Robert Drake’s Christmas Countdown: Dar Williams performs “The Christians and The Pagans” live

Dar Williams

It’s just 3 days ‘til The Night Before on XPN … and to help get us prepared for 24 hours of yours truly, I present to you a unique holiday song each day!

Another highly-requested song each year comes from an XPN-fave, Dar Williams. By now many of you already know the song “The Christians And The Pagans” – but what you might not know is how close to home that song is to Dar and her family. Here, in a 2011 recording, she explains the creation of this holiday staple before performing the song live.

Be sure to join me for my 22nd annual edition of The Night Before on XPN; 24 hours of me and my eclectic collection of seasonal sounds – midnight to midnight on the 24th day of December … only on WXPN.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: DRGN King at Johnny Brenda’s, The Whisky Gentry at MilkBoy, Adrien Reju at Kennett Flash and more

Photo by Joe Del Tufo
Photo by Joe Del Tufo
Like a punkier Philly version of TV On the Radio, indie-rock quartet DRGN King headlines Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Though the group hasn’t released anything new since 2013′s Paragraph Nights, they’ve been more than active playing at festivals, recording a Daytrotter session, recording videos (i.e. this cover of The Dead Milkmen’s “Punk Rock Girl”) and more. Oh, and they’ve been playing a ton of shows. Come hang out with them tonight at 9:00 along with local rockers Mumblr and New York-based band Porches. Tickets for the 21+ show are $10 and can be purchased here.

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The Week So Far: 13 must-read stories on The Key (incl. PIFA, Kurt Vile and Kate Nash)

freeenergyFree Energy will play the North Star Bar on May 4th with Deap Vally [link]

Local rapper Mic Stewart releasing PEACEWORLD on April 23rd, shares his new video for “I’m Not From Brooklyn” [link]

Moon Palace takes part in this week’s Folkadelphia Session, recording a selection of songs with a full band [link]

Dar Williams, Steve Forbert, Stephen Kellogg and more have been scheduled for this summer’s Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert series [link]

Wilkes Barre, PA’s Cherokee Red and their song “Vaya Con Dios” were Monday’s My Morning Download [link]

Sensual soul duo Rhye and their beautiful track “Open” were featured on this week’s XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week [link]

Download a free remix EP from Mock Suns, a local alt-psych trio that opened for Hey Marseilles at Johnny Brenda’s Wednesday night [link]

Weathervane Music shared this month’s Shaking Through episode with Night Panther; get a free download of “Fire” and watch the session video [link]

Anjuli Jospehine stopped by for a Key Studio Session and plays The Tin Angel this Saturday [link]

A student-produced documentary takes a look at the basement and DIY show scene in Philadelphia [link]

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts kicks-off tonight and will run through April 27th with performances, lectures and exhibitions looking back at historic events in time [link]

Kurt Vile is throwing a parade this Saturday and wants you to be there [link]

Check out photos and a review of Kate Nash‘s appearance at Johnny Brenda’s [link]


Bryn Mawr Twilight Concerts announces Summer series lineup; highlights include Dar Williams, Steve Forbert, and Stephen Kellogg

Photo of Dar Williams by Amy Dickerson
Photo of Dar Williams by Amy Dickerson

The schedule for the Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert series has been announced. The concerts are held Saturdays at 7 PM at the Bryn Mawr Gazebo. Highlights include: Dar Williams June 22nd, John Gorka with Lucy Kaplansky on June 29th, Steve Forbert on July 13th, and Stephen Kellogg on July 20th. Get the complete lineup here. Below, listen to a song from Dar Williams’ recent album, and in exchange for your e-mail address, download a new song from Stephen Kellogg, “Thanksgiving” from his forthcoming album, Blunderstone Rookery, out in June.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Six Organs of Admittance at Johnny Brenda’s, XPN Welcomes Dar Williams to Tin Angel, Pink Martini at Keswick

Experimental neo-folk guitarist Ben Chasny, better known by the stage moniker Six Organs of Admittance, is playing tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. Chasny, who is also part of Comets on Fire and Rangda, dropped Ascent in August, which has been received as being an especially psychedelic and heavily gnostic release. The 21+ show tonight starts at 9:15; tickets and information can be found on our concert calendar here. Stream “Wasawasa,” the shredding first track from Ascent, here.

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Weekend’s concert picks: Drake, Jonathan Richman, Bleeding Rainbow, Grace Bernicker, Matthew Sweet, Strand of Oaks and more

Drake performs Saturday at the Susquehanna Bank Center

Hold on to your hats, folks. There’s so much great music in town this weekend. Here are our picks.

FRIDAY, June 8th
Matthew Sweet Girlfriend tour at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $24)
Jonathan Richman at Union Transfer (Doors at 8 p.m., tickets to the all ages show are $17.50)
WXPN Welcomes Michael McDermott at Tin Angel (7:30 p.m., tickets to the 21+ show are $15)
Singer-songwriter Grace Bernicker Record Release party at Milkboy Coffee/Ardmore (8 p.m., all ages, $8-$10)

SATURDAY, June 9th
WXPN Welcomes Francis Dunnery at Tin Angel (7:30 p.m., tickets to the 21+ show are $25)
WXPN Welcomes Dar Williams at the Bryn Mawr Twilight Concert/Bryn Mawr Gazebo (7:00 p.m., all ages, $10)
Bleeding Rainbow and Creepoid at Morgan’s Pier/R5 Productions Free Summer Concert Series (5 p.m., 21+, Free)
Drake at the Susquehanna Bank Center w/ Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz and French Montana (7:30 p.m., all ages, $45 – $205)
Paste Magazine Presents Strand of Oaks at Aloft Hotel (7 p.m., Free – RSVP here)
The Revelations featuring Tre’ Williams at World Cafe Live (9 p.m., 21+, $12)

SUNDAY, June 10th
WXPN Welcomes James McCartney at World Cafe Live (9:30 p.m., 21+ $15)
Reagge In The Park with Jimmy Cliff, Beres Hammond at the Mann Center (12:30 p.m. all ages, $25-$79.50)
The Cult with Against Me! and Icarus Line at the Electric Factory (8 p.m. all ages, $33.15/includes service charge)


This Weekend: XPN Welcomes Dar Williams, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, M. Ward, Esperanza Spalding

Regina Spektor

Dar Williams performs at 8 p.m. Friday, May 11th, at World Cafe Live At The Queen; tickets to the all-ages show are $31-$41.


Regina Spektor performs with Only Son at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Tower Theatre; tickets to the all-ages show are $36-$74.


Ingrid Michaelson performs with Scars On 45 at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Electric Factory; tickets to the all-ages show are SOLD OUT.


M. Ward performs with Lee Ranaldo Band at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12th, at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are $22-$25.


Esperanza Spalding performs at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 13th, at Electric Factory; tickets to the all-ages show are $30.


My Morning Download: “I Am The One Who Will Remember Everything” by Dar Williams

Dar Williams has a wonderful new album out called In The Time Of Gods featuring contributions from Shawn Colvin and Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian from The Hooters. Tomorrow, Dar is playing two shows at World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington; the first is a Free At Noon concert at 12:30 p.m., followed by a regular concert later that evening. Her Free At Noon performance is part of a triple bill that will also feature performances by Spiritualized (noon) and Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros (1 p.m.) at World Cafe Live in Philly; you can listen to all three performances on WXPN. Go here for tickets for Dar’s evening show; you can sign up here for her Free At Noon. Below, download the song “I Am The One Who Will Remember Everything” from her new album.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company