Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kuf Knotz at Bourbon and Branch, Carolyn Thorn at Bob and Barbara’s, Killiam Shakespeare at Johnny Brenda’s

Kuf Knotz | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN
Kuf Knotz | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

Ahead of his upcoming album release, alternative hip-hop artist Kuf Knotz is stepping back onto the stage. Originally from Philadelphia but now residing in New York, Knotz will be making six stops throughout June and July between his two homes where he will be sure to mix previews of tracks from the new record with his 2015 LP A Positive Light. You can hear his upbeat, positive vibes at Bourbon and Branch with Roots of a Rebellion and Wild Adriatic. Check out the details at the XPN Concert Calendar.  Continue reading →


Listen to Carolyn Thorn’s battle call for confidence in EP, Standing

Carolyn Thorn | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Carolyn Thorn | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Fans of Ingrid Michaelson, Janis Joplin, Regina Spektor, and Alanis Morissette: I’ve got a treat for you.  It comes in the form of singer-songwriting, guitar playing, ukulele-strumming, piano afficianado, Carolyn Thorn. Whether you like one or all of those artists, you’re sure to love Thorn’s new EP, Standing, which features four tracks exploring insecurity and cries for confident decisiveness.

The song, “Fire” starts off the EP with dark folk fashion, while second track “Joan of Arc” — which we heard previously — possesses strong Morissette feels. Elements of Regina Spektor contribute to piano-driven, poppy “Roll Along,” while the last track, “The End,” is a full on battle cry for self-assuredness. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Condition Oakland (A Benefit For The Victims Of The Ghost Ship Fire) at Kung Fu Necktie, Carolyn Thorn at MilkBoy South Street

via Condition Oakland’s Facebook Event Page

Tonight, the main floor of Kung Fu Necktie will host Condition Oakland: A Benefit For The Victims Of The Ghost Ship Fire. The tragedy occurred earlier this month at the NoCal DIY space, taking 36 lives and leaving some without a home, and now, a slew of Philly artists are banding together to do their part. The night will feature DJ sets from Deflector and Speaking Parts as well as visuals from Trixine Chemical Corp. Then, at midnight, a live performance by experimental electronic project Night Burger will close the show. If you can’t make the show and still want to donate, you can do so here. Otherwise, find tickets and more information at XPN’s Concert Calendar.

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Philly singer-songwriter Carolyn Thorn’s new “Joan of Arc” is beautifully vulnerable

Carolyn Thorn | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Carolyn Thorn | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

As a Temple-graduated music therapist, using music as a means for healing is normal to Carolyn Thorn. Her new single “Joan of Arc” explores her self-detrimental mindset, making a point of how much of a stronger and braver person she’d be if anxiety and lack of confidence didn’t trap her: “Sometimes I take myself far too seriously / ‘Cause I get stuck in my own thoughts of me,” she sings “But if I was Joan of Arc / I wouldn’t be afraid.”

The song recruited seasoned vets of the scene such as producers Ross Bellenoit (Ginger Coyle, Sweetback Sisters) and Jeff Hiatt (Arc Divers, Honey Watts), and was recorded at South Philly’s Turtle Studios. It’s the first single from her new full length, Standing, out in December. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Radiator Hospital at PhilaMOCA, Carolyn Thorn at Milkboy, Mac DeMarco at the Electric Factory and more…

Radiator Hospital
Radiator Hospital | Photo by Rachel Barrish |

Radiator Hospital return to PhilaMOCA tonight for their first local show since November. The Philly project of Sam Cook-Parrott released its latest LP Wedding Album in February, which features “old songs, new songs, borrowed songs and blue songs” including “Singer’s No Star” below. Pick up tickets for the all-ages show with The Spook School, Bent Shapes and Littler here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Basia Bulat at Boot and Saddle, Jessy Lanza at Union Transfer, Carolyn Thorn at Bourbon and Branch, and more…

Basia Bulat
Basia Bulat | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN |

Canadian indie folk singer Basia Bulat performs at Boot and Saddle tonight with Twin Lamb. Bulat, who performed a Free at Noon for XPN back in January, is touring to support recently released album, Good Advice (which was produced by Jim James). For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Tiny Desk Philly – 2016 – Page One

XPN favorites Vita and the Woolf (Jen Pague, Adam Shumski) performed the melodic “Springtime Foxes”, a dance-ready track utilizing deep synths, drum pads, and Pague’s unique vocals.

