Kareem D’Ant is a local queer musician and popular activist on social media. We chat with the outspoken artist about being out in Pennsylvania, his upcoming EP, and how he deals with insane internet trolls.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Kareem David Anthony, but my stage name is Kareem D’Ant or, as some may know me on Twitter, as “The Zesty Queer.” I’m 25 and from Lancaster, Pa., but Philly is like my second home and I look forward to the day I can make it permanent. My primary job is that of a retail worker, but I’m a singer/songwriter, actor and dancer part-time. I also have a YouTube account called “The Miseducation of A Black Gay Guy,” where I provide informative content about LGBTQ issues and matters that affect the black community. On the fun side, I love to eat, read, and love history. I’m also single, so if anybody is looking for a date … I’m free! Read more »
Yes, about to kill a person.
British prog/pop/prog-pop band Yes — who play the Kimmel Center on Sunday — had been active since 1968 and inactive for a year before rejiggering and scoring a number one hit in 1983 with “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” It’s the catchiest, most popular song in the Yes catalog, but it’s still pretty weird. Let’s watch the video. Which is also really weird… Read more »
Torres’ new record Three Futures will be released the day after she plays Boot & Saddle. She’s holding a severed hand. (Ashley Connor)
Torres @ Boot & Saddle | Thursday, September 28
Mackenzie Scott is an alluringly idiosyncratic songwriter; intense, moody, unpredictable. Built around puzzling lyrical images and creepy-crawly guitars, Torres songs demand multiple listens. Her latest record, Three Futures drops the day after this show.
Jaguar Wright “I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone” @ South Jazz Parlor | Thursday, September 28
One of the most passionate voices to emerge from this city’s neo-soul explosion in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Jaguar Wright has been popping up at local clubs to take on the music of jazz legend Nina Simone in recent years. She’s got the chops: Read more »
The War on Drugs plays the Make the World Better Foundation benefit at the Dell last night. (Stacey Salter Moore of SSM Photography)
Like a good Philadelphian, I was there for War On Drugs’ homecoming show at The Dell last night.
I was also there in 2013 when the group — a vessel for Adam Granduciel’s hazy, blues-rock songwriting — played a sold-out New Year’s Eve show that closed out their final year as a Johnny Brenda’s band.
Everything changed a few years ago. The War on Drugs went from a somewhat scrappy Philly rock band full of guys who fixed hot water heaters and worked at travel agencies, to one that’s signed to Atlantic Records and doesn’t have to do that stuff anymore. They went from a rough rock band to a crystal clear machine. Put their 2008 debut, Wagonwheel Blues, against 2014’s Lost in the Dream; they sound huge now in comparison.
Last night’s benefit for Make the World Better Foundation (hosted in absentia by ex-Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin) was proof that things had changed. Granduciel has added a second guitarist and keyboardist/saxophonist to build his band out to six members. His pedals bloom around him in an arc of at least 15. To play the Grateful Dead tribute, “Touch of Grey,” he kept his guitar close, but held his sampler even closer and plugged the mic right into it. He mostly used this mad scientist setup for songs off of the new album, A Deeper Understanding, which came out this August. Read more »
Matt Pond says he’s going to retire the Matt Pond PA project. He plays Johnny Brenda’s on Sunday. (Sean Hansen)
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Philly Music and Arts Fest Day 1 @ World Café Live
A two-day celebration of beer and music from Philadelphia. Friday’s lineup includes: Slomo Sapiens, Kississippi, Chris Kasper, Harmony Woods, Eric Slick, Abi Reimold, Ceramic Animal, Skull Eclipses, Work Drugs, West Philly Orchestra and Cayetana.
