The School of Rock AllStar Concert this week at World Café Live brought me back to a time of pop quizzes and social ladder-climbing. Yet, I doubt any members of the School of Rock band have to worry about winning popularity contests. Their all-star talents automatically make them the coolest kids in town.
An army of teen rock prodigies took center stage on Tuesday night to deliver a psychedelic show that would have made Jack Black proud. Two Allstar teams and two local school house bands took turns working the stage in half-hour increments throughout the night. At any given time there were about a dozen teens rocking the platform at once, accompanied by an instrument of their choosing. Instrumentalists included electric guitarists, keyboard players, and those on bass and drums. And let’s not forget about the show-stopping vocalists whose pipes were so powerful, it was hard to believe they’re barely post-pubescent.
R. Ring, a fairly new rock duo consisting of Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery, will be playing at Johnny Brenda's tonight. Signed with Misra Records, the two use voice, guitar and keys to create beautiful sounds their fans love. They're currently finishing a single to be released soon, and will introduce their unique sound at the show. Listen before you go: "Hundred Dollar Heat." Monday, July 27, 9pm, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 North Frankford Avenue.
This breakout band has taken the music world by storm since their debut in 2011. As talented multi-instrumentalists and singers, these two young girls started their duo while still in high school and have grown to have an edgy folk sound to their music. Since, they have written and recorded two albums, played tons of live shows and are currently on their 2015 national tour. Listen before you go: "Lemons in Chamomile." Tuesday, July 28, 8pm, World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street.
Pop star and millennial sweetheart Ariana Grande will be singing to a packed house at the Wells Fargo Center. Grande's debut album, Yours Truly, was released in 2013 and met with instant success — it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Her second studio album, My Everything, was released in 2014 and also met with appraisal by fans and critics alike. Grande has been nominated for two Grammy and seven Billboard Music awards, and has won an American Music Award, MTV Video Music Award, and two MTV Europe Music Awards. Listen before you go: "Love Me Harder." Wednesday, July 29, 7:30pm, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street.
Radio 104.5 presents a night with Brandon Flowers, lead singer and songwriter of popular rock band The Killers. Flowers, who specializes in vocals, piano and guitars, launched his solo career in 2010 with the release of his debut album, Flamingo, and was awarded the Q Idol Award. Listen before you go: "Can't Deny My Love." Thursday, July 30, 8pm, The Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street.
J. Cole is a popular hip-hop artist, songwriter and record producer originally from North Carolina. J. Cole's musical breakthrough came in 2009 when he released his debut mixtape and was then contacted by Jay-Z and signed to his record label. His debut album was released in 2011 and hit number one on the Billboard 200, Top R&B Albums and Top Rap Albums chart. Since, J. Cole has released two more high-charting albums and has developed a loyal fan base. Listen before you go: "Work Out." Friday, July 31, 6:30pm, Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Market Street, Camden, NJ.
Laura Marling is a folk singer-songwriter and musician based out of England. Since her 2008 debut album, Alas, I Cannot Swim, Marling has released four more studio albums and performed and toured internationally. In 2011, Marling won a Brit Award for Best British Female and an NME Award for Best Solo Artist. Listen before you go: "Once I Was An Eagle." Saturday, August 1, 8pm, Union Transfer, 1024 Spring Garden Street.
Philly's most popular alternative station, Radio 104.5, has been hosting free summer block parties since their debut in 2010, featuring some of the most successful alternative artists in the industry. This Sunday, the block party will feature headliners Matt and Kim, a Brooklyn-based alternative dance music duo. With Matt Johnson on vocals and keyboards and Kim Schifino on drums and vocals, the two are known for their DIY approach to their music. Since their debut album in 2006, the group has released four more albums and a handful of singles. Listen before you go: "Hey Now." Sunday, August 2, 12pm, Festival Pier, 601 North Columbus Boulevard.
Will Anderson strapped on an acoustic guitar at World Café Live on Friday night and opened the show with the powerful yet simple “Hurricane.” After the first song Kit French joined Anderson on stage, multitasking on the keys and saxophone while singing backup. The two performed a couple seamless sets, and then I began to wonder when the third Parachute member, Johnny Stubblefield, would join them.
“Johnny is sick,” explained Anderson. Well, that answered that. They expressed some disappointment in their band member’s absence, but then Anderson turned to French and casually admitted, “More sex for us. Hahaha.” The sold-out crowd of mostly women broke into a fit of laughter. I too let out a few giggles and then I realized they probably weren’t joking.
Jason Vieaux‘s mother was a school librarian who bought him his first classical guitar for $50 when he was a young boy. Fast forward several decades later and Mr. Vieaux is now a Grammy-winning musician who tours internationally, performing to eager audiences at almost every major classical guitar festival in the world. Vieaux is also no stranger to Philly: He’s Curtis faculty, and he’s performed numerous concerts here. He’ll be returning to World Cafe Live on May 7th to perform with the Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble, part of the LiveConnections concert series which aims to pair unlikely artists for interesting music making. We caught up with Vieaux to discuss his upcoming show and why Philly is such a hotbed for classical music. Read more »
Some of life’s questions are simply too great to ever be answered. Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? But this week, two different groups are tackling the age old question: does beer or wine pair better with food?
World Cafe Live has just announced an event that fits in perfectly with this week’s Meat Week theme. Back in 2013, World Cafe Live hosted Where’s The Beef? A Vegan Beer Dinner. On Monday, March 30th, they’re hosting the counterpart, Here’s the Beef, an 8-course tasting menu of braised meats, dry rubs and slow roasted cuts of beer. All of that meat will be paired with 8 beers, all of which are at least 8% alcohol by volume.
