Artist to Watch

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

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XPN2 - XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

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World Cafe Archives

Join Talia Schlanger as she navigates the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Alley

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.

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December 13, 2013 - This week on Conversations from the World Cafe, Edward Sharpe joins host David Dye. When Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros released their debut in 2009, it was a new vehicle for the music of singer Alex Ebert.
Live Performance From Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros And We Talk With Leader Alex Ebert

Right from the beginning Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes have been an amazing live band. They brought people together even before their first album Up from Below which contained the crowd pleasing love song "Home." Today we will hear live performances from The XPoNential Music Festival
December 28, 2012 - A band's sound is only as big as its members, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' music is huge. The 10 members are a whirl of roving horns, as well as whistles, claps, shouts, strummed string instruments and percussion involving drums, hands and anything else they can find. The group's communal folk sound blew up in 2009 with the heart-pounding, foot-stomping single "Home"; with its universal sentiment, the song includes a back-and-forth between frontman Alex Ebert and bandmate Jade Castrinos.


Hear a Live Friday Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Live from the stage at World Cafe Live

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Listen to the Concert Audio - The 11-person psychedelic folk band performed songs from its new album.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Finishing out this Live Friday perfomance is another XPN favorite, the fabulously invigorating folk collective Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Breaking out in 2009, riding the strength of their catchy single 'Home', the currently 11-person outfit revolves around vocalist Alex Ebert. Ebert started ES and the MZ after creating a fictional, messianic character named Edward Sharpe while dealing with addiction and life changes. The result is mesmerizing--from their school bus converted to a tour bus, back-porch and improvised acoustics, and big communal folk sound, ES and the MZ has quickly become something of a worldwide sensation. Their sound calls to mind influences such as Polyphonic Spree and Bob Marley, but it's hard to pin a single genre on their psychedelic rocking bluegrass-y neo-folk.

ES and the MZ are on the cusp of releasing their follow-up to their breakout album, 2009's "Up from Below". Fresh off appearances with Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show, ES and the MZ played the new release, entitled "Here", in Santa Monica in April. It doesn't disappoint--"Here" is a product of a group that know how to collaborate, how to live together, and how to share a musical, utopian vision in the most believeable of ways. From the quiet whistling in "All Wash Out" to the energizing, rock-based "Man on Fire", this is an album that will help solidify ES and the MS' appeal.

Don't miss out on this special Free at Noon performance--three great artists in two locations. What better way to start the weekend?

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros play a full show May 11 at the Tower Theater.

Free At Noon Setlist
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Archived Concert
1. I Don’t Wanna Pray
2. 40 Day Dream
3. Fiya Wata
4. Man On Fire
5. Child
6. Home

Facebook: Recent Release: Here
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Label: Rough Trade Records
Origin: Los Angeles, CA


Spirtualized Spirtualized is the neo-psychedelic outfit with Jason Pierce (J. Spaceman) at the center. Formed out of the ashes of Pierce's previous group, Spaceman 3, Spiritualized has been creating grand, lush panoramas of space rock, deeply influenced by soul, gospel, and all things Velvet Underground. Following a dramatic initial release in 1990, Spiritualized has since gone through numerous line-up changes, released seven full-lengths that evince an evolving sound (think perhaps shoegaze to blues to pop), and pushed the boundaries of live performance. Pierce has done everything from shooting a video on an erupting volcano to performing 114 stories in the air to sharing a stage with Depeche Mode.

Sweet Heart Sweet Light is the seventh studio album of Spiritualized, and it has been three years in the making. Featuring eleven poppy tracks, more so than any previous Spiritualized release, Sweet Heart Sweet Light is crisp and invigorating. Its deft combination of rock'n'roll and gospel is no doubt made all the more poignant by Pierce's experience with chemotherapy while mixing Sweet Heart Sweet Light.

In addition to the XPN Free At Noon, Spiritualized plays a full show at the TLA on Friday night, May 11 at 8pm w/ Nikki Lane.

Free At Noon Setlist
Spiritualized will be archived at
1. Hey Jane
2. Mary
3. Lord Let It Rain On Me
4. I Am What I Am
5. Come Together

Recent Release: Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Label: Double Six Records
Hometown: Rugby, England

A co-production of WXPN and
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

Dar Williams - Live from World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington

photo credit-Amy Dickerson One of our favorites in this triple-header is long-time XPN listener favorite, folk songstress Dar Williams. Dar Williams will play XPN's Free At Noon at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington at 12:30pm.

Williams began her foray into folk while in Boston, making the coffee shop rounds and recording her own demos. Her brand of pop-inspired confessional folk soon caught the eye of folk legend Joan Baez, who subsequently recorded some of Williams' songs. Since then, Williams has released a grand total of 18 highly acclaimed releases. She's shared the stage with the likes of Patty Griffin, Ani DiFranco, Mary Chapin Carter, and Joan Baez. And finally, she's been able to fine-tune her knack for delivering emotion on-stage.

William's latest release, In the Time of Gods, represents something of a return to her more traditional folk leanings--less pop and more pensivity. Thematically centered on classical Greek mythology, the album explores accessible narratives based on mythological personalities. Of course, it's all held together by Williams' arousing melodies and insightful lyrics.

Dar Williams will also play a full show on Friday night in Wilmington at World Cafe Live at the Queen, w/ The Milk Carton Kids.

Free At Noon Setlist
Dar Williams Performance will be available here
1. The Light and the Sea
2. I Am the One Who Will Remember Everything
3. You Will Ride With Me Tonight
4. Babysitter
5. Are You Out There
6. I Have Been Around the World

Recent Release: In the Time of Gods
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Label: Razor & Ties
Hometown: Mount Kisco, NY

A co-production of WXPN and
Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

They're a big outfit as most indie bands go, but the 13-piece Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have created quite a buzz in L.A. and in the indie world. Making excellent '60s-style folk rock that could just be called revivalist, with their convert school/tour bus, their back porch acoustics, and their almost communal air, this is one band not to miss.

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