WXPN Welcomes Philly Music Fest featuring Amos Lee

Anna Shoemaker, Cadre Noir, Super Infinity (Robbie from The Districts), Cosmic Guilt

Thursday, October 24, 2024
Doors: 6pm | Show: 7pm
$65 advance | $75 day of show
Philly Music Fest will take place on both stages at World Cafe Live. Your ticket grants entry to all performances in The Lounge and the Music Hall; you are welcome to move throughout the entire venue.

Performers: Amos Lee, Anna Shoemaker, Cadre Noir, Super Infinity (Robbie from The Districts) & Cosmic Guilt

VENUE INFO – PLEASE READ!

  • This is a ticketed event. Everyone must have a ticket for entry.
  • If you require accessible seating, please contact us at boxoffice@worldcafelive.com or 215-222-1400 prior to the show so we can best accommodate your needs.
  • Join the WCL Fan Club for priority entry, food & merch discounts, exclusive offers, and more. Mega & Ultimate Fan levels include 24-hour presale access and no ticket fees.
  • World Cafe Live is a nonprofit independent venue where artistry meets social impact. Every purchase helps support our music education & community programs.
  • See FAQ for more information.
“There's a lot of existential stuff in these songs,” says Amos Lee. “If you really listen to what's in between the lines, there's a lot of grappling with your place in the world, grappling with loss. There's a lot of grappling with the balance between bailing out the boat and rowing at the same time—the experience of writing music and playing songs while trying, as we all are right now, to make sense of a world that feels like it's changing really quickly.” On his eleventh studio album, Transmissions, singer-songwriter Lee continues to expand his sonic range while sharpening his closely observed lyrics that squarely address death, aging, and love. The force behind such acclaimed albums as Mission Bell and Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, ever since his gold-selling 2005 debut Lee has been known for his association with a long list of collaborators and touring partners, from Paul Simon to Zac Brown Band. For the new project, he craved a return to an old-school style of recording, working with his longtime band in a studio in rural Marlboro, New York that was built by drummer Lee Falco and his dad out of reclaimed wood from an old church (“itʼs exactly what youʼd think a studio in upstate New York should be,” notes Lee). Playing live on the floor for long hours, in close quarters, they were able to capture the albumʼs twelve songs in less than a week. “I really wanted us to be all in the room, making music together, listening to each other and responding to each other,” says Lee. “In this age where you can do everything at home and fly it in, thereʼs something really beautiful about getting in a room and starting at the top, the drummer counting in the song and everybody just playing. I would call it vulnerability.” Despite the simplicity of the set-up, though, Lee also augmented the bandʼs soulful, folk-funk sound with arrangements that extend the scope of some songs. “I've done a lot of shows over the past few years with orchestras,” he says, “and I wanted to find a way to have miniature moments that could represent those experiences. If you listen to the end of ʻNight Light,ʼ or ʻBuilt to Fall,ʼ there are moments that express those ideas of collaboration and orchestration.” Transmissions marks only the second time that Lee has produced his own album (following 2016ʼsSpirit), a daunting challenge even for someone so familiar with the musicians. But he was determined not to overthink or over-complicate the task. “As a producer, I had to have a clean and clear vision of what I wanted before I went in,” he says. “Especially now that I've done ten albums. I'm not lighting a bunch of candles and trying to conjure the spirit—it's either there or it isn't. And it was there from Day One. We were playing the song ʻBeautiful Day,ʼ and I thought, ʻOkay, here's a song I have a demo for, but I don't have a full version in mind. I've never played it with anyone, I've never shown it to anybody, and it's a bit of a weird, herky-jerky tune.ʼ And the bass and drums kicked ass, the guitar playing is really cool —so yeah, I felt it from note one. I was never in doubt.” Theʼ last few years have been wildly productive for Philadelphia native Lee. After 2022ʼsDreamland album (which featured “Worry No More,” a Top Ten AAA hit and his biggest single in over a decade), he followed up with two full-length projects paying homage to musical heroes—My Ideal: A Tribute to ʻChet Baker Singsʼ and Honeysuckle Switches: The Songs of Lucinda Williams. He expresses his awe for these two renegade artists; Williams for her incomparable language and Baker for his delivery. “I love songs that have the ability to expose a wide range of emotions in a short song,” he says. “That's what my favorite songs always do.” The Baker album in particular had a strong influence on Lee as a vocalist. “I didn't grow up singing anything other than what was on the radio,” he says, “and when I started playing guitar, it was John Prine and Dylan and Bill Withers and this classic songwriter stuff, but also all this ʻ90s R&B that I loved. I'd never approached what we're calling jazz—the classics, the songbook—and listening to Chet singing and singing along with him was like, ʻOh, my God, how is he doing this?