By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Two Piece Fest IX at First Unitarian Church, Ben Arnold at Underground Arts, Winter Doldrums Fest at World Cafe Live and more…

two piece fest
Joint Chiefs of Math | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

The ninth annual Two Piece Fest takes place at the First Unitarian Church today. As we previously reported, the day-long event is “an exercise in mayhem and minimalism that brings the DIY scene together, one duo at a time.” This year’s line-up includes Joint Chiefs of Math, Brown Rainbow, Empty Vessels and a dozen more. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here; listen to Joint Chiefs’ “Get Rich or Try Dyin'” below.

Continue reading →

By

Rayland Baxter warms up the World Cafe Live audience

Rayland Baxter | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
Rayland Baxter | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

The last time we saw Rayland Baxter was on a warm summer night opening up for Grace Potter at The Susquehanna Bank Center.  In contrast to that night, there was still post-blizzard snow dusting the streets last weekend when he appeared at World Cafe Live.

With the air of a folksy troubadour, Baxter and his band played many favorites from his newest album Imaginary Man as well as some songs from his debut Feathers & Fishhooks.  Between songs, Baxter touched on the history of his songwriting routing back to his days in Israel.  Continue reading →

By

Free at Noon Flashback: Lissie brings the wild west to Philadelphia

Photo by Breanna Keohane
Photo by Breanna Keohane

With acoustic guitar in hand, Lissie walked out on World Cafe Live’s stage earlier today to show Philadelphia a little bit of her midwest roots with a raw folk rock sound.

Alongside electric guitarist Edward Stanton, Lissie kicked off the set with her new song “Hero,” her stripped-down performance showing off a natural vocal talent and intricate lyrics. Debuting another new song “Don’t You Give Up On Me,” Lissie showed the crowd her vulnerable side through a message that focuses on her sense of self and her surroundings. Continue reading →

By

Free at Noon Flashback: SIMO warms the crowd at World Cafe Live

SIMO | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN
SIMO | Photo by Breanna Keohane for WXPN

Nashville-based SIMO braved Philadelphia’s cold weather and snowy forecast to perform XPN’s Free at Noon concert today. The blues rock trio filled World Cafe Live with an energetic crowd ready to hear their improvisational, soulful sound. SIMO has come into Philly just in time to prepare for their upcoming tour and soon-to-be-released album, Let Love Show The Way.

Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Farah Siraj at World Cafe Live, Laser Background at Lacuna, Curtis 2021 at World Cafe Live

 

farah siraj
Farah Siraj | photo by Ann Blake | courtesy of the artist

Farah Siraj returns to World Cafe Live, upstairs tonight. The Amman, Jordan native takes a worldly approach to traditional styles of music, blending flamenco, jazz and folk in innovative ways. Tonight she’ll be joined by Indian Carnatic violinist Siddharth Ashokkumar; tickets and information can be found here. Watch her perform live below.

Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Wildhoney at PhilaMOCA and A Fistful of Sugar at World Cafe Live

Wildhoney | photo courtesy of the artist
Wildhoney | photo courtesy of the artist

Baltimore punk-rockers Wildhoney had a very good 2015, having released their first LP Sleep Through It before going out on a lengthy U.S. tour. Tonight the five-piece will return to the Philly area with a show at PhilaMOCA in support of Indiana’s Cloakroom; for tickets or more information click hereContinue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Hemming at Boot and Saddle and Robert Glasper at World Cafe Live

Hemming | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com
Hemming | Photo by Megan Lynch | meganlynchart.tumblr.com

Candice Martello, better known by her stage name Hemming, is a singer-songwriter from right here in Philly and will be performing tonight at Boot & Saddle as part of the month-long Weathervane Music Recidency. She will bring her brand of raw, emotional folk rock alongside fellow Philadelphians Rosa Lup; for more information on the show go the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

By

A Year of Songs: Sonnder reflects on its singles project before headlining World Cafe Live

Sonnder | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller | koalafoto.com
Sonnder | Photo by Josh Pelta-Heller | koalafoto.com

A year ago today, it was Ryan Weidman’s 25th birthday and his band Sonnder was playing a show at Northern Liberties club Bourbon and Branch. The vibe that night was a bit uncertain; not bad, exactly, but definitely distracted. The local modern rock crew had released its debut EP Thief earlier in the fall, and everybody was about to go their separate ways for the holiday. No firm plan was is place about what they were going to do in 2015.

“It wasn’t like the band was divided, but we just were all super busy,” explains Weidman. Keyboard player Kat Stein was heading out to visit family in California, drummer Mike Liszka was ramping up a production project with Bel Heir. “So I just took the initiative,” Weidman says.

Over the holiday break, Weidman went into the studio with his friend Paul Hocynec of The Captain, The Pilot, The Driver. They recorded the atmospheric “Drifter,” a song notably different in vibe from Thief. “That song was important, it was just about letting go, and that’s how I felt last holidays,” Weidman says. “I just wanted to be free and have the ability to roam wherever I wanted.” Continue reading →

By

The Key Studio Sessions: Summer Scouts

Hailing from a couple exits up the Northeast Extension, Allentown’s Summer Scouts deliver a bold blend of atmospheric guitar soundscaping and infectious modern rock. A great comparison that I heard recently from Sonnder frontman Ryan Weidman: it sounds like Paramore’s Hayley Williams singing while Explosions in the Sky rages on. In that blend of pop and post-rock we also hear notes of The Cure, Metric, Chvrches and more. Weidman first caught it late this summer, when the band opened for Anthony Green at a Siren Records instore, and he promptly asked them to play Sonnder’s year-end gig at World Cafe Live this Saturday, December 19th. Continue reading →

Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head