The Philly Music Competition takes the primary a part of its title significantly.
The nonprofit fest that advantages music training will make its return as an in-person occasion on the newly reopened World Cafe Dwell on Wednesday and stick with it over 5 days at 4 different impartial venues.
However the PMF, now in its fifth 12 months, is true to its title not solely in the place it occurs, but in addition in who performs on its phases.
As all the time, all 19 acts are both Philly based mostly or deeply regionally linked. That begins with Moor Mom, the Brewerytown spoken-word poet, rapper, and experimental musician born Camae Ayewa who will open the fest on the upstairs Lounge at World Cafe Dwell with a trio of performances that captures her in three totally different musical iterations.
And it continues although the weekend with the Scranton-born pop punks the Menzingers, who headline Saturday and Sunday at Ardmore Music Corridor, pulling from their 2019 album Hiya Exile, recorded at Conshohocken’s Studio 4 with producer Will Yip, whose heartbreaking “Anna” rhymes: “I’ve a lot to inform ya / Please come again to Philadelphia.”
“Our style is Philly,” says Greg Seltzer, the PMF founder and scene booster who’s a lawyer with the Heart Metropolis agency Ballard Spahr. “Different festivals have their very own genres. Our style is what’s uniquely Philly.”
Yearly, Seltzer says, “I get pressured about attracting native bands which might be nationally acknowledged headliners,” in addition to reserving lesser-known Philly acts simply on the way in which up.
Moor Mom is internationally acknowledged: She stated in a latest interview that the final time she carried out thrice at an occasion was on the Berlin Jazz Competition in 2018.
“So I’m used to this sort of factor,” she stated, talking by cellphone from Los Angeles, the place she is instructing music composition on the College of Southern California this semester. “Nevertheless it’s very nice to have this in Philadelphia.”
Past the Menzingers and Moor Mom, the 12 months’s PMF headliners are wide-ranging.
They embrace: dazzling indie songwriter Alex G, who tops a terrific invoice downstairs at WCL, with Spirit of the Beehive; Frances Quinlan-fronted quartet Hop Alongside, who play Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday; R&B soul man Son Little, who headlines MilkBoy Philly on Friday; and rapper and singer Ivy Sole, at REC Philly, additionally on Friday.
The PMF has been constant in its mission. Together with the headliners, it presents up-and-coming acts like singer-songwriter AnnonXL, who performs Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday, and Kennedy Freeman-fronted shoegaze band HighNoon, who’re in a gap slot at AMH on Saturday.
The fest raised $50,000 final 12 months for organizations like Rock to the Future, Women Rock Philly (the place Moor Mom is a former board member), and Settlement Music Faculty. Seltzer hopes to high that quantity in 2021.
However because of COVID-19, this 12 months’s PMF can be totally different than any earlier model. In 2020, the competition was scaled down to 2 nights at Ardmore Music Corridor, with acts comparable to Japanese Breakfast and Langhorne Slim enjoying empty-venue units that had been livestreamed to followers.
The 2021 fest arrives as indie venues are getting again in enterprise after the lengthy shutdown amid concern over the unfold of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
Protocols for the PMF will range solely barely from venue to venue, Seltzer says. “Now we have lots of people coming in, and we’ve acquired to make it as secure as doable,” Seltzer says.
Proof of vaccination is required in any respect PMF reveals. Damaging checks won’t be accepted. Masks insurance policies are left as much as the venue, Seltzer stated, with the AMH, WCL and MilkBoy requiring masks when not consuming or consuming, and Johnny Brenda’s and REC Philly encouraging them. The venues will make use of further safety to implement mask-wearing, which the PMF pays for.
Vaxes and masks will even be required on the PMF’s two networking occasions. There’s a Friday afternoon Tech Tour at Guru Applied sciences in Heart Metropolis meant to deliver music and tech innovators collectively.
