“Yoga music” isn’t actually a genre a music, but it’s still easily identifiable — sounds of waterfalls, strums on acoustic instruments, you know the drill. And like, say, opera, it’s not for everyone. In fact, such music might even sound like nails on a chalkboard to you. That’s where this list of Philly yoga classes that offer up different sounds to accompany your sun salutations — from Beyoncé to heavy metal — comes in.
Best of Philly 2017 is now online as well as at newsstands, celebrating outstanding food, people, shops and more from across the region. Here are some highlights from the Fun & Games section:
BEST REASON TO GO TO THE LIBRARY
Musical Instrument Collection at the Free Library
Thanks to an innovative new program at the Central branch, you can check out all sorts of musical instruments for three weeks, for free. One of our editors borrowed a ukulele, a bass guitar, and a Fender Stratocaster with a surprisingly loud amp. Our apologies to the neighbors.
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-686-5322 | Website
BEST BRO-FREE KARAOKE
Sing Your Life Karaoke at W/N W/N Coffee Bar
Sara Sherr has been ruling the local karaoke scene for a while now, but her newest series—in this unexpected coffee shop/bar/co-working space mashup—is the freshest one yet. The themed Thursday nights include Queer, Feminist, Big Gay Country and, our personal favorite, Protest.
931 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA | Website Read more »
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 »
The XPoNential lineup is always an impressive mix of old favorites, rated rookies and artists hitting their stride, but this year’s roster looks especially hot. The amazing Hop Along leads a stellar cast of locals that includes No Good Sister, The Dove & The Wolf, Hardwork Movement (whom I seem to write about every week) and more.
There’s lots of WXPN-style star power, too, like Wilco, Charles Bradley, Conor Oberst, Spoon, Chicano Batman, Drive-By Truckers and Hurray for the Riff Raff.
Oh, and some rare treats: Philly singer-songwriter Amos Lee playing with New Orlena’s famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and a set by Offa Rex — in which British folk singer Olivia Chaney fronts the Decemberists.
Since the festival includes multiple stages and venues (Wiggins Park and BB&T Pavilion), you’re gonna want to study the schedule and do a little research ahead of time. Here are some videos to help you out… Read more »
FRIDAY, JULY 21
Shark Tank: The Final Episode @ PHIT
Extended for two more shows. A parody of the popular TV show about inventors seeking funding from rich people. Includes a large cast and video elements. Created by Max Sittenfield and Sean Keegan-Landis. Friday and Saturday.
Back to Back to Black: A Tribute to Amy Winehouse @ Ardmore Music Hall
Remember Jones and his 15-piece orchestra pay tribute to the singer who gave us “Rehab” and “You Know I’m No Good.” They perform her album Back to Black in its entirety. Read more »
Built on a bedrock of horns and guitars, the music of Hardwork Movement is always jazzy, smart and fun as hell. The Philly hip-hop/soul collective just dropped this new track “Becca’s Movement” (produced by Weathervane Music), a song about hope and desperation with a chill beat and a passionate chorus that reminds me of Teddy Pendergrass.
Read more »
Kendrick Lamar @ Wells Fargo Center | Wednesday, July 19
Everyone agrees that Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar is one of the fiercest (and low-key funniest) performers in the business. His lyrics are bold and powerful, and span the emotional spectrum. His aesthetic is engaging and ambitious, and pushes mainstream hip-hop into weirder territory. Of the three videos released so far for his critically acclaimed latest record Damn, none has fewer than 26 million views. The one below has 248 million. So. I don’t know why this show isn’t sold out yet — except everybody’s strapped for cash and it’s in a big giant sports arena — but that just means you have time to make an impulse purchase. (See Also: Kendrick Lamar brings a pop-up shop to Philly.)
Ghost @ The Fillmore | Thursday, July 20
For all the face paint and the costumes and the Satanic Panic rigamarole, Swedish band Ghost’s music is surprisingly accessible. It’s just as much power-pop as heavy metal. But the lead singer is a “demonic anti-Pope” with a skull face, so I guess it’s a little spooky. “Hey mom, I’m worshipping the devil tonight. \m/” “That’s nice dear. <3” Read more »
FRIDAY, JULY 14
Philadelphia Podcast Festival
Live recordings of some 55 podcasts including The Black Tribbles, Call Your Girlfriend, Black Girls Laughing, Lulu & Pop, Micheaux Mission, Never Forget Radio and so many more. Check out my post about the festival from yesterday. Runs July 14-23.
Waxahatchee / Cayetana @ Union Transfer
Two beloved Philly rock bands totally in their prime. Katie Crutchfield’s stellar songwriting really shines on Waxahatchee’s dreamy, powerful new record, Out in the Storm. Louder and punkier, Cayatena crushes it on their latest, New Kind of Normal. Read more »
Kendrick Lamar will bring “DAMN.” – a roving pop-up shop named after his latest album – to Philadelphia next week.
The rapper’s collection of hats, hoodies and T-shirts will take over UBIQ, a footwear and apparel boutique located at 1509 Walnut St., between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19th – the same day Lamar will perform at the Wells Fargo Center. Read more »
Rod Stewart/Cyndi Lauper @ BB&T Pavilion | Wednesday, July 12
Apparently punks had more time on their hands back in the day, because they spent considerable energy hating on Rod Stewart. Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols called the Jeff Beck Group/Faces alum an influence, but the more pop and disco that emerged in Stewart’s sound, the more the kids razzed him.
To quote Rolling Stone in 1982: “To the punk rockers of the mid-Seventies, he was the perfect symbol of everything false, bloated and self-satisfied in the rock-star establishment. He’d left England and his working-class roots far behind and become a tax exile. Even worse, he’d settled in Tinseltown, U.S.A., in a mansion in the exclusive Holmby Hills area, where his neighbors included Gregory Peck and Burt Reynolds. … When the punk rockers and their sympathizers weren’t gleefully enumerating these transgressions, the critics were savaging his albums. It seemed that nobody liked Rod Stewart anymore — except the silent millions who kept right on buying his records.” Why bring all this up now? Because Stewart’s still got a hold on these silent millions, and comes to town at one giant venue or another every couple years to play the hits. As for Cyndi Lauper, she’s punk. Read more »