The Canadian band Arkells kicked off today’s Free at Noon double-header, bringing their indie-pop stylings to the buzzing World Café Live crowd.
On the back of their charismatic lead singer, Max Kerman, Arkells ran quickly through an impressive set of larger-than-life indie pop jams. Kerman built a quick rapport with the audience, joking about everything from ripping off John Lennon — they have a song literally titled “John Lennon” — to the Blue Jays beating the Phillies in the World Series over 20 years ago. Continue reading →
Contemporary Color is David Byrne’s recent musical project. It features “ten of the country’s elite color guard teams — the flag-flipping, sequin-studded crème de la crème of the “sport of the arts” — sync steps with musical luminaries for a bacchanalia of beats, sabre-spinning, and glitter cannons.” It features live performances by Byrne, Nelly Furtado, How to Dress Well, Devonté Hynes, Money Mark + Ad-Rock, Zola Jesus, Lucius, Nico Muhly + Ira Glass, St. Vincent, and tUnE-yArDs. And in the seat of the band is Philly’s Jim Boggia, and Philly born, #TempleMade jazz musicians. The show opens and plays in Toronto tonight and tomorrow at Air Canada Centre and on June 27 & 28th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music Winter/Spring Season). Last week during rehearsals for the show, Boggia began posting photos of the rehearsals on his Instagram, and we reached out to him for to find out more. Continue reading →
On Sunday, November 23rd at the Ardmore Music Hall, Huffamoose will reunite, with special guests Jim Boggia, Ben Arnold and The Fractals. 100% of all the ticket sales will benefit Dan’s Voice, a memorial fund for the treatment and research of head and neck cancer. A Chapter of the Board of Associates of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Dan’s Voice was founded in memory of Dan Rich, who lost his voice and his life to laryngeal/esophageal cancer.
Huffamoose – lead singer and guitarist Craig Elkins, guitarist and singer Kevin Hanson, bassist Jim Stager and drummer Erik Johnson – formed in 1992, and were signed to Interscope Records in 1994. The band debuted in 1993 with their self-titled independent release, and had several songs, including “James” and “I Want To Buy You A Ring,” that got a lot of airplay on WXPN. After signing with Interscope, they released their major label debut, We’ve Been Had Again, in June 1997. The band, known for their mix of rock with jazz influences, had rocky times on the label. After relocating to Los Angeles to work with producer Joe Chiccarelli, unhappy with the results, they convinced their A&R representative to let them re-record the album in Ardmore at the now defunct Chill Factor studios. While the making of the record more aptly fit the band’s musical vision, it strained relations with the label even further.
“We definitely came to appreciate the uphill battle for an unknown band,” Elkins says. “At any point along the way we could have gone along with some advice we didn’t feel comfortable with. We listened to all the options, but most of the time we ended up sticking to our guns, for better or worse. Having to fight for what you believe in, that helps you grow.”
Members of the band are still active in music. After moving to California, Elkins has enjoyed a solo career. Kevin Hanson formed The Fractals in 2010, teaches guitar at the University of the Arts, and, as an in demand session player, has played on records by The Roots, Jill Scott, Usher, Trey Songz and Jay Z. Johnson and Stager also perform with Hanson in The Fractals.
Below, watch a video of the band perform “Wait,” from an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
April 22nd was Earth Day and also the 50th birthday of the very talented Jim Boggia! Perfect reason to have Jim stop by my show on the Leicht Lunch to sing a song for Earth day!
Jim and Ali Wadsworth came in sang “Nature’s Way” by Spirit for Earth Day and an amazing cover of “Love Hurts” (the Graham Parsons and EmmyLou Harris version). Jim and Ali sang this song live at Steel City Coffeehouse on Saturday night and Jim was so excited he finally found the perfect person to sing this duet with him. Since it was his birthday he wanted to celebrate with XPN listeners. You can check out the song, and the entire performance on my show, below.
Day four of the Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival ends with the soulful sounds of Anjuli Josephine tonight at The Fire. Shades of pop and blues color the Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter’s catalog. Check out her Key Studio Session from last year and “New Love” below. Get tickets here.
Prodigal Philadelphia son Jason Karaban returns to town this week to celebrate the release of his new album, Shift, at The Tin Angel on Friday, September 7. Today, he appeared live on 88.5 with Helen Leicht for the Leicht Lunch to perform with Philly music vet Jim Boggia on guitar, as well as mandolinist Gerry McWilliams. Download their acoustic rendition of “You’re Already Home” and an unreleased new cut “Low Road” below, and hear an archive of their entire appearance.
A native of Elizabethtown and a recent graduate of Temple University, South Philly’s Katie Frank is gearing up to release her debut EP Covered Bridge Road next month. Tracked locally at East Room Recording and featuring contributions on vocals and ukulele from veteran Philly musician Jim Boggia, the EP is a collection of polished pop production and yearning, country-tinged hooks from the emerging singer-songwriter. She plays Kung Fu Necktie tonight, and those attending get a free download of her debut single “Close Enough.” Give the song a listen below. Katie Frank plays with Blayer Point Du Jour and the Rockers Galore and Spirit Animal at Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 North Front St., tonight at 11:30 p.m. Admission to the 21+ show is free.
The Philadelphia Folk Festival announced additions to the lineup for their 50th anniversary festival on August 18-21. Among the additions are The Levon Helm Band, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, The David Wax Museum, Jim Boggia, Suzie Brown and Jessica Lea Mayfield. They join a lineup that includes Jorma Kaukonen, Arlo Guthrie, the David Bromberg Big Band, Justin Townes Earle and many more. The complete lineup, ticket information and set times can be found here. On Thursday evening August 18th, World Cafe host David Dye will be hosting a special recording of sets by Amanda Shire, Terrance Simien and the Joel Plaskett Emergency. Below, a video of Trombone Shorty from a live broadcast he did on WXPN on June 4th, 2010.
Fresh off his September 25th performance with The Fab Faux at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, local singer-songwriter Jim Boggia will be stopping by the WXPN studio to perform two live songs during The Leicht Lunch At Noon. This Saturday, October 9th, Boggia will perform with The Fab Faux at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA, in celebration of what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. (As Jim mentioned on his website, he’ll be playing congas and drums as well as guitar and keyboard; unfortunately, he also notes “I do not expect to be taking any gigs away from conga legend Tommy Lopez any time soon.”) Helen will be taking requests, so either tune in or listen online to hear Jim perform live.