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Stream Neko Case’s new album in its entirety via NPR Music First Listen (XPN Welcomes Neko Case to the Electric Factory 9/25)

Photo bu Emily Shur
Photo by Emily Shur
Neko Case releases her new album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, on September 3rd. You can stream the new album in its entirety here via NPR Music. Stephen Thompson of NPR Music writes:

Case’s gift for disarming commentary carries over to the quotable, thoughtful, frequently lovely songs on The Worse Things Get: She can be bracingly acerbic (as in the aggressive power-pop gender-bender “Man”), boldly inspiring (“Ragtime” again: “I am one and the same / I am useful and strange”), or achingly tender (as in her Nico cover “Afraid,” with its gasp-inducing delivery of the words, “You are beautiful and you are alone”) while conveying equal, virtually boundless charisma.

Recorded with an assortment of her favorite collaborators — including producer Tucker Martine, longtime backup singer Kelly Hogan, M. Ward, her New Pornographers colleague A.C. Newman, Visqueen’s Rachel Flotard, and many more — The Worse Things Get (out Sept. 3) tucks thrills into its margins and doles them out in time-release doses. As her subtle touches suddenly cohere and register as surprises six or eight listens later (wait, are those submarine noises?), it’s clear that Case remains essentially peerless: No one sounds like her, so every little revelation feels altogether new.

Stream Case’s new album here.

WXPN Welcomes Neko Case to the Electric Factory on Wednesday, September 25th. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

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WXPN Welcomes Leagues to Milkboy Philly on February 22nd

Photo by Heidi Ross

WXPN Welcomes the Nashville roots rock band Leagues to Millboy Philly on February 22. Leagues is singer Thad Cockrell, drummer Jeremy Lutito and guitarist Tyler Burkum. The band releases its debut album, You Belong Here, on January 29th. All three band members have strong musical ties to the Nashville singer-songwriter community and are well respected for their work. Cockrell has an excellent solo career, Lutito has drummed with Jars of Clay and various other bands, and Burkum played guitar with Wild Sweet Orange before they broke up and currently plays guitar Mat Kearney. There’s a lot of rock and roll packed in to their tight little three piece. Below, watch the video for “Spotlight,” and download the song.

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My Morning Download: “Little Numbers” by BOY (XPN Welcomes to World Cafe Live in March)

A new band for 2013 that we’re excited about is BOY, two women – Valeska Steiner & Sonja Glass – from Hamburg and Zurich. BOY’s debut album, Mutual Friends, is being released in the States on Nettwerk Records on February 26th. Their single, “Little Numbers” has gotten a little over 7 million views on Youtube and the album is filled with charming, melodically rich indie-pop songs. WXPN Welcomes BOY to World Cafe Live on Wednesday, March 27th. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Below, in exchange for your e-mail address you can download a sampler of songs from BOY’s forthcoming debut. Continue reading →

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Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Crystal Castles at The Electric Factory, David Uosikkinen’s In the Pocket at World Cafe Live, Alejandro Escovedo at The Sellersville Theater

Experimental electronic duo Crystal Castles take over The Electric Factory tonight for a show with HEALTH.  The Canadian producers, who have an affinity for glitchy horror movie sound effects and ravey bass lines, relocated to Warsaw, Poland to record their upcoming record Crystal Castles III due out November 8th.  Tickets are $30 through Ticketmaster for the all ages show, with doors opening at 8:00 p.m. Below, listen to Crystal Castles’ track “Not in Love” featuring the vocals of Robert Smith.

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Watch Alabama Shakes in concert; WXPN Welcomes to Electric Factory in October


If you have yet to see Alabama Shakes live in concert, you’ll have your chance to see them when WXPN Welcomes the band back to Philly for a show on Monday, October 1st at the Electric Factory. Our suggestion: don’t miss them! Lead singer Brittany Howard is a powerhouse of soul and show-womanship. Below, check out a couple videos of the band performing at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado on August 10th as part of the FMQB (Friday Morning Quarterback) Radio Conference. Videos via The Top 22. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

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My Morning Jacket, playing the Mann on August 17th, get remixed by Washed Out

Photo of My Morning Jacket by Ryan Mastro

My Morning Jacket roll in to town on Friday, August 17th with openers Band of Horses at The Mann for a rock show you won’t want to miss. On August 7th, the Jacket release its “Outta My System” remix EP. The original version of “Outta My System” is on Circuital, however, below you can listen to Washed Out’s blissful, ambient remix of the song and compare it to the original.

Go here to purchase tickets and for more information about the show.

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WXPN Welcomes Hezekiah Jones with Griz and Cheers Elephant to World Cafe Live on July 13th

Friday, July 13th WXPN welcomes local bands Hezekiah Jones, Griz, and Cheers Elephant to the downstairs stage at World Cafe Live. Headliner Hezekiah Jones is a folk band made up of a rotating bill of Philadelphia-area musicals centered around singer songwriter Raphael Cutrufello.  Cutrufello and Chris Grunwald of Griz are friends and contemporaries of the Philly folk scene who have collaborated on past projects, such as this cover of David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” by Hezekiah Jones featuring Dow Jones (Chris Grunwald).

Rounding out the bill is psychedelic pop rock band Cheers Elephant who bring their unique flavor to the line-up. In case you missed their recent Free At Noon session at World Cafe Live, check out the link here. Tickets to the all-ages event are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. To purchase tickets click here.

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Sigur Ros premieres new video for the Valtari Film Experiment; XPN Welcomes them to the Mann on July 29-30

In May, Sigur Ros proposed a film experiment for their new album, Valtari. The experiment was to give complete creative freedom to various filmmakers to create a music video for a song off the new album. They recently released the fourth in the series for the song “Rembihnútur” directed by Arni & Kinski. The video is truly a work of art, with beautiful cinematography and vivid images of people with closed eyes. You can review the other videos from the film series here, and watch out for the next one to be released on July 16th. WXPN welcomes Sigur Rós to the Mann Center for two nights on July 29th and 30th. You can purchase tickets to the show on the 29th(the 30th is sold out) here.

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Just announced: WXPN Welcomes The Walkmen and the War On Drugs to the Electric Factory in October

Photo of The Walkmen by Joe Del Tufo

WXPN Welcomes The Walkmen and The War On Drugs to the Electric Factory on Saturday, October 6th. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 9th. The Walkmen and The War On Drugs recently played WXPN’s Non-Comm music conference and both are veterans of XPN’s Free At Noon concerts. Listen to The War On Drugs’ set from Non-Comm here. Listen to The Walkmen’s Free At Noon set here. Below, watch the new video of “Heaven” by The Walkmen.

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Tonight: WXPN Welcomes Gillian Welch at Union Transfer

For someone born in New York, raised in L.A., and schooled in New England, Gillian Welch has gained more acclaim for her bluegrass folk than most Tennessee natives. After graduating from The Berklee College Of Music with bandmate David Rawlings, the pair moved south, producing record after record of fireside country ballads earned them enough indie cred to perform with Bright Eyes in 2007 and with The Decemberists last year. Since the release of her debut album Revival 15 years ago, Welch has grown into a voice that has, since the beginning, always felt wise beyond its years. Her fifth and latest album, The Harrow & The Harvest, continues to offer the musician’s eloquent, sad narratives, but now with the sincere wisdom that only comes with age. Plus, after spending the last decade and a half down south, the twang in her voice sounds more legit than ever. Gillian Welch performs at 8:30 p.m. at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are SOLD OUT. —Marielle Mondon

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