Free at Noon Flashback: The Cactus Blossoms flaunt a fuller folk-rock sound at World Cafe Live

Cactus Blossoms | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

If you were looking for a folk fix this fine Friday afternoon, World Cafe Live was the place to be. Minneapolis crooners The Cactus Blossoms made a brief stop in town to serenade a packed house at today’s Free at Noon, and brought a taste of their new album Easy Way, which is out March 1, with them.

Brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey fill their songs with the kind of harmonies only siblings have — whether it’s genetic or just the product of a lifetime of practice, it’s earned them countless Everly Brothers comparisons, awestruck audiences, and even an appearance in the Twin Peaks reboot. Supported today by a dynamic backing band, The Cactus Blossoms brought plenty of the lilting country songs they’ve become known for, but also showed a fuller, more rock-influenced side to their sound which it seems like we’ll be hearing more of on the new album, which according to Rolling Stone is a reflection on “love, joy and the need to connect.” Continue reading →


Just Announced: Jenny Lewis will headline The Met Philly in October

Jenny Lewis | photo by Autumn DeWilde | courtesy of the artist

Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis returns this spring with On The Line, her much-anticipated first album in five years. Her first single from it, “Red Bull & Hennessy,” was revealed last month, along with an initial offering of tour dates. Today, Lewis returns with the smoking rock and roll ballad “Heads Gonna Roll,” as well as an additional run of east coast performances that finds her coming to The Met Philly on Saturday, October 26th.  Continue reading →


Keeping warm with Daddy Issues, Leggy, and Tate at PhilaMOCA

Daddy Issues | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN |

Bundled up music fans made their way into PhilaMOCA late last month to see a gig headlined by Nashville-based grunge pop trio Daddy Issues. The band was recently in Philadelphia supporting The Menzingers this past November. Apparently there was a man in that crowd who yelled “Mind your business” to drummer Emily Maxwell after she spoke to the audience about being kind to each other. Come on Philly, let’s be better! I am glad that Daddy Issues had a much better experience in the city this time around. I can totally say that seeing them live turned this casual listener into a full blown fan, and I look forward to hearing more from them…as well as their openers. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Rodrigo y Gabriela brings Mettavolution to Franklin Music Hall


Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo by Noah Silvestry |

Instrumental guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are about to return with their first album in five years. Called Mettavolution, it will be released on April 26, and the duo will head out on a US tour that brings them to Franklin Music Hall on May 17.

Mettavolution will be the sixth studio album from the long-running Rodrigo y Gabriela, who released their last LP 9 Dead Alive in 2014 and played XPN Fest that year. The new record will feature six original compositions by the Mexican acoustic musicians, plus an 18-minute cover of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes,” which is out now. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Lee Ranaldo comes to Jerry’s on Front in April

Lee Ranaldo at the Philadelphia Museum of Art | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Guitarist, writer and producer Lee Ranaldo may be best known as the co-founder of Sonic Youth, but he’s kept plenty busy since the beloved band went on hiatus in 2011. According to a recent interview, Ranaldo’s currently recording a new album in Hoboken, and he’s found some time to play some solo shows in the process. Ranaldo will appear here in Philly at Jerry’s on Front on April 13 with Alan Licht and Loren Connors, as well as a set from Jerry’s owner/operator Chris Forsyth. Continue reading →


Lizdelize will celebrate their album release with Strawberry Runners and Snake Boy Gang at the next House Key Philly music showcase at Underground Arts

photo by Max Kulicke | flyer by Matt Poirier

After an incredibly fun inaugural gig in November, the HOUSE KEY SHOWCASE returns to Underground Arts on March 23rd for another night of spotlighting Philadelphia musicians and artists. Curated by House Cat Presents along with The Key, and sponsored by Founders Brewing, the gig will be headlined by Lizdelise, the boundary-pushing Philly rock trio fronted by songwriter and guitarist Elizabeth De Lise. They just released their third LP, Holy Matrimony, and it’s their first written and recorded as a collective. Continue reading →


Boots Riley will speak about art, activism, and organizing at The Lightbox Film Center this April

Boots Riley | photo by Amelia Kennedy | courtesy of the artist

Poet, rapper, producer, screenwriter, director and activist are among the many titles Boots Riley holds, and this spring we’ll have the opportunity to hear him speak about his work right here in Philadelphia. The International House at The University of Pennsylvania will host Riley as a guest for Revolution is the Solution: A public conversation on art, activism, and organizing, on April 3 at the Lightbox Film Center.

Known as the founder and lead vocalist of politically-driven hip-hop group The Coup, Riley has woven music making and social activism together throughout his career, and was involved with groups like Occupy Oakland and The Young Comrades. Riley made his directorial debut last year with the film Sorry to Bother You, for which he had already written the screenplay that inspired The Coup’s 2012 album of the same name. Continue reading →


Just Announced: Tedeschi Trucks Band will rock The Mann in July

Tedeschi Trucks Band | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

If you missed out on tickets to Tedeschi Trucks Band‘s quickly sold-out show at The Met later this month, worry not — the band has just announced some additional dates on their Wheels Of Soul tour this summer, including a show at The Mann on July 10. Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope will open the show. Continue reading →