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Rodrigo y Gabriela, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Hold Steady and more top the XPoNential Music Festival lineup

Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via rodgab.com
Rodrigo y Gabriela | photo via rodgab.com

Dueling acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, eclectic New Orleans folk-blues combo Hurray for the Riff Raff, and stalwart rock n’ rollers The Hold Steady are just some of the 25 artists announced today in the full lineup of this year’s edition of the XPoNential Music Festival.

These acts will play the two stages in Wiggins Park from July 25th to July 27th of this year, alongside the festival’s headlining concerts at Susquehanna Bank Center featuring Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis and Dawes (July 26th) and Beck, Band of Horses and The Districts (July 27th).

Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com
Photo by Kate McCann | katemccannphotography.com

The Wiggins Park bill is filled with WXPN favorites, like alt-country heroes Old 97s, Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins and Diego Garcia, all of whom are return-XPNFest-ers.

There is also an assortment of up-and-coming names like countrified Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose (featured on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Nashville series); Bear’s Den, a UK rock trio with a flair for drama (they made a splash at the March Edition of the Communion Club Night at Underground Arts), the jazzy / folky vocal combo Lake Street Dive and the art-pop powerhouse Lucius, (who knocked our socks off at Free at Noon late last year.)

Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Man Man | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

The greater Philadelphia scene is nicely represented as well. Bigger names like avant-garde rockers Man Man (who leaked their appearance last week), punk rock troubadour Dave Hause and reinvented folklorists Marah will mix with emerging artists Commonwealth Choir, Our Griffins, Marian Hill, The Lawsuits, Ginger Coyle and Viv and the Revival.

And adding an even more eclectic scope to the lineup is a taste of zydeco from C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and some Mississippi blues care of harmonica master James Cotton.

Three days passes for new and renewing WXPN members are available now here. Tickets for the general public go on sale on May 1st; as with previous years, three-day passes will include lawn admission to the Susquehanna Bank Center shows (seated tickets to those are on sale separately, here and here).

Below, listen to a Spotify playlist of the Wiggins Park lineup, and read the complete list of artists after the jump.

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Air is Human reveal secret guest Commonwealth Choir for final residency night at Ortlieb’s

Air is Human | photo courtesy of the artist
Air is Human | photo courtesy of the artist

For their final free residency night at Ortlieb’s, local experimentalists Air is Human have announced that Commonwealth Choir is the secret special guest.  The Doylestown outfit follows in the footsteps of Acres of Diamonds, Heat Thunder and Left of Logic as support for Air is Human, which released its debut record The Infinity Limit in 2012.  Both bands will perform individual sets and will play a collaborative “Choir is Human” performance to top everything off.  More information can be found on the Facebook event page here.

Pacers by Commonwealth Choir from James Powers on Vimeo.

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An all-local lineup topped by Commonwealth Choir and Pine Barons packs MilkBoy

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Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Saturday XPN welcomed Doylestown’s intrinsic and frolicking Commonwealth Choir to MilkBoy, along with local three piece Big Tusk, with who Commonwealth Choir recently collaborated  on a limited edition cassette tape. They only made 50 tapes and sold them all out by the end of the evening; maybe we’ll get lucky and the new “Big Choir” will release more music together.

The evening started out with Brooklynites Vintage Villain making their Philly debut. The crowd responded well, grooving their keyboard sounds and deep vocals reminiscent of Phantogram and Deerhunter.

Next up was new Big Tusk, who performed songs off their most recent EP, Flood. They brought the energy forward with trickling pop guitar riffs, banging drums, and zinging keyboards. Drummer, Howe Pearson got so jazzed up and that he ripped his shirt off and began swinging it around, sort of a nod to Commonwealth Choir, who last year released an EP called Shirtless. For their final song, Big Tusk brought up a bassist and a second percussionist who played the washboard, a tin can, and a tambourine.

South Jersey natives Pine Barons hit the stage next, and they brought out an extremely excited and enthusiastic crowd of folks who were amped up from seeing their debut music video, “Don’t Believe What They Told You,” earlier in the day. The band played a selection of tracks from their self-titled EP, released last March; they’re currently recording a follow-up with Kyle Pulley at Headroom Studios in Fishtown.

