Thursday, December 18, 2014

POSTED: Thursday, December 4, 2014, 11:42 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Manchester Orchestra tour behind their latest release, "HOPE," a reimagined version of their April record, "COPE." (Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee)

An idea came to Manchester Orchestra. They were mid-tour in support of their fourth album, COPE, when the fivesome from Atlanta — Andy Hull, Chris Freeman, Andy Prince, Robert McDowell and Tim Very — realized that the loud, at times, fuzzed-out, arguably first all-out, rock-and-roll record they’d produced actually worked stripped down, decomposed and rearranged.

So they went into the studio unannounced and did just that.

What resulted was HOPE, an album comprised of the exact songs that had been released only a few months prior, just with the volume turned down, the tempo slowed, and keyboards and strings on full.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 3:45 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Freeway takes a bite of a cheesesteak in the "Lived It" video. (YouTube)

Jeweler’s Row. South Street. Cheesesteaks. The Rocky Steps. 

These are just some of the local highlights in Freeway and Girl Talk’s video for their track “Lived It,” which is off of the duo’s EP Broken Ankles.

Simply an ode to the city he loves, it’s mostly Freeway walking around the streets of Philadelphia and concludes with footage from the rapper’s performance alongside his mash-up musical partner Girl Talk at this summer’s Made in America festival.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 12:25 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Philly's Strand of Oaks play a hometown show at Union Transfer on Wednesday, Dec. 3. (Photo by Dusdin Condren)

For Timothy Showalter of Strand of Oaks, being a consumer of music is just as important as being a purveyor of sounds.

“You should support the people that are putting out records,” said the Mount Airy resident and front man of the Philly-based band. “That’s my favorite thing to do, to like a record.”

And Showalter, 32, wasn’t shy with disclosing his top releases in 2014, his own personal “best-of” list: Sun Kil Moon’s Benji, Marissa Nadler’s July, Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There and Ryan Adams’ self-titled.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 12:19 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Meek Mills takes of his tie as he leaves federal court after the verdict went against him in Philadelphia on May 1, 2014. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill will be released from Hoffman Hall, a private North Philadelphia prison, on Tuesday according to spokeswoman Shawn Hawes.

Back in July, Mill – real name Robert Williams – was given a three- to six-month sentence for violating his probation stemming from a gun and drug conviction back in 2009.

At the beginning of October Williams’ legal team attempted to give the hip-hop artist early parole with no luck. This prison sentence delayed the release of Meek’s sophomore album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, which was originally set for release on Sept. 2, 2014 but was pushed to January 2015.

POSTED: Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:41 AM
Tony Bennett.

Talk about a ring-a-ding dinging endorsement. Frank Sinatra - his pre-recorded disembodied voice, that is - introduced Tony Bennett at the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City on Friday.

“Tony’s gonna come out now and he’s going to tear the seats out of the place for you,” said The Voice from beyond the grave. “He’s my man, this cat. ...He’s the greatest singer in the world today, this man, Mr. Tony Bennett!”

Who’s going to argue with the Chairman of the Board? Sinatra's admiration stood Bennett in good stead while Ol’ Blue Eyes was alive, and since his death in 1998, the singer born Anthony Benedetto has had Great American Songbook elder statesman status to himself.

POSTED: Monday, November 24, 2014, 4:54 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Bob Dylan and His Band perform at the Academy of Music Friday night. HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 12: Musician Bob Dylan performs onstage during the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards held at The Hollywood Palladium on January 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Imagine being Fredrik Wikingsson.

Unless you’re familiar with the Stockholm-based television personality, the name Fredrik Wikingsson probably doesn’t ring any bells. However, yesterday the Bob Dylan superfan was the only audience member to a special concert at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music — so imagining yourself in his shoes might be an easier task.

As a part of the Swedish film series Experiment Ensam (Experiment Alone), in which large crowd experiences are downsized for individual participants, Wikingsson was filmed as being the sole audience member for a Dylan performance while the musician was in town.

POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2014, 12:10 PM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Wild Cub open for Bleachers on Sunday, Nov. 23 at the TLA. (Photo by Alysse Gafkjen)

Keegan DeWitt, frontman and songwriter of Nashville-based Wild Cub never saw himself as a solo artist, though upon first moving to the city from Brooklyn, that’s where he found himself musically.

“So much of that world requires a record to have your name in big bold letters on the top and your face on the front,” said DeWitt. “I felt like that deprived the listeners of a big part of the magic of encountering music.”

Apparently, the magic is in ambiguity and strength in numbers, which brought the respective members of Wild Cub — also including Jeremy Bullock, Dabney Morris, Harry West and Eric Wilson — away from prior engagements or solo work and into the intrigue of band life. “It gave people the opportunity to instantly involve their imagination, their past relationships — all of that interesting stuff — to the table,” he said of the mystery that comes with being one among many.

POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2014, 11:27 AM
Filed Under: Music & Nightlife
Nashville's Natural Child play Underground Arts on Saturday, Nov. 22. (Photo courtesy Grandstand Media and Promotion)

Natural Child are fond of taking the road less traveled — at least when it comes to driving to the movies in Michigan.

“We’re in the middle of a cornfield right now,” said bassist Wes Traylor. “We‘re not farmers you know — we’re on our way to Grand Rapids.”

“Yeah, we try to mix it up a little bit by going off-road,” echoed guitarist Seth Murray.

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
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