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Watch Bruce Springsteen join guitarist Steve Van Zandt’s band at Asbury Park Music & Film Festival

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN | deltufophotography.com
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band | photo by Joe Del Tufo for WXPN | deltufophotography.com

Up in Jersey, this weekend’s Asbury Park’s Music & Film Festival housed some important performances from hometown friends and family. On Friday and Saturday, Steve Van Zandt (guitarist of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band) and his band Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul headlined the Paramount Theatre, only to be interrupted by The Boss himself. Crashing the party, Springsteen joined the band in a rendition of Little Richard’s “Lucille” and Zandt’s own “It’s Been A Long Time.” And of course, they killed it.

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XPN MusicNotes: Watch Bruce Springsteen join Steven Van Zandt on stage in Red Bank, NJ

Steven Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen | photo by Amanda Stevens | via AP

“I’d like to bring out a friend of mine who’s out of work” – Steven Van Zandt introducing Bruce Springsteen

Steven Van Zandt spent part of the weekend in New Jersey performing at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank with his band The Disciples of Soul, and guess who came out to join him on the encore? None other than “The Boss” himself — Bruce Springsteen. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Soulfire” by Little Steven

Photo by Danny Clinch for Rolling Stone

If you’ve never been to the Jersey shore, don’t worry, because Steve Van Zandt, one of rock and roll’s most incredible sidemen, is bringing the sounds of the shore directly to your speakers on his new album, Soulfire. On his first new solo album in 18 years, out on his own Wicked Cool Records, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul embody the best of East Coast rock and soul. Fans of The Boss, Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds, Little Richard, Ronnie Spector, The Drifters: rejoice! Continue reading →

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Laura Stevenson talks cover songs, creative streaks, constant touring and making a live record for Planned Parenthood

Laura Stevenson | photo by Kenneth Bachor | courtesy of the artist
Laura Stevenson | photo by Kenneth Bachor | courtesy of the artist

Laura Stevenson has been quite busy. Over the past year and a half, the punk scene songwriter fave released her excellent fourth LP, Cocksure, via Don Giovanni Records and went on several back-to-back-to-back laps touring the U.S. and abroad in support of it. She hit the festival circuit last summer, released a live album this winter, and appeared on the Don’t Stop Now covers compilation to benefit the ACLU. Somewhere along the way, she found a minute to marry her bass player, Mike Campbell.

Live At the Vera Club came out in December, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Planned Parenthood. It captures a night at the storied club and community creative space in Groningen, situated in the North of the Netherlands. The crowd was small, Stevenson recalls in the album notes, and she couldn’t speak Dutch, so she wasn’t as chatty as usual, but the show rules — the band sounds tremendous, from the uppers like “Torch Song” and “Runner” to the slow burn of “Out With a Whimper” and “Renee,” and a delightful cover of “Alex Chilton” by The Replacements.

Stevenson and her band — Campbell, Alex Billig on accordion and keys, John Burdick on guitar, and Sammi Niss on drums – just headed out on an east coast tour that brings them to Boot and Saddle Thursday. When I caught up with Stevenson via phone from the Hudson Valley home she’s lived in for the past few years, she had just gotten back from a solo tour of Australia with the frontpersons of various down-under DIY acts: Iona Cairns of Shit Present, Lucy Wilson of The Sugarcanes and Wil Wagner of Smith Street Band. We began by discussing this photo of them cuddling a chill koala named Waffles at the Lone Pine Sanctuary in Brisbane. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes The Bacon Brothers to The Keswick Theater, XPN Welcomes The Smithereens to The Landis Theatre, XPN Welcomes Steve Earle to The Colonial Theatre, Daughter at Union Transfer, Grandchildren at Johnny Brenda’s

bacon

XPN welcomes The Bacon Brothers to the Keswick Theatre tonight. The Philadelphia natives were playing music together long before Kevin’s acting and Michael’s composing careers took off, though their last album of new material was 2008’s New Year’s Day.  Tickets and information for tonight’s show can be found here.  Watch a video of the brothers and their band performing live below.

