Did you recently graduate college only to have your dreams quickly crushed by the harsh realities of our current enconomic state? No crap. But don’t be giving up all hope just yet.
Going down tomorrow from 12-3 p.m. at UPenn’s Houston Hall (3417 Spruce St.), Campus Philly’s 5th Annual Opportunity Fair will feature 50 regional employers looking to hire as well as 21 graduate school programs, five different info-sessions and dozens of special guests attempting to motivate and inspire you.
As for these prospective employers you’ll have a chance to meet in-person at chat one-on-one with, the list includes Vanguard, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Comcast, New York Life, Marshall’s, Green Mountain Energy and Urban Engineers. Meanwhile, the informative seminars throughout the day will touch on topics like graduate school planning, community engagement and networking.
The event is free and open to all recent graduates (defined as the classes of 2009-13), but be sure to register ASAP.
And, of course, plan to spend the night polishing up that resume of yours.
M.I.A. Brings “Noize”
It was late last night when we saw this link on the Pitchfork page: “Listen to a New M.I.A. Song, ‘Bring The Noize.’” Oh, how our hearts both fluttered and skipped a beat: What if it sucked? M.I.A has, it seems, in equal parts, lit us up and let us down over the years. For instance, Arular (2005) and Kala (2007) were outstanding pieces of music, records that’ll hold up for years as peculiarly brilliant moments in her artistic life. Then came Maya (2010), and, well, it was kind of disappointing. “XXXO” was solid and made small splashes on dance floors for a minute, but as a whole, it almost seemed enough to let Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, the 37-year-old Brit tastemaker, fall off the map altogether.
As it turns out, she’s not done yet. It’s been fairly well-documented in the media that there’ve been some problems in her theoretically 2013-released, Matangi. She seems to be a little fed up with her label and feels like she’s gotta put it out pronto or she’s going to go nuts. From the Pitchfork news tidbit:
“”It’s just one of those things where I’ve given up at this point. I was literally going to start … putting out records from my bedroom,” she said. “This was my last stab at it — I’m going to hand it in and wait for it to go out the way albums go out. If I didn’t get it out right now, I would’ve definitely exploded.”
Please do race to this SoundCloud link for “Bring the Noize,” and see for yourself how exciting it might be to get a new M.I.A. record in 2013.
While Blondie’s abroad, touring internationally, they’ve managed to announce a slew of American tour stops. It also seems like there’s a new Blondie album coming, to follow up 2011’s Panic of Girls, and every time you purchase a ticket to a fall tour date, you get five singles as downloads.
The crew’s not ALL here, but they’re mostly here, and certainly Blondie wouldn’t be Blondie without Debbie Harry. But she’s got Clem Burke and Chris Stein with her and some new blood: Leigh Foxx, Tommy Kessler and Matt Katz-Bohen. In the calendar year of 2014, the band, as we know it, will turn 40 years old. They were inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. On this tour, a big bonus: They’ll be accompanied by X, another legendary figure in early and new wave punk rock. They’re featuring their original lineup, too, and together they’ll start racing across America on Sept. 5th in New Hampshire. They finish with a grand finale at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, but the night before that, they’ll visit the Keswick on the 3rd of October (a Thursday night). Tickets go on sale Friday, June 21st. Might be a good idea to scoop some up before it sells out—and I’m pretty sure it’ll do just that.
Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail
It’s 2013. And in 2013, artists are trying their hardest to come up with new and innovative ways to release records. Kind of like a few years back, when Radiohead tried releasing their record on their own with a pay-what-you-will model, now pop musicians are trying all kinds of kooky app-related and smartphone-based marketing ploys. Try to hate the game if you want, but it’s probably going to be an uphill battle, and, really, can you hate the player? During Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Mr. Carter unleashed a whopper of a commercial (it’s practically a mini-documentary at three minutes in length) for his next banger, which’ll be available on June 24 to Samsung Galaxy phones via an app obtainable through Google Play, with a proper street date of July 4.
Aside from all of that capitalistic commercial business, the music sounds pretty hype. And no wonder: He recruited some of the biggest producers and some of his best friends, it seems, to get in on it. Rick Rubin’s here; so’s Timbaland, Pharrell, obviously—and Swizz Beatz. “Pretty much the album is about this duality of how do you navigate your way through this whole thing? Through success and failures and all this and remain yourself?” Jay asks. “We don’t have any rules. The internet’s like the Wild West, and we need to write the new rules.” Some of these beats and vibes sound super-fresh, and it’s actually pretty sweet watching Jay dialogue with the producers, tweaking and playing with sounds.
