Free at Noon Flashback: Nightmares on Wax bring living room jams to their midday set

Nightmares on Wax | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN |

Friday afternoon, the downstairs space at World Cafe Live was transformed from its normal stage setup to what appeared to be a halfway cleared out living room. Where a kitchen table may have been before, a massive drum kit took its place. Pioneer CDJ’s and a mixer occupy every square inch of a coffee table placed in front of a leather couch. It’s on the couch we find George Evelyn perched, captaining the CDJ’s, an additional sequencer on his lap, and a MacBook Pro precariously perched atop an amp. With the hard hitting bass, it’s beyond me how the computer didn’t rattle it’s way off the amp.

Evelyn is the man behind the project Nightmares on Wax, originally a duo founded in 1989 in Leeds, England. Nightmares on Wax blends a plethora of genres, sourcing from both sides of the Atlantic and everything in between. With influences ranging from hip-hop, soul, and funk, to dub and reggae, house via Detroit and techno by way of Berlin, the sound that emerges is a beautifully mixed electronic blend, with nods to each element appearing throughout the midday set. Continue reading →


Parquet Courts take to New Orleans for “Wide Awake” music video

Parquet Courts | photo by Ebru Yildiz

Shrimp Po-Boys, a colorful array of Creole cottages, and festive purple, green, and gold costumes are all scattered throughout the music video to Parquet Courts latest track, “Wide Awake.” Set in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, we find the band members romping about town, donning stylish purple suits while flipping through records and parading around Bourbon Street. The carefree party atmosphere of New Orleans moves and grooves throughout the video, and the New York rockers encapsulate that feel on their latest single. Continue reading →


Cave People release the wistful “Wait” ahead of new EP

Cave People | photo by Gabrielle Elizabeth Smarr | courtesy of the artist

Last week Philly alternative trio Cave People, helmed by Dave Tomaine, released “Wait,” the first track off their upcoming EP Kingfisher, out April 6th on Stereophondon Records.

“Wait” is wistfully beautiful track. Tomaine’s melancholic vocals combine with swelling and atmospheric keys to create an aura of loneliness. Shouts in the background of the track’s closing minute sound like a huge release of emotion – an overdue cry or a cathartic yell. The track’s pure emotions alone have me excited for the remaining three tracks off the EP. Continue reading →


Allegra Anka of Cayetana releases a pair of indiepop solo tracks

Cayetana | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

Creator, tinkerer, weirdo, thinker, freak (all self-described), and local musician Allegra Anka has released two solo tracks on the EP dreams we talk about. Unlike Anka’s main project, the punk trio Cayetana, this pair of songs takes on a more lo-fi home-recorded indie-pop stance. Thanks, in part, to the programmed drum machine and filtered, layered vocals, Anka creates something distinctly their own. Continue reading →


Rock out to a pair of new tracks from The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady | photo courtesy of the artist

Just this morning, Brooklyn-based 2000’s rock stalwarts The Hold Steady released a pair of new tracks, “Eureka” and “Esther.” Much like the group’s release of “Entitlement Crew” and “A Snake In The Shower” ahead of their 4-night run of shows in Brooklyn last year, these songs are released in preparation for their 3-night sold out stand in London this upcoming weekend.

Available to stream and purchase through Bandcamp, the band will be donating 100% of the sales to the K+L Guardian Foundation. The foundation is set up to benefit the children of “Jersey” Mike Van Jura after he suddenly passed away in November 2012 at only 36 years of age. Jersey Mike is recognized as the unofficial leader of The Unified Scene, a longstanding message board dedicated to the band. Continue reading →


Jam to RFA’s catchy new single, “Down Your Street”

RFA | photo by Dylan Eddinger |

Just before the weekend hit, Philly rockers RFA shared “Down Your Street,” the infectious lead single to the group’s upcoming debut album, out on April 6th. The first taste of “Down Your Street” hit the web last spring when the band’s Out of Town Films session was posted. The song has been played out in their raucous live shows for just as long, and now RFA have finally released the album version of the song. Continue reading →


Free at Noon Flashback: Lissie previews new tracks and delivers old fan favorites

Lissie | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN |

Taking shelter from the storm downstairs at World Cafe Live, Lissie brought their blend of folk rock and dream pop to Philadelphia on this blustery Friday afternoon. A mix of old favorites and yet to be released tracks, Lissie compiled a career-spanning set, urging new fans to dig back into their back catalogue while also offering up these new songs to satiate long-time fan’s hunger for new material.

Lissie covered the full spectrum of romantic feelings throughout the set, from the blunt “Love Blows” to the hopeful “Best Day,” and on “Blood & Muscle,” where Lissie described the ideal romantic love. On “Blood & Muscle” Lissie stripped down the sounds to let her vocals shine, where, instrumentally, the piano intro lead the way throughout the ballad. On the track, Lissie emotionally described the perfect form of love as “real and warm and alive, and not just in my mind.” Continue reading →


Listen to David Byrne’s American Utopia via NPR Music

David Byrne | Photo by Jody Rogac

At the beginning of 2018, it was announced that Talking Heads founding member and prolific artist David Byrne was gearing up for a new release. American Utopia, the title of Byrne’s first solo outing since 2004’s Grown Backwards, was announced alongside lead single “Everybody’s Coming to My House,” a catchy, upbeat jam and XPN favorite track. Slated to release March 9th on Todo Mundo and Nonesuch Records, American Utopia is available to stream in full now, a week early, over on NPR Music. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Joan Baez’s farewell tour comes to Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall this fall

Joan Baez | photo by Marina Chavez | courtesy of the artist
Joan Baez | photo by Marina Chavez | courtesy of the artist

Legendary American Folk artist Joan Baez has announced her last run of formal concert appearances, slated to kick off this Fall starting in North America and ending in Europe. Baez stops in Philadelphia to perform at the Kimmel Center September 26th. Tickets go on sale this Friday, March 2nd, and each ticket purchased comes with a free download of Baez’s latest album. Continue reading →


The Districts depict Philly nightlife in new track “Nighttime Girls”

The Districts | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN |

The Districts had a huge 2017, to say the least. Last fall into winter, the group toured the US behind 2017 LP Popular Manipulations, backed indie cult legend Daniel Johnston at the legendary Tower Theater, and ended the year with a pair of sold out New Year’s Eve shows at Johnny Brenda’s. Now, ahead of a US tour with Chicago rockers Twin Peaks, The Districts release new single “Nighttime Girls.” Continue reading →