Tonight’s Concert Picks – Kins w/ Ryley Walker at Boot & Saddle, Ratking at the Barbary and Big Sam’s Funky Nation at World Cafe Live

Big Sam's Funky Nation | Photo courtesy of the artist
Big Sam’s Funky Nation | Photo courtesy of the artist

One of our SXSW highlights last March was when Kins did an early morning World Cafe session. At the time, we remarked how great the band sounded at 7AM in the morning and how much better they would sound in a proper evening show. This promises to be the case this evening as WXPN Welcomes Kins to Boot & Saddle. Opening is Chicago singer, songwriter and guitarist Ryley Walker whose new album, All Kinds Of True is one of the best indie-folk records of the year so far. Below, watch Kins’ World Cafe performance of “Pale Faced Fear” from SXSW in March. Get more information on the XPN Concert Calendar.

Ratking, an explosive NYC rap trio are touring in support of their new album So it Goes, is performing tonight at the Barbary. Their songs are infused with electronica, reggae, jazz and plenty of organized noise. Get ready for a wild night with MC’s Wiki and Hak, and DJ Sport, young men who’ve made a record that respects the traditions of the past, yet clearly looks to the future. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

Big Sam’s Funky Nation play World Cafe Live tonight. The New Orleans’ funkateers always throw the right kind of party. Sam and his crew have just released Evolution, an album that’s equal parts P-Funk and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. These guys could start a party in a paper bag. Below, download “Up In Here,” that they performed at the NBA All Star Weekend. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.


5 Shows to See in June: Streets of Laredo, Kins, Young & Sick, Vacationer, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Streets of Laredo | Photo via
Streets of Laredo | Photo via

Summer is officially here and we’re welcoming the warm weather with 5 awesome concerts throughout the month of June.  Here’s a quick preview of what you can expect from each of these bands (and yes, some hail from Philly!)

Streets of Laredo @ Boot & Saddle, 6/4

At first listen, you may not be aware that New Zealand via Brooklyn five-piece Streets of Laredo are newbies to playing music. They come across so experienced and polished! Their 70’s inspired sound is indie, folk, and country pleasantly blended into catchy tunes that will be hard to get out of your head.  Last year released two five-track EPs; Streets of Laredo Vol I and Streets of Laredo Vol II, and they have a handful of demo collections in their back catalog. Check out a video for “I’m Living” from Vol II, and get tickets and info on the show here.

Kins w/ Ryley Walker @ Boot & Saddle, 6/16

Australian quartet Kins have a unique vibe.  If we had to place them somewhere, they would fall into an alt-electronic category but they maintain a cohesiveness of indie bands like Real Estate or Grizzly Bear.  They like to say they “specialize in the sound of doubt, detachment and muted aggression.”  After playing this year’s Bonnaroo, they will stop by Philly to give us a taste of their self-titled album, Kins. Tickets and info can be found here. Listen to “Mockasins” below, and check out their World Cafe Session recorded live at SXSW.

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Watch Kins perform “Pale Faced Fear” during their World Cafe session at SXSW

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese
In Austin during SXSW there’s music happening morning, noon and night. Imagine being a band, having to load into a venue at 6AM, and be ready for a 7AM performance. That’s what the British band Kins were up against last Thursday morning, March 13th. Kins opened up the four band bill for World Cafe and KUTX at the Four Seasons and, despite the early wake up call, played a sublimely gorgeous set of songs from their recent album. Listen to the World Cafe session and interview here and watch them perform “Pale Faced Fear” below.


SXSW Dispatch: World Cafe’s breakfast showcase with Wye Oak, Phox and more

Wye Oak | Photo by John Vettese
Wye Oak | Photo by John Vettese
Our Thursday started rather early as we settled into the KUTX stage at Austin’s Four Seasons for a live broadcast of World Cafe sessions by Kins, Phox, Bright Light Social Hour and Wye Oak. Check out a gallery of photos from the showcase below, and tune in to Friday’s World Cafe to hear a playback of the sessions.


Not going to SXSW? Don’t worry. WXPN is bringing SXSW to you.

Lucius - Photo by Peter Larson
Lucius | Photo by Peter Larson

This week is the SXSW music conference in Austin, Texas – something you pretty much can’t miss if you frequent the music blogosphere. But if you’re staying home in Philly and find yourself scrolling through photos and tweets about amazing concerts you can’t go to, don’t get too bummed about it: WXPN is broadcasting sets by Lucius, Damon Albarn, The Hold Steady, Wye Oak and more live from SXSW on Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, David Dye will be recording and broadcasting four live Cafe sessions from the Four Seasons hotel in Austin as part of the KUTX Morning Show. On Friday, David will co-host the Public Radio Rocks the SXSW Day Stage showcase from the Austin Convention Center with four other public radio stations including WFUV (New York), The Current (Minneapolis), KUTX (Austin), and KXT (Dallas).

Below are the lineups and set times for each day.

Thursday – World Cafe/KUTX Four Seasons sessions
8 a.m. – Kins
9 a.m. – Phox
10 a.m. – Bright Light Social Hour
11 a.m. – Wye Oak

Friday – Public Radio Rock the SXSW Day Stage
1 p.m. – Lucius
2 p.m. – The Hold Steady
3 p.m. – Phantogram
4 p.m. – Jeremy Messersmith
5 p.m. – Temples
5:30p.m. – Damon Albarn

In addition, both World Cafe and The Key will be roving about SXSW all weekend; we’ll bring you daily recaps here on The Key, while you can get real-time updates over at World Cafe’s Tumblr page. Below, sample some of the musicians featured during the live broadcasts from SXSW, and check back for our SXSW coverage all week.


Cozy up to new music from Real Estate, Milagres and Wild Beasts on tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Real Estate | photo courtesy of the artist

While you continue to thaw, tune in tonight at 10pm for an all-new Indie Rock Hit Parade on XPN! To warm you up, I’ve got brand new songs from Liars, Dum Dum Girls, Metronomy and more. We’ll also dig in to Chiarocscuro, the new album from the Swedish electronic duo I Break Horses. Check out a few of the tracks you’ll hear in the mix tonight:

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