Drizzy’s Touring with Miguel and Future
In anticipation of his forthcoming Nothing Was the Same, Drake has announced a 41-stop national tour to support the new LP, and he’s dragging Miguel and Future along with him the whole way. BONUS! At this point, Miguel might be the more compelling performer on the tour, at least from our perspective. From commercial radio’s viewpoint? This is a big get. Drake’s never gonna shake my image of him in a wheelchair on Degrassi, while Miguel’s soulfulness knows no bounds. They’ll touch down at Wells Fargo on Saturday, Oct. 19, but tickets go on sale this Saturday, June 22, at 10am.
He’s shared the singles “Started From The Bottom” (62.5 million views in five months), and there’s a low-key, low-budget video for “5AM in Toronto,” but other than that, there aren’t a ton of details about the mysteriously-to-be-released new LP. It’ll certainly be out before the tour. See, we’re not so sure Drake’s got what it takes to last nearly as long as Jay has, but as confirmed by Drizzy’s appearance at Made in America last summer, it is confirmed that Philadelphia goes bizzonkers for the 26-year-old Canuck. So tickets’ll no doubt move quickly, and it might actually behoove you to snatch some up this weekend.
From our calendar this week:
Monday, June 17
“When bassist Dave Klein left Screeching Weasel in late March, the reaction of controversial frontman Ben Weasel—who recently got his punk outfit back together after an incident at SXSW 2011, in which he punched two women while on stage—could best be described as punk empathy. “Normally, when one departs the rolling hills and verdant meadows of Weasel Acres, whether voluntarily or with my assistance, the pastures on the other side are distinctly brown, but in this case, our man hit the jackpot,” Weasel wrote on the band’s Facebook page. “To wit: Black Flag came calling, and he answered the bell. And who can blame him? When Black Flag says they want to hire you, you suit up, give notice to the circus, and report for duty. You think I wouldn’t ditch this sideshow and start stocking up on black satin shorts and hitting the Nautilus if I got the call? Think again, chum.”
It’s true: Black Flag is back on the block with a Henry Rollins-less lineup put together by founding member Greg Ginn, who’s taking the singing role quite seriously as the foursome gear up for a summer tour, with tonight’s Union Transfer gig as one of its highlights. Disclaimer: Another band, calling themselves Flag, has also re-formed, featuring former Black Flag and Circle Jerks member Keith Morris (who led the group from 1976 to ‘79, before any studio albums) on vocals. They will also be touring, performing Black Flag songs. This ain’t them, weasel.” Randy LaBasso
8pm. $25. With Good For You + True Love. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. utphilly.com
Tuesday, June 18
“Rahsaan Patterson’s a longtime underdog. The Kids Incorporated alum stands alongside Fergie, Shanice and Mario Lopez as a child actor of the ‘80s still tryna get a nut. Nearing 40, Patterson’s put out five LPs, all to lackluster sales. But that doesn’t really matter: He’s got to perform, and his voice is outstanding. A beautiful midpoint between Stevie Wonder and Raphael Saadiq, Patterson’s pipes are dipped in soul. Watching him perform “6AM” with Lalah Hathaway is like watching an acrobat contort. He and Hathaway spend the last couple minutes of the song batting one line back and forth, with dips and jumps in tone and pitch. Dude’s got real chops.
Typically accompanied by a badass band to flesh out his soulful funk, Patterson practices in the genre of Erykah Badu and D’Angelo, the openly gay songwriter steeped in improvisation, free form and off-the-cuff performances. He’s written songs for Brandy (co-writing her second big hit, 1994’s “Baby”) and Tevin Campbell and calls Ledisi a friend. Tonight’s show is sure to be a dynamic one; Patterson’s voice is kind of like Toni Braxton’s: capable of being soft and gentle, but also resonant enough to convey pain and sadness. One second, he bellows from his depths of his gut, and in the next, he emotes from the top of his beautiful bald head. No doubt, his vocal flips and tricks will be a spectacle tonight.” Bill Chenevert
8pm. $32-$36. World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE. 302.994.1400. queen.worldcafelive.com
Wednesday, June 19
“THAT’S MY JAM” KARAOKE
“C’mon, everybody knows liquor and karaoke go together like peanut butter and jelly. Add happy hour and some game friends, and you’ve got a guaranteed good time. Sometimes a little liquid encouragement is all one needs to pick out a song, fill out that little paper slip, and step up to the mic, and luckily, the Painted Bride is the perfect place to flex those pipes at “That’s My Jam,” hosted by Sing Your Life Karaoke’s Sara Sherr. The stage in the Bride’s 250-seat theater will be yours for the owning tonight, and the audience is expected to be as friendly as it gets—you now, those game friends of yours, aside other fun-loving Philadelphians. Here’s hoping some legit talent turns out to earn bragging rights ’cause when you’ve got a stage like this, and you’re not mumbling along to the color-changing lines on a little dive-bar monitor, you better turn it out.
