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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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Maggie Rogers to Vampire Weekend: 8 of 2019’s Most Anticipated Releases

Maggie Rogers | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN // J.S. Ondara | photo by Josh Cheuse | courtesy of the artist // Ali Awan | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

New year, new music; today, XPN Morning Show host Kristen Kurtis rounds up eight records that she cannot wait to hear in 2019. Read and listen below.

WHO: Maggie Rogers

WHAT: Heard It in a Past Life

WHEN: January 18th

WHY: It feels like forever since a demo of “Alaska” made Pharrell cry while hosting a master class for songwriters at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. A year and a half (and one SNL performance) after that viral video made Maggie Rogers an immediate internet sensation, she is finally releasing her full-length debut album. She plays the Fillmore Philadelphia on Saturday, March 30. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Jupiter & Okwess, Stef Chura, Nothing, Soul Glo and more

Soul Glo | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Soul Glo | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Can we collectively agree to retire the aughties hipster cliche “Rocktober”? Not because the tenth month of the year is no longer jam-packed with live music — it absolutely is, moreso than ever, as any casual glance at the calendar will tell you — but because there are many more offerings at your disposal this month than mere rock.

This week alone, there is Nigerian-tinged R&B, homegrown hip-hop, jazzy folk, folky punk, and so much more. Here are 27 concerts you can see in Philadelphia in the next seven days, with a whopping eight options on Saturday night. Heck, even Monday has four shows you can choose from — Monday! GTTG, Philly.

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The Week Ahead: Vita and the Woolf, Brockhampton, Brandee Younger, G. Love and more

Brockhampton
Brockhampton | photo by Ashlan Grey | courtesy of the artist

This week we get something of a break in the live music landscape on Sunday, when there are pretty much zero shows of note and a couple cancellations due to the Eagles making it to the Super Bowl. There are more than enough options the rest of the week to keep you entertained, though. From two double headers packing the house (Brockhampton at TLA, G. Love at The Fillmore) to solid showings from local faves (Vita and the Woolf tonight, T.J. Kong on Friday), you’ve got no excuse for staying in. 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.

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