ʼ It was like taking a master class in control and where to use your voice. That level of singing, that level of musicianship, was hugely inspirational—you don't have to sing loud all the time. You can be really vulnerable, and soft, and really be at your best.” Transmissions is Leeʼs first release of original music on his own label, Hoagiemouth Records. “It's just a sign of the times,” he says. “Things have really changed for someone like me, and Iʼm going to adapt. I always wanted to have some kind of small label, so it's a cool opportunity.” (The imprint is distributed through the Thirty Tigers company, which Lee is especially excited about since he and president David Macias are friends through fantasy baseball.) Fresh off of some dates with Willie Nelson and heading into a co-headlining tour with the Indigo Girls, Amos Lee notes that his attitude about being embraced by his peers and his idols has transformed over the years, and that his gratitude deeply informs the emotions throughout Transmissions. “I just appreciate everything a lot more now,” he says. “When you're younger, you get it, but you don'treally get it because you're like ʻOh, cool—my first tour ever and I'm opening for Bob Dylan? Cool.ʼ Or Norah Jones, the biggest artist in the world, bringing you out right off the street. How do you appreciate that? I was just sort of clueless, honestly. Not out of malice, but you have no context. “So now I'm just grateful to have a career,” he continues. “I'm grateful to be asked to share the stage with folks who I respect and admire and love and want to learn from and want to support. Now itʼs about really being present while it's happening and knowing that this is not promised, none of this is destiny. It's a lot of chance. So Iʼm making sure to really enjoy and appreciate all these opportunities.”
Nowadays, you rarely encounter someone as thoughtful, nuanced, and textured as singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist Anna Shoemaker. The New York transplant has found herself thriving in the new burgeoning NYC music scene and has been praised as “Brooklynʼs own Olivia Rodrigo” by NYLON. Following the release of her EP Hey Anna Anna has quickly emerged as the next indie-pop darling to watch. Combining alt-leaning production, intoxicating pop melodies, and notably honest lyricism, her songs capture the turmoil, charm, and introspection of young adulthood.
When Cadre Noir singer-guitarist Kayin sat down for an interview with WXPNʼs Thomas Hagen last year, they led off by stating that the bandʼs genre is “a bit of a mystery.” The Philly five-piece has leanings towards R&B, soul, hip-hop, and indie rock. Itʼs eclectic, vibrant, and thought-provoking as well. Writing about the bandʼs debut project Lifeʼs Still Perfect,Hagen said “In his deadpan baritone, Kayin carries us lyrically through beauty, depression, fear and betrayal on Philly streets.” The end product is gritty and gorgeous, a mix of lo-fi DIY fuzz and sublime soul melodies; think of Steve Lacey and Nick Hakim as kindred spirits of Cadre Noir. Hearing them play live in WXPN studios for this weekʼs Key Session, the music takes on a new life. Joined by co-founder Jaz on bass and vocals, Jonill on keys, Reece on guitar, and Ruben Gallego II on drums, the stylized atmosphere of the album is stripped away, but the songcraft stands strong.
Thereʼs no mistaking Cosmic Guilt. The sometimes ten-piece group, clad in their meticulously hand-crafted Western uniforms, have much to offer the world of psychedelic folk rock. Led by primary songwriter James Everhart (formerly of Low Cut Connie), the Guilt is a super-group of working musicians (including members of Ruby The Hatchet, Ron Gallo, Scantron, and Milieu Lust, to name a few) whoʼve wooed discerning Philadelphia area crowds for years. In 2022, their self-titled debut captured the chemistry of their live performances: lush layers of harmonies, steady guitar, ripping harmonica, entrancing percussion, and searing pedal steel, all tinged with the anxiety of present times. As with many sentimental country predecessors like Lee Hazelwood and Fairport Convention, thereʼs an earnestness to their songs, impressing an agnostic spirituality, and finding both solace and remorse in the darker parts of the rock musician psyche. The Guilt has built a dedicated following through stunning showings at venues and festivals across the region, including sellouts at Johnny Brendaʼs and Brooklyn Bowl Philly. Leading triple-A radio station WXPN has recognized the groupʼs potential since the beginning, naming their debut among their Top 25 Albums of 2022 and inviting them to play at both NON-COMMvention and XPoNential Festival that same year. Well-founded amongst their peers, The Guilt has shared bills with The Walkmen, White Denim, Father John Misty, Sharon Van Etten, Charley Crockett, Toby Leaman (of Dr. Dog), and Jenny Lewis. In 2024, Cosmic Guilt shows no signs of slowing down. Led by two upbeat, jangling singles – “Queen of the Dream” and “Yesterdayʼs In The Astral Plane” – the band's sophomore release Palace of Depression arrives May 31. The record takes its name from an otherworldly roadside attraction in Vineland, New Jersey, built from mud, scrap metal, and found objects during the Great Depression by an eccentric and controversial figure. Nearly lost to the sands of time, the Palace has recently been reconstructed in the spirit of preserving the fantastical amidst the crumbling of good faith in more traditional systems. The message in "Palace of Depression" is synonymous: Everhart describes the record as being about “living off the fertile fields of the mind” and attracting the smaller pleasures in life. Palace of Depression was recorded in Philadelphia at Hi5 Studio, with additional tracking at Silent Partner, owned by engineer Matt Barrick (The Walkmen, Fleet Foxes). The record was mastered by Charlie Stavish (Jenny Lewis). Cosmic Guilt will tour the northeast in support of Palace of Depression's release this spring/summer.