Without a doubt the loudest band to take the upstairs cafe stage in all of Non-COMM, Nashville rock barn-burners Wild Features played a raucous set of Americana-infused rock, something between the Allmans and Led Zeppelin. Their self-titled debut LP comes out in August. Check out their setlist from Non-COMM below, and listen to their performance in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player). Continue reading →
Young British songwriter Bobby Long cut loose with a set of high-energy electric blues for the Non-COMM crowd during Friday’s Free at Noon. “We’ll only get up this early for XPN,” he told the audience. Listen back to the performance in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).
It was a full house at Union Transfer on Saturday night as Philadelphia welcomed home Kurt Vile & The Violators for the last show of their U.S. tour. With strong openers and a career-spanning set list from the hometown hero, the night was jam-packed with stellar performances and a lot of love.
There’s an image of a couch and a heart on Vile’s now infamous Fishtown mural that reprises the line “There’s a place in my heart for all of my friends” from Wakin On A Pretty Daze’s “Goldtones” and that seemed to be the sentiment the Lansdowne native was going for during his set. An intangible sense of community could be felt between the crowd and the frontman, despite minimal verbal interaction. It was the clear the audience was well-versed in Kurt’s discography as they welcomed each eclectic twist and turn of the set list with claps and cheers. As Vile stood on the stage dressed in all white, surrounded by a hazy fog with a scaled-down version of the mural behind him and Technicolor lights bouncing around, the effect was similar to that of flying through the clouds during a sunset when the light cuts through just right – transcendent, magical and rare. Continue reading →
With just his guitar and his voice, Bay Area by way of Mississippi songwriter John Murry played an emotional, powerful set Wednesday night at Non-COMM. Playing an assortment of songs from his current LP The Graceless Age, he also threw in a stirring cover of “What Jail Is Like” by The Afghan Whigs. See Murry’s setlist below and listen to his performance in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player). Continue reading →
Portland retro group Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside showed the Non-COMM crowd its rockability in a feisty set that closed out Wednesday night. The band is touring behind its latest LP Untamed Beast; check out the setlist below and listen to the performance in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player). Continue reading →
Slide guitar wizard and XPN favorite Robert Randolph got the downstairs crowd at World Cafe Live dancing in his Non-COMM set. Randolph’s latest project was producing The Slide Brothers, though he recently released a single called “Amped Up” that will be on his forthcoming LP Lickety Split, which comes out in July on Blue Note Records. Listen to Randolph’s set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).
Nashville duo JEFF the Brotherhood raged through Kung Fu Necktie like a hurricane last night, leaving nothing but scorched eardrums and satiated fans in their wake. The show marked the first of a two-show mini-residency that continues tonight at 8 pm.
It was an epic night for JEFF fans, as the band—who for the past ten years has toured as a duo—debuted their expanded line-up for Philly, playing half their set as a two-piece, and half as a quartet. Early numbers were brash, rash, and frenzied, as the band tore through songs with abandon—while later ones were thick, heady, and dripping with psychedelics.
The brainchild of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, JEFF the Brotherhood came together 12 years ago in 2001, and gigged extensively before breaking through on the indie front in 2009. Early songs were released through their own Infinity Cat Recordings label; in 2011 they signed with Warner Bros. Records to release their seventh LP, Hypnotic Nights, produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.
Both early and later tunes were represented last night, as the band took the stage without a setlist, responding to crowd input and their own whims. The first half of the set saw the brothers shredding through ragers like “Heavy Days” and “Noo Sixties”—Jamin’s beats providing a solid foundation for Jake’s wily guitar licks—as well as easygoing jammers like “Mellow Out.” Clad in all white, with unshakable focus, Jamin was the band’s beating heart, while the devilish Jake, dressed all in black, with long hair and a custom-built, three-string guitar, was its impish, mischievous soul.
For the second half of the set, JEFF expanded its line-up to include a second guitarist (a regular six-stringer) and a keyboardist, whose added power allowed them to tackle more complex numbers, like the motorik-turned-electropop grower “Wood Ox” and the sludgy, Weezer-meets-Nirvana-esque “Dark Energy.” Single “Sixpack” was an easy highlight, with its fist-pumping chorus of “oohs”—while older tune “Heavy Krishna” allowed for maximum psychedelic indulgence, both brothers rocking with abandon for the equally hyped-up crowd. We love JEFF as a two-piece, but last night they proved the brotherhood includes all those who believe.
JEFF the Brotherhood might have tore the (metaphorical) roof off KFN, but early sets from Brooklyn’s Hunters and Philly’s The Bad Doctors were likewise shred-tastic. Hunters blew through the space like a wildfire, front woman Isabel Almeida shrieking and flailing like a pink-haired Karen O.—while The Bad Doctors combined metal riffs and Matt McDermott’s schreechy, impassioned vocals with electronic, new wave grooves to surprising effect. We can’t wait to experience it all over again tonight!
JEFF the Brotherhood plays Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., tonight, May 17, with Hunters and Bad Side. The 21+ show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15. More info can be found at the venue’s website.