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Listen to Matt Berninger and Andrew Bird’s rendition of “A Lyke Wake Dirge”

Photo via
Photo via Consequence of Sound

Matt Berninger, of The National, has been doing a lot of collaborations lately. In April, he sang with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Alec Ounsworth on “Coming Down” off of CYPH’s Only Run. He also appeared on Walter Martin’s “We Like the Zoo (‘Cause We’re Animals Too)” from We’re All Young Together and “I’ll See You In My Dreams” with Vince Giordano and the Night Hawks on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire Volume 2. Last but not least, The National did a cover of “The Rains of Castamere” from HBO’s Game of Thrones late last year.

More recently, Berninger paired up with Andrew Bird to sing “A Lyke Wake Dirge” for AMC’s Revolutionary War drama Turn. In a manner befitting a Puritan dirge about the travel of a soul to purgatory, Bird layers on his signature heavy strings. The vocals starts off with Berninger’s low voice, joined later by Bird’s, and then accompanied by a choir. The song is driven by a percussive acoustic guitar. The overall combination is unsettling, which suits the subject matter perfectly. The song is the second song that Berninger did for Turn. Earlier this year, he released “Hush“, the theme song featuring Joy Williams.

Catch the National August 30th as a part of Made in America. Get more information at the XPN Concert Calender. Listen to “A Lyke Wake Dirge” below.

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Daniel Bachman, Ryley Walker and Arborea to perform at Robbie Basho tribute night at Johnny Brenda’s

Robbie Basho | photo via http://www.boweavilrecordings.com/
Robbie Basho | photo via http://www.boweavilrecordings.com/

A tribute for the late Baltimore-born guitarist Robbie Basho has been scheduled for August 23rd at Johnny Brenda’s, presented by Alabaster Museum and featuring a preview of a new documentary about the musician. Basho was part of the so-called Takoma School in the 60s with John Fahey, Max Ochs and others, bringing more recognition to finger-style and steel-string acoustic guitar playing.  Basho, though, was also known for his unmistakable singing – similar to Roy Orbison but even more striking, rich with vibrato and carrying over an impressive range.

With performances by Basho-influenced musicians Daniel Bachman, Ryley Walker and Arborea, the evening will act as a fundraiser for Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho, the first-ever documentary about Basho’s life.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Listen to “Blue Crystal Fire” by Basho below, followed by songs from each of the performers.

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Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood to release new album; playing Union Transfer on 12/5

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood | photo by Sterling Munksgard Photography
Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood | photo by Sterling Munksgard Photography

Jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood will be joined by long-time collaborator and guitarist John Scofield for a special show at Union Transfer on December 5th.  The four-piece will be releasing its third studio effort Juice this September.  From the band:

With four multi-faceted musicians participating as equals, anything and everything is possible…. To give shape to what eventually became Juice, Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood sought common ground and inspiration in the intersection of improvisation and rhythms from the Afro-Latin Diaspora. More specifically, the blueprint was found in a compilation of these sounds put together by drummer Billy Martin and shared among the ensemble.

Tickets and information can be found here.  Listen to “Sham Time” off of the new record below.

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Warpaint announce show at Union Transfer on October 9

Warpaint  | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Warpaint | Photo by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com

L.A. trio Warpaint have announced an extended U.S. tour for the fall that includes a date at Union Transfer on October 9th.  The band continues to support its 2014 self-titled sophomore LP, making its second appearance in Philadelphia this year (the March UT show sold-out).  Tickets and information will be available here.  Watch a video for “Love Is to Die” below and check out the review of Warpaint’s last show in Philly, complete with a Kurt Vile collaboration, here.

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#XPNFest artist Nicole Atkins shares new animated video for “Who Killed the Moonlight”

Nicole Atkins | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Nicole Atkins | Photo by Cameron Pollack

Nicole Atikins put the task of creating a video for “Who Killed the Moonlight” in the hands of Ilinca Höpfner, an animator known worldwide for her work with Nick Cave and his side-project Grinderman.  The result, premiered this week on NPR Music, borrows its narrative from the song’s lyrics, which were adapted from a dream Atkins had while recording the album.  From Atkins:

“In the dream I lived next door to four magical and beautiful Sicilian sisters,” she writes. “They were preparing me for a wedding. As the night fell we went to the riverside to toast the new full moon with wine. As we toasted the moon slowly fell from the sky and landed in the river. Slowly flickering off and on like a light and dying. As it died, all the fish died, then the birds, then the air and everything with it. Yet [though] it was sad or scary, it was beautiful.”

Watch the clip below.  Nicole Atkins will perform at this month’s XPoNential Music Festival.  Tickets are on sale now here.

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Johnny Showcase takes to the streets of South Philly in his new video for “Hit it From the Back”

Johnny Showcase | photo courtesy of the artist
Johnny Showcase | photo courtesy of the artist
Johnny Showcase is back with a new video for “Hit it From the Back,” taken from the local group’s Love is the Message album.  The “funk, absurdist psychedelic soul” outfit sticks to the smooth soul line in this track as Showcase croons cheesy, faux-romantic lyrics. Think Ron Burgundy meets Flight of the Conchords meet Marvin Gaye and you’ve got the mood.

Filmed in South Philly in the Italian Market and outside of local food joints, the video captures Johnny Showcase and his Lefty Lucy Cabaret’s colorful personality perfectly.  Check it out below and catch the band’s final pre-album-recording show at Underground Arts tomorrow night with West Philadelphia Orchestra.  More information can be found here.

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#XPNfest band Bear’s Den premiere video for “Elysium” on NPR

Bear's Den | photo courtesy of the artist
Bear’s Den | photo courtesy of the artist

NPR has premiered a new video for “Elysium” by Bear’s Den, taken from the UK group’s upcoming 10″ EP.  Filmed by James Marcus Haney, the video follows Haney’s younger brother and his group of friends at Seattle Pacific University over the course of a few days in early June.  But what was supposed to be a documentary of care-free college students enjoying the last few days of the semester suddenly turned tragic and heartbreaking when the campus experienced a shooting. Haney’s brother and his friends were deeply affected by the shooting, and you can read the filmmaker’s full statement on the circumstances here.  Bear’s Den will perform at this month’s XPoNential Music Festival on Sunday, July 27th.  Tickets are still available here.

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