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Just Announced: Madonna’s Madame X tour is coming to The Met

Madonna | courtesy of Live Nation

Madonna has extended her world tour behind her forthcoming album Madame X, and will be making a stop in Philly this December. The tour will see the pop icon playing more intimate venues than usual, appearing in cities across North America and Europe in mini-residencies. The tour includes a three night run at The Met on December 7, 8 and 11. Continue reading →

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NON-COMM Recap: Rodrigo y Gabriela show us what two guitars can do

Rodrigo Y Gabriela | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

Rodrigo y Gabriela may have started off their set with a soft, lullaby-ish tune, illuminated only by a single spotlight. But don’t get too comfortable with that mellow sound, beautiful as it is, because what followed after was a loud, jarring song that gave us a taste of what heavy metal might sound like if it could only be played with two guitars. Nearly 20 years into their career, the duo is continuing to push the boundaries of guitar music, showing off the full range of what the instrument is capable of — and what they as songwriters can imagine into existence. Continue reading →

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NON-COMM Recap: Amanda Palmer reflects on personal freedom in a powerful set

Amanda Palmer | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Amanda Palmer walked onstage tonight with a big glass of red wine and a lot to say. That’s nothing unusual for the artist, who is known for her unabashed embrace of writing political issues into her evocative songs. The major difference between this set and any of her others, though, had to do with time. Palmer is used to playing a set that lasts at least four hours, especially on her current tour behind her new album There Will Be No Intermission. Tonight she had 20 minutes. Continue reading →

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NON-COMM Recap: J.S. Ondara improvises through illness

J. S. Ondara | photo by Makena Duffy for WXPN

On most days, J.S. Ondara is a 26-year-old folk singer with a voice like no other, who can fill a room just by singing his songs. Today, however, Ondara asked the audience to imagine that he was 80 years old, an aging musician trying desperately to revive his career. There was a reason for this unusual request — after flying in from Paris, Ondara had woken up this morning to find that he caught a bout of what he’s calling the “French flu,” and his voice was gone. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Future Islands teams up with Strand of Oaks for Make The World Better benefit

Future Islands | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

After a year’s absence, the always-anticipated Make The World Better benefit concert will return this summer. The annual concert was started in 2014 by former Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin to combine his love of the local music scene with his dedication to helping Philadelphia’s youth. Even though Barwin’s left the team, his Make The World Better Foundation lives on — and so does the music. Continue reading →

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Curtis Cooper shares “Breathe Out” from new album Graceful

Curtis Cooper | photo by Abigail Townsend Photography | courtesy of the artist

Philly scene favorite Curtis Cooper just announced that their next record, Graceful, will be released next month, and its lead single is the equivalent of a big, long sigh of relief. With “Breathe Out,” the songwriter explores the causes of everyday anxieties that are bringing them down. Cooper’s vocals sound resigned against the song’s jangly melody, but their tone brightens as the song progresses, reminding us to “Leave some time to breathe on out / Breathe it out.” Continue reading →

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NON-COMM Recap: Ex Hex plays it cool upstairs

Ex Hex | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

It’s fitting that Ex Hex‘s new album is called It’s Real, because this band is the real deal. It’s hard to be anything less when guitar legend Mary Timony is involved — but no single member of the Washington, DC power trio can claim responsibility for their success alone. A fully collaborative effort between three super rad women, Ex Hex formed in 2013 and just released their second album on Merge Records. Continue reading →

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NON-COMM Recap: Cherry Glazerr shows us what punk looks like

Cherry Glazerr | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN

At one point in Cherry Glazerr‘s set, frontwoman Clementine Creevy turned her back to the microphone, leaned back limbo-style, jumped up and down — and didn’t miss a beat. That’s what frustrated feminist punk looks like in 2019 according to Cherry Glazerr, and if you weren’t immediately dancing along, ready to join the band or start one of your own, you must have been watching a different set. Continue reading →

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NON-COMM Recap: Jealous of the Birds continues their breakthrough year

Jealous of the Birds | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Many artists live by the philosophy of creating the music that they want to exist in the world, but few do it in such a striking way as Jealous of the Birds. Northern Irish songwriter Naomi Hamilton has been making music under the moniker for a few years now, but each song we hear from Jealous of the Birds feels like a fresh new discovery — and anyone who was hearing the band for the first time today undoubtedly felt like they were experiencing something special. Continue reading →