X @ Underground Arts
Exene Cervenka, John Doe and friends will never stop touring, new album or not. Right on. The revered punk veterans will soon be the subject of an exhibition at the Grammy Museum in their hometown called “X: 40 Years of Punk in Los Angeles.” Read more »
Alice Glass plays Underground Arts on Tuesday. (Jupiter Keyes)
Matthew Sweet @ The Queen in Wilmington | Thursday, September 21
I caught Matthew Sweet’s performance at the Haverford Music Festival a couple weeks ago. Observations: 1) He sounds good, like really good. Voice like a hot fudge sundae. Pretty loud, too. 2) I knew way more songs than I thought I did. It wasn’t just “Girlfriend” and “I’ve Been Waiting.” It was “Time Capsule,” “The Ugly Truth,” “Devil With the Green Eyes,” etc. 3) “Sick of Myself” is still a great song. 4) I always assumed it was Sweet himself playing those catchy lead-guitar riffs, but he has a guy for that. I don’t know this guy’s name. 5) Havertown can drink.
Jay Som @ First Unitarian Church | Friday, September 22
The Bandcamp superstar returns for an all-ages show. I saw Jay Som play Boot & Saddle in the Spring, and was charmed by her intimate songwriting and jangly, guitar-pop sound. Read more »
Adam Granduciel and The War On Drugs play the Dell Music Center on Thursday. (Dustin Condren)
This Thursday, Philly rock heroes The War on Drugs play their biggest hometown show yet — headlining Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation fundraiser at the recently revamped Dell Music Center.
NFL linebacker Barwin, indie rock’s largest fan, was often spotted at shows around town when he played for the Eagles, thus leading to his teaming up with show promoters R5. Together, they’ve staged yearly concerts benefitting his charity that builds playgrounds and parks. Previous incarnations, at Union Transfer, were headlined by Hop Along, Waxahatchee and Kurt Vile. (Barwin signed with the Rams in the off-season, but remains committed to making the world better.)
This year Connor and co. are expanding their horizons by holding the event in the Dell Music Center. The large outdoor amphitheatre in Strawberry Mansion recently underwent $6 million in renovations. Read more »
Xiu Xiu plays Johnny Brenda’s on Sunday as part of the Megapolis Audio Festival. (Alex Brown)
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
World’s Largest Pop-Up Photobook @ Philadelphia Photo Arts Center
Every morning through September 26, visitors may watch artist Colette Fu as she works to construct the World’s Largest Pop-Up Photobook entitled Tao Hua Yuan Ji (Utopia: Source of the Peach Blossoms). Meet the artist on Friday, September 22.
Stephen Greenblatt @ Parkway Central Library
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author/Harvard prof reads from his new book, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. Read more »
Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack in Elizabeth Cree. (Steve Pisano)
Opera fans have had September 14 circled on their calendars for months. (Sure they still use paper calendars. They’re old-school.) That’s the start of O17, an ambitious multi-opera, multi-venue festival staged by Opera Philadelphia.
Starting today and continuing through September 25, O17 offers an impressive lineup of old favorites and new standouts:
Read more »
Ted Leo plays Union Transfer on Thursday. (Matias Corral)
Ms. Lauryn Hill @ BB&T Pavilion | Thursday, September 14
“Her solo career wasn’t based on ‘I wanna do an album,'” Questlove told Rolling Stone in 2003. “It was based on not being Wyclef’s side girl.” That might explain why Ms. Lauryn Hill has only one full-length solo record to her name: No more worlds to conquer. (Although, some think her career was cut short by the Illuminati.) Since the release of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998, the enigmatic singer/rapper/songwriter/producer has released a live Unplugged record and a slew of singles, and is still counted among the royalty in hip-hop, soul and pop. Nas, Chronixx and comedian Hannibal Buress round out the bill.
Ted Leo @ Union Transfer | Thursday, September 14
The Hanged Man — funded by Kickstarting fans and self-released last week — is Ted Leo’s first record in seven years, and it’s a corker. Passionate and searching, these songs crush you with engaging melodies, desperate lyrics and garage/punk glory. On top of it all, Teddy Rock Star’s voice has never sounded so spry and lovely. Read more »