10 concerts you don’t want to miss in December

The Arcs | Photo credit: Richard Swift
The Arcs | Photo by Richard Swift | via

December may the busiest month of the year so we apologize ahead of time for adding to the already packed schedule. We suggest you maybe skip that 12th family party or perhaps wait for that blockbuster movie to come on demand and instead make time for these ten shows that you are just not going to want to miss. Tickets and information on all of these shows can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Download a new song by Tim Kasher, “American Lit” (playing Johnny Brenda’s on 11/9)

Photo credit: John Sturdy
Photo credit: John Sturdy

Omaha, Nebraska indie-rocker Tim Kasher, is releasing his new solo album, Adult Film, on October 8th on Saddle Creek Records. Kasher, who is also the frontman of Cursive and The Good Life, is touring in support of the album which brings him to town on Saturday, November 9th at Johnny Brenda’s. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Last March, Tim stopped by the XPN studios to record a Folkadelphia session that you can listen to here. Below, download “American Lit” from Tim’s forthcoming album.


The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Tim Kasher, Daniel Bachman / Matthew Sage, Sir Sly

Daniel+Bachman+danielbachmanWe can’t let go of Daniel Bachman, even though the young guitarist moved away from Philly half a year ago.  Luckily he’s always got something new for us to dig into in his absence, like this week’s cassette / download collaboration with Colorado’s Matthew Sage, improvised and recorded live for Patient Sounds.  The cassette is sold out but you can listen to excerpts of the session below and download it here.

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The Week So Far: 11 must-read stories on The Key (incl. Amos Lee, SXSW and Purling Hiss)

Photo: Gary Miller/FilmMagic
Photo: Gary Miller/FilmMagic

Dave Grohl gave an inspiring and insightful Keynote Speech at last week’s SXSW [link]

Cursive and The Good Life frontman Tim Kasher came to Folkadelphia in his solo acoustic capacity for this week’s live session [link]

Mondays’ My Morning Download featured L.A. five piece The Lonely Wild and their track “Everything You Need” [link]

Florida / NYC duo The Saint Johns were highlighted for XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week with their song “Your Head and Your Heart” [link]

Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five and Guster announced a date at The Mann for July 18th [link]

Purling Hiss are the focus of Unlocked this week; their major label debut Water On Mars was released on Tuesday through Drag City [link]

Philly bands Vacationer, Grandchildren, Lantern and more invaded Austin for SXSW with an impressive showing of hard work and talent [link]

Appel Farm announced a line-up for the June 1st festival that includes Brandi Carlile, Low Cut Connie and Delta Rae [link]

The Philly Drum Project will celebrate its first anniversary at World Cafe Live on April 23rd [link]

Get an exclusive listen of Amos Lee covering “Some Days Are Diamonds” from The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver [link]

Slingshot Dakota‘s positive, upbeat pop / punk songs shine in this week’s Key Session [link]


Folkadelphia Session: Tim Kasher


This is a special one for us here at Folkadelphia; it’s an honor to present this week’s Folkadelphia Session featuring one of my musical heroes, Tim Kasher. You may know Tim as the frontman for Cursive, the long-running seminal and wildly diverse sounding group, The Good Life, Kasher’s bleary-eyed, solo side project often turned full-band main focus, or perhaps as a figure and fixture of Omaha, NE’s Saddle Creek Records, which brought bands like Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, and Azure Ray to national recognition. Over the years, Kasher has continued to amaze and impress with his artful turns of phrase and his evolution as a songwriter in each project.

A quick look at Cursive, for instance, sees a change from the jittery guitar rock of Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes (1997) and The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song (1998) to the hugely thematic Domestica (2000) to the fleshed-out orchestration in The Ugly Organ (2003) and Happy Hollow (2006). These were both followed up by some of the most unique and progressive rock in recent years in their latest two releases (both criminally overlooked) Mama, I’m Swollen (2009) and I Am Gemini (2012). This is to say nothing of his other long-running project, The Good Life, and its evolution and frequent changes (solo to electro-acoustic to full band, oh my!)

The main take away is that Kasher has stuck to his guns and his whiskey bottle, and has waved off transient trends and popular opinion in favor of pursuing his own musical ideals. In the past couple years, this has been presented to us as a full-length (The Game of Monogamy) and outtakes record (Bigamy…), released eponymously, the first such as named for the man, Tim Kasher.

I want to thank Tim and his traveling companion and opening act Nate Kinsella (of Birthmark) for stopping by WXPN on March 13th before performing at Johnny Brenda’s on this short tour and heading back to the studio to record a new solo record.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Omar at The Fire, Tim Kasher at Johnny Brenda’s

Photo by John Christon
Photo credit: John Christon
Philadelphia punk duo Omar is back. After the band’s “last show ever” in April 2011, Candice and Nick quickly recanted. A tweet in November of 2011 teased, “Don’t unfollow this account just yet.” Shows were scheduled for 2012 and by January of this year, Omar could be seen tweeting variations on the theme “We are a band again!!!” some with more expletives and hashtags than others. Of course, the grunge rock that Omar plays rarely reflects the cheery spirits of the duo’s members. To catch some of their enthusiasm, head to The Fire tonight, where they play with Great Red Spots and The Love Club. Tickets and information for the 21+ show are available here. Below, stream “Candice Sells Out and Tries to Move to Brooklyn” from Omar’s Bandcamp.

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Tim Kasher of Cursive, The Good Life, every Saddle Creek band in the late ’90s, plays Johnny Brenda’s on March 13th

You have to tip your hat to musicians who have been around for forever, but continue to release high quality, highly diverse albums even if that means potentially alienating core fans or bucking musical trends. Tim Kasher is a master at biting his thumb at what is considered fashionable or “of-the-moment,” and thank god for that because it has allowed him and his various bands to create some of the most brilliant music of the last decade plus.I think of Cursive’s angst-laden Domestica (2000), the conceptual The Ugly Organ (2003), or this year’s masterful, yet criminally overlooked I Am Gemini. In 2004 with his regular side project The Good Life, Kasher released Album of the Year, a story-oriented record that continues to mean so much to me. In his latest incarnation, he has taken up the mantle of “damn-good singer-songwriter” under his own name, releasing The Game of Monogamy in 2010. He’s kind of the Bukowskian patron saint of writing sad sack, bleary-eyed songs of heartbreak, unrequited love, and self-loathing. I’m sure Tim Kasher will be pulling from his large catalog of songs when plays Johnny Brenda’s on March 13th. The label just announced the show in a string of Northeast tour dates today; on-sale information will be available shortly. Below, listen to Kasher performing an acoustic rendition of “The Jessica” on the air on XPN2 last year.