I don't always write about Philly in my posts, and sometimes when I do, it's disparaging. I grew up in the DC area, and I am lucky enough to be able to travel a lot and see bands all over the place. Philly is a different place than most other cities as the best things about it don't slam you in the face the minute you arrive. It doesn't have a sparkling bay, palm trees, or mountains. It has great American history, but even those remarkable places, while remarkable, are still humble and subtle. And when you drive in from the airport, you pass a refinery, a wastewater treatment plant, and a metal scrapyard. It's like the city tries to keep it's best parts hidden and accessible only to its residents.
But Philly is my home and I have come to love it. The living here is great, the countryside is fantastically beautiful, and it has wonderful culture - world class art museums, the best orchestra in the US, a thriving theater district, and fantastic restaurants. It's not just high-brow stuff, either. It has the best indigenous junk food - the soft pretzel, Tastykakes and cheesesteaks - which are all amazing. You want sports? Not only does it have the four major pro sports represented, it has Big Five basketball (including the defending NCAA men's champions, Villanova) and has produced huge names in boxing like Joe Frazier and Sonny Liston. And while I don't partake anymore, it's the best beer city in the country, with tons of craft beers, bars devoted just to Belgians, and Yuengling as its local Budweiser.
So how about rock and soul music? Are you kidding me? Dick Clark and American Bandstand blasted out of Philly way back when. It has the best radio station in the land, WXPN, playing indie, blues, alt-country, and everything in between. Great clubs? Tons of them. Check out Union Transfer, Johnny Brenda's, Kungfu Necktie, the Fillmore, the Foundry, the Electric Factory, Underground Arts, the Trocadero, the TLA, etc, etc.
And some damn fine home-grown bands and bands that call Philly home. Like who? Here's a bunch that you might know: Hall & Oates, the Hooters, Boyz II Men, the Roots, the Stylistics, the Delfonics, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Patti LaBelle, Joan Jett, Chubby Checker, Teddy Pendergrass, Amos Lee, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Evelyn "Champagne" King, and Stanley Clarke. There are more, of course.
And let's not forget about the new music scene,. Fantastic bands abound: Low Cut Connie, Marah, Beach Slang, Hop Along, Dr. Dog, The War on Drugs, Bardo Pond, Kurt Vile, Sheer Mag, Robbie Fulks, Marian Hill, Pete Donnelly, the Districts, and on and on. Check out this Red Bull link for more bands that call this city home and that are garnering national attention. https://www.redbull.com/us-en/10-rad-philadelphia-rock-bands-you-need-to-know This is a wonderful American city that produces and supports a ton of great musicians.
So that's my love homage to Philly. And to show that Philly gives back, here's the best love song from local musicians. This one is from Hall & Oates. Yes, it's very old. So what? It still moves me. I'm linking two videos: one is a pure play of the song from the album, and the second is much newer off of Live From Daryl's House. I really like the latter video - it's a beautiful song and this arrangement is brilliant. Enjoy.
Please don't take this post as a slam on other places. I still love DC and Florida. But Philly gets a raw deal a lot of the time, and that's b.s.: it's a great place. I've met some amazing people here who have changed my life forever. And with that, I'll be back with something a bit nuttier next time. I think you'll like it. Take care, be safe, and I'll see you here soon.
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My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.