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Stream the entire new Yeasayer album via NPR Music (playing Union Transfer in November)


Yeasayer release a new album, Fragrant World, on Tuesday, August 21st. You can listen to the album in its entirety here via NPR Music. NPR Music’s Stephen Thompson writes this about the album:

Fragrant World functions on many levels: It’s bound to inspire some bang-up dance remixes, in spite of (and, let’s face it, because of) the swirling, searching layers of gloom sewn into its margins. Inspired equally by R&B records and Blade Runner, it’s the sort of record that rewards a bit of exploration, but it never forgets to dole out fun, easy payoffs along the way.

WXPN Welcomes Yeasayer to Union Transfer on Friday, November 16th. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Below, download “Henrietta” from the new album.

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Listen to Santigold’s new album, Master Of My Make-Believe, via streaming audio at NPR Music

Philly-born Santigold’s sophomore album, Master Of My Make-Believe, is set for release on May 1st (via Downtown and Atlantic Records). Earlier this month, she announced a series of tour dates in support of the release, including a performance at the Trocadero on Tuesday, May 8th. From NPR Music:

As uncompromising in her own way as M.I.A., whose music attacks more viscerally, Santigold seems ambivalent about most everything she touches on Master of My Make-Believe — especially success, if “Fame” is any indication. Even the profanity-laced “Look at These Hoes” seems to straddle the line between loathing material excess and embracing it; in that case, the result feels deadpan to the point of half-heartedness.

With its frequent nods to island rhythms — and the aid of collaborators from old standbys Diploand Switch to Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ Karen O — Master of My Make-Believe has a sprawl to it that belies its 38-minute run time. As a result, whether a given song comes out as a jolt (“Freak Like Me”) or a trot (“Pirate in the Water”), Master of My Make-Believe feels packed and filling. But fun has been edged out of the equation a bit, in favor of an emphasis on ferocity and artistry that’s increasingly hard to deny

You can read the full write-up and listen to the album in its entirety here.

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Listen to Joan Osborne’s Free At Noon concert at World Cafe Live (4/6/12)

From NPR Music:

Joan Osborne has just returned to the national stage with an album of her favorite blues and R&B songs, Bring It On Home. The collection, co-produced with guitarist Jack Petruzzelli, features tracks made famous by Muddy WatersRay CharlesAl Green andOtis Redding.

Osborne offered her interpretations of these classic cuts during a webcast from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on Friday, April 6.

You can listen to the performance in its entirety here.

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Listen to “It All Means Nothing,” the new single from Screaming Females (performing Feb. 15th at Long In The Tooth Records)

The members of Screaming Females have just released the leadoff single to the band’s upcoming album, Ugly (due April 3rd on Don Giovanni Records). You can listen to the track below (via Rolling Stone). Last month, the New Brunswick-based punk trio stopped by the NPR Music office to record a Tiny Desk Concert, which you can also check out below. Screaming Females performs at Long In The Tooth Records on Wednesday, February 15th.

It All Means Nothing by WeGetPress

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Listen to Craig Finn’s Tiny Desk Concert (via NPR Music)

The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn—who, as we mentioned earlier today, will headline a double-header of XPN Welcomes shows at Milkboy Philly on Friday, March 9th—recently recorded a Tiny Desk Concert, which has just been posted to the NPR Music site. From NPR Music:

[O]n his new solo album, Clear Heart Full Eyes, Finn kicks himself free from the crutches of rock. It’s a sad sort of breakup record, barren and broken and informed by the wisdom of age, but his instantly recognizable speak-singing ramble remains. Finn’s starker side is, of course, nicely conducive to stripped-down arrangements behind Bob Boilen’s desk at the NPR Music offices: All these mournful, inward-facing songs (including the unreleased “Jeremiah’s Blues”) really require is Finn, his acoustic guitar and the indispensable pedal steel of Ricky Ray Jackson.

You can watch the video below; you can also read the full write-up and download the audio over at NPR Music.

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Listen to Tramp, the new album by Sharon Van Etten (performing Feb. 10th at Johnny Brenda’s)

Dusdin Condren/Courtesy of the artist

From NPR Music:

Even when she’s conveying disappointment, hurt or longing, Van Etten sounds more assertive and complex these days, aided by the ever-knottier contributions of guest players from The NationalWye OakBeirut and The Walkmen. The feathery coos of “Much More Than That” have given way to a tensely argumentative and conflicted sneer in “Serpents,” the remarkable first single from Tramp, out Feb. 7. When she sings, “I had a thought that you would take me seriously,” her words are smeared with accusation instead of apologies. She says it herself in the song’s chorus: “Everyone changes in time.” By the time she gets to “All I Can” a few songs later, even her most defensive pronouncements — “I do all I can / We all make mistakes” — ring out with stormy grandiosity that sounds downright triumphant.

You can read the full write-up and listen to the album here. XPN Welcomes Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater to Johnny Brenda’s at 9:15 p.m. Friday, February 10th; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT.

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Listen to Dr. Dog’s Free At Noon performance at World Cafe Live

Photo by Joe del Tufo

From NPR Music:

Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog has drawn glowing comparisons to legendary groups — The BeatlesPavementGuided by Voices — across the spectrum of rock. Formed in 1999 as a side project of another band, the group soon became a local favorite, eventually breaking out after touring with My Morning Jacket‘s Jim James in 2004.

Dr. Dog’s subsequent albums achieved critical success; on Fate, the group recalled elements of psychedelic pop, while on Shame, Shame it embraces the slacker rock of the early ’90s. The band’s next record, Be the Void, comes out on Feb. 7. Hear Dr. Dog preview its new record live in concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live.

You can listen to the performance here.

Set List
“That Old Black Hole”
“These Days”
“How Long Must I Wait”
“Warrior Man”
“Lonesome”
“Over Here, Over There”
“Vampire”
“Do The Trick”

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Listen to Chairlift’s Free At Noon performance at World Cafe Live

Photo by Joe Del Tufo

From NPR Music:

Yet another band that’s catapulted into the public eye via a catchy iPod jingle, Chairlift quickly built a substantial reputation on the pop scene of the late 2000s. The electronic pop group originated as a duo at the University of Colorado and then relocated to Brooklyn. Hear Chairlift perform live in concert from WXPN and World Cafe Live.

Though frequently compared to other heavily electronic groups such as MGMT and Yeasayer, Chairlift has a sound that’s far sweeter in comparison. The band’s debut album, Does You Inspire You?contained the aforementioned jingle, “Bruises,” and showcased Chairlift’s multilayered, versatile electronic sound. The band’s upcoming sophomore record is entitled Something.

You can listen to the performance in its entirety here.

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Nada Surf playing TLA in April, streaming their new album at NPR Music

Autumn de Wilde

Nada Surf releases its new album on Tuesday, January 24th, called The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy. The band performs at the TLA on Monday, April 9th. For tickets and more information about the show, go here. NPR Music is streaming the new album in its entirety here. Below, download a new song, “When I Was Young” from the album. Stephen Thompson of NPR Music writes about the album:

Now seven albums into a 20-year career, Nada Surf relies on familiar ingredients throughout The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, out Jan. 24: big guitars, beautiful vocal harmonies, generous affirmations. But a new Nada Surf record is formulaic the way springtime is formulaic: It’s always there to be counted on, and always an intoxicating arrival.

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