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Free At Noon Flashback: Rostam delivers expansive experience with Half-Light

Rostam | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Rostam Batmanglij released his debut LP Half-Light on September 15th, and to say that it was a long time coming is a definite understatement. It was six years ago this month that Rostam’s first solo track – and now Half-Light track – “Wood” was released on Soundcloud, as his band Vampire Weekend recorded their chart-topping Modern Vampires of the City. 

The years since have seen Rostam leave Vampire Weekend in 2016 to pursue solo work, produce tracks on a number of records for genre-spanning artists from Solange to Carly Rae Jepson to Hamilton Leithauser, and all the while steadily release singles that would eventually become his solo debut.

Half-Light is fifteen tracks of mystical, musical magic, and at today’s Free At Noon show Rostam performed seven of them (plus a bonus Vampire Weekend cover). Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Hamilton Leithauser brings 2017 tour to Johnny Brenda’s in February (maybe with Rostam)

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | Courtesy of the artist
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | Courtesy of the artist

After making its live debut at Free at Noon earlier this fall, the latest project of indie rocker Hamilton Leithauser just announced a 2017 tour which will kick off January 13th in Texas and will come to a close in Dublin, Ireland on March 12th, stopping in Philadelphia on February 9th at Johnny Brenda’s. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam shake the rafters “A 1000 Times” over

Hamilton and Rostam | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
Hamilton and Rostam | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

When I first heard that Hamilton Leithauser and Rostam Batmanglij were putting out an album together, I was as excited as I was apprehensive. It sounded great on paper, of course, but rarely do collaborations like this go over as well as they’re theoretically supposed to. With The Walkmen and Vampire Weekend in their respective back catalogs, the duo had a lot to live up to, but this afternoon, they did just that with an exhilarating, eight-song set at WXPN’s Free at Noon concert. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Preview: Listen to Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam’s new LP “I Had A Dream That You Were Mine”

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | Courtesy of the artist
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam | Courtesy of the artist

Two of Indie-Rock’s finest will put out their ten-track LP I Had A Dream That You Were Mine on September 23rd under Glassnote Records. Hamilton Leithauser formerly of The Walkmen and Rostam Batmanglij who left Vampire Weekend this past January have collaborated before, but this will be the first time they release work under the name Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam.

Fittingly, the album as a whole invites listeners into the neo-blues/rock dreamscape born of the collaboration between these established musicians. The introductory track of the album, “A 1000 Times,” eases listeners into the hazy world created by I Had A Dream That You Were Mine with Leithauser’s nostalgic vocals worthy of any lullaby accompanied by twinkling piano notes played by Batmanglij. As the narration continues, the mood of each track grows increasingly more persistent in regards to the love interest that Leithauser seems to have been pursuing for some time now. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hamilton Leithauser at Union Transfer, Ratboys at Everybody Hits, Telepathic at Kung Fu Necktie, and more

Hamilton Leithauser at Firefly 2016 | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Hamilton Leithauser played a stunning show at Johnny Brenda’s at the beginning of the year, and now he’s moving his expansive sound into a bigger space with a headlining gig at Union Transfer. Known as the former lead vocalist of the Walkmen, Leithauser released an album with Rostam last year and a song with Angel Olsen just a few weeks ago, which you can listen to below. Courtney Marie Andrews opens tonight’s show; find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Womanspace Benefit at Rigby Mansion, Taiwan Housing Project at Johnny Brenda’s, Strange Parts at Ortlieb’s and more…

Resiliant | photo by Leeland McCartney
Resiliant | photo by Leeland McCartney | courtesy of the artist

Resilient and Vessna Scheff are just two of the artists slated to perform at Rigby Mansion this afternoon for a concert and cookout benefiting Womanspace. The nonprofit is a women-centric safe space, providing mental health services and shelter in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Proceeds will go towards renovations and essential items, while art donations will also be accepted. More information for the gathering can be found here. Watch Resilient’s recent video for “I’m Onto You” below.

Continue reading →

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Hamilton Leithauser induces goosebumps at Johnny Brenda’s

Hamilton Leithauser | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

“You guys should be more quiet,” Hamilton Leithauser sarcastically told the silent audience at Johnny Brenda’s as they scrambled to pick their jaws up off the floor.

Leithauser had just belted out the last chorus of “Sick As a Dog,” in which the singer had crooned the words “I use the saaaame voice I alwaaaaays haaaaaaave” to an awestruck crowd of lucky bastards who managed to procure a ticket to one of the most highly coveted shows you’re ever going to see at JB’s. It was only the second song of the night (Leithauser opened the show with “You Ain’t That Young Kid,” another off of his album with Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij entitled I Had a Dream That You Were Mine), and the patrons on the floor and in the balcony had already gotten their money’s worth. What could possibly come next? Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: MH The Verb at Silk City, Diana at Boot and Saddle and A.M. Mills at Ortlieb’s

MH The Verb | Photo courtesy of the artist
MH The Verb | Photo courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia jazz-inspired hip-hop artist MH The Verb plays tonight at Silk City. The rapper recently released a video for his song “Last Dance” commemorating the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut in collaboration with his production collective ArtHouse95. Check out the video for “Last Dance” below and click here for more information and tickets. Continue reading →

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Check out Ra Ra Riot’s new “Foreign Lovers” lyric video before their Free At Noon this Friday

Ra Ra Riot | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist
Ra Ra Riot | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Syracuse indie-pop band Ra Ra Riot have released a lyric video for their new single, “Foreign Lovers.”

“Foreign Lovers” is a quick two minute piece of synth pop from their up-coming 4th record, Need Your Light. The band seems to be continuing the electronic direction they took with their last LP, Beta Love, trading in their string instruments for synthesizers. Behind neon lights, Vocalist Wes Miles sings, “I got no idea what’s fair but I knew before,” an ode that speaks of both confusion and nostalgia. Continue reading →