April 1, 2014 |
Despite Donald Glover's pedigree as a writer for 30 Rock and his starring role on Community , there's nothing funny about his rap alter ego, Childish Gambino, and albums like Camp . Caustically witty and weirdly metaphorical with an oddly jagged sound track, yes, but hardly the stuff of stand-up or sketch comedy. Then again, during Gambino's Electric Factory show Friday, you couldn't help sensing this was performance art, with its drawing-room set and e-speak projections in accordance with the backstory of his album Because the Internet of a tweet-happy socialite bugging out in his mansion.
February 4, 2014 |
One of the remarkable things about Philadelphia's Dr. Dog - and there are plenty - is how and what this band has changed, and kept the same, since its start in the late 1990s. Singer-songwriters Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken (who started their partnership under the name Raccoon), along with keyboardist Zach Miller, began their lives as Dogs with a low-fi, pop-psychedelic aesthetic and silly chord changes reflecting their dippy lyrics. Today, there's nothing low-fidelity or daffy about Dr. Dog's words or its grand, aggressive chamber-psych sound - be it the shaggy Be the Void of 2012 or 2013's B-Room , the latter album rich with the plush feel of Philly soul at its most lustrously harmonic.
December 14, 2013 |
On a snowy Philly weekend, the once and former king of chill-wave, Ernest Greene of Washed Out, is in a nice, warm place. "Mexico is great," Greene says. "Our set last night was on the beach, right as the sun was setting. Pretty much the best possible scenario for my music. " Greene and his ensemble play Electric Factory this weekend. Washed Out's now-classic 2011 album Within and Without was dozy synth-pop of the most frozen (and sparsely recorded) order. But Washed Out released a warmer album, Paracosm , this summer, and has been touring ever since.
December 6, 2013 |
The scene: a Saturday afternoon in December. A Santa appears in the frame, walking through Old City. Muscular and tall, not your usual Santa, but, OK, you can deal with a slender Santa. Then a short, blond guy Santa appears in Rittenhouse Square. Then a goateed African American Santa, similarly appointed in the usual red-and-white fur, materializes in Washington Square. Two redheaded women, decked in Santa gear, appear in University City and the Italian Market. That's when you realize: You're in the middle of the Running of the Santas, a Philly-originated tradition (created 1998)
October 17, 2013 |
If Janelle Monáe is in a hurry, maybe it's because she has so much ground to cover. Opening her U.S. tour on Sunday in support of her dazzling, diverse new CD, The Electric Lady , at - where else? - the Electric Factory, the 27-year-old Kansas City native took an appreciative audience through a highly personalized survey of the history of genre-blending African American pop.lin During a nearly two-hour evening , Monáe tipped her cap to Cab Calloway and covered Michael Jackson and Prince.
September 28, 2013 |
Neko Case's new album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You , is one of those works that benefited from the personal torment of its creator. Worse , which brought Case and her five-member ensemble, including assistant front woman Kelly Hogan, to the Electric Factory on Wednesday, is not a breakup album. It's a collection of original songs - plus a cover, of Velvet Underground singer Nico's "Afraid" - spurred by the death of Case's parents and grandmother.
June 2, 2013 |
Depending on how you read it, the title of Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll can be seen as a call to arms or a comic-book boast: Are they asking us to save rock, or letting us know they've got the situation in hand? At a sold-out Electric Factory on Thursday night, they were cheerleaders and saviors both, rallying an adoring crowd and urging them to find their own way. Part of the motivation for "Fall Out Boy 2.0," as bassist Pete Wentz dubbed the band's return from a four-year hiatus, was inspiring younger generations to pick up the torch.
March 23, 2013 |
Eric Miller felt he had waited his whole life for Carolina. "She was exceptional by every measure," he said, "smart, full of life, beautiful. " When she died, suddenly, from an epileptic seizure in August 2011, at age 26 and not even two years after their wedding, he was driven to do something in her memory, to find meaning in his grief. So he set out to try something a tad crazy, arranging 50 concerts in 50 states this weekend - including by guitar great Eric Clapton - all to raise epilepsy awareness.
March 9, 2013
Despite a weeklong picketing effort at the Electric Factory, members of the Philadelphia stagehands union will work at two sold-out shows Friday and Saturday by the Dropkick Murphys as part of a deal reached with the Boston band. The band will pay two union members to unload its equipment outside the venue at 421 N. Seventh St., said Michael Barnes, business manager of Local 8 of the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees. Stagehands working for Electric Factory will handle the equipment inside the building.
March 8, 2013 |
The Philadelphia stagehands union has targeted the Electric Factory with pickets for a week to get better pay and benefits for workers at the popular venue, union officials said. However, union members will be working - sort of - at two sold-out shows Friday and Saturday nights by the Dropkick Murphys as part of a deal reached with the Boston band. It's all about pro-union solidarity, Michael Barnes, business manager of Local 8 of the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees, said Thursday.