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Listen to JD McPherson make a rollicking Musikfest pit stop at today’s Free At Noon

JD McPherson
JD McPherson | Photo by Cameron Pollack

Rockabilly hero JD McPherson stopped by World Cafe Live on his way to Musikfest this evening out in central Pennsylvania. McPherson rocked the lunch hour with a set chock-full of 12-bar blues, organ and piano solos, and danceable tunes. “Country Boy,” the second song in the lineup, slowed things down with hard-swinging minor blues driven by Jimmy Sutton’s bass playing. “I Can’t Complain” and “Wolf Teeth” both had the entire crowd dancing and swinging along to his powerful, Buddy Holly influenced style. Continue reading →

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Listen back to round two with Trigger Hippy at Free At Noon

Trigger Hippy | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Trigger Hippy | Photo by Cameron Pollack

Nashville supergroup and #XPNfest veterans Trigger Hippy stopped in at World Cafe for a fantastic Free at Noon today, showcasing the rock and roll garnered from singer Joan Osborne’s songwriting career and from Stever Gorman’s and Jackie Greene’s experience with The Black Crowes. The set featured excellent harmonies between Osborne and Greene as well as frequent guitar solo battles between Greene and guitarist Tom Bukovac. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Jimmer Podrasky performed a career spanning set upstairs

Jimmer Podrasky | photo by Cameron Pollock
Jimmer Podrasky | photo by Cameron Pollack

At a recent Free at Noon performance, Jimmer Podrasky put on an excellent showcase of unplugged music upstairs.  Formerly of the critically acclaimed rock group The Rave-Ups, Podrasky came to World Cafe Live in support of a new solo album called The Would-Be Plans, his first in nearly 25 years. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Trampled By Turtles bring Wild Animals to World Cafe Live

Trampled By Turtles | photo by Cameron Pollock
Trampled By Turtles | photo by Cameron Pollack

Trampled By Turtles treated attendees to an impeccable display of folk at a recent Free at Noon appearance, featuring frequent violin solos, four part harmonies, and stomp box and tambourine percussion.

The band stopped in Philly for the first of two times as part of the US leg of their tour, and they will return to Philly’s Union Transfer on the 10th of September. Hot off the release of their latest album, Wild Animals, they arrived at World Cafe to showcase the same infectious folk that kept them in the top 10 of Billboard’s Bluegrass chart for an entire year. Continue reading →

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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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