Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN’s Big Day Out at World Cafe Live, The Black Angels at Union Transfer

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Tonights is XPN’s Big Day Out at World Cafe Live, featuring a number of live musicians, auctions and imbibing. Starting at 2 p.m., the afternoon will feature beer and whiskey tasting from various areas such as California and New England with brands such as Dogfish, Troegs, Otter Creek, and many more. Accompanying the tasting will be live performances from musicians such as Lianne La Havas, and a hobnobbing with celebrity guests which include the folk band Good Old War, Alec Ounsworth from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Tad Kubler from The Hold Steady and others. There will also be an auction for prizes, including a meet-and-greet with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, a week vacation at Johnny Cash’s house in Jamaica, to name a few. (Those alone should be incentive enough.)  Tickets and information about XPN’s 21+ Big Day Out can be found here. Below, watch Lianne La Havas performing at Free at Noon last fall.

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Download Digest: This week’s best free music, incl. John the Conqueror, Jerry Garcia, Lauryn Peacock

Here at The Key, we toss a fair heaping of free downloads your way, so it’s completely understandable if you miss a few. Here are our top five bits of digital music from the past week:

Power trio John the Conqueror has made a splash in Philly scene over the past year, dishing out a moving blend of blues, soul and rock n’ roll. This week the band announced that its debut full-length is coming out on Alive Naturalsound Records this October, and released the lead single, “Time to Leave.”

XPN Artist to Watch Lianne La Havas has been burning up the airwaves with the title track to her album Is Your Love Big Enough?. On Friday, the song was featured as WXPN’s My Morning Download, and you can get yourself a copy below.

This past Thursday was the 17th anniversary of Jerry Garcia‘s passing, and to mark the occasion, we dug up the final show that he and The Grateful Dead played in Philadelphia. Stream it in the player below, or download it in its entirety at

Ben Runyan of City Rain played a show at PhilaMOCA last Thursday wearing a Kurt Cobain t-shirt. On Friday, he released a synthpop rendition of Nirvana’s “Dumb” to his personal Soundcloud page. What I love the most about it (aside from being a fine choice from the Nirvana canon) is how much he makes it sound like a City Rain song. Decide for yourself:

This week’s Key Studio Session spotlighted emotive West Philly songwriter Lauryn Peacock, who played with a three-piece band and premiered three new songs. The most striking performance, however, was the closing number “Window in the Night,” which originally appeared on the Fairly Busy Wife EP she released in July. Give it a listen below, and mark your calendars for her appearance at The Fire on Aug. 23.