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Friday Weekend  Entertainment Picks

John Mayer    
@Wells Fargo Center

Friday, April 7th, 2017 7:30 PM

John Mayer bought a guitar with the money he earned at his post-graduation gas station gig. It was 1998 and after only two semesters, Mayer dropped out of Boston's Berklee College of Music and made his wayto Atlanta to play the clubs and self-release his first album Inside Wants Out.

Mayer partnered with legends of several genres, making guest appearances on albums by Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, and B.B. King, while touring alongside jazz icon Herbie Hancock. Mayer also retained enough pop/rock foundation to continue his reign of the charts, making him one of the decade's most popular songwriters.

In 2000, performances at South by Southwest landed him a contract with Aware/Columbia and a year later he was climbing the Billboard charts with Room For Squares and the single "No Such Thing." By 2003, he'd avoided the sophomore slump with Heavier Things and the sentimental ballad "Daughters." Concerned he was being pigeonholed, he formed a bluesy jam trio in 2005, started collaborating with everyone from B.B. King to Alicia Keys and also gave comedy a shot. (His stand-up career was short-lived despite appearing on Chappelle's Show thanks to his risqué style and use of the n-word.) Continuum (2006) and its tracks "Waiting For The World To Change," "Gravity" and "Say" put him back on top with four more Grammys.



 Having spent two years mostly out of the spotlight, he released his third No. 1 album Born and Raised in 2012. But as skilled a musician as he is, it is his numerous high-profile relationships (Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Minka Kelly and Jessica Simpson) that have us assuming it's his body that's a wonderland. Most recently, he's been courting fellow singer Katy Perry but despite spending the 2012 holidays together, they have already broken up twice in less than a year.

John Mayer recently landed his second No. 1 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart in just more than a month, as The Search for Everything: Wave Two opens atop the chart with 31,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music. Of that total, 26,000 are pure album sales.

John Mayer    
Wells Fargo Center  3601 S Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA
Directions  
Friday 4/7/2017 7:30 PM    
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Biffy Clyro    
@Theatre Of The Living Arts

Friday, April 14, 2017 8:00 PM

Biffy Clyro alternative rock band formed in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1995. Simon Neil (vocals, guitar), James Johnston (bass, vocals) and his twin brother Ben (drums, vocals). The band has released six albums since their formation: "Blackened Sky" (2002), "The Vertigo of Bliss" (2003), "Infinity Land" (2004), "Puzzle" (2007), "Only Revolutions" (2010) and "Opposites" (2013). Their latest album, and their seventh, called "Ellipsis" was released on 8th July 2016, entering the UK charts at Number One..

Biffy, as they are often referred to, puts out a quiet/loud dynamic, creating songs that can range from a whisper-quiet pick on the guitar, to huge walls of noise with massive distortion and crashing drums. Their sound has simplified; somewhat in recent times yet still occasionally contains complex time signatures and heavy riffs. While Simon Neil sings lead, all three members provide vocals. "'Mon the Biffy!" is a well known chant amongst Biffy fans; it is usually shouted in between songs at gigs, or before the band come on stage. Some fans have reacted poorly to the band's recent output.

The first incarnation of what would eventually become Biffy Clyro was formed in 1995 by fifteen-year-old Irvine-born, Ayr-raised guitarist Simon Neil, who recruited Kilmarnock-born Ben Johnston and someone known only as Barry on drums and bass respectively, calling themselves Screwfish. Barry was soon replaced by James Johnston, Ben's twin brother, and the three spent the next two years rehearsing, writing and covering songs. In 1997, they played their first gig as the support for a band called Pink Kross at a local youth centre. The trio then moved to Glasgow, where Neil went to the University of Glasgow and the Johnston twins went to Stow College, studying Electronics with Music and Audio Engineering respectively.They then progressed onto the bigger stage

After playing gigs around Glasgow and receiving positive and enthusiastic reactions from the audiences, the band were spotted by Dee Bahl, who soon became their manager. Bahl offered them a chance to release an independent single on Aereogramme's Babi Yaga record label. "Iname" was released on 28 June 1999, and led to the band being chosen by Stow College's Electric Honey record label to release a record. thekidswhopoptodaywillrocktomorrow... was released on 13 June 2000, and after hearing it, BBC Radio Scotland DJ Vic Galloway gave the band airplay. A few days prior to the release of thekidswho…, the band were spotted at the Unsigned Bands stage at T in the Park 2000 by a Beggars Banquet representative. Soon after, the band was signed to the independent Beggar's Banquet, and on 30 October 2000, they re-recorded and released the single, "27", which became Kerrang!'s Single Of The Week.

