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Jesse Hale Moore tells World Cafe the story of Green End

Jesse Hale Moore | photo courtesy of the artist
Jesse Hale Moore | photo courtesy of the artist

Soulful Philadelphia singer-songwriter Jesse Hale Moore recently sat down with World Cafe’s Talia Schalnger to perform songs from his debut LP Green End, talk about Philly collaboration, playing songs about past heartbreak for your new love, and the inspiration and support he draws from his family’s roots in Rhode Island; the title Green End is actually a reference to his late grandparents’ home, and they are a huge part of the album’s creation as well. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm brings it home with guitar solos and soul

Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Bringing NonCOMM 2017 to a high energy close, veteran guitarist Robert Cray was joined by Hi Rhythm for an invigorating set of blues, soul and rock and roll.

Drawing from their new album Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm, the band was tight and energized, and Cray proved an understated but galvanizing leader of it — his presence was stoic on the verses, but emitted pure joy when he dipped into any of the set’s many guitar solos. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Hurray for the Riff Raff delivers a powerful, thought-provoking set

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Drawing on a powerful set of songs from their new record The NavigatorHurray for the Riff Raff used its performance at the 17th annual NonCOMM-vention to make the crowd dance, to make it think and to make it feel.

Frontwoman Alynda Lee Segarra is a dynamic and charismatic force onstage, strumming her guitar to the twangy folk of opener “Life to Save,” then putting the instrument down, taking the the mic in her hand and getting her swagger on for the driving and shimmering dreampop of “Hungry Ghost.”

The songs were stylish and had tremendous energy, but also took on serious topics like gentrification and discrimination. “This next song is an immigrant song” said Seharra, introducing the slick groove of “Rican Beach.” Its lyrics were unflinching: “And they stole our neighbors, and they stole our streets /and they left us to die on the Rican Beach. You can take my life but don’t take my home.” Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band bring a funky revue to Free At Noon

Paul Schaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Strutting to the stage with a funky and frenzied cover of Kool and the Gang’s “Hollywood Swinging,” long time late night television bandleader Paul Shaffer played a lively set with his combo of veteran players, The World’s Most Dangerous Band.

Made up of Felicia Collins on guitar, Anton Fig on drums, Will Lee on bass and Sid McGinnis on guitar, with horn players Tom Malone, Frank Greene, and Aaron Heick, the band blew through selections from their new covers record,The World’s Most Dangerous Party.

“The breakout star is Felicia Collins,”Shaffer told the crowd of his guitarist. “People don’t understand the magnitude of talent we’re dealing with here.” Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Making metrics matter

photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Analytics and metrics are one of the most bewildering, least understood and yet most crucial elements of media programming. For the second Friday morning panel at the 2017 NonCOMM-vention, a group of industry vets who deal with data day-in-day-out broke down what information is at our fingertips and how to use it.

“Everyone’s starting with the same pile of records,” said moderator John Rosenfelder, comparing song selection to analytics. “How you annotate and how you program around the music is what makes [your station] better or different or creative. It’s the same thing with data.” Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: How public radio stations navigate a digital landscape

photo by John Vettese for WXPN

As Jim McGuinn of Minneapolis station The Current observed, “It used to be we just did radio. Then we had the website used to support the radio. And now it’s back and forth. It’s one of the fascinating aspects of the job I think.”

As new media platforms continue to grow and evolve, public radio needs to be more on top of their multimedia game then ever — and more specifically, on top of their digital media game. That was the theme of the opening panel at the NonCOMM-vention on Friday, where McGuinn was joined by John Barth of Public Radio Exchange to talk about how stations can adapt what they do.

Barth says he loves seeing stations experiment with digital-exclusive content and podcasting. “They may not know what they’re doing, but they’re tying, and that’s the first step,” he says. Continue reading →

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Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Nathaniel Rateliff and more will play Outlaw Music Fest in Camden

Willie Nelson | photo by Joe Del Tufo

After launching last year in Scranton, Willie Nelson‘s Outlaw Music Festival has become a road show for 2017, and the tour includes a stop at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden on Sunday, September 17th.

With Nelson in the headlining slot, the tour is fleshed out by Nashville country rocker Eric Church, alternative-era singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, Denver rockers Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, as well as Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Particle Kid, the project of Willie’s son J. Michael Nelson. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Baskery weaves intricate dreamscapes on the PRX stage

Baskery | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Stockholm sisters Greta, Stella and Sunniva Bondesson make up Baskery, an eclectic trio that played a varied and high-energy set on the PRX Stage of NonCOMM Thursday night. The band crafted atmospheric, vibrant dreamscapes with a pick-up instrumental style — Greta alone rocked banjo, drums, guitar and harmonica — and their music recalled Tori Amos one moment, The Roches the next and Yeah Yeah Yeahs the next. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: The view from within the industry

Photo by John Vettese

While so much of the annual NonCOMMvention focuses on the radio side of the music industry, the first panel at this year’s event took record label perspective on navigating what XPN program director Bruce Warren called “the iTunes economy.”

Joining Warren onstage was David Macias of Thirty Tigers records – home to Patty Griffin, Jason Isbell, Angeleena Presley, and more — and Bill Burrs of 300 Entertainment — a division of Atlantic that works with artists from Fetty Wap to Meg Mac.

The three discussed how record labels work to break an artist in a landscape where record sales have been diminished and labels look for new ways to make revenue in a landscape dominated by streaming. Continue reading →

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VuHaus and NPR Music announce new collaboration to champion emerging artists

Emerging artists will get a big boost into the music scene in the coming year, thanks to a new collaboration announced by NPR Music and VuHaus at NonCOMM Thursday.

The project will pull nominations from programming staff at the 18 public radio stations participating in the VuHaus video network — including founding stations WXPN, WFUV, KCRW, KUTX and The Bridge — and, from those names, three artists will be identified that the collaborative, in conjunction with NPR Music, will champion in the 2017-18 season. This could mean anything from appearances at station events, on-air interviews and studio sessions, and performances for video series like NPR’s Tiny Desk. Continue reading →