XPN Fest Recap: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force play a commanding, socially conscious set

Femi Kuti and the Positive Force | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN |

Thunderous baselines and massive percussion work flooded the River Stage at the beginning of Femi Kuti‘s set. Five members took to the stage to start, then grew to 12 before Kuti himself stepped up to helm the Hammond keyboard, joining in on the tremendous instrumental intro.

The eldest son of famed Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti played a role in each section of his backing band, the Positive Force, joining backup vocalists to sing and dance, donning the sax to join in the brass section, and playing the Hammond. Kuti would bounce around the stage frantically, spinning in a dizzying manner while singing “Nothing to Show For It,” and pointing and commanding the band throughout the set. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Guards open for Ra Ra Riot at Union Transfer, Katie Frank at Tin Angel, Joe D’Amico at Kung Fu Necktie, Femi Kuti at World Cafe Live

Photo by Olivia Malone

As if Ra Ra Riot isn’t already a solid reason to head to Union Transfer tonight, Richie Follin gives you another in a word: Guards. The younger brother of Cults’ Madeline Follin, Richie is equally talented and just as interested in the retro-pop sound that made his sister’s band so critically successful. Listening to Richie’s Guards EP from 2009 and the singles from his upcoming debut album, In Guards We Trust, it’s not surprising that Richie has played guitar for Cults when the duo toured. His music is distinct from his sister’s band, though, especially on the new album, even if his hair cut is …exactly like hers. Catch his polished, dark-tinged pop project when he opens for Ra Ra Riot. Tickets and information for the all ages show are available here. Below, watch Follin’s band in their new music video for the track “Silver Lining,” via

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