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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Field Mouse at Johnny Brenda’s, Allen Stone at World Cafe Wilmington and Julia Hudak at Kung Fu Necktie

Field Mouse | photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN
Field Mouse | photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

If you haven’t listened to the new album Episodic put out my Brooklyn/Philly shoegazers Field Mouse, then take a trip to Johnny Brenda’s tonight to hear it in person. The dreamy indie-rock quintet did a Studio Session with The Key early on in September and blew us away with the uncharacteristically direct nature of their new album. Field Mouse will be sharing the stage at this 21+ show with fellow dream-poppers Lockets and the New Jersey fuzz-rock duo, Slow Animal. For more information go to the WXPN Concert Calendar...and while you’re at it check out Field Mouse’s video for their song “Tomorrow is Yesterday.” Continue reading →

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My Morning Download: “What I’ve Seen” by Allen Stone (from a limited time only collection of World Cafe performances)

Photo: Amber Zbitnoff
R&B musician Allen Stone did an interview and performance on World Cafe with David Dye on October 30th, 2012. You can listen to the session here. Below, download “What I’ve Seen” from the session. The song is from a new, free collection of Cafe performances available for a very limited time during the month of February. Each weekday during the month World Cafe will offer one free song from a recent session, however the collection will only be available until March 1st. Go here to download tracks from Lord Huron, Calexico, Freelance Whales, and others.

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DJ Jazzy Jeff challenged a world-class team of artists to create Chasing Goosebumps in a week, and they delivered

DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
DJ Jazzy Jeff | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

“You put creative people in the room and I’ma show you what can happen…” – DJ Jazzy Jeff

For the past few years, Philadelphia music ambassador DJ Jazzy Jeff has hosted a gathering at his Wilmington-area home called the PLAYlist Retreat. Utilizing his influence as a respected, world-class DJ, Jeff calls together an all-star cadre of some of the world’s finest musicians, producers, DJs and songwriters for a weekend of music making and sharing knowledge. For this year’s edition of the Retreat, Jeff presented the team with a heavy task; to compose, produce, mix, master and release a full-length album in seven days. If that weren’t interesting enough, there’s a twist; a crew would film the entire process and broadcast it live via social media, allowing fans an insider’s “fly-on-the-wall” look into the creative process.

Loose jam sessions evolved into fully realized songs, recording and mixing sessions, downtime conversations about music and life, and viewers were there every step of the way. By the time the album was completed, an entire community of music lovers had blossomed around the project. With a cast of players that includes singer-songwriter Glenn Lewis, The Roots’ James Poyser, DJ Rich Medina, rapper Dayne Jordan, hip-hop / soul wunderkind Stro Elliot and more, the music on Chasing Goosebumps is soulful, evocative and timely. It hits at both the new ways in which contemporary music can be made while reflecting the message of self-determination, love and community, that we need. Continue reading →

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Hall & Oates bring back the so incredibly Philly HOAGIENATION fest this May

hall & oats
Hall & Oates | Photo courtesy of the artist.

Philadelphians know what they like: hoagies and Hall & Oates. To break this trusted formula would be a travesty, so in other words, HoagieNation is set to return for a triumphant second round at Festival Pier on May 26th.

Last year’s inaugural lineup featured artists such as Tears for FearsG Love & Special SauceSon LittleAllen StoneMarahKandace Springs, Vivian Green, and of course, the Philly duo curators themselves. Though not much info is known on the bill as of yet, what is known is that the Mr. Hall and the Mr. Oates will be headlining the gig once more. Continue reading →

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Hall and Oates to return to Philly with headlining set at brand-new self-curated festival HOAGIENATION

hall & oats
Hall & Oates | Photo courtesy of the artist.

Remember that scene in The Office where there’s a fire in the office and Michael Scott is yelling at everyone to “stay f*cking calm”? Well, we’re trying.

The legendary Philly pop / soul hitmakers  Hall and Oates are coming back to Philly this summer to headline their personally curated (and aptly named) HOAGIENATION Festival. Taking place on May 27th at Festival Pier, the festival is a “celebration of everything Philly”, from an array of multi-genre performances from Tears for Fears, G Love & Special Sauce, Son Little, Allen Stone, Marah, Kandace Springs, Vivian Green, and more to “Philly-centric food offerings, craft beer, and spirits.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kurt Vile and the Violators at Union Transfer, Minas at World Cafe Live, John Butler Trio at Penn’s Landing, Chill Moody at Hard Rock

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Kurt Vile returns to his hometown tonight to play a benefit show for Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better foundation, with the proceeds going to revitalize the Ralph Brooks Parks in South Philly. Kurt & The Violators will be at Union Transfer along with The Districts and The Tontons. All proceeds from the concert will be matched by the Make the World Better foundation and all will be donated to the cause. For more information and tickets, visit the XPN Concert Calendar.

Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Day from Matador Records on Vimeo.

Blending together Brazilian and American roots, Minas cover a wide range of genres that are defined by the countries’ cultures. Formed by Orlando Haddad and Patricia King, Minas has been playing its Brazilian jazz-style for over two decades for audiences around the world. Minas will be playing tonight at World Cafe Live. Tickets and more information can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar.

XPN welcomes Australian roots and jam band John Butler Trio tonight with Allen Stone at River Stage at Great Plaza. The band is currently on tour to promote its latest album, Flesh and Blood. Check out the XPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information.

Hip-hop artist Chill Moody will perform tonight at Hard Rock Cafe with fellow artist Aaron Camper. Philly is the first stop on the pair’s “Camp Moody” Summer Tour, which includes three other stops along the East Coast. Go to the XPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information about the show.

