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Free At Noon Flashback: Mitski mesmerizes before second sold out show

Mitski | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN
Mitski | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

Not only does 24-year-old singer / songwriter / bass player Mitski Miyawaki know how to pack a room — what with a sold out show last night at Boot and Saddle and another tonight at PhilaMOCA — but within that crowded atmosphere, there’s a very intimate quality to her performances. Mitski’s gripping eight-song set at World Cafe Live’s Free At Noon today was both sonically and visually stimulating. Observing Miyawaki’s quiet yet unmistakable confidence on stage, a fan smiling and singing along parallel to another overcome with emotion, and watching those discover Mitski’s music for the first time; each group brought an inherently interesting dynamic to the show that truly made it a spectacle. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Dylan LeBlanc tells his Cautionary Tale

 Dylan Le Blanc | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Dylan Le Blanc | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Dylan LeBlanc and his band walked out onto the World Cafe Live stage for Friday’s WXPN Free At Noon Concert, greeted by a thick crowd hungry for the singer-songwriter’s Louisiana-born country rock. But before a single note was played, LeBlanc ran off the stage, only to return with a few bagels in hand. He launched the breaded discs into the audience. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: no drums, no problem for Good Old War and Empty Houses

Empty Houses | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN
Empty Houses | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

Today’s Free at Noon featured a double-header, opening up with Empty Houses, a three piece group introduced as Detroit’s “best kept secret.” Consisting of the soulful vocals of Ali Shea, the sassy guitar of David Mackinder, and the smooth keyboard work of Adam Mercer, Empty Houses produced a sometimes cute but always captivating motown-pop sound as they shared songs from their upcoming debut Daydream. They’ll play in support of Good Old war again tonight, and considering they also were one of the openers for Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties last night at Underground Arts, it’ll be the band’s third Philadelphia performance in 24 hours. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Heron Oblivion melted, shredded, and just absolutely destroyed at World Cafe Live

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Heron Oblivion | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Heron Oblivion was introduced as an “east coast meets west coast” band during today’s Free At Noon. Ethan Miller (bass) and Noel Von Harmonson (guitar), the west coasters, have been in bands for year both individually and together, most notably Comets On Fire. More recently, they’d gotten together with east coasters Meg Baird (drums, vocals), a Philly local, and Charlie Saufley (guitar). When the four started playing some informal jam sessions, the songwriting process came easily. So easily, in fact, that the self-titled debut from Heron Oblivion, released March 4th on Sub Pop, came as a result. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Mason Porter Band Here to Celebrate Bob Dylan’s 75th Birthday

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Mason Porter | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Today, legendary music icon Bob Dylan, is celebrating his 75th birthday, so WXPN and World Cafe Live welcomed the Mason Porter to play a special Free At Noon tribute concert in honor of Dylan’s birthday. These Philadelphia bluegrass guys kicked off their set with a Dylan classic, “Political World”.

Mason Porter covered a variety of different Dylan songs during their set, including “Precious Angel”, “Just Like A Woman”, and “Meet Me In The Morning. The band even paused in the middle of their set to sing “Happy Birthday” to Dylan; the entire crowd joined in to sing along. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Fruit Bats brought Absolute Loser to World Cafe Live

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Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Friday the 13th is usually known for bringing misfortune and bad luck, but not last week. WXPN and World Cafe Live brought in a special treat: Fruit Bats, originally from Chicago, IL, were in Philadelphia to play Free At Noon concert in support of their sixth studio album, Absolute Loser, which was officially released Friday. Continue reading →

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WXPN to celebrate Bob Dylan’s 75 birthday with all-day airplay and a special Free At Noon with Mason Porter

Illustration by Alex Fine
Illustration by Alex Fine

Bob Dylan turns 75 this year. To celebrate, WXPN will be playing nothing but Dylan on Tuesday, May 24th (his actual birthday) and will be holding a special Free At Noon at World Cafe Live with Philly bluegrass/Americana band Mason Porter & Friends, where they will be covering and honoring the folk legend. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Moreland & Arbuckle draws large crowd for new album release

untitled10Moreland & Arbuckle | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN

On tour in support of their newest album, the Kansas roots band Moreland & Arbuckle made a stop in Philadelphia, packing in a large crowd at World Cafe Live on this rainy afternoon. The bluesy band’s new album, Promised Land Or Bust, officially dropped today.

These rockers started off their set with “Mean and Evil”; lead vocalist, Dustin Arbuckle, got into the groove starting from the first note that came out of his harmonica. He was joined by guitarist Aaron Moreland, and the two fed off of each other’s and the crowd’s energy throughout their set as they both rocked out on stage. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Fans sing along with Philly musician Kenn Kweder

Kenn Kweder
Kenn Kweder | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Philadelphia local Kenn Kweder brought highenergy and an entertaining show to World Cafe Live for today’s Free at Noon concert. Backed by the band The Hipster Mind Tricks, Kweder performed a set for fans to dance and sing to.

The Upper Darby-native is no stranger to WXPN, having been a figure in the Philadelphia music scene since the 70’s, which brought out fans new and old to the Free at Noon scene. Kweder just recently was just featured in a documentary about his career and old group Kenn Kweder and The Secret Kidds. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Boogarins bring psychedelic rock to World Cafe Live

Boogarins | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
Boogarins | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Brazilian rock outfit Boogarins kicked off the Friday afternoon by bringing their psychedelic rock sound into World Cafe Live for this week’s Free at Noon concert. The band made an appearance in Philadelphia not too long ago during their tour with Andrew Bird, and they decided to make one more stop before heading up to Brooklyn. Their tour is in support of their second and most recent album Manual, which was released back in October 2015. Continue reading →