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Scenes and stories from the 56th annual Newport Folk Festival

An all-star tribute to Bob Dylan featuring Dawes, Robyn Hitchcock, Gillian Welch, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and more | Photo by Kate McCann
An all-star tribute to Bob Dylan going electric featuring Dawes, Robyn Hitchcock, Gillian Welch, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and more | Photo by Kate McCann | flickr.com/photos/126156760@N07

There is a certain energy in Newport, Rhode Island the day before the folk festival begins. Maybe it’s because venues and movie theaters hold pre-fest shows to welcome everyone into town, or because you’ll see Deer Tick wandering the streets after midnight in pirate costumes. But this year it was the anticipation surrounding the newly added “unannounced” guests of the weekend.

“I saw Bono earlier!” “It’s definitely CSNY.” “Man, I don’t know, I think I heard Dawes was playing XPNFest this year instead.” The rumors began Friday morning, and didn’t cease until the minute the show ended Sunday night when over 40 people were all on stage singing “Rainy Day Woman,” paying homage to Dylan’s 1965 infamous set at the NFF. 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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Download a World Cafe performance of the classic “Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards | Photo via http://www.newfrontiertouring.com/artist/jonathan-edwards/
Jonathan Edwards | Photo via http://www.newfrontiertouring.com/artist/jonathan-edwards/

The heritage singer-songwriter Jonathan Edwards, who recently visited the World Cafe studios to record a session, was driving a truck when he wrote his big hit song “Sunshine” in 1971. Edwards, who’ll be on the radio show with David Dye on Monday, August 3rd, has a new album, Tomorrow’s Child, recorded in Nashville. On his new record, Edwards partnered with Darrell Scott and the collection features contributions from Allison Krauss, Shawn Colvin, Vince Gill, and Joe Walsh. Continue reading →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Magic Death Sounds announces line-up for annual block party with Power Animal, APHRA, Jo Kusy and more

Magic Death Sounds
Jo Kusy | photo courtesy of the artist

Magic Death Sounds has announced details of its 3rd annual block party, taking place in Fishtown on August 30th. The two-stage event will showcase the tape label’s roster of artists along with other up-and-coming locals, including electronic soul-pop project APHRA, psych-rock songwriter Jo Kusy, electronic experimentalist Power Animal and more. There will also be food, drinks, and flea market vendors on hand, making it the kind of block party you won’t want to leave. Check out a highlight reel of last year’s party below and get more details here.

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What color vinyl should Saddle Creek reissue Hop Along’s Get Disowned on?

20150725_HopAlong_Xpo-22If you’re still wistfully reminiscing about Hop Along‘s Saturday performance at XPN Fest, we have something new for you to look forward to! Saddle Creek has announced that they will be reissuing the band’s 2012 debut Get Disowned. Until July 30th (this Thursday), fans can vote on the color of the new records — either ivory, clear, gold, or dark blue. The release date of the reissue is unclear “due to the volatility of vinyl manufacturing”, but the label expects to have the albums out by the end of the calendar year. Continue reading →

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Watch the quietly moving “Never For Nothing” video by The Stray Birds

The Stray Birds | Photo by Doug Seymour
The Stray Birds | Photo by Doug Seymour

Folk trio The Stray Birds traveled a long way to make this video. In fact, they spent fifteen hours on a train from South Carolina to New York City in order to bring song “Never For Nothing” to life. Their travels were worth it. The video features Canadian musician Taylor Ashton of the group Fish & Bird as he performs on subway platforms to audiences of children and in fields to the open air. It’s a beautiful song and an equally beautiful video.  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.”

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Eaux Claires Day 2: More mud, more sweat, a lot more tears

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

The Eaux Claires festival in Eau Claire, WI continued (read about Day 1 here) July 18 with a much slower start, a combination of Friday’s intense heat and thundershowers through the night having broken some of the pressure.

Leaving no time to waste, staff photog Jeremy and I headed over to the dome marked “Eternity Awaits” that I described yesterday. Once inside the dome, recorded “confessions” and “Alleluias” played as a soundtrack for the experiment as the hay bales started to fill with those anxious to confess. These recorded confessions included everything from a woman sharing she was really a cat to friends admitting they deceived each other; really weird mix of stuff. I pulled the number “12” from the ticket wheel and patiently waited. Astronautalis came out from the confessional between hearing confessions in full priestly regalia, guzzling a Miller Lite and sizing up every sinner in the room with his own appearance-based evaluation – never mind what each person was actually going to confess.

Finally, my ticket was called and I approached the confessional, totally unsure of what to do once I got up there. But, just like in my Catholic upbringing, I entered one side of the confessional and Astronautalis entered the other. The walls of the small box were filled with photobooth-like mugs of others; a kneeler and a screen were also present in on the wall facing Astronautalis. Continue reading →