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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Graham Nash at Philadelphia Folk Festival, RFA at The Barbary

Graham Nash | Photo by Kate McCann for WXPN | katemccannphotography.com

Singer-songwriter icon Graham Nash takes the stage at Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford tonight to headline night two of the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Last year he released This Path Tonight and toured extensively, playing Free at Noon as well as NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Watch video below and get more information on Folk Fest here. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: NPR Music and World Cafe bring The National to Philly, performing entire new album LIVE

The National | photo by Graham Macindoe | courtesy of the artist

Over the last two months, excitement for The National’s new album, Sleep Well Beast, has been building as they’ve released three singles and performed a handful of new songs in Paris during a live-streamed Pitchfork concert. Now, WXPN’s World Cafe and NPR Music have just announced a LIVE First Listen performance, happening three days before the album drops, from right here in Philly on September 5th! Continue reading →

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Home Outgrown Presents: Some Shows, a 3-day DIY fest next week

Three Man Cannon | Photo by Jessica Flynn

Home Outgrown Presents is a Philly DIY promotions group that books some pretty spicy shows. Their latest concoction? A three-day festival packed to the brim with beautifully crunchy basement tunes.

Honestly and descriptively dubbed as “Some Shows: A Fest We Didn’t Know What to Name,” the three-day event gets even better when you take in the stellar fourteen-artist lineup. Three Man Cannon, The Superweaks, and Curtis Cooper headline each night, while Coping Skills, Caracara, Grayling, Major Pursuit and more fill out the bill. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Slaughter Beach, Dog

Seriously, how is it possible that Jake Ewald is this sick of a songwriter? The Philadelphia singer / guitarist and producer, known by many as half of Modern Baseball’s core songwriting duo, also leads a rotating-cast indie rock troupe called Slaughter Beach, Dog, and has done so for the past several years. Though the band is a considerably more lowkey experience than when he plays theater-size spaces to pop punk devotees, it’s no side joint either; Ewald’s attention to craft, both lyrical and compositional, is in top form here, and only continues to heighten as the project releases more music. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cranes are Flying at Johnny Brenda’s, Lizdelise at Ortlieb’s, Amir Obè at The Troc

Cranes are Flying | via facebook.com/cranesareflying

Philly trio Cranes are Flying mixes up pop-punk and post-rock with a dose of anthemic modern rock on its latest EP, Code Switching, out today. The band has been on the scene since 2009 and celebrates its new record tonight at Johnny Brenda’s with Boy Lawyer, Glenn Matthews and Flat Mary Road. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; listen to the new EP below. Continue reading →

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Talking Popular Manipulations with The Districts’ Rob Grote

The Districts | Photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

A couple of years back, a young band started making waves in Philadelphia. There were many different stories surrounding these young kids from central Pennsylvania, but a couple themes remained the same: the thunderous live shows, the direct songwriting, and also the fact that they were only teenagers. The Districts were a band “ahead of their years,” as everyone would always say. Now, with the release of their new record Popular Manipulations, the band has grown into their persona and the stories have grown with them. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ensemble Novo at Penn Museum, Gene Ween at The Queen

Ensemble Novo | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly’s Ensemble Novo is at the tail end of a busy week of performances. They played 2nd Street Festival, headlined at South Jazz and recorded a Key Studio Session showcasing their recent record Who Saw You Then, Who Sees You Now, an infectious collection of jazz tunes and interpolations informed by samba and Brazilian pop. Tonight, they’ll be at the Penn Museum’s summer concert series; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, watch them play “Upa Neguinho” in WXPN Studios.
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Just Announced: Del The Funky Homosapien will headline Coda next month

Del The Funky Homosapien | via delthefunkyhomosapien.bandcamp.com

Whether you were introduced to him through his collaborations with Gorillaz or you followed his work back through the early 90s, Cali rapper Del The Funky Homosapien has a voice that probably made you snap to attention while simultaneously easing into a cool and collected groove. That’s the dichotomy he works; commanding but easygoing, incisive but insouciant. His latest is the Iller than Most LP, which you can listen to below, and his Bandcamp page is a treasure trove of like his entire discography in one handy spot, from I Wish My Brother George Was Here to Deltron 3030. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Districts’ kickass new Popular Manipulations at NPR Music

The Districts | photo by Pooneh Ghana

Brace yourselves, Philly. One of the best rock records of 2017 is now available for you to listen to in full. The Districts release their third LP, Popular Manipulations, next Friday, August 11th via Fat Possum Records; that night, they headline a stacked album release party at Union Transfer with The Spirit of the Beehive and Abi Reimold.

Today, you can listen to the album in full over at NPR Music’s First Listen series, where XPN Program Director Bruce Warren says it is “a powerful and punchy set of songs by a group of men whose talent has finally caught up to its ambition. It demands and commands your attention.” Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Sweet Spirit brings the party to World Cafe Live on 10/5

Sweet Spirit | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

If you happened to have missed Sweet Spirit‘s rock and roll party on the stage at this year’s XPN fest, you’ll have another chance to see them belt, shred and tear up the room at World Cafe Live this October. The Austin-based eight-piece band’s latest record, St. Mojo, sports some high-energy, danceable tracks, like “The Power” and “I Wanna Have You.” Really the whole album is pretty much a riot, but the relatively peaceful, artistic kind. Continue reading →