Neil Young recently released the sprawling rock record Psychedelic Pill with Crazy Horse. Young plays this Thursday evening, November 29th at the Wells Fargo Center with Patti Smith opening. There’s no hiding our love for Neil so as we ramp up to Thursday night’s show here’s some of our favorite covers of his songs.
XPN welcomes Grace Potter & The Nocturnals back to Philadelphia for a show at The Electric Factory. The Vermont-based rock band wowed audiences at Coachella and XPN’s Non-COMMvention earlier this year with Potter’s undeniably charismatic stage presence and the band’s explosive songs. In June the band released their eighth studio album with The Lion The Beast The Beat. Tonight, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals perform with The Stepkids. Tickets are $25 for the all-ages show and doors open at 8:30 p.m.; more information is available here. Watch the video for “Timekeeper” below.
Grace Potter and The Nocturnals played the Non-Commvention last night at World Cafe Live. The band debuted a lot of new material from its forthcoming album, The Lion The Beast The Beat, being released on June 12th. Listen to the set here. Set list below. All photos by Joe Del Tufo.
Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
WXPN Non-Comm Broadcast at World Cafe Live
Wednesday, May 16th
The Lion The Beast The Beat
One Heart Missing
Never Go Back
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
The first weekend of Coachella wrapped up yesterday with the second weekend of performances next weekend. Watch some of the festival highlights below from Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, the Weeknd, Gary Clark, Jr., Bon Iver, Radiohead, the Black Keys and Dawes.
Grace Potter has inarguably transformed her appearance and musical style over the past few years. In the spring of 2005, Potter (along with her backing band, The Nocturnals) independently released her debut album, Nothing But The Water. Not long after, GP&N signed to Hollywood Records, which released the band’s sophomore effort, This Is Somewhere. The success of the album encouraged Potter to refashion GP&N’s image. With the help of producer Mark Batson (Dave Matthews Band, Eminem, Alicia Keys) she released her most recent album, which was self-titled as a declaration of the band’s new look and musical style. Grace Potter quickly went from a bohemian brunette to a blond-bombshell frontwoman, whose sexy vocals would elicit a double-take from even the most fervent listener. Grace Potter And The Nocturnals is, at its finest, a basic pop-rock record that thrives on simplicity and fun musical arrangements. Some dedicated GP&N fans might be quick to dismiss the album as a weak attempt at selling out; however, Grace Potter’s performance at Electric Factory on Friday night proved that she has no intention of abandoning her rock-and-roll roots.
To open the show, Grace belted out “Stop The Bus,” with a Flying V accompanying her screaming vocals. Energy quickly overcame the initially reserved crowd as people shouted lyrics and danced with neighboring attendees. Seamlessly progressing from one song to the next, the members of GP&N wailed on their instruments. During “Joey,” Grace finally took a seat behind her staple Hammond organ; she didn’t stay still for long though, as the following songs prompted provocative dancing and instrumental jams that lasted until the soft ballad “Apologies” (which gave the audience and GP&N a much-needed break). Her somber vocals briefly drenched the venue in a melodic haze, but the rocking quickly returned in the form of “One Short Night.”
Strings of bulbs and spotlights set the theme for “Tiny Light”; the song was transformed from a simple XM radio hit to an epic rock hit, supported by intermittent screaming and heavy breathing. A few songs later, concertgoers received a pleasant surprise: GP&N covered Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” and the performance was a psychedelic journey that would have made Grace Slick proud. The Nocturnals left the stage as Grace sang a solo, a cappella version of “Nothing But The Water (I).” Then they rejoined her for a loud, impassioned performance of “Nothing But The Water (II).” GP&N rounded out the set with the over-the-top single, “Paris (Ooh La La).” GP&N then returned to play three more songs, ending with “Medicine”, which is easily the best and most seductive track off the new album.
Hollywood Records clearly recognized a star and a diva the rock world could embrace. Grace Potter might be a great musician, but she is an even better performer. Her made-over image seems to compliment her talent and live shows, which harken back to those of ’60s and ’70s rock legends such as Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, and Fleetwood Mac. Grace’s performances have subsumed the sex appeal and indulgent musical expression of those predecessors. Anyone interested in GP&N should definitely invest in its 2011 Live At The Filmore album; those are the only recordings that might do the current incarnation of the band justice. —Caitlyn Grabenstein
[CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post inaccurately identified T-Bone Burnett as the producer of Grace Potter And The Nocturnals. The album was produced by Mark Batson.]
As we mentioned earlier this week, the Popped! Music Festival has been moved to Temple University’s Liacouras Center due this weekend’s expected rain. From the folks at Popped!: “Due to the heavy rainfall and thunderstorms forecasted by the National Weather Service over the next several days for the Philadelphia area, the POPPED! Music Festival, scheduled for Sept 23 & 24 at FDR Park, has been moved to the Liacouras Center at 1776 N. Broad Street on Temple’s campus, in Philadelphia.The producers of the event along with the Friends of FDR Park are taking the necessary precautions to insure a quality event and everyone’s safety. With the record rainfall the city has seen over the last month and the expected rain scheduled for the rest of the week, the ground will simply be oversaturated with water. In an effort to save the park from thousands of people congregating over 2 days in the excessively wet area and still be able to bring a safe, exciting event to Philadelphia, the decision was made to move the POPPED! Music Festival to the Liacouras Center.” Meanwhile, the festival’s much-ballyhooed food bazaar has been moved to the Piazza At Schmidts in Northern Liberties, according to uwishunu. As they note, “It’s also impeccable timing, and location, given the fact that the Girard Fest, put on in conjunction with the Philly F/M Festival, are taking over Northern Liberties and Girard Avenue this very same Saturday with live music, craft vendors, a beer garden, family fun and more.” For full details and ticket information, visit Popped! Music Festival’swebsite.