XPN welcomes The Smithereens to the Landis Theater tonight.  After putting out their tenth studio album in 2011, the New Jersey rock band has continued to tour steadily and will join Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on the road this summer.  Tickets and information for tonight’s headline show can be found here.  Below, watch the video for 2011 single “One Look at You.”

XPN welcomes Steve Earle & the Dukes to the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville.  Modeling himself after famed singer-songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Earle has released fourteen records over the course of his career.  The Low Highway was released this month through New West Records.  Tickets and information for tonight’s show can be found here.  Below, watch the video for “Invisible.”

UK alt folk trio Daughter headline Union Transfer tonight.  Building buzz off of two EPs, the London outfit have finally released a hauntingly emotional debut album this week called If You Leave.  Tickets and information for the show can be found here.  Below, watch the video for “Still.”

Grandchildren celebrate their album release at Johnny Brenda’s tonight.  Golden Age will be released on May 7th, and you can get an in-depth look at the orchestral pop band’s world surrounding the album in this week’s Unlocked series.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with The Lawsuits, Laser Background and DJ POW POW can be found here.  Watch the video for “Sunrise” below.

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Watch the new Bruce Springsteen video, “High Hopes”

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

Below, watch the video for “High Hopes,” the title song from Bruce Springsteen’s new album, coming out on January 14 release on Columbia Records. The video, directed by Thom Zimny, is a collage featuring photos from Danny Clinch, Australian tour footage shot by Chris Hilson and featuring Tom Morello, vintage documentary footage, text and graphics Morello joined Springsteen and the E Street Band on tour in Australia in March, 2013 (sitting in for Steve Van Zandt), and became, as Springsteen says, “my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level.” Besides his guitar playing on the album, Morello also duets with Springsteen on “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” Clarence Clemons, who passed away in 2011, and Danny Federici, who passed away in 2008, also appear on several songs of what Springsteen calls “some of our best unreleased material from the past decade.” “High Hopes,” was originally recorded by Sprinsgteen in 1995; it’s a cover of a song by The Havalinas, and update for this new collection.

High Hopes song titles

1. High Hopes (Tim Scott McConnell) – featuring Tom Morello
2. Harry’s Place – featuring Tom Morello
3. American Skin (41 Shots) – featuring Tom Morello
4. Just Like Fire Would (Chris J. Bailey) – featuring Tom Morello
5. Down In The Hole
6. Heaven’s Wall -featuring Tom Morello
7. Frankie Fell In Love
8. This Is Your Sword
9. Hunter Of Invisible Game -featuring Tom Morello
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad – duet with Tom Morello
11.The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream (Martin Rev and Alan Vega) – featuring Tom Morello

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The reunited Del Fuegos aren’t playing Philly but here’s some new music from them anyway


Reunited roots rockers The Del Fuegos aren’t playing Philly on their upcoming tour, however being that we’ve been long time fans of the band, we at least felt it was our duty to let you know about this new song from the band to download called “Friday Night.” It’s from a brand new 8 song collection of songs the band is releasing next Tuesday, February 21st. Originally from Boston, The Del Fuegos signed to Slash Records in the Eighties and released their debut album in 1984. Formed around bothers Warren and Dan Zanes, the band split up in 1990. Post break up, both Dan and Warren continued their musical careers. Dan has become an established kids music performer (he won a Grammy Award in 2007). Warren has released solo albums, authored several books about music, worked at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as Vice President of Education and is currently the Executive Director of Steve Van Zandt’s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation. In June of last year, The Del Fuegos played together for the first time in 21 years at the Paradise Rock Club and begin their reunion tour at the same club next Tuesday. The Zanes brothers are joined by Tom Lloyd, Woody Giessmann and Brother Cleve. Unfortunately, the band does not have a Philly show (see their tour schedule below). Go here to download “Friday Night,” and take a peek at the video for they made for Miller beer back in 1985.

