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Cuddle Magic bring new Ashes/Axis LP to WCL this week, hear them on XPN tonight

Cuddle Magic | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist
Cuddle Magic | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Before releasing their latest effort Ashes/Axis this Friday, Brooklyn/Philly sextet Cuddle Magic will share some of their avant / chamber pop at World Cafe Live the previous night. The new record follows 2012’s Info Nympho, and features a collaboration with Lake Street Dive called “Slow Rider.” Tickets and information for the all-ages show with PHOX can be found here. Watch a Sofar sounds performance of “Don’t Forget” below and tune in to XPN this evening to hear their brand new Key Studio Session.

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Celebrate 10 years of Two Piece Fest with The Afterglows, HIRS and more

two piece fest
The Afterglows | photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

How do you squeeze over twenty bands on a bill for a festival in the basement of the First Unitarian Church and have the show run smoothly? Two stages, ten years of experience, and just enough time between acts for the packed crowd to shuffle from one end of the room to the other. The folks behind Two Piece Fest have been doing this for a decade now, so when the annual event hits the Church on February 25th we can expect the usual jam-packed day of celebrating duos of all sounds and styles.

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Just Announced: Chicago hip-hop wunderkind Saba will headline The Trocadero Balcony on March 26

Saba’s #BucketListProject | via facebook.com/sabapivot

If there were any doubt in your mind that Chicago is the best hip-hop city in America right now, do yourself a favor and listen to Saba‘s 2016 outing Bucket List Project. It’s a remarkable collection that builds on the promise of 2014’s Comfort Zone mixtape; the vibe is tripped out but lively, his slice-of-life lyrics are inspiring, funny, occasionally moving and always honest. Soul harmonies mix with trap beats on the amazing “GPS,” the almighty noname teams up with him on “Church / Liquor Store,” juxtaposing virtue and vice.

Simply put, it’s an arrival and thanks to an attention-grabbing verse on Chance the Rapper’s “Angels,” Saba had a lot of people there to greet him last year. This winter and spring, he takes Bucket List on a headlining U.S. tour, and in some good news for those of us who missed his 2015 show at The Barbary with Mick Jenkins and Kirk Knight, it includes a Philly gig, headlining Chinatown’s famed Trocadero Theater balcony stage for an all ages show on Sunday, March 26th. Continue reading →

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John K Samson from The Weakerthans heads to World Cafe Live this April

John K Samson | courtesy of the artist
John K Samson | courtesy of the artist

The Weakerthans’ John K Samson doesn’t participate in social media, so if you were hoping to spam his official Facebook page with “Come to Philly!” comments, you shouldn’t expect a response. Luckily, the Canadian singer/songwriter will indeed chart a course for World Cafe Live this April anyway with The Winter Wheat, his new live band.

Its name comes from his latest solo record, Winter Wheat, which he released last year. It features fellow Weakerthans members Jason Tait (drums) and Greg Smith (bass). With its chilly, sparse arrangements, the title really fits, so if that’s how you like your folk rock, this is a performance you won’t want to miss. Check out the social media lamenting “Select All Delete” below. Then, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar for tickets and more information on the show. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Aimee Mann brings new Mental Illness LP to The Keswick

Aimee Mann and Ted Leo
Aimee Mann | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | koalafoto.com

With five years separating us from her last effort, the announcement of a new record from Aimee Mann and an accompanying national tour is welcome news. Mental Illness, the singer-songwriter’s ninth studio LP, is due out March 31st on her own SuperEgo Records label. A month-long tour follows, with an April 21st date set for the Keswick Theatre.

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