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XPN Fest Recap: Pinegrove gets day one under way with an explosive set

Pinegrove | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

“It’s a great day to perform, now we just have to get verified on Instagram.” After a slew of last-minute schedule changes due to an ominous weather forecast, New Jersey natives Pinegrove opened up the 2017 XPoNential Music Festival on the smaller Marina Stage in Wiggins Park for what was one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend. The XPN Fest crowd had come out in full force with folding chairs and picnic blankets, but from the moment the band from Montclair stepped onto the stage the fans (some who had come from hours away just for this set) matched the energy and intensity that emanated from the stage. Continue reading →

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Mitski takes hold of Union Transfer with an arresting performance

Mitski | photo by Michelle Montgomery for WXPN

“When I last came here I was opening for another band and I remember thinking that this was some huge stadium venue,” said Mitski Miyawaki from the stage at Union Transfer on Friday night. “But now, it seems like the perfect size.”

Mitski was wrong. The wide, cavernous hall of Union Transfer was nowhere near large enough to contain her, though I’m not so sure any venue would. There is filling a room, which Mitski indeed did for the duration of her long-ago sold out show, and then there is owning a room. Few artists working today display the kind of quiet command which has become her trademark, able to arrest as easily with a soft croon as an impassioned howl. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mitski at Union Transfer, Cayetana at Skid Row Garage & more

Mitski | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist
Mitski | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

Indie rock goddess Mitski returns to Philadelphia tonight in another round of touring to support her latest album Puberty 2The singer-songwriter has made her way through several local venues from our own World Cafe to First Unitarian Church to PhilaMOCA and more, and this time around she has graduated to headlining Union Transfer. Mitski’s cutting lyrics and powerful voice driven by electric guitar makes for an intimate live performance in both the quiet moments and in the loud no matter the size of the venue. The night will also be a hometown show for Philly-based opener Half Waif who will be on the road with Mitski for the duration of the tour. For more information on the sold out show, click here. Continue reading →

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Stream the 2017 XPoNential Music Festival playlist on Spotify

Clockwise from top left; Jeff Tweedy of Wilco | Photo By Noah Silvestry, Pinegrove | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman, Angel Olsen | Photo by Kate McCann

The 2017 XPoNential Music Festival is fast approaching, coming to the Camden Waterfront on July 28-30. To get you as ready and pumped for the festival as we are, we’ve created a Spotify Playlist of all the incredible artists performing at this year’s XPN Fest, with a spotlight on a few players to get you started. Don’t have your tickets yet? 3-Day Go Everywhere Passes are on sale now and XPN Members save up to 50%! Continue reading →

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Mitski transforms One Direction’s song, “Fireproof,” into a fuzz rock jam

Mitski | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist
Mitski | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

One Direction was never really my cup o’ tea. My boy band quota was already filled to max capacity with ‘N SYNC and some select Backstreet Boys ballads. So when I heard Mitski recorded a cover of 1D’s song, “Fireproof,” I was totally intrigued to hear how she would spin the bubble-gum pop track. And, of course, being the badass indie queen that she is, Mitski’s cover grabs the song by the throat and commands it to be her own. Continue reading →

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The Key Presents: Pinegrove

Pinegrove| photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
Pinegrove | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

“I’m a happy guy that makes sad music,” jokes Evan Stephens Hall with a smile. Spending time with someone as effervescent as Hall in person, you might never even realize the fact that the songs he writes for Pinegrove bring together packed rooms of yelling, sometimes tearful people. But over the past year, Pinegrove catapulted from their hometown of Montclair, NJ to the big time — signing to Run For Cover Records, selling out almost every date of a massive summer tour of the US and appearing at festivals like Lollapalooza. The reception speaks volumes to the relatability and maturity that Evan brings to the project. These aren’t just sad songs for sad people, or an attempt to jump on the “emo revival” bandwagon. These songs are holistically approached pieces of work, that touch on every emotion under the sun — good and bad. Continue reading →