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NonCOMM Recap: Amos Lee’s Philly pride shines in a soulful homecoming

Amos Lee | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN
Amos Lee | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

Amos Lee wasn’t shy about reminding tonight’s NonCOMM crowd about his Philly roots. He referred to a new song as a “jawn,” and mentioned what an honor it was to perform between a set between two of his “heroes” — making a sandwich pun while admitting he knew the vernacular here is “hoagie.” All jokes aside, Lee was able to take his Philly pride and convert it into a passionate set for his hometown crowd. Continue reading →

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Mac De Marco fills the Factory with energy and emotion

Mac De Marco | Photo by Doug Interrante for WXPN
Mac De Marco | Photo by Doug Interrante for WXPN

For me, live music is always about the experience. Taking music that provides the soundtrack to one’s life and injecting yourself with its rhythms by witnessing it in its truest form. On Thursday night, Mac DeMarco did just that by injecting a sold out crowd at the Electric Factory with pure energy and emotion. 

This was my first time seeing Mac DeMarco live, but I had previously seen footage of his performances (and some brilliant comedic videos) so I was aware that he engages with his audience differently than most. Right from the start, Mac showed a personality that brought his music to a different level. There was an added dimension to the music that was at times playful and goofy, while at others both vulnerable and sincere. His endearing personality spread through the crowd as the night progressed and all that could be felt was positive energy.  Continue reading →

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Cage the Elephant give it their all at the Mann Center

Cage the Elephant | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
Cage the Elephant | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

It was over before it even began. Cage the Elephant‘s Matt Schultz didn’t even have to move a muscle to have the screaming crowd at the Mann Center leap into the palm of his hand. Anyone who’s ever seen the band perform live before knows that Schultz is anything but a slacker, so sing for his supper he very well did. Extreme hype for the band is more than well-deserved, as they seem to perform without limits to their energy. Thursday night at the Mann’s Skyline Stage, however, they showed a hand both same and different. Continue reading →

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All The World Is a Stage: Parquet Courts Bring “Human Performance” to Union Transfer

Parquet Courts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
Parquet Courts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

Everyone has that one friend who’s really into irony. The kind of guy who moved to Brooklyn to make handcrafted recycled furniture and says “sports” at parties to get an easy laugh. Whenever friends come to visit from out of town, they always ask “What’s the Brooklyn of Philadelphia?” (Fishtown) — I constantly find myself asking, “What’s the Brooklyn of the music world?”The answer, my friends, is Parquet Courts.

Brazenly sardonic, the foursome of Brooklyn-based punks waxed both eloquent and ineloquent on topics myriad on Wednesday night at Union Transfer, bouncing around the stage at warp speed. In support of brand-new record Human Performance, the show found the band in the early stages of a large tour. But it was clear from both the band’s tight-knit synergy and the crowd’s frothing reaction that the Philadelphia stop was anything but a warm-up date. Continue reading →

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Ben Folds and the yMusic ensemble reinvent piano pop at The Fillmore

Ben Folds | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN
Ben Folds | Photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN

There are artists in every generation whose entire persona is a craft. They are top to bottom an art form. They are not a showman, a gag, a schtick, one-trick pony, or in any way easily categorized. Many names come to mind, from different art forms, and Ben Folds is one of my very favorites. He is a conversationalist, a comedian, a photographer, and for most of last night he was all of these in addition to being a musician. Continue reading →

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Savage Intimacy: Frightened Rabbit returns to the Electric Factory

Frightened Rabbit | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
Frightened Rabbit | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

“It’s been a while, Philadelphia,” said Frightened Rabbit‘s Scott Hutchison early on Friday night, “Three years, if I recall correctly. How’ve you been?” And while it’s been not quite a full three years since they last took the Electric Factory stage in October of 2013, things have changed for the Scottish indie titans. Even though it was the same stage they trod, the band was back and sounding bigger and better than ever on Friday evening, working the crowd with aplomb. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Moreland & Arbuckle draws large crowd for new album release

untitled10Moreland & Arbuckle | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

On tour in support of their newest album, the Kansas roots band Moreland & Arbuckle made a stop in Philadelphia, packing in a large crowd at World Cafe Live on this rainy afternoon. The bluesy band’s new album, Promised Land Or Bust, officially dropped today.

These rockers started off their set with “Mean and Evil”; lead vocalist, Dustin Arbuckle, got into the groove starting from the first note that came out of his harmonica. He was joined by guitarist Aaron Moreland, and the two fed off of each other’s and the crowd’s energy throughout their set as they both rocked out on stage. Continue reading →

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Delta Spirit frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez digs deeper at Boot and Saddle

Matthew Logan Vasquez | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Matthew Logan Vasquez | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

On Tuesday night, Delta Spirit frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez made a stop at Philadelphia’s Boot and Saddle, performing material from his new album Solicitor Returns. The new collection dives into a harder rock and roll aesthetic and is crafted with manic instrumentals. The album is also comprised of a few ballads that have a strong way of hypnotizing you, “Bound To Her,” being one of them.

Vasquez’s new music really seems to dig a little deeper, and that showed watching his solo performance at the Boot. The singer songwriter played his wailing hit “Maria,” telling the crowd it was a story about the devil. Later in the set we heard an energetic singalong of “Halfcoalt.” Vasquez even brought us back to his Middle Brother days performing the super group’s hit “Blue Eyes.” The night closed with a bunch of shirtless men moshing to the the tortured “Everything I Do Is Out,” Vasquez proving that he continues to be a prolific songwriter with his gritty rock anthems. Continue reading →

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Santigold throws the ultimate homecoming party at the TLA

Santigold | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | <a href=https://brotherlylost.com/ target="_blank">brotherlylost.com</a>
Santigold | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | brotherlylost.com

Santigold’s Sunday night performance was the ultimate homecoming for the 39-year-old singer and songwriter.

“I have been to so many shows here,” the Mount Airy native told the sold-out crowd at the TLA. “It looked so much bigger in here then, maybe because I was smaller.”

The show opened with a 20 minute set from Brooklyn rapper DonMonique. Between performing songs like “Chrome Heater” and “Pilates,” the rapper made sure to represent the borough of BK, by rapping along to classic tunes from Notorious B.I.G. and Lil Kim.

Santigold took to the stage around 9:30, beginning her set with old favorites “You’ll Find a Way” and “L.E.S. Artistes” from her self-titled 2008 album. The crowd, who ranged from fresh-faced tweens to middle-aged men, sang along to every word; at one point during her set, Santigold remarked on how many people in the audience were long standing fans. Continue reading →