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Check out two new tracks from Ali Wadsworth (playing free show at City Hall tomorrow)

Powerhouse Philly singer Ali Wadsworth just released two rocking new songs from her forthcoming full-length solo album, just in time for her free show at City Hall tomorrow. The songs feature Tim Arnold of Good Old War on drums, Jaron Olevsky of Amos Lee on piano/organ, Toy Solders’ Dominic Billett on congas and percussion, as well as fellow local musicians Phil D’Agostino on bass, and Dan Schwartz and Joe Bisirri on guitar. Below, listen to Wadsworth’s new tracks and, if you like what you hear, make sure to RSVP for her City Hall Presents performance tomorrow night. The show runs from 5:30PM to 6:30PM at the Mayor’s Reception Room (City Hall, Room 202). RSVP ahead here, as seating is limited.

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A selection of Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson songs we’d love to see The Ron Gallo Revue cover at Fergie’s Wednesday

Randy Newman (left) and Harry Nilsson

Fans of snappy piano pop would do well to head to Fergie’s Wednesday night, when Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo hosts a tribute to 70s songwriters Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. Admission to the show is free, and music gets underway starting at 9 p.m. It’s the first installment of the new weekly “Ron Gallo Revue”, and features an impressive list of local collaborators: Ali and Claire Wadsworth, Tim Arnold of Good Old War, Thom McCarthy, Ross Bellenoit, Gretchen Lohse of Yellow Humphrey, Jerry Bernhardt of The Get Real Gang, Aaron Brown, Modern Inventors and Gallo himself. With so much talent in the room, we couldn’t help offering a few suggestions / challenges from the Nilsson / Newman repertoire that we’d love to see these folks perform. For instance, Nilsson’s iconic 1971 hit “Without You” – re-popularized by Mariah Carey in the 90s – would rock so hard coming out of one or both of the powerhouse vocalist Wadsworth sisters. And Aaron Brown’s voice already has the husky smoothness of Newman’s – he’d tear up “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today.” Check out our picks below, and get more information on the tribute at its Facebook event page. Continue reading →

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Dispatch playing Free at Noon this Friday and Tower Theater October 9th


When a band breaks up and then chooses to reunite the results are usually skewed. Either it’s “too different”, and we become nostalgic over all of their old hits or it’s a total win and we’re so grateful to have their music back in our lives again. The Boston-based trio, Dispatch have disbanded and reunited quite a few times. After their farewell Boston concert in 2004 entitled “The Last Dispatch”, they regrouped in 2007 for three benefit shows in Madison Square Garden and again in 2009 in Washington D.C. at the request of Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister. But their new album Circles Around the Sun, self-released on their label Bomber Records, is the first for Chad Stokes, Brad Corrigan, and Francis Heimbold since Who Are We Living For? in 2000. Although nothing will replace their sophomore album Bang, Bang, which included rockin’ reggae tracks like “The General,”"Two Coins” and the title track. I say “rockin’ reggae” lightly, because Dispatch is the type of band that no matter how you describe them, whether as indie rock or reggae or folk, they’re simply just good. They have the ability to mold their sound after whatever their musical passion is at the moment. In the new release, the title track gives a definite head start to the rest of the album; it’s danceable, it’s feel-good, it’s a song that you can listen to over and over until you’re sick of it. The 10-track release is as eclectic as ever; there are banjos, various percussion instruments, mixed harmonies, and bountiful beats. Billboard had this to say:

Moving away from its trademark acoustic-funk, “Circles Around the Sun” sounds fuller and more plugged-in while maintaining the trio’s seamless harmonies, ragged edges and breezy attitude. But hearing those intertwined voices, the album is definitely and defiantly Dispatch.

Watch the music video for “Circles Around the Sun” below and get excited for their U.S. tour which includes a stop at the Tower Theater on October 9th with Good Old War. Tickets to that show are available here. But the best news is that Dispatch will be playing XPN’s Free at Noon this Friday, August 24th. RSVP on xpn.org

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Good Old War at Union Transfer and Levee Drivers at Silk City


Philly favorites Good Old War recently played this year’s XPoNential Fest at Wiggins Park and hosted an event called “Good Old Beer” at Dock Street on Sunday night. Now the indie-folk trio are bringing their heart-warming harmonies to Union Transfer tonight before going on a national tour with Dispatch. Tonight’s all-ages show features opener Chris Kasper. Doors open at 8PM and the show starts at 8:30PM. Tickets are available here for $16. Check out Good Old War’s latest album, Come Back As Rain, available on their Bandcamp page and see coverage of the band at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival here. Watch the band’s music video for their new song “Amazing Eyes” below.

