Singer/songwriter/pianist Ben Folds and NYC instrumental sextet yMusic played a sold out show at World Cafe Live on Tuesday night as part of Folds’ three-night Philly residency. From the start, it was clear that this performance would be something special. yMusic entered the stage first and set the tone for the show as they performed one of their original pieces, “Beautiful Mechanical.” yMusic, consisting of Gabriel Cabezas on cello, CJ Camarieri on horns, Nadia Siroti on viola, Alex Sopp on flute, Hideaki Aomori on clarinet and bass clarinet, and Rob Moose on violin, provided a wonderful accompaniment for Folds’ song arrangements that the audience knew and loved. Continue reading →
This just in: A partial lineup for 2011 XPoNential Music Festival—WXPN and Camden County Board Of Freeholders’ annual three-day festival (running from Friday, July 22, to Sunday, July 24, at Wiggins Park on the Camden Waterfront)—has been announced. So far, the confirmed list of performing acts includes Ben Folds, Booker T., Shemekia Copeland, North Mississippi Allstars Duo, Ted Leo And The Pharmacists, Hayes Carll, Ra Ra Riot, Carbon Leaf, and Jukebox The Ghost; local acts include Susan Werner, Sun Airway, Johnny Miles And The Waywards, David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket, Nicos Gun, Hezekiah Jones, Andrew Lipke, Matt Duke, Kuf Knotz, and Kingsfoil.
Tickets to the XPoNential Music Festival are available now for members only, and start at less than $12 a day (for a three-day pass purchased in advance). Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 16th. Go to XPN.org’s support page (or call 1-800-565-WXPN) to become a member; if you pledge $24 per month, you’ll receive a pair of weekend passes, two festival t-shirts, and an XPN membership that gets you free beverages and artist meet-and-greets all weekend long.
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)