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Listen to Free Cake for Every Creature’s EP, 2 love songs

Free Cake for Every Creature | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Free Cake for Every Creature | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Free Cake for Every Creature recently released the very accurately titled 2 love songs EP on Bandcamp, which features covers of “Another Girl, Another Planet” by 70s London punks The Only Ones, as well as a cover of Sade’s “By Your Side.”

The first of the two tracks retains Free Cake’s quirky lyrics and soft vocals, but packs a punch with a bigger sound brought on by some Car Seat Headrest-sounding guitar riffs. This blend of low-key sweetness with a guitar-driven sound is a beautiful, beautiful thing to behold.

Next, Free Cake gives the Sade song a sweet, whisper-sung indie spin; click here to watch the band perform the song live when they stopped by for a Studio Sessions back in October. Continue reading →

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Listen to Dan Campbell of The Wonder Years and Aaron West cover The Weakerthans

Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties at Made In America | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties at Made In America | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

For a few years now, The Wonder Years‘ Dan Campbell has been keeping busy with his side project Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties. They released their full length debut We Don’t Hate Each Other back in 2014, and just last year, they dropped the Bittersweet EP. Next week, they’ll embark on a short East Coast tour, and if you’re still bummed that it doesn’t include a Philly date, then I encourage you to accept this cover of The Weakerthans’ “My Favourite Chords” as a consolation prize. Continue reading →

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Hear Grandaddy’s first record in ten years via NPR First Listen, see them at Free At Noon this Friday

Grandaddy | photo by Dan Cronin | via NPR
Grandaddy | photo by Dan Cronin | via NPR

Indie rock veterans Grandaddy are back, and it sounds like they never left. It’s been more than ten years since Just Like the Fambly Cat, but on new record Last Place, the fuzz guitar and analog synthesizer remains gloriously intact over a forty four minute, twelve track set. It’s out this Friday, March 3rd, but you can stream it now via NPR First Listen. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Aimee Mann to celebrate new record Mental Illness at Keswick Theatre in April

Aimee Mann | courtesy of the artist
Aimee Mann | courtesy of the artist

Singer/songwriter Aimee Mann announced a full US tour in support of new first record in five years Mental Illness, making a stop at Glenside’s Keswick Theatre on April 21st. Mann began her career as the bassist for new wave band ‘Til Tuesday in the 1980s, before going solo to create some wonderfully intimate folk-influenced records — many of which have been in heavy rotation at XPN over the years. More recently, she collaborated with indie rocker Ted Leo in The Both.

Continue reading →

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Just Announced: John Mayer adds summer date at BB&T Pavilion, shares Wave Two of new LP

john mayer
John Mayer | photo by Frank Ockenfels | courtesy of the artist

After selling out his April 7th date at the Wells Fargo Center, John Mayer has announced an extension of his The Search for Everything tour that stops at BB&T Pavilion in Camden on August 18th. Tickets go sale Saturday, March 4th at 10:00 a.m. and will be available via the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Just Announced: Elvis Costello comes to Tower Theater this June

Elvis Costello | photo by James O'Mara | courtesy of the arist
Elvis Costello | photo by James O’Mara | courtesy of the arist

This June 16th, legendary singer/songwriter Elvis Costello will return to Philly to play an intimate (for him) gig at the Tower Theater. His latest musical effort was 2013’s Wise Up Ghost with The Roots, and in 2015, he shared his memoir Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. After more than four decades in the business, the man has lost none of his spark or eccentricity, so I shouldn’t have to tell you this concert is one you won’t want to miss. Tickets go sale this Friday, March 3rd. For more information on the show, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Gov’t Mule returns to the Tower Theater on 5/19

Legendary southern rockers Gov’t Mule have quite a few festival dates booked for the summer, but they’ve managed to squeeze in a stop at the Tower Theater on May 19th beforehand. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 10th and will be available via the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Vagabon blasts off with Infinite Worlds release show at PhilaMOCA

Vagabon | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

“You’re a big fish now, though!” someone shouted from sidestage, just before Vagabon launched into “The Embers,” the final song of a stunning record release show at PhilaMOCA on Saturday night. Vagabon — the stage name of one Laetitia Tamko — was riding high on the release of Infinite Worlds, out the 24th on Father/Daughter Records. “The Embers,” a song exploring a more solipsistic landscape, repeats in its refrain that “I’m just a small fish.” While inside, Tamko may feel like a small fish in a big pond, the acclaimed release of Infinite Worlds and it’s two sold-out release shows (Friday night she appeared in Brooklyn with Mal Devisa and Jelani Sai) are ripples indicating that something big is emerging from beneath the surface. Continue reading →

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Lisa Hannigan weaves a strong, soaring setlist at Underground Arts

Lisa Hannigan | photo by Joe Del Tufo | <a href=http://moonloopphoto.com target="_blank">moonloopphoto.com</a>
Lisa Hannigan | photo by Joe Del Tufo | moonloopphoto.com

It’s been an interesting journey for Lisa Hannigan. Known first 15 years ago as the backing vocalist whose soaring duets helped launch Damien Rice to fame, she’s since outpaced him with three solo releases. I’d always considered her work with Rice her strongest and, though each solo release would have a gem or two, I typically found her voice to be stronger than her songwriting. But I had never seen her live.

Her recent tour concluded in Philadelphia, something she mentioned being really grateful for, as the city has been a great beacon of listening for her over the years. And a very full Underground Arts transformed into a listening room. Pulling mainly from her most recent and best work, At Swim, Hannigan wove a setlist that served to feature the band as much as her soaring, elemental vocals. Continue reading →

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Panic! At The Disco brings its Death of A Bachelor tour to the Wells Fargo Center

 

Panic! At The Disco | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

The lights inside the Wells Fargo Center dimmed, but the background music was still playing; the stage was set and the crowd of fans were screaming. However, it was merely a tease. A countdown illuminated the darkness, lighting up the excited faces the audience on the floor; it appeared above the elevated drum kit. The countdown was nearing zero, and the crowd began to count backwards with it as the background music faded away. “Five, four, three, two, ONE,” and with that, the crowd erupted even louder than before as each musician came on stage and took their positions.

Dressed in black suits, the guitar players, horn players, and drummer, all came out from center stage, one by one. All together, the beginning notes of “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” flooded from each instrument as Brendon Urie, the leader of Panic! At The Disco, and his gold suit jacket came out on stage singing “ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT. ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT”, the opening line of the song. At the sight of Urie, the screams became ear-splitting, and persisted the whole night. Continue reading →