This week, more than 28 bands will descend upon the City of Brotherly Love bringing compelling music with them. They will discuss the current state of the record industry or music industry or digital revolution or whatever you call it depending upon the decade you were born in. Topics like “The Role of Big Record Labels” and “Music Metrics that Matter” will be on the agenda. But mostly they will bring Music with them. They are there to rock and to rock for the sake of the Music.
This is the 17th annual NON-COMMvention (or non-commercial convention for the uninitiated) and it’s being held May 17th through May 19th at the World Café Live in Philadelphia. The NON-COMM is the brain-child of WXPN Music Director and afternoon host Dan Reed.
It is absolutely refreshing to know that in a world overrun with a focus on commercial success these musicians are gathering solely to discuss, contemplate, and practice their art. No sponsors, no promotions. It is a three-day musical extravaganza featuring some of the brightest new talent as well as established, seasoned performers.
Headlined by Blondie, this line-up of musical talent is diverse, thought-provoking, inviting, poignant, optimistic, and any other adjective you want to throw at them.
Leading off on Wednesday evening are eight bands that are sure to grab the listening audience and incite continuing interest in this occasion. Featured are:
Wednesday, May 17th
7:00 PM THE NATIONAL RESERVE
7:30 PM BRENT COBB
8 PM THE DISTRICTS
8:30 PM ANI DIFRANCO
9 PM BASH & POP
9:30 PM BLONDIE
10:20 PM GREG GRAFFIN
10:55 PM CHICANO BATMAN
Although diverse, this is a mixture of soulful, harmonious, upbeat musicians with something meaningful to say. Blondie are featured in prime time and are showcasing their new release “Long Time.” The clear, inviting, sing-along title track is enough to make me say welcome back Deborah Harry and Blondie. When she asks, “Are you happy?” you really feel she is talking to you and wants you to answer.
On Thursday evening, the card includes:
Thursday, May 18th
7:00 PM KYLE CRAFT
7:30 PM BASKERY
8:00 PM MONDO COZMO
8:30 PM LAURA MARLING
9 PM THE MAVERICKS
9:35 PM REAL ESTATE
10:05 PM GOV’T MULE
10:50 PM RON GALLO
This cross section of playful, funky, and explosive craftsmen promises to provide an evening not to be soon forgotten. From Laura Marling’s enchanting and mysterious voice to the fiery guitar riffs of Gov’t Mule, this is pure entertainment.
Wrapping things up on Friday night will be:
Friday, May 19th
7:00 PM HOLLY MACVE
7:30 PM THE GROWLERS
8 PM LO MOON
8:30 PM BENJAMIN BOOKER
9 PM THE DREAM SYNDICATE
9:30 PM HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF
10 PM ROBERT CRAY & HI RHYTHM
This is indeed a potpourri of musical ability; from playful to deeply gritty to silky smooth that will undoubtedly leave all those watching appreciating this wonderful art that we call music and wanting more.
Also, to help keep the beat going during the daylight hours, there will be a double-bill across the East Coast lunch hour on both Thursday and Friday. On Thursday, Nancy and Beth will perform and be followed by The Pixies to round out the Free-at-Noon hour. Then on Friday, AlaNi and Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band rock the hour.
The best part of this musical parade is that it is all available to you no matter where you work or live. It will be carried via WXPN available via the internet through Tune-in. It will also be provided live for your viewing pleasure via VuHaus. Listen here: WXPN.com
These types of gatherings, conducted purely for the benefit of the music, are few and far between and may even be extinct before we know it. Don’t let this one pass you by.
RARA’s Farm is a rock music blog keenly focused on sharing killer rock music news to the rock music fans who visit our site. Make sure you Like / Follow Us below to keep in the loop on new music worth a listen, or just to be nice to us.