1957 – Elvis Presley buys the Graceland mansion from Mrs. Ruth Brown-Moore for $102,500. The 23-room, 10,000 square foot home on 13.8 acres of land is expanded to 17,552 square feet of living space before the King moves in a few weeks later. The original building had at one time been used as a place of worship by the Graceland Christian Church and was named after the builder’s daughter, Grace Toof.
Kinks front man Ray Davies returns with a new album, Americana, on April 21st. The 15 song collection is an autobiographical work, chronicling the role America has played in Davies’ life. For the album he enlisted the help of The Jayhawks as his backing band. Continue reading →
British mastermind Sir Raymond Douglas Davies, better known for his jaunt with rock staple The Kinks, announced his new record Americana and released his first single “Poetry”. The single marks something special for Davies, as he enlisted alt-country kids The Jayhawks as recording partners.
A gloomy look at the materialism in America, Davies uses Dylan-esque vocals to soulfully inquire where art has gone in our country (“And every shop window goods are designed to please / Oh but I ask / Where is the poetry?”). Although some bad blood may still come from The Kinks’ 1960s ban from America, Davies raises some good points inside an enjoyable yet simplistic indie rock ballad, all from a third-party source that may become ignored in the next couple years. Continue reading →
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18
Bell X1 is Ireland’s best barely-kept secret. The group, originally known as Juniper, used to feature Damien Rice as its lead singer; unfortunately, it’s still often recognized for that fact, rather than for its Talking Heads- and Flaming Lips-inspired fusion of rock and electronic music. Bell X1 is a sensation in Ireland, nominated for Best Irish Band at the Meteor Music Awards three different times. It was also nominated twice for Best Irish Album and Best Irish Live Performance. However, the band’s success in the states and in the UK barely compares to its fame at home. The chance to see a festival-headlining band up close and personal is rare, but Bell X1’s current international tour for its new album, Bloodless Coup, provides just that opportunity. The new material walks the fine line between early Radiohead and contemporary UK folk like Mumford And Sons and they’ll be performing it at a series of smaller, intimate shows in the states. Bell X1 performs with Favourite Sons at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $18–$20. —Naomi Shavin
Eilen Jewel performs two shows (7:30 and 10:00 p.m.) at Tin Angel. Tickets to the 21+ show are $15.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19 Intuition and tenacity have driven Ray Davies’ extensive songwriting career. Davies, the prime lyricist of The Kinks, has been deemed responsible for the England-based band’s literate rock ballads. Now, 15 years after The Kinks’ split, Davies is writing more than ever. Recently he stated, “I think it’s an instinct, a desire to want to communicate things to people… you try to find a unique way of doing it.” His most recent album, See My Friends, might be his most unique attempt at communicating yet. The record is composed entirely of collaborations with well-known acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Mumford And Sons. Davies’ determination to create at the age of 67 outshines that of many 20-somethings. So, despite a six-month hiatus due to health concerns and a conflict-ridden relationship with his brother (once-bandmate, Dave Davies), Ray Davies is touring to promote even more new songs (and a few oldies). Ray Davies performs with Dessolf Choir at 8 pm at the Temple Performing Arts Center; tickets to the all-ages show are $55. —Caitlyn Grabenstein
Chris Smither performs with Andy Friedman at 7:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the all-ages show are $30-$40.
Drive-By Truckers perform with Jessica Lea Mayfield at 8 p.m. at the Theatre Of Living Arts; tickets to the 21+ show are $35.
Former Kinks frontman Ray Davies is bringing his solo act to Philadelphia November 19th. Davies’ lengthy solo career was recently capped with 2010’s See My Friends, which charted to number 12 in the UK. See My Friends was a collaborative re-recording of many of Davies’ original Kinks compositions. Among the other artists featured on the record are Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Spoon, and the late Alex Chilton. Tickets to the show are not yet available.
A page of Philly music history turned this afternoon as David Dye hosted his final episode of World Cafe. He has been at the helm of the show during its 25-year run, discovering new artists and tracking their careers with vigorous enthusiasm, revisiting old favorites and digging up gems in his pile of vinyl. For his farewell show, he was interviewed by another big name in public radio — Ari Shapiro of All Things Considered — and spent some time chatting with incoming Cafe host Talia Schlanger, as well as revisiting the World Cafe 25th anniversary concerts with Ryan Adams and Ben Vaughn. Continue reading →
Hey it’s Monday and that means new music discovery on XPN! Tonight at 8pm, gather ‘round the radio as we’ve got a few interesting collaborations to play, including a new song from Thundercat featuring both Michael McDonald AND Kenny Loggins. Yup … you read that correctly. In fact, it’s our “Gotta Hear” Song of the Week! Also, Ray Davies of the Kinks teams up with The Jayhawks for his first new album in almost a decade. The cool kids are talking about the new tune from Real Estate, we’ve got that to spin. Plus some other highlights like …
We tip our hat to Leonard Cohen, who celebrates his 82nd birthday today and fans are happy with the release of his latest song – the title track of his forthcoming album: “You Want it Darker.” Hear it below.
Leonard Cohen’s new album- You Want It Darker comes out October 21st. The title track appeared earlier this year on the Netflix series Peaky Blinders. You Want It Darker is produced by Cohen’s son, Adam and is the follow-up to 2014’s Popular Problems.Continue reading →