Kacey Musgraves released her album Golden Hour earlier this year, and just wrapped up a tour with Harry Styles. Just a month after gracing the stage at World Cafe Live for Free at Noon, she has just announced the dates for her own headlining Oh, What A World tour. The North American leg includes a visit to Philadelphia on January 18th at The Fillmore. Natalie Prass is opening for her in Philly; supporting acts elsewhere on the tour include Soccer Mommy, and Liza Anne. The charming country star just released a video for her single, “High Horse,” a warm-palette period piece that nods to 70’s disco; watch it below and get tickets and more information at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Later this very night, Kacey Musgraves will play on a much larger stage to a much larger crowd. But this afternoon, the rising country star was more than content to bring things down a notch and play a soft, intimate set to a crowd brimming with enthusiasm.
Before today’s performance even began, as a line of eager audience members filled the World Cafe Live stairs and spilled out the door, it became clear that this would not be your average Free at Noon. And if you were lucky enough to score a spot at today’s sold-out show, you had the rare chance to see Kacey Musgraves on what may just be the smallest stage you’ll ever see her. But even though the Texas native is accustomed to playing bigger shows these days — especially on her current arena tour with Harry Styles, which makes a stop at the Wells Fargo Center tonight — she seemed downright thrilled by venue’s homey feel and awestruck crowd.
I spent a probably unreasonable amount of time in the last couple weeks compiling a list of my personal top 25 albums of the past 25 years – a time period which happens to correspond, more or less, with my lifespan as an active, conscious listener to contemporary music – and then discussing/dissecting said list in detail via Facebook comments, which turned out to be a surprisingly emotional process. (The whole undertaking was inspired by a prompt commemorating the 25th anniversary of Philly-based staple Magnet Magazine, wherein the list will eventually be published.)
One thing that struck me along the way was how astonishingly many acts from this time-frame – even the earliest years of it – remain (or have again become) relatively musically active. Now, maybe it’s just a factor of my age, but I don’t really remember the musical landscape of the ‘90s, for instance, being quite so well populated by artists who’d been around since the ’70s. Of the twenty-five artists who made my list, all but four are either still at it or at it again: two have died (Elliott Smith and Aaliyah; three if you count Stereolab’s Mary Hansen), but only two – Rachel Stevens and Aberfeldy – have, to my knowledge, simply stopped making music. Continue reading →
Ruston Kelly came onstage for today’s Free at Noon with the demeanor of a road-weary troubadour who thought it felt more like 9 a.m. than noon, but it didn’t take long for the musician to reveal the powerhouse energy that takes his songs from sleepy, whispered country tunes to soaring belted-out ballads in the span of seconds. The Nashville-based singer songwriter is touring behind his debut album Dying Star and is just in the beginning stages of becoming a familiar name in country music, but with his refreshing, raw sound that’s nothing like what you’d hear on mainstream country radio, he’s well on his way to becoming a champion of country fans who don’t necessarily want to hear about beer and pickup trucks in every song. Continue reading →
Sophie Allison’s band Soccer Mommy has taken her on some dream tours lately, opening for the likes of Paramore, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, and even Liz Phair. We saw the band here earlier this year for a memorable show with Phoebe Bridgers. But now it’s time for Soccer Mommy to strike out on their own, with a string of headlining tour dates scheduled for this fall (before yet another big time tour supporting Kacey Musgraves in February). Continue reading →
Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.
Happy summer, is it?I guess I got all the pop out of my system last month, cuz it’s about to get pretty indie in here.You like indy music, right?Good, cause I’ve got nothing major planned for this month.After all, independence day is coming up soon.In this June installment of NowHearThis, at the halfway point of an already-pretty-excellent year for all kindsa music, we’ll take some stock of the wide, white, anglophone (though in this case, hardly at all male) world of probably the least useful genre descriptor there is.Then, eventually, we’ll get to some other places – Holland, Africa, outer space, Takoma Park.We’ll meet some bands named after names, check in with some artists who’ve been around for fifty years, or seventy years, and some who went away for a while and have come back to us.First, though, let’s hear a heavy hit from one of the least-categorizable heavy-hitters out there… Continue reading →
You can’t tell us that there’s nothing going on this week — even if you don’t count the Firefly Music Festival (which you should totally count), there are more artists moving through the Philly region that we can pin down. Massive arena shows like U2 and Harry Styles to modest DIY gigs like Cold Fronts and Eternal Summers, the spectrum is huge. Here are 27 concerts you can see in and around Philly this week. Continue reading →
“There was one lyric that was thought to be one that might suit me. And then I was glancing through the folio and that particular lyric was there on the page, and the next thing I could hear it in a very unusual way” – Elvis Costello in an interview w/ Rolling Stone re: a song he wrote to a Johnny Cash poem.
Next month an album called Forever Words will be released featuring well-known singers who have taken poems and letters written by Johnny Cash, and have put his words to music. Elvis Costello is one of the performers. Continue reading →