NonCOMM Recap: Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm brings it home with guitar solos and soul

Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Bringing NonCOMM 2017 to a high energy close, veteran guitarist Robert Cray was joined by Hi Rhythm for an invigorating set of blues, soul and rock and roll.

Drawing from their new album Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm, the band was tight and energized, and Cray proved an understated but galvanizing leader of it — his presence was stoic on the verses, but emitted pure joy when he dipped into any of the set’s many guitar solos. Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: The Dream Syndicate show that fuzz-guitars still reign supreme

The Dream Syndicate | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Iconic indie rockers The Dream Syndicate gave the crowd a taste of exactly what was to await them from the very first chord of their NonCOMM night three set: utterly crunchy, fuzzed-out guitar jams.

It’s been thirty years since the band’s 1988 album Ghost Stories, but it seems like they picked up right where they left off. Don’t believe me? Tell that to guitarist, Jason Victor, who leapt right onto the tables in front of the stage during the band’s second song — strumming the heck out of his guitar amongst the crowd for an epic solo. Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: Lo Moon soars, dips, and flows through dreamy, ethereal set

Lo Moon | Photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Lo Moon had big shoes to fill when World Cafe host Talia Schlanger introduced the band — comparing their few month’s back set at Johnny Brenda’s to Genesis when they first hit the scene in the 70s.

Slinking on stage against red and blue lights, the ethereal mood was set in an instant. This four-piece, mysterious band has totally got the whole cool, dark vibes thing down to a tee — but escape from that translating into a super blase, I-don’t-care-about-anything-because-I-wear-all-black-and-am-too-cool-for-school attitude. Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band bring a funky revue to Free At Noon

Paul Schaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

Strutting to the stage with a funky and frenzied cover of Kool and the Gang’s “Hollywood Swinging,” long time late night television bandleader Paul Shaffer played a lively set with his combo of veteran players, The World’s Most Dangerous Band.

Made up of Felicia Collins on guitar, Anton Fig on drums, Will Lee on bass and Sid McGinnis on guitar, with horn players Tom Malone, Frank Greene, and Aaron Heick, the band blew through selections from their new covers record,The World’s Most Dangerous Party.

“The breakout star is Felicia Collins,”Shaffer told the crowd of his guitarist. “People don’t understand the magnitude of talent we’re dealing with here.” Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: Gov’t Mule let loose with new material from Revolution Come… Revolution Go

Gov’t Mule | photo by Emma SIlverstone for WXPN

“I’m gonna apologize right now, we’re doing all new songs tonight,” Gov’t Mule frontman Warren Haynes said before the bluesy opening notes of “Sarah, Surrender.” That track, along with the rest of the Southern rock outfit’s six-song set, was pulled from this year’s Revolution Come… Revolution Go, their 10th studio LP set for a June 9th release via Fantasy Records.

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NonCOMM Recap: Mondo Cozmo shine with hits and tributes

Mondo Cozmo | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

At last year’s NonCOMM Music Meeting, Songline’s Sean Coakley played a new track that turned out to be “Hold On To Me” by Mondo Cozmo — the west coast band of Bucks County native Josh Ostrander. It was well received by the usually critical crowd, with XPN Morning Show host Kristen Kurtis declaring Cozmo one of her favorite bands. A year and many radio plays later, Ostrander and his five bandmates filled the downstairs stage at World Cafe Live with an intoxicating string of rock songs.

Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: Kyle Craft comes out larger than life

Kyle Craft | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman |

Living in a post-ironic, post-Portlandia world, it’s with good reason that many things coming out of Portland these days are met with skepticism. Even though Kyle Craft operates out of the rainy northwestern metropolis, his well-heeled Southern roots give him more than an ounce of sincerity that informs his fiery songwriting.  Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: Slow-burning indie rock classics fill Pixies Free at Noon set

The Pixies | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

I learned a few things while watching  iconic rockers Pixies totally shred at Free At Noon today. First, angsty 90s rock will never ever go out of style. It just won’t. Second, I hope and dream to be as half as cool as them someday.

The brooding band brought their signature strange n’ moody slow-burning garage jams by playing songs new and old this afternoon. Kicking off the set with a taste of their September-released album, Head Carrier, was “All the Saints” which then quickly delved into oldie, “La La Love You” and their classic, angst-anthem “Where is My Mind?” Closing out the show was the darkly hypnotic “Caribou,” where frontman Black Francis growled and screeched away atop crunchy guitar fuzz. Continue reading →