On 1 October 2001, one of the songs from thekidswho… was re-recorded and released as a single, "Justboy". This was repeated on 4 February 2002, when the song "57" was released. On 11 March, the band's debut album, Blackened Sky, was released to generally positive reviews. It was around this time that the band began touring extensively, including being the support for Weezer on 20 March at the Barrowlands in Glasgow. On 15 July, the fourth single from the album, "Joy.Discovery.Invention" was released as a double A-side with a newly recorded song, entitled "Toys, Toys, Toys, Choke, Toys, Toys, Toys", which later appeared on The Vertigo of Bliss.

In 2003, the band retreated to the Linford Manor recording studio in Great Linford, Milton Keynes, England to record the follow-up to Blackened Sky. On 24 March, a new single was released entitled, "The Ideal Height", followed by another new single entitled "Questions and Answers" on 28 May. The band's second album, The Vertigo of Bliss was released on 16 June, to positive reviews, which focused on the more experimental style of the album in comparison to Blackened Sky, as well as the introduction of string sections.

In 2004, after touring relentlessly for The Vertigo of Bliss, the band retreated to Monnow Valley Studios in Monmouth, Wales to record a follow-up. As with the previous album, two singles were released before the actual album; "Glitter and Trauma" and "My Recovery Injection" on 9 August and 20 September, respectively. A digital download was also released; "There's No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake", on 31 May. On 4 October, the band's third album, Infinity Land was released, and on 14 February 2005, the last single from the album, "Only One Word Comes To Mind" was released. On 16 February, the band performed a cover of Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" live from Maida Vale on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show. Simon Neil's side project, Marmaduke Duke, also released an album in 2005, The Magnificent Duke, and toured the UK, along with the Johnston twins accompanying on bass and drums, for it.

In 2006, Biffy Clyro left Beggars Banquet and signed a deal with 14th Floor, an offshoot of Warner Bros. In June, the band contributed a cover of Weezer's "Buddy Holly" to Kerrang!'s High Voltage!: A Brief History of Rock, which came free with Issue #1110 of the magazine. In September, the band moved temporarily to Canada to record their fourth album at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, and The Farm Studio in Gibsons, which they finished doing in November. The song "Semi-Mental" was released as a digital download on 25 December. In 2007, the song "Saturday Superhouse" was released on 14 May, where it reached #13 on the UK Singles Chart; the band's highest single chart position to date. On 14 May, the song "Living is a Problem Because Everything Dies" was released, reaching #19 on the UK Singles Charts. On 21 May, Biffy were confirmed for T in the Park 2007, as well as being announced as one of the support bands for the 17 June gig at the new Wembley Stadium for Muse. On 1 June, Biffy were confirmed for Glastonbury 2007. On 4 June, Puzzle was released to critical acclaim, and eventually helped the band to reach their highest UK Albums Chart position ever, reaching #2 in the first week of release. On 6 June it was announced that Biffy were to support The Who at Marlay Park in Ireland. On 12 June, it was announced that "Folding Stars" was released as a single on July 16. On the 23rd of August 2007, Biffy Clyro were announced as the support act for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers at Hampden Stadium in Glasgow, for the Stadium Arcadium tour.

Biffy Clyro    
Theatre Of The Living Arts
334 South St.  Philadelphia, PA
Directions    
Friday 4/14/2017 8:00 PM    
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Chronixx    
@Theatre Of The Living Arts

Friday, April 21, 2017 8:00 PM

Jamaican musician Chronixx has ignited a torch in people's hearts the world over and is confidently lighting the path for an entire generation of youths to rediscover roots and culture.

Born Jamar Rolando McNaughton on October 10, 1992, Chronixx was musically nurtured from an early age by his father, dancehall artist Chronicle, and grew up surrounded by the likes of Burro Banton and Gregory Isaacs. His remarkable ascension in the music industry began in the background; harmonizing for artists such as Lutan Fyah and providing production assistance for tracks sung by Popcaan, Konshens and others.

Today, Chronixx is a respected artist in his own right after his career was stimulated by the unfortunate passing of both his blood brother in 2007 and his brother-in-arms, Lil' J.O.E., in 2010. The first EP, Hooked on Chronixx, was released in 2011 and immediately put the budding artist on the radar of music lovers and industry heads alike with 'Start A Fyah,' 'Warrior' and breakout single 'Behind Curtain' standing out as a fan favorites far beyond Jamaican shores.



