Artist to Watch

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
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Animal Collective The members of experimental psychedelic band Animal Collective first met in school in Baltimore County, Maryland. After collaborating on various musical endeavors throughout high school and college, David Porter and Noah Lennox put out their first album under the name “Avey Tare and Panda Bear” in 2000. The two were then joined by Brian Weitz for their second record, which was released in 2001 under the name Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist.
In this installment of the Latin Roots series, Raul Pacheco from the Grammy award-winning Latin band Ozomatli talks with WXPN’s David Dye about how politics influence music. Pacheco knows a lot about this topic, as Ozomatli have been a politically-driven band from their inception.
Melissa Etheridge Iconic folk-rock songstress Melissa Etheridge grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas. Etheridge has been making music since she first picked up a guitar at eight years-old and played in country groups throughout her teens in her home state of Kansas. Winner of two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female and an Academy Award for her song “I Need to Wake Up” from the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

We often hear musicians talk about artistic integrity, yet few are as truthful or match the level of their ambitions as well as Andrew Bird. His songwriting, which at times will leave you reaching for your thesaurus, is as skillful as his string playing or his trademark whistling. The classically trained violin player has produced another record destined for critical praise in Noble Beasts.

We often hear musicians talk about artistic integrity, yet few are as truthful or match the level of their ambitions as well as Andrew Bird. His songwriting, which at times will leave you reaching for your thesaurus, is as skillful as his string playing or his trademark whistling. The classically trained violin player has produced another record destined for critical praise in Noble Beasts.

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.

XPoNential Music Festival 2012 FAQS

XPoNential Music Festival 2012 Presented by Subaru
July 20 - 22, 2012

WXPN and Susquehanna Bank Center
Team Up for the 2012 XPoNential Music Festival Presented by Subaru
Frequently Asked Questions

The Press Announcement can be Found Here

What is the connection between the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show and the XPoNential Music Festival?
The XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru, now in its 8th year at Wiggins Park on the Camden Waterfront, regularly features an eclectic lineup of established stars and emerging artists on two stages over three days. This year, we’re excited to expand our festival grounds into the Susquehanna Bank Center as part of the festival on Saturday, July 21 for all of our 3-Day Pass holders. Every 3-Day Pass to the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru includes one lawn seat admission to the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show on Saturday, July 21 at Susquehanna Bank Center.

If I purchase a ticket to the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show, can I get into the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru?
No. For admission to the Festival, you must purchase either a 3-Day Pass that includes lawn seat admission to the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show or purchase a Saturday ticket to the Festival. Single day tickets do not include admission to the SBC show.

When do tickets go on sale for the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show and how do I get them?
For reserved tickets: Beginning at 10am on March 31st, reserved tickets only will be available at Ticketmaster.com. XPN listeners will be able to purchase tickets starting March 29 through a special presale link at XPN.org.

For lawn seats: Lawn seat admission will included with the purchase of a 3-Day Pass to the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru starting May 1st at XPN.org. Lawn seat tickets may be purchased individually through Ticketmaster.com but do NOT include admission to the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru.

What if I want to buy reserved (seated) tickets for Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog at the Susquehanna Bank Center, but also want to come to the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru at Wiggins Park on Saturday?
You will need to purchase reserved tickets to the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show through Ticketmaster.com (available through presale link at XPN.org starting March 29). For Festival admission, you will also need to purchase either a 3-Day Festival Pass or a Saturday ticket to the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru once they become available at XPN.org on May 1st.

What time does the show start at the Susquehanna Bank Center? I don’t want to miss any of the XPN Festival.
Dr. Dog will take the stage at SBC starting at 7:15pm. The last act on the Festival River Stage will end at 6:45pm. Festival goers will use a special entrance to move from the Festival site to SBC at 6:45pm.

If I buy a Saturday ticket to the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru, will my ticket allow me to get in to the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show at Susquehanna Bank Center?
If you purchase a Saturday ticket to the XPoNenetial Music Festival presented by Subaru, you must purchase a separate ticket (lawn or reserved) for the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show through Ticketmaster . Only 3-Day Passes for the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru include admission to the show.

