Long Beach, California's Cold War Kids are on tour in support of their new album, Mine Is Yours, and they play the Trocadero this Friday night. Listen live at 12noon Friday, March 25, 20011!
Citing a diverse collection of influences--from Bob Dylan to Billie Holiday to the Velvet Underground--California's Cold War Kids have an all-encompassing sound. Embracing old-school blues and backwoods country rock, their style still holds a solid yet unique indie-rock label. Don't miss this Friday's performance at noon--fresh off a new release and on tour, the foursome is ready to start the weekend off right.
The outfit, oft described as "skinny-jeaned Christian rockers, was formed in 2004 and is comprised of Nathan Willett (lead vocals, piano, guitar), Matt Maust (bass), Jonnie Russell (guitar, vocals, percussion) and Matt Aveiro (drums). After recording some demos in the Los Angeles area, Cold War Kids released a number of buzz-building EPs before their official studio LP, the critically acclaimed "Robbers and Cowards". With Willet's Jeff Buckley-ish, wailing vocals, the constantly vibrant lyrics, and a bluesy yet rocking style, Cold War Kids have quickly built a reputation for innovation among fans and critics alike. Their sophomore effort, "Loyalty to Loyalty", was slower and more introspective compared to preview releases, but no less dynamic.
And now the band has just hit the spotlight with "Mine is Yours", an 11-track collection of what could be their most mainstream release yet--and that's not necessarily a bad thing. They've added "a slice of pop" to their soul-punk mix, as Drowned in Sound put it. "Mine is Yours" has thus far charted in the US, UK, and Australia as a result. Released January 2011, this third LP of Cold War Kids is energetic and efficient, just like their performances on stage.
Unfortunately The Secret Sisters have canceled their performance for the March 18 XPN Free At Noon. The bill instead will be a set by local musicians Andrew Lipke & Hezekiah Jones.
Local musicians, Andrew Lipke and Raphael Cutrufello of Hezekiah Jones will perform with a band of some of Philly’s finest musicians. Hezekiah Jones have a new album called Have You Seen Our New Fort?. The album was produced by Lipke, and they just recorded a session for Shaking Through - XPN’s and Weathervane Music’s online emerging artist audio and video initiative. Raphael and Andrew will share the stage performing a mix of old and new songs.
Born in South Africa, Andrew Lipke has literally and figuratively come a long way to where his music thrives today. After moving to the U.S. in 1987, Lipke eventually migrated to Philly to pursue a career in music composition at The University of the Arts. Having always played music, (he started piano at the tender age of five) Lipke has played in multiple bands, one being Philly fans' favorite, Metagroove. In 2008, Lipke was chosen by WXPN as one of seven local artists to be featured in the WXPN and Minneapolis Music Exchange, where his music was featured prominently on both radio stations. In 2009 Andrew Lipke & the prospects played the XPoNential Music festival presented by Subaru. His next record The Plague is almost finished and will be out this fall.
Hezekiah Jones is a collection of Philadelphia-area artists based around the songwriting of Raphael Cutrufello. They have released one full-length album, Hezekiah Says You're A-Ok, and two EPs, Come to Our Pool Party, and Bread of Teeth, all on Yer Bird Records. The band is made up of a large and revolving cast of players. Recently Hezekiah Jones were selected to be the April artist in the WXPN and Weathervane music Shaking Through series. Andrew Lipke performs on the track as well.Website: www.yerbird.com/hezekiah-jones-albums/
Sonny Landreth is "probably the most underestimated musician on the planet and also probably one of the most advanced." With his innovative slide guitar technique and decades of solid musical experience, singer-songwriter/guitarist Landreth is a musician worthy of the title.
From the 1970s to present day, Landreth has been a collaborator, and a soloist in numerous projects that built him more and more respect. On his tenth album, From The Reach, the Louisiana based musician is joined by an all-star ensemble including Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Dr. John, and Jimmy Buffet. Making an album with a crew of his favorite musicians was a long-awaited objective for Landreth, who wrote each song on the disc with specific artists in mind. The result is an in-depth back and forth conversation of guitar riffs and trading of verses on this collection of blues, rock, and zydeco influenced tunes.
