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Here are all our favorite covers from this past weekend’s XPN Fest

George Ezra | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
George Ezra | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Missed out on the festivities this past weekend? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. As entertaining as it was seeing some of our favorite bands play some of our favorite songs at XPN Fest, it was equally fun seeing them play some of their own favorite songs. Without fail, there is always a fantastic collection of covers played by the various performers throughout the festival, and we’re here to break down the best of the weekend for you. Continue reading →

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XPNFest Recap: Delta Rae’s thunderous energy closed out the River Stage

 

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Delta Rae | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Return XPNFest-ers Delta Rae played a high-energy set to close out Wiggins Park on XPNFest day two as the sun set over the Delaware.

With their April LP After It All in tow, the band’s energy was palpable from the get-go. The charging “Outlaws” opened the set, “Cold Day in Heaven” had a touch of 80s synthesizer and pop hooks. Dipping back to their second album for “Morning Comes” riled up the crowd to clap along, while “Bottom of the River” was re-imagined with an intense instrumental opening before the thundering drums kicked in. Continue reading →

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Delta Rae release “All Good People,” a song inspired by the Charleston shooting

Delta Rae | Photo courtesy of the band
Delta Rae | Photo courtesy of the band

With nothing more than a kick drum beat and simple piano melody, Delta Rae‘s new song “All Good People” creates a very emotional and touching memorial not only the Charleston shooting victims but to all those affected by violence.

The song shows a sense of self-awareness with powerful lyrics like “We can’t hold our breath forever when our brothers cannot breathe,” and the group’s incredible, gospel-inspired vocal delivery hammers the message home: if you don’t speak up, you’re part of the problem. Proceeds of the song are going to the Emanuel AMA Church in Charleston. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Sufjan Stevens at The Academy of Music, SHLOHMO at Johnny Brenda’s, Delta Rae at The TLA and more

Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens | photo via www.sufjan.com

Celebrated indie-folk singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens makes a long awaited return to form on his current album and tour. Rather than being a zany holiday collection or an abstract electronic freakout, Carrie & Lowell is a return to Stevens’ contemplative acoustic roots, very much in the vein of 2004′s Seven Swans, and over the course of 11 songs it is an aching meditation on his mother who died in 2012. Tonight he returns to Philly to headline the Academy of Music and kick off his U.S. tour; tickets and information can be found at the XPN Concert CalendarContinue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Delta Rae w/ Gabe Dixon at Musikfest Cafe, John Doe at World Cafe Live

Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/

Just recently, Delta Rae put on a sensational show at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Delaware, and they return to our area tonight at the Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem. The band is currently working on a new album and has been road testing a number of songs. Opening is Nashville singer-songwriter Gabe Dixon. Get tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar here. Below, download for free a live version of “Bottom of the River” recorded at the Cat’s Cradle in North Carolina.

John Doe of the punk band X plays World Cafe Live tonight. Doe recently released his first ever “best of” collection, including 24 song from his solo albums. Tickets to the show and information here. Tickets and more information here Below, watch John and Kathleen Edwards perform “The Golden State.”

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Breathless and blown away by Delta Rae at World Cafe Live at the Queen

Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/
Photo by Joe del Tufo | http://www.joedeltufo.com/

Last night, Delta Rae performed at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington. After seeing them at three festivals I was not prepared for the force of nature they’ve become. Having honed their sound from two years of near constant touring, the energy of their set has reached a fever pitch. They opened strong, two drums kicking for the tune “Run”, from their recent release the Chasing Twisters EP, and by the time they got to a thunderous cover of Patti Smith’s “Because They Night”, I wondered if they could keep this sustain this level of energy and excitement.They did. Breathing only for a gorgeous completely unplugged version of a new song called Any “Better,” they left the crowd stunned with their soaring four part harmonies. There is a Fleetwood Mac influence here, but bigger, and seasoned with deep southern influence that shows up in songs like “Bottom of the River,” and “If I Loved You,” both highlights from the night. The vocals of siblings Brittany, Ian and Eric Holijes pairs with the outstanding energy of Elizabeth Hopkins are really something to behold. It’s a show you feel as much as hear. This is a band destined for larger stages; catch them up close while you can.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Andrew Jackson Jihad at Union Transfer, PhillyBloco at Ardmore Music Hall, Betty Iron Thumbs at Milkboy and more

Photo via facebook.com/andrewjacksonjihad
Photo via facebook.com/andrewjacksonjihad

Folk-punk band Andrew Jackson Jihad will be playing at Union Transfer tonight. The Arizona based band released its fifth studio album Christmas Island last month. In an interview with Brooklyn Vegan, the band stated that they wanted to make a “brutal acoustic record, similar to the Violent Femmes’ first album.” Recently, the band did a session with their label SideOneDummy, which includes the premiere of their latest, “Do, Re and Me.” Listen to it below. Get more information here at the XPN Concert Calender.

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Just Announced: Delta Rae playing World Cafe Live 2/21

Photo by Eric Honeycutt via Rolling Stone.com
Photo by Eric Honeycutt via Rolling Stone.com

Delta Rae are returning to Philly and are playing World Cafe Live on Friday, February 21st. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 15th at Noon here. The band releases a new EP, Chasing Twisters, on Tuesday, November 19th. A new song, “Chasing Twisters” is streaming at Rolling Stone here. The North Carolina band worked with producers Rob Cavallo and Julian Raymond during the summer on the EP. Below, download a live version of “Dance In The Graveyards.”