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Dave Rosser, Guitarist for The Afghan Whigs, Dies at 50

The Afghan Whigs | Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

After a long battle with inoperable colon cancer, guitarist Dave Rosser of the Afghan Whigs passed away last night at age 50.

After a 16-year hiatus, the Afghan Whigs reformed in 2014 with the release of their album Do to the Beast with the new addition of Rosser in the lineup, who stayed with the group through the release of this year’s In Spades and had planned to join them for a few dates on the road during the album’s supporting tour, health permitting. The tour of which is set to bring the band to Union Transfer in September. Late October, the Whigs announced that Rosser was battling cancer, and played two benefit shows in December to help lessen the guitarist’s medical bills. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Watch U2 cover Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” in tribute to the late Canadian Singer-Songwriter

“Leonard Cohen is an addiction I can’t give up” -Bono

U2 took its 30th Anniv. of the Joshua Tree Tour from the US to Canada this weekend and while in Toronto, paid tribute to the late great Canadian Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen. On Saturday night, U2 performed a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” at Rogers Center in Toronto.  Back in 2005 U2 worked with Cohen on a performance of “Tower of Song” from the documentary: “I’m Your Man.” Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “How Did I Find Myself Here?” by The Dream Syndicate

Steve Wynn | The Dream Syndicate | photo by Emma Silverstone for WXPN

The Dream Syndicate are back with their first new music in almost thirty tears and are still rocking as good as they ever have. On September 8th, the seminal indie rock rockers will release their fifth studio album, How Did I Find Myself Here? It’s the band’s first album since 1988’s Ghost Stories. Continue reading →

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Jeff Tweedy reworks Wilco favorites on acoustic Together At Last, out now

Jeff tweedy
Jeff Tweedy | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Earlier this week Bob Bumbera reported on Jeff Tweedy‘s solo record during the XPN Morning Show, sharing a video of the Wilco frontman performing album cut “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” on Late Night With Seth Myers. Yes, you already know that Wilco classic and yes it is appearing on Together At Last – that’s because the new effort, out today, features a number of Tweedy favorites, from main projects and side projects, done in an intimate, acoustic style.

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Dreams of Pavement: New Broken Social Scene, Japanese Breakfast and spotlight on CAN on the Indie Rock Hit Parade!

Broken Social Scene | Photo courtesy of the artist

On tonight’s Indie Rock Hit Parade, you’re going to hear some new things. That might not come as much of a surprise, but bear with me. The show starts at 11pm ET on XPN and will feature a whole bunch of newly released tracks, as you might expect. We’ll hear the latest from Broken Social Scene, Dent May, Saint Etienne and more. Then things get wild in the second hour.
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The Epic Return of Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up is out now

Crack-Up | via Nonesuch Records

Everyone, stay calm. Take a deep breath. (Or don’t, because I know I haven’t since the first signs of real studio work began appearing on social media last year). It’s finally here: Crack-Up was released last week via Nonesuch Records, the third studio album from Fleet Foxes who after nearly six years have returned in a decidedly grand fashion. Crack-Up is an epic of complex, smart, and just plain beautiful tracks that go better together, making sense musically and lyrically in context of the record yet feel slightly incomplete alone. Continue reading →

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WXPN awarded Pew Center for Arts & Heritage grant for a year long gospel music project

Grammy Award-winning gospel group The Fairfield Four. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has awarded WXPN a grant for Saturday Night & Sunday Morning: The Gospel Roots of Rock & Soul.

Through live performances, a radio documentary series, and a media-rich website, WXPN will explore the roots of gospel and its influence on secular popular music. Gospel’s stylistic elements—including soaring vocals, rich harmonies, and syncopated rhythms—have long been fused into secular popular musical genres, such as rock and roll, R&B, soul, and hip-hop. The project’s series of performances will honor gospel’s origins in African American spirituals, illustrate gospel’s impact on contemporary music, and demonstrate how the genre lives in Philadelphia’s music scene and churches today. Featured artists will include the iconic gospel quartet Dixie Hummingbirds, the contemporary R&B and soul-influenced McCrary Sisters, the 18-voice a cappella ensemble the Fisk Jubilee Singers, and the St. Thomas Gospel Choir of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. A radio documentary for regional and national broadcast, by award-winning radio producer Alex Lewis, will include performance recordings, interviews with artists, and conversations with music historians, and a project website will offer performance videos, interviews, and written recollections.

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