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SXSW Dispatch: Public Radio Rocks showcase with Damon Albarn, Lucius, Temples and more

Damon Albarn | Photo by Laura Fedele | WFUV.org
Damon Albarn | Photo by Laura Fedele | WFUV.org

Wow, what a whirlwind of an afternoon! We just wrapped up with the Public Radio Rocks SXSW showcase starring Damon Albarn, Lucius, The Hold Steady, Phantogram, Jeremy Messersmith and Temples – curated in collaboration with WFUV in New York, KUTX in Austin, KXT in Dallas, The Current in Minneapolis and WXPN in Philly. Over the next several days, we’ll bring you video and full-set audio recaps of each artist’s set. For now, peruse the gallery below for an overview of the show.

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XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Chinese New Year celebrations plus vibrant theater and dance!

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Moore College of Art & Design presents Pretty Vacant: The Graphic Language of Punk through March 15 with opening reception on Friday. The exhibition is a survey of the diversity of punk and post punk graphic design, from the musical world as well as the visual art world, and the places where they intersect.

Taken from the collection of Andrew Krivine, Pretty Vacant features posters, flyers, fanzines, handbills, record sleeves, badges and other graphic materials. For more information, read Shaun Brady’s interview with Krivine about the origins of his collection and how punk design of nearly 40 years ago is still influential today.

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The Penn Museum presents its 33rd Annual Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday. The festivities include martial art demonstrations, dance performances, and language workshops.

In celebration of 2014: the year of the horse, the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Organization presents an open air flower market – which contains more than just flowers, but also “traditional candies, fruits, arts and gifts, such as homemade lanterns [and] red envelopes.” The market runs on Saturday and Sunday in Chinatown and includes traditional gifts and art.
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Koresh Dance Company presents the Koresh Artist Showcase on Saturday and Sunday.
The first show to be performed in Koresh’s new Rittenhouse Square home, the performance features choreography by Koresh Dance Company members and other local choreographers.

Fury is an examination of rage, revenge, and redemption in song, presented by Philomusica Chorale, with works from Verdi to Adele.  This 60-member community chorus is joined by professional musicians and the rock band Reckless Amateurs Saturday and Sunday at Christ’s Lutheran Church in Oreland.

 Old Academy Players perform Something Intangible through Sunday. Written by Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham, the play follows the conflict between brothers Walt and Roy Disney as they created Fantasia.

And there’s more… Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Up The Chain at Ardmore Music Hall, Weird Hot at Johnny Brenda’s, August Burns Red at Union Transfer, and more…

UPTHECHAIN-roof-792x528Philly acoustic folk soul project Up The Chain is celebrating the release of their anticipated new album Seeds & Thorns with a party at Ardmore Music Hall tonight. Produced by Bill Moriarty (who has recently worked with The Lawsuits and Toy Soldiers) and inspired by some of front man’s Reed Kendall’s musical heroes, such as Neil Young, Paul Simon, and Amos Lee, the sophomore release is expected to be simply intimate with an energized Americana swing. Check out the details and tickets for tonight’s show here. Get ready for the show by listening to what the whole band has to say about the new release below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jake Bugg at World Cafe Live, O’Brother at The Barbary, Big Sandy at Tin Angel

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WXPN welcomes UK singer/songwriter Jake Bugg to the World Cafe Live stage tonight. With a subtle folk rock sound, Beatles-esque undertones, and sincere lyricism, it’s no wonder that Bugg reached the top of UK’s charts with his debut self-titled album in 2012. Find ticket information for tonight’s show here.

The Atlanta-based outfit O’Brother is playing at The Barbary tonight. The five piece is touring in support of their second full-length release Disillusion. Go here for tickets and more information.

Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys are coming to Tin Angel tonight. The western swing outfit celebrated their release of What A Dream It’s Been this past August. Watch the boogie band perform “Spanish Dagger” below. Find tickets and details for tonight’s show here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Cold Fronts at Johnny Brenda’s, The Julie Ruin at Union Transfer

ColdfrontsPhilly-based rock band Cold Fronts are bringing their raw sound to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. It’s the kickoff of their fall tour with DRGN King, and we can expect some new music in the mix; including “Sum Grls,” the single they premiered on WXPN Tuesday night. Watch the four-piece perform the new song live below. Find tickets and more information about the 21+ show here.

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Unlocked: Watch Our Griffins perform “Come and Wake Me Up” acoustic and on the air with WXPN’s Helen Leicht

DJYesterday, Easton art pop five-piece Our Griffins released its debut LP Michael Boyd, which we’re featuring all week on the Unlocked series (download the song “Blood on My Sleeves” here). Last night, singer D.J. Brown and lead guitarist Travis Hobbie appeared live on the air on WXPN’s Philly Local Show with Helen Leicht for an interview and short acoustic set. From their on-air appearance, watch a video performance of “Come and Wake Me Up” from the album. See the official music video for the song here, and get more information on the album release show at The Fire tomorrow night at the XPN Concert Calendar. And check back tomorrow for our review of Michael Boyd.

Our Griffins performs “Come and Wake Me Up” live on the air on the XPN Philly Local Show from WXPN FM on Vimeo.

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Listen back to Paul McCartney’s interview with WXPN’s Helen Leicht

HelenPaulWith the announcement of his brand new song called “New” and a forthcoming album of the same name, Sir Paul McCartney called WXPN today for an interview with mid-day show host Helen Leicht; you can listen to an archive of the entire interview below.

Their conversation began by talking about New, which will see a U.S. release on Concord Records on Tuesday, October 15th.

McCartney recorded the new album with a team of heavy-hitting producers: Paul Epworth (known for his work with pop sensation Adele), Ethan Johns (he’s recorded Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne and Kings of Leon), Mark Ronson (popular for his work with Amy Winehouse as well as his solo albums) and Giles Martin (who staged The BeatlesLove show). As McCartney explained in the interview:

“The idea was to go do one track for each one  and decide who would be the best for the album. I ended up falling for them all. We had such a good time in different ways. Ethan would be a little more acoustically leaning, Mark would be a little more R&B. They each had a different approach, so I ended up working with them all.”

Conversation turned to songwriting in general, and what keeps him at it. McCartney called it “an eternal fascination.”

“It really is just down to the fact that I love it. … If you said to me now that, okay, this afternoon, you’re just going to sit down and write a song. That wouldn’t depress me or frighten me, that would really excite me. I’d go ‘Oh, yeah, great great great.’And then taking it into a recording studio…and eventually you take it out on the road, and you play it for real people. That is the ultimate excitement. If you look at that whole line of stuff, it’s pretty cool.”

On revisiting his Beatles-era music when performing live, McCartney likened it to being somebody else reviewing a young man’s work. “I’m listening to myself as a 24 year old. As I’m singing the songs, I’m reviewing the lyrics and thinking ‘This kid wasn’t bad!’” Some moments, like “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” are downright challenging (“It’s contrapuntal, man!”). When Leicht pointed out that today is the anniversary of The Beatles’ final show in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, McCartney began to reminisce, but with a footing in the present.

“It is great to look at the old newsreels. You go, oh my God, is that really me? Obviously it was another time, and yes, we were younger. It was very exciting in its own way. The 60s were very exciting times, and I meet a lot of younger people who say ‘Wow, I wish I’d been there.’ I say ‘Well, no, don’t wish that, just be here now and enjoy this one, because there’s plenty of cool stuff going on now.’”

Listen to Leicht’s interview with Paul McCartney in its entirety in the player below. To hear his new single “New,” go here.

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