Sonny Landreth is in town to play Havana in New Hope with special guest Eryn Shewell, on Saturday, April 2, and comes back to World Cafe Live at the Queen, with Suzie Brown, for a full show, on Sunday, April 3.
Nicole Atkins taught herself to play the guitar at the age of 13 after chancing upon one in her attic. The Neptune, New Jersey native and former XPN Artist to Watch had already mastered the piano (at age 9), and had an early appreciation for iconic artists like Johnny Cash and Robert Plant. Those early influences drove her into New York City's anti-folk scene in the mid '00s, where she found like-minded musicians and a growing audience. A bidding war resulted in her signing with Columbia Records (who she has since severed ties with), who released her debut, Neptune City. A long-awaited follow up, Mondo Amore, is now available.
British singer-songwriter Bobby Long has been writing his keenly-crafted songs since taking up the guitar at age 16. After relocating from his native Wessex, he became a fixture at open-mic nights around London while attending university there. Among his companions on the circuit were fellow musicians Marcus Foster and Robert Pattinson, the former with whom he co-wrote a song that the latter would sing in the popular tween movie "Twilight." Long's intensely personal songs resonate with audiences (not surprisingly, he credits Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and Leonard Cohen as key influences), expanding his fan base exponentially during the massive six-month 2009 Dangerous Summer tour that comprised some 100 shows in cities across the U.S. and Canada.
Of his first recordings, the 10-song Dirty Pond Songs CD was recorded in his London bedroom and featured chart topping singles such as "Left to Lie." Eventually climbing to no.8 on the Folk charts, his initial efforts were met with great international success. And in 2010, Long took to the studio to put together his first studio album "A winter Tale," which was released at the start of February. Working with Grammy award winner Liam Watson, the album marks the beginnings of a promising career.
Lucky for us, he's playing a full show (at World Cafe Live on Friday night. Expect plenty of female swooning.
Though London's James Blake plans on releasing his debut record in March, the post-dubstep producer already has the fanbase of a seasoned artist after releasing a series of widely acclaimed EPs and singles. Hailed by BBC as the one of most promising new artists, this mere 22 year old is also our Artist to Watch for March.
Due to area construction, the entrance to the Free at Noon parking garage has relocated to Chestnut and 32nd Street. Please also be aware that the flat rate for Free at Noon concert parking is now $7. Parking will be available beginning at 11 am and is valid until 2 pm. So when you’re approaching the garage on Chestnut Street, keep your eye out for a volunteer with a WXPN sign and we’ll take it from there!
James Hunter's breakthrough was a long time coming, but no one's doubting his talent now. He began sharing his R&B talent with the world at various pubs and clubs in London, in the late '80s and early '90s. His soulful musings caught the ear of Van Morrison, and the two began a mutually beneficial musical friendship.
Hunter toured in the US with Morrison, and slowly began to build up a fan base. In 2006, his first solo release in the US, "People Gonna Talk", was hailed as a masterful mixture of R&B, early soul, and early rock. Nominated for a Grammy and solidifying his reputation, the crooner wrote and released "The Hard Way" in the following couple of years. Reactions were again solidly enthusiastic for Hunter's talent, truth, and great genre-mixing. Perhaps the Boston Globe reviewer put it best: "There's not a false moment here, and the short, pointed songs - all beautifully arranged - evoke classic '50s and '60s R&B without coming across as pale imitations."
Don't miss James Hunter this Friday at the World Cafe. He's taking some time from his busy US tour schedule to double-head with the wonderful Charlie Hunter. It's going to be one great show. As Van Morrison has said, "James Hunter is one of the best voices, and best kept secrets, in British R'n'B and Soul. Check him out."
James Hunter and his band will play a full show at World Cafe Live on Tuesday, March 1
With a total of 17 albums to his name, Charlie Hunter reveals time and time again that his level of musicianship is unparalleled. Coming into prominence in the early 1990's, this jazz multi-instrumentalist is both incredibly swift with technique and open to the sponteneity of improvisation. Piecing together songs with his custom-made seven and eight-string guitars, bass, and drums, his songs are calculated and full of geniune expertise. His understanding of musical frameworks is impressive, but while many other jazz artists are tempted to demonstrate their versatily with ostentatious solos that veer away from the general structure of song, he prefers to stay enmeshed within the weavings of complicated arrangements. As a multi-instrumentalist he really understands how the different pieces tie together to create a sense of pure joy and soulful emotion. For these reasons combined, Hunter has collaborated with some of the top jazz musicians around, including the co-founded jazz fusion group Garage A Trois.
