Aphra plays the Barbary on Wednesday.
International Women’s Day Benefit Concert @ Underground Arts | Wednesday, March 8
This benefit for the new Crossroads Women’s Center — “a grassroots, multi-racial, community-based, self-help center” in Germantown — is packed with righteous Philly talent: Louie Louie, Queen of Jeans, Molly Rhythm, Hemming, Ivy Sole, Grayling, Manic Pixi, Harmony Woods, The Pretty Greens, Troi Lauren, Ladybird, Resilient, Little Strike (see below) and Sweetbriar Rose. Read more »
Skinny Lister is on a U.S. tour.
Election Night Special @ L’Etage | Tuesday, November 8
It’s a singer-songwriter election night at L’Etage with Adeline Hotel and Minor Moonplay, plus Kristian Rodriguez and Leaf Print.
Tennyson @ Underground Arts Black Box | Wednesday, November 9
The siblings behind electronic duo Tennyson are barely out of their teens, but their experimental sound has a grown-up edge. Luke produces and is on keyboard, while little sister Tess plays drums.
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Midnight Madness: Akira @ Ritz at the Bourse | Friday, April 29
The next installment in the Ritz at the Bourse’s midnight series is the Japanese animated sci-fi classic Akira, based on a graphic novel set in post-apocalyptic Tokyo. Tickets sold out quickly, so the Ritz added another showing starting at 12:10 a.m.
Louds @ Boot and Saddle | Friday, April 29
The members of this Philly-based indie band met while working at Mambo Movers, which is the best moving company in this city (in my opinion as someone who moves a lot). Louds is brothers Charlie and Petie Brooks and guitarists Alejandro Giraldo-Torres and Juston Stens.
Worldwide Warhol @ International House | Friday, April 29
Head to I-House for a free Andy Warhol double feature. First up is Restaurant (aka L’Avventura), followed by The Life of Juanita Castro. Each is only 34 minutes. Bryn Mawr College art history professor Homay King will introduce the films, and Penn art history PhD candidate Iggy Cortez will lead a discussion after.
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Terry Gross (Daniel Burke/Fresh Air), Questlove (Jeff Fusco)
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson has had a tumultuous and emotional few weeks, with the deaths of his friends and music legends Prince — about whom he penned an essay for Rolling Stone — and Billy Paul. Just over a month ago, the Roots drummer lost his father, Lee Andrews, at the age of 79. His friend Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, died a week later.
His live interview from Sunday with Terry Gross, host of the WHYY-produced, nationally syndicated radio show Fresh Air, will be broadcast on WHYY and other NPR stations tonight at 7 p.m., and is streaming now on NPR’s website. In their talk, Questlove opens up about some of his recent losses: Read more »
Squonk at the PIFA Street Fair. Photo provided
Twilight in the Gardens @ Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens | Friday, April 22
The Magic Gardens kicks off its seasonal BYOB series with music from Son Step, plus artist Alex Eckman-Lawn leading a game known as an “exquisite corpse” — which is not at all what I pictured.
XPN’s Key Fest @ MilkBoy | April 22-24
Check out what’s hot in the local music scene with The Key’s curated music festival. You can get a three-day pass or pick a night: Friday is hip-hop and electronic pop, Saturday brings punk and indie rock, and Sunday embraces Americana. Kate Faust is in Friday’s line-up:
French Connection @ Philadelphia Museum of Art | Friday, April 22
For this week’s Art After 5, pianist and composer Cedric Hanriot plays an homage to sci-fi writer Dan Simmons. Buy a glass of wine and settle on the steps of the Great Stair Hall to enjoy the show.
Big Book Sale @ Book Corner | April 22-23
Kick-start your perpetual promise to yourself to read more at the Friends of the Free Library’s annual Big Book Sale. Thousands of books are being sold on the cheap, starting with mass market jawns at five for a dollar.
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Lee Andrews (left); his children Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Donn T (right). Photos | Bobbi Booker
A collective gasp erupted in the Philadelphia music community when news of doo-wop superstar Lee Andrews had died March 16th at the age of 79. It was over five decades ago that Andrews — then a Bartram High schooler — formed and become the lead singer of the 1950s doo-wop group Lee Andrews & The Hearts. Andrews’ strong-but-tender tenor voice and the groups’ harmonizing four-part vocal base was the foundation of The Hearts’ hard-to-beat sound that influenced similar vocal acts like The Moonglows, The Orioles, The Drifters, The 5 Royales, The Five Keys, The Midnights and The Ravens.
On Saturday, a memorial tribute to celebrate Andrews was held, as per his request, at the Clef Club of Philadelphia. Born Arthur Lee “Andrew” Thompson in the summer of 1936 in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Lee relocated with his parents to Philly as a toddler. He dropped his first name and added an “s” to Andrew, and began performing as Lee Andrews as a teen. His father, Beachy Thompson, sang with the pioneering gospel group The Dixie Hummingbirds, so one could say Lee was born into — and contributed to — a storied musical lineage. In addition to being the father of The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Thompson and his wife, Jacqui, parented a daughter, the enigmatic vocalist Donn Thompson — known by audiences as Donn T.
According to his children, it was just two weeks ago that they discovered 50 pages of Lee’s handwritten life story and that list morphed into a final wish list that only a sage performer such as Lee could craft from the wealth of his experiences. In the months prior to his death, Lee had taken pen to paper and charted his life performing for sold-out audiences at Madison Square Garden, The Beekan Theater, The Bottom Line and Radio City Music Hall in NYC. He told of taking the stage of The Spectrum in Philadelphia and held-over performances at the Valley Forge Music Fair and the Claridge in Atlantic City, N.J., along with the countless nightclub and television appearances throughout the United States and Europe. Read more »
Leonard “Hub” Hubbard — second from left — and other members of the Roots in happier times. (AP Photo)
Leonard “Hub” Hubbard joined The Roots in 1992, back when the Roots were just a really good local band and long before Questlove and friends showed up on America’s television screens five nights a week with Jimmy Fallon. But Hubbard left the group in 2007 after a cancer diagnosis, and now he is taking Questlove and others to court. Read more »
If you’ve ever read his musical autobiography, Mo’ Meta Blues, you know Questlove is a heck of a storyteller. Well, he’s got a new story — about the time he threw a party for Prince — and it’s been turned into the animated short you see below. Read more »
Every once in a while Jimmy Fallon brings on a singer who has a huge hit and has her/him sing it with him and The Roots playing along on classroom instruments. Mariah Carey once sang “All I Want For Christmas,” Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” and Madonna did “Holiday.”
Last night, British songbird Adele stopped by to sing her current hit that has changed the way we’ll greet people for years to come: “Hello.” As you can probably imagine, she tears it up. Check it out below. You’ll love it — even if you’re sick to death of hearing the song.
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