Alternative pop princess Maggie Rogers made a stop by World Cafe Live for an energized Free at Noon, taking time out of her sold-out tour of the great United States to pay one of her favorite stations a visit. Just like her sparkling blue kicks, her brand of singer-songwriting adds that ounce of shiny flair with a fantastic blend of folk harmonies paired with booming electronic instrumentation.
With the outside world taken over by some premature April showers, University City was in need of some form of escapism. Well, we got it in the form of alternative geniuses Portugal. The Man. Taking a break in between two massive sold-out shows at Union Transfer, the Alaska-based pop twisters packed fan favorites into 35 minutes of pure euphoria.
Sporting jackets to shield them from the east coast chill, LA rockers The Molochs took over the World Cafe Live stage for a powerful Free at Noon gig, blasting through song after song from the band’s newest release America’s Velvet Glory.
If I learned one thing at this week’s Free At Noon, it’s that Jens Lekman has charm to spare. There’s a disarming ease to the way he talks and performs that you don’t see very often. Maybe it’s the way he bows after every song, or the way he quietly smiles to himself while he plays. Maybe it’s the way he thanked a baby for taking a nap in front of him mid-set, maybe it’s the way he held the hand of a fan during a tender lyric, or maybe it’s Maybelline. Whatever it is, it’s totally his own, and over the course of a breezy afternoon set, he put it to very good use. It certainly helped that most of the set came from his very fun, very danceable new album Life Will See You Now, but in all honesty, the guy could have kept my attention with a recorder and a tambourine. Continue reading →
Ladies and gentleman, the bearded man is back. Strand of Oaks stopped by World Cafe Live for an energized performance celebrating Timothy Showalter’s newest effort Hard Love. It proved nothing less than that these guys know how to make some dang fine rock n’ roll.
If you were to take a quick gander across the crowd at today’s Free At Noon, you might be confused as to what artist could possibly appeal to such a wide array of folks. That artist is 90’s indie outfit, Grandaddy.
Completely packed in the World Cafe Live upstairs stage, fans young and old and in-between jammed along to Grandaddy’s afternoon set, which included a mix of past favorites and new tracks off their album released today, Last Place.
Wearing a neon orange flat rim hat and plaid shirt, frontman, Jason Lytle looked just as much as the prolific skater as he did twenty years ago. Opening song “Hewlett’s Daughter” immediately drew excitement and yelps from the crowd–at once commencing a sea of head nodding. This sea later grew into full out head-bang fest the moment “A.M. 180’s” familiar techno beats began. Continue reading →
What do Nico, Frankie Valli, and Frank Ocean all have in common? Their wonderful tunes take a different shape on Gentlewoman, Ruby Man, the wonderful new album from the pond-crossing pair Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White. Lucky for us in the Free at Noon crowd, we got to experience the duo put their psychedelic twist on some classic tunes from the aforementioned trio and beyond.
Man, this Ron Gallo guy, he’s something special. His eloquent lyricism, blues-like guitar riffs, and overall raw attitude defines him as his own, and it all came into full effect as he took the World Cafe Live stage for a round of pure rock and roll.
Gallo’s return trip to XPN found him performing material from his soon-to-be-released record Heavy Meta, along with some of his past discography. Matching the manic nature of all those damn stage lights, Gallo and friends flowed through fifty minutes of some fantastic garage rock, as songs like “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me” and “Kill the Medicine Man” felt like a White Stripes and Costello Music baby. Continue reading →
When we talk about singer/songwriter music, the word “intimate” pops up frequently. It makes sense, of course, since they tend to talk about things that are private or closely personal, but after a while, the word starts to feel redundant. With that being said, though, I can’t think of any other way to describe Leif Vollebekk’s set this afternoon. He’s using the same ingredients as many of his peers, but it still comes out feeling fresh, genuine, and yes, very intimate. Continue reading →
Singer/songwriter Chuck Prophet’s music is steeped in history. Whether it be the San Francisco-centric Temple Beautiful or the personal tales on 2014’s Night Surfer, there’s a palpable reverence for the past that can’t be ignored. The rock & roll tradition is constantly being reimagined and reinterpreted, and Chuck is just one of many reshaping it in his image. His latest, Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins, is sure to continue on that trajectory. On record, he’s usually joined by a full band, but one man and his guitar were more than enough to satisfy the Free At Noon audience this Friday afternoon. Continue reading →