November 17, 2014 |
With all the troubles Ms. Lauryn Hill, (as she insists) has put herself through, nothing matters except how she sounds, and that she sounds at all. A tax-evasion prison stint, missed recording deadlines, showing up late for gigs - these mean little when it comes to the continuing adventures in the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (to quote the 1998 multi-platinum solo album from the onetime Fugee). Before Hill's show Saturday at the Electric Factory with opener/friend the socio-conscious MC Talib Kweli, the question was: What would she sound like?
September 30, 2014 |
It's no secret the Disco Biscuits love to play. Formed at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995, named for the '70s feel-good drug Quaalude, the Biscuits merged the jam-band form familiar from the Grateful Dead and the all-day-all-night sensibilities of a techno-tronic rave with electronic beats and boings to match. Along with launching Camp Bisco's music festival for improvisational bands and DJs in Upstate New York, the Biscuits play mini-fests, called City Bisco, where they take over your town and several venues for a stretch.
April 18, 2014 |
A young woman moves from the Philadelphia area to Los Angeles, where she waitresses her way through the music business until a mutual friend of hers and the producers of Fox Television's So You Think You Can Dance uses her emotional song "Jar of Hearts" during its broadcast. " Stardom ensues. We're talking about Christina Perri, who hits the Electric Factory on Saturday night. That honey-voiced single sells 3 million-plus copies, she releases her debut 2011 album, Lovestrong , places her song "A Thousand Years" in the film The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn in 2012, and tours relentlessly to sold-out crowds.
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.