Category Archives: Music

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The Decemberists Dazzle at The Philadelphia Academy of Music | Recap

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When they play, they play for each other, and with their audience. From the onset their wry, not dry, humor was on display, toying with the contingent who were willing recipients. Satisfied knowing it was all part of the settling in and becoming comfortable with the performance at hand. Stepping calmly out onto the stage, The Decemberists, one by one or two, followed lead singer and guitarist Colin Meloy, as the Pacific North-westerners took their time to warm up and let everyone know they need not hurry in peril, this would be slow and steady. 


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photo: aranhart.tumblr.com (full album below)

Like a ring leader or MC for the evening, Meloy conducted himself respectfully onstage with fun dialogues, working first the guests up high in the rafters saying “Everyone in the top row, whoa, don’t stand up, applaud from your seats. No really. Stay, Safely. Seated. At all times, with your seatbelt fastened.” And then the box suites both stage left and right, repeatedly throughout the night checking in with who he called the Duke and Dutchess of Philadelphia and Baron and Baroness of Pittsburgh.”

The rest of the performance rolled on steadily, building up with musical prowess in full bloom — resting audibly on downtempo tunes, but maintaining the energy with powerful and well delivered lyrics narrating each story.

The topics are as detailed and thorough as the trademark enunciation. But they also take a look at the simple moments that we share in life with our families, in particular children, and appreciate that “sometimes all you can do is just sing a song to your son to make him try and eat his oatmeal.”


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photo: aranhart.tumblr.com (full album below)

Though we may not be “so starry eyed anymore,” The Decemberists provide many moments to get caught up in and newly discover our experience-ful surroundings with lines like “Condescend to calm this riot in your mind, find yourself in time… find yourself in time.” A nod to what we have all around us and ahead. An ironic ‘understanding’ one can notice as the final track of their new album [ What a Terrible World, What a Wonderful World ] is called “A Beginning Song.” 

Those that filled the Broad St. palace of a venue Tuesday night were all glad to have such engaging musical masters to guide the shared journey onward.



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photo: aranhart.tumblr.com (full album below)


To open the showcase, as the droves filed in and found their seats, Alvvays — a 5 piece Toronto indie-rock band grabbed people’s attention quickly with lofty vocals over crunchy amps. Their music (plus modest yet colorful look) blends influences of post-punk UK meets Beach House… bottom line it works. 

It’s the type of stuff you’d hear playing at a party or picking up a coffee and compel you to ask, “Hey who is this?!… Thanks” and it’s added quickly to a mobile playlist. With talent in their bloodlines and a dedicated touring regiment, Alvvays has been catching the eyes and ears of the music world. So in addition to their current tour with The Decemberists, don’t be shocked to find them on your festival line-up ticket in 2015 and headlining their own shows come next year.




Story and Photos – @aran_hart




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#HeinekenGreenRoom with Mannie Fresh: PHOTO RECAP

No April fools in The Dolphin for the first Heineken Green Room of the year. DJ Mannie Fresh dropped in and Philly welcomed him with an abundance of love — shouting out Big Tymers lyrics and heating up South Broad St. to say 400 Degreez, if you will.

EMoney sat down the Mannie pre-show for an interview airing on HipHopSince1987.com. Watch the snippet below (full interview posted soon).

DJ Lean Wit It set the party off right — and capped it too. All added up to a packed dance floor and a lot of “Hein-ees” in the party. Be sure to check back for more HGR coming your way in 2015.




Photo credits: Daniel Wooden // Jimmy Giambrone




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Matthew E White and Wilsen: Different Strokes RECAP

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Spend a night with Matthew E White and be reminded that experiencing great music doesn’t have to be so ‘done-up’ or overly-sensationalized. Bringing reality back to live music. It’s a great experience to just sit back and enjoy the show, the talent of each member of the band, and their artistry.

The World Cafe Live upstairs room was not the ‘big performance’ with X amount of orchestral members Matthew E White has done. This was akin to as Matthew playfully put it, “a Randy newman LA supper club show. This is not normal. Not a normal look for us, or you. What a great, and different way to listen to music…”

Different, ahhh, refreshing.

