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Free at Noon Flashback: The Shacks put us in a Haze on this beautiful afternoon

The Shacks | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

New York indie band The Shacks stopped by for WXPN’s Free At Noon concert today, and their performance was mesmerizing. Right off the bat, the first thing I noticed when I was walking in, was 19-year-old lead singer Shannon Wise’s voice. I stopped midway through the entrance and actually blocked everyone behind me from getting in. Instantly, I was sent into a dream-like state where I felt like I was floating on a cloud with the sun softly hitting my face. Continue reading →

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Chicano Batman delivers an electric performance at TLA with The Shacks and Khruangbin

Chicano Batman | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

On Sunday night, Theatre of Living Arts welcomed Chicano Batman for a night of psychedelic, soulful grooves. I’ve had my eye on this show for a while now, and finally seeing them live completely changed my perspective on their music. I really understand what all the hype is about, because these guys are fun, and I’m happy I had the chance to check them out in person. Continue reading →

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WXPN at SXSW: Highlights from the 2018 festival

Lo Moon | SXSW Public Radio Day Stage | Photo by Gus Philippas | Courtsey of WFUV

SXSW, the annual music festival in Austin, Texas wrapped up Sunday. Philly was repped with performances throughout the week by Queen Of Jeans, Hop Along, Ron Gallo, and others, as well as WXPN’s presence at several events. Continue reading →

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Lucy Dacus, Lo Moon, Natalie Prass and more are on tap for SXSW public radio showcases

Lucy Dacus| Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Heading down to Austin, TX for SXSW next week? Even if you weren’t planning on going, this news might make you want to pack your bags and plan an escape route out of snowy Philly (Austin’s only 1,600 miles away, after all).

There’s never a shortage of events to attend, bands to see, or tacos to eat at the annual mega-conference-slash-festival, but this year NPR Music, in collaboration with several member stations including XPN, has put together something truly special. Public radio showcases will be happening throughout the week at locations all over Austin, with some individual stations hosting their own shows, but the stations come together on Wednesday, March 14 for NPR Music’s Public Radio Showcase at the famous Stubb’s BBQ. Continue reading →

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Meet the #NPRSlingshot class of 2018

L-R, Top To Bottom: Air Credits, Bedouine, Brent Cowles, George Li, Gracie and Rachel, Haley Heynderickx, Hello June, Hembree, The Hogan Brothers, Jade Bird, Knox Fortune, Lawrence Rothman, Liz Brasher, McKinley Dixon, Mt. Joy, Phoebe Bridgers, The Shacks, Sidney Gish, Thunderpussy, WebsterX – The #NPRSlingshot Class of 2018 | via NPR Music

After an introductory year introducing Big Thief, Jamila Woods, and Lo Moon to listeners across the country, public radio’s emerging artist spotlight Slingshot returns for a second year — and a seven-fold increase in artists.

Some of the class of 2018 will be familiar to savvy listeners of XPN — like Bedouine, who recently appeared on World Cafe, or Phoebe Bridgers, who was an XPN Artist to Watch (and who appeared onstage with Conor Oberst at XPNFest). Many of them will be new — and that’s the whole point of Slingshot. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ursula Rucker at Germantown Kitchen Garden, PVRIS at the Electric Factory, Chicano Batman at TLA

Ursula Rucker | Photo by John Vettese

Before the weather gets cold, spoken-word artist Ursula Rucker closes out Germantown Kitchen Garden’s Golden Hour Concert Series tonight with an intimate outdoor performance. The Philly native’s latest project is one-woman show My Father’s Daughter, to be staged in New York this month. Ivy Sole and Osiris Wildfire are also playing, and the event features a potluck dinner before the music starts. Find more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Church Girls at Ortlieb’s, Caroline Reese at Sellersville Theater, Lee Fields and the Expressions at Union Transfer and more

Church Girls
Church Girls | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com

Local indie rockers Church Girls make a stop at Ortlieb’s for a fantastic gig with The National Reserve and Tinnarose. Think if Franke Cosmos decided to expand her haiku-like sound with some dirtier guitars, and you end up with some lovely post-punk. The gig is 21+, and more information/tickets can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Pick: The Builders And The Butchers at North Star Bar

The members of The Builders And The Butchers are all originally from Alaska, which might help explain their bleak and rustic take on the rest of America. Their music videos are set in 19th-century Southwestern mountain shacks. Houses are axed or burned down; characters are knifed or roped to trees. Their harsh, nasal choruses (which sound strikingly similar to those of their fellow Alaskans and former tourmates, Portugal. The Man) tell Cormac McCarthy-esque tales of extreme frontiersmen. Lead singer Ryan Sollee sings violent campfire stories over the sparse acoustic (and, more recently, electric) guitar lines. And the dueling drummers—one with the kick drum, the other with the snare—create a bipolar sound, perhaps drawn from the extremes of their far-northern home. The Builders And The Butchers perform with Damion Suomi And The Minor Prophets and Katie Barbato at 7 p.m. at North Star Bar; tickets to the all-ages show are $12. —Dave Simpson

Also playing: The Grand Nationals + North Lawrence Midnight Singers, When I Was 12 at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $7); Acid Mothers Temple + Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $12-$13)