And on Saturday, WCL will host Inside Hustle panel discussions for aspiring artists that function native luminaries like Augusta Koch of Gladie and Yip, the producer who made headlines along with his #StopAsianHate raffle to learn the Asian American & Pacific Islander Group Fund.
Each Tech Tour and Inside Hustle are free. All PMF nighttime showcases are technically bought out, although Seltzer stated the rooms have been bought at diminished capacities and “small batches” of tickets will go on sale because the competition approaches. Examine phillymusicfest.com for updates.
» READ MORE: North Philly activist, poet, and musician Moor Mom on her free jazz musical, Afrofuturism, and Patti LaBelle
Seltzer stated a PMF purpose is to have style range not simply within the competition as an entire, but in addition inside every night time. That was simply achieved by handing the opening night time on the Lounge over to Moor Mom, who embodies a number of genres on her personal.
“Individuals can see the vary of what I’ve been doing,” she says.
Which is, as all the time, rather a lot.
The North Philly artist and activist, whose 2020 album Circuit Metropolis grew out of a 2019 Philadelphia Fringe Competition efficiency about “the trauma of dwelling in reasonably priced housing,” not too long ago teamed with Rasheedah Phillips, her companion within the interdisciplinary artwork apply Black Quantum Futurism, for an artwork set up, Ancestors returning once more / this time solely to themselves. It was on show at Hatfield Home in Fairmount Park for 5 weeks this summer time.
She’s simply launched Black Encyclopedia of the Air, her most tuneful and accessible album but, which employs plenty of visitor rappers and opens up in rhythmic, spacious soundscapes with out blunting the confrontational power of her music.
Black Encyclopedia is the primary album she has launched on outstanding indie label Anti-. Nobody will ever mistake industrial energy Moor Mom music for simply digestible pop, however she has jokingly referred to it — which references Solar Ra Arkestra, Rage In opposition to the Machine, and former NBA participant Latrell Sprewell — as her “sell-out” album.
“It’s simply that my different work is fairly avant garde,” says the artist, who grew up as Camae Ayewa in Aberdeen, Md., and moved to Philadelphia to attend the College of the Arts. “I’m attempting to create a place to begin for folks to get into my music.”
The brand new music is of a bit together with her physique of labor: the Afro-Futurist “temporal disrupters” featured within the Hatfield Home exhibit present, additionally referencing the “Temporal Management of Gentle Echoes,” the opening observe on Black Encyclopedia.
“I love to do a number of tasks directly, simply being constructive, having enjoyable creating music,” she says.
The brand new album is considered one of three that Ayewa, who previously labored in its place instructor and basketball coach at Mates Choose college, recorded throughout the pandemic, whereas additionally studying saxophone.
“I become a studio individual as a substitute of a dwell efficiency individual,” she says. The following Moor Mom album, due on Anti- subsequent 12 months, “can be my most accessible work. After that I’ll go a distinct manner.”
In 2019, she launched Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes, with manufacturing by King Britt and Psychological Jewellery. The latter is a noise-rock producer who she’ll pair with as Moor Jewellery on Wednesday on the PMF.
For that gig, the duo can be joined by drummer Phillip Value and guitarist Marissa Paternoster of the New Jersey band Screaming Females, with whom Ayewa has recorded yet one more forthcoming album. “That’s gonna be a pleasant punk rock document,” she says.
On the WCL, Ayewa will shut her night time with Irreversible Entanglements, the band of Chicago musicians with whom she explores free jazz and spoken-word experimentation. “We haven’t seen one another for nearly two years, so it’s going to be actually nice to only be reunited, to only get collectively and hug one another.”
In between, Ayewa will carry out as Moor Mom, alone on stage.
“It’ll be me doing one thing,” she says with fun. “I don’t know but, although it’s solely a few days away. I’ll most likely do one thing from the brand new document. However I’ll do some new unreleased stuff, too. These are the issues I’m most enthusiastic about.”
For extra data on and an entire schedule go to phillymusicfest.com.