You wanna rock n roll out? You wanna slow it down à la Leonard Cohen? You wanna get groovy and dance with a special someone? You wanna put the windows down and just cruise? Well, the versatility is there for all moods and vibes.

White brings to his audience a “live interpretation” of his new album, Fresh Blood [pitchfork review]. Much of the show is music from the new album, and it does sound quite different live.

He closed with the captivating tune Holy Moly, where he repeats the lyrics “Don’t you ever give a man false hope” — before the band in unison crescendo, seals the deal.


Matthew E White’s Fresh Blood:

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WILSEN:
Opening the night was the seductive collaboration of Wilsen, a 4 piece band of musicians who all call NYC home, but bring their talents from different locales. Lead singer (and London native) Tamsin Wilson anchors her band amidst ambient sound waves, inviting listeners to be swept away and bob their thoughts along. Nevertheless, not lost while drifting is the careful and heartfelt song-writing that compliments the gentle delivery.


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 Photos and story – Aran Hart


More from: Matthew E White and Wilsen

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PHOTO RECAP: Galactic and The Revivalists Bring the Energy to Philly

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On Thursday 3-26,  two great bands, both from New Orleans hit the stage of the Electric Factory — Galactic and The Revivalists.


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Galactic is revving up for a busy 2015 on the festival and concert circuit, doing their best to spread the energy à la CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS — “their music that evokes the electric atmosphere of a whole city – make that, whole cities – vibrating together all on the same day, from New Orleans all down the hemisphere to the mighty megacarnivals of Brazil.”


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David Shaw, lead vocalist and guitarist of The Revivalists set off the show with a spectacular spiritual offering, and the rest of the band continued to bring their music to life. The story goes The Revivalists began when guitarist Zack Feinberg ran into David jamming on his home porch in 2007. Eight years later, seven members in, and three albums released they have definitely set their name for themselves in their hometown, now on tour and bringing their music to new venues and fans. Their profound sounds definitely brings out the energy of the crowd with chants, and ‘hands up in the air’ engagement. Their showmanship is definitely what music needs more of.


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A few moments after a break, the headlining Galactics dropped in with his jazzy funk saxophone tunes, with each taking their time in the spotlight to play to the crowd. Galactic create an exciting atmosphere toting  their version of NOLA jazz-funk. This was definitely a night to remember for many energetic and excited fans still buzzing as they filed out.


Find out more, listen, download, and share these bands:

Galactic: Twitter | MusicBio

The Revivalists: Facebook | Music | Bio


Story and photos – Daniel Wooden


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215 Exclusive Interview: Circa Waves

Liverpool quartet Circa Waves recently released their U.S. EP titled T-Shirt Weather via Virgin Records. Produced by Dan Grech and recorded at the historic RAK studios in London, the 5 track EP features their newly debuted single T Shirt Weather.” The title-track is the latest in a startling run of singles which has seen them make the Radio 1 daytime playlist with tracks “Fossils” and “Young Chasers.”

They are set to release their debut album “Young Chasers” March 30th.

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The last 12 months have been building to this U.S. EP release. They were one of the runaway successes at CMJ with the New York Times comparing their performance to the “relentless rhythm-guitar drive of the Strokes.” In addition, they were given the 2015 Best New Band Award by NME on top of the coveted opening slot on the NME Awards tour. Circa Waves also performed in front of packed tents at several festivals including Glastonbury and Reading / Leeds plus played alongside The 1975, Interpol, and Royal Blood.

Circa Waves are: Kieran Shudall (guitar / vocals), Joe Falconer (guitar), Sam Rourke (bass) & Colin Jones (drums).



Guest contributor Ryan Quint talked with Kieran about their upcoming tour, their recent recognition, and what it means to make and play ‘live’ music…



Ryan Quint [RQ]: I want to start off by talking about your upcoming tour. You guys are heading out on a huge Tour in April all throughout the UK and Europe…. and have been touring pretty consistently — doing both festivals and your own headlining shows — which do you prefer?

Kieran: I say headline shows. You’re playing to the audience that is solely there for you. You can enjoy all of the people singing every word back to you. I do think festivals have their own merits too but we enjoy having own our headlines all over the world the most.

RQ: What songs from the new album are most looking forward to performing on this tour?

