Photo from BBC Radio 6
Tomorrow brings the official release of the album the internet has been eagerly anticipating since a 16-second ad aired without fanfare during a March episode of SNL. Random Access Memories, the latest from French discotronic duo Daft Punk, has been streaming on iTunes since last Wednesday, and its lead single – the pop earworm “Get Lucky,” sung by the ever-charismatic Pharrell – has been bumping the XPN airwaves since last month.
But what about the album beyond that? There’s a lot of hype and excitement in the air for it, but hype doesn’t always equate to quality. Sure, the duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter released the trend-setting 1997 album Homework and the irresistible Discovery in 2001. And yeah, James Murphy name-checked them in that song title that one time. But less discussed is the uneven 2005 effort Human After All, or the Tron soundtrack.
Does Random Access Memories hold up? Is it a new chapter in dance music and a return to glory for these mysteriously helmet-clad techno-heads? Or is it a bunch of bluster that will breeze away with the next album-of-the-minute? We asked a handful of Philly’s own electronic music heads – from Chris Powell of Spaceship Aloha and Man Man to DJ Apt One- for their thoughts on Random Access Memories, and got a variety of responses. Check them out below. Continue reading
Red Baraat have been added to the lineup to this year’s XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru, the weekend of July 26-28. Formed in 2008, the eight piece band from Brooklyn is led by internationally acclaimed dhol player, drummer, and composer Sunny Jain. Known for their incredibly powerful live performances, Red Baraat blends hard driving North Indian bhangra rhythms with elements of jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip-hop. The music is a eclectic mixed bag of influences and its “extreme Bollywood” grabs listeners from the moment the band plays its first note of a song. The band released its debut album, Chaal Baby, in 2009, and its recent album Shruggy Ji this past January. Below, watch a couple of videos including an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert with the band and download “Burning Instinct.”
Photo by Mathiew Zazzo
Singer, actress and model Lou Doillon is the half-sister of Charlotte Gainsbourg; her father being director Jacques Doillon and her mother actress and singer Jane Birkin. Doillon will release her debut album, Places, on June 18 on Verve Records. Doillon’s album showcases her frank, honest and warm voice. The songs on her debut are stunning and striking, and recall the work of Karen Ann and Cat Power. Below, download “ICU,” and watch the video for another song on the album, “Devil or Angel.”
Photo by Abi Reimold
Recent Philly transplants Literature previewed four new tracks in this week’s Key Studio Session. With a sound made for indie dance club nights, Literature are a surf-y, high energy bunch of polished musicians with well-coiffed songs. Stream and download “Court Date” below and check out the full session here.
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).