The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. The Hold Steady, Cookie Rabinowitz, Sugar Tongue Slim

The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady | Photo by Kelsey Stange for WXPN

XPN members at the Special Producers level got a treat from The Hold Steady recently when they performed and recorded an interview with David Dye live for World Cafe.  You can listen to the full World Cafe appearance here, which includes performances of “Stuck Between Stations,” “Sequestered in Memphis,” and “The Ambassador.”  “I Hope This Whole Thing Doesn’t Frighten You” is available as a free download below.

Sister act Lily & Madeleine stopped by in the spring to record this week’s Folkadelphia session, drawing songs from their first EP and LP.  Since that recording day the pair have released a sophomore effort Flume, a record that continues to move in an exploratory direction of different sounds.  Check out the five-track live set below.

Local rapper Sugar Tongue Slim brought his knack for beats and words in to the XPN studio for this week’s Key Studio Session.  Joined by DJ Bear One, Slim covered broad career territory over the course of seven tracks, moving from The Illustrious of 2011 to the more recent We Can Talk Politics and World Affairs and a few brand new cuts.  Check out “WWW” below and get the full set here.

Nomadic singer-songwriter Israel Nash recently released a new record called Rain Plans, culling influences from Americana greats Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson and the Laurel Hill movement.  The title track, which is available for free below, was chosen by Art Levy of Austin’s KUTX for NPR’s Heavy Rotation feature.  Grab a copy below and check out the other Heavy Rotation picks here.

Cookie Rabinowitz tackled a classic from Hall & Oates this week, putting his spin on “Fall in Philadelphia.”  As Bruce Warren writes, the local soul singer “manages to maintain the soul of the song amidst the rhythmic clang of what sounds like pots and pans, lots of hand claps, layers of harmonies, flourishes of warm keyboards and a unexpected near wah-wah guitar solo. It’s very Prince-esque….”  Get a free download below.


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