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Watch Reef the Lost Cauze’s new video for “You Know Me Well” from Furious Styles

Reef The Lost Cauze
Reef the Lost Cauze | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Philly rapper Reef the Lost Cauze teamed up with versatile Philly beatmaker DJ Bear One this summer for the Furious Styles LP, released via iTunes last month. It’s hard-hitting, unflinching rap of the sort that people who sing the praises of Run The Jewels might dig…the difference being that Reef has been doing his thing for about a decade longer than RTJ.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sun Ra Arkestra at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Honeytiger at Kung Fu Necktie, The Shondes at Johnny Brenda’s

Sun Ra Arkestra
Sun Ra Arkestra at Johnny Brendas | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Philly jazz / space odyssey legends Sun Ra Arkestra play a free show tonight at Spruce Street Harbor Park. If you’ve never experienced this shimmeringly-attired crew’s journey’s into the outer rim, get thee to the river and let this dozen-to-twenty-ish member collective change how you experience music. More information at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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“An Art Project With Multiple Layers”: Getting to know Carol Cleveland Sings ahead of their new album Effervescent Lure

Carol Cleveland Sings | photo via facebook.com/CarolClevelandSings

Thomas Hughes and Gretchen Lohse are longtime creative collaborators in the regional music scene, the former a solo artist and former leader of the indie-folk ensemble Yellow Humphrey, and the latter a member of DE indie pop favorites The Spinto Band. Over the past year, they’ve worked together under the banner Carol Cleveland Sings – a delightful synthpop outfit with a penchant for dazzling, retro-stylized music videos.

Fans of The Magnetic Fields will find a lot to like in their sound, but the look of their project is just as crucial, and the Carol Cleveland Sings Vine channel is clever, fun and very popular. Hughes and Lohse, both visual artists in addition to musicians, use it to tease song ideas while also playing on pop culture touchstones like Pokemon and Stranger Things.

With its visual identity firmly established, Carol Cleveland Sings is stepping out with its first full-length of recorded music this fall. This morning, it announced the release of Effervescent Lure on Humble Twin Records. To mark the occasion, we’re premiering the song “Black Canvas” – which was teased in six-second format this spring on Vine. Lohse says it generated a lot of excitement and questions about when the full track would be available. Listen to it below, and read an interview between Hughes, Lohse and myself about the genesis and scope of Carol Cleveland Sings. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Kings of Leon and George Clinton tease new albums, Daft Punk and The Weeknd tease collaboration?

Kings of Leon | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Kings of Leon | Photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Kings Of Leon are releasing details about their next album. The conflicting reports say the album may be called “Walls” or “We Are Like Love Songs.” Caleb Followill says the new song “Over” deals with his own battle with alcohol. Kings Of Leon cancelled a tour in 2011 when Caleb was being treated for alcohol addiction. Continue reading →

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The Stray Birds look back to Lancaster in “Third Day in a Row”

The Stray Birds | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN
The Stray Birds | Photo by John Vettese / WXPN

If you were at last week’s Free at Noon, you know how special The Stray Birds are. You also know, then, that the former trio is now a quartet with the addition of drummer Dominic Billett (previously of Toy Soldiers). With the Free at Noon and a set at last weekend’s Folk Fest, the Lancaster outfit has been celebrating the release of their new Magic Fire LP in style and the party gets even better with the video for album standout “Third Day In a Row.”

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Dove and The Wolf at MilkBoy, Get Up With It at Johnny Brenda’s, The Ok-Oks at Chameleon Club and more

the dove & the wolf
The Dove & The Wolf | photo by Colin Kerrigan | courtesy of the artist

Paris-founded, Philly-based duo The Dove and The Wolf captured a lot of people’s attention this year – locally and beyond – with their excellent EP, I Don’t Know What To Feel. With atmospheric guitar tones, moving lyrics and delicate harmonies, the duo evokes any number of artists from Azure Ray to The War on Drugs (whose Dave Hartley produced the new EP) to Neil Young and The Grateful Dead. Tonight they headline MilkBoy in center city; Dirty Dollhouse opens the gig. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Watch the band’s new video for “The Smell of Us” below and check out their Key Studio Session here. Continue reading →

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Watch behind-the-scenes footage of Pablo Batista’s El Viaje production

Pablo Batista | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com
Pablo Batista | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN | hellerhound.com

World-renowned percussionist Pablo Batista debuted his epic El Viaje: The Journey production at the Temple Performing Arts Center in June, combining music and dance traditions from around to world to tell a universal story of forced emigration. WHYY’s Friday Arts took their cameras to the final weeks of rehearsals and captured behind-the-scenes footage of the musicians and dancers, as well as an in-depth interview with Batista.

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New Music Show Preview with Bob Weir, Butch Walker and more!

Butch Walker
Butch Walker | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Wow … talk about a busy week for new music. As I write this we just got a new song from Gary Clark Jr, and yes I’ll play it tonight!  We’ll also have a listen to a bunch of albums coming this fall from Dawes, Bon Iver, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Mike Doughty and more.  And here’s a little sample of what else we’ve got lined up for you tonight on our New Music Show …

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