The annual Pi Lam BBQ turns the big 4-0 this year, which is kind of bonkers to think about. It’s been around longer than SXSW, longer than Lollapalooza. Independent minded folks have been bringing a daylong live music extravaganza to Spruce Street’s legendary “punk rock frat” since before most artists on this year’s lineup were born, and the show continues to get wilder and more expansive every year. Continue reading →
Bethlehem punk duo Slingshot Dakota wrapped by going on a U.S. tour with their New Jersey neighbors in Prawn, and on the way through Chicago on December 14th, they stopped through to record an asskicking live set for the good folks at Audiotree.
Singer / keys queen Carly Commando and drum machine Tom Patterson rock through a five-song set, featuring “Paycheck,” “Doreen” and the title track from 2016’s excellent Break; they also performed “Rasta Bacca” from 2012’s Dark Hearts; and “Grudge” from last year’s Broken EP. Continue reading →
After an introductory year introducing Big Thief, Jamila Woods, and Lo Moon to listeners across the country, public radio’s emerging artist spotlight Slingshot returns for a second year — and a seven-fold increase in artists.
Some of the class of 2018 will be familiar to savvy listeners of XPN — like Bedouine, who recently appeared on World Cafe, or Phoebe Bridgers, who was an XPN Artist to Watch (and who appeared onstage with Conor Oberst at XPNFest). Many of them will be new — and that’s the whole point of Slingshot. Continue reading →
The artists in NPR Music‘s inaugural Slingshot class — Jamila Woods, Big Thief and Lo Moon — have had a busy 2017. In addition to recording and releasing new music and traveling the world on tour, they’ve been chosen as the featured musicians in the artist-championing collaboration between NPR and several of its member stations, including XPN. Slingshot was announced in September and will continue throughout the coming year as an effort to support and promote the work of some of the most promising emerging artists out there.
Until recently, Jamila Woods was known primarily as a frequent guest collaborator in hip-hop and R&B, appearing with the likes of Chance the Rapper. Woods has been touring behind her debut solo album HEAVN, and made a stop last week at BLK Wednesday in her hometown of Chicago, adding some unexpected covers to her set. Watch Woods’ take on Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana below, where she mashes up “Killing in the Name” with “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Continue reading →
Chi-town indie outfit NE-HI has had a very successful year after releasing their second full project Offers back in February. To follow up the commercial success from Offers, the group reached out to R&B favorite Jamila Woods to sing on a reimagined version of their track “The Times I’m Not There” off of NE-HI’s 2014 self-titled record. The collaboration also benefits Chance The Rapper’s Chicago-based charity foundation SocialWorks; all revenue from the song will go to SocialWorks, an arts empowerment organization for inner-city Chicago children.
NE-HI took more of a modern route with this re-recording of “The Times I’m Not There.” The beat of the track is also notably slower, with Woods’ soothing vocals providing a perfect compliment, along with gorgeous keyboard accompaniment and the catchy riffs from the sole guitar. The intersection of neo-soul and indie makes for a great sound and Woods definitely adds a whole other layer to the track that was not on the original recording. Continue reading →
Carly Comando may be known around here as one half of the delightful power duo Slingshot Dakota, but that band doesn’t even scrape the surface of the Lehigh Valley artist’s work. In Comando’s other life, she’s a classically trained, Emmy award-winning pianist and composer, best known for the achingly beautiful piano ballad “Everyday.”
You can search “Everyday” on YouTube and find countless recordings of the song, which according to Deep Elm Records receives upwards of 100 million cumulative plays per year on the site. Now, Comando has released her first-ever filmed performance of the popular song. Continue reading →
Teased this spring at the annual NonCOMM-vention, the new program Slingshot is an artist-championing collaboration between NPR Music and 18 VuHaus member stations — including founding stations WXPN, WFUV, KCRW, KUTX and The Bridge.
Over the summer, programming staff from the member stations each nominated a handful of artists to throw their support behind over the coming year. The submissions were reviewed, and the stations came to a consensus — Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon would be backed by Slingshot affiliates through interviews, editorial coverage, live performances and more over the next several months.
“Everybody in this room knows the impact of public radio on artist development,” XPN general manager Roger LaMay told the crowd at NonCOMM this spring. “It’s really been essential with NonCOMMs and public radio writ large to pool our resources and work together to grow our impact.” Continue reading →
Bethlehem duo Slingshot Dakota are about to kick off a new tour with label-mates Ratboys, leading them to Austin for SXSW. But before they set out, the band has released a video for their song, “You,” which reminisces on the fun, kooky moments of their past tour with Kississippi — which they booked entirely themselves.
For a song that’s just so dang catchy and fun, this light-hearted video is the perfect, playful match. Giving fans a close look into the kinds of shenanigans that spouses Carly Comando and Tom Patterson get into while on the road, the video ranges from car malfunctions, to a day at the jungle gym, to Patterson’s fabulous news/weather reports, to just simply lounging around — all amidst clips of the two rocking out and Patterson’s bountiful curls magically blowing in the wind. Continue reading →