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Cheers Elephant Philadelphia's own Cheers Elephant is a folk-rock four-piece. Dubbing themselves as the dudes with the best indie rock haircuts, Derek Krzywicki (guitar, lead vocals), Travelin' Mat (bass, vocals), Jordan del Rosario (lead guitar, vocals), and Roberto Kingston (percussion) know how to best blend playful humor, pure rocking energy, and some really great three-part harmonies. Since coming together in 2007, they've toured across the US, sharing the stage with the likes of Chubby Checker, The Go! Team, and DMC. Cheers Elephant has a thing for British pop and good ole American rock 'n' roll , which comes through in their '60s-flavored psychedelia, especially on stage. The chemistry between these four friends and bandmates is almost palpable, and they always draw the audience into their rollicking fun with singalongs and plenty of special effects.

Now on their third album, Cheers Elephant are revealing a maturer yet just-as-energetic sound. Like Wind Blows Fire is scheduled for release on April 24, and it promises to be a good one! Playing a show in honor of the release at World Cafe on March 2nd, Cheers Elephant certainly didn't skimp on the visual effects or mischievious melodies. Like Wind Blows Fire is focused and clean, and hasn't lost any of the zest of previous Cheers Elephant releases. The band is playing Kung Fu Necktie on Front Street with The Spinto Band on May 29.

Watch the new video for Cheers Elephant’s "Doin’ It, Right" on TheKey.xpn.org.

WXPN’s Record Store Day 2012 Weekend Tour with Cheers Elephant

Cheers Elephant will be celebrating the release of their new album, Like Wind Blows Fire over the weekend of April 20-21. In honor of Record Store Day, XPN is celebrating the locally-owned independent record stores in our area. Main Street Music, Siren Records and Repo Records will be here with special offers on Friday, April 20, 2012. For more information on XPN's Record Store Day activities on April 21, click here.



Website: cheerselephant.com/home
Myspace: myspace.com/cheerselephant
Facebook: facebook.com/cheerselephant

Recent Release: Like Wind Blows Fire
Release Date: March 2, 2012 (Local), April 24th, 2012 (National)
Label: Cheers Elephant
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

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

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live

The Ting Tings Don't let the skeletons on the cover of Sounds From Nowheresville confuse you: The Ting Tings are alive and well. Four years after the release of their debut full length, the duo is back with an album of diverse and danceable tracks. Though, with a track record like theirs, that's hardly a surprise. In 2007 they put out the single "That's Not My Name/Great DJ" and within a year were featured in iPod commercials, video games, and movies. Katie White and Jules De Martino, who started as co-writers in a girl punk group, seemed to become a sensation over night. They released their debut album, "We Started Nothing", in 2008 to critical acclaim. Even up through 2010, the duo was still receiving nominations and awards for the infectious electronic pop that they created on that first record.

Following up We Started Nothing was no small task. Though the duo was making progress on their sophomore album in 2010, a full four years passed between full length releases. In the meantime, they sharpened their live skills, playing festivals and headlining shows around the world. Their theatrical live show incorporates White's punk background, and De Martino has been praised for his multi-instrumental talent, often playing two instruments at once or switching mid-song.

You can hear tracks from White and De Martino's latest album and see them live when The Ting Tings play XPN Free At Noon Friday, April 13. This energetic, unpredictable duo is an act that you won't want to miss!

The Ting Tings are in town to play a full show at The Trocadero on Friday night, April 13.

Website: thetingtings.com
Myspace: myspace.com/thetingtings
Recent Release: Sounds From Nowheresville
Release Date: February 24, 2012
Label: Columbia Records
Hometown: Salford, Greater Manchester, England

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

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live

Joan Osborne For nearly twenty years, Joan Osborne has surprised and delighted fans with the diversity of her talent. Her hit "One of Us" catapulted her to international fame in 1995, and though she was mostly writing country, folk and blues at that point, she soon expanded her style beyond alt country. In 2003, she released "How Sweet It Is," her third studio album and first album of covers. "How Sweet It Is" was mostly comprised of classic rock and soul songs, and showcased Osborne's ability to reinvent major hits. Over the years, Osborne toured with The Funk Brothers, The Dixie Chicks and sang with The Dead. She covered Dolly Parton, Motown and Willie Dixon. In each stage of her career, she proved that there was some other genre, some new project that she could make her own.

