With a beautifully confident style, Beach House's rich and atmospheric sound have brought them to the forefront of today's indie scene. The dream pop-rock duo formed in 2005 after a chance meeting between guitarist/keyboardist Alex Scally and vocalist/organist Victoria Legrand.
The XX, comprised of four young 20-year-olds from South London, has recently stormed the indie-pop scene with their dark, 80's new wave style. After meeting in London's Elliot School, which claims alumni such as Four Tet, Burial and Hot Chip, the band began toying around with what would become their critically acclaimed debut album.
From NPR Music and WXPN, hear a live mix of roots rock, folk, country and more.
Made possible by XPN Members, and Comcast.
Called a musical mixologist for his expert blending of differing genres, Citizen Cope (Clarence Greenwood) is the name for both the lead singer and the band he heads. Born in the blues-drenched city of Memphis, the young musician learned to tell stories with music and has continued to do so ever since. Hip-hop beats, quiet piano melodies, a hint of pop, and ever-present blues have served him well in every release. He'll be performing this Friday at World Cafe, bringing his "gritty urban poetry" to the stage for a lunch-break performance.
First catching the eye of the music world in the '90s with his contributions to rap albums, Citizen Cope released his debut in the mid-90's, "Cope Citizen". He's created three more LPs to date, as well as contributing his talents as a DJ, singer/songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist, and producer to numerous projects. His latest album, The Rainwater LP, is due out this March on his own label.
Releasing half of the album to devoted fans in the fall of 2009, Citizen Cope has built anticipation for the second half with its deeply personal feel. As said by the creator, ""When you’re writing a song, you take in everything – the people you’ve met, what you’ve experienced. You take in everything and it makes a story.” The Rainwater LP is filled with stories from the life and musical journey of Citizen Cope, and told well. As quoted in Rolling Stone, he's "a modern day bluesman who paints a plaintive portrait of the human condition".
Be sure to make it to this week's Free at Noon with Citizen Cope as he stops in Philly for his massive album tour. This will be one heck of a bluesy lunch break.
Thanks to their soaring sound and down-to-earth songwriting sensibilities, London's Fanfarlo has been winning over audiences for years with their charming brand of indie pop-folk.
Cory Chisel is one of those rare, contemporary folk artists whose authenticity is indubitable. No matter how you define authentic, you'd be hard pressed to put a finger on anything not-so when listening. From the emotion to the influences to the background, Chisel doesn't let one iota of insincerity into his work. For this reason (and because of his undeniable talent) XPN is choosing him as the Artist to Watch for October 2009.
When most people think of the best of jazz and soul, a skinny white kid from Ann Arbor, Michigan, is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But Mayer Hawthorne (Andrew Mayer Cohen) is well on his way to changing that. With influences like Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, and the collaboration of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Eddie Holland Jr, Mayer has a retro sound that bespeaks a seasoned yet refreshing soul.
From NPR Music and WXPN, hear a live mix of roots rock, folk, country and more.
XPN Free at Noon at World Cafe Live.
A co-production of WXPN and NPR Music.
Starting out as a typical '90s garage-punk outfit, Fastball went through the normal basement practices and nearby venues in Austin. While building local buzz, they caught the attention of some record execs, and soon they had a deal with Hollywood Records. They changed their initial name from Magneto USA to Fastball (after their favorite porno), released their debut, and began touring the U.S. However, the band was still something of a side-project for all three members. Joey Shuffield, Miles Zuniga, and Tony Scalzo were all working part-time up until the release of their breakthrough album in 1998, All the Pain Money Can Buy.
Suddenly, Fastball was a household name. The catchy single "The Way" was heard on radios all over the country. Teens and adults alike were flocking to stores for cassettes and CDs, and sales reached the million mark at the end of the year. Fastball hit the road for world tours and TV appearances with two Grammy nominations under their belts. Audiences around the globe fell in love with the Fastball's alt-country and '70s balladry.
Since that time, Fastball has been recording, performing, and collaborating with artists including Al Anderson and Bowling for Soup. Each of their subsequent four albums have stayed true to their infectious pop-rock sound. Their latest album is no exception, yet it also shows how much the band has evolved since those late-night garage practices. Little White Lies was produced by Miles Zuniga and C.J. Eiriksson (Blue October, Jack’s Mannequin) and mixed by Bob Clearmountain (Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie). Fastball wowed audiences with some of their new songs from the album at the SXSW Festival this past March, and they have a nation-wide tour scheduled to support the release. After over a decade of shows and music, Fastball are proving that quality guitar rock will never lose its appeal.
