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Just Announced: Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker to play an all-ages and 21+ show at JB’s this March

Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief | photo by Scott Troyan for WXPN

If you couldn’t attend the Project Pabst fest this past September — and if, like I, you were distraught at missing Big Thief performing in the general vicinity without your presence to soak in the immense beautifulness of it — don’t you fret. You can still experience the soft, lulling magnificence of front woman Adrianne Lenker’s project this March at Johnny Brenda’s. Continue reading →

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Get to know Slingshot, a new artist-championing collaboration backing Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon


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 ThiefJamila 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 →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Big Thief at Electric Factory, Sheila E. in Cedar Park, Superfive at World Cafe Live, plus more

Big Thief | Photo: Shervin Lainez
Big Thief | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

It’s been a minute since Big Thief have been to Philly. The Brooklyn folk-rockers-who-can-totally-shred have since followed up their 2016 debut album Masterpiece with the comparatively downbeat and emotional Capacity, and now they’re bringing all your favorite tunes to the Electric Factory as part of the Project Pabst festival. Though it’s definitely worth heading over to the festival just to see Big Thief, other standout performers on the lineup include Speedy Ortiz, Thin Lips, and The Menzingers. More information can be found on Project Pabst’s website. Watch Big Thief perform “Paul” for The Key below. Continue reading →

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Conor Oberst, Hop Along, and Big Thief cut to the feeling at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn

Conor Oberst performing
Conor Oberst at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn | photo by Scott Troyan for WXPN | scotttroyan.com

Before bringing the show to XPoNential Music Fest on Friday, Conor Oberst kicked off a weeklong tour with Philly’s Hop Along last Thursday in Brooklyn,playing the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival. The outdoor show took place at the Prospect Park Bandshell on a hot July night. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Project Pabst Philly lineup feat. The Menzingers, Peaches, Big Thief, Speedy Ortiz, and more

The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
The Menzingers | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Project Pabst was so kind as to include Philly in last year’s expansive move to become a four-city festival installment — along with Denver, Portland, and Atlanta — and they’re back at it again this summer on September 16th at the Electric Factory. The lineup for this Philly edition was just announced, and it features a big, hearty heaping of good tunes. Continue reading →

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The World Laughs: She-Devils play LIVE plus new Palm, Kevin Morby & Toro y Moi on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

She-Devils | Photo by Sarah O’Driscoll, courtesy of the artist

You’re in for a real treat on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade. In fact, we all are! Listen at 11pm ET on XPN for a full two-hour show that’ll kick off with our latest IRHP Live Session. Joining us in the studio this time around is the Montreal duo She-Devils, whose self-titled debut came out earlier this year on Secretly Canadian. They’ll play selections from the album in our studio in new, amorphous arrangements.

Also in store tonight are a couple of spotlights on new releases, including the latest EP from recent studio guests Palm and Free at Noon alum Kevin Morby. New tracks in the mix as well, so preview them below:

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Shadow Experts: Palm play LIVE plus new Big Thief, Superchunk and Alvvays on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Palm | Photo courtesy of the artist

Tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade is packed to the gills with brand new tracks from beloved bands and up-and-comers alike! Tune in to XPN at 11pm ET for a full two-hour show that’ll also serve as the chaser for this month’s What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese. In the hopper, we’ve got a live session that John and I recorded together with the now-Philly based experimental pop band Palm. The quartet has a new EP, Shadow Expert, coming this month, and we’ll hear them perform tracks from it live in the studio. Also, since it was just released this week, we’ll spotlight the new full-length from Big Thief, Capacity. Be on the lookout for new singles from Superchunk, Alvvays and Ariel Pink, too!

Check out some of the new things below:
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kate Faust at Silk City, Big Thief at Chameleon Club, The Avalanches at The TLA and more…

kate faust
Kate Faust | photo via artist’s Facebook

Bouncing back to Philly after an LA sojourn, Kate Faust will perform at Silk City tonight. The electro R&B / pop musician released a new batch of songs called Capsizing earlier this year; watch “Your Body(Breaking)” from the EP below. Tickets for the 21+ show with Kingsley Ibeneche and Jacqueline Constance can be found here.

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Death Song: The Black Angels LIVE, new Girlpool, Big Thief and LCD Soundsystem on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

The Black Angels | Photo by Alexandra Valenti, courtesy of the artist

The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns tonight with what is by far our spoooookiest live session yet! Listen starting at 11pm ET on WXPN (that’s right after What’s The Frequency??? with John Vettese, you know) for a full two-hour show that’ll feature an in-studio performance from Austin psychedelic masters The Black Angels. The group just released a new album, Death Song, and stopped by to play some of the new tracks in a special, semi-acoustic set. It’s a session that’s not to be missed! Also be on the lookout for a spotlight on Powerplant, the second album from the (former) Philly (former) duo Girlpool. And we’ll do a little survey of bands who’ll be coming through town between now and our next show. You’ll just have to listen to hear those! Or you could preview some of them below…

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Everybody Works: Jay Som plays LIVE, new Future Islands, Diet Cig and The New Pornographers on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Jay Som | Photo by Cara Robbins, courtesy of the artist

Tonight, the Indie Rock Hit Parade comes to you packed to the ceiling with special stuff for you to enjoy. Listen at 11pm ET tonight on XPN for a full two-hour show that features, right off the bat, a brand new IRHP Live Session with Jay Som! The vehicle for California musician Melina Duterte, the full-band version of Jay Som visited our studio last Friday before their show at Boot & Saddle with The Courtneys. Hear the band play songs from their much-lauded new album, Everybody Works, in the first hour of today’s show.

Also, since this week is such a massive one for new albums, we’ll spotlight a few notable releases in the second hour of tonight’s show. Namely, we’ll dig into the much-anticipated return of Future Islands, the full-length debut from NY punk duo Diet Cig and the latest from perennial favorites The New Pornographers. Preview some of the new tracks below…

Continue reading →