The Philadelphia Film And Music Festival is taking over 14 venues across the city this weekend for round two of the SXSW-inspired showcase. Now in its second year, the festival emphasizes locally-grown bands and music-centric documentaries, packing in over 100 acts and 10 films within the four-day event. Though each day provides the standard lineups of bands everywhere from North Star Bar to the TLA, the fest also plays host to a series of mini fests and events. Friday, for example, includes Our Band Could Be Your Life, a six-hour marathon of local indie bands playing covers of not-so-local indie bands (based on Michael Azerrad’s 2001 book of the same name) at 2424 Studios; Saturday welcomes the double-stage Riot Fest East at the Festival Pier. Saturday will also feature The Philly F/M Singer/Songwriter Showcase at Murphs Bar, giving stage time to four local acoustic acts. After scrambling across the city to catch headliners Deadmau5 or City Paper cover girl Nikki Jean, you can spend Sunday at the Ukie Club for The Key’s Philly F/M Festival BBQ Concert showcase, which begins 11 a.m. on the outdoor and indoor stages. The concert features quirky piano-pop band Jukebox The Ghost and pretty-voiced indie-folk musician Thao Nguyen With The Get Down Stay Down, among many other acts. The weekend ends with a three-band showcase downstairs at the World Café Live including Murder By Death. Tickets to The Key’s Philly F/M Festival BBQ Concert showcase at the Ukie Club are $15; for full details and ticket information visit the Philly F/M Festival’s website. —Marielle Mondon
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
The release of Grace Potter And The Nocturnals’ self-titled third album was definitely a proclamation of reform. The female roots-rock musician—who has significantly moved toward more accesible songs and a sex appeal-laden image—now almost seems like a good candidate for pop stardom. Yet, despite Potter’s alterations to her musical stylings and appearance over the years, she remains far from pop-diva status. Instead, she is a rock enthusiast who plays a Flying V while belting out soulful ballads. Her earlier records focused on blues-influenced arrangements and strong, emotional vocals. By contrast, her most recent album has moments of reggae and pop (such as “Goodbye Kiss”). However, don’t be too quick to dismiss the slightly changed Grace Potter: her vocal talents are still extraordinary and her live performances are reminiscent of a young (female) Robert Plant. Grace Potter And the Nocturnals perform with the Sam Roberts Band at 8:30 p.m. at the Electric Electric Factory; tickets to the all-ages show are $25–$28.—Caitlyn Grabenstein
Also Playing: Sharon Van Etten + Marissa Nadler, Hezekiah Jones at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $15); Opeth + Katatoni at The Trocadero (7 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT); Arctic Splash + Motopony, The Fleeting Ends at Milkboy Philly (9 p.m., 21+, free); Ted Leo And The Pharmacists + Home Blitz at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $15); Turning Violet Violet + The Kickdrums, Steve Goldberg And The Arch Enemies, HighKick, New Motels at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $8)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
Meg Baird + Glenn Jones, Watery Love at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15, 21+, $10); Andrew Lipke And The Azrael Quartet at Tin Angel (10:30 p.m., 21+, $10); Ted Leo And The Pharmacists + Dry Feet at Johnny Brenda’s (1:30 p.m., all ages, $15); Black Landlord at Milkboy Philly (9 p.m., 21+, free); Revolution, I Love You (record-release show) + Penrose, Panic Years at World Cafe Live (8:40 p.m., 21+, $11)
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
The Homophones + Edie Segwick, Agent Moosehead, Marriage at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $8); Murder By Death + The John Byrne Band, The Sparklers at World Cafe Live (7 p.m., $15)
The folks over at the Electric Factory are currently offering free Grace Potter And The Nocturnals posters (while supplies last) to anyone who purchases a ticket for tonight’s show from the EF box office. Pay in cash, and you can avoid the service fee.
Grace Potter And The Nocturnals performs with the Sam Roberts Band at 8:30 p.m. at the Electric Factory; tickets to the show are $28 from the Electric Factory box office ($38.15 via Ticketmaster).
For our third contest of the week (pretty sure that’s a personal best so far), we’ve got a handful of tickets AND free posters to give away for Grace Potter And The Nocturnals’ performance at Electric Factory on Friday, September 23rd. For a chance to win the tickets, all you have to do is leave a comment below by noon on Thursday, September 21st. We’ll select the winners at random that evening and notify them via email; once you’ve confirmed that you and your guest will be attending the show, your names will be added to the venue’s guest list. (Just make sure to use a valid email address when posting your comment; we promise not to sign you up for anything—we just want to be able to get in touch with you if you win.)