Fastball is in town to play the Tin Angel on Thursday night, May 7.
When you come to XPN's Free At Noon Concerts, bring a can of food to support Philabundance, Delaware Valley's hunger relief organization. We have drop-off boxes to collect canned goods for the needy. Current priority items include: canned pasta, chili, beef stew, tuna, mac & cheese, ready to eat cereal, pork & beans/ baked beans, green beans, corn, fruit cocktail, creamy peanut butter and/ or grape jelly (plastic containers only), and boxed sugar. Thanks!
Dr. Dog, Carrie Rodriguez, Annuals, DeVotchKa, Adele, Angel Taylor, Winterpills, Sharon Little, Ollabelle, Andrew Lipke, The low Anthem, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Sean Lennon, Chris Smith, California Guitar trio, Joan Osborne, Disco Biscuits, Damien Rice, Cold War Kids, Marc Broussard, The Slip, Arlo Guthrie, Alice Smith, The Dears, Barenaked Ladies, and more...
WXPN Free at Noon Photo Gallery at Flickr
Click to visit our gallery for photos of the Free At Noon Concerts! Previous concerts include Hall & Oates, O.A.R., Citizen Cope, Old Crow Medicine Show, Kaki King and many more!
The World Cafe with host David Dye serves up an eclectic mix of music from blues, rock, and world, to folk, and alternative country with live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists. This acclaimed program, distributed nationally to over 185 stations across the country through NPR Music, is produced by WXPN in Philadelphia.
David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe since 1991.
World Cafe and Dye have received numerous awards including: two NFCB Gold Reel Awards, Album Network's "Best Triple A Air Talent," four Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philly Awards," the Philadelphia Chapter of NARA "Hero Award" and numerous radio industry trade magazine citations.
The Irish pop rock band Bell X1, originally known as Juniper, have experienced a multitude of changes on the path to the successful spot they currently hold. Though they were lead by popular vocalist Damien Rice, Rice ended up leaving Jupiter and was replaced by drummer Paul Noonan. Soon after the group changed their name and became Bell X1. Of their three studio-recorded albums, Flock, released February of 2008, has proven to be the most successful. The album reached #1 in Ireland and gained a huge following throughout the U.K.
Working as waitress at the start of 2008, soul-pop singer Sharon Little was suddenly the opening act for big-name stars Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, and T-Bone Burnett in their national Raising Sand tour. Though she could be called an overnight sensation, Little has been honing her distinctive, bluesy style for years.
The Bird & The Bee is an adult-pop duo from Los Angeles who have been living and loving music almost from birth. Their passion is beginning to pay off in a big way.
Meet Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero. They play flamenco guitar and are influenced as much by Metallica and Led Zep (which they cover on their debut) as they are influenced by Al DiMeola and Strunz & Farah. Their self-titled debut in the States is on ATO Records, and was produced by John Leckie.
Singer-songwriter Sasha Dobson upholds the jazz tradition of past greats like Ella Fitzgerald while breaking conventional rules. Her sultry voice, amazing talent and extensive performance experience makes her a very notable artist to watch.
The music of The Slip is deceptively straightforward rock. The layers and intricacy of the sound, with persevering drums, melodic vocals, and guitars that easily transition between smooth background and a driving heaviness, come through on a second listen.
South roots country rocker, Ryan Bingham, has a rough style that encapsulates his life struggles on Texas and New Mexico ranching communities. Though he is still young at 26 years old, his husky voice and mature content makes him appear wise beyond his years.
Devendra Banhart was named by guru Maharaji Prem Rawat. In an Indian myth, Devendra is identified as "king of gods." cripplecrow.com
Sea Wolf is Alex Brown Church, best known as the bassist and co-singer/songwriter for the L.A. indie-rock band Irving.
Amy Winehouse has exploded onto the UK pop scene as a retro-inspired, yet fiercely liberated, very modern soul singer. Her joyful clash of pop jazz stylings with brash hip-hop attitude and powerful vocals has turned more than just heads.
Lily Allen is the 21-year-old singer/songwriter who has been tearing up the web lately. As a young girl, she went to 13 different schools and never had time to make enduring friendships, so music became her lifeline.
Vampire Weekend has emerged from the fertile New York indie-rock scene. All four of its members met while attending Columbia University. Still, they stick out of the crowd for two reasons.