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How to watch Non-Comm, WXPN's indie music showcase

The (mostly) public radio conference will feature over two dozen bands playing at the World Cafe Live.

Angelique Kidjo will play the Non-Commvention on Thursday night.
Angelique Kidjo will play the Non-Commvention on Thursday night.Read moreDanny Clinch

Spring in University City means it's time for the Non-Comm convention, the annual WXPN-FM (88.5) gathering of mostly non-commercial, frequently National Pubic Radio-affiliated stations who come together at the World Cafe Live to watch a couple of dozen cool bands in three days of music showcases.

It's sold out, but that doesn't mean you can't see it.

Its tantalizing talent roster is formidable as ever, including songwriting standouts such as Courtney Barnett, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, Natalie Prass, Mitski, Brandi Carlile and Jeff Rosenstock and worthy bands such as Parquet Courts, Hop Along, Titus Andronicus, Belly, Low Cut Connie, and Gang of Youths. The Thursday night show climaxes with Angelique Kidjo, the tireless performer from Benin in West Africa who will be showing off her new full-length reimagining of the Talking Heads 1980 album Remain in Light.

Non-Comm, which used to continue into the weekend, is now a mid-week event that kicks off on Tuesday night with a staggered schedule of showcases (there's no overlap) both up and downstairs at the WCL. Along with inside-baseball meetings with the public radio programming muckety mucks during the day, there will be three Free at Noon concerts running Wednesday though the closing event mid-day on Friday.

Non-Comm has always been a tough ticket. Passes to the sold out event mainly go to conventioneers, and those that are left over are quickly scooped up by XPN members.  The good news is that the entirety of Non-Comm will be broadcast live on the University of Pennsylvania radio station. And if you're in front of a computer, tablet or your phone, you can watch on VuHaus, the NPR video streaming service, which will also be showing the entire itinerary.

(Also, for those who are shut out but desire to see some of the Non-Comm acts in the flesh, a number of them are playing other gigs around town this week. Barnett, Low Cut Connie and Hop Along have shows at Union Transfer, Carlile is at the Merriam Theater on Friday, and Mt. Joy plays the Foundry on Saturday.)

Here's the schedule, from start to finish:


7 p.m.: Craig Stickland

7:30:  Sunny War

8: Parquet Courts

8:30: – Mitski

9: – Nilüfer Yanya

9:30: Phoebe Bridgers

10:05: Lucy Dacus

10:35: Rayland Baxter

11:10: Gang of Youths


Free At Noon

12 p.m.: Titus Andronicus

12:30: Courtney Barnett

Wednesday night

7 p.m.: Ricky Hell & The Voidboys

7:30: Jacob Banks

8: White Denim

8: Mt. Joy

9:  Starcrawler

9:30:  Natalie Prass

10:05:  Jeff Rosenstock

10:35:  Low Cut Connie


Free At Noon

12 p.m.: Jade Bird

12:30: Brandi Carlile

Thursday night

7 p.m. William Prince

7:30: The Wood Brothers

8:  King Tuff

8:30: The Record Company

9:  Hop Along

9:30: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

10:05: Sweet Spirit

10:35: Angelique Kidjo


Free At Noon

12 p.m.: Belly

12:30:  Editors