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Free At Noon Flashback: The Chris Kasper Band filled World Cafe Live with positive vibes and American Beauty

 

Chris Kasper Band | Photo by John Vettese
Chris Kasper Band | Photo by John Vettese

The Chris Kasper Band followed Mason Porter for today’s doubleheader Free At Noon and did not disappoint a packed and eager crowd. Celebrating WXPN’s Day Of The Dead, the fivesome resolved to play the entirety of the Grateful Dead’s sixth studio album American Beauty. They eased into the performance with the first track “Box of Rain” and after delicate harmonies and on-point instrumentals, it seemed they had certainly gained one man’s approval after he bellowed “Hey! You’re good!”, the crowd chuckling in response. The band’s sound was full and precise and emanated feel-good vibes. Solos speckled the performance, with violinist Kiley Ryan owning her instrument and front man Chris Kasper tearing it up on guitar. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Mason Porter get the crowd riled and raucous with Workingman’s Dead

Mason Porter | Photo by John Vettese
Mason Porter | Photo by John Vettese

Meandering onstage to a packed and riled house, Mason Porter kicked off WXPN’s 50 year celebration of The Grateful Dead with energy today. The band declared that they would be playing the full fifth album of the Dead, Workingman’s Dead. Launching into the crowd favorite “Uncle John’s Band”, Mason Porter quickly got the crowd movin’, groovin’ and singing along. The group whipped out insane solos throughout the entirety of the performance – Sarah Larson shredded on the fiddle, displaying the quick fingers of a pro during fast-paced tracks like “Cumberland Blues” and “Easy Wind”.

Larsen and guitarist Paul Wilkinson even held a back-and-forth conversation through their instruments, all the while laughing and smiling. Frontman Joe D’Amico gave an impressive solo on his mandolin, fingerpicking rapidly and receiving a warm response from the crowd. The fivesome ended their performance playing the upbeat classic “Casey Jones” with an ecstatic crowd cheering them on as they trickled off stage. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hippo Campus at Union Transfer, RX Bandits at The Troc, Cold Fronts at The Depot and more

Hippo Campus | Photo via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thehalocline?fref=nf
Hippo Campus | Photo via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thehalocline

Get to Union Transfer early tonight: twin cities rockers Hippo Campus will open the show for The Mowgli’s. Think of this young four-piece as the Vampire Weekend of the midwest; they incorporate lively Afro-beat melodies into fuzzy indie rock, nicely exemplified by “Suicide Saturday,” which you can download below. Continue reading →

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The Return of The Tough Shits: Hear a new song, catch them at Repo Records this Saturday

The Tough Shits | Photo by Nikki Volpicelli
The Tough Shits | Photo by Grey Haas | courtesy of the artist

The Tough Shits recently played a show at Beautiful World Syndicate, a record shop just down the street from the bar we’re meeting at. It wasn’t was very publicized, and lots of their longtime fans could’ve missed it if they didn’t catch the Facebook note the group posted eight hours before showtime. There was no setlist because they never make setlists, and there were mistakes because they admittedly always make mistakes.

That show has helped the Philly band – who are quietly emerging from the several-year hiatus that immediately following the release of their self-titled debut – devise a plan for this weekend’s Record Store Day showcase at Repo.

“This time John will realize what’s wrong with his guitar after the first song instead of six songs in. I will remember all of the words…” singer/guitarist Mark Banfill begins. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Listen to Port Arthur’s spirited new “Fire” from an LP about life’s big experiences

port arthur 13
Port Arthur | photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia’s Port Arthur grabbed our attention last year with their unique take on brass folk rock and now the group plan to digitally release their debut full-length album, Everything’s Incredible. It’s an album that will focus on some of life’s big experiences, according to multi-instrumentalists: Luke Shefski: “lost love, spiritual discovery and newfound responsibility.” Continue reading →

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Plastic Plates gives the remix treatment to #xpnfest artist Cheerleader

Plastic Plates | via Facebook.com/plasticplatesmusic
Plastic Plates | via Facebook.com/plasticplatesmusic

As we anxiously await the debut album release from Philly haze-pop quintet Cheerleader, we’ve got our hands on a remix of the album’s title-track, released over on Noisey.

The remix comes from NYC producer Felix Bloxsom, known as Plastic Plates, and it subtracts the original track’s guitars and mellows out the vocals, producing a tasty club-friendly rendition. Continue reading →