On her latest album, Bring It on Home, Joan Osborne returns to the craft of covering hits. In a collaborative process that involved her band, her blues aficionado friends, her label and her own ideas of what she wanted to sing, Osborne came up with a list of 12 blues and soul classics to cover. On some tracks, she tried to accentuate the mood that was already captured. On others, she let her breathy, feminine voice alter the tune completely. The result is due out March 27th, and includes songs originally performed by Betty Wright, Al Green, Nina Simone and others. The album itself features a star-studded cast including Allen Toussaint and The Holmes Brothers.

Joan Osborne kicks off her national tour this month and is stopping by World Cafe Life for a Free At Noon performance on April 6. Make sure to sign up for her show. This Grammy nominated songstress is a guest you won't want to miss!

She plays a full show at The Rams Head in Annapolis, MD on April 5, World Cafe Live on Friday night, April 6, before heading up to Tarrytown, NY, then south to Raleigh and Charlotte. More info on her tour can be found here.

Website: joanosborne.com/
Facebook facebook.com/joanosborne
Myspace: myspace.com/joanosbornemusic
Recent Release: Bring It on Home
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Label: Saguaro Road Records
Hometown: Anchorage, Ky

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

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live



Delta Spirit California rockers, Delta Spirit have just released a new self-titled album on Rounder Records and will in Philly for a special Free At Noon at Union Transfer on March 30. They play a full show that same night at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia 19123. Directions & Parking for venue.

Delta Spirit is a five-piece Americana band, and the youth of its members belies the classical folk sound of their collaboration. Jon Jameson (bass), Brandon Young (percussion), Matthew Vasquez (vocals/guitars), Kelly Winrich (multi-instrumentals) and Will McLaren (guitar) have created a sound that blends indie rock, folk, soul, and blues influences. They've been evolving and perfecting this sound since 2005 when the burgeoning group spotted Vasquez busking on a bench and brought him in. After their first EP in 2006, they've shared the stage with the likes of Cold War Kids, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Dr. Dog. They've also had plenty of their work featured in various soundtracks (The Big C, Friday Night Lights), and taken their fair share of airtime here at XPN. They've been featured on World Cafe for two of their follow-ups, and even played a Live Friday Free At Noon in 2010. Now they're back for another performance, this time at Union Transfer, promoting their latest release.

Delta Spirit's third full-length is eponymous and nothing short of daring. Taking flight from their established brand of roots rock, the group incorporates electronic, hip-hop, and prog elements into their usual fare of trash-can percussion, rustic folk, and booming bass drums. The result is cathartic and appeasing, fully displaying the expressive, affecting songwriting that has brought Delta Spirit such a devoted fan base.

Don't miss Delta Spirit on Friday, March 30, and start off the weekend right with an XPN Free At Noon concert. Directions & Parking for (venue): Union Transfer

Website: deltaspirit.net/
Facebook facebook.com/Deltaspirit
Myspace: myspace.com/deltaspirit
Recent Release: Delta Spirit
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Label: Rounder Records
Hometown: San Diego, CA

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

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live



Thomas Dolby Thomas Dolby has just released his first new album in almost two decades, called A Map of the Floating City. He's playing a couple of local venues as part of his Time Capsule Tour with Special Guests Aaron Jonah Lewis and Ben Belchera - Sellersville Theatre on March 28, and World Cafe Live Philadelphia, on March 24. Dolby is here for an XPN Free At Noon on Friday, March 23.

English electronic musician Thomas Dolby has branded himself as a mad scientist, harnessing the power of electronic music as none have before him. Considering how he shaped the electronic music industry and continues to 30 years after his debut, it may be more appropriate to call him an electronic genius. As a teenager, Thomas Robertson earned the nickname "Dolby" because of his fascination with electronic means of music production. The name, which came from Dolby Laboratories, stuck as Thomas Dolby began to make a name for himself in the music scene-- first with Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club, then in Lene Lovich's backing band, having written her single, "New Toy," and eventually contributing synthesizer on "Urgent" by Foreigner and playing keyboard on Def Leopard's Pyromania album.

Dolby went out on his own in the early 80's and his debut solo album, "The Golden Age of Wireless", peaked at #13 on the Billboard Album Chart. He rereleased it four different times, as the original did not include his hit single "She Blinded Me with Science." "The Golden Age of Wireless" set Dolby up as a pioneer of electronic music, and established his talent for writing lyrics that combined science and science fiction with themes of love and relationships.

