Monday, February 8, 2016

POSTED: Friday, January 29, 2016, 12:00 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Bruce Springsteen performs onstage at A+E Networks "Shining A Light" concert at The Shrine Auditorium on November 18, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

It can be a challenge for music fans to plan ahead these days, when the element of surprise is such an important part of a big-name artist's marketing strategy. Many of the bold-faced releases previewed below are expected in the early stages of 2016, but only the acts themselves know exactly when they're coming.

The lucky 21 albums and shows highlighted here represent only a fraction of the interesting stuff that's coming in our pop-saturated culture. There also are highly anticipated albums (with no scheduled release dates) coming from global agit-pop artist M.I.A., Irish uber-rockers U2, and Kanye West associate Pusha T, who also plays the Trocadero on March 25.

With moneymaking in the music business happening mostly on the road, the concert calendar for the indoor season is crammed as well. More shows of note include Jenny Lewis at Union Transfer on Feb. 2. Best Coast and Wavves at Electric Factory on Feb. 17, Los Lobos at the Sellersville Theater Feb. 27, Red Baraat's Festival of Colors at Ardmore Music Hall on March 25, Basia Bulat at Boot & Saddle March 30, and Iggy Pop and Josh Homme at Academy of Music on April 15. And a bunch of big shows at Wells Fargo Center to boot, with Carrie Underwood on Feb. 22, The Who on March 14, AC/DC on April 1 and Justin Bieber May 7 and 8.

POSTED: Thursday, January 28, 2016, 7:58 AM
Chris Martin of Coldplay. (Matt Syales / Associated Press)

British soft-rockers Coldplay will embark on a seven date stadium tour this summer, with an August date in South Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field on the itinerary on August 6.

It will be the first time that the Chris Martin-led band, who will play the Super Bowl half time show on Feb. 7 (with Beyonce as a guest), has played the Linc. The quartet, who released their album A Head Full Of Dreams late last year, has performed at the Wells Fargo Center across the street many times before. 

There's a pre-sale this Friday though Citi credit cards - the tour sponsor - and tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on Feb. 5 at

POSTED: Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 11:26 PM
The "ANTI" album artwork. (Roy Nachum)

As of Wednesday night, Rihanna's long awaited album, ANTI, is finally seeing the light of day. But it's not yet available on iTunes, Spotify or Apple Music.

If you want to hear the Barbadian pop singer's first full length work since 2012's Unapologetic, you need to have Tidal, the Jay Z overseen streaming service that has exclusive dibs on the album, whose most recent single "Work" is a pas de deux with Canadian rapper Drake, for one week. After that, it goes wide on all services.

Here's the deal: A 13 song version of the surprisingly low-key ANTI is streaming live on Rihanna's Tidal artist page here. It's a lure to get people to sign up for the beleaguered service, which many industry observers have predicted is not long for this world, what with heavy competition from more broadly popular services Apple and Spotify, the later of which offers an ad driven "freemium" version which Tidal does not.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 10:00 AM
John Homme and Iggy Pop. (Andreas Neumann )

Celebrate tax day in Philadelphia with the Godfather of Punk: Iggy Pop and Josh Homme are coming to the Academy of Music on April 15. 

The Stooges founder - born James Osterberg - has completed a new album, Post-Pop Depression, with production handled by Homme, the leader of Queens of the Stone Age and sometime member of Eagles of Death Metal. (He was not with the band in Paris in November on the night of the terror attacks.)

The tour planned for Post-Pop, which comes out on March 18, will be for 20 dates only.   Homme told the New York Times:  “There won’t be hardly any shows, and they won’t be in big places, and you won’t be able to get a ticket. So almost everyone won’t see it. It will be like trying to catch smoke in your hands. And that makes it even better. It will be special, and it will be over in the blink of an eye.”

POSTED: Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 9:23 AM
Musician Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band performs during the 2010 NFL Opening Kickoff Presented by EA SPORTS in Jackson Square on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Lee Celano/Getty Images)

Dave Matthews Band turns 25 in 2016 and will celebrate on the road with a set a recently announced tour dates — including two nights in Camden.

The group’s 46-date North American tour kicks off May 11 in Wichita, Kansas and concludes in early September in George, Washington.  In between, the band winds its way to Camden on June 24 and 25 at the BB&T Pavilion.

This time around, fans should take special note: following the tour’s September conclusion, that’s all we’ll see from the Dave Matthwes band for a while. The band announced this week that it won’t tour in 2017.

POSTED: Thursday, January 21, 2016, 2:30 PM
Billy Joel performs at Madison Square Garden on January 7, 2016 in New York City. (Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

Thursday afternoon Live Nation announced that Billy Joel would return this summer for a massive stadium show at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, July 9.

Joel will become the first performer to play three years in a row at the Philly arena. This will also be the Piano Man’s fifth show at CBP.

Pre-sale tickets for American Express Card Members go on sale Monday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. until Thursday, Jan. 28 at 10 p.m. The general public can access passes at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 29.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 1:19 PM
David Bowie, Ed Sciaky, and Bruce Springsteen at Sigma Sound Studios in August 1974. (Photo by John David Kalodner, courtesy of Randy Alexander PR)

Late WMMR, WMGK radio personality Ed Sciaky has been honored for his career on the airwaves. 

The DJ and Temple University grad is credited with elevating the careers of Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Genesis, Sting and others.

Sciaky was responsible for introducing The Boss to Bowie back in 1974 at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia. The WMMR DJ even let him sleep on his couch. Bruce shared the story of the meeting at a recent Pittsburgh show. “He rang me up and I visited him in Philly while he was making the Young Americans record*. He covered my music, 'Hard to be a Saint in the City' ... I took the Greyhound bus to Philadelphia, that's how early it was," Springsteen told the crowd.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 11:14 PM
Stevie Wonder performs at Dilworth Park in Philadelphia, Pa. on Monday August 19, 2015. ( Colin Kerrigan /

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival lineup is eye-popping this year.

Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, J. Cole, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Snoop Dogg, Beck, Los Lobos, Mavis Staples, Buddy Guy, Steely Dan, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, Jazmine Sullivan, Paul Simon, My Morning Jacket, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Maxwell, and Gary Clark Jr. are all slated to play the Fair Grounds race course in late April and May. With audiences skewing younger at fests heavy on EDM, hip-hop and indie-rock, Jazz Fest, which pulls in a diverse, multi-generational crowd, has done a bang-up job
of booking a wide range of still compelling older acts. 

Of course, the allure of Jazz Fest is only partly about such big name headliners who, yes it’s true, have little to do with “jazz.” The attraction is really the Louisiana acts that make the two weekend gathering a one-of-a-kind event second only to Mardi Gras in drawing visitors to New Orleans. Acts that fit that bill this year include Dr. John, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Dirty Dozen, Soul Rebels, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, John Boutte, Irma Thomas, White Cloud Hunter Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans Swamp Donkeys, Single Ladies Social and Pleasure Club and ... you get the idea. 

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.

Gab Bonghi Staff Writer
Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
Sofiya Ballin
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