Doyle Bramhall II may not be a household name, but a quick look at his past collaborators is credentials enough. Since the 90’s he’s worked with Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, Elton John, Allen Toussaint, and countless others. Spending an hour with him at today’s Free at Noon was enough to understand why he’s in such demand. Bramhall plays the blues with a conviction few can match, and has the stage presence to back it up. Performing selections off his new album Shades, released just today, Bramhall owned the stage with his powerful musicianship. Continue reading →
Toronto indie vets Metric and Mexico city Latin rockers Zoé have announced a co-headlining North American tour that’s bound for the Fillmore this Valentine’s Day. Metric will be supporting their new album The Art of Doubt, released just last Friday, while Zoé tour behind their Grammy-nominated Aztlán LP. With bands hailing from opposite ends of the continent and working in vastly unique styles, the show ought to make for a captivating night of music (and a solid date for any couples looking to spice the holiday up). Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
A Junglepussy song is never ambiguous. While many contemporary MC’s lean toward a melodic, abstract, sometimes non-lyrical approach to rapping, she spits in a voice clear as day and writes lyrics that cut right to the core. Her skills are on full display on the new single, “They Know.” Over a hard-grooving beat, she fires off punchy raps and a g-funk inspired hook destined for full-club singalongs. Continue reading →
Today brings a great surprise to Beatles fans of the world—who we estimate make up about 100% of the WXPN audience. In anticipation of the upcoming reissue of John Lennon’s seminal 1971 LP Imagine, the Lennon estate has released previously unseen footage from recording sessions for the song “How Do You Sleep?” Those who know their fab-four history will remember this song as Lennon’s post-Beatles diss track to Paul McCartney. Recorded just two years after the band’s breakup, it contains such biting lyrics as “those freaks was right when they said you was dead” and “the only thing you done was yesterday.” It’s a fascinating document, showcasing the sheer pettiness that lingered from the Beatles’ end days. Some might call it a sort of a fitting metaphor that the ultimate icons of 60’s peace and love would start the 70’s with an egoistic feud.
Cultural implications aside, the footage is compelling for many other reasons. For one, it features a standout performance from George Harrison, who delivers some particularly soulful slide guitar. His restrained solo exemplifies the subtle mastery of the quiet Beatle. Equally impressive is the sheer rawness of the footage. In its released version, “How Do You Sleep?” features generous echo effects and lush strings. Here, it’s reduced to nothing more than a band in a room. Continue reading →
Prince‘s death is potentially the greatest moneymaker his estate could ever ask for. With the notoriously picky and reserved artist no longer at the reins, they are not only free make his music more widely accessible — finally making much of his discography available on streaming services last year — but they’re also free to dig into his legendary Paisley Park vault. With today’s release of the first posthumous Prince album, the rest of us stay caught between the allure of more classic Prince and the certainty that we’re experiencing his art in a way he never would have wanted. Continue reading →
Throw a dart at a calendar and you’ve got a decent shot at hitting the anniversary of a Grateful Dead show at the Spectrum. The band had a storied history with the classic Philly venue. It was the only site they played in every decade from the 60’s to the 90s’s. This very special soundboard recording comes from just the second of the Dead’s fifty-threeSpectrum appearances. Continue reading →
In a new session with Spotify, Florence and The Machine offered up a reverent cover of Tori Amos’ iconic “Cornflake Girl.”
The dramatic, dynamic mood piece is a perfect fit for the band’s musical style. They faithfully reproduce the dense arrangement of the 1994 recording. Meanwhile, Florence Welch channels Amos’ powerful vocals while infusing them with a unique power of her own. The song’s climaxes soar with emotion. The session also features a reworking of “Hunger”, the much-loved single from this year’s High as Hope LP. You can listen to the full session below. Continue reading →
The liner notes of Port Henry‘s new EP, BSL MSI read simply, “recorded using a broken tape machine in September 2017.” The record wears its fidelity on its sleeve; it is muddled and fuzzy and the synths often sound recorded off of an Atari. But Port Henry display striking depth and creativity within their sonic constraints. Their oblique production is like a kaleidoscope revealing new dimensions to their songcraft. Continue reading →
Indie rock’s favorite art-punks whose names start with “P” are hitting the road together this fall. Protomartyr will headline at the Foundry on 11/30 with opening appearances by Preoccupations and the UK band Rattle. Continue reading →
Longtime Philly rocker and promoter Lisa Flynn, aka Lisa Christ Superstar, is bringing Mistresses of Mayhem—a new festival for women in rock—to Connie’s Ric Rac this November 10th.
The event will highlight women-led rock bands from around Philly. “The show is all about expression”, says Lisa, “We’re excited to present this night of bands that women built. They rock, they write, and their message needs to be heard.” Continue reading →