Dolby went on to release four more solo albums, plus soundtracks, singles and he also produced albums for other artists. In 1993, he took a break from making music to start his own company, Beatnik. Though he intended for the break to be brief, it ultimately proved to be a 20-year hiatus. Yet Dolby was never completely removed from the music scene. In 2001 he began serving as the Musical Director of the TED conference, and debuted his track "Love Is a Loaded Pistol," at the conference in February 2010. The album that he eventually released in 2011 called "A Map of the Floating City" was released in three parts. It also featured a video game in which players could trade, collaborate and compete to get to "the Floating City" and unlock new tracks from the upcoming album. The game earned Dolby new fans, but that wasn't the point. Instead, he claimed that it was his latest foray into how technology could enhance the audience's experience with his music.

The album was produced in Dolby's home studio which is housed in a 1930's era lifeboat and powered by solar panels and a wind turbine. In celebration of the three-part album, Dolby is planning his first extended tour in decades. In true Dolby sci-fi style, the tour will feature a "time-capsule": a three-seater trailer in which fans and guest artists can record 30-second messages for the future-- and more immediately for YouTube. In the midst of his jet-setting this spring, Dolby will be playing World Cafe: Free At Noon on Friday March 23rd. This is a show that you'll have to see to believe.

Website: thomasdolby.com/
Facebook facebook.com/officialthomasdolby
Myspace: myspace.com/thomasdolby
Recent Release: A Map Of The Floating City
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Label: Redeye Label
Hometown: London, England

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

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage atWorld Cafe Live



Simone Felice Simone Felice's narrative song-writing style is all the more powerful when his life story is taken into account. Felice suffered a brain aneurysm at the age of 12 that should have rendered him musically incapable. Instead, he went on to become the drummer and one of the primary song writers for the Felice Brothers, a band that he started with his brother, Ian, in 2001 after 9/11. Though he'd played punk music as an adolescent, Felice found his stride in folk music and before long, The Felice Brothers were an internationally recognized name.

Felice turned to music after every tragedy in his life, including the loss of a child to still-birth and emergency open-heart surgery in 2010. His acoustic, lyric-driven music brims with sorrow and also joy. He is a man who has known life's blessings and life's heartbreaks and he has turned his experiences into music, against all odds.

Simone Felice's latest project is a self-titled solo debut. The album will be released in April, but Felice will be playing tracks from his upcoming album at World Cafe Live Free At Noon on March 16th. The show is part of an international spring tour that he will embark on this month. Make sure to catch him here in Philadelphia. It's a show that you won't want to miss.

Website: simonefelice.com/
Myspace: myspace.com/simonefelice
Recent Release: Simone Felice
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Label: Team-Love Records
Hometown: Palenville, New York

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

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live



Tommy Stinson Profile: Bass Player for Guns N' Roses and the legendary Replacements, Tommy Stinson's latest album is called "One Man Mutiny." He'll be here for an XPN Free At Noon on Friday, March 9!

Tommy Stinson is perhaps best known as the spiky-haired, charismatic bassist for hard rock outfit Guns N'Roses, but he's also now on top of a budding solo career. But Stinson is no spring chicken--he's been playing bass since the tender young age of 11, and not too much later, he was on stage with his brother in punk legend outfit The Replacements. Given his natural guitar talent, sophisticated song writing skills, and endless drive, it's little wonder he's been called "the hardest working man in rock'n'roll these days" by the press. He's currently playing bass for both GNR and Soul Asylum, and he also recently released his latest solo offering.

"One Man Mutiny" is certainly bluesy, perhaps partially influenced by one of Stinson's other groups, alt-rock outfit Bash & Pop. Also containing not-so-little hints of country, such as the pedal steel in a couple of the later tracks, "One Man Mutiny" is still based on solid rock'n'roll, gritty and visceral. Singing of relationships and liquor, Stinson is backed by the resonating vocals of his fiance, Emily Roberts. The album turns out to be a good showcase for the talent and the many influences of an iconic rocker. Also, Stinson is donating a portion of the proceeds from "One Man Mutiny" towards struggling Haiti schools--this is great music for a great cause.

Don't miss Tommy Stinson this weekend, stopping in at the World Cafe for a Live Friday performance. It's the Free at Noon, and there's no better way to start the weekend!

Website: tommystinson.com/
Myspace: myspace.com/tommystinsonofficial
Facebook: facebook.com/tommystinson
Recent Release: One Man Mutiny
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Label: Done To Death Music
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

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

It was a rocking three days of music at the 2012 XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru! Check out the full performances, photo gallery, highlights and more by selecting the band you want to see from the lineup below!