Ten bucks gets you in, plus a drink ticket, and there’ll be hot dogs from the Dapper Dog food truck on tap, too. Sherr’s 120,000-deep song catalogue should have a few of your favorites to slay live, and if your preferred track isn’t among them, have another drink, and I bet you’ll find something. Word to the wise: Start rehearsing now. No one—and I mean no one—wants to hear you butcher “Midnight Train to Georgia.”” B.C.
6pm. $10. Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914. firstname.lastname@example.org
We caught up with March Silver on the eve of his record release show tonight at Johnny Brenda’s and put it in the paper:
Every year, Marc Silver retreats to the woods with two artist friends for phone-free communion with Mother Nature. They go out to a cabin in Dushore, Pa., about three and a half hours from Philly (an hour from Wilkes-Barre) and not far from Ricketts Glen State Park. He’s the only musician of the three, but he writes, and they cook and drink wine. Upon their arrival, they hit up the local farmers markets to stock the kitchen, and it was there that Silver found the inspiration for his new album, A Miners’ Town. His fifth LP is a little less bluegrass and a little more darkness, due in part to the ominous nature of the situation out in rural Pennsylvania—and in loads of other parts of our state—where fracking is wreaking havoc.
Evoking a little Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash, two touchstones for personal and bluntly bleak lyricism, A Miners’ Town’s songs are a mix of biographical, fictional and non-fictional tales, primarily ruminations on the effect of the shale mining industry. This batch of songs is gritty, gloomy and, quite frankly, angry. Silver’s frustrated and plagued with the burden of recognizing deception, theft and greed. Check his title track: “Every barrel is a tomb and another town left to die/Abandoned homes line the town’s main street/Bullets hit the windows and they shatter with a scream ‘tween the alleys/Old homes crackle in the smoldering fires/Burning all the things that were made from love inside.”
“It became apparent what was happening in the region, and you could see that there was a lot of drilling, pipe-lining and a lot of drump trucks,” he told PW. “So, for this record, I ended up doing a lot of research into testimonials of farmers and their stories of people getting sick and their wells getting poisoned.”
The Missouri native and University of the Arts graduate is 37 now, a veteran of the Philly gigging scene. He’s been performing with his band, The Stonethrowers, around town for years, but this latest record is a testament to his growing and evolving songwriting skills. But life isn’t always so rosy. Silver’s got a day job teaching music to kids at the Shipley School, and he often dishes out his own money to put on a show. “I’m in the habit of paying my band,” he says. If only those frackers would cough it up for the damage they’ve done.
Doors are at 8pm and the show kicks off at 9:15pm with Ross Bellenoit and then Pete Donnelly & the Wise Easy opening. Tickets are $10.
On The Record: Queens of the Stone Age, Jagwar Ma, Disclosure, The National, Quadron, and Surfer Blood
Queens of the Stone Age
Sounds like: Their seventh is a complex and heady mix of thrash, scuz, sad-sack songwritery blues, classic rock and metal lite; Josh Homme’s genius shines.
Free association: They’ll never make a terrible record as long as Homme’s around.
For fans of: Faith No More x Blur, Sabbath/Alice/Zep + Foo Fighters, modern hardness.
(Mom + Pop Music)
Sounds like: The unholy marriage between dance music and rock grooves has never sounded better on this Aussie duo’s debut, mixing psychedelics with disco.
Free association: What’s going on?! Tis the season for outstanding electronica.
For fans of: The Stone Roses/Foals x Caribou/Toro y Moi, guitars and beats.
Sounds like: Two brothers from Surrey, England debut a delicious treat of disco and dance music done just right for your summer dance party needs.
