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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Kamasi Washington at World Cafe Live, Meg Baird at Johnny Brenda’s, Set and Setting at Kung Fu Necktie

Kamasi Washington | Photo by Mike Park | courtesy of the artist
Kamasi Washington | Photo by Mike Park | courtesy of the artist

Tonight, LA saxophonist and acclaimed band leader Kamasi Washington brings his aptly-titled debut LP The Epic to World Cafe Live with an eight-piece band. In an interview earlier this week with The Key’s Shaun Brady, Washington talked about breaking down the boundaries of genre:

The word ‘jazz’ and the word ‘hip-hop’ have a separation, but the music doesn’t really have that same separation. You can’t talk about hip-hop without talking about A Tribe Called Quest, and their music is inundated with jazz. You can’t talk about west coast hip-hop without talking about James Brown and Parliament.

Read the whole interview here, listen to “Miss Understanding” below and get tickets and more information on the show via the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Interview: Meg Baird on stage fright, recording Light and holding on to her Phillies hat

Meg Baird | Photo by Akshay Sawhney | akshaysawhney.com
Meg Baird | Photo by Akshay Sawhney | akshaysawhney.com

There’s a type of folk music that’s difficult to listen to in an abstract way, a type that’s difficult to extricate from the rich context of its history. A type that seems to always evoke a sort of timelessness, along with its most prominent practitioners and all of the artists who have carried it into the modern era. Nick Drake. Fairport Convention. Pentangle.

Oh, and “The Battle Of Evermore. “ Obviously.

Toward the end of her until-then lifelong residency in the Philadelphia area, in December of 2010, Meg Baird opened for the late great folk singer and guitarist Bert Jansch at Johnny Brenda’s, at what would be his last appearance here. Shortly following that show – in retrospect, an evening on which the proverbial torch of this tradition and this artistry was arguably passed, metaphorically speaking, between its masters in two generations – Jansch would pass away, sadly, and Baird would uproot, and relocate to the West Coast. Continue reading →

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Listen to “Sleeper Hold” from Saintseneca’s new album Such Things

Saintseneca | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Saintseneca | photo by Michelle Montgomery | michellemontgomeryphotography.com

Just a few days after announcing a show at Johnny Brenda’s, Ohio’s Saintseneca have announced their new album, entitled Such ThingsIt’s due out October 9 via ANTI-.

The album’s first single, “Sleeper Hold”, features slurry guitar and the beautiful harmonies of Maryn Jones and frontman Zac Little. It’s a rocking, autumnal folk song with an anthemic chorus, the perfect premiere for Saintseneca’s most accessible output to date. Continue reading →

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Feeling the heat with The Appleseed Cast at a sold-out Johnny Brenda’s

The Appleseed Cast | Photo by Joe Lamberti | www.jlamberti.com
The Appleseed Cast | Photo by Joe Lamberti | www.jlamberti.com

The Appleseed Cast took to the stage Wednesday night to a sold out crowd at Johnny Brenda’s. Guitarist Taylor Holenbeck addressed the group a few times, joking about the abundance of body heat in the room; he encouraged everyone to move around, not to dance, but to embrace the heat and raise the temperature further. He then tangled himself up in strands of the venue’s iconic beads, which hang on stage. The quartet went on to play for about an hour, radiating loud, whirring walls of model post-rock sound. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jason Isbell at Electric Factory, Saintseneca at Millworks, The Appleseed Cast at Johnny Brenda’s

Jason Isbell | Photo by Michael Wilson
Jason Isbell | Photo by Michael Wilson

Alternative country musician Jason Isbell will perform at the Electric Factory this evening with Blake Mills. Isbell played Newport Folk Festival this past weekend, performing tracks from his latest release Something More Than Free and from 2013′s Southeastern as well. The set was an upbeat crowd-pleaser, and we’re looking forward to an equally memorable experience tonight! Listen below, and grab tickets here. Continue reading →

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Quick, Furious, Enthralling; R. Ring takes on Johnny Brenda’s

R . Ring | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com
R . Ring | Photo by Chris Sikich | sikichphotography.com

Johnny Brenda’s hosted the glories of R. Ring on Monday night for a small, eager Philadelphia crowd. Kelley Deal of The Breeders and Mike Montgomery of Ampline rocked their way through a brisk 40-plus minute set, with the occasional drumming help of Leo DeLuca for good measure. With songs coming from various EPs, some released, some unreleased, as well as cuts by The Kelley Deal 6000 (“Trixie Delicious”) and Shellac (“Ghosts”), R. Ring engaged with tightknit arrangements. Deal had 10 pedals at her disposal and even played a few songs free of guitars. It was quick, furious and enthralling ear candy. Continue reading →