Kieran: All songs really. I really enjoy playing “Stuck in my Teeth.” Its a song that people seem to really connect with and go a bit crazy to. Obviously the singles are the ones people know the most so they’re always fun to play. Sometimes I don’t even have to sing much, I just let the room takeover which is pretty cool.

RQ: You previously toured with the 1975, did you guys have a previous relationship with them?

Kieran: No, we just got asked to do it. We got to play in huge rooms in Australia and the UK that we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own this far into our careers so we felt that it was a good opportunity for us to be playing in front of 5,000-10,000 people at a time. That sort of experience is great. Once you play in those size rooms, going back to our size rooms (1,000 people) is easier because we know how to work the room a bit more

RQ: What is current your relationship with them?

Kieran: We still speak to them a bit. When we’re down in London, we sometimes go out with them, but they tour loads and we tour loads so its not as easy as we’d like
to go and party with them.

RQ: Apple’s iTunes Store “New Artists of 2015” and Zane Lowe played “Stuck in my Teeth” as his “Hottest Record” in February 2014. Would you consider these accomplishments? And if so, how much do things like this mean to you in the grand scheme of things?

Kieran: Not too much to be honest. I mean its nice to be told these things but I think the real accomplishments come from selling tickets and making the performances as memorable as we can. People high up like Zane Lowe, its very nice that he says these things but he’s not the one who comes to the shows or who necessarily buys the records. Its the people who come to the shows and who buys the records that I want to please. They’re the ones who are going to keep us making music for as long we possibly can.

RQ: I agree, I think a lot of times, artists get caught up with their co-signs and fail to produce where it really matters.

Kieran: Yea you realize that these things from Apple or Zane Lowe only matter for so long and they forget about you. Its the people who truly like the music that will stick around with you.

RQ: Resurgence of UK Pop/Rock artists – Sam Smith, George Ezra, Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Bastille, Royal Blood, among MANY other. Why do you think UK artists have been having so much success recently in the states?

Kieran: I think everything is cyclical and everything comes in waves and at the moment theres a huge wave of that guitar music thats happening in England. Also, if the talent is there then people will recognize it. So I suppose we’ve come out at a good time and it seems that its all heading that way really. I think people may be desperate for guitar music. I suppose there’s a lot of Pop and Hip-Hop music in America so people were even listening to boy bands who play guitar just because they were desperate to hear guitar music. So it all seems that bands like Royal Blood, Catfish and the Bottlemen and all these other UK bands are getting popular because people in America are ready to hear that sound again.

RQ: I know you’re performing several times at SXSW this year. Recently SXSW has been criticized for being very corporate, as an artist do you still look forward to being apart of the festival and what do want to get out of it?

Kieran: We’re just going for the all the free shit.. nah I’m just kidding. But it is very corporate and it feels that way with all of the sponsors. Anyone would frown upon any band who sort of sells out in anyway so to go to SXSW for us is a bit unusual. We don’t necessarily agree with all that sort of stuff but I suppose with these festivals its necessary for them to be as big as possible with all of the sponsors. We do try and avoid big corporate things as much as possible but were willing to take some free shit off them.

RQ: Right, it is still a big outlet and I’m sure a lot of people will be discovering your music there.

Kieran: I hope so!

RQ: Liverpool/recorded at RAK Studios (David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Roger Daltry, Mary J. Blige, Adele, Arctic Monkeys). Does this inspire you knowing that multiple legends recorded there or do you view it as another studio and as a platform to record your music?

Kieran: It’s definitely cool but I don’t sit there and say “Oh, this is a the microphone that Thom Yorke used on the band’s record.” Stuff like that is cool but I honestly think that to make a great record you don’t necessarily have to do it in a big, expensive studio. Personally, we loved how the drums sounded in that room but in my opinion some of the best stuff I ever recorded was in my own bedroom. It’s really just opinion and taste and if the song is good enough, it can be recorded anywhere.

RQ: You mentioned there will be a “Live” aspect to album, how did you accomplish this sound specifically with this studio?

Kieran: We cranked the amps up as loud as they go and then we put them in their own little box with a microphone and we all played in the room together so it was very similar to a live experience in that we would bounce off each other. We wanted a natural sound, we didn’t layer any guitars really, most of it is really just me and Joe (Falconer – Guitarist) playing. I think for a baby (debut) record it’s a really cool thing

RQ: Definitely. Do you think this recording technique will help with your live performances?

