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Free At Noon Flashback: Dhani Harrison’s guitar doesn’t weep, it wails

Dhani Harrison | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

A slice (of a slice) of Beatlemania descended upon 31st and Walnut on this pleasantly frigid Friday as the crowd that had lined the street shed their layers and traded in coffees for beers, fortunate to be among the few to have secured a spot at a show that had sold out days before. Nothing less could be expected for Dhani Harrison, and this boundless enthusiasm never wavered during his Free At Noon set – the applause heard after each song was near equivalent to what another band might expect to earn after their final bows. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Grizzly Bear at The Fillmore, Habib Koité at World Café Live, Taxes at Connie’s Ric Rac

Grizzly Bear | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

Following the release of their new LP Painted Ruins, widely acclaimed indie rock act Grizzly Bear will make a stop at The Fillmore tonight. The band spent two years working on the highly anticipated new album, which is their first release since 2012’s Shields. Find more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to “Mourning Sound” below.  Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cool Moon at Lava Space, Worriers at Johnny Brenda’s, The Hooters at Keswick Theater, and a whole bunch more

Cool Moon | photo via artist’s Facebook page

Houston’s Cool Moon is passing through Philly tonight at West Philly’s Lava Space. Helmed by frontwoman Andrea Lisi — who was the lead singer of the early aughties’ DIY D.C. power trio, Del Cielo — this new trio still rocks just as hard. Find more info on the show over at the XPN Concert Calendar, then stream their latest album Postparty Depression on Spotify below. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Harmony Woods at Everybody Hits, Curtis Harding at World Cafe Live, Aster More at Boot & Saddle

Harmony Woods | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

If you missed Harmony Woods on the big stage opening for Modern Baseball a few weeks ago, you can still catch them tonight at Everybody Hits. The project of Philadelphia’s Sofia Verbilla, Harmony Woods has been making strides this year following the release of Nothing Special. Verbilla and band joined us for a Folkadelphia + Key Studio session a few months ago, listen below and read The Key’s feature on Harmony Woods hereSave Face, Secret Stuff and Brackish also play tonight; find more information on the Home Outgrown Presents gig here. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Julien Baker at Union Transfer, Latin Roots Live at World Cafe Live, Caroline Rose at Johnny Brenda’s, and more

Julien Baker | photo by Nolan Knight | courtesy of the artist

The day is finally here, folks. It’s time to cry our eyes out to Julien Baker at Union Transfer. The Tennessee songwriter released her second LP Turn Out The Lights a few days ago, and if you haven’t had it’s stunningly sad songs on repeat, you’re missing out. Baker has enlisted an incredibly talent-filled lineup of supporting acts for this tour; you’ll want to arrive early to catch Half Waif and Petal. Watch the video for “Appointments” below, and find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Nick Hakim, soul machine, introduces himself to World Cafe Live

Nick Hakim | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Sensual funkiness: a combination of words I’d never expect to throw together but that fully encapsulates the sound of Nick Hakim and his four-piece backing band during today’s Free At Noon performance. The New York-based artist released his debut full-length Green Twins in May and wrapped up a US headlining tour in Seattle on Tuesday, and beginning next week he can be found opening for Fleet Foxes during the European leg of their Crack-Up tour. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sammus at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Hezekiah Jones at Underground Arts, Beach Fossils at The Church, and more

Sammus | from the “Qualified” music video

Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo wowed us as the unapologetically herself beat-maker / spoken-word-style lyricist Sammus, at her recent Folk_KEY-delphia Studio Session. Tonight, she’ll no doubt do the same at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for tonight’s Afrofuturist Affair Costume Ball, which is organized by Black Quantum Futurism and presented as part of Philadelphia Assembled. The night will also feature performances by Moor MotherKing Britt / Fhloston ParadigmMovaKween, and :3LON; along with tarot card reading, body paintings, mask making, a fashion show, and a ton more. Find additional info on the free event here, and watch the Alanis Morissette inspired video for “Mighty Morphing” below. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Rostam delivers expansive experience with Half-Light

Rostam | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Rostam Batmanglij released his debut LP Half-Light on September 15th, and to say that it was a long time coming is a definite understatement. It was six years ago this month that Rostam’s first solo track – and now Half-Light track – “Wood” was released on Soundcloud, as his band Vampire Weekend recorded their chart-topping Modern Vampires of the City. 

The years since have seen Rostam leave Vampire Weekend in 2016 to pursue solo work, produce tracks on a number of records for genre-spanning artists from Solange to Carly Rae Jepson to Hamilton Leithauser, and all the while steadily release singles that would eventually become his solo debut.

Half-Light is fifteen tracks of mystical, musical magic, and at today’s Free At Noon show Rostam performed seven of them (plus a bonus Vampire Weekend cover). Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Josh Ritter celebrates his new Gathering at World Cafe Live

Josh Ritter | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Friday was a big day for Josh Ritter: it marked the official release of his ninth studio album Gathering following 2015’s excellent Sermon on the Rocks, and he and the Royal City Band were able to bring their foot-stomping, fast-talking tunes to World Cafe Live before flying to Minneapolis to kick off the record’s tour.

The singer-songwriter has long been a favorite of XPN and its members, and the crowd that had been steadily lining up outside quickly filled the venue to capacity in anticipation of his triumphant return. As one of the audience observed, “Nothing like Josh Ritter to get the people out of the woodwork.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at Union Transfer, Ms. Lauryn Hill at BB&T, Bastille at The Fillmore, plus more

Ted Leo | photo courtesy of the artist

Ted Leo is back and bringing his trusty crew, the Pharmacists, with him to Union Transfer tonight. This past week, Leo smashed his seven year hiatus with the new record, The Hanging Tree, which was funded through the generosity of his fans via a successful Kickstarter campaign. Watch his latest video for “Can’t Go Back,” below, then find info on tonight’s show here. Continue reading →