John Morrison’s Philly Top 5: October highlights from Illadelph Archives to Secret Cinema - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Firmly placed in the middle of Fall (my favorite season), October has always had a very particular energy and atmosphere for me. Leaves changing color, Halloween, a distinct but manageable chill in the air. I love October and for a long time this month I’ve been digging and experiencing a ton of enriching art and music. Here are a few dope things that caught my eyes and ears this month.

Sun Ra Arkestra – The Living Sky

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Marshall Allen a few times and with each conversation, I’ve walked away thinking a lot about the idea of tradition. Allen and other Arkestra players past and present often talk about how Sun Ra passed down lessons on history and culture along with the fundamental mechanics of playing the music itself. With over 70 years as an active musical institution, the Sun Arkestra is upholding the tradition that Sun Ra taught and their new album, The Living Sky is the embodiment of all that knowledge. Powerful, fearless, and free, the music here is forward-thinking yet infused with a deep sense of history; read my review of the record here.

Illadelph Archives’ Philly New & No Wave YouTube Playlist

Rebecca Stein is a true people’s scholar with an inexhaustible knowledge of Philly hip-hop culture and music. Their fantastic YouTube channel, Illadelph Archives, is not only home to some great rare Philly rap gems, it also includes this dope playlist of local No Wave, New Wave and post-punk rarities. Come for rare cuts from bands like Bunnydrums and Experimental Products and stay for classics like Crash Course In Science’s “It Costs To Be Austere.”

PHILLY new&no wave/post punk/rock (80s)

Mighty Theodore – Set Out In The Dark

The latest and final album from MC/Producer, Mighty Theodore, Set Out In The Dark is a star-studded affair featuring guest performances from Fly Anakin, YL, Anwar Highsign and others. It is full of soulful songs and gorgeous production. I can’t wait to get my copy on vinyl.

The Secret Cinema Presents Nuggets: Celluloid Artyfacts Of Sixties Rock

For its 30th Anniversary, Secret Cinema took to Fish Theater in Fishtown host a dope screening of 60s rock shorts. Projected on 16mm film, the collection included clips of bands like The Seeds, and The Chocolate Watchband as well as short films shot at the height of the garage rock and psychedelic era. Lenny Kaye (musician and compiler of the highly influential Nuggets compilation) and Stewkey of Philly psych/garage rockers, The Nazz were in the house for a Q&A, sharing their insights and first-person reflections on the era. As a heavy psych rock head, the evening was mad fun and it was cool checking out these films and soaking up the history of the music that I have loved for years.

Night Crates Record Pop Up

Milkcrate Cafe is one of my favorite spots in the city to buy records, and on November 4th, they’re hosting the Waxpaper Pop-up Record Show. Founded and organized by Wes Schwartz of Grimace Federation, Waxpaper is always a good time with lots of vendors selling dope gems, friends and DJs playing choice selections.

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