Kieran: Yea for sure. If you record a record with a million little things done, the live show will be completely different and people may be slightly confused. I think it helps us knowing exactly what we’re going to be doing live and we can fuck around with it all.

RQ: Moving forward with the album, what can fans expect from the album and how does it compare sonically to the Young Chasers EP?

Kieran: The demos that were on the first EP we recorded ourselves so it’s definitely more scrappy. The album is also definitely more thought out but also we wanted to make sure the drums sounds were small and dry. There were a lot of records we referenced when recording the drum sounds on the album like Arcade Fire’s first record and The National’s early records. And our songs are quite big so we wanted to go the opposite way with the production of them in order to balance everything out. There was definitely a lot of thought that went into how everything sounds on the album

RQ: Last song on the album “Talking Out Loud” is your favorite. What is it about this song stands out?

Kieran: Well for one, its a really slow song so we always get a rest when we play it live. I think Joe liked that song the most, it has a lot of inspirations from Pavements and Brendan Benson with the chilled out sound. It’s a really cool sound that we haven’t really tried before and it came out really well and I think people will really attach themselves to that one when the record comes out.

RQ: Who’s idea was it to follow you guys around in Berlin for the “Fossils” music video and how did the video come about?

Kieran: It was something we had talked about for a long time, just including tour footage and stuff like that in our video. We really wanted to get across who we all really are. And we felt like none of our videos had really done that yet so we thought it’d be cool to get a guy to come and film us in Berlin and he came out with an awesome camera and just filmed everything from the few days we were in Berlin. I love it.

RQ: I know you said in a previous interview that you guys began the day of the video shoot with champagne and cigars; is this a common start of the day for you guys?

Kieran: Yea I start every day at home with champagne and cigars, I cant carry on without them. I’m just kidding. We went a bit extravagant on that day. None of us can afford champagne so we just found some money for that. But it’s definitely one way to start a day, I wouldn’t suggest it every day though.

RQ: Drinking has been the conversation in almost all of your interviews. Who is the heaviest drinker in the group and what alcohol do you have on your rider?

Kieran: We all have various nights where one of us will be up drunk at 7 in the morning but then they won’t be on the next night. We all hit it pretty hard. As for the rider, we usually have some beer then switch between rum and ginger, gin and tonic or bourbon and soda. We have a rotating spirits rider. Oh, and hummus.

RQ: It’s good to see that you take full advantage of the free liquor on your rider.

Kieran: Yea exactly, so 2 days of the week we’ll have gin, 2 days of the week rum, 2 days we’ll be bourbon so we don’t get bored ever and we are always alcoholically surprised.

RQ: I think that’s a pretty good problem you have with not knowing what alcohol to pick for each day.

Kieran: Exactly. And it keeps us drinking everyday which is a benefit.

RQ: Lastly, what are your plans for after the UK tour and will there be an American tour following?

Kieran: Yea, there’s talks of us going to America, it’s all up in the air at the moment though. If it was up to us, we’d be going for a long time so hopefully sometime in the middle or end of this year. We’ve only been (to America) once and didn’t get to explore much so we’d love to go back to LA or New York and also all the other places we missed last time.

RQ: Thank you very much, good luck with the upcoming album release and tour and safe travels to SXSW.



VIDEOS:

Pre-order their album, which comes out on March 30th HERE:


See upcoming tour dates and more info at:

http://circawaves.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/CircaWaves
https://twitter.com/CircaWaves
https://www.facebook.com/CircaWaves
https://instagram.com/circawaves/

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Tonight and Tomorrow: Dice Raw of The Roots presents The Last Jimmy

“The Last Jimmy” is a poignant and relevant stage play that explores mass incarceration and outlines the ills of the criminal justice system and prison industrial complex.

Told though a hip-hop musical odyssey featuring song, live music and dance, this production takes us down the plight of the court and prison system though the experience of young black males.

“The Last Jimmy” is inspired by Dr. Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow.

The performance features original music and lyrics by Dice Raw along with original choreography by Renee Harris; is directed by noted Philadelphia- based director, Ozzie Jones and written by Phillip S. Brown.

