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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Reuben and the Dark at World Cafe Live, Drive-By Truckers at Chameleon Club, Geology at Kung Fu Necktie and more

Photo by Lucia Graca
Photo by Lucia Graca

Reuben and the Dark return to play at World Cafe Live tonight. The Calgary band consists of Reuben Bullock, Shea Alain, Dillon Whitfield and Kaelen Ohm. Their debut album, Funeral Sky came out last month. The music is slow, with spiritual undertones, and follows the likes of Mumford and Sons. Watch the video for “Black Water” below. Get more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calender.   

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Inspired by Fiction: Drive-By Truckers release a bookish new song, “Pauline Hawkins” (playing World Cafe Live at The Queen 3/16)

Photo courtesy of artist
Photo courtesy of artist

Drive-By Truckers are releasing a new album, English Oceans, on March 4th. It’s the band’s 12th album, and was recorded in a 13 day period last August. The songs on the Southern rockers’ album were written by Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley and continue to showcase their signature roots rock sound: dueling guitars, reliable, steady rhythms, keyboard floruishes and Patterson Hood’s yearning vocals. The Truckers have always had a lean towards Southern influenced classic rock and they uphold that tradition on the new album.

The new song, “Pauline Hawkins,” was inspired by a book that Hood read called The Free by Willy Vlautin. He told Rolling Stone:

“I had loved his first three novels and we had become pen pals in the last couple of years,” he says. “The new book was called The Free and I read it in about three sittings. Wonderful book.” He was especially moved by a character named Pauline Hawkins: “She had lived a tough life and had a brutal job, which caused her to be somewhat closed down in her emotions. I finished the book on Saturday and wrote the song on Sunday.”

Listen to the song below. Drive-By Truckers play World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, with Blitzen Trapper on Sunday, March 16th.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes Polica at Union Transfer, XPN Welcomes Drive-By Truckers and Old 97’s at The TLA, Philly Sings Philly at The Fire

Polica
Polica

XPN welcomes Polica to Union Transfer tonight.  The Minneapolis achieved critical success following the release of their 2012 debut Give You the Ghost, spurred by singles “Dark Star” (which landed at #388 on last month’s 885 Greatest Songs of the New Millennium countdown) and “Wandering Star.”  On their new record called Shulamith, Polica took their synth / bass / double drumset / vocal arrangements even deeper, creating an incredibly dark and heavy environment that verges on frightening at some points (while staying instantly catchy and intriguing).  Tickets and information for tonight’s all-ages show with Marijuana Deathsquads can be found here.  Watch the video for “Warrior Lord” below.

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Four of XPN’s Dan Reed’s favorite Drive-By Truckers songs (playing the TLA with Old 97’s tomorrow night)

Photo of Drive-By Truckers courtesy of the band.
Photo of Drive-By Truckers courtesy of the band.
WXPN’s Dan Reed is a big fan of the rock, especially the kind of Southern rock that the Drive-By Truckers play. WXPN Welcomes the Truckers to the TLA tomorrow night with the Old 97’s. We asked Dan to pick four of his favorite songs by Patterson Hood and the band, and he said: “Just four? They’re all great.”

Drive-By Truckers “Used To Be A Cop” from Jason Thrasher on Vimeo.


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This Weekend’s XPN Welcomes: Bell X1 at Johnny Brenda’s, Ray Davies at Temple, Drive-By Truckers + more

Photo of Ray Davies compliments of the artist

Here are this weekend’s XPN Welcomes concerts.

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.

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This Week’s Contest: Win a pair of tickets to see Drive-By Truckers at TLA January 1st

Drive-By Truckers

This week, we’ve got a handful of tickets to give away for Drive-By Truckers‘ performance at Theatre Of Living Arts on Saturday, January 1st. For a chance to win a pair of tickets, all you have to do is leave a comment below by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 29th. We’ll select the winners at random that evening and notify them via email; tickets can be picked up at the front desk in the World Cafe/WXPN building. (Just, you know, make sure to use a valid email address when posting your comment; we promise not to sell your contact info or sign you up for anything—we just want to be able to actually get in touch with you if you win.)

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Diane Coffee at Boot & Saddle, Drive By Truckers at Union Transfer, Maxwell at Wells Fargo Center

diane coffee
Diane Coffee | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN

After a highlight of a set at the XPoNential Music Festival this summer, Diane Coffee returns for a show at Boot & Saddle tonight. The full-band project of Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming released its sophomore effort Everybody’s a Good Dog last year, earning acclaim for its glam rock-inspired aesthetic as well as the band’s theatrical live show. Watch them perform “Everyday” live at the festival below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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Revisit XPNFest with a 45-song VuHaus video playlist

Drive By Truckers | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

The annual XPoNential Music Festival is easily the highlight of our year around these parts, and this summer’s lineup was a particularly strong one. From Rhiannon Giddens to The Record Company, Strand of Oaks to Sweet Spirit, Hardwork Movement to Hurray for the Riff Raff we were covered across the board with sounds and styles and incredible performances. And thankfully, those sets don’t have to remain too far in our memory. Continue reading →