If I purchase a lawn seat ticket for the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show at Susquehanna Bank and later decide to get a 3-Day Pass to the XPoNential Music Festival, can I get a refund on my lawn seat ticket or a discount on my 3-Day Festival Pass?
No. Tickets to the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show are non-refundable and cannot be applied as credit toward the purchase of a 3-Day Pass to the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru.

What are the ticket prices for the Wilco/The Avett Brothers/Dr. Dog show at Susquehanna Bank Center?
Reserved tickets are $55 and are available through Ticketmaster.com. Lawn seat admission to the show at Susquehanna Bank Center is included with a 3-Day Pass to the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru, and may be purchased starting May 1 at XPN.org (see pricing below). Lawn seat tickets will also be available for purchase separately for $35 through Ticketmaster.com.

What are the ticket prices for the XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru at Wiggins Park?
XPN MEMBER Prices:
3-Day Pass: $45 (before 7/9) | $55 (after 7/9)
Daily Ticket: $18 (before 7/9) | $25 (after 7/9)

GENERAL PUBLIC Prices:
3-Day Pass: $90 (before 7/9) | $110 (after 7/9)
Daily Ticket: $36 (before 7/9) | $50 (after 7/9)

Child (ages 2-12): $5 at all times

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.

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.

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



credit Michael Weintrob Boundary-pushing blues rocker Joe Louis Walker has done it again. Walker has 50 years of music and more than 20 albums under his belt, but he continues to churn out powerful, gritty, heavy blues rock. Walker's musical influences course through his songs. He grew up listening to blues greats, including T-Bone Walker, B.B. King and Pete Johnson. At age 8, Joe Louis Walker picked up his first guitar and began to imitate their work. By sixteen, Walker was the house guitarist of San Francisco's The Matrix and was opening shows for the next generation of blues rock heroes-- Jimi Hendrix, Thelonious Monk and Lightnin' Hopkins, to name a few. Joe Louis Walker manages to channel the sound of each of his heroes, yet maintain a distinct sound.

Walker's latest release, Hellfire is aptly named. It is a fierce album. Underlying musically diverse tracks that range from gospel to 70's rock is Walker's guitar playing, specifically, his guitar solos. This album showcases Walker's famous ability to shred, and his playing on Hellfire has garnered comparisons to Hendrix himself. Walker doesn't simply tear it up, though. He expertly incorporates his intense, racing solos into spiritual songs, crashing rock jams and blues waltzes.

Joe Louis Walker will be performing from Hellfire at the next XPN Free At Noon on February 17th and he has a two-night stint at Warmdaddy's in Philly on February 17th and 18th. Don't miss a chance to see this legendary blues musician live!

Website: joelouiswalker.com/
Myspace: myspace.com/joelouiswalker
Facebook: facebook.com/joelouiswalker
Recent Release: Hellfire
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Label: Alligator
Hometown: San Francisco, 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



Sharon Van Etten One of the first Shaking Through artists and current XPN Artist To Watch, Sharon Van Etten has a new album called Tramp. She's in town to play a sold out show on Friday at Johhny Brenda's, and will be here for an XPN Free At Noon, this Friday, February 10, 2012!

Sharon Van Etten made her debut in 2009 as a raspy-voiced sweetheart of the folk rock scene. Her first album, "Because I Was In Love" was acoustic, with simple melodies made chilling by Van Etten's lyrics and inflections. She was quickly picked to sing with several contemporary acts, and was featured on The Antler's album "Hospice" and The National's track "Think You Can Wait" for the Win Win soundtrack. Her second album, "Epic," lived up to its name. "Epic" featured more instrumentation, bigger sound, and after its 2010 release, its final track, "Love More", was covered by iconic artists David Bowie and The National.

Sharon Van Etten's third album, Tramp, literally rocks. On Tramp, Van Etten's voice is still her strongest instrument, but she's not afraid to employ a half dozen others, including an electric guitar that she shreds. For a recent performance on The Jimmy Fallon Show, Van Etten expanded her touring band to include four other musicians, bringing her on-stage guitarist count up to three, including herself. She's also joined by a bassist and a drummer. Her sound is heavier than it's ever been, but it works. On "Tramp", Van Etten's music brings the same power as her intense, raspy vocals.

