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How Brielle became Philly’s flute bae

Brielle | photo by Artistic Ross | courtesy of the artist

Philadelphia is the home of many soulful songbirds, but one songbird from West Philly decided to add that soul into her flute. Singer / flautist Brielle is that song bird. Projects like The Rough BreakupFlight and her recent album IKYDGAF (I Know Y’all Don’t Give a Fuck) show how she’s been able to gain the ears of listeners from Philadelphia all the way to Los Angeles creating melodies by combining her passionate voice with the soothing sounds of her flute for the past nine years. As she gets ready to perform at an open mic event The Juice Jam Friday night at 10 p.m., I got a chance to sit and talk to Brielle and reminisce about the journey that her flute and voice have taken her. Continue reading →

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PRESS PLAY: 6 New Albums Out Today

Mavis Staples | photo by Myriam Santos | courtesy of the artist

Friday is new release day and each week we’ll feature a selection of new albums being released and songs we LOVE.  This week, the music ranges from the legendary Mavis Staples to up-and-comers Middle Kids.  Here are six albums worthy of your ears: Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Shy Boys introduce Kansas City indie pop to World Cafe Live

Shy Boys performing at World Cafe Live for WXPN’s Free At Noon Concert | photo by Rich McKie

Shy Boys may be from out of town — Kansas City, Missouri, to be exact — but their two-day stint in Philadelphia has had them feeling right at home. After the band’s show at PhilaMOCA last night, they were gearing up for today’s Free at Noon performance with a hearty breakfast when frontman Collin Rausch noticed that the restaurant was playing XPN over the speakers. It got even more surreal for the band when they heard a promo for own show today, making them feel like they weren’t too far away from home after all. Continue reading →

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Get to know Slingshot, a new artist-championing collaboration backing Big Thief, Jamila Woods and Lo Moon


Teased this spring at the annual NonCOMM-vention, the new program Slingshot is an artist-championing collaboration between NPR Music and 18 VuHaus member stations — including founding stations WXPN, WFUV, KCRW, KUTX and The Bridge.

Over the summer, programming staff from the member stations each nominated a handful of artists to throw their support behind over the coming year. The submissions were reviewed, and the stations came to a consensus — Big ThiefJamila Woods and Lo Moon would be backed by Slingshot affiliates through interviews, editorial coverage, live performances and more over the next several months.

“Everybody in this room knows the impact of public radio on artist development,”  XPN general manager Roger LaMay told the crowd at NonCOMM this spring. “It’s really been essential with NonCOMMs and public radio writ large to pool our resources and work together to grow our impact.” Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Chris Kasper charms with folk traveller vibes at World Cafe Live

Chris Kasper | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN
Chris Kasper | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

“I heard people lost their relationship with the Earth the day we started wearing shoes.”

It was sentiments such as this that local folk fave Chris Kasper speckled throughout his performance this past rainy Friday afternoon in Philly. Though Kasper has been a staple and steady figure in the local folk scene for over a decade now, it’s hard to believe that he’s not some sort of wandering vagabond — endlessly traveling across the country with nothing but good vibes and a guitar strapped to his back. Continue reading →

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Philadelphia Songwriters Project presents its Final Showcase at Ardmore Music Hall

Finalists from the 2017 Philadelphia Songwriters Project | via phillysongwriters.com

On Sunday May 21st, The Philadelphia Songwriters Project continues its 2017 Songwriting Contest by hosting the final showcase at The Ardmore Music Hall.

Hundreds of songs were sorted through to find the top ten finalists. Of these, four artists will be chosen by both the audience and a panel of judges. These four will then be placed on a regional summer tour, which makes stops at Bethlehem Musik Festival, RoseTree Summer Music Series, UPENN Concert Series, Sellersville Theater, Liberty Fest, and the big kahuna that is Firefly Music Festival. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Dylan LeBlanc tells his Cautionary Tale

 Dylan Le Blanc | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Dylan Le Blanc | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Dylan LeBlanc and his band walked out onto the World Cafe Live stage for Friday’s WXPN Free At Noon Concert, greeted by a thick crowd hungry for the singer-songwriter’s Louisiana-born country rock. But before a single note was played, LeBlanc ran off the stage, only to return with a few bagels in hand. He launched the breaded discs into the audience. Continue reading →

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Free At Noon Flashback: Heron Oblivion melted, shredded, and just absolutely destroyed at World Cafe Live

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Heron Oblivion | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Heron Oblivion was introduced as an “east coast meets west coast” band during today’s Free At Noon. Ethan Miller (bass) and Noel Von Harmonson (guitar), the west coasters, have been in bands for year both individually and together, most notably Comets On Fire. More recently, they’d gotten together with east coasters Meg Baird (drums, vocals), a Philly local, and Charlie Saufley (guitar). When the four started playing some informal jam sessions, the songwriting process came easily. So easily, in fact, that the self-titled debut from Heron Oblivion, released March 4th on Sub Pop, came as a result. Continue reading →

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Watch The Heavy perform “What Happened to the Love” and “The Apology” at SXSW

The Heavy | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com
The Heavy | Photo by Hope Helmuth for WXPN | hopehelmuth.com

Flying in all the way from Bath, England, the retro soul and psychedelic funk band, The Heavy was third to hit the Public Radio Day Stage at SXSW in Austin, TX today.  You might just want to check out The band’s new album, Hurt & The Merciless, out April 1 after watching the energy in these live performances!  Cut from the live video webcast on VuHaus, watch The Heavy perform “What Happened To The Love” and “The Apology”.

Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Josh Ritter invigorates Philly crowd performing songs from new album Sermon on the Rocks

Josh Ritter Free At Noon Concert - Photo by Liz Waldie | lizwaldie.com
Josh Ritter Free At Noon Concert – Photo by Liz Waldie | lizwaldie.com

Josh Ritter emerged onstage at WXPN’s sold out Free At Noon Concert at World Cafe Live today to the sound of hundreds of concertgoers singing him “Happy Birthday.” It was a totally unexpected gift, and Ritter gratefully thanked the audience, saying “That is the best way to start any concert.” This set the stage for what was an extra-special Free at Noon for Ritter — it was his three-year-old daughter’s first show too — and he didn’t disappoint. Continue reading →