The Del Fuegos Winter 2012 Reunion Tour:

Wed., Feb. 22 BOSTON, MA The Paradise Rock Club
Thurs., Feb. 23 NEW YORK, NY Bowery Ballroom
Fri., Feb. 24 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Ballroom
Sat., Feb. 25 CHICAGO, IL Lincoln Hall
Sun., Feb 26 EVANSTON, IL Space
Tues., Feb. 28 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Varsity Club
Wed., Feb. 29 MILWAUKEE, WI Turner Hall
Thurs., March 1 ST. LOUIS, MO The Old Rock House
Fri., March 2 KENT, OH The Kent Stage
Sat., March 3 BROOKLYN, NY The Bell House
Sun., March 4 CONCORD, NH The Capital Center

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Snooze Alarm: Your late-arriving link roundup, 11/16

Springsteen To Play With The Roots “What would the E Street Band sound like with ?uestlove, instead of Max Weinberg, on drums? That question will be kinda sorta answered tonight when Bruce Springsteen plays with The Roots on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Springsteen will bring guitarist Steve Van Zandt along with him, and pianist Roy Bittan.” (In The Mix)

Robert Plant Is Coming To The Tower “Just the other week, drummer Jason Bonham came to town to celebrate the music of Led Zeppelin (and his father John Bonham’s role in it). And now it’s just been announced that an honest-to-goodness Led Zep alumnus, frontman Robert Plant, is coming to the Tower Theatre on Wednesday, January 26th, with his new Band of Joy backing group. Tickets, which range from $57.60 – $101.50 go on sale this coming Saturday, November 20th, at 10 a.m.” (Make Major Moves)

Opera Company of Philadelphia Surprises Macy’s Shoppers With 650 Singers in Pop-Up, Hallelujah Chorus “On Saturday, October 30th, the Opera Company of Philadelphia partnered with Macy’s and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to produce one of the Knight Foundation’s “Random Acts of Culture” on a grand scale in Philadelphia.” (Uwishunu)

The Faint members form Depressed Buttons “Your favorite high school synth-punk band, The Faint, have been missing in action for awhile. Well the band has broken up, come back together in fragments, and have most recently formed a new project called Depressed Buttons. The dance-genre based project features Todd Fink, Clark Baechle, and Jacob Thiele (all previous Faint members) and their debut release, QWERTY, will be out on December 7th through Mad Decent.” (Phrequency)

Indie Artists Might Spend $2 Just To Make A Dollar. “This part two of my interview segment with Dave Cool, who is director and producer of the documentary film “What is INDIE? A look into the World of Independent Musicians.” In it, he chronicles the experience of being an indie artist in the music industry and strives to define and challenge the term “indie” itself. In part two, Cool talks about the rapid evolution of the toolkits and websites available to indie artists, whether or not we’re fostering communities that support creativity, and his optimism for the future of indie artists of all distinctions.” (Hypebot)

Beatles, iTunes Come Together Right Now Over Zzzz “All day yesterday Apple.com proudly wore window dressing in the form of this note: “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.” So here we are, and we’ll carry forward the call: Where were YOU the day the Beatles music was finally available for purchase via iTunes and you didn’t give a shit?” (Stereogum)

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PREMIERE: Soraia reflects on the late Jeff Buckley in “Wandering Star”

Soraia | photo by Mark Weiss | courtesy of the artist
Soraia | photo by Mark Weiss | courtesy of the artist

Philly hard rock force of nature Soraia is readying its latest project, Dead Reckoning, due out October 13th on Little Steven Van Zandt’s label Wicked Cool Records.

The band’s past releases have focused on high-octane garage rock — overdriven guitars dishing speedy riffage, racing to keep pace with frontwoman ZouZou Mansour’s dynamic vocals — and this record has no shortage of that, right from the opening punch of “Quicksand.” But Soraia also takes advantage of the vinyl LP format to stretch out into the realm of different sounds and styles like glossy 80s pop (“Why?”), arena-ready slow burn anthems (“Come Down, Angel”) and glimmering retro rock, best exemplified in the song we’re premiering for you today, “Wandering Star.”

The penultimate song of the record incorporates classic 50s guitar arpeggios and a tremolo effect in the vein of Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk,” and when the lyrics kick in, Mansour reflects on love and mortality as it relates to one wandering star in particular. Continue reading →