Buy Tickets Here

SHOW DATES @ The Prince Music Theater ( 1412 Chestnut St. )
Fri 3/20
Sat 3/21

Buy Tickets Here

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Fri 13th: CMTA and The Wrkn Clss Present Lil Feece (Sashi)

On March 13th Creative Minds Think Alike, in conjunction with The Wrkn Clss, a full service production group, will be presenting hip-hop artist Lil Feece, (Sashi), to the Philadelphia region with the release of his upcoming EP, “SASHI SZN”. The celebration will be held at Cohesive Collection, 1215 Vine St from 10pm to 2am.

We will be presenting the event as a celebration rather than a release party in order to familiarize the guest with Sashi.  We will have a visual arts element that will be present at the event; the visual art element has a long-term strategy that will not be implemented until the event has passed.

DJ’s Ryan Mahoney and DJ F1lthy will curate the sounds of the evening. DJ Ryan Mahoney is native to Atlantic City and an emerging DJ on both colleges in Philadelphia as well as the alternative scene that is developing here in Philadelphia. DJ Ryan Mahoney built his experience by spinning in a number of clubs in the tri-state area and having the number one online campus radio-station on iHeart radio, Philly Rap Fix. DJ F1lthy has been making a lot of noise in the tri-state area as well, with his expertise being in music production as well as on the turntables. DJ F1lthy is a force to be recognized that shows no signs of letting up.

Hosting the event will be the captivating Franceleslia, recognized for the way she electrifies her crowd, her presence and technique is in demand across the nation. Franceleslia has created a massive hosting movement in which she graced over 20 stages in less than a year. Her repertoire includes AFROPUNK, Camron’s SUPERBOWL Party at WIP, Danny Brown’s Album Release Party and Trillectro festival just to name a few.

Being as though Creative Minds Think Alike is an emerging brand, we feel that it is our duty to present the opportunity for underground artist to display their craftsmanship.  We have partnered with Lil Feece in the past with the most recent project being Gravy Trap. On behalf of Creative Minds Think Alike, we formally invite you to partake in the celebration as well as grow and build with an array of guest and hosts that are becoming familiar and essential to the metropolitan area, Philadelphia.

HipHopSince1987.com Feature

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Middle Grounded: Hozier Concert Recap

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The age old question many newly-christened artists often face lingered with me as I walked out onto North 7th St. Saturday night… What’s next down the road for Hozier — this vehicle, driven by a major hit?

The asking is even more in the forefront of the conversation with Hozier — given a 2014 Song of the Year Grammy Nomination and rapid rise to international stardom, mixed with the style of music the young Irishman has shown he can write and record.

And to be fair I see it is a tip of the cap to the warranted attention he’s been receiving.


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His young band brims with the confidence boosted by being part of the majorly successful industry sensation Hozier quickly became. They’ve been busy on tour, with many more US and international stops scheduled through August, getting up before dawn for early AM T.V. show appearances, then taking main stages by night. And after a couple silly mix-ups on stage, “This next song is called … wait, that was the song we just played… forgive me i’ve slept about 6 hours in the last 3 days…” Hozier seemed just enough uncomfortable and thus sincere.


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The quality of the musical performance, however, did not waiver.

He plays his cover of Skip James’ “Illinois Blues” while professing how he was raised with and has always been enamored with that style of music. He’s already shown that his songs can be both socially provocative, while catchy. That’s what will keep him grounded, having a strong tangible base to build from.

The talent is there: Hozier has a rawness and understatedness, plus an on and off stage personality to go “that” way… while he also has the polished pop culture appeal and voice to lure him into that genre.

So what’s next? No one knows. My guess is Hozier will continue to prosper somewhere in between. One thing’s for sure: fans and critics alike will be watching.



Photos and story – Aran Hart



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Kate Faust – Live at Pipeline Philly

RSVP HERE !


Little Giant presents an intimate performance by singer/songwriter Kate Faust.

Please join us for a night of soulful, soaring vocals from the critically acclaimed, indy artist.

Check out Kate’s music and more at katefaust.com.

Kate will debut selections from her long-awaited EP, Eros, a candid glimpse, through an erotic lens, into the chanteuse’s unflinching gaze within her deepest self.

RSVP HERE !