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Free At Noon Flashback: The Lower 40 give Bobbie Gentry a smashing and sincere tribute

The Lower 40 | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
The Lower 40 | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

Today’s Free At Noon concert featured 11 local musicians paying tribute to Bobbie Gentry’s album Ode to Billie Joe, in celebration of author Tara Murtha’s new 33 1/3 book exploring the album. Performing under the name The Lower 40 (a lyric from the album’s title track), the band took the stage today at noon, filling it out entirely with their five interchanging vocalists, horns, vibraphone and more. Continue reading →

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Music Diaries: Concert illustrations from three Philly artists

Trish Houck sketches Michael Ford Jr. of The Apache Relay | Photo by John Vettese
Trish Houck sketches Michael Ford Jr. of The Apache Relay | Photo by John Vettese

It’s normal to find yourself spacing out at concerts—everyone’s guilty of it. Get lost vibing, fade a little, check Twitter, people-watch, scroll Instagram to see who’s also at the show you’re attending, etc. Despite praising performances with expressions like “hypnotizing!” and “captivating,” there are plenty of times concert attendees occupy themselves beyond the duties of “active listening” (or dancing a la Elaine Benes). However, some people choose to be more engaged, and if you’ve been people paying close attention in the Philadelphia music scene, you might have spotted a handful of artists illustrating the concert as they watched.   Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: The Revivalists tear it up at World Cafe Live

The Revivalists | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
The Revivalists | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

As Lousiana-based rock soul group The Revivalists stepped onto the stage at today’s Free At Noon, it quickly became clear that the show would be an electric one. The six-piece (keyboardist Michael Girardot was unable to play due to a family matter) quickly blasted into their foot-stomping jams with a head-bobbing crowd in tow. Rip-roaring solos from saxophonist Rob Ingraham, guitarist Zack Feinberg, and pedal steel guitarist Ed Williams peppered the performance and kept the crowd hooting for more. Lead singer David Shaw amped up excitement by jumping off stage and high-fiving show-goers while crooning into his microphone. The group’s laid-back style made for some positive vibes, especially when Shaw plopped down Indian-style during the performance. After finishing their last song, the group lingered on stage and made light banter with the audience before launching into an encore. The show was magnetic and made it pretty clear that when The Revivalists take the stage, they’ll give you 110%. Check out a gallery of photos from today’s Free at Noon in the gallery below. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Shark Tape fill the room with energy upstairs at World Cafe Live

Shark Tape | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
Shark Tape | Photo by Brittany Salerno

Philly-based rock trio Shark Tape played a lively set and kept the crowd moving upstairs at today’s Free At Noon. After they launched into their set, the room quickly filled with their sound; guitarist / vocalist Niles Weiss laid into soaring guitar solos, lead vocalist and bassist Stephen Lorek kept the low end thumping and howled to the crowd; drummer Dylan Mulcahly kept a tight beat and embellished with his own vocals. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Parquet Courts rile the crowd with rowdy jams

Parquet Courts | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
Parquet Courts | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

Brooklyn’s Parquet Courts took the stage for Free At Noon and did not disappoint. Livening up a fall Friday afternoon, they launched right into “Slide Machine” off their upcoming album Content Nausea (to be released under the new moniker Parkay Quarts next week). Playing with precision, the group moved quickly from song to song; the audience bobbed and shook to the lively “Ducking & Dodging” and “Vienna II.” Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Angus and Julia Stone play an intimate and engaging show at World Cafe Live

Angus & Julia Stone - Photo by: Kelsey Stanger
Angus & Julia Stone | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

Today’s Free At Noon featured Australian folk rock duo Angus and Julia Stone. The two mosied on stage in front of a bubbly crowd and cut right to the chase, launching into their recent hit “A Heartbreak.” They played with candor, interweaving old gems and new ones alike. The performance featured cameo appearances of covers disguised in the Stones’ sound, including Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” as well as “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease. As the set came to it’s close, the two thanked the crowd with sincerity and trickled off stage, but not before Angus coolly gave the crowd a hang-loose shaka shake.

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Free At Noon Flashback: Down-to-earth songsters Kindness unleash funky jams

Photo by Brittany Salerno
Photo by Brittany Salerno

Kindness jammed out and wowed the crowd at today’s Free At Noon concert. Displaying amazing musicianship, the UK band showcased its recently released album Otherness as well as a few throwbacks like “Gee Up” and “House.” Speckled with jaw-dropping solos from collaborators on saxophone, drum, and guitar and framed with powerful backup vocals, the music was funky and fun. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Sylvan Esso bring their eclectic vibes to World Cafe Live

20141024_Kindness_FAN-5 - Brittany Salerno
Sylvan Esso | Photo by Brittany Salerno

The creative collaboration that is Sylvan Esso had today’s crowd movin’ and groovin’ to their electropop songs, kicking off today’s Free At Noon double-header with pizzazz. Playing material from their self-titled debut, producer Nick Sanborn gave us eloquent, chimey beats and wobbly synthesizer lines, singer Amelia Meath performed eclectic dance moves and delivered alluring vocals. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: The Stray Birds preview Best Medicine at World Cafe Live

 

The Stray Birds | Photo by Kelsey Stanger
The Stray Birds | Photo by Kelsey Stanger

The Stray Birds kicked off today’s double-header Free at Noon with their organic, room-filling folk sound. The Lancaster trio played songs off their new album, Best Medicine, which comes out this Tuesday on Yep Roc Records, and the group brought immense energy to the stage with a booming upright bass by Charles Muench, jangling guitar by Oliver Craven and spot-on classic Americana harmonies and all around. They whipped out some jaw-dropping solos as well, cheers bursting from the crowd as they would each come to an end. Continue reading →