Don't miss this Friday's Free at Noon performance by Cults, one of XPN's Artist(s) to watch for July! Cults have a bit of a fairy tale beginning, and their quick rise speaks volumes about the allure of their music.
Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin have been together as a band and a couple for just about a year now, and they've commemorated with an eponymous debut. Oblivion and Follin met as students at NYU, and began to make music in their spare time. After the two posted a three-track demo on the popular indie music website Bandcamp, they began to get some serious buzz--in fact, the song "Go Outside" was labeled by Pitchfork as 'Best New Music'. Within a very short time after their initial viral success, Cults were picked up by major label Columbia and featured on NPR. It's rare that a band reaches the spotlight in so little time before actually releasing an album, but Cults did it. And going by the recent reception of their '60s pop collection, it seems like this little-band-that-could out of New York is not leaving any time soon.
"Cults" has already received another 'Best Music' label from Pitchfork for the sinister yet sweet flavor of the 11 pop-infused tracks. The sunny vocals of Follin can easily take a turn for something darker and edgier that obviously has more to do with the idea of cults. With the raspy, modern guitar riffs of Oblivion, the quick-changing pace of drum beats, and the glockenspiel-y reverb, this is a mesmerizing release--mysterious, cute, and dysfunctional all at once. Oblivion adeptly describes their music on NPR as "cautionary and romantic", taking inspiration from the "ambivalent, fascinating feelings with the concept" of a cult. Cults have successfully transcended their Internet notoriety into real life with this release, which has charted in both the UK and Canada. After adding to the lineup, Cults is touring the rest of the summer in North America and Europe. They've got stops in Portland, Los Angeles, and the UK--and of course World Cafe! They're an XPN Artist to Watch for July, and their quick rise to fame speaks volumes about their music--they're mesmerizing, whether in headphones or on a stage. But if you can, don't miss this live performance--it's sure to be a great way to start off the weekend.
The Smithereens are back with a brand new release called Smithereens 2011. They're playing our XPoNential Music Festival on Friday, July 22, 2011, and will be here for an XPN Free At Noon, Friday, July 1, 2011!
The Smithereens are rock music veterans who have earned their living with successful release after release for more than 25 years, dating all the way back to their debut album "Girls About Town" in 1980. Since that time, they have appeared all over US Billboard charts, performing concerts domestically and internationally, and even lent their signature sound to a handful of movie soundtracks. The Smithereens might be one of the only bands in history to take lifelong influences Buddy Holly and The Beatles and spin it with a heavy metal, prog-rock twinge.
Pat DiNizio started the band in New Jersey in the late 70's after placing ads for local college- and high school-aged musicians and recruiting Jim Babjak, Mike Mesaros (to be replaced by Severo Jornacio in 2006) and Dennis Diken to form a solid team. They worked through the early 80's, playing largely within the New York bar scene with a variety of Brit Pop, classic oldies, and hard rock, a veritable cornucopia of the band's varied musical interests and ambitions. Finally in 1986, they had a major breakthrough with the hit single "Blood and Roses" from their debut studio album Especially For You. They signed a major label deal with Capitol and went on to release three more albums with Capitol, including 1989's highly successful Smithereens 11. In 2007, they set out to release Meet the Smithereens, an album they recorded covering the entire Meet the Beatles album.
But while their covers and compilations have filled in the last decade, this year's release "2011" marks their first set of brand new originals since 1999's "God Save the Smithereens." Decades worth of fans are ecstatic to acknowledge the band's truimphant return. And what better way to celebrate than to join us this Friday for another mid-day concert?
In addition to this Free At Noon concert, you can catch The Smithereens at this summer's XPoNential Music Festival on Friday, July 22, 2011.
|XPoNential Music Festival 2011 EPK - Download|
Welcome Member of the Media!
