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The 13th Annual Non-COMMvention at WXPN: May 15-17, 2013

Visit the Non-COMM archive for all the highlights of Non-COMM 2013!

Our annual gathering of the tribe - radio programmers and industry types from adult album alternative radio (AAA) and public radio stations across the country. The annual convention gives them the opportunity to hobnob and preview new music from artists angling for radio waves. Once again, the convention is in Philly, with meetings and live music showcases to be held at the WXPN building at 3025 Walnut Street, which also houses World Cafe Live.

2013 Music Schedule
(subject to change)
Please note: These are all Ticketed Events

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Upstairs (7-11:20pm)

Gabriel Kelley
John Murry
Kurt Vile & The Violators
Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside

Downstairs (7:30--10:45pm)

Steve Martin & Edie Brickell
Tom Tom Club

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Downstairs (12-2pm)

XPN Free At Noon - Mississippi Blues Project
Homemade Jamz Blues Band
    Supa Chikin

Upstairs ( 7-10:55 pm)

Mt. Moriah
Wild Belle
The Last Bison
David Wax Museum

Downstairs (7:25pm – 12:15am)

Mavis Staples
Tom Jones
Jose' James
Robert Randolph

Late Night Lounge (12:20-2am - Upstairs)

Jason Isbell
Jay Farrar
Josh Rouse

Friday, May 17

Downstairs - XPN Free At Noon

Fabulous Thunderbirds / Bobby Long

Upstairs Music Meeting (2:30-4pm)

An opportunity for XPN Listeners to listen to, and comment on, brand new music!

Upstairs (7-11:05pm)

Wild Feathers
The Lone Bellow
Kopecky Family Band
Marie Miller

Downstairs (7:30-Midnight )

Laura Mvula
Free Energy
The Olms Featuring Pete Yorn
The Relatives

Sibling-led Chicago band Wild Belle played a well-recieved set upstairs at non-comm, mixing electronic rhythms and synthesizer-crafted vibes with live instrumentation. Engaging frontwoman Natalie Bergman commanded the crowd, dancing with them to a selection of songs from the band’s 2013 debut Isles. Check out the setlist below and listen to the band’s set in its entirety
Incomparable crooner Tom Jones put his voice to songs written by some of his musical heroes on his 2012 release Spirit in the Room. For his outstanding Non-COMM set, the seasoned performer drew from this album and then some, also hitting on songs popularized by Johnny Cash, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and John Lee Hooker. Check out the setlist (along with the original artists of each song) below, and listen to Jones’ performance in its entirety
Massive in sheer numbers, the Virginia folk revival ensemble The Last Bison packed the upstairs stage at Non-COMM in period dress (if we gave out awards for best costume design, they would have won) and a lively and engaging performance. Their LP Inheritance is big on percussive crescendos and chant-along refrains, which created a great opportunity for crowd interaction – which peaked when singer-guitarist Ben Hardesty taking the microphone out into the crowd on the closing “Distance.” Check out the setlist below, listen to the performance in its entirety (via the WXPN media player) and see The Last Bison again this summer at the XPoNential Music Festival.
David Wax Museum brought its lively blend of traditional Mexican music and Americana rock to a packed crowd in Non-COMM’s upstairs cafe last night. Drawing heavily from their 2012 offering Knock Knock Get Up, the seven-piece group played a variety of instruments including horns, accordion and a percussive jawbone. Check out the setlist below and listen to the performance in its entirety
Slide guitar wizard and XPN favorite Robert Randolph got the downstairs crowd at World Cafe Live dancing in his Non-COMM set. Randolph’s latest project was producing The Slide Brothers, though he recently released a single called “Amped Up” that will be on his forthcoming LP Lickety Split, which comes out in July on Blue Note Records. Listen to Randolph’s set in its entirety
Quirky upstate New York four-piece Foxygen got crazy in a late-night Non-COMM set yesterday that blended Doors-esque poppy psychedelia with punk-y dissonance. Check out the setlist below, and listen back to the set in its entirety
Portland retro group Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside showed the Non-COMM crowd its rockability in a feisty set that closed out Wednesday night. The band is touring behind its latest LP Untamed Beast; check out the setlist below and listen to the performance in its entirety
With just his guitar and his voice, Bay Area by way of Mississippi songwriter John Murry played an emotional, powerful set Wednesday night at Non-COMM. Playing an assortment of songs from his current LP The Graceless Age, he also threw in a stirring cover of “What Jail Is Like” by The Afghan Whigs. See Murry’s setlist below and listen to his performance in its entirety

Known for his distinct singing styles and vocal techniques, vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin literally creates all sounds for his music. He often goes back and forth between high falsetto and low modal registers, which he accompanies with both percussive effects and even multiphonic singing. McFerrin employed many of these tactics in his song "Don't Worry, Be Happy," which became a #1 U.S. pop hit in 1988 and won both Song of the Year and Record of the Year honors. A ten-time Grammy Award winner, largely for his jazz vocal performances and vocal arrangements, McFerrin has toured all over the U.S. and Canada as a guest conductor for symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and many more. His new album, "spirityouall" pays tribute to his Dad, opera singer Robert McFerrin Sr., the first African American to sign a contract with the Metropolitan Opera Company. Bobby McFerrin has released 21 albums in his career, his most recent being spirityouall (a twist on "spiritual"), arrives May 14 on Sony Masterworks with seven classic spirituals, five originals and a cover of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released."

Here's a great quote from USA Today, which sums up the essence of McFerrin: "I think we listen to music because we want to transcend the moment somehow. I know for myself it's true: I want to go to a performance and be changed. I want something to be different. Music is not solely for our entertainment. I think it's a divine instrument for healing in the body, mind, soul, spirit. I sincerely, truly believe that."

"Music has such tremendous power. To me, that's our job as artists. That's the job description. You must bring joy. Not happiness, not a groove, whatever. You must bring joy. I think that's the assignment. I think that's it. I have no doubt about it."
~ Bobby McFerrin (USA Today)

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Recent Release: Spirityouall
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Label: EmArcy

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Made possible by support from XPN Members, and Comcast.

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