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Listen to a rousing Free at Noon set from Nashville faves The Apache Relay

The Apache Relay | Photo by John Vettese
The Apache Relay | Photo by John Vettese

Nashville country-soul five-piece The Apache Relay warmed up for its Friday night headlining show at the North Star Bar with a rousing set for the crowd at WXPN’s Free at Noon concert. The band released its self-titled third album in April, and with a generous helping of buzz culled from slots opening for Mumford and Sons in support of 2011′s American Nomad, is in the middle of a U.S. tour. The Free at Noon set drew entirely from the new album – listen to it and check out a photo gallery from the show below, and check out the setlist after the jump.

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Listen back to the lively folk of Nickel Creek’s Free at Noon, see them tonight at The Tower

NIckel Creek | Photo by Megan Kelly
NIckel Creek | Photo by Megan Kelly

Folk trio Nickel Creek are back in fine form with their new LP A Dotted Line and a spirited live show on display at today’s Free at Noon concert. The band, who plays the Tower Theater tonight (tickets and info at the XPN Concert Calendar), played a well-received set touching on the new album and digging into their back-catalogue for a few selections including the popular single “When In Rome” from 2005′s Why Should the Fire Die. Check out a gallery of photos and listen back to the performance in its entirety below.

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Listen back to Ani DiFranco’s Free at Noon performance from World Cafe Live at the Queen

Ani DiFranco | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

A master of modern folk, the iconic Ani Di Franco played World Cafe Live at the Queen last Friday for a Free at Noon performance. The five-song set featured three as-yet unreleased songs – “Genie,” “Allergic” and “Happy All The Time,” which have been part for her live repertoire for the past couple years – and touched on 2008′s Red Letter Day with “Alla This” and her 1995 classic “32 Flavors” from Not A Pretty Girl. Check out a gallery of photos from Di Franco’s performance and listen to the set in its entirety below.

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Boy George regales a sold-out Free at Noon crowd at World Cafe Live

Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

New wave icon Boy George warmed up for his show tonight at the TLA with a rousing Free at Noon set before a sold-out World Cafe Live crowd. Having just collaborated with co-headliners Black Lips on a cover of T. Rex’s “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (watch it here), George headed downstairs to treat the audience with a set pulled mostly from his 2013 LP This Is What I Do; though the classic he performed with Culture Club, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,” was in the mix, along with “Everything I Own” from his 1987 solo debut Sold and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe.” Listen to the set in its entirety below, check out photos from the set in the gallery and read the setlist after the jump. Get tickets and more information on his TLA show tonight at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Listen back to Black Lips’ scuzzed-out Free at Noon set, featuring Boy George

Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Atlanta psych-punk four-piece Black Lips kicked off today’s Free at Noon doubleheader with an upstairs set that included a surprise cover of “Bang A Gong” by T. Rex with Boy George (watch it here), but also a set of tracks from the band’s discography, including the new Underneath the Rainbow, out now on Vice Records. Check out photos in the gallery, listen to the performance in its entirety below, and read the setlist after the jump. Black Lips headline Union Transfer tonight; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Watch Boy George and Black Lips cover T. Rex’s “Bang A Gong” at Free at Noon

Boy George and Black Lips | photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Boy George and Black Lips | photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Fans who made their way in to WXPN’s double-header Free at Noon concert today probably were not expecting they’d see the two artists on the bill – New Wave icon Boy George and Atlanta psych-punk four-piece Black Lips – collaborate on a song. Even if they were, they definitely weren’t expecting the song would be the proto-glam rock classic, “Bang a Gong” by T-Rex.

But there it was, one of the most unexpected and kind of surreal things we’ve seen happen in this concert series – and it sounded perfect. Check out a video of the performance below, and compare it to the original after the jump. Listen to Black Lips entire set here, and hear Boy George’s set here via the Free at Noon archives. Boy George headlines the TLA tonight, while Black Lips are at Union Transfer; get tickets and info on both shows at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Boy George and Black Lips cover T. Rex’s “Bang A Gong (Get it On)” Live at WXPN from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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Revisit The War on Drugs’ Free at Noon set, hear them on World Cafe today

photo by Rachel Del Sordo
photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Last month, Philly space rock heroes The War on Drugs played their very first show in support of the acclaimed new album Lost in the Dream at WXPN’s Free at Noon concert. Today, some of those songs will show up in the band’s World Cafe interview with David Dye – which you can tune in to here at 2 p.m. ET. Below, get psyched by listening to the entire Free at Noon set, and perusing an album of photos from the show. The War on Drugs return to Philly on May 31st to play the Roots Picnic; tickets and info on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Listen to The Districts get a warm welcome home from the Free at Noon crowd

The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Central Pa. hometown boys The Districts are in the middle of what’s shaping up to be a year of hard touring, but they brought the rock home yesterday afternoon for a Free at Noon set and a warm reception from the packed crowd. Listen to the six-song set in its entirety and peruse a gallery of photos below, and see the setlist after the jump. The Districts will be back in town this May for an appearance at WXPN’s NonCOMM on May 14th as well as an all-ages show at the First Unitarian Church on May 15th.

(UPDATE: audio no longer available)

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Hear Hurray for the Riff Raff preview their World Cafe Live show during Free at Noon

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Buzzing New Orleans band Hurray for the Riff Raff brought their breezy spin on folk and blues to Free at Noon yesterday. The band plays a headlining set at World Cafe Live on Tuesday, April 8th, so the show yesterday gave the lunchtime crowd a taste of what’s in store. Listen to the performance and see a gallery of photos from the set below, and check out the setlist after the jump.

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Typhoon strikes an eclectic note at today’s Free at Noon

Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

Portland, Oregon’s Typhoon played to a starstruc Philly crowd for Free at Noon, with eclectic sounds reminiscent of Fleet Foxes and Beirut. Warming up their fans for tonight’s Union Transfer show, the almost-dozen folk ensemble played tunes like “Dreams of Cannibalism” and “Common Sentiments” off of their latest release White Lighter. Prep for their next performance by checking out and listening to the Free At Noon show below.

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