What is also unique about Hunter is his love for early blues and jazz, which has notably inspired his recent work. Such love and admiration for early works is no more apparent than on his album Public Domain, which as the name suggests, contains a series of jazzed up old-time songs that have outlived copyright and entered the public domain. Using just a few mics and amps, the album was recorded in just a few hours and has a very intimate, freshly cut sound that plays with elements of blues, funk, and jazz.
Charlie Hunter plays a full show this Friday night at World Cafe Live. Pick up his new CD at Amazon.com.NPR.org/Music.
Visit NPR Music to hear the concert.
Born on the outskirst of Philadelphia to a family of ten siblings, Kurt Vile exudes a positively warming grasp of classic rock and modern form and is often marked by a jumble of influences from Leonard Cohen and My Bloody Valentine to Animal Collective. Gathering inspiration from classic-rock stations and friends, Vile gets "inspiration from people around me and just all kinds of music." Most attest to the freshness of his work, his ability to transform an old sound with just the right touch of modern and experimental, but it is also his admirable worth ethic that has garnered noteworthy praise.
Vile began songwriting and recording when his father bought him a banjo at 14 and soon after began releasing home-recorded albums. Tapping into what soon became a passion, he switched to guitar and began playing as many shows as possible. But the doors never quite opened until the former forklift truck driver left the job and started to seriously gig. His growing popularity was many years in the coming, but his sound soon caught the ears of big labels who were scrambling to sign him. As the label war ensued, Vile hopped around a bit, releasing several albums along the way. "Constant Hitmaker" launched Vile into the sphere of wide recognition with the hit "Freeway," and his subsequent albums eventually pushed his career into the arms of Matador records.
Following "Childish Prodigy" (2009), Vile is now joined by his band the Violators on the upcoming album "Smoke Ring For My Halo." And if you are a Kurt Vile fan as we are, then you won't want to miss this Free At Noon!
Texas songwriter, Hayes Carll is a dry-witted folk musician whose humble music is poised but infused with
humorous anecdotes. He first picked up a guitar at
the age of 15, played during college, moved around Texas, eventually returning to Houston, his hometown,and started to develop a following. That's where he released his first album, 2002's Flowers Liquor. which became an immediate hit
with critics and fans alike.
Almost a decade later, Carll has racked up a list of achievements, written three more full-lengths, and spent a good deal of time on the road, honing his craft and receiving inspiration. First off, his second release, though courted by record companies, was on his own label, and became the first self-released Americana album to top the charts. Carll has been named best folk and best new artist by the Houston Press, he's written music with Guy Clark and Ray Wylie Hubbard, and he's largely recognized as a lead man in a resurgence of Texas artists greatly influenced by Townes Van Zandt and Bob Dylan.
Carll's latest release is the miliatry acronymic KMAG YOYO, standing for Kiss My A** Guys, You're on Your Own. It's storied by personal, full of songs with rich military characters and influences. The album was largely inspired and created on the road, using riffs created on stage. As Carll puts it on his website, "I wanted to challenge myself musically, and see if I could capture that live dynamic. A lot of the songs came with the music first, with the music calling the lyrics."
The resulting album has been described as full of "fiery rock, twangy country, pensive folk and even a touch of gospel." If there really is as close a connection between Carll's performances and his music, he's got to have really energetic, exciting shows.
Hayes Carll will be here for a Free At Noon show from World Cafe Live on Friday, February 11, playing songs from his brand new album KMAG YOYO. RSVP by clicking on the link above, or hear it on your radio, or online at XPN.org/listen.Website: hayescarll.com/
It all started with the 88 keys of an old organ. This month's Artist to Watch, Fitz & The Tantrums, is a six-person outfit of soul + pop and some really quite dapper suits. It only took a year for them to hit it big, and they're still growing--there's got to be something good about a band that can coast to sharing stages with Maroon 5 and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings on just an EP.