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Free At Noon Flashback: Craig Finn brings his new story-filled album to the World Cafe Live stage

Craig Finn | photo by Makena Duffy for WXPN

Earlier today, singer-songwriter and storyteller Craig Finn arrived at World Cafe Live to perform a few songs from his newest solo album I Need A New War. According to Finn, the album dedicated to our world’s fast-changing times, and tells many stories about his previous 19 years spent living in New York. The frontman of rock faves The Hold Steady, Finn has been embarking on his solo endeavor for a few years now, with this album being his fourth. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: JR JR strips their set down for World Cafe Live

JR JR | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN

After Paul Keen of Pawnshop Roses graced the stage for today’s Free At Noon, indie pop group JR JR followed up with a set that, to everyone’s surprised, wound up being semi-acoustic. Down a drummer, the band’s Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein played stripped-down arrangements of songs from their newest album Invocations / Conversations, as well as some older cuts and a cover. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Starcrawler hit hard at World Cafe Live

Starcrawler | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN

LA hard rock band Starcrawler visited World Cafe for today’s Free at Noon and delivered a punchy set of new and old material. The young outfit, which includes frontwoman Arrow de Wilde, guitarist Henri Cash, bassist Tim Franco and drummer Austin Smith, formed in 2015 and released their self-titled debut on Rough Trade Records in 2018. Earlier this year, they released the singles “She Gets Around” and “Pet Sematary” (a Ramones cover), both of which they performed today.

The Free at Noon set found Starcrawler at their most theatrical — after three band members had already entered and set up their instruments, de Wilde stumbled onto the stage in a daze, wearing a tattered white dress covered in smudges and bloodstains. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Amy Ray and her band offer a delightful start to the holiday weekend

Amy Ray and XPN go way back. She has appeared at World Cafe Live and on World Cafe the show countless times, both as one half of Indigo Girls and as a solo artist. She will play World Cafe Live again tonight and XPoNential fest in July. Before all that though, she and her band treated us to a fantastic Free at Noon set. It was a great way to roll into the long weekend.

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Free at Noon Flashback: The Claypool Lennon Delirium provides escape and innovation to World Cafe Live audience

The Claypool Lennon Delirium | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN\

For today’s Free at Noon concert, the downstairs of World Cafe Live was packed with audience members eagerly awaiting The Claypool Lennon Delirium. The band is a project of music greats Les Claypool and Sean Lennon. Claypool is best known for his role as founder, bassist, and vocalist of Primus, while Lennon is the son of Beatles legend John Lennon and a multi-instrumentalist in his own right. Lennon has bounced around the world of underground and indie rock and produced a few solo albums, including Into the Sun (1998) and Friendly Fire (2006). According to Rolling Stone, Delirium was born from Claypool and Lennon’s mutual desire to “sit in a room and make space sounds again.” Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Bailen makes a name for family bands at World Cafe Live

Bailen | photo by Gabriela Barbieri for WXPN

While the phrase “family band” may conjure images of the Trapp Family Singers or your most cringeworthy piano recital, Bailen, a sibling trio from NYC, is here to reclaim the genre. The group is comprised of Julia (vocal/guitar), Daniel (vocals/bass), and David (vocals/drums) Bailen, whose classically trained parents raised them on a musical diet of Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King. The three siblings immersed themselves in their parents record collections which has led them, twenty years later, to release their first album, Thrilled To Be Here, with the help of Grammy-award winning producer John Congleton (St.Vincent, War on Drugs). Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Bones Owens rocks World Cafe Live with new single

Bones Owens XPN Free At Noon Concert | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN | dehartvisuals.com

“I think we killed all of these amplifiers already,” said Bones Owens at today’s Free at Noon concert. Owens was only two songs in when he checked on two massive amplifiers behind him. The genre-crossing guitarist shrugged and kept on playing. Blown out amps are a small price to pay for rock and roll.

Owens released his album, Make Me No King, in 2017 and his latest single, “Bout Time”, has already been featured on WXPN several times. He is currently on tour with Whiskey Myers and was fresh off a sold out night at Theater of Living Arts when he took the World Cafe Live stage this afternoon. If you’re a fan of Jack White, Kurt Cobain, or any rock icon with sweaty hair, sleeve tats, and amps turned all the way up, you’ll love Bones Owens. Despite mid-day set time, Owens stayed at full volume and completed his late-night show aesthetic with a smoke machine and lighting effects. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Citizen Cope celebrates record release day with WXPN

Citizen Cope | photo by Emily De Hart for WXPN | dehartvisuals.com

Citizen Cope‘s record release day is off to a good start. The soulful rocker was met by an extremely enthusiastic sold-out crowd at today’s Free at Noon; folks were clearly ready to escape from the snowy morning and celebrate with Cope as he shares his new record Heroin and Helicopters with the worldAnd the day’s still young — Citizen Cope will head across town to play a headlining show at Franklin Music Hall tonight. Continue reading →