Concert Review: Devendra Banhart @ Union Transfer (June 10, 2013)

Image Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
Image Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

By Kirsten Becker

It’s been awhile since folk-­rocker Devendra Banhart performed a show in Philadelphia. June 10th marked his return to the city, playing a show at the Union Transfer. The night was one of only a handful of shows he will be playing in the US this year. His eighth record, Mala was released back in March and has been highly praised by many. His live shows are something of a spectacle and I was eager to see one for myself.

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Ladyfest Philly Brings Music and Activism Together

Courtesy of Ladyfest
Courtesy of Ladyfest Philly

By Nick Sukiennik

At a time when inequality and discrimination are rejected by current societal standards, what is the real state of women’s rights in this country? Ladyfest Philly, a festival of music, arts, and activism, challenges the notion that equality is a reality for all individuals, and aims to take some of the necessary strides to make it so this weekend, Friday, June 7th, through Sunday, June 9th.

A primary issue in this fight for justice, and one that Ladyfest intends to vocalize, is the notion that women, in addition to other underrepresented groups, should have the right to choose what is best for themselves.

I asked Sara Sherr, who co-organized the event and was active in the public relations and booking committees, about this standpoint. She explained: “On paper we have more opportunities than we’ve ever had, but there are people trying to take away that freedom.” This relates to the issue of “reproductive rights”, one of the most controversial topics of the past decade.

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Concert Review: Sun Ra Arkestra @ Johnny Brenda’s (May 25, 2013)

Courtesy of Ars Nova Workshop // Ryan Collerd
Courtesy of Ars Nova Workshop // Ryan Collerd

By Nick Stropko

Last Saturday, I stood on the balcony of Johnny Brenda’s, watching a pretty unusual setup—a couple dozen old men, adorned in sequin-covered outfits and strange hats, setting up chairs, music stands, and sheet music on the cramped stage. As they continued to stick chairs in an increasingly claustrophobic-looking formation, musicians actually began setting up beside the stage, lining the floor with percussionists, the keyboard player, and a dancer. Yeah, it was pretty bizarre. However, it was also a fitting tribute to Sun Ra, the namesake and deceased former leader of the Sun Ra Arkestra.

See a full gallery of pictures after the break

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Concert Review: Deerhoof @ Union Transfer (April 15, 2013)

Image courtesy of Four Paws
Image courtesy of Four Paws

By Kirsten Becker

Deerhoof played the last show of their tour right here in Philadelphia at the Union Transfer. Known for their bombastic, jarring, noisy sound, Deerhoof performed a very distinct set, living up to the playful and weird image they’ve created for themselves over the course of their 19 years as a band.

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Song/Video Review: “Stare At The Sun” by Eleanor Friedberger


By Shannen Gaffney

Eleanor Friedberger is back with a new single, titled ”Stare at the Sun”! It’s an upbeat springtime track that will make you want to ditch your work and go play frisbee with someone’s dog. Friedberger’s unmistakable voice will likely be stuck in your head for awhile after listening, but you probably won’t mind. The funny video seems to be mocking typical hipstery video production of late (in a loving way, of course). As she sings, “If that was goodbye, then I must be high / You know I’ll be seeing you soon,” a cute teenage girl loosely translates in sign language, then plays air guitar in between verses. I’ll definitely be adding this song to my ‘Wake Up’ playlist!

Friedberger has a pretty extensive tour planned for the month of June (though sadly there are no dates in Philly), along with her second solo album, titled Personal Record, coming out on June 4th.

Song Review: “Golden Age” by Grandchildren


By Shannen Gaffney

So obsessed with this song right now. Grandchildren are a Philly-born pop electro band who also incorporate acoustic elements into their music. They’re on the Brooklyn-based independent label Ernest Jenning Records and their latest album Golden Age came out just a few weeks ago. Sheer pop rock perfection. 

Concert Review: TNGHT @ The Starlight Ballroom (April 10, 2013)

Image courtesy of The Windish Agency
Image courtesy of The Windish Agency

By Kirsten Becker

There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding TNGHT, the electronic duo comprised of Hudson Mohawke and Lunice. With just over a year of performing as TNGHT, they have become wildly popular for their unique blend of trap music. Despite having only released one EP, their self-­titled debut which came out last year, they embarked on a massive worldwide tour. To kick off the United States portion, TNGHT stopped by Philadelphia’s Starlight Ballroom on April 10th. This show was one of only four stops they would be making in the States.

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