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This Day in Music History: Brian Wilson begins recording “Good Vibrations,” Mumford & Sons make their US television debut

Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollack.500px.com
Brian Wilson | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollack.500px.com

1955 – Little Richard sends his first audition tape to Specialty Records.

1960 – The Everly Brothers sign a 10 year contract with Warner Brothers worth $1 million.

1966 – Brian Wilson begins recording the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: John Zorn’s Simulacrum at Johnny Brenda’s, Ani DiFranco at Scottish Rite Auditorium, Promised Land Sound at Kung Fu Necktie

John Zorn | photo by Chad Batka
John Zorn | photo by Chad Batka

How often do you hear this description of a musical act: “the prog-metal organ trio of Downtown alchemists”? Not very often, presumably. Tonight, noteworthy composer John Zorn brings his extreme organ trio, Simulacrum, to Johnny Brenda’s. The trio of John Medeski (Medeski, Martin & Wood), Matt Hollenberg (Cleric) and Kenny Grohowski (Abraxas) will bring riffs, solos, and improvisations to the stage tonight. Get show info and concert tickets at the XPN Concert Calendar and listen to the trio’s “Marmarath” below. Continue reading →

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Listen to The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli cover Sharon Van Etten and catch him live in Philly early next year

Photo courtesy of Amanda Demme via facebook.com
Photo courtesy of Amanda Demme via facebook.com

Ohio-bred guitarist and songwriter Greg Dulli has had a long and successful career in the alt-rock scene, from his days founding the now-reunited Afghan Whigs to his work with The Twilight Singers and a string of solo releases, Dulli has been around the block.

Now he will go around the world as a part of a career-encompassing tour of Europe and North America. Today Dulli announced the specific dates and teamed up with longtime singer-songwriter and icon Ani DiFranco to give fans a taste of what to expect come tour time, with a cover of Sharon Van Etten’s 2010 song, “A Crime.” Continue reading →

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Listen back to Ani DiFranco’s Free at Noon performance from World Cafe Live at the Queen

Ani DiFranco | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

A master of modern folk, the iconic Ani Di Franco played World Cafe Live at the Queen last Friday for a Free at Noon performance. The five-song set featured three as-yet unreleased songs – “Genie,” “Allergic” and “Happy All The Time,” which have been part for her live repertoire for the past couple years – and touched on 2008’s Red Letter Day with “Alla This” and her 1995 classic “32 Flavors” from Not A Pretty Girl. Check out a gallery of photos from Di Franco’s performance and listen to the set in its entirety below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: M.I.A. at Tower Theater, Gliss at Kung Fu Necktie, Woods at Boot and Saddle, and more

Photo via facebook.com/miauk
Photo via facebook.com/miauk

Tonight, M.I.A. graces the Tower Theater stage and fans (old and new) should, as always, expect a little bit of everything from the singer-songwriter’s genre-bending music. On her latest album Matangi, it’s clear that her sound is still a hybrid of electronic, pop, hip-hop and world music. Best known for her 2007 platinum hit “Paper Planes”, M.I.A. isn’t a traditional singer or rapper; she’s crafted a style that’s somewhere in between and it’s infectious. Watch “Y.A.L.A.” below and get tickets here

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Stream Metals, the new album by Feist (performing at the World Cafe 20th Anniversary show Oct. 29th)

Ani DiFranco, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, The Little Willies, The Jayhawks, Dawes (with special guest Robbie Robertson), Amos Lee, and Feist are the artists performing during the World Cafe 20th Anniversary tribute concerts in October. (For a complete list of World Cafe 20th Anniversary tribute shows and tickets go here.) Feist is performing on a bill with Dawes and Robbie Robertson on Saturday, October 29th. Feist’s new album Metals is being released on October 4th however you can stream the album in its entirety below.

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Scottish Rite Concert Series to feature Ani DiFranco, John Hiatt, and Little Feat

Ani DiFranco, John Hiatt, and Little Feat are part of the Scottish Rite Series at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood. Difranco performs October 23, John Hiatt And The Combo on November 10, and Little Feat on December 30. Hiatt is releasing a new album on August 2nd called Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns. The new album was recorded in Nashville. Tickets for all shows are on sale Thursday, July 14, at Ticketmaster, camdencounty.com, and here. Below, Hiatt “Perfectly Good Guitar” on the Late Show with David Letterman.

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This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Tunng, Ben Folds, Brendan Benson And The Posies

Tunng
Tunng performs 11/12 at Johnny Brenda’s

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12
Just like a folktronica band to bring a synthesizer to a campfire singalong. Tunng‘s most recent album, …And Then We Saw Land (released by Thrill Jockey back in March) finds the British folk act further distancing itself from the sonic experimentation of its earlier work (including constantly-shifting song structures and the use of sea shells as percussion) in favor of more traditional songwriting. Songs such as opener “Hustle”—when stripped down to its most basic guitar, banjo, and vocal-harmony core—are every bit as familiar and pleasing as the next gentle acoustic track. But, try as they may, Tunng can’t take the freak out of its freak folk—Saw still has its share of electronic flourishes and other sonic textures, which can distract from the songs almost as often as they subtly support them. Tunng performs with The 1990s and Buried Beds at 9:30 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $12.

Also playing: Maserati + The Psychic Paramount, Steve Moore at Kung Fu Necktie (7 p.m., 21+, $10); Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti + Os Mutantes, Diva at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $19); Robert Randolph And The Family Band + Tauk at Theater Of Living Arts (9 p.m., $40)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13
In late September, Ben Folds descended from his throne atop Piano Pop Mountain to deliver Lonely Avenue to the masses. A collaboration with celebrated English novelist and essayist Nick Hornby (author of High Fidelity and About A Boy), the album features music written by Folds for words penned by Hornby. The results are mixed: During his solo career, Folds has progressively gone from carefully picking the objects of his snarky scorn to seemingly lashing out at anyone who pisses him off at any given moment—so, with Hornby dictating who Folds should wryly tear to shreds this time around, who knows what level of sincerity can be found in the music? One thing is for certain, though—God help you if your dogs annoy your neighbors (or if you’re Levi Johnston). Ben Folds performs at 8 p.m. at Tower Theater; tickets to the show are $21-$94.

Also playing: Ani DiFranco + Melissa Ferrick at Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., $25-$45); Charlie Hunter Trio at World Cafe Live (7:30 & 10:30 p.m., $19-$21)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Brendan Benson And The Posies + Aqueduct at The Trocadero (7:30 p.m., all ages, $23); Sinatrah + Minor Stars at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., $8)