XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Record Store Day, Earth Day on the way, Philadanco at home, and more!


The seventh annual Record Store Day is Saturday to celebrate independent music vendors around the country.  Numerous new albums and reissues, by everyone from Greenday to DEVO, are being released exclusively for Record Store Day, and local participants  include Creep Records, Repo Records, Main Street Music, Hideaway Music.

Earth Day has been held on April 22nd every year since 1970 and in that spirit…the Clean Air Council‘s 33rd Annual 5K Run for Clean Air on the banks of the Schuylkill River Saturday celebrates sustainability and improvements in the region’s environmental health….Farm Fest  at Eakin’s Oval features locally grown food and beverages, movies and live music… The National Archives of Philadelphia presents Archives Alchemy: The Art of the Dumpster Diver, through April 24, a group show by artists who use recycled materials.MOTH

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, in conjunction with the Mosaic Society of Philadelphia, presents Shattering Expectations: Mosaic 2014 through Sunday. The show looks at the work of the region’s most accomplished mosaicists, and is juried by Nancie Mills Pipgras, the former head of the Society of American Mosaic Artists.

The internationally famous dance company Philadanco returns to its hometown for Blood, Sweat and Dance. The show blends African American-based dance with ballet, jazz and modern, and features a company premier by renowned dancer-choreographer Ulysses Dove. Through Saturday at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts.

The Free Library of Philadelphia‘s eighth annual Philadelphia Book Festival through Saturday is at neighborhood libraries and the Parkway Main Branch, featuring author appearances and other events during National Library Week

People’s Light and Theatre Company presents Dear Elizabeth through April 27 based on the correspondence between acclaimed American poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.

And there’s more… Continue reading →


DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Revival Records

Photo courtesy of Dan King
Photo courtesy of Dan King

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a little more complicated.

Vinyl Revival Records in Lansdowne will be kicking off the day not only with limited edition and first releases, but a near all-day free concert event featuring some of the finest in Philly’s underground/punk/indie scene. On the bill, we’ve got Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum, Wild Rompit and DRGN King, who is warming up for a Sunday show opening for New Madrid at Boot and Saddle.

Listen to DRGN King’s most recent single “Solo Harp” below, get a sampling of the other artists on the bill after the jump and check out the full lineup here.

Continue reading →


Stream The Menzingers forthcoming album Rented World in its entirety at SPIN

The Menzingers | Photo The Menzingers | Photo via
The Menzingers | Photo The Menzingers | Photo via

Philly based punk band The Menzingers have a new album, Rented World, due out April 22 via Epitaph records, and as of today you can stream the album in its entirety over at For the new record, the band worked at Miner Street studios in Fishtown with the help of engineer Jonathan Low, who has worked with countless Philly luminaries from Restorations to Kurt Vile.

You can pre-order the album Rented World before its April 22 release here. Catch the Menzingers live when they return to Philly May 31 at Union Transfer. Find tickets for that show here. Stream opening track “I Don’t Want to Be An Asshole Anymore” below, and listen to Rented World in its entirety here.


West Philly’s jazz jam “Rhythm Sessions” returns this Sunday, April 13 to Studio 34, will feature Chelsea Reed and the Fairweather Five

Chelsea Reed and the Fairweather Five | Photo courtesy of the band

Rhythm Sessions - a Lindy and Blues event and West Philadelphia’s monthly jam for jazz dance, jazz music, and jazz fans – is happening again this Sunday, April 13 at Studio 34 on Baltimore Ave. in West Philly.

The event, which is typically the third Sunday of every month, has been moved up due to the Easter holiday, and this weekend’s session features music by Philly jazz band Chelsea Reed and the Fairweather Five. If you haven’t experienced Chelsea Reed live before, it is nothing short of an experience, knocking you back to the Bessie Smith era of the 1920′s and 30′s in the most authentic fashion.

With the cozy ambiance of Studio 34, the high energy tunes of Chelsea Reed and a BYOF policy (bring your own food), the all ages event is perfect for friends, family, and the like. No ticket is required to attend, just a donation suggestion of $10, but that’s up to you. Get more information on the event here. Watch Chelsea Reed and the Fairweather Five perform their own rendition of “Everybody Loves My Baby” below.

Hear all about it Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five from The Temple News on Vimeo.