WXPN is proud to announce another amazing music event on the Camden Waterfront and thanks for your interest in covering the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru! You'll find helpful information here with our electronic press kit that include high resolution photos of all the performers, logos, general festival footage, and artist bios. If you need additional information or are interested in interviewing an artist or WXPN talent, please contact:
WXPN Marketing Director
Levlane Public Relations
WXPN, the nationally recognized leader in Triple A radio and the premier guide for discovering new and significant artists in rock, blues, roots, and folk, is the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. WXPN produces World Cafe, public radio's most celebrated program of popular music hosted by David Dye and syndicated byNPR, and the Peabody Award winning Kids Corner hosted by Kathy O'Connell. WXPN also produces the alternative rock service XPN2 as its secondary radio channel in HD. WXPN serves the greater Philadelphia area at 88.5 FM, the Lehigh Valley at 104.9, Worton/Baltimore at 90.5 FM, Lancaster/York at 88.7 FM, Harrisburg at 99.7 FM, and the world via online streaming at XPN.org.
Veteran New York City Songwriter, Garland Jeffreys has a brand new album called The King Of In Between. He's playing Sellersville Theater, on Saturday, June 25, and he'll be here for a Free At Noon show, Friday, June 24.
The title of Garland Jeffreys' latest album is an apt description of his life's work overall--The King Of In Between. Half black and half Puerto Rican, he's a singer-songwriter whose fringe blend of rock 'n' roll, reggae, blues, and soul is edgy and full of poignant social commentary. He knows what it means to be an outsider, as evidenced by his accessible yet unclassifiable music. With a discography stretching back to the '60s (when he met Lou Reed before The Velvet Underground and played at numerous Manhattan nightclubs), Jeffreys has done it all. He's been called an edgy urban poet, the sound of New York, a confessional singer-songwriter, and an explorer of the links between rock, race and rebellion. His Atlantic Records version of "Wild in the Streets" has become something of an anthem for skaters, he's been featured in Martin Scorsese's documentary on blues music, and he's become the proud father of a budding musician.
The King Of In Between comes after a 15 year hiatus from the music business, self-enforced, because Jeffreys decided that fatherhood was his focus. Now that his daughter Savannah is 15 and gaining fans herself, Jeffreys is also back on the scene. The King Of In Between was co-produced by Larry Campbell (Grammy-winning producer with Levon Helm) and mixed by legendary Roy Cicala (John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen). It features Lou Reed, Duncan Sheik, Duke Levine, and of course Savannah Jeffreys. It's rootsy, something of a return to Jeffrey's early days, and its focus is greatly on New York--the incredible mix of people and ideas, embodied in music. Melancholy and alternatively joyful, acoustic and electric, full of both bluesy rock and R&B, Jeffreys' latest is truly king of in between.
Jeffreys has been performing in the States and Europe with two bands, and he's here at World Cafe Live this Friday for a free performance. He's got experience, great music and a wonderful stage presence. Don't miss out on this week's Free at Noon with the legendary Garland Jeffreys. What better way to start the weekend?
Joseph Arthur's new album, Graduation Ceremony was just released. He's playing the XPoNential Music Festival in July, and he'll be here for XPN's Free At Noon this Friday, June 17.
Singer-songwriter, Joseph Arthur began singing at the age of 21, although his fondness for music and the guitar began earlier than that. Having grown up in Akron, Ohio, Arthur relocated to Atlanta where he found a thriving music scene. A masterful painter as well, Arthur fuses his two passions, designing his own cover art and sometimes using his paintings as backgrounds for his sets. The now Grammy nominated musician's career began with a slow start but with his talent, his success was always destined to be. Having been compared to the likes of Jeff Buckley, Leonard Cohen, and Joe Henry and having toured with Tracy Chapman, Ben Harper, and Gomez, Arthur carries on the legacy of great singer-songwriters.
Dawes was an XPN Artist To Watch in April, 2010.
They live for the stage, pouring every ounce of their work into soul-bearing live performances; and show no signs of slowing down. The L.A. quartet's blend of classic '70s folk-rock and contemporary flair made their debut "North Hills" an instant hit, quickly pushing them onto everyone's radar. The combination of Taylor Goldsmith's lyrical and powerful voice and the backing folk-pop harmonies managed to capture the nuances of sorrow and optimism all throughout an overarching thread of mature condidence. Along with instrumental backing from Griffin Goldsmith (Tayler's younger brother), Wylie Gelber and Tay Strathairn (who replaced original member Alex Casnoff), this was a fine-tuned recipe for early success.