Sharon Van Etten's new album comes out February 7th and she will be performing from Tramp on XPN's Live Friday Free At Noon. RSVP, and head to World Cafe Live at noon on February 10 to catch her show. It's a performance you won't want to miss!



Website: sharonvanetten.com/
Myspace: myspace.com/sharonvanetten
Facebook: facebook.com/SharonVanEttenMusic
Recent Release: Tramp
Release Date: Feb. 7, 2012
Label: Jagjaguwar
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

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



Pete Donnelly For over ten years, Pete Donnelly has made pop music in Philadelphia. He's plays in several bands, including The Figgs and NRBQ, and has produced and played for acts such as G. Love and Special Sauce and Amos Lee. Now, after 10 years as a critical figure in the Philadelphia music scene, he's released a solo album.

When You Come Home, was released in December and met praise as high as "the perfect end to 2011." With poppy hooks and crisp vocals, it's immediately a sing-a-long album. On this album, packed with love songs and ballads, Donnelly proves that he can write music from his heart that gets trapped in your head. "The Only One" is easily one of the brightest tracks on the album, perhaps outshined only by "Can't Talk At All." Both songs demonstrate Donnelly's command and creativity. Each has a distinctly jazz feel, while also showcasing upbeat alternative rock riffs.

Donnelly has big plans for the next couple months. He'll be doing a six-show residency at Milkboy Philadelphia January 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. In addition to that, he'll be playing the Live Friday Free At Noon show at World Cafe Live this Friday, February 3, at noon. Judging by Donnelly's album, the show is sure to be a dance party.



Recent Release: When You Come Home
Release Date: December, 2011
Label: self-released
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Facebook: facebook.com/PeteDonnellySounds
Website: petedonnellymusic.com
Myspace: myspace.com/petedonnelly

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



Dr Dog Dr. Dog's new album Be The Void will be out February 7, and the band plays two nights at the Electric Factory on March 24-25. They'll be here for an XPN Free At Noon Friday, January 27!

Filtering classic rock and pop hooks through a lo-fi slacker aesthetic, Philadelphia's Dr. Dog has a style that's both timeless and immediate. We're all big fans at XPN, and they've been featured on World Cafe, and at the XPoNential Music Festival. This Friday, they'll play our Live Friday Free At Noon show at World Cafe Live for a highly anticipated performance.




Website: drdogmusic.com/
Myspace: myspace.com/drdog
Facebook: facebook.com/Drdog
Recent Release: Be The Void
Release Date: Feb. 7, 2012
Label: Anti-Records
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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



Chairlift Hailing from Brooklyn, the electroic duo Chairlift is comprised of Caroline Polachek (vocals, tambourine, synth) and Patrick Wimberly (bass, drums, keyboard). Originally formed in Colorado with the intent to make haunted house music, Chairlift relocated to Williamsburg in 2007, and began to build buzz. They've toured a lot, including a stint with Yeasayer. In the past few years, they've also released an EP and two full-length albums--the latest of which comes out next week, on the 24th. The follow-up to Chairlift's sci-fi inspired "Does You Inspire You" debut, "Something" is the duo's first album with Columbia Records.

"Something" contains pop hints reminiscent of MGMT and Empire of the Sun, and also reflects the changes that have taken place within Chairlift since"Inspire"--lineup, relationships, and influences have all moved along. With plenty of fiery synths, wonderful pop hooks, and Polachek's whip-smart songwriting, "Something" seems to indicate that Chairlift is here to stay.

The duo plays the Bowery Ballroom in NYC on January 23, before hitting the road with a new Australian / European / U.S. tour to promote their new release. Chairlift is here for an XPN Free At Noon on Friday, January 20. There's no better way to start a weekend than with a Live Friday performance, especially with a pop outfit like Chairlift.