Levee Drivers are an alt-contry band from Morrisville, PA. The band are playing on a big bill tonight at Silk City with a mix of local artists. The bill features Chelsea Mitchell, Corporate Hearts, Rob Lately, and Mat Burke and the show starts at 8PM. Check out the venue page for more info. Listen to Levee Drivers’ song “Tennessee Girl” in the player below.

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Good Old War to host Vacationer, others at Dock Street on Sunday, 8/5

Hometown heroes Good Old War will bring their stylings to the pub — but not the stage — at Dock Street where they’ll be tending bar and keeping tap on Sunday, August 5th, through an evening of excellent local music. The folk-rockers will host their Philly fellows in the dream-pop outfit Vacationer, blues-rock n’ soul dudes Toy Soldiers, and folk-pop artist David Cope. Come out for the great music as well as a chance to win tickets to Good Old War’s upcoming show with Dispatch on Tuesday, October 9th at the Tower Theatre (tickets available here). Also check out their latest album, Come Back As Rain, available on their bandcamp. The show runs from 6-9pm, and is free. A portion of the tips go to support WXPN’s Musicians on Call program.

Check out our coverage of Good Old War at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival here, and watch their video for “Amazing Eyes,” from their latest album below.

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XPoNential Fest: Better Weather was brought along with Good Old War (photos, audio, setlist, music video)

The second day of XPO Fest has been beautiful and sunny thus far; and Good Old War brought the better weather with them on the River Stage. The trio has played at our Non-Comm this year and we will be welcoming them on August 6th to Union Transfer. They played songs off their latest album, Come Back as Rain as well as classics from their earlier jams such as “Coney Island”. The crowd was singing along and head bobbin’ to the beat with Keith, Tim, and Dan. The band also announced that they recently made a music video for “Amazing Eyes” starring Peyton List from the television show Mad Men. Listen to the entire performance here (via the WXPN media player). Continue reading →

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Download The Key’s XPoNential Music Festival 2012 Sampler!

The 2012 XPoNential Music Festival is upon us, and we’re happy to say that, along with the national big names Wilco and Counting Crows headlining, we’ve got a solid offering of some of our favorite homegrown music on the bill. Dr. Dog and Dave Hause on Saturday, the Good Old War On Work Drugs triumverate across the weekend, singer-songwriters Matt Santry and Dana Alexandra, synth poppers City Rain and gothic Americana four-piece The Bailey Hounds. Most of those musicians have recorded for WXPN in one form or another, and as we get ready to open the gates at 5 today, we present you with The Key’s XPoNential Music Festival 2012 Sampler. You can download the entire thing here, and load it onto your iPod for the car ride over to Wiggins Park tonight. Tracklisting after the jump. Continue reading →

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Good Old War debut new video for “Amazing Eyes” (playing XPoNential Music Fest in July)


Good Old War have debuted a new video for the song “Amazing Eyes” from their recent album, Come Back As Rain. Watch it below. The band plays at this year’s XPoNential Music Festival on July 21st. Weekend passes to the music festival are on sale now here. The band is also playing August 6th at Union Transfer. GOW recently played the WXPN Non-Comm music conference; listen to their set here.

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WXPN broadcasting Non-Commvention shows with Grace Potter, War On Drugs, Willie Nelson, Rufus Wainwright, Brandi Carlile, Polica, Norah Jones and more


Next Wednesday, May 16th through Saturday, May 17th WXPN’s annual music conference, the Non-Commvention, rolls in to World Cafe Live and WXPN. This is the 12th year for the industry conference started by WXPN’s Dan Reed when he worked at WFPK in Louisville, Kentucky. Hundreds of music industry personnel will be in town from various radio stations across the country alongside industry publicists, labels representatives, digital media folks, managers, and listeners and members of WXPN. The lineup for this year’s Non-Comm includes dozens of bands who will be performing at World Cafe Live Wednesday through Friday night, and a listener appreciation Free At Noon on Saturday at Penn Park. WXPN will be broadcasting and webcasting the following sets live:

Wednesday, May 16
8:00 PM – The Key Studio Sessions Live with Graham Alexander, Find Vienna
10:00 – Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Thursday, May 17 Free At Noon
Noon – Joseph Arthur
12:30 – Citizen Cope

The NPR Music Stage
8:30-9 – Father John Misty
9:35-10:05 – Beth Orton
10:45-11:25 – The War On Drugs
12:05-12:45 – Polica

Friday, May 18 Free At Noon with Brandi Carlile, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson

The NPR Music Stage
8:30-9 – Diego Garcia
9:35-10 – Nada Surf
10:40-11:10 – Good Old War
11:50-12:30 – J.C. Brooks & the Uptown Sound

Saturday, May 19 – Listener Appreciation Free At Noon from Penn Park:
12-12:20 – Dex Romweber Duo
12:25-1:05 – Rufus Wainwright
1:15-1:45 – Sons of Fathers
1:55-2:25 – Elle King
2:30-3 – Nick Waterhouse