This Philly-based trio, originally formed while guitarist Tommy Siegel, pianist Ben Thornewill, and drummer Jesse Kristin were in college in Washington, D.C. – is described as whimsical, quirky, energetic indie band featuring melodic pop tunes driven by a sizzling rock momentum. Jukebox The Ghost has a unique sound, with an eclectic mix of elements from artists Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Queen, They Might Be Giants, and The Flaming Lips. Their debut album, Let Live and Let Ghosts was described as "a sunny, piano-led explosion of pop exuberance" by the group, and their new album, Everything Under the Sun, has been popularly accepted as catchy and skillfully structured, yet wildly diverse. The band has toured extensively, most notably with Guster and will soon be on tour with The Barenaked Ladies. They played SXSW in the spring, Lollapalloza in Chicago in August, and appeared on David Letterman in early September featuring their song "Schizophrenia." As their fan base grows and excitement over the recent album release increases, it is easy to guess that this group could be the next big thing in indie rock.
Jukebox the Ghosts' latest release, Everything Under the Sun, is still full of rich pop undertones, but there's something a bit more introspective, a bit more serious, about this 11-song collection. Released this past September, the record has undeniable Brit-pop influences but also some Philly flavor; JTG relocated to the City of Brotherly Love on a whim after their first release. "The music scene here is amazing," said Siegel. "A lot of bands here, like Dr. Dog, have a heavy Beatles vibe going– I think that made us realize that it's OK for us to wear our influences on our sleeves a little bit."
"We've been keeping our eyes and ears on Jukebox The Ghost since they debuted a couple years ago." The band really nailed it on their new album, Everything Under The Sun, and has grown a lot over the last couple years.Jukebox The Ghost was chosen to be WXPN's Artist To Watch for October, 2010. ~Bruce Warren, Assistant GM of Programming for WXPN
This week's free at noon performance features the renowned Duncan Sheik, a multiple award winning singer-songwriter and Broadway composer, who from the start of his career was a top Billboard charter. After releasing his self-titled debut album in 1996 on Atlantic Records, his smashing single "Barely Breathing" brought Sheik into the songwriting spotlight and the album was certified Gold. Despite his incredibly strong start, Sheik continued to take each of his subsequent albums to new territories of sound, content and structure. Expanding from pop elements to orchestral arrangements and important social concerns, his sound exponentially matured with time. So while Shiek's occasional returns to pop territory brought him back into mainstream popularity, his additional projects as a composer exposed his talent for putting together elaborate works.
While continuing to produce albums, Sheik also forayed into the world of Broadway plays. Teaming up with Stephen Sater, he composed music for the Grammy and Tony award winning musical Spring Awakening, for which he won awards for Best Orchestration and Best Original Score. His success as a composer lives on, but to many fans, the announcement of his upcoming release comes as a pleasant surprise. Following 2009's Whisper House, his sixth full length album to date, he plans on releasing an album full of synth-pop 80's covers. Due for release on June 7, the album is aptly called Covers 80's and explores takes on classic tunes from Depeche Mode, New Order, The Cure and more. Featuring some additions from folk vocal sweethearts Rachael Yamagata and Holly Brook, the covers are undeniable Sheik and personal.
Duncan's new album, Covers 80's will be out in June. He'll play a full show at World Cafe Live in Philly on June 12.
From hipsters to housewives, there is something universally appealing about The Low Anthem's traditional ly rooted yet innovative style. The Rhode Island-based group's organic, sincere and markedly pleasant tunes have landed them as the quintessential Americana group of the year. Their sound is highly distinguishable, with husky vocals and poetically crafted lyrics supported by a foundation of rich harmonies, heavy blues guitar, upright bass, drums and clarinet. Citing Tom Waits, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan as their main influences, The Low Anthem produce their folksy, layered sound with a tenacity for the natural--they have been known to forego PA systems and amplification in order to blend with their surroundings. "If there's a new definition of Americana, The Low Anthem have created it" (Bruce Warren- XPN).
Since the release of The Low Anthem's first self-titled album, they have undergone many positive changes, incorporating a growing dose of raw minimalist rock sound. The new edge was a great feature on their third and critically acclaimed record, "Oh My god, Charlie Darwin," an album that captured the deapth and beauty of folk Americana. Now, the follow up to Oh My God, Charlie Darwin shakes off some of thir their past wimsy and taps into something that is much more visceral and melancholic. Aptly called "Smart Flesh," the recent release sounds humanly organic, though as it treads on misty layers of sound that in turn sound moodily haunting, it is evident that they use their words and their music to dig deeper than anything superficially skin deep.
This is a band that must be experienced, here's your opportunity to catch them live!
The Low Anthem is on tour in support of their new album Smart Flesh. They play the Electric Factory in Philly with Iron & Wine On Thursday, April 21, and will play Live Friday Free At Noon from the Commonwealth Plaza at the Kimmel Center, as part of Philadelphia International Festival Of The Arts on April 22.
With her early works teaming with folk and jug band styles, Eilen Jewell has since explored everything from country gospel, blues, R&B and even 60's inspired garage rock.
Her story begins as early as age 7, when the singer-songwriter became increasingly fascinated by classical music. Picking up her first guitar at 14, she went straight to writing songs and performing them at local farmers' markets and bars. Now in her early 30's, she has become far more than just a local talent. After she released her official debut Boundary County in 2006, Jewell was instantly compared to the likes of Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch, a comparison that holds true due to her emotional voice and heartpouring writing style. Today, she is a national favorite.
Since her last album, Eilen Jewell went to a small cabin in Idaho where, enclosed in isolation, she crafted a particularly moody and somber upcoming album. Calling the album, and in essence herself, Queen of the Minor Key, she wears her somber mood with utmost pride. And with the help of various guests for her backup band, her goal to make this record "even more real, more heartfelt, than the one before it," has become a reality. The album is set for release this coming June, and we are glad to have her welcome the stage for this week's XPN Free at Noon performance, live from the Kimmel Center Plaza and Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts on April 15, 2011.
Founder of what could be called the best bar band in America, Terry Adams has been playing his versatile, lively sets for decades. Inspired by the complex groove of Thelonius Monk, Adams and guitarist Steve Ferguson decided to form a band smack dab in the middle of the '60s Florida music scene. What arose was the famous NRBQ, an acronym commonly thought to stand for the New Rhythm and Blues Quintet. With a raucous blend of blues, country, jazz, pop and rock, NRBQ soon had a following and a record deal--and a long future of filling bars, taverns, and music halls with their humorous and rhythm driven rock.
Yet all good things must eventually come to an end, and NRBQ went on hiatus in 2004. However, each of the band members are in different musical projects, and Terry Adams is no exception. He's released a slew of solo and project albums over the years, and now his main outlet is the irrepressible Terry Adams Rock and Roll Quartet--a succinct, perfect title for the rocking outfit with more than a hint of NRBQ tang. Comprised of fresh talent, this new quartet is fronted by Terry Adams (piano), and backed by Scott Ligon (guitar), Pete Donnelly (bass) and Conrad Choucroun (drums).
Since its inception in early 2008, Terry Adams & The New NRBQ has frequently been on the road, playing a flurry of shows to audiences across the country. The four musicians have picked up where NRBQ left off, full of new and vibrant energy with Adams at their head. The sets are mixed with Adams' own work from his latest album, old favorites, requests from the audiences, and always a dash of self-deprecating humor. And in support of Crazy 8s (2010), which includes live recordings from World Cafe, we are excited to welcome Terry Adams & The New NRBQ to this XPN Free at Noon performance, live from the Kimmel Center Plaza on April 8, 2011.