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Just Announced: Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels On A Gravel Road 20th anniversary tour kicks off in Collingswood this November

Lucinda Williams | photo by David McClister | courtesy of the artist

Lucinda Williams‘ classic 1998 album Car Wheels On A Gravel Road turns 20 this year, and the songwriter has just announced a short string of fall tour dates to celebrate the milestone. Most of the shows will be throughout the northeast, and the first stop on the tour is just outside of Philadelphia, at Collingswood, NJ’s Scottish Rite Auditorium on November 2. Joined by her band Buick 6, Williams will play the album in its entirety, as well as a second set drawing from her other work. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Wavves and Beach Fossils co-headline Union Transfer in November

Wavves
Wavves | Photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

West Coast rockers Wavves team up with Brooklyn boys Beach Fossils to embark on one of the best indie rock tours of the fall season. I, for one, am a fan of stacked bills, and it seems like the bands are too. Previously, Wavves shared a bill with Post Animal at The Foundry, Best Coast and Cherry Glazerr at the Electric Factory, and even FIDLAR at Johnny Brenda’s way back in 2013. Beach Fossils don’t mess around either, playing the Church with Snail Mail last year and Union Transfer with Kurt Vile in 2013. The two heavyweights now join forces (and bring along Hoops’ Kevin Krauter) to tour the country. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Mirah will bring Understanding to Johnny Brenda’s

Mirah | photo by Emily Zeitlyn | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia-born but Brooklyn-based musician Mirah will return to her first hometown this fall for a show at Johnny Brenda’s on October 13, touring behind the release of her forthcoming sixth LP Understanding. She’s been writing, recording and touring for over 20 years now, and various iterations of her music have seen her span personas from acoustic singer/songwriter to experimental pop artist and everything in between. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Porter & Sayles

Christian Porter and Regina Sayles have been friends and musical collaborators for over a decade, and two summers ago, the Stroudsburg singer-songwriter duo released their debut album of songs that straddle the worlds of poppy folk and contemporary country. They’re a little bit Civil Wars, a little bit Lady Antebellum, and their self-titled record caught the ear of XPN midday host Helen Leicht, who connected with the moving contemplation of “This Guitar,” a yearning ballad about balancing the conflicting passions of one’s music and one’s relationships.

This summer, Porter & Sayles returns with its latest single since that record, following up on the spring release “#IAmOne.” It’s a revved up country ripper and unofficial Pocono Speedway anthem “Buckled Up In Drive,” which the duo played acoustically for us during their Key Studio Session. In the set, you’ll also hear “Country,” which reflects on the universality of their preferred form of American music — even for folks who don’t come from down south — as well as “You Had Me From Hello,” a jangling pop tune about first impressions. Continue reading →

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Reconnecting with the past and looking to the future, Philadelphia Folksong Society casts a wide net year-round

Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com
Philadelphia Folk Festival | photo by Lisa Schaffer | SkylerBug.com

Most organizations would sell their souls at the crossroads for even half the success the Philadelphia Folksong Society has achieved in the more than six decades since they were first founded. Not only is the Philadelphia Folk Festival the country’s longest continuously held outdoor music festival, but the Folksong Society is deeply ingrained in the cultural framework of the city. The organization’s archives, which have been continuously updated over the years, were recently found to house a fifth of all of Philadelphia’s musical history, an astonishing amount.

​So you might think that after all this that they might be resting on their proverbial laurels. But like so much of the music performed at the many concerts they host, the Folksong Society has remained dynamic and continued to grow. This is even more true since the organization moved into their new home on Ridge Avenue in Roxborough earlier this year. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Letters to Cleo will play their first Philly show since 1995 at Underground Arts this fall

Letters to Cleo
Letters to Cleo | courtesy of the artist

Whether you know them from back in the 90’s or from their recent resurgence sparked by an episode of Parks and Recreation, it’s safe to say Letters to Cleo are something of a cult favorite. Though they disbanded in 2000 after their initial 10-year run, the band reunited a few years ago, and it seems like they’re back for good. Since the reunion, Letters to Cleo has played primarily in their hometown of Boston, but this fall they’re taking things on the road, with a show at Underground Arts on November 14. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: illuminati hotties headline PhilaMOCA this October

Illuminati Hotties | photo by Kristy Benjamin | courtesy of the artist

Self-proclaimed “tenderpunk pioneer” illuminati hotties headline PhilaMOCA this October. Project of do-it-all L.A. musician Sarah Tudzin, the songs on 2018 debut LP Kiss Yr Frenemies display a range of dynamics and emotions. At times, the tracks take on quiet, lo-fi qualities, similar to Philly’s Cyberbully Mom Club. Elsewhere, driving and explosive riffs blindside the listener, like on track “Shape of My Hands.” Tudzin generated well-deserved buzz surrounding the release of the album following its May release on Tiny Engines. The opening of the album features the one-two punch of the quiet, prelude-esque title track leading into the driving, power-pop bop “(You’re Better) Than Ever.” Continue reading →

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Made in America adds Kendrick Lamar to the lineup

Kendrick Lamar | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

After appearances at the BB&T and Firefly earlier this summer, Kendrick Lamar is about to make his return to Philly, this time as the just-announced headliner of next month’s Made in America Festival. The festival announced its initial lineup back in June, and with names like Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill and Janelle Monae at the top of the bill, the addition of another extremely high-profile headliner just a few weeks before showtime comes as a bit of a surprise — albeit a very welcome one. Made in America also announced last week that several additional acts, including Pusha T, 6ix9ine and Daniel Caesar, will also appear. Continue reading →