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“A mix of sleaziness and professionalism”: Philly artists weigh in on their SXSW experience

The Districts | Photo by John Vettese
The Districts at Buffalo Billiards | Photo by John Vettese

The rickety van piloted by Philly psych-thrash outfit Ruby the Hatchet rolled into Austin just a few hours before its first South By Southwest gig last week. Cutting it close, for sure, but the band was just happy to arrive.

“We broke down,” guitarist John Scarperia explained as he set up for the End Records showcase at LIT Lounge. “We were stuck in Tennessee for two days.”

Ruby the Hatchet | Photo by John Vettese
Ruby the Hatchet at LIT Lounge | Photo by John Vettese

Talk about a setback. I ask if they missed any tour shows on the trip down. Scarperia laughs, then says “We didn’t play any. But it was fun, all part of the adventure, right?

The band dished a raucous set of its heady, heavy rock to a modest but appreciative crowd – which included singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins, a longtime friend of Hatchet frontwoman Jillian Taylor. The next day, it rocked Thrasher Mag’s unofficial Deathmatch showcase, and spent the rest of the weekend mingling with the music-devouring masses. Overall, it was a positive experience, and even culminated in Taylor getting a new tattoo (a hatchet, of course).

Ruby the Hatchet was one of dozens of locals that made the trek to Austin this year. Musicians of all styles and degrees of renown represented Philly at SXSW. There were known names like rapper Spank Rock, who played an energized set to a buck wild crowd at the Boyz Noize showcase at The Majestic on Thursday, and alt-bluesman G. Love who played the 18th Floor of the Hilton Garden Inn the same night. There were emerging artists, like folk singer Vikesh Kapoor and punk power trio Amanda X, or SXSW vets like rapper Lushlife, heavy psych heads Creepoid, and dream punks Nothing, who played a 2 a.m. set on a pedestrian footbridge.

Chill Moody | Photo by John Vettese
Chill Moody onstage at Amped Austin | Photo by John Vettese

“I feel like SXSW serves as a hub for discovery,” says Philly rapper Chill Moody, who I caught during his showcase at the Amped Austin lounge on Saturday afternoon. “I met a bunch of musicians and professionals in the music industry in just one week. Built some strong connections that will hopefully help me with the next steps in my career.”

For Moody, who is used to feeding off the love of the hometown fan base he’s cultivated over the past few years – he headlines venues like The TLA and Union Transfer locally – it was an opportunity to perform to complete strangers in smaller rooms, and win them over. The Amped show featured his right hand man Beano, a charismatic and occasionally comedic R&B singer, hopping offstage and dancing in the midst of the crowd, to the delight of many Instagram-snappers.

“It was a good chance to show a different audience exactly what you can do,” said Moody.

Downstairs at the same venue, electronic rock duo City Rain debuted songs from their new Songs From a High School Dance LP, due out in late April. Again, the crowd was (with the exception of myself) strangers, but people fed off singer / songwriter Ben Runyuan’s relentless energy, particularly on the driving anthem “Waiting on a Dream.”

“This is our last showcase,” Runyan said. “So I’m just throwing everything I got into this.” Continue reading →

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Exclusive Listen: Amos Lee covers “Some Days Are Diamonds” from The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver

DENVER-VINYL-FATSPINE-INTEMPLATE Singer-songwriter Amos Lee joins a star-studded group of WXPN favorite musicians including Dave Matthews, Kathleen Edwards, My Morning Jacket, Brandi Carlile, and Lucinda Williams for The Music Is You: A tribute To John Denver, out on ATO Records on April 2nd. Listen to Amos’s version of Denver’s “Some Days Are Diamonds.”

Below, listen to My Morning Jacket cover the classic “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” watch the trailer for the album featuring interviews with Brandi Carlile and Kathleen Edwards and watch the video of Denver singing the original version of the song, which was the title to his 1981 release.

Track Listing
“Leaving on a Jet Plane” by My Morning Jacket
“Take Me To Tomorrow” by Dave Matthews
“All of My Memories” by Kathleen Edwards
“Prisoners” by J Mascis and Sharon Van Etten
“Sunshine On My Shoulders” by Train
“Back Home Again” by Old Crow Medicine Show
“This Old Guitar” by Lucinda Williams
“Some Days are Diamonds” by Amos Lee
“Rocky Mountain High” by Allen Stone
“Annie’s Song” by Brett Dennen and Milow
“Looking For Space” by Evan Dando
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” by Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris
“The Eagle and The Hawk” by Blind Pilot
“I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado” by Mary Chapin Carpenter
“Darcy Farrow” by Josh Ritter and Barnstar!
“Wooden Indian” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Pre-order the album here.

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My Morning Download: “Real Love” by Beach House (from a limited time only collection of World Cafe downloads)

Photo by Liz Flyntz
Photo by Liz Flyntz
The final free World Cafe downlpad that is being offered this month (until Midnight tonight) is a Cafe performance of “Real Love” by Beach House.” You can listen to the Baltimore duo’s appearance on the show with David Dye here.

This month World Cafe is offering free downloads of performances from bands including Calexico, Lord Huron, the Afghan Whigs, Alt-J, John Fullbright, Freelance Whales, Stars, Nick Waterhouse, Allen Stone, The Kopecky Family Band, Sea Wolf, Trey Anastasio, Minus The Bear, Father John Misty, and others. Download the entire collection, while they last until Midnight tonight, here.