Music: 9 Shows to See in the Next 7 Days

In the Valley Below plays Boot & Saddle on Wednesday.

In the Valley Below @ Boot & Saddle | Wednesday, August 16
This California duo first made an impression a couple years ago with “Peaches,” a synthy pop song and a video that would’ve fit nicely between Debbie Gibson and Roxette on VH1 Classics. But In The Valley Below got serious on their Elephant EP, released in July, which was inspired by the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This song, featuring Michigan gospel choir Majestic Praise, is lovely and passionate and nothing like “Peaches.”


Rita Fishbone @ Everybody Hits | Wednesday, August 16
I like everything I’ve heard from this young indie rock trio from Jersey. Their four-song Spilt Milk EP, released last year, is gritty, jangly, punky and lo-fi, with spontaneous moments of dissonance. Frontwoman Anastasia Lasky sings about tough subjects (rape, gender, eating disorders) in a somber, cutting deadpan. Rita Fishbone do down and droney just fine, but I especially like them when they get loud: Read more »

Video Breakdown: Lionel Richie’s “Hello”

Maybe stop asking the blind lady if she’s looking for you.

Pop megastar Lionel Richie is currently on the road with his All The Hits Tour — and looking back, it’s an impressive number of hits. Solo and with The Commodores, Richie’s list of memorable songs includes: “Easy,” “Three Times a Lady,” “All Night Long (All Night,)” “Say You, Say Me,” “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and on and on. The tour touches down in Philly on Wednesday.

Which brings us to one of the most important music videos of the MTV era. Released in 1984, “Hello” is a gorgeous, wondering love song but it’s the video, placed in heavy rotation, that made “Hello” an inescapable part of the pop landscape.

The premise is a strange one: Lionel Richie plays Mr. Reynolds, a high school acting coach who has the hots for one of his students. First, let’s watch: Read more »

Music: 8 Shows to See in the Next 7 Days

Frankie Rose plays Johnny Brenda’s on Friday.

a place both wonderful and strange @ PhilaMOCA | Wednesday, August 9
This scary electro-pop band claims both Janet Jackson and David Lynch as key influences. Imagine a dance party in the Black Lodge.


Gene Ween Does Billy Joel @ The Queen | Wednesday, August 9
Given Ween’s self-aware, post-everything approach to music and fame, you might think Aaron Freeman is being ironic with these Billy Joel tributes. Au contraire. Gener does it right, with a full band, belted-out vocals and a genuine love for the music. Worth the drive to Wilmington. Read more »

The Hit List: The 10 Best Shows in Philly in August

Martha Graham Cracker. Photograph by Kevin Monko

1. Roger Waters
It seems a full-blown Pink Floyd reunion is as likely as Jerry Garcia coming back from the dead, and Waters, the brain behind much of the band’s catalog, has hinted that this 60-plus-show tour may be his last. Expect tunes from Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Animals and Wish You Were Here, plus a mind-boggling stage production. August 8th, 9th and 11th at the Wells Fargo Center

2. “Mohamed Bourouissa: Urban Riders”
Look for depictions of the well-known urban cowboys of North Philadelphia in this exhibition of more than 85 works by the Algerian-born artist, whose media include photography, sculpture, drawings and video. $25 Barnes admission too steep? The museum is free the first Sunday of each month. Through October 2nd at the Barnes Museum, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Read more »

Music: 10 Shows to See in the Next 7 Days

Jamila Woods plays Johnny Brenda’s on Wednesday. (courtesy of the artist)

Jamila Woods @ Johnny Brenda’s | Wednesday, July 26
With her supple voice and message of resistance and persistence, this Chicago soul singer makes you sweat and swoon on last year’s HEAVN. These songs are groovy, optimistic and empowered.

Boston / Joan Jett & the Blackhearts @ BB&T Pavilion | Thursday, July 27
Save a space for Boston in the amazing history of fans becoming the lead singer of their favorite bands. After the death of longtime singer Brad Delp in 2007, Tommy DeCarlo — then a manager at Home Depot — wrote a tribute and posted it on MySpace. Within a year, he was hired full-time, singing “More Than a Feeling” and touring the world. He’s got the pipes. Anyway, here’s some Joan Jett, because she’s great. Read more »

Your Weekend Music Guide: Where to Catch Live Music Every Weekend This Summer

Live @ Lunch | Photo courtesy Center City District

1. For a sunny, music-filled lunch break in Center City, check out Live @ Lunch at Dilworth Park.
2. Make like the Italians and take an evening stroll during Passyunk Passeggiata in South Philly, where you’ll be serenaded by jazz and oldies bands as you shop at the farmers’ market.
3. Head to Bensalem for We Love Wednesdays at the Penn Community Bank Amphitheater for family-friendly tribute band concerts.  Read more »

Why You’re Hearing So Much About Garth Brooks’s Philly Shows

Trisha Yearwood, then-Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and Garth Brooks

Trisha Yearwood, then-Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and Garth Brooks pose before six shows at the building then known as the CoreStates Center in September 1998 | Photo: Chris Gardner/Associated Press

Garth Brooks is coming back to Philadelphia, and people want you to know about it.

Brooks was a megastar. Only The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States. When he last played solo shows in Philadelphia, in 1998, he attracted 115,212 fans to six shows at the CoreStates Center and made $2,509,672. His foray into rock music failed, but dude was still a rock star.

Brooks basically retired after his success in the 1990s, playing only occasionally and selling albums exclusively at Walmart. He played 186 shows at a residency in Vegas over four years, then began his first tour in nearly 20 years in 2014. It’s finally hitting Philadelphia this March, with four shows at the Wells Fargo Center (and two in one day!). Most tickets are the same price ($74.98), which is a pretty cool gimmick. Since it’s 2017, there are also $3,500 VIP packages.

And Comcast Spectacor is really pushing it. I’ve gotten four press releases about it from the WFC. A 40×40 banner was unveiled on the side of the building this morning. There was a promotional blitz for ticket sales for the fourth show, which was added this week and went on sale at 10 this morning. Comcast even tried to get a social campaign going: “Comcast Spectacor encourages all fans to help welcome the iconic country music star to Philadelphia and ‘get their Garth on’ by posting pictures to social media with a cowboy hat and the #GARTHinPhilly.” Read more »

Music: 6 Shows to See in Philly This Week

Tegan and Sara. Photo by Pamela Littky

Tegan and Sara. Photo by Pamela Littky

Lera Lynn @ World Café Live | Tuesday, November 1
You’ve heard Nashville singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lera Lynn on the True Detective soundtrack. Now hear her live upstairs at World Café Live playing from her new album, Resistor. Anthony Aparo opens.

Tegan and Sara @ Fillmore Philadelphia | Thursday, November 3
Twin sisters Tegan and Sara are on tour for their eighth album, Love You to Death. The Canadian indie pop duo also have some thoughts about Trump and the election.

Brahms: Symphony No. 2 @ Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center | November 3-5
Louis Langrée, music director of the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the Cincinnati Symphony, leads the Philadelphia Orchestra in Brahms’ Second Symphony. But first, guest violinist Midori performs Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

Read more »

Katy Perry to Perform Free Concert in Philadelphia

Katy Perry - DNC performance

Katy Perry performs at the Wells Fargo Center at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Katy Perry will hold a free concert in Philadelphia a few days before the presidential election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced this morning.

Perry, a pop-rock superstar with nine number-one singles in the U.S. and more than 100 million records sold worldwide, will perform at a yet-to-be-determined location in Philadelphia on November 5th, the Saturday before the election. The Clinton campaign has not yet announced how tickets will be distributed, but they’ll be free. Read more »

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