Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile made a record together, are touring together, playing the Tower Theater in November

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

This is just too much good news in one shot, so we’ll do our best to keep our excitement in check.

Remember that story this spring about Philly’s Kurt Vile being spotted in Melbourne’s Newmarket Studio with Courtney Barnett? Yeah, well they weren’t just tracking a one-off single or doing some for-funsies collab…it was part of a full record they recorded together.

Better still: they’re taking the album on tour together across north America this fall.

And they’ve an all-star group of players, or what Vile is terming “A cookin’ band and an intercontinental country duo for the ages-minus the country.” The band will be a revolving cast of Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Rob Laakso (The Violators, The Swirlies, Mice Parade) and Katie Harkin (Harkin, Sky Larkin and touring member of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Beasts) They’re calling themselves The Sea Lice.

Oh, and they’re playing The Tower Theater in Upper Darby on Friday, November 3rd. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 9th, at 10 a.m. More info at the XPN Concert Calendar. (Phew.) Continue reading →


VuHaus and NPR Music announce new collaboration to champion emerging artists

Emerging artists will get a big boost into the music scene in the coming year, thanks to a new collaboration announced by NPR Music and VuHaus at NonCOMM Thursday.

The project will pull nominations from programming staff at the 18 public radio stations participating in the VuHaus video network — including founding stations WXPN, WFUV, KCRW, KUTX and The Bridge — and, from those names, three artists will be identified that the collaborative, in conjunction with NPR Music, will champion in the 2017-18 season. This could mean anything from appearances at station events, on-air interviews and studio sessions, and performances for video series like NPR’s Tiny Desk. Continue reading →


Classical living room concert series Groupmuse will make its Philly debut this summer

A Groupmuse event in New York | photo courtesy of Groupmuse
A Groupmuse event in New York | photo courtesy of Groupmuse

After taking root in Boston, New York and San Francisco, the classical music house party series Groupmuse is looking to launch in Philadelphia this summer. The event places chamber ensembles in living rooms and other intimate settings, where they perform for small audiences.

As founder Sam Bodkin tells us, the organization is excited to launch in Philadelphia because of the healthy culture of house shows already in place locally, as well as the proximity to the renowned conservatory Curtis Institute of Music, with whom they hope to partner. Continue reading →


World Cafe Live out, Live Nation in at Wilmington’s Queen Theater

New Sweden
New Sweden performs at World Cafe Live at the Queen | Photo by Joe Del Tufo

In just over a week, World Cafe Live ends its six-year run at Wilmington’s historic Queen Theater, but the building will remain a live music space under new venue managers Live Nation.

Reported late last week by Ryan Cormier at the Wilmington News Journal, Live Nation signed a ten-year lease with building owners Buccini / Pollin Group, and begins booking this summer with a three-show soft launch. Pop punk vets New Found Glory perform July 12, Ween co-frontman Gene Ween will play a Billy Joel tribute on August 9 and alternative era singer-writer Matthew Sweet performs on September 21st.  Continue reading →


Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House expected to open doors in 2018

philadelphia metropolitan opera house
Artist’s rendering of The Met | photo via AOS Architects

After lighting up the Divine Lorraine last year, developer Eric Blumenfeld has set his sights on the long-shuttered Metropolitan Opera House at Broad and Poplar. Updates about the property have been trickling in since last November, but is now reporting that the renovations have a budget of $45 million and an expected completion date of late 2018.

Continue reading →


The Cranberries revisit classics in Something Else, announce Philly date this September

The Cranberries | photo via the band’s Facebook page

Irish alt-rockers The Cranberries are back. The band just dropped a new album titled Something Else, where they revisit classics through stripped acoustic renditions along with sweeping orchestral additions.

The Cranberries also just announced an upcoming tour, in which they’ll perform these new arrangements alongside a string quartet. And if there’s one thing I know for sure in this life, it’s that adding string quartets is never a bad thing. Only added awesomeness awaits. Continue reading →


Watch Vita and the Woolf’s cosmic video for “Feline,” get details on their June album release

Vita and the Woolf | photo by Ebru Yildiz
Vita and the Woolf | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

Vita and the Woolf have been wowing us with powerful vocals and dark electro beats since we first heard their debut Fang Song. At long last, an official final for-realsies release date of their much anticipated followup LP has been announced. Tunnels will be available on June 16th — a day before they win over the crowd at Firefly Music Festival. On top of this wonderful news, the band also dropped a mind-bending video for their most recent single, “Feline.” Continue reading →


King Britt announces new album AFTER… featuring Moor Mother, Kate Faust

king britt
King Britt | Photo by John Vettese

Following a run of reunions and reflections last year, King Britt is now looking forward with the announcement of a new album coming this summer. The legendary local DJ/producer will release AFTER… with his Fhloston Paradigm project on June 16th, a collaborative effort that features Moor Mother, Kate Faust, and more.

Continue reading →


Matador Records to reissue “long out of print” Kurt Vile EPs this spring

kurt vile
Kurt Vile | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN |

While we’re in the interim between b’lieve i’m goin down… and whatever he’s cooking up with Courtney Barnett, Matador is reissuing two “long out of print” Kurt Vile EPs this spring. A blue vinyl So Outta Reach (2011) and opaque colored vinyl Square Shells (2010) will be out on May 19th. The former features songs recorded during the Smoke Ring for My Halo sessions with John Agnello, while the latter is a collection of home and studio recordings. Preorder the records over at Matador and listen to a pair of tracks from the EP below.

Continue reading →