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Free at Noon Flashback: Mt. Joy brings a dose of folk rock charm to World Cafe Live

Mt. Joy performs live at World Cafe Live for WXPN’s Free At Noon Concert | Photo by Rich McKie / WXPN

Mt. Joy has quickly become a favorite among the XPN universe this year — after being featured as January’s Artist to Watch, the band released their debut album and soon returned to play NonComm and this year’s XPoNential festival. Tonight they’re back in town for a proper headlining gig, and this afternoon they treated us to a preview in the form of an energy-filled Free at Noon performance.

But if you think the up-and-coming band is getting sick of Philly by now, that’s not the case. Every visit back to the city is a homecoming for the band, whose members are originally from the area. (They draw the name Mt. Joy not from the Lancaster Co. borough, but from the mountain in Valley Forge.) And Philly’s certainly not getting sick of them, if today’s enthusiastic audience was any indication. Also, they have a song about painting a school bus green and tailgating at Eagles games, so if that doesn’t earn them Philadelphians’ love and admiration I’m not sure what would. Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Mt. Joy is a Silver Lining among other Marina Stage performances

Mt. Joy | photo by Natalie Piserchio | nataliepiserchio.com

L.A.-via-Philly up-and-comers Mt. Joy played the second slot on the Marina Stage for the last day of XPN Fest, and their set was vibey and wild and enigmatic. It was all over the board in the best way. These guys are sort of chameleon rockers – each song is so different from the last, but still fits in the pocket of indie soul folk if you had to categorize their sound. Continue reading →

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NonCOMM Recap: Mt. Joy adds a heavy dose of vibe to its poppy, non-sequitur Americana

Mt. Joy | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN | www.senialopez.photography

West Coast modern rockers Mt. Joy are best known for their easygoing tunes rooted in 70s folk and Americana. So seeing the band open their NonCOMM set bathed in deep blue and purple lights to a dramatic swell of atmospheric synthesizers and a spectral, tremolo-plucked ukulele was a minor curveball. Were we inexplicably transported to this time last year when Lo Moon brought their voluminous take on 80s keyboard gloss to the public radio masses on the very same stage?

Nah, never fear. As it turned out, Mt. Joy is still very much Mt. Joy, and as the live rendition of “Dirty Love” gave way to “Jenny Jenkins” and its various Lumineers-isms — a chanty wordless chorus, a foot-tapping beat, a plaintive vocal melody — it is clear that, to whatever extent this band embraces vibe, it’s rooted in pop first and foremost. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Chill Moody at Spruce Street Harbor Park, Mt. Joy at Johnny Brenda’s, Secret Nudist Friends at Bourbon and Branch

Chill Moody | photo by Reji B. | courtesy of the artist | www.rejibphotography.com
Chill Moody | photo by Reji B. | courtesy of the artist | www.rejibphotography.com

Penn’s Landing is the place to be on Thursday nights – Spruce Street Harbor Park presents local artists for a free summer concert series in its awesome waterfront space, and tonight is one not to miss. Hip hop sensation Chill Moody will perform with The Bul Bey, and it is sure to be an evening of chill and breezy summer vibes. For more information, click here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band at Johnny Brenda’s

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

It’s easy to imagine Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band sitting around the living room and having a serious band talk after a particularly rough practice. After all, tensions rise in any band sooner or later, at which point a little cooling off and airing of grievances is probably a good idea for everyone involved. But this Seattle quartet is a special case: It’s an almost-all-in-the-family band composed of guitarist Benjamin Verdoes, his wife, keyboardist Traci Eggleston, and Verdoes’ adopted little brother, 15-year-old drummer Marshall. (Oh, right, we said quartet: pity poor bassist Jared Price, the only one who isn’t part of the family—and who has probably had to play peacemaker on more than one occasion.) We’re sure all is fine and dandy in the Verdoes/Eggleston household, but there’s something about the band’s latest album—Where The Messengers Meet (released last month on Dead Oceans)—that troubles us. Maybe it’s the gloomy line in the press release that states, “The recording of Where The Messengers Meet was a patient process, conducted over eight months, in part during Seattle’s darkest and rainiest time of year.” Or perhaps it’s just that, compared to the band’s poppy, 2009 self-titled debut, Messengers seems like kind of a joyless (but no less accomplished) affair. Here’s to hoping there are no family spats on stage when Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band opens for The Boxer Rebellion and Amusement Parks On Fire at 8:30 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $10-$12.

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Just released: Live At the World Cafe, Volume 44


Hot off the presses, Live At the World Cafe, Volume 44 is available now for a donation. The 17 song collection includes Cafe performances from Brandi Carlile, Margo Price, Moby, Natalie Prass, Mt. Joy, Nathaniel Ratefliff and the Night Sweats and many more.

You can get a copy of the new collection of World Cafe tracks by donating here. Check out the full track list below.

Live at the World Cafe, Volume 44

1. Brandi Carlile “The Joke”
2. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats “A Little Honey”
3. Margo Price “Heart Of America”
4. Natalie Prass “Short Court Style”
5. Mt. Joy “Silver Lining”
6. Lo Moon “Loveless”
7. First Aid Kit “You Are The Problem Here”
8. Lake Street Dive “Musta Been Something”
9. Blind Boys Of Alabama “I Can See”
10. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds “Holy Mountain”
11. Sunflower Bean “I Was A Fool”
12. Moby “The Sorrow Tree”
13. Courtney Marie Andrews “Kindness Of Strangers”
14. Darlingside “Eschaton”
15. Lizz Wright “Singing In My Soul”
16. Sunny War “If It Wasn’t Broken”
17. Jen Cloher “Analysis Paralysis”

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Petal covers Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” for Devinyl Splits

Petal
Petal | photo by Katie Krulock | courtesy of the artist

Petal has been showcasing her songwriting recently with release of her new album Magic Gone, but her latest project takes her fully into cover song territory. Kiley Lotz has teamed up with Brooklyn songwriter Kevin Devine for the latest in his Devinyl Splits series, which periodically releases 7″ splits featuring songs by Devine and different guest artists.

Petal’s half of the split is a rendition of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “You Got Lucky,” the lead single from their album Long After Dark. Minus the psychedelic synths of the 1982 original, Petal’s version takes the song in a new direction that is both heavy and sparse at the same time, with toned-down acoustic guitar and Lotz’s emotion-filled powerhouse vocals at the forefront. Continue reading →

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Revisit XPNFest 2018 with a 48-song VuHaus video playlist

Blind Boys of Alabama | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

The annual XPoNential Music Festival is the pinnacle of summer, drawing crowds of passionate music lovers and diehard festival goers. This year’s lineup was impressively diverse, including prominent, well-known artists, from Margo Price, Mondo Cozmo and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real to newly emerging bands like Harmony Woods, Bermuda Triangle and The National Reserve. 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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XPNFest 2018 brings Josh Ritter, Margo Price, Bermuda Triangle, Phoebe Bridgers and more to Wiggins Park

clockwise from left: Josh Ritter | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN // Margo Price | photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN // Phoebe Bridgers | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // Bermuda Triangle | photo by Harvey Hale courtesy of the artist

The Wiggins Park lineup of the 2018 XPoNential Music Festival was rolled out today, and it will bring veteran singer-songwriter Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band to the Camden Waterfront this July, along with country breakout Margo Price, the Nashville trio Bermuda Triangle (featuring Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Becca Mancari and Jesse Lafser) and returning festival favorites The Lone Bellow. Continue reading →