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Here are all our favorite covers from this past weekend’s XPN Fest

George Ezra | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
George Ezra | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Missed out on the festivities this past weekend? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. As entertaining as it was seeing some of our favorite bands play some of our favorite songs at XPN Fest, it was equally fun seeing them play some of their own favorite songs. Without fail, there is always a fantastic collection of covers played by the various performers throughout the festival, and we’re here to break down the best of the weekend for you. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jason Isbell at Electric Factory, Saintseneca at Millworks, The Appleseed Cast at Johnny Brenda’s

Jason Isbell | Photo by Michael Wilson
Jason Isbell | Photo by Michael Wilson

Alternative country musician Jason Isbell will perform at the Electric Factory this evening with Blake Mills. Isbell played Newport Folk Festival this past weekend, performing tracks from his latest release Something More Than Free and from 2013′s Southeastern as well. The set was an upbeat crowd-pleaser, and we’re looking forward to an equally memorable experience tonight! Listen below, and grab tickets here. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Lushlife and friends reinterpret “Gymnopedie 1.2″ in new video

Lushlife
Lushlife | photo by Isaac Remsen | www.IsaacRemsen.com

Despite having to reach all the way back to 2012 to find his most recent record, Lushlife has been busy during the last three years with projects like an expansive Shaking Through session and an innovative, Reddit-style art website called Designflow.

But now, as we draw closer to a release day for his follow-up to 2012′s Plateau Vision, Raj Haldar returns to that effort with a new live video for “Gymnopedie 1.2.”

Continue reading →

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Listen to David Dye’s Heavy Rotation pick on Morning Edition: “Devil’s Whisper” by Raury

Raury | Photo by Faisal Mohammed
Raury | Photo by Faisal Mohammed

World Cafe host David Dye was on NPR’s Morning Edition this morning, talking about a song he’s got in Heavy Rotation, “Devil’s Whisper” by Atlanta musician Raury.

About the song, Dye says “He’s part of a new group of musicians called young Atlanta, and he feels that with his music everything is equal -  hip hop is next to folk, next to some kind of funk, next to rock. It all makes sense as one music. You really hear that in this song. He talks about the church, he talks about that he’s not a reverend, but as he does that his rap gets more and more intense and you want to say Amen at some point.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell at Union Transfer, Delicate Steve at Underground Arts, Milky Chance at The Mann

Ben Bridwell, Iron & Wine | Photo via Facebook.com/ironandwine
Ben Bridwell, Iron & Wine | Photo via Facebook.com/ironandwine

This year, Sam Beam of long running indie folk project Iron & Wine got together with Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses to produce Sing Into My Mouth, a record of covers from Talking Heads’ “Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place)” to Pete Seeger’s “Coyote, My Little Brother.” Tonight, they headline Union Transfer; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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New Jersey’s YJY blends their unique brand of fuzz pop into the DIY community

YJY | photo by Jill Hendershott | courtesy of the band
YJY | photo by Jill Hendershott | courtesy of the band

Philadelphia may have an amazing music scene, but there’s an entirely different world across the pond in New Jersey. One of the megacenters of NJ’s music scene is the northern town of New Brunswick, although that’s nothing new – legendary shows have been going down there since the mid-20th century.

Countless bands, such as Thursday, Screaming Females, The Gaslight Anthem, Streetlight Manifesto, and even bigger rock acts like The Smithereens and Bon Jovi, got their start underground in crowded suburban basements. Later, they moved on to more official venues like the Court Tavern and the Starland Ballroom, which accelerated their fame. New Brunswick’s scene is apparently so well-known that it has its own Wikipedia article. You can explore that on your own time.

While those bands have risen to national prominence and beyond the tight-knit scene of New Brunswick, a new generation of underground bands is filling in the gaps at a record pace. One of these bands is fuzz pop four-piece YJY. I was lucky enough to listen to their stellar debut EP, COUCH SURFIN USA, and catch them just after the EP release show. Continue reading →