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Now Hear This: New songs by Natalia Lafourcade and Caroline Rose, Car Seat Headrest and Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog, Ezra Furman and Johanna Warren…and more

Caroline Rose
Caroline Rose | photo by Matt Hogan | courtesy of the artist

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

Another month, another haphazard assemblage of sounds, culled from near and far, old and new, this and that, recent recordings and forthcoming performances (another solid line-up of the latter!) Somehow, unpredictably, through-lines tend to emerge, and I try to take them for what they’re worth without overstating the point. For whatever reason, in compiling this second monthly batch of new 2018 tunes – jazz, ambient, country, folk, pop and rock, and very little of it on quite square – I kept encountering forms and notions of duality: binaries, opposites, mirrors, twins. Below you’ll find pairings as superficial and arbitrary as similar-sounding artist names, as specific and deliberate as conceptually conjoined album projects, as intriguing if incidental as strikingly parallel career arcs. Well, we’ve gotta find something to talk about. First, though, let’s have some fun. Continue reading →

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Made In America Day One: Jamie XX, Jay Electronica, Car Seat Headrest and more

Jay Electronica at Made in America | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
Jay Electronica at Made in America | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

If you love hip-hop, if you love R&B, and if you want to sprinkle some local flair in between, this year’s Made in America festival is for you.

The first day of the two-day extravaganza on the Ben Franklin Parkway was packed with huge names; Rihanna closed off the day with a set that was nothing short of legendary, but amazing sets went down right from the beginning of the day all the way to closing; Symone and C-Kan opened up two of the smaller stages with powerhouse vocals and Spanish flows to rival the American ones of Eminem and Kendrick. Continue reading →

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Rihanna, Coldplay, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Chance The Rapper, Grimes, Car Seat Headrest + more playing Made In America

coldplay
Coldplay | press photo by Julia Kennedy

Here’s your Made In America lineup: Coldplay, Rihanna, Chance The Rapper, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, DJ Khaled, Jamie XX, Gary Clark, Jr., Lil Uzi Vert, Gallant, Car Seat Headrest, Kevin Devine, Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties, Grimes, ColleGrove (Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz) and more.

It’s happening September 3rd and 4th on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, June 22nd through Tidal at 10 a.m. General public on-sale is June 27th at 10 a.m. Continue reading →

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Car Seat Headrest streaming live tonight via All Songs Considered

Car Seat Headrest | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
Car Seat Headrest | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

We’ve all had a heavy dose of Car Seat Headrest lately. Last Friday, Teens Of Denial was released, giving us our first studio album from the project that has flooded bandcamp with releases since 2010. That night, Will Toledo and his band wowed NonCOMM with am electrifying set at World Cafe Live. And Sunday night, they took over Underground Arts for a headline performance. Even as I sit at a desk at WXPN, I can hear someone across the office listening to the indie rockers.

If all that’s not enough, we thought we’d pass along the news that NPR Music and All Songs Considered will be streaming Car Seat Headrest’s show at Black Cat DC tonight, starting at 9:30pm. If you weren’t lucky enough to catch them when they were in town this past weekend, here’s your chance to make up for it. Follow this link to watch, and in the mean time take a listen to “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales.”

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Car Seat Headrest continue the conversation by bringing their Noise Machine to Underground Arts

Car Seat Headrest | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
Car Seat Headrest | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

It had only been two days since Car Seat Headrest last played in Philadelphia. Back on Friday, the four piece band fronted by indie-rock wunderkind Will Toledo was introduced by David Dye at NonCOMM (before which Dye said, “I had to play rock-paper-scissors with Bob Boilen to introduce these guys, and I won”). While it was still a great set filled with, as fellow Key writer Joe Bloss put it, “youthful lyrics and mind-numbing guitar shredding,” it was still only four songs, all of which came from the newly released and sarcastically cathartic Teens of Denial (check out K. Ross Hoffman’s great album review for the Key here). The band’s appearance at Underground Arts on Sunday night gave them the chance to expound on their Teens of Denial stuff, while also dive into louder and more fleshed-out versions of Toledo’s early Bandcamp material as well. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: In just four songs, Car Seat Headrest kills it

Car Seat Headrest | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | <a href=http://jeremy-zim.com target="_blank">jeremy-zim.com</a>
Car Seat Headrest | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com

As I sat at a desk in the WXPN offices, working on a recap of Esme Patterson’s set here at NonCOMM, I faintly heard on a radio across the room that Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle had just finished up downstairs. I had to hurry if I were to get a good spot for Car Seat Headrest. So, I quickly finished and rushed out the office door, only to find a mob of people already filling the upstairs area of World Cafe Live.

I wasn’t going to settle for the back, so I started to push my way through. As I did, I noticed the guy in front of me, who was pushing his way through as well, looked oddly familiar. Then I realized, it was Will Toledo himself, the man behind Car Seat Headrest.

Toledo made it much further up than I did — all the way to the stage, of course. And when he got up there, he and his band crushed it. Continue reading →