Psychedelic rockers Creepoid release dark, dragging track “Truth” from forthcoming Wet EP

Creepoid | Photo by Alexandra Healey

Heavy psychedelic rock band Creepoid have already announced their forthcoming EP, Wet, set to be released as a 12″ on April 19 – Record Store Day, appropriately – and in anticipation of that release the Philly band has premiered a new track from the EP titled “Truth” over at CMJ.

“Truth” opens up with a punch-in-the-stomach bass line, dragging the track the whole way through under ethereal, dream-like vocals. Anna Troxell’s voice is, in one word, mesmerizing; swaying in a way that evokes feelings of “I want to die and be alive” at the same time. The tempo is a bit slower than the previously released “Wet Bread”, with lugging guitars that creep and linger. I’m completely about it.

Be sure to pick up the 12″ via Graveface April 19. Stream “Truth” below.


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Travel the world at home with events representing Japan, India, Germany and more!

Photo by Irina Bak |
Photo by Irina Bak |

The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia celebrates the return of spring with the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia.  There’s the Cherry Blossom 5k Saturday, weaving through the historic Centennial District, and the grand finale Sunday, the all day Sakura Sunday at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park, with among other activities a prize for the prettiest pet in pink!Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 12.23.17 AM

Among many theatrical offerings,  Quince ProductionsThree Days of Rain, through April 26 at Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5, has three actors portraying characters in 1995 in Act I and their parents circa 1960 in Act II…Lantern Theatre‘s production The Train Driver explores redemption and brotherhood in the new South Africa through May 4… Quintessence Theatre Group has its first American classic, the  ancient Greek tragedy brought into contemporary New England in Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra, through April 27.

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The Fleisher/Ollman Gallery opens Department of Neighborhood Services Friday with an artists’ reception. This group show uses a variety of media to explore the role of graffiti in urban environments. Through June 7.

Group Motion Dance presents the final weekend of its Spiel Urh Fest: 2014 Branching, Saturday and Sunday at the Community Education Center, featuring Manfred Fischbeck/Group Motion’s colalboration with composer Andrea Clearfield, an original film installation, Green Chair Dance Group, and more.

And there’s more… Continue reading →


Folkadelphia Session: Chris Kasper

Philadelphia is a true hotbed of musical activity. Cheap rent, collaborative vibes, an abundance of musically-minded people, and a solid support system for developing acts are just a few of the factors that help to make this city into a real deal music town. My favorite aspect of the greater musical community is, well, just that – that it’s a community. Philly feels tight-knit, but it isn’t exclusive or closed off to newcomers. It’s a support thing. Folks here play in lots of bands, they pop into each others’ recording sessions, and are always seeking ways to include one another in projects. Recently, I was thinking about the WXPN Performance Studio, the space where Folkadelphia, as well as Gene Shay’s Folk Show, World Cafe, The Key Studio Sessions, and most other WXPN-related in-studio sessions are tracked, and what musicians come through to record. I got to thinking that there is a contingent of local musicians that have spent a significant amount of hours in the room, that returning to WXPN is like coming home in a way. For these musicians and since the building’s construction, the space perhaps represents a safe zone for collaboration, experimentation, and uninhibited performance.

Chris Kasper is a Philadelphia local songwriter that we have looked for opportunities to include in what Folkadelphia does. We’ve seen how amazing he’s been working with WXPN on various events and we’ve listened to his four albums, especially his most recent Bagabones, with attentive ears, feeling considerable excitement at his impressive lyricism and turns of phrase. What has always drew us closer to Kasper is his collaborative spirit; many of our favorite Philly musicians play with or alongside Kasper, to name a few: Kiley Ryan (the two also work together with Foxhound), Phil D’Agostino, and Daniel Bower. For fun, you should construct a diagram where each of these musicians were connected to other bands they have collaborated with in some way, then expand from there, then expand from there, and so on. You’d need a lot of paper. What you’d get is a spider web of musical community goodness and that’s what Philadelphia is all about.

Towards the final days of 2013, Chris Kasper, along with Kiley Ryan on fiddle and Phil D’Agostino on bass, spent an evening recording with Team Folkadelphia. It’s a case of total chemistry, where the musicians are tight locked-in with each other, existing only in the present moment, and playing with a sense of joy. You didn’t need to give them a tour of the recording space, they’ve been here before.