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Dimed Out: Titus Andronicus, Diane Coffee and Youth Lagoon on the Indie Rock Hit Parade

Titus Andronicus | Photo by Matthew Greeley
Titus Andronicus | Photo by Matthew Greeley

You’ve waited and now your patience will pay off. The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns tonight at 11pm on WXPN with a major new show. We’ll be spotlighting the massive new album from Jersey’s Titus Andronicus, The Most Lamentable Tragedy. Since we’ve been away, a metric ton of new tracks have come along, so there’s plenty of fresh stuff to get through tonight. Like maybe a few of these:

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Founders of Slit Jockey Records chat about grime, Silk City and the creation of their label

Dev79 and Starkey of Slit Jockey Records | Photo courtesy of the artist
Dev79 and Starkey of Slit Jockey Records | Photo courtesy of the artist

Dev79 and Starkey are two thirds of a group that masterminded their way to form Slit Jockey Records, one of the first and only record labels that cater to the rap/garage/dancehall subgenre known as grime.  In the midst of managing a label and putting out a 38-track compilation celebrating the already 10 years of their existence, the group is gearing up for their Philly Silk City performance this Sunday, August 2nd.  Looking to learn more about these Philly guys behind some pretty sick mixes, I was fortunate enough to get some of my questions answered by Dev79 and Starkey themselves. Continue reading →

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Listen to a new Gary Clark Jr. song, “The Healing” and see him at The Fillmore Philly in November

Gary Clark Jr. | Credit: Henry Strauss Photography
Gary Clark Jr. | Credit: Henry Strauss Photography

The Story of Sonny Boy Slim is the name of the highly anticipated new album by blues rocker Gary Clark Jr.. It’s the followup to his debut major label album, Blak and Blu, released in 2012. Clark wrote, produced, arranged the album, and played most of the instruments himself on the record which also includes his sisters, Shawn and Savannah Clark on backing vocals. Continue reading →

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Download a sampler of new songs by Noah Gunderson

Noah Gunderson | Photo via https://www.facebook.com/noahgundersenmusic
Noah Gunderson | Photo via https://www.facebook.com/noahgundersenmusic

As a singer-songwriter, Seattle based Noah Gunderson more than wears his heart on his sleeve. Since 2008 – when he released his first EP – the confessional self-reflective singer and songwriter has built an impressive following with his intense live performances, pouring his heart and soul into making connections with his fans through his emotionally impassioned songs. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Philly Folk Fest performers Tall Heights gear up for a busy couple of months

Tall Heights | Photo by Shervin Lainez
Tall Heights | Photo by Shervin Lainez

With their new EP Holding On, Holding Out on the way this October, Tall Heights is gearing up for a performance at the Philly Folk Fest next month. The duo just released a new live video for its song “Spirit Cold,” shot at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachussets, and is performed by founding duo Tim Harrington and Paul Wright. The song boasts a stand out cello line by Wright that is the centerfold of the single, allowing his and Harrington’s vocal harmonies to fall into place perfectly.  It’s a great song made better by this performance; check out “Spirit Cold” and get more information on their appearance at Folk Fest at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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Jason Isbell covers Todd Snider for XPN’s Copy That

Jason Isbell at WXPN | Photo by Eric Schuman
Jason Isbell at WXPN | Photo by Eric Schuman

Every week, we invite an artist to our studio to play a cover tune live on the air for a little thing we call Copy That. This week, we were joined by one of our favorite singer-songwriters: Jason Isbell. Following the release of his new album, Something More Than Free, and hot off a set at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival, Jason joined me in the studio to talk about his new (chart-topping!) record, as well as the lasting impact of Bob Dylan’s performance at Newport in 1965. Jason caps off the visit with a rousing performance of Todd Snider’s “Play A Train Song” (which has also been covered in the past by Robert Earl Keen). Check out the performance and interview below, plus hear his performance at Newport via NPR Music. Continue reading →

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Download a World Cafe performance of the classic “Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards | Photo via http://www.newfrontiertouring.com/artist/jonathan-edwards/
Jonathan Edwards | Photo via http://www.newfrontiertouring.com/artist/jonathan-edwards/

The heritage singer-songwriter Jonathan Edwards, who recently visited the World Cafe studios to record a session, was driving a truck when he wrote his big hit song “Sunshine” in 1971. Edwards, who’ll be on the radio show with David Dye on Monday, August 3rd, has a new album, Tomorrow’s Child, recorded in Nashville. On his new record, Edwards partnered with Darrell Scott and the collection features contributions from Allison Krauss, Shawn Colvin, Vince Gill, and Joe Walsh. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Listen to David Dye’s Heavy Rotation pick on Morning Edition: “Devil’s Whisper” by Raury

Raury | Photo by Faisal Mohammed
Raury | Photo by Faisal Mohammed

World Cafe host David Dye was on NPR’s Morning Edition this morning, talking about a song he’s got in Heavy Rotation, “Devil’s Whisper” by Atlanta musician Raury.

About the song, Dye says “He’s part of a new group of musicians called young Atlanta, and he feels that with his music everything is equal -  hip hop is next to folk, next to some kind of funk, next to rock. It all makes sense as one music. You really hear that in this song. He talks about the church, he talks about that he’s not a reverend, but as he does that his rap gets more and more intense and you want to say Amen at some point.” Continue reading →

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Download a World Cafe performance of “Stunner” by Milky Chance

Milky Chance | photo by James Kendall | courtesy of the artist
Milky Chance | photo by James Kendall | courtesy of the artist

The German duo Milky Chance – Clemens Rehbein and Phillip Dausch – return to Philly tonight to headline the Skyline Stage at the Mann. The duo, still riding high with their with their global hit song, “Stolen Dance,” are touring with X-Ambassadors, who themselves have a hit song, “Renegades.” Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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New Jersey’s YJY blends their unique brand of fuzz pop into the DIY community

YJY | photo by Jill Hendershott | courtesy of the band
YJY | photo by Jill Hendershott | courtesy of the band

Philadelphia may have an amazing music scene, but there’s an entirely different world across the pond in New Jersey. One of the megacenters of NJ’s music scene is the northern town of New Brunswick, although that’s nothing new – legendary shows have been going down there since the mid-20th century.

Countless bands, such as Thursday, Screaming Females, The Gaslight Anthem, Streetlight Manifesto, and even bigger rock acts like The Smithereens and Bon Jovi, got their start underground in crowded suburban basements. Later, they moved on to more official venues like the Court Tavern and the Starland Ballroom, which accelerated their fame. New Brunswick’s scene is apparently so well-known that it has its own Wikipedia article. You can explore that on your own time.

While those bands have risen to national prominence and beyond the tight-knit scene of New Brunswick, a new generation of underground bands is filling in the gaps at a record pace. One of these bands is fuzz pop four-piece YJY. I was lucky enough to listen to their stellar debut EP, COUCH SURFIN USA, and catch them just after the EP release show. Continue reading →