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Catch Tommy Conwell, Ben Arnold, Rosemary Fiki and more at the Roxborough Solstice Music Festival

Ben Arnold
Ben Arnold | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

With the summer solstice less than a month away, our days are about as lengthy and bright as they get. And there’s no better way to spend the extra sunlight than with some grub, drinks, and live music. On Saturday, June 11th, the Roxborough Solstice Music Festival will provide just that. Starting at noon, they’ll have 10 musical acts, food trucks, a beer garden, craft vendors, and local businesses at Gorgas Park on Ridge Ave in Philly. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: White Denim, Kississippi, Songhoy Blues, Colvin & Earle, and many more added to XPN Fest

White Denim| Photo by Drew Anthony Smith, courtesy of Downtown Records
White Denim| Photo by Drew Anthony Smith, courtesy of Downtown Records

XPoNential Festival, happening this July at the Camden Waterfront, already contains a stacked line-up of Alabama Shakes, Kurt Vile, The Districts, and so many more, but we are more than happy to announce the next 11 artists that will be performing as well that weekend.

Back on Tuesday, we shared an amalgamated face of all the artists that we would be announcing today, and now you get to see who’s who. Here’s the list of artists being added to XPoNential Fest this year. Continue reading →

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Beyond the Bars: The Districts, Queen of Jeans and more rip it up for a good cause

The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | http://jeremy-zim.com/

I could sit here and regale you with stories and stats about the Prison-Industrial Complex all day, but is that going to do anything? Even for the most #woke among us, it’s hard to know where to start to deal with something as massively unassailable as a for-profit prison system that funnels young lives straight into jails. But—much like music—it’s best to start with stories. Sunday night at World Cafe Live, Philly organization Beyond the Bars hit home with a massive benefit show incorporating both to strike back.

By going into prisons and teaching music to incarcerated youth, Beyond the Bars staff and volunteers are able to bring hope and respite to members of society that most people have already written off as a loss. “Even though they’re in prison, they’re still people, man. Just people,” said Bars staff member Christopher Thornton. Continue reading →

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The Districts, Frances Quinlan, and more to play Beyond The Bars benefit at World Cafe Live

 

The Districts
Photo by John Vettese | for WXPN

Well this is happening: The Districts, Frances Quinlan, Ben Arnold, and Milton will be performing at World Cafe Live on Sunday, April 17th at World Cafe Live to support Beyond The Bars. In addition, Lushlife‘s Raj Haldar will be DJing in between sets.

Beyond The Bars is a program that benefits music education for incarcerated youth in Philadelphia. Their programs consist of providing instruments and music lessons to “empower young men and women as they navigate the criminal justice system.” Beyond The Bars was founded by Matthew Kerr, Eric Ammon, Brian Thomas, and Christopher Thornton. The organization has been gaining momentum and was recently featured on WHYY. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Two Piece Fest IX at First Unitarian Church, Ben Arnold at Underground Arts, Winter Doldrums Fest at World Cafe Live and more…

two piece fest
Joint Chiefs of Math | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

The ninth annual Two Piece Fest takes place at the First Unitarian Church today. As we previously reported, the day-long event is “an exercise in mayhem and minimalism that brings the DIY scene together, one duo at a time.” This year’s line-up includes Joint Chiefs of Math, Brown Rainbow, Empty Vessels and a dozen more. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here; listen to Joint Chiefs’ “Get Rich or Try Dyin'” below.

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The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Ben Arnold, The Dans and more…

ben arnold
Ben Arnold | Photo by Alyssa Dempsey for WXPN

This week’s Key Studio Session featured local musician Ben Arnold, who brought his band with him to preview songs from their new record. Lost Keys will be released next week and they’ll be back at XPN for a Free at Noon performance. Sign up for that here, stream “Detroit People” below and get the full session here.

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The Key Studio Sessions: Ben Arnold

Veteran Philly singer-songwriter / rock-n-roller Ben Arnold has covered a lot of ground in the two decades he’s been making music. In the mid-90s, he was signed to Ruffhouse / Columbia and released the slacker-pop nugget Almost Speechless – which is a tiny bit ironic since the man is the total opposite of a slacker.

By the early aughties, he had grown into a more nuanced singer-songwriter and received a lot of attention from WXPN for In Case I’m Gone Tomorrow, as well as his acclaimed 4-Way Street supergroup with Jim Boggia, Scott Bricklin and Joseph Parsons. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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Locals weigh in on the Greatest Year in Music

Greatest Year

The theme for WXPN’s annual countdown this year is The Greatest Year In Music, and WXPN invites you to vote on what you think was the greatest year (or years) were in music.

Polls for XPN’s Greatest Year in Music close tomorrow – Monday, October 26th – and if you’re still on the fence about what to vote for, read through some cases we gathered from local musicians and writers. Below, check out snippets from Ben Vaughn (1964), Tara Murtha (1989), Aaron Parnell Brown (1971) and more. Then vote for your favorite year in music here and listen back to winners during the Greatest Year In Music countdown starting Monday, November 2nd.

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