On the late Jon Bunch, and carrying the spirit of community

Jon Bunch Tribute | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN | <a href= target="_blank"></a>
Jon Bunch Tribute | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN |

Dear Jack,

I wanted to share with you my story of what your father means to me. I never met the man, and due to the roads life takes us down, I didn’t listen to any of his early work until much later than I should have. I am a fan of Further Seems Forever, and have been since the beginning. By the time their third album came around, I wasn’t expecting much. They had two fantastic releases, but how often can a band like that cycle through vocalists before the turmoil that seemingly causes catches up, right? The first time I put Hide Nothing in my CD player, I don’t think it stopped for a full 24 hours. Continue reading →


Iconic singer-songwriter Paul Simon rules the night at the Mann Center

Paul Simon | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN |
Paul Simon | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN |

This August marks the thirtieth anniversary of Graceland, Paul Simon’s landmark, multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-award-winning album, an inspired and innovative patchwork quilt of world music styles recorded with talent like the Everly Brothers, Los Lobos, Linda Ronstadt, and several South African recording artists including the Boyoyo Boys Band and The Gaza Sisters, whom he’d met during a trip to Johannesburg with longtime friend and producer Roy Halee.

Without fanfare or announcement about the occasion, Simon leaned heavily on that material during last Saturday’s sold-out show at the Mann Music Center. His two-dozen song set featured half of that record, opening with “The Boy In The Bubble” and landing on “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” and the enduring “You Can Call Me Al” before his encore break. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Black Mountain at Union Transfer, Ellen Siberian Tiger at Bourbon and Branch, Vacationer at Haddon Lake Park

taken from booking company press page:
Black Mountain | photo courtesy of the artist

Vancouver rockers Black Mountain bring their latest album IV to Union Transfer tonight. Released in April, IV includes “Mothers Of The Sun,” which you’ll find below. The vocals of both Stephen McBean and Amber Webber seamlessly blend for an eerie combo in a marathon of a song. Stick around for a while though and it becomes much more than their soothing voices — Black Mountain can really jam. Joining them tonight will be Ruby the Hatchet. For tickets and info, head over to the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Boy & Bear brought Limit of Love to a devoted Underground Arts crowd

boy & bear
Boy & Bear | photo by Matthew Shaver |

When Australia’s Boy & Bear hit the stage at Underground Arts on Friday night, the fanfare was enormous. The raucous hurrahs were so loud at one point, David Hosking actually had to hush the crowd so he could get a few words in edgewise. So, imagine my surprise when I forfeit my spot at the front of the stage to wander back and get some wide shots of the show. It was little more than half full, which was a bit of a shock, and a bit more of a disappointment. Mostly because Boy & Bear are really, really, really, good. Like… really.

Continue reading →


Modern Baseball returns home in support of newest album “Holy Ghost”

Modern Baseball | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN |

At the end of last month, Philly favorites Modern Baseball set out on a full North American headlining run, The Holy Ghost Tour, in support of their newest and most emotionally raw album yet, Holy Ghost. Another Philly band, Thin Lips, and Joyce Manor from California, were brought along on this tour to support the band. On Sunday night, Modern Baseball brought their highly anticipated tour home to Philly, where they played to a huge crowd that packed The Fillmore in Fishtown. Continue reading →


Don’t miss Creepoid, Steady Hands, Mercury Girls, Amanda X and LOTS more at Love On The Streets


Creepoid | photo by Jammi York

Love On The Streets, or more affectionately known as LOTS Fest, is “reloaded” and ready to go after being rained out in May. It’s LOTS Fest’s second year running, after debuting last year in an effort to “reimagine skateboarding in the city through art and culture.” The fest will be held on Saturday, July 9th at Paine’s Park, on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Proceeds from the event will benefit Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund, which aims to “rebuild and diversify city spaces and experiences that foster the love of skateboarding and urban creativity.” Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mayer Hawthorne at Union Transfer, Liz Longley at Chameleon Club

Governors' Ball
Mayer Hawthorne

It’s about to get real funky at Union Transfer tonight as we welcome singer / producer / multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne to the stage. His fourth studio album, Man About Town, is an impressive display, not just for its downright groovin’ tracks and old school vibes, but because Hawthorne wrote every single song and played nearly every instrument in the process. Head over to the XPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information on the show and check out the animated music video for “Robot Love” below. Continue reading →


Dave Matthews Band opens two-night Camden run with hits and rarities

dave matthews band
Dave Matthews Band | photo by Doug Interrante

I was 13 years old when my mother took me to my first Dave Matthews Band show at the First Union Center in Philadelphia on November 30th, 1998. All it took was the opening song, “Last Stop,” and I was hooked. The band’s fusion of jazz, rock and alt-country was unlike anything I had ever heard before. Their music was complex, intense and full of raw emotion.

This year the band embarked on their ‘standard’ summer tour with a little more purpose — celebrating 25 years of masterful musicianship, dynamic jams and a loyal fan base. By the time the two-night stand at the BB&T Pavilion comes to an end, the band will have performed its 55th show in the greater Philadelphia region. Their first show in the area was at 23 East Cabaret (currently the Ardmore Music Hall) in Ardmore, PA on July 30, 1992. Quite a run it’s been for a group of musicians who have stuck together through the best and worst of times.

Continue reading →


Hot Fun: ATL’s Shaky Knees Festival in pictures

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Shaky Knees Festival | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN

The second you enter the Shaky Knees Festival grounds, you realize that is not going to be like most festivals. The whole event was very relaxed, there was plenty of space to get around, lines weren’t excessively long (with the exception of the pedestrian bridge – we’ll get to that), no one was too out of control. Everyone seemed to be there because they loved music and wanted to explore new artists. Continue reading →