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Ani DiFranco shows she can turn any setting into an activist platform at her NPR Music Tiny Desk performance

Ani DiFranco at NPR’ Music’s Tiny Desk | still from video via NPR Music

Ani DiFranco can now add ‘performing in front of the famed knick-knack-covered shelves at NPR offices’ to her thirty-years-long list of musical accomplishments, as the similarly famed singer-songwriter recently made her Tiny Desk concert debut.

It’s no secret that DiFranco values and utilizes the political platform that being an artist has offered her, as she is known for being a strong voice in progressive human rights activism. And being how times are right now, she’s got a lot of things to say — which is exactly what she does on her latest album, Binary.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ani DiFranco at the Keswick Theatre, Manchester Orchestra at The Fillmore, The Bad Plus at Ardmore Music Hall

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

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ani DiFranco makes a stop at the Keswick Theatre tonight following the release of her recent 20th studio album, Binary. After spending much of 2016 encouraging audiences to vote on her “Vote Dammit!” tour, DiFranco continues her political message with Binary — “As an artist, I like to be out in the world, and what initially compelled me was to try to push society to a better place,” DiFranco says of the album. Spoken word artist and poet Andrea Gibson will also perform. Watch DiFranco’s video for “Binary” below, and find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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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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