Website: chairlifted.com
Myspace: twitter.com/chairlift
Facebook: facebook.com/chairlift
Recent Release: Something
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Label: Columbia Records
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

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



Real Estate Hailing from Ridgewood, NJ, but now comfortably situated (both in sound and influence) in Brooklyn, NY, Real Estate is a young five-piece making waves in the music market. Band members Alex Bleeker (bass), Martin Courtney (vocals, guitar), Mathew Mondanile (guitar), Jackson Pollis (drums), and Jonah Mauer (keys and guitar) have all been together for just one year, though the roots of Real Estate were planted in 2008. In the last few years, Real Estate have been building a reputation for coherent, catchy, and precise tunes--but tunes that are also introspective or effervescent at all the right times. Real Estate's summer-y indie rock is nothing short of spell-binding.

Since releasing a set of demos and their self-titled debut in 2009, Real Estate has since been named 'Best New Music' by Pitchfork, toured with the likes of Deerhunter, Girls, and Kurt Vile, and played at festivals around the world. Now that they're out with their follow-up, Real Estate is picking up even more followers and buzz. This latest album, entitled "Days" and released on their new label Domino, is just as cheerful yet just as sentimental in sound. Influenced by power-pop and beach sun by turn, it's clear that Real Estate is definitely here to stay.

Don't miss your chance to see Real Estate as the week winds down--they're here for a Free at Noon session this Friday! There's no better way to start the weekend.



Twitter: twitter.com/realestateband
Facebook: facebook.com/realestateband
Recent Release: Days
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Label: Domino
Hometown: Ridgewood, New Jersey

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



Front Bottoms The NJ duo The Front Bottoms have their self-title debut album out on Bar None Records. They play The Note in West Chester on January 25, 2012, and will be here for an XPN Free At noon on Friday, January 6!

There's no real way to pin down the sound of The Front Bottoms, an up-and-coming duo from New Jersey. They self-describe as acoustic, indie pop-punk, but Brian Sella (vocals, guitars) and Mathew Uychich (drums, bullhorn) "like to keep it familiar so that it's not too intimidating, but we always make sure it's not immediately recognizable," as Sella said. The two have known each other since they were in their first decade of life, and they've been making music together almost as long.

The Front Bottoms were officially formed in 2006, and they've just released their official, eponymous debut on Bar/None Records. It's an irreverent and smart release, mostly acoustic guitar and drums, but some indie folk instrumentation as well. The result is inspired in part by Joni Mitchell, probably Bruce Springsteen, and no doubt a long friendship between Sella and Uyich. The Front Bottoms are a young duo to keep an eye on, and their deft balance between comical and emotional is evident on-stage and off.

Don't miss out on this sure-to-be energizing Free at Noon, the first of the New Year. What better way to start it off with one of our latest World Cafe: Next artists?



Website: thefrontbottoms.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/thefrontbottomsmusic
Facebook: facebook.com/thefrontbottoms
Recent Release: The Front Bottoms
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Label: Bar/None Records
Hometown: Bergen County, NJ

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

Hear a concert 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



Charlie Gracie One of South Philly's original rockers, the inimitable Charlie Gracie has a career that spans over 60 years, numerous albums, and oceans. His first taste of the spotlight came at the tender young age of 14 when he played on the Paul Whiteman television show. He began to combine blues, country, and gospel into a pioneering rock sound that gave Gracie hit after hit throughout the '50s. He headlined consistently at all the big name venues on the East Coast (Chicago Opera House, AC's 500 Club, the Brooklyn Paramount, etc.) and he gained fans in the highest of places--the Beatles' Harrison called Gracie's technique 'brilliant' and McCartney recently paid tribute to Gracie through a re-recording of one of his biggest hits, "Fabulous".

Decades and several releases have passed since Gracie burst onto the scene, but the sprightly 75-year-old is still doing what he loves best--making great music. This past decade, he's been on plenty of tours (one with rocker and fan Van Morrison), and has also just released a full-length called "For the Love of Charlie". Produced by Al Kooper (of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix fame), this twelve-track collection also features the contributions of Graham Nash, (Crosby, Stills Nash & Young), Peter Noone (Herman's Hermits), Jimmy Vivino (guitarist & music director of Conan O'Brien Show), Craig Ross (keyboards for Lenny Kravitz) and Dennis Diken (drummer for Smithereens). It's clear that Gracie's influence and precocity for original rock has only grown over the years.

