With 29 bands playing in the span of three days, NonCOMM is more of a marathon than a sprint. In that sense, Simo, being the 29th band to perform, is like a runner on the final two-tenths of a mile at the end of a marathon (this metaphor is not mathematically to scale). And let me tell you, this metaphorical runner finished mighty strong.
At first mention, 90’s heroes Soul Asylum sound a little out of place at NonCOMM – what are these alternative rockers doing with a bunch of folk/Americana acts? As soon as the band started playing, however, they made their purpose here at the convention known with a wall of sound – and the crowd greeted them with roaring applause. Continue reading →
It seemed like Adam Weiner talked to the crowd as much as he sang to them. “Philly, you stick with us and we’ll never lose,” he said as Low Cut Connie got things going on the PRX stage upstairs at World Cafe Live. Weiner, the vocalist and pianist for the Philly rockers, brought enough energy to the room for the whole audience. Weiner is a local, from just across the bridge in Jersey, and all set long he made it clear how much love he has for the city whose shadow he grew up in. Continue reading →
It’s been a couple years since Band of Horses released a studio album. Four years to be exact, but the band has been busy since 2012 and they proved it on the NonCOMM stage by mixing old songs and new and, please pardon my French, rocking our asses off.
To prepare for the release of their new album Why Are You OK on June 10th, the band used the convention to test out new material but also threw the crowd some favorites such as set opener “Laredo” and tear-jerker classic “No Ones Gonna Love You.” Continue reading →
As I sat at a desk in the WXPN offices, working on a recap of Esme Patterson’s set here at NonCOMM, I faintly heard on a radio across the room that Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle had just finished up downstairs. I had to hurry if I were to get a good spot for Car Seat Headrest. So, I quickly finished and rushed out the office door, only to find a mob of people already filling the upstairs area of World Cafe Live.
I wasn’t going to settle for the back, so I started to push my way through. As I did, I noticed the guy in front of me, who was pushing his way through as well, looked oddly familiar. Then I realized, it was Will Toledo himself, the man behind Car Seat Headrest.
Toledo made it much further up than I did — all the way to the stage, of course. And when he got up there, he and his band crushed it. Continue reading →
Folk legends Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle are prepping to release their first album together as a duo, the self titled Colvin & Earle out June 10th, and they brought the collection of songs they wrote to the NonCOMM audience downstairs.
Both artists have been fixtures of the Americana folk scene for years and years now, and their set was quick but not too quick. Colvin and Earle delighted the audience with a medley of Western ballads and campfire songs, such as the earnest “Come What May” and the sing-a-long “Tell Moses,” for which Earle pulled out the mandolin. Continue reading →
Esme Patterson has a smile that stretches from ear to ear; she seems friendly and caring, and poppy songs like “No River,” where she admits her human flaws, or “Find It,” a motivating track that tells the listener to go find what you need, seem to confirm that.
But Patterson’s upcoming album is called We Were Wild, and that’s exactly what she and her band were tonight — wild. With a curly head of hair intimidatingly covering her eyes and wielding a signature ESP guitar, Patterson blew the roof off World Cafe Live at NonCOMM. Continue reading →
Folk duo The Cactus Blossoms hail from Minneapolis, but they could just as well be from the late 50’s. The band, which consists of Jack Torrey and Page Burkum both singing and playing guitar, just released their debut album You’re Dreaming. The songs play out as skiffley, old-time rock and roll in a vein of Buddy Holly or Roy Orbison, serving as a perfect opening statement for NonCOMM day three. Continue reading →
At today’s Friday Free At Noon, WXPN and World Cafe Live delivered a very special treat to WXPN members and listeners in honor of this year’s 16th annual Non COMM. Not one, but two Grammy award winning artists, Corinne Bailey Rae and Mary Chapin Carpenter, were in Philadelphia today to perform on the NPR stage.
Rae was first to take the stage right at noon, kicking off the show with a song entitled “Been To The Moon” off of her new album, “The Heart Speaks In Whispers.” She continued her set with a few songs from her new album, then dipped into two classics, “Like A Star” and “Put Your Records On,” both of which are off her self-titled album released back in 2006. These old favorites really got the crowd moving and singing along. Rae ended her set with the same high energy that she started with. She closed with another song entitled “The Skies Will Break” which is also off of her new album. Continue reading →
Don’t tell Big Head Todd the guitar solo is dead, because he’ll tell you you’re wrong. Better yet he’ll show you you’re wrong, as he did tonight during Big Head Todd & The Monsters‘ set at NonCOMM. Every song of the 10-song set took time for Todd to shred on one of his axes. Continue reading →