Two years since their debut, they are now preparing for the release of their sophomore effort, "Nothing Is Wrong," which is bound to evoke the same sense of nostalgia and anticipation that made their debut a standout. Going for more of a Springsteen/Petty American rock and roll sound, Dawes ultimately recorded the album at Echo Park studio between touring. According to the band, "the difference between this record and [2009's North Hills] is that this one has a much more live quality, because they were learned and arranged on stage."
The 1970's marked a turbulent time in Cambodian music history, when in 1975 the Pol Pot regime took over; western-influenced music was banned, musicians killed, and many recordings eliminated. But the influence of popular artists such as Sinn Sisamouth continues to live on decades later, sparking the interest of Zac and Ethan Holzman. The brothers fell in love with vintage Cambodian pop music and after collecting old Cambodian casettes they went to work on creating a band that would incorporate such elements. Their idea materialized when Dengue Fever formed in 2001 after a chance meeting with Ch'hom Nimol,an esteemed Cambodian songstress who stems from a family of wedding singers and who moved to Long Beach from Cambodia merely a year prior. Specializing in Khmer Rock, a mix of Cambodian Khmer style and psychedelic pop-rock, Dengue Fever started out as a Camboidan pop cover band. But as the group grew into a dynamic 6-piece band featuring saxophone, bass, drums, guitar, farfisa and vocals, their style developed into an intriguing hybrid of eastern and western styles.
Since their start, Dengue Fever has released a total of four albums, showing ever-increasing growth with each release. Their third album "Venus on Earth" really launched the band forward with its solid mix of hypnotic psychedelic riffs, jazzy accents and artfully graceful Cambodian singing. Three years later, the group now presents their fourth and latest album "Cannibal Courtship," which features a shift towards more songs in English.
Okkervil River is an indie-rock band with folk influences and hailing from Austin, Texas. Formed in 1998 by high school buddies from New Hampshire, Okkervil River went through the typical garage-band phase when they self-released their first work. The band, taking their intriguing name from a Russian piece of fiction, paired with producer/engineer Brian Beattie in March of 2000. The result was the band's first full-length album, "Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See". The debut was later picked up for release by indie label Jagjaguwar in 2002, and Okkervil River has been producing numerous EPs, compilations, and albums ever since.
A critics' darling from inception, Okkervil River is keeping its numbers up. The band's recognizable lyrics and music—full of deep storytelling supported by emotional performances—combined with frontman Will Sheff's quavery, paradoxically strong voice have built Okkervil River a sturdy reputation for satisfying, emotional music. Their last release, The Stand Ins, was the band's highest-charting record, reaching 42 on Billboard 200, and critical reception wasn't half bad either. Now Okkervil River is back. I Am Very Far is their sixth release, and the Austin-based band is pushing their music to even greater limits. Out on May 10, the album includes a string and horn section. Front man Will Sheff will also no doubt be adding what he learned from producing and collaborating with Roky Erickson and The New Pornographers during the band's break.
Okkervile River is on tour in support of their brand new release, I am Very Far. They play the Trocadero in Philly Friday night, June 3.
From World Cafe Live In Philadelphia, 88.5 XPN and NPR Music present "The Philly Folk Parade". Four great Philadelphia Artists on stage including Hezekiah Jones, The Spinning Leaves, Plus Chris Kasper and the Great Unknown.
The Philly Folk Parade is a music community initiative, maintaining a 'rolling revue' of its 40 local musician members. Since most of the members are well-known within the Philadelphia area, some fans have named them the local All-Stars. It's based on an idea of empowering the community through joyous music as well as spreading the word about the great Philadelphia music environment; so far, the group has pushed along a string of performances and a tour.
This latest showcase, spread out across the month of May, features four great Philly artists: Spinning Leaves, Hezekiah Jones, Chris Kasper, and the Great Unknown. The Spinning Leaves, a traditional yet psychedelic folk duo, is comprised of Barbara Gettes and Michael Baker--organizers of the Philly Folk Parade. Hezekiah Jones is a group of artists itself, rotating with songwriter Raphael Cutrufello, creating folky tunes infused with styles like reggae. Chris Kasper is an Americana songwriter who treads in between genres and has cultivated a devoted fan base. The Great Unknown is an alt-folk outfit who take their performances seriously, hand-decorating venues and baking food for the audiences.
The end of the Philly Folk Parade's month-long Fire residency is drawing to a close--don't miss the last of this great musical revue together with XPN!