Free association: Classixx, and now this? Making Time bookers, take heed and buy.
For fans of: SBTRKT/Hot Chip, Jessie Ware and Jamie Woon, Brit electro brilliance.
Trouble Will Find Me
Sounds like: The Cincinnati, Ohio-born pair of brothers and brilliant baritone Matt Berninger’s sixth is a subtle, sedated and hushed moment of sophisticated indie wit.
Free association: Quieter and simpler than they’ve been. Sometimes less is more.
For fans of: Sloan/Wilco x Megafaun + the Smiths, Arcade Fire, American thoughtfulness.
Sounds like: Their sophomore as a duo, these two are all over the place, collabing with Kendrick Lamar and Baz Luhrman and pumping out avant R&B and folk funk.
Free association: Anything these two touch is automatically sexy and enjoyable.
For fans of: Boom Clap Bachelors/Rhye, Chaka Khan + Inc., slow, soulful bedroom pop.
Sounds like: The second from Florida’s version of Real Estate is another excellent bunch of surf-inspired lo-fi rock that’s sunny, bouncy and irresistible.
Free association: May not be quite up to Astro Coast, but this is great guitar rock.
For fans of: The Beach Boys x DIIV/Vampire Weekend, the Shins, loud happiness.
Yesterday afternoon, the Philly Folk Fest powers that be announced their three headliners: Todd Rundgren, David Bromberg and Asleep at the Wheel. Details are pretty finite now, and eager folk fans can snatch up tickets at a pretty sweet 20-percent-off rate right now. On the third weekend in August (the 16th, 17th and 18th), Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township (near Schwenksville, PA) turns into the chillest 40-acre living room in Pennsylvania. Approximately 35 miles northeast of Philadelphia proper, the venue’s about a 45-60 minute drive from Center City. And in its 52nd year of consecutive festivaling, this one’s, maybe, their biggest and best yet.
With a Saturday that’s exceptionally Philly oriented, Philadelphians should maybe consider Saturday as their one day for that one-day ticket if going that route’s under consideration. Indeed, you can buy day-specific tickets, all-weekend passes and, of course, go for the whole weekend and camp under the stars with a camping pass (which includes a Thursday night concert).
From the press release:
“We are really excited about this year’s line up. One of the highlights for us is being able to put together a really ‘Philly-centric’ Saturday show,” said Richard Kardon of Point Entertainment. “David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket: Essential Songs of Philadelphia presents the soundtrack of the past several decades in Philadelphia. It’s a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ from the Philly music scene.”
Slated to perform are the following acts:
Richard Thompson Electric Trio – The Mavericks – Asleep at the Wheel – Carolina Chocolate Drops – Jake Shimabukuro – David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket – Black Prairie – Luella & The Sun – Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars – Spirit Family Reunion – Sleepy Man – Banjo Boys – The Stray Birds – Star & Micey – Otis Taylor – Caravan of Thieves – Amy Helm – Jeffrey Gaines – Gabe Butterfield – Ellis Paul – Del Barber – The Como Mamas – Burning Bridget Cleary – Andy Statman Project – Ben Vaughn – David Francey – Frank Fairfield – Joe Crookston & the BlueBird Jubilee – The Toy Hearts – Howmaw – Runa – Burning Bridget Cleary – The Amigos Band – Mike ‘Slo-Mo’ Brenner – XPN Philly Local with Helen Leicht featuring Ali Wadsworth, Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang, Modern Inventors, Ginger Coyle – Aereo-Plain – The Lawsuits – Toy Soldiers – Gene Shay – Great Groove Band – Dennis Hangey – Give and Take Jugglers.”
Gene Shay will emcee, again, in his 52nd consecutive year doing so. The man’s been playing folk music on WXPN on Sunday nights for decades and is largely considered the godfather of Philadelphia folk.
Lastly, a few specifics on tickets: This is a totally kid-friendly affair with child-specific programming for kids under 12 each afternoon (and kids up to 11 get in free; there are youth ticket rates for 12-17 year-olds). But here are few more ticket deets: “Individual daily tickets start at $43.60, including the 20% Early Bird Discount, or attend for all three days for $118.40; add tent camping and you get an additional concert on Thursday night for $158.40 total! The campground at the PHILADELPHIA FOLK FESTIVAL is considered the ultimate Folk Festival experience.”
Tickets are on sale at http://www.folkfest.org/ or call 800-556-FOLK.