" Rosenstock said. “And I know it's because they listen to my songs or whatever, but it's weird.”

POSTED: Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 12:02 PM
Michael Tearson. (File photo)

After 12 years on the air at SiriusXM, veteran local DJ Michael Tearson has announced he’ll no longer be lending his talents to the satellite radio broadcasting service. Citing unhappiness with programming changes, Tearson made his announcement Monday morning. His last show was Sunday night.

“It’s really something that’s been brewing for several months,” Tearson said. “I got to be unhappy with the way they were evolving the channel. It was time for me to walk way from it.” 

The Westmont, N.J. resident pre-recorded his weekend shifts on air on Deep Tracks, on the platform’s classic rock deep cuts channel, from his home studio. He’d made his final decision to leave the company after recording last weekend’s shows on Thursday, alluding to his departure by dropping little hints throughout his breaks — like how Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” was “uncommonly appropriate” in his life currently.

POSTED: Monday, July 20, 2015, 1:36 PM
Meek Mill talks on stage at CRWN A Conversation With Elliott Wilson & Meek Mill event at Gramercy Theatre on July 2, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for

According to Spotify’s Musical Map: Cities of the World, Philadelphians are uniquely driven toward a mix of locally dominated rap and R&B. Meek Mill is the most prominent artist on The Sound of Philadelphia Spotify playlist, which features 98 songs and is updated bi-monthly. Other local artists featured on Philly's playlist include singers Vivian Green and Jazmine Sullivan and rapper Quilly. City favorites like Freeway’s “What We Do,” “He Loves Me” by Jill Scott and “Love” by Musiq Soulchild grace the playlist, as well as some newer tracks like “679” by Fetty Wap appear as well.

Spotify compiled unique playlists for almost 1,000 cities around the world. These playlists stray away from the typical Top 40 song selections because, for the most part, they’re rather uniform across the board. Instead, Spotify identified the distinctive sounds users in each city listened to.

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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