Charlie and his band play have a brand new single out, called "Babydoll." He plays Cannstatter's Crystal Ballroom in the Northeast on New Year's Eve. Don't miss Charlie Gracie, one of rock'n'roll's pioneers, on the World Cafe Live stage this Friday. It's the last Free at Noon of the year, and what better way to celebrate the incoming 2012?



Website: charliegracie.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/phillyrocker1
Facebook: facebook.com/CharlieGracie
b>Recent Release: For the Love of Charlie
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Label: Abkco
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

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

Hear a concert 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

THIS SHOW IS SOLD OUT
LISTEN LIVE FRIDAY AT 12NOON

Photo credit - Nina Sabatino Philly's punk rock heroes The Dead Milkmen have reunited and released their new album, "The King in Yellow" in March. Celebrating this release and return to the Philadelphia punk rock scene, The Dead Milkmen will be performing at the Free At Noon this Friday, December 23.

Even before their national fame, The Dead Milkmen's satirical punk stylings were a staple of 1980's underground and college radio rock. Already a Philadelphia living legend, the band reached commercial success in the late 80's with the release of their album, "Beelzebubba." The album's single, "Punk Rock Girl," landed The Dead Milkmen on MTV rotation and the Billboard's Top 200 Albums when it was released. As their sound mellowed out, The Dead Milkmen faded from the punk rock scene, and eventually split up.

In 2004, the band members began to discuss reuniting, following their successful "Now We Are 20" retrospective released the year before. Unfortunately, plans to reunite were derailed when bassist Dave Schulthise committed suicide. The remaining band members played two tribute shows for Dave and donated the proceeds to several organizations that he supported. The band didn't play together again until 2008, when they performed at the Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin with Dan Stevens on bass. To prepare for the festival, The Dead Milkmen played two warm-up shows in their hometown, Philadelphia. The success of these reunion shows inspired the members to officially move forward as an active band. Over the next two years, they toured and wrote material, finally releasing "The King in Yellow," in early 2011.

Be sure to tune in to The Dead Milkmen this Friday at 12noon ET, where they'll perform material from their new album. Listen Online or On-the-Radio at 88.5FM



Website: deadmilkmen.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/deadmilkmen
Facebook: facebook.com/pages/The-Dead-Milkmen/41874574877
Recent Release: The King in Yellow
Release Date: March 19, 2011
Label: Independent
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

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

Hear a concert live Friday at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound Chicago's JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound play Kung Fu Necktie with Sunny Day in Philly on Thursday night, December 15. They'll be here for a double header with Gary Clark Jr., for a Free At Noon on Friday, December 16, 2011

XPN Artist To Watch, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are hopelessly nostalgic, in love with the Chicago soul scene from the 1970s. self-described as heavy-soul, and guitarist Billy Bungeroth explained that the group marries classic soul with contemporary sound thus: they take rock and R&B from prior to 1975, before it lost its novelty, and the then underground punk and hip-hop movements of the same period. "Our music is just re-imagining that first era with the knowledge of the second underground era," he explained in a 2009 interview, after their debut album "Beat of Our Own Drum," was released. Since then, they have collaborated with the likes of Syl Johnson, Renaldo Domino and Nate Evans from the Impressions. They've also released another album, "Want More." Their shows are outrageously fun, and it's difficult to believe that singer JC Brooks isn't a soul legend from the '70s when he belts out their danceable, lyrically packed tunes. JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are reincarnating a moment in music history by breathing fresh air into it. Here's to hoping they never move on.

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound will be performing here at WXPN and World Cafe Life on December 16 at noon. Make sure to come out for a show that's sure to be as soulful as it is fresh.

And just about every listener feels the pull as keenly with the Peace Creeps on stage or through headphones. Don't miss them on the stage with Beck & Cauthen this Friday at noon.