Psych-roots rockers Oldermost performed a stripped down version of their song “Honey With Tea”.

Philly rapper The Bul Bey performed his hit “Where I’m From” a bouncing R&B ode to Philly shot during a power outage.

Fake Boyfriend (Abi Reimold, Sarah Myers, and Ashley Tryba) performed “Wax”, a song from their EP, Mercy.

Roots rockers Chestnut Grove performed “You’re Still Amazing,” a folky cut featuring sweet vocals from lead singer Dee Gerhart.

Atmospheric rockers VoirVoir got their dreamscaping on in a skate warehouse.

Alix Paul and Mike Ruhl created a chorusy synth loop for their song “Candle”, with Paul on vocals and hand drum and Ruhl creating synthetic bass overtones.

Philly rapper Purple Dialect (Zane Rice) spits on “Kick” while creating live samples in his home studio.

Razor Boomerang played “Old Soul”, a smooth hip-hop track featuring vocals from Leroy Hardy and keys from Jeff Milnazik.

Acton Bell performed “In Flanders Fields”, a song by Clifford Hall that uses text from a WWI poem written by John McCrae.

Singer songwriter Emily Ana Zeitlyn of Arc Divers performed her soft spoken song “Rope.”

Folk collective Tutlie‘s eight members performed a beautiful arraignment of “The Bison” that features both jazz harmony and harp.

Chealsea Mitchell performed a sweet and intimate rendition of her song “Somebody’s Baby”.

August John Lutz II of the Levee Drivers‘ dark and rootsy performance of “Cherry Cadillac” brings up memories of both River-era Springsteen and Blood On The Tracks-era Dylan.

That Dream Was Our Life (James Cuartero) performed his song “We Were Born To Bring Love.”

Funky pop combo Flounder Warehouse performs “In My Head” backed by shimmering gold drapes in a Philly apartment.

John Grecia, who performs with the John Grecia Band, played “We Are Darkness and Light”, a heartfelt piano ballad.

Whitewater Pass utilized three part harmony on their song “Your Wide Eyes”, a folky strummer reminiscent of 70’s soft rock.

Singer songwriter fo performed the meditative “Sleep” from his self titled debut album.

Chris Meservey performed “That’s What I Get”, a quiet love song with soft-spoken lyrics.

Meghan Cary used her entry to tell a story in a similar vein to Joni Mitchell with a song called “Responsibility” with the help of a banjo and a piano.

Folk group Mother Moses brought out a very tiny desk and scaled back to two members (Jon Cox and Ellen Tiberio-Shultz) to perform an intimate version of “Jesus, Tell Me.”

Songwriter Carolyn Thorn played the humorous Oreo, dedicated to the titilar cookie.

“Bluebird” by Christopher Davis-Shannon features Michael Durkan on violin and nice view of the Philadelphia City Hall.

Liz de Lise recruited some friends to help her sing along to her song “Oh My God.”

Singer-songwriter Ms. Mandy performed her song “Molly Pitcher” about a sweet story about a lady who had inspired her.

Doug Wartman‘s entry, an instrumental song called “Either Way”, uses fingerpicking and tapping to create an acoustic guitar universe.

While many artists play guitar, John Percy Lasher took to the piano to perform his song “No More Songs For You”.

Brian McGrath performed his song “Cinderella Skin” at his own tiny desk.

Everyone Except Me, the moniker of Michelle Antisocial and her guitar Jack the freshman, performed their song “I Want My Medal Already.”

Alix Paul also performed a solo song “You’re Not My Baby Anymore,” which features an appearance from her cat, Charlie.

Singer Songwriter Jim Hobson played his kind-hearted folk ballad “A Song In Your Heart”.

Philly surf-punks The Pretty Greens played “Soft Lies” in what seems to be not a tiny desk but a tiny basement.

Singer-songwriter Nate Philips played “Diddily Daddily”, featuring backup vocals from Spongebob.

Singer-songwriter Zoe Milford performed the sweet “Acrobats” from her most recent album Coyote Wings.



Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cruisr at TLA, No Good Sister at Tin Angel, Spank Rock / McRad at FringeArts and more

Cruisr | photo by Chris Sembrot

Summery vibes will fill the TLA tonight courtesy of the indie-pop band Cruisr. The band will be joined by Cheerleader, Cold Fronts and Verite, all of whom hail from Philadelphia but play a distinctively sunny-California style that will have you holding on to summer for dear life. Click here for more information on tonight’s show. Continue reading →