Tickets are $50 per person and include all the meat and beer.
These aren’t your typical collaborations: Flutes meet electronica-trombone. Jazz piano meets classical saxophone quartet. Western classical music meets traditional Arab stylings. Yet, that’s exactly what concert goers can expect at the innovative LiveConnections series at World Cafe Live throughout the spring, which creates synergy between Philadelphia-area musicians and other talent that would normally be unlikely bedfellows. Read more »
One listen to Mary Elizabeth Bowden‘s music and it’s pretty clear that this isn’t the type of trumpet you muddled with in middle school band. The Curtis Institute of Music graduate and world-renowned artist is releasing her first album, Radiance, this April, which features the works of two local Philadelphia composers: Joseph Hallman and David Ludwig. She also will be playing two Philly concerts in early March with an all-female brass ensemble, Seraph Brass.
The legendary Japanese Kano painters, who created intricate large-scale works made of gold leaf and other materials, established a tradition of artistic excellence in their native country. Now, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents the first exhibition outside of Japan to fully examine the Kano painters' works. Ink and Gold: Art of the Kanowill feature over 120 works that explore the Kano's academy of professional artists and their various patrons. Expect to see stunning sliding doors and folding screens fit for Japanese royalty. Opens Monday, February 16, 10am, $14-20, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
If haven't been to the National Museum of American Jewish History, this is a great opportunity to take in the collection: For the entire month of February, admission is free, plus on Presidents Day, the museum is hosting a family-friendly day of activities. You'll learn about George Washington (and even get to see an actual letter that he composed), plus eager writers can try their hand at their penmanship with a quill pen. Monday, February 16, 10am, Free, National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall East
A trip to Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is always a dazzling one, but on Monday, the popular mosaic-art destination is hosting a one-of-a-kind tour that will focus on founder Isaiah Zagar and his mosaic techniques. Guests will learn about the history of folk art, the narratives behind many of the displays at the garden, plus why South Street plays such an important role in Philadelphia's landscape. Monday, February 16, 2pm, $3-10, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street
If you want to know where to find good food (and how to cook it, too), Mimi Sheraton is your woman: The former New York Times restaurant critic has written over a dozen books on cuisine, and has graced the pages of Food & Wine, The New Yorker, Time, and Vanity Fair. Now, the epic writer will be at the Free Library of Philadelphia to give a lecture on her newest book, 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die. Come hungry for lots of juicy restaurant and cooking tips. Tuesday, February 17, 7:30pm, $7-15, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street
Who would have thought you could get a pair of those infamous Mardi Gras beads at the Kimmel Center? Join in the fun at their Fat Tuesday Celebration, featuring the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra lead by Irvin Mayfield. Before the concert, Commonwealth Plaza will be holding a "Let the Good Times Roll" party, with roving street musicians, dancing, masks, and lots of cocktails. As they say in the French Quarter, “laissez le bon temps rouler! Tuesday, February 17, Party at 6pm, Concert at 7:30pm, $29-69, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Our friends at Philadelphia Magazine's Foobooz wait all year for this night of eating and enjoying all that Philly has to offer. At PhillyCooks: The Big Event, nearly 40 of the city's best restaurants come together to offer a taste of their famous dishes. This year, a pop-up speakeasy will take center stage, where bartenders will mix their classic cocktails to wash down all of those nibbles from a.kitchen, Tinto, and V Street. Wednesday, February 18, 6:30pm, $100, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market Street
The Danity Kane, Making the Band, and Diddy-Dirty Money diva Dawn Richard will be bringing the sounds from her newest album, Blackheart, to World Cafe Live. The evening will feature Richard's signature styling of trip-hop, electro-pop, and soul, and listeners will be able to see why the performer has nearly a half-dozen platinum albums to her name. Wednesday, February 18, 8pm, $18-22, World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street
An evening of free fun awaits museum lovers on Wednesday: The Franklin Institute's Target Community Night is open for everyone to explore Philly's favorite science exhibits. This month's theme is "Heart Your Heart," and there will be plenty of activities, games, and healthy heart tools for the entire family. While there, you can even enter to win a free family membership to the Franklin. Wednesday, February 18, 5:00pm, Free, The Franklin Institute, 271 North 21st Street
The city's most talked about contemporary ballet company, BalletX, presents a riveting bill of new work at the Wilma Theatre during their Winter Series 2015. Featuring cutting-edge choreographers Norbert De La Cruz III, Val Caniparoli, Cayetano Soto, and Amy Seiwert, the company will present several world and American premieres during their program. Don't miss this opportunity to see an evening of dynamic, modern dance. Wednesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 19, 8pm, $25-40, The Wilma Theater, 265 South Broad Street
Philly dance and performance art duo Chelsea & Magda are next in line for FringeArts' Studio Series, an initiative featuring works made for intimate spaces. Their The Vulgar Early Works is lovingly described as an "evening-length concert of self-love, subversive humor, feminist spit, sexual-angst-ridden cries against society gloriously performed in an abstract-theater-meets-TED-Talk-meets-modern-dance-meets-weird-therapeutic-seminar kind of way." Don't come expecting anything, except lots of LOLs and to leave a bonafide fan. February 19-20, 7pm, February 21, 8pm, $15, FringeArts, 140 North Columbus Boulevard. —Josh Middleton
This regional premiere production of Kirsten Greenidge's exciting play features a stellar cast of Philly theater favorites at Simpatico Theatre Company. Centering around a young woman named Annie who just turned 16 and got a new tattoo, the drama is part coming-of-age story part reality check. Don't miss the play that The New York Times called "Provocative. Richly funny. Big and bruising like life itself." Wednesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 19, 8pm, $20-25, The Skybox at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street
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