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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dice Raw at Silk City, Ode to Omni’s Stevie Wonder Tribute at World Cafe Live, Seinabo Sey at Underground Arts

Dice Raw | via diceraw.net

As a sort of warm-up to this weekend’s Roots Picnic, Roots crew affiliate Dice Raw plays a set tonight at Silk City. If you’ve never seen him live, Dice cuts a charismatic figure and we can expect to hear songs from his records Jimmy’s Back and The Greatest Rapper Never, some of his Roots tracks and other collabs. Tickets and more information on the show can be found here. Continue reading →

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The Summer Is Coming: 50 summer songs from Philadelphia

DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince in the "Summertime" video
DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince in the “Summertime” video

It’s a beautiful day out, it’s a holiday and it’s a great opportunity to kick back in the summer-y sun and listen to music. Memorial Day weekend is generally seen not only as an opportunity to honor those who served our country but also as the symbolic start to summer, meaning an influx in summertime jams bumping from car stereos and backyards all around the region.

What constitutes a summertime jam? Well, the word “summer” in the title or lyrics certainly helps. But also a sense of energy, a catchy melody, a good groove and a beat that brings the party. There is no shortage of any of those things in the music produced by the Philadelphia community over the years, so for your Memorial Day listening, we collected 50 summer songs from native Philadelphians. Check them out below, and listen to the whole set as a YouTube playlist. (Special thanks to co-curator Maureen Walsh.) Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bryant Eugene Vazquez at The Fire, Mohican at Kung Fu Necktie

BEV by Sara Stickley 2
Bryant Eugene Vazquez | Photo by Sara Stickley

The Fire’s annual Sundrop Music Festival concludes tonight and singer-songwriter-rock-n-roller Bryant Eugene Vazquez is one of the artists on the bill. Vazquez just released his latest LP, All Damn Day / The Greatest Hits, and it packs a variety of sounds – jagged soul to sunshine pop – centered by classic sounding production. You can listen to the record below and read our interview with Vazquez here, and get more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Hear Andrew Lipke cover Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” for WXPN’s Copy That

Andrew Lipke
Andrew Lipke | Photo by Chris Sikich

Philly favorite Andrew Lipke was on the lineup of last night’s birthday bash for Bob Dylan over at Rembrandt’s in the Fairmount section of Philly, and earlier in the day he stopped by WXPN studios to appear on the air with Dan Reed for the weekly Copy That segment. Strumming his acoustic guitar and cacked by an airy cello accompaniment, Lipke did his version of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” – which he later played at the party. Give it a listen below, and see him live at Gorgas Park on Saturday, June 20th. More information on the show can be found here. Continue reading →

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Listen to Connor Barwin’s guest DJ set on WXPN’s Top Five at 5

Connor Barwin | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Connor Barwin | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Next month, Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin brings his Make The World Better campaign to Union Transfer for his second annual benefit concert, this year featuring Mac DeMarco, Marian Hill and The Suffers. Last year’s benefit was able to raise $170,000 to refurbish Ralph Brooks Park at 20th and Tasker with new playground equipment, a basketball court, a garden and more. This year, the goal is to do the same to Smith Playground, a 7-acre park in South Philadelphia, and last night Barwin joined Dan Reed on the air for a Top Five at 5 guest DJ set to preview the show. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Salad Days at URBN, Sun Ra Arkestra at Ardmore Music Hall, Richard Lloyd at John and Peter’s and more

Salad Days
Government Issue | photo by Jim Saah | http://jimsaah.com/
Mixing behind-the-scenes footage of the DC punk scene in the 90s and photography by Jim Saah, the new Salad Days documentary is a snapshot into the scene that gave us boundary-pushing artists Fugazi, Nation of Ulysses and more. The film screens tonight at the URBN Annex Black Box Theater, followed by a live set from Mumblr. Tickets and more information can be found here. Continue reading →

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Listen to Michaela Majoun’s farewell announcement from the XPN Morning Show

Michaela Majoun | Photo by Doug Seymour | facebook.com/DougSeymourMusicPhotography
Michaela Majoun | Photo by Doug Seymour | facebook.com/DougSeymourMusicPhotography

WXPN’s Morning Show host, Michaela Majoun, announced today that she is leaving WXPN after 25 years. Her last day on the air will be June 30th.

If you missed the big announcement on the air this morning, listen to it below via Soundcloud, and check out our indepth interview with Michaela and some of her colleagues at the station here. Plans for a few farewell events are in the works; stay tuned for details as they develop. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Church Girls

Church Girls jumps out from the bustling crop of new indie rock bands emerging on the Philly scene this year, and there are a few reasons why. One, there’s no artifice about them – they play hooky rock songs with memorable melodies and solid playing. No fuss, no muss, no bullshit. There’s also singer and songwriter Mariel Beaumont’s voice, which is just effortlessly awesome, and it blends well with her songwriting style – as I described it in the past, “personal, honest and direct…a bit singer-songwriter but with a cutting punk edge.”  Continue reading →

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End Of An Era: Longtime Morning Show host Michaela Majoun will bid farewell to XPN next month

Michaela Majoun | Photo by Jaci Downs | jacidowns.com
Michaela Majoun | Photo by Jaci Downs | jacidowns.com

She plays many roles in the XPN community. Celebrator of women’s and other music. Champion of the Philadelphia arts scene. Lover of cats. And most significantly, host of the XPN Morning show for over 25 years. But that era is coming to an end as Michaela Majoun announced her departure from WXPN. Her final day on the air is Tuesday, June 30. Continue reading →

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Listen to Cassavetes’ “lost” Key Studio Session, see them at Bourbon and Branch

Philadelphia punk four-piece Cassavetes is parting ways, but not before one final acoustic appearance at Bourbon and Branch. The band, centered around the songwriting of Josh Agran (who’s also played in Paint It Black, Pet Milk and Nothing in the past) released its Oh So Long LP last summer and, as I said at the time, its Fugazi influences shined through as much as its reverence for 90s rock like Soundgarden.

Cassavetes is composed of Agran on guitar and lead vocals, Patrick McCunney (of Kill the Man Questions) on guitar, Jonathan Murphy (of Sore Saints) on drums and Chris Sigda (of Likers) on bass, and back in the winter, the band came into XPN studios to record a set that mixed old songs and new, electric songs and acoustic. The set sounded great – the electric songs packed a massive punch, while the acoustic selections simmered just as intensely – but the band’s show calendar was, at that point, empty. Continue reading →