 

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live

Good Old War Philadelphia's own, Good Old War, has a new album, Come Back As Rain, out next week. These Philly natives and indie-folk trio, consist of Keith Goodwin (vocals, guitar, keys), Tim Arnold (drums, keys, accordion, cocals), and Daniel Schwartz (guitar, vocals). Pulling from each of their surnames to create the band's moniker, these three friends and collaborators have created a great chemistry on stage and a knack for mesmerizing three-part harmonies. Playing at festivals such as SXSW and the XPoNential Music Festival, collaborating with Anthony Green, and cultivating a reputation that's reached beyond the Philly music scene to the rest of the nation, Good Old War have started out their first few years in a successful fashion.

Now on their third release, Good Old War is injecting a bit of wistful pop into their normal infectious, folksy melodies. Their new album, Come Back As Rain out March 6 on Sargent House, is full of signature Good Old War acoustic pep, but it also conveys some of the band's "longing for home that happens when you're away all the time," as put by Goodwin. Also embedded in in the album is an expanding list of influences--electronic, classic rock, and '60s folk all play a part in creating the upbeat and smart folk of Good Old War.

Known for their lively and inspiring on-stage performances, Good Old War will be at World Cafe Live for this week's Free at Noon. Come here from their latest, "Come Back As Rain," and start the weekend with some great live music.

Gold Old War returns to Philly on April 27 to play Union Transfer.

Website: goodoldwar.com/
Myspace: myspace.com/goodoldwar
Facebook: facebook.com/GoodOldWar
Recent Release: Come Back As Rain
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Label: Sargent House
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

photo credit Matt Wignall Born in Jersey and now based in Nashville, folk songstress Jessie Baylin has roots in classic pop, jazz, and even the blues. Growing up on a steady diet of Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday, Baylin also acquired an affinity for the intimacy and wildness of bar performances--by the time she was 13, she was singing at the local jazz bar herself. She later moved to Los Angeles and became enamored with the Laurel Canyon brand of rootsy folk, and later debuted with an album entitled You and produced by Grammy winner Jesse Harris. Since then, she's toured with likes of Marc Broussard, James Morrison, and Brett Dennen. She also released "Firesight", a deeply personal and soulful album that showcased her budding creativity. She's now back with a follow up, the rich and powerful Little Spark.

Released just this past January, Little Spark is deeply influenced by Dusty Springfield and other such soul queens. Yet Baylin doesn't spend too much time looking for nostalgia--she's inventing her own expansive, modern take on classic pop. Given the orchestral components and the choral passages, the sound of Little Spark certainly does conjure a time of living room radios and big bands, but Baylin's sultry, expansive, and gorgeous vocals carry home the freshness of her music.

Be sure not to miss out on hearing the talented Jessie Baylin live--it's the weekly Live Friday XPN Free At Noon performance, and there's no better way to start the weekend. You can also catch Jessie, with The Watson Twins for a full show on March 3 at World Cafe Live.



Website: jessiebaylin.com/
MySpace: myspace.com/jessiebaylin
Facebook: facebook.com/jessiebaylin Recent Release: Little Spark
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Label: Blonde Rat
Origin: Nashville, TN

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

Hear a Live Friday XPN Free At Noon Concert at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast Live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live



Islands From Monteal, the band Islands are on tour in support of their new album A Sleep & A Forgetting. They play two shows at the First Unitarian Church here in Philly on Friday, February 24 and will be here that day for an XPN Free At Noon show.

Islands is an indie rock outfit hailing from Canada, and featured on World Cafe with their second album in 2008. Now on their fourth release, this dynamic foursome are back at XPN, performing a Free at Noon and showcasing the diverse influences of their latest, "A Sleep & A Forgetting".

Islands was born from the ashes of lo-fi band The Unicorns in 2005, and their first release had them touring with Metric and establishing a reputation for diverse art rock with depth. Since then, Islands has released three more studio albums, toured internationally, and gone through a few lineup changes. Now on a fourth full length, the members of Islands have created the most personal collection of songs yet. Frontman Nicholas Thorburn began writing "A Sleep & A Forgetting" one year ago on February 14, and now the album is being released exactly one year later. Infused with Island's special brand of dark yet catchy pop, "A Sleep & A Forgetting" has hints of introspective folk influences, layers of glimmering instrumentals, and Thorburn'slyrical take on soul. The result is astonishing--more honest and open than previous Islands' releases, yet a confessional offering with bounce.

Don't miss this Free at Noon with Islands--given a reputation for infectious and touching performances, this is going to one great way to start the weekend.

Website: islandsareforever.com/
Myspace: myspace.com/islands
Facebook: facebook.com/islandsareforever
Recent Release: A Sleep & A Forgetting
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Label: Anti
Hometown: Montreal, Canada

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

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