Kicking off the music for day two of NonComm, as well as the first of two Free at Noon doubleheaders, was Jessica Lea Mayfield, fresh off the release of her new alt-rock album Make My Head Sing. Unlike her previous music, this new album is incredibly grunge influenced, and is a definitive nod to Dave Grohl, who she calls one of her musical influences. Mayfield’s performance was highlighted most by her heavy reliance on distorted twelve and six string guitars, most apparent on her single “I Want To Love You.”
Singer / songwriter and guitarist Jessica Lea Mayfield brings her ethereal vocals and creeping, crunching guitar riffs to Johnny Brenda’s tonight in support of her recent album release Make My Head Sing…. Sometimes touching on psychedlic shoegazey rock, other times inserting her bluegrass roots (she was in a bluegrass band with her family as a young girl), Mayfield’s sound is unique and all her own. Get tickets and info on the 9:15pm show here.
#XPNFest artists Old 97′s, Hurray for The Riff Raff, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and Rodrigo y Gabriela are four of the artists whose new singles are available to download for free on a 15 song ATO Records Spring Sampler. Other artists on the collection include Built To Spill, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Kaiser Chiefs, Midlake, Benjamin Booker, Midlake and more. The Old 97′s are represented with “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive,” from their new album Most Messed Up. Below, download the sampler. Get tickets for the XPoNential Music Festival here.
Kicking off this week’s love-filled download offerings are Juston Stens & Jessica Lea Mayfield with “Strange Love,” a tale of long distance connections and making the most of time spent together. The jangly duet is track #4 in the Valentine’s Day compilation, curated by XPN Philly Local’s Helen Leicht. Each day leading up to February 14th The Key will post a new track by a local musician for free download (last week’s picks featured The Hooters, Jesse Ruben and Joe D’Amico). Go here to get the full With Love, From WXPN Philly Local collection, and see Juston Stens with his band The Get Real Gang at Johnny Brenda’s on March 1st. Tickets and more information can be found here.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2nd XPN Welcomes Ryan Adams with Jessica Lea Mayfield at Academy Of Music (8 p.m., SOLD OUT) Click here to listen to his recent interview and performance on World Cafe with David Dye. During the episode, Adams discusses and performs tracks from his new acoustic album, Ashes & Fire, which he is currently touring in support of.
Also Playing: XPN Welcomes Sam Roberts Band + Zeus, Canadian Invasion at North Star Bar (9 p .m., 21+, $15); XPN Welcomes Marin Sexton at Sellersville Theater (8 p.m., $33–$45)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3rd XPN Welcomes Jukebox The Ghost, The Spinto Band, and White Birds at Union Transfer (8 p.m., all ages, $12–$14) You can watch Jukebox The Ghost’s new video for the track “Half Crazy” off the band’s 2010 album, Everything Under The Sun; the video was shot in South Philly by local animation production company Juggling Wolf. You can check out White Bird’s recent Key Studio Session here.
Also Playing: XPN Welcomes The Roches: Suzy And Maggie Roche with a Holiday Twist at New Hope Winery (8 p.m., $30–$40)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4th
XPN Welcomes the 6th Annual Lizanne Knott And Friends Philabundance Benefit at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $10)
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18
Bell X1 is Ireland’s best barely-kept secret. The group, originally known as Juniper, used to feature Damien Rice as its lead singer; unfortunately, it’s still often recognized for that fact, rather than for its Talking Heads- and Flaming Lips-inspired fusion of rock and electronic music. Bell X1 is a sensation in Ireland, nominated for Best Irish Band at the Meteor Music Awards three different times. It was also nominated twice for Best Irish Album and Best Irish Live Performance. However, the band’s success in the states and in the UK barely compares to its fame at home. The chance to see a festival-headlining band up close and personal is rare, but Bell X1’s current international tour for its new album, Bloodless Coup, provides just that opportunity. The new material walks the fine line between early Radiohead and contemporary UK folk like Mumford And Sons and they’ll be performing it at a series of smaller, intimate shows in the states. Bell X1 performs with Favourite Sons at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $18–$20. —Naomi Shavin
Eilen Jewel performs two shows (7:30 and 10:00 p.m.) at Tin Angel. Tickets to the 21+ show are $15.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19 Intuition and tenacity have driven Ray Davies’ extensive songwriting career. Davies, the prime lyricist of The Kinks, has been deemed responsible for the England-based band’s literate rock ballads. Now, 15 years after The Kinks’ split, Davies is writing more than ever. Recently he stated, “I think it’s an instinct, a desire to want to communicate things to people… you try to find a unique way of doing it.” His most recent album, See My Friends, might be his most unique attempt at communicating yet. The record is composed entirely of collaborations with well-known acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Mumford And Sons. Davies’ determination to create at the age of 67 outshines that of many 20-somethings. So, despite a six-month hiatus due to health concerns and a conflict-ridden relationship with his brother (once-bandmate, Dave Davies), Ray Davies is touring to promote even more new songs (and a few oldies). Ray Davies performs with Dessolf Choir at 8 pm at the Temple Performing Arts Center; tickets to the all-ages show are $55. —Caitlyn Grabenstein
Chris Smither performs with Andy Friedman at 7:30 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the all-ages show are $30-$40.
Drive-By Truckers perform with Jessica Lea Mayfield at 8 p.m. at the Theatre Of Living Arts; tickets to the 21+ show are $35.