The Dread & Terrible Project was released in April 2014 - a set comprised of seven tracks plus three dub versions - immediately topping the Billboard (US) and iTunes reggae charts in both UK and Japan. Neither an album nor an EP, the Project includes the widely received ‘Capture Land’ and a short film based on one of its tracks, 'Rastaman Wheel Out' (directed by Ras Kassa), to critical acclaim.

Hit single 'Here Comes Trouble' captured late night American TV presenter Jimmy Fallon’s attention while on vacation in Jamaica. The chance encounter lead to a personal request for the young musician to perform live on Fallon’s TV show in July 2014. A concert held in Central Park the following week was a roadblock affair from the outset, thousands of attendees turned out including Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger celebrating his 71st birthday.

Chronixx toured for the first time in 2013 when he went to Europe with his own band Zincfence Redemption. He has since embarked on solo tours from the Americas to the Oceanic region; including sold out shows in New York (Irving Plaza), three shows in London (including Somerset House), Trinidad & Tobago, Australia, Canada, and being the first band to do a 2-part tour of Jamaica (Capture Land Tour).

With so much accomplished in such short time, the world is bracing for greater wonders from this young man who walks with an old soul. For Chronixx himself, music is a mission and history is being made everyday still.

"Prepare your minds and hearts for this revolution." - Chronixx

Chronixx    
Theatre Of The Living Arts
334 South St.
Philadelphia, PA
Directions     
Friday 4/21/2017 8:00 PM   
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Darius Rucker    
@The Fillmore

Friday, April 28, 2017 8:00 PM

It’s right there in the title— Southern Style.

“To me, the South means a laid-back lifestyle, beaches, family, and being able to have a good time when you want to,” says Darius Rucker. “In Charleston, where I’m from, nobody’s in a rush to get anywhere. And there’s a mentality that there’s room for everybody.

“So with these songs, I wanted to bring out the way I live, the way my friends live, and all the things that are important to us.”

The results, Rucker’s fourth solo album as a country artist, reveal a sound and a spirit that bring him closer than ever to the genre’s fundamentals. From “Homegrown Honey” ’s country-girl-gone-uptown to the back-porch party in “Dixie Cup,” the thirteen songs on Southern Style are filled with the instruments and images that define a region and its musical traditions.

“I knew that I wanted to do what great country songs do, which was to write and record songs that you just couldn’t deny,” says Rucker. “You never know until after you have the songs, but tracks like ‘High on Life’ started steering us to where we wanted to go. In the end, this might be my country-est record so far, and that really was the first thought.”

The title track and first single illustrate Rucker’s intentions. Gently rolling and irresistibly hook-filled, it’s a precisely detailed celebration of modern Southern womanhood in all its dimensions; “You can love her, you can hate her/But you’ll damn sure never change her,” he sings of the sun-kissed girl, a “Billy Graham fan like her mother” who “loves Lil’ Wayne and Lynyryd Skynyrd.”

Rucker’s three previous albums—Learn To Live; Charleston, SC 1966; and True Believers—all topped the Billboard Country Album chart, spinning off six Number One singles. But a few events in the last couple of years may have helped him dig even deeper into his country roots, even in the face of new trends that have been pushing the music into a more pop direction.

First was his induction into the Grand Ole Opry in 2012, after Brad Paisley broke the news to Rucker in the middle of a show. Then came his triumphant version of “Wagon Wheel,” the Old Crow Medicine Show song initially based on a sketch by Bob Dylan (with an assist from his tour partners and labelmates Lady Antebellum). The song hit Number One on the Country charts, and won the GRAMMY Award for Best Country Solo Performance.

“ ‘Wagon Wheel’ was one of those great anomalies in a career—you have to just be happy with something like that and go on and try to make another record,” says Rucker. “But it did help me realize that fans really do want country music from me. With everything happening in the music, on the radio, ‘Wagon Wheel’ showed that you can still have big hits with real country songs.”

Darius Rucker first attained multi-platinum status as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Hootie & the Blowfish, Since re-introducing himself to the world as a country artist, his musical life has had a truly remarkable Second Act. In 2008, he released Learn to Live; the album's first single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," made him the first African-American with a Number One country song since Charley Pride in 1983. It was followed by two more singles that topped the chart—"It Won't Be Like This For Long" and "Alright"—and earned him the New Artist award from the Country Music Association. His 2010 follow-up, Charleston, SC 1966, included two more Number Ones, while True Believers contained another four hit singles.

Darius Rucker    
The Fillmore  29 E Allen St.
Philadelphia, PA
Directions    
Friday 4/28/2017 8:00 PM    
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