Website: jcbrooksandtheuptownsound.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/JCBrooksandtheUptownSound
MySpace: myspace.com/theuptownsound
Recent Release: Want More
Release Date: October 24th, 2011
Label: Bloodshot Origin: Chicago, Ill.

photo credit Joe Koch Boasting a trio of self-produced albums under his belt, Gary Clark Jr. is a rising star of the thriving music scene in Austin, Texas. He began playing guitar at the tender young age of 12, and has since expanded his repertoire to the harmonica, bass, and drums; he's also the winner of multiple accolades, including the Austin Music Award for Best Blues Band in three separate years. But he plays more than just blues, cutting through genres to produce a stunning blend of reggae, rock and soul. Though still only in his 20s, Clark has shared the stage with legends like Jimmie Vaughan, Sheryl Crow, and Eric Clapton. And, this past summer, he played the XPoNential Music Festival (http://www.xpn.org/events/xponential-music-festival/2011/artist?artist=23). Clark can sing some sweet R&B but mostly he's a blistering blues and rock artist at heart

In Augst, he released his third offering, an EP entitled "The Bright Lights EP." The four-song collection has already gotten rave reviews, with Rolling Stone describing Clark as a mind-blowing young blues guitarist. If anything, this tantalizing release has built Clark an eager audience, excitedly anticipating a full-length.

Gary plays The Mercurry Lounge in New York City on Debember 13, 8x10 Club in Baltimore on December 16, and Red Palace in D.C. on December 17.

Gary Clark Jr. joins JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound for a free noontime concert this Friday at WXPN and World Cafe Live. There's no better way to start the weekend, especially if it's a double dose of blues and soul.



Website: garyclarkjr.com/
MySpace: myspace.com/garyclarkjr
Recent Release: The Bright Lights EP
Release Date: August 8, 2011
Label: Warner Bros.
Origin: Austin, Texas

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

Hear a concert live Friday at 12noon ET from WXPN and NPR Music
Broadcast live Fridays from the stage at World Cafe Live

Dana Alexandra JD Souther is a veritable country-rock living legend, writing songs over his impressive career for the likes of The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne. He's on tour in support of his latest album "Natural History," and will be here for an XPN Free At Noon on December 2, along with a special set by Magnolia Memoir.

After Souther relocated to Nashville, he wrote for an even greater variety of artists--India Arie, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, and Brooks & Dunn and over time has accumulated numerous awards for hit records, Grammy nominations and gold and platinum albums. He's also a successful solo artist, releasing several charting albums in the '70s and '80s. In 2008, he released his fifth solo album. Though "If the World Was You" is undeniably Souther--hearty, solid country-rock--the years of change are evident in this collection. Now he's back with a follow-up, released just this past May.

"Natural History" is retrospective and hearty, full of a mix of obscure recordings from Souther's long history, a new song, and plenty of reclamations from his past - the Eagles with 'The Sad Cafe', 'Best Of My Love' and 'New Kid In Town', and Linda Ronstadt with 'Faithless Love' are now all Souther's again. Souther described the result as "smoky and rainy", almost like "film noir", full of occasionally jazzy acoustics and his sophisticated vocals.

Don't miss JD Souther at this Free at Noon, as he brings some truly inspired country rock to the World Cafe stage. There's not a better way to start the weekend!

And, be sure to catch him for a full show on Saturday night, December 3 at Sellersville Theater.



Website: jdsoutherstore.net/store/
MySpace: myspace.com/jdsouthermusic
Facebook: facebook.com/jdsouthermusic
Recent Release: Natural History
Release Date: May 31, 2011
Label: Entertainment One Music
Origin: Detroit,Mi

Magnolia Memoir Magnolia Memoir brings the sultry danceability of jazz to contemporary rock. Self-described as "Billie Holiday meets the Killers with a dash of the Clash," LA-based Magnolia Memoir is making waves. Vocalist and songwriter Mela Lee boasts a five-octave range and a girlishly sweet voice, which has been featured in numerous movies, television shows and commercials. With Alexander Burke as music director and keyboardist, bassist Gordon Bash, guitarist Aron Forbes and Matt Lucich on drums, the ensemble will be doing a special acoustic set opening for J.D Souther this week's Free at Noon show. They are currently touring their EP "What's A Good Girl Do?" and their debut album "The Perfect Crime" will be released on eOne Music Group in February.



Website: magnoliamemoir.com/
MySpace: myspace.com/magnoliamemoir
Facebook: facebook.com/MagnoliaMemoir
Recent Release: The Perfect Crime
Release Date: February 2012
Label: eOne Music Group
Origin: Los Angeles, CA

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

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