Last but certainly not least, Commonwealth Choir took to the stage feeding off the crowd’s good spirit and eagerness, jumping right into jangling bells and rockin’ rhythms singing cuts from Shirtless. Frontman Davis Howley howled the melodies of tunes like “Rest” and “Movie Song,” jangling out sweet grooves on his guitar and bringing up buds from Big Tusk up during “Palace,” riling up an already feverish audience.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Hundred Acre Woods at Kung Fu Necktie, Commonwealth Choir at MilkBoy, Marissa Nadler at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

Philly folk outfit The Hundred Acre Woods recently joined us for their stellar Key Studio Session and tonight they play at Kung Fu Necktie. A folksy take on pop-rock, their sound is lively and fresh as heard on their latest 7″ Cold In The Morning. Check out a video of the band performing “All I Love” at their session and get $5 tickets tonight at the door before the show kicks off at 8:00 p.m.

Milkboy welcomes Commonwealth Choir to its stage tonight. The Doylestown natives released their Shirtless EP with a rock-based pop sound reminiscent of The Smiths and The Replacements. Watch a performance of “Pacers” below from their recent Key Studio Session and get tickets here.

Fresh off the release of her new album July which Stereogum calls “an ethereal spine-tingler”, Marissa Nadler brings her folksy dream pop to Johnny Brenda’s stage tonight. With underlying gothic themes, Nadler’s music is haunting and pretty all at once. Watch the video for “Dead City Emily” below and get tickets here.

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Also tonight…

You Do You at Boot and Saddle (8:30 p.m., $10, 21+)

Hogmaw at The Depot (9:00 p.m., $5, 21+)

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Commonwealth Choir and Big Tusk collaborate on limited edition tape release

 

Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Ryan Boswell RBCameraWorks.com
Commonwealth Choir | Photo by Ryan Boswell RBCameraWorks.com

Commonwealth Choir and Big Tusk have announced the release of a super-limited run of cassette tape splits ahead of their joint show at Milkboy this Saturday, March 15th.  Recorded through an entirely analog process, Philly Tapes Philly Vol. 1: Big Choir features both bands collaborating on each other’s songs – “Palace” by Commonwealth Choir” and “Peace Jam” by Big Tusk, both previously unreleased.

Capped at a pressing of 50 cassettes, they can be purchased on Commonwealth Choir’s Bandcamp page as a bundle that includes a ticket to Saturday’s 21+ show.  More information for the show can be found here, and tapes can be ordered through here.  Check out a video of “Palace” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Matt Nathanson at Musicians On Call Benefit at World Cafe Live, Teen Men at Boot and Saddle, Mo Lowda and The Humble at the TLA and more

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

With 20 years in the industry under his belt, singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson released his eighth album Last of the Great Pretenders last summer via Vanguard Records. After scoring a platinum hit with 2007′s succulent pop ballad “Come On Get Higher” (and playing the XPoNential Music Festival in 2008), Nathanson’s fanbase expanded greatly. Tonight, the Massachusetts native takes to the World Cafe Live stage for a show benefiting WXPN’s Musicians On Call initiative that brings musicians to the bedsides of hospital patients. Watch “Kinks Shirt” below and get tickets here.

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Get a double dose of local genius this Sunday night at Doyletown’s Siren Records with Anthony Green and Commonwealth Choir

Anthony Green | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Anthony Green | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

With the overall positive response to his album Young Legs, Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green ended 2013 on a high note. The Doylestown native was praised for his growth in songwriting and musicianship. Although his distinct high-pitched voice may be an acquired taste for some, Green has always been a master of conveying emotion which becomes even more clear in a live setting. This Sunday night, he’ll play an intimate show in the cozy confines of Siren Records in his native Doylestown.

Also on Sunday night’s bill is indie rock five-piece Commonwealth Choir. Since releasing its Shirtless EP late last year, the band (also Doylestown natives) established its local presence by playing tons of live shows across the region. If one show leaves you wanting more, don’t fret. XPN welcomes Commonwealth Choir back to Philly on March 15th at Milkboy (tickets here). Listen to Anthony Green’s “Young Legs” and Commonwealth Choir’s “Pacers” below and get tickets to Sunday night’s show at Siren Records here